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Luc
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Luc
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PostSun Jan 02, 2022 8:02 pm 
I have crampons, but that seems excessive.

Would be happy to buy or rent from someone. I'm currently wearing Zamberlain Sz 11 (mens) backpacking boots.

If you think crampons are more appropriate, that feedback would be appreciated, too.

I'm located in Seattle/Columbia City.

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DadFly
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PostTue Jan 04, 2022 12:30 pm 
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Luc
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Luc
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PostTue Jan 04, 2022 1:44 pm 
Thanks!

I have gone down the rabbit hole on these. I can't believe there are soooooo many makes. Obviously a lot are crap, but I don't know why it's so saturated with different makers.

It's hard to justify the nicer $75ish dollar versions when it will most likely only be used for 1hr on each end of the trip, and probably never here at home.

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostWed Jan 05, 2022 10:21 pm 
Luc, hi. I've done 45 Grand Canyon backpacks (all winter, November to February) over the years and yes Micro Spikes are nice to have. You can go much cheaper and get the one strap under the instep kind (basically ice fisherman tools) but it is hard to keep them in place. Depends on your tolerance for risk, tolerance for monkeying around with the straps twice an hour, which trail you are on, how hard the ice/snow is. Some of the trails have considerable exposure at their edge, Grandview notably so. I'm in Wisconsin and find the Micro Spikes handy at home, nimble on snowy trails that are hardback. I'm still on my original pair, maybe 8 years old.

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Bowregard
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PostFri Jan 14, 2022 9:45 pm 
Chainsen Snowline spikes are comparable to Microspikes and often can be found for less that 1/2 the price of Kahtoolas.

Amazon has the Chainsen Pro right now for $32.48. I have found them at REI or Sierra for $20-$30 at times.

Just be careful with the sizing - My wife wears size 9 shoes and I had to get Large size to fit her boots and XXL for me (11)

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Songs2
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PostTue Jan 18, 2022 5:44 pm 
I think microspikes of some sort would suffice, especially on better-traveled trails.
I went around March 20, 36 hours after a snowstorm closed I-40, and used Kahtoola microspikes for top of South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails.
Others who went in January used the same.
It was close to 80 degrees at the river on my trip.
Some find Hillsounds preferable to Kahtoolas.

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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Jan 18, 2022 9:07 pm 
I really like my Katoolahs, I bought the large size and they were a bit loose on my size 10 boots so should fit an 11 well.

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostTue Jan 25, 2022 11:02 am 
One other thought worth passing on about Grand Canyon trails in winter, and traction. Trails under the South Rim are typically in deep shade, a north slope under cliffs. Very slim chance, but not zero, that you could go over the edge because you didn't have Microspikes or similar.

What I think is a major benefit is that Microspikes, like poles, will lessen the burden on your knees and ankles of the lengthy descent (with a loaded pack).

The Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails both get beat up from mule traffic. The center of the trail, especially below the water bars, often is pitted and not the best choice. So, you end up doing what I call "on trail off trail route finding" to find the most mellow descent route. If there is major snow (it sometimes stretches out to the Tonto level) it can become a smooth snowy highway (mellow if you have Microspikes).

Some positives to the mule traffic. They will deliver a duffel (30lb. weight limit, $70 last I checked) that would allow you to resupply for lengthy trips. Up or down, Phantom Ranch only. Not, for example Indian Gardens. We have done several two week trips that way.

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