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First thoughts on the Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra
Right out of the box, and onto the icy trails. These Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultras came along as we were heading to the mountains. The ability to run safely in icy winter conditions is a ‘slippery surface’. Therefore, I am sure that countless numbers of slips and falls have resulted in broken bones, scrapes, and bruises.
Runners are very stubborn, we need our fix, and running is one of the most efficient and easiest ways to burn calories. Also, the trail runner category of athletes is another unique subculture. The beauty of those trails, especially in winter, can be an experience like no other. And that’s why having the right equipment will go a long way to making the race a good one.
- Versatile: can be combined with trail running shoes, hiking shoes, hiking boots and insulated boots
- Reliable and durable: Grip on packed snow and ice (uphill and downhill) enabled by 18 stainless steel spikes including three 2/3-inch spikes in the heel. Also equipped with double link side chains, steel toe cap and high quality elastomer harness.
- Secure fit: Velcro foot strap
- Carry Bag Included – A handy puncture-proof carry bag for storage before and after your adventure
Technical details and specifications:
- stainless steel spikes
- Stainless Steel Chains (Double Link Sides)
- stainless steel toe
- elastomer harness
- Length: 1/2″ – 2/3″ | 1.2-1.5cm
- Number of spikes: 18
Recommended uses of the Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra
- trail runners
- Hiking shoes (flexible soles) for hiking or fastpacking
- Hiking boots (rigid soles) for backpacking
- Insulating boots (winter, waders, etc).
- Winter mountain garden work. I added that one.
Testing these crampons became a family affair
I’ve been hesitant to hit the trails recently, because the snow/melt cycle has been pretty legit this winter along the Denver Front Range. I certainly have no excuse with these bad boys gracing my shoes. Trails on the western edge of Denver go from 5,000 feet to 8,000 in the blink of an eye. It’s amazing and beautiful, but a lot of those trails also plunge in and out of trees and canyons where snow can quickly turn to ice.
These guys are easy to put on. Obviously, get the correct size for the shoes you think you would mostly wear. If your intentions are to hike or trail run, the size of the crampons will be important. I went with the trail runner version, and was able to put these on quickly and efficiently.
The Colorado sun softens our snow during our warm spells and then freezes again creating a literal rink of ice. As a result, taking these Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra is a literal must. I will now gladly address them and confidently move forward with each step.
My wife used these Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra on an 8 mile trail run on the Lair O’ the Bear Trail and had this to say:
“They were great. I never felt like I was unsafe, even on the iciest of terrain. I felt like Elsa on the ice. Both of my running buddies were wearing the ‘other’ type of traction shoes (not the pointy kind), and they were slipping a lot”.
He showed me a video of her running down an icy trail, and the crunch was real. It was as if the quills were hungrily devouring the ice as she clawed/ran through those sections.
My visiting mother, at the age of 77, used them to walk the paths around our mountain cabin. She felt safe and stable as she walked the dog. She’d rather she didn’t fall off, so I got her a pair to wear on her trails back home.
I use them on neighborhood runs after any kind of snowfall. Also, I take them with me every time I go to the foot of the mountains to run. You never know what you are going to find, but it is usually a great mixture of snow, ice, dirt, etc. And after each blizzard, the weather is usually nice again. With daytime temperatures in the 50s, snow melts and ice forms when it refreezes at night. A perfect setting for dangerous slips and slides, and probably a few falls.
I usually carry a backpack with water, and I always have room for these crampons. Again, be sure to put them in the bag provided, so you don’t puncture your water bag. These crampons are pretty easy to get on and off, something I do quite often as ground conditions improve and turn to dirt and rocks. Also, in deep powder, these Hillsound Trail Crampons gave me a little more grip as I “bored” through the snow. Snowshoes would have been a better option, but it was only for a small section.
Be sure to let the Hillsound Trail Crampons dry after use before placing them in the included bag. The bag is great as it keeps those pointy spikes well tucked away. I made the mistake of putting them in there wet after a race, and a bit of rust developed. You may ask, these are stainless steel and should not rust. With that thought in mind, it apparently depends on the amount of chromium in the steel. Without proper care, some corrosion can occur. Therefore, let them dry and everything will be fine. I cleaned mine, and they are ready to go.
When you pick these up, you’re also making a difference! As 2% of your purchase is eligible for a donation to a nonprofit or organization of your choice. At no cost to you. I’m a supporter of the Fourteener initiative, but I’m sure it will have a good cause.
Final Thoughts on the Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra
Bottom line, if you’re a runner, walker, or hiker of any kind, you’d be a fool not to have these ready. The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultras are easy to put on and take off. In the end, it’s all about performance and not taking a nasty crash.
These have given me all the confidence in the world to run on terrain that can vary with each step. Being able to break through without hesitation is key. In the end, it’s very easy to pack them if you know trail conditions could be sketchy. Look at them!
For more information on the Trail Crampon Ultra and other Hillsound equipment, visit www.moosejaw.com/hillsound or www.amazon.com/hillsound.