Dear REI Employee,
As I am coursing the pages of your website's offerings for women's hiking boots, I am wondering how will it be designated which boots can be paired with crampons for a multi-surface, multi-temperature hike?
@MissTinayou are very welcome! I hope it helps. By the way I have 2 short videos of that trip on my youtube channel and 4 more of later trips, all on the corridor trails which I'm guessing you'll be on, I make them to give viewers a good understanding of the trip, the trails, the camping situations,and the spectacular scenery.
Hello again, REI John,
Great news, I just received my new hiking boots for my upcoming Grand Canyon trip. I just want to be sure the previous recommendations you gave me for crampons will be compatible with these boots (see link, please).
Thanks for checking back in with us!
Great choice in boots! You are correct, the previously mentioned trail crampons will work well with those boots. As a reminder, here are some options that we have available:
Best of luck with your trip, be sure to come back here and tell us about it!
There's something about the MOAB that just feels right on my feet, John. It just feels right. And thank you for responding. I've been hiking the mountain here, breaking in my boots, trekking poles, Camelbak and headlamp, so now it's time to start investing in the remaining gear. Thanks again for your timely reply and the recommendations! Cheers from the trails in PA,
Hey REI-John J.,
This is a question, not a complaint. When you've used your own crampons, do they make a lot of jingly noises that let's all the animals in the vicinity know you're in their neighborhood? One of my goals is to hike as quietly as possible to increase my chances of communing with wildlife. I had never considered the noise any crampon might make. What are your thoughts on this issue based on your experience? Cheers!
Hey REI-John J,
I just came across an unfamiliar term - snowballing - in reference to crampons. Does that term mean snow that gets 'balled up' underneath your hiking boots but between the crampons? Is this painful? Tell me everything I should know about this phenomenon, please! Stay awesome!
@MissTina Another great question!
When snow balls up under your crampons it is not painful, however, it is at best annoying and at worst hazardous to your footing. Basically, 'snow balling' is simply snow building up in the open space between your crampon spikes...think about it like when using a cookie cutter and the cookie lifts off the counter and stays inside the cutter.
This phenomenon typically occurs in deep, soft, wet snow. If you're using your crampons on ice or hard pack snow it is normally not as much of a problem. Some mountaineering crampons come with anti-balling plates, which allow the snow to be pushed out from between the crampon spikes with each step. The trail crampons you are looking at don't normally come with anti-balling plates.
Crampons are designed to have their points grip into hard surfaces (ice, or hard pack snow). An important factor in thinking about crampons is the depth of the snow: is the snow too deep for your crampon points to grip? This is why mountaineers often get an 'alpine start' (leaving well before sunrise) so that the surface of the snow is harder and they sink in less (it is also safer from objective dangers like rockfall and avalanches).
If your primary use of crampons is for hiking on trails and to carry with you in the event that you encounter ice and snow, then I don't think you'll need to worry about the anti-balling plates. I would definitely recommend a good pair of trekking poles if you haven't invested in them yet! If you are going to be hiking specifically on snow in varying conditions, I would recommend looking at a pair of snowshoes (they give you traction and floatation on snow). If you are hoping to travel vertically, in the alpine, with potential for glacier travel in addition to snow and ice, then crampons with anti-balling plates would be a good idea.
Hopefully this helps, keep the good questions coming!
@MissTina Great question!
In my experience the sound that crampons make is pretty negligible, particularly given all the other noise one makes on the trail. When you put the crampons on your boots, they should be snug enough that they don't 'jingle' too much or make shaking noises. They may add some noise (scraping on ice or rock, an occasional clank of metal on another hard surface), but I don't think it will be enough to impact your ability to see wildlife.
In my experience, seeing wildlife is more about being prepared, observant, and going at the right time of day. If you're able to find a place where you can stop and observe for periods of time that is helpful as well.
Hopefully this helps, thanks!