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When would you NOT use micro-spikes?

Just got back from Baldy.  Went up Manker and down the backbone.  Above the hut, it was mostly snow-covered, and slick in many spots.  On the backbone trail......NO WAY you can do it without at least some type of spikes.  

So, I'm curious how many of you would use microspikes on steep and ice, where a slip could easily mean serious injury or death?  

REASON I'M ASKING:   My hiking buddy LOVES his new microspikes, and uses/trusts them in all conditions.  But, just going up Manker, one of the chains broke on one side so I really wonder the "heavy duty" capacity of them.  Watching him cruise down a very steep, nearly solid ice face...with 500' drops on either side had me cringing.     Me? I used full crampons and felt locked in on any surface.     But,  watching my buddy cruising along on dangerous icy terrain.....without a concern in the world like he was safe as a baby...... kinda has me wondering how safe that really is (using micro spikes when the penalty for failure is extreme).    Thoughts?

Microspikes are for flat or nearly flat terrain. They don't have enough bite to take the forces put on them when you are on steep terrain. I've gotten away with it once or twice by being careful but wasn't comfortable doing it.


Everybody's tolerance is different. Our abilities vary, our awareness of the risks vary, and also our willingness to accept risk varies. For me, I almost always carry microspikes with me in snow for the simple reason that they enhance my running performance significantly.

Figuring out when and where they are required is very personal...but for me it typically works out something like this....

If I dont have spikes on AND I cant kick steps AND a fall is somewhat likely to result in death, then I'm finding another way or turning around.

Re: When would you NOT use micro-spikes?

BrownMtnBob wrote:
so I really wonder the "heavy duty" capacity of them.  

It has been covered as to steep terrain

But I regularly  us my Katoola MicroSpikes for hiking steep loose firebreaks

I have tried other imitation "Microspike" look alikes and found them to be lacking.

The pair I am currently using have been in service for about 6 months so I'd say they are pretty good. Forum Index -> Gear & Fitness
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