TRAIL RUNNING IN WINTER: RUN SAFELY ON SNOW OR ICE WITH RUBBER, SPIKES, CRAMPONS OR SNOW SHOES.
Trail running winter: Material and technique for mountain racing on snow or ice. Our TRAIL RUNNING GEAR section today focuses on how our material to use in mountain races on white, to bring safely on snow or ice.
We review four workarounds: Specific rubber soles first; Spikes (factory or hand-mounted); Light trail crampons and even specific snowshoes to run with them. We start with the video summary and then more details. (Only in Spanish)
TRAIL RUNNING IN WINTER, BY MAYAYO.
RUN SAFELY ON SNOW/ICE WITH RUBBER, SPIKES, CRAMPONS OR SNOWSHOES.
This week you will finally see the white mantle settled in most of the great Spanish massifs: From the Pyrenees to Sierra Nevada, passing through the Guadarrama, Gredos or the Picos de Europa. These days we expect thicknesses between 10 and 100cm. After the first snowfalls of a few weeks ago, there were already delicate concrete points to run.
They are those where the classic snow or ice plates that generate fusion/freezing in the laps are formed, or the constant venting on ridges or the sustained cold, so perhaps now, is the time to go over what gear fits to bring as best as possible on high winter mountain.
It is never a good idea to go to this terrain without mastering the basic techniques of safety and mountain self-determination, which involves knowing how to use crampons and piolet, since no other tool guarantees us complete safety in the icy slopes, let alone how to stop ourselves if we lose foot on an ice sheet. Similarly, the importance of carrying poles in winter multiplies, as they offer two adicioal support points that are vital for both traction and support safety. Then, already… of the type of cane, piolet and crampon to bet on in each case, we will see later, as the range is almost infinite:
From the modern lightweight and flexible trail crampons like the one shown below by Camp to the most aggressive traction piolet with which to face even collapses as we see below came out of Grivel forges in Aosta.
As a first step today, we highlight four solutions that improve traction on snow/ice: The rubber sole itself, when it has a tack or special composition for winter; Special winter trail spikes, whether factory or hand-installed; Lightweight trail running crampons. And we end up with snowshoes, a tool also valid in cases of soft and deep snow, but that require a specific tecnique.
TRAIL RUNNING IN WINTER: SPECIAL RUBBER SOLES.
To run in winter it can help us a special rubber adapted to mud/snow/ice and/or special lugs in the shoe:
- A deep lug almost is always useful in snow. So we are looking for 6-8mm lugs with a soft rubber that also allows a healthy traction on wet rock, since often the fusion of snow will cause us to step also on that surface. There stand out special rubbers of different brands, being the Salomon Mud & Snow the most popular in our country.
- As for the compound, there are now specific soles such as vibram Artic Ice grip, which become thermoreactive.
- They are designed combining traditional rubber with stiffer particles (see below colors) These particles, without adding much weight to the whole, if they bite a little even on the pure ice, like our photo below. Logically, they do not allow us to run with full guarantees when passing through hard ice. But you’ll notice it at every step and they’ll give you some peace of mind on days of loose snow or just like these first few weeks of winter.
TRAIL RUNNING IN WINTER: RUNNING WITH SPIKES.
Running with spikes is a the classic cross-country runinng on mud. It also works scaryly on snow and even ice, as long as the route doesn’t get too steep. There are those that have been factory mounted or we can mount them ourselves as remove and put nails.
- Fixed spikes are those that carry specialized models of brands such as the Salomon Speedspike shoe or its warmest sisters the Salomon Snowspike.
- The removable spikes are a second option.
- In fact the most common in countries such as Italy, where La Sportiva sells a specific kit with spikes and tools to mount them on all those shoes of the brand that come pre-marked from the factory with the point where to fix them. As a quality alternative and with a more affordable price come also the spikes of the American Icespike.
TRAIL RUNNING CRAMPONS.
Today, there are several types of crampons for winter mountain races, based on two base systems: A “cable” crampon with a cylindrical rolled wire versus the “skewer” crampon with vertical stainless steel tips under the plant.
- Personally, the cable crampon sold by some stores can be a good solution for the urban stroller or occasional hiker. Now, I don’t see those for a mountain runner. The reason? With those we do not get diret grip on the terrain as we advance on a slope with hard ice.
- So, I suggest you bet better on light trail crampons that mount between 12-14 vertical skewers under your feet.
- They are full warranty models, with weights of 200-300 grams and prices 30-40€. They are articulated by light stainless steel chains and fixed to the shoe by a thick rubber band.
The house with the most mountain tradition that makes them is Camp and again here there is an American clone like Ice traction that also has good distribution in our country. Here I leave you the COMPARATION CRAMON CAMP VS ICE CT.
Do those light crampons work well? Very well.. with their limits. They weigh about 500 grams a pair, for quick and easy fold as well as occupy little in the backpack. Once placed, a veteran runner will feel confident enough even to tackle large slopes with them, especially if we carry a piolet.
However, despite the confidence they give, we must not face with them slopes >45° because we do not have rigid support of the plant or with front tips like the real mountaineering crampons, we will not have sufficient resources if there is any incident in full ascension.
Snowshoe racing is becoming more popular every day. Among the different types of snowshoes we review in this video for you, the “competition” racket stands out for being smaller in volume and much more flexible than its riding or trekking sisters.
The most important thing when wearing them is to be aware that they perform especially prominently in flat areas, with loose snow but not too deep. Attention! To get into vertical areas, we will always return to the crampon, because it gives us much greater security.
IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ,
CLICK THIS BUTTON TO SUPPORT US IN PATREON.COM/MAYAYO