Fantastic Winter Trail Crampons
May 22nd, 2013
I do a lot of winter mountain hiking on the Appalachian TrailVermont Long Trail. Trail conditions in the Northeast range widely from packed powder snow to wet snow to heavy crust to sheet ice, sometimes all of the above in one hike depending on elevation gained.
I’ve tried hard to find a light trail crampon for winter trekking -- Yaktrax slip off on steep terrain, and clog with snow; Stabilicers lost many of their ice studs in just 2 miles; other ice traction products with rubber bindings literally fall off when they get stiff with the cold; Petzl Crab 6 has no protection from wet snow build-up and web binding straps that take minutes to put on with bare hands; full mountaineering crampons are too big, too heavy, way too excessive for the AT/LT -- but Hillsound Cypress 6 mid-sole trail crampons have been amazing!
-- the ratchet bindings took about 5 seconds to click on (1 second to click off, very cool!) even with heavy winter mitts on
-- the bindings locked the crampons onto the boot with zero play or slip, they also helped snug up my hiking boots for a more secure fit due to the wrap-around binding design
-- traction on snow and ice was phenomenal, I was able to run full speed down a black diamond ski trail without using my poles on packed powder, and hike up black ice sheeted trail rocks with 100% traction
-- the crampon points are not as long as mountaineering crampon points so didn’t catch when I didn’t need them too, so no accidental spike-induced tripping
-- the anti-snow pads meant zero snow build up, even in transitioning from wet snow to frozen crust during altitude transitions or end of day temperature drops
-- they’re very compact and light to carry
-- very tough stuff bag included, allowed me to put the Cypress 6 in my pack with no fear of damage to down parka, sleeping bag, etc.
-- beautifully made, with great attention to detail and durability
Highly recommended for winter trail hiking!