More of us will shovel driveways and sidewalks than traverse glaciers and Himalayan trails. This product can help you do both safely.
by Leon Pantenburg
Hillsound supplied this product. I was not paid to do this review.
Bend, Oregon – I awoke to 14 inches of new snow, and I’m not going anywhere until the driveway gets shoveled.
So what does this have to do with a pair of mountain crampons?
Well, if you’re like me, you don’t want some exotic piece of gear that only gets used on a rare occasion. My driveway has a pretty steep slope, and it gets really slippery when the snow melts, and then re-freezes.
I also walk two black Labs every night in often slippery conditions. I have slipped and fallen twice because of the ice. (I didn’t get hurt – I took Judo in college, and know how to fall.) I typically put a set of crampons or Yak Tracs on my dog walking books, and leave them on until the bare ground is visible.
Statistically, there are millions more people who will shovel snow and have to cross icy parking lots than those who will climb mountains and traverse glaciers. But the crampons used for both can make things a lot safer.
In Bend, there are a lot of trail runners, hikers and backcountry travelers who rely on durable crampons. But most of us just use them whenever it gets slick out.
So I was interested in the Hillsound Trail Crampons. I regularly hike on icy trails where a slip could be a really bad thing, and these looked really durable.
Here are the specs, according to the back of the box:
Eleven heat-treated spikes combine with an ergonomically designed flex hinge guarantee superb grip on packed snow or ice.
Welded stainless steel flex-chain: The integral parts of the flex-chain are welded to prevent links from pulling apart on rough terrain.
Dynaflex sleastic harness: The durable elastic harness ensures a tight hold on your shoes and retains its elasticity to -60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The crampons worked really well for shoving a slippery, steep driveway. What typically happens, is that as soon as the sun comes out, the snow starts to melt and the pavement gets really slippery. That’s what happened after the latest snowstorm, but I was able to keep safely shoveling.
In one place, the snow got so slick the snow blower couldn’t make it up the hill. But I was able to walk right through that spot without any danger at all. I was so impressed, I walked downhill through the dangerous spot to see if the crampons would hold. They worked really well.
That night, I walked the dogs with the Hillsound crampons on my boots, and never felt like I was going to slip on the icy sidewalk or the steep paths at the fog park.
A slip and fall on an icy street could end up being every bit as dangerous as a fall in the mountains, and the urban situation is much more likely to happen.
I’m leaving the Hillsound crampons on my boots until the snow clears. I think they’re a solid product, and one people should look at.