So as I hiked up the BCMC (the awesome and much less famous sister to the Grouse Grind) this past week, I composed an ode to my Kahtoola MICROspikes… my latest winter trail gear acquisition. I freaking love them.
With this being such a ridiculously warm winter and all, I’ve been consistently hiking up the bcmc at least 2-3 times a week, and I’ve been impressed to no end with their versatility and reliability (both key considerations for me with every new piece of trail gear I buy). I’m happy to say that my research paid off (thank you, MEC user reviews), and spending the extra $20 on these versus other comparable products was money well spent.
Knowing that I don’t hit the snowline until three quarters of the way up the BCMC, I just throw my spikes in my running pack and off I go. When I finally hit the beginning of the icy sections I pull over and slap them on top of my trail runners, and instantly become invincible. Seriously. 4×4 for the feet. These things may not be the best option for you if you spend your time navigating slippery concrete city sidewalks, but get them onto snowy or icy trails and slopes and they are the best thing ever. My love for them has been cemented in recent weeks by the fact that when I get to the top of the BCMC, I can carry straight on to the Snowshoe Grind and they perform better than any snowshoes I’ve seen slipping around there recently. I think the fact that the snow has been so hard packed – yay West Coast winter- makes a big difference (you kind of need to have snow for snowshoes), but all I know is that I’ve been able to go tearing up to the top of the snowshoe grind in them, and then run back down at breakneck speed, with complete confidence in these babies’ ability to stop on a dime. Annnnd I don’t have to haul snowshoes up the BCMC to play in the snow.
Anything that means I can get outside and do a little bit more, and be a little bit faster than I was before, makes me pretty darn happy.
I’m always looking for new ideas… Do you have any favourite pieces of gear that make your seasonal running easier?