A one day push to the peak of Deer Prong Mountain

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking' started by ArcticDuplo, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. ArcticDuplo

    ArcticDuplo
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    Well, today we did the first early winter hike to Deer Prong Mountain just outside Nuuk in Greenland.
    Dear Prong Mountain is a 1188 meter tall mountain and like all our mountains we get to hike them from sea level to peak :)
    Du ring summer it is a relatively easy (yet quite steep towards the peak) hike and easily five fingerable. This time a year though the push to around 750 meters altitude is easy and much the same, just with added snow.
    However, from here and to the peak (1188 meters) it is a steep icy and snowy hike, i managed to fit a pair of cramp-ons to my vivo neo trail and completed the trip as a true minimalistic hike.
    In the future I will swallow my pride and mount boots when it is cramp-on and ice axe time, some of the vertical down climbs were not optimal with minimalistic footwear and called for a true climbing boot. If any body were to design a good cramp-on for minimalistic shoes I would be very tempted to go with that option though :)
    So to all of you wondering, can you go minimalist in cramp ons, well yes you can and while it is fun and challenging it is not recommendable.

    a few pictures:
    The view to the saddle:[​IMG]
    Talking lines:
    [​IMG]One of the vertical sections:
    [​IMG]
    A frozen world:
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Barefoot TJ

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    Okay. Now we need a "most extreme BRS members thread." Thomas should be added there.
     
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  3. DNEchris

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    Spectacular!

    Even a walking crampon on minimalist footwear is an "interesting" proposition and by the time you've put a shank on a pair you'd do better to revert to a full blown winter boot!

    Congratulations on your achievement.
     
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  4. ArcticDuplo

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    Thanks TJ :)
    Should propbably be a "most stupid BRs members thread" in stead ;)
    was a fun challenge though.

    Thanks Chris :)
    I have used cramp ons on minimalist footwear before, but not on such steep surfaces.
    In retrospect, some of what I did was bordeline stupid, mostly because there is no minimalist gear optimised for this kind of hiking.
    However I am back to my big boots for sections like this until the day where minimalist gear for it may be available.
     
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  5. Scratch

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    Those are some beautiful photos.
     
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  6. rickwhitelaw

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    Thomas, that's just incredible. Great photos.

    I've been a back county skier for many years so these pictures of snowy mountains are getting me anxious. I went through the plastic boot, cable bindings, and larger ski phase but reverted back to a more minimal 3-pin binding and leather boot setup. I even hike and ski down our local hill in cross country skis. Getting into areas where crampons and ice axes would be necessary is certainly above my level. No shame in reverting back to beefier gear if safety is a concern.

    Two footwear choices that I wear to get around in the winter are the Rossignol BCX11 boot. I don't even know if they still make it. Could work with crampons possibly and gives you the option of skiing down.

    Last winter I discovered the New Balance MT110 winter boot. Not quite a minimal shoe, but works great in the snow. They might be too soft for crampons though.

    Edit: looks like I can't get the google images up, but you can take a look on your own.
     
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  7. ArcticDuplo

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    Thank you Scratch :)

    Thank you Rick, weather plays a big role in both how intense an adventure it is and how the images come out, but thed trip did turn out on the interesting side as we passed 750 meters :)
    I think we share a big passion for the mountains, I spend a lot of my winter with a snowboard strapped to my feet, so I know the urge quite well, but I tend to squeeze in some hiking stuff too.

    Thanks for sharing your skiing stories too, as a snowboarder this skiing thing always make me a little frightened, and I meet plenty of nordic skiiers when I am out during winter, never quite figured out how you avoid tumbling over, with two sticks and a ski on each foot :)

    And I agree whole heartedly on the boots thing, at least for some of the steeper stuff, at least until the day where more minimalistic footwear for it is developed, but the stiffness of a mountaineering boot just add a lot of stability when stuff gets a little marginal or very steep. Finding the right mix between stiffness and minimalism is probably a very difficult task.

    Appreciate the link to the new balance, I prefer the sketchers gobionic trail (without insole), if I really need a closed shoe though.
     
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  8. Tristan

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    Nice! I love that last pic the best. I just love how the mountains look in the winter, but hate all the extra gear required! I wouldnt worry about minimalist in those conditions. If you want a personal challenge then there is that, but I don't think there is much benefit like there is running/walking barefoot in less grueling conditions. Its all about being more natural right? I dont think humans would have naturally climbed that mountain in barefoot in those conditions! :coldfeet:

    I'd love to try some true winter hikes some time. I've been in the mountains with some snow, but nothing that required winter gear or cramp-ons. My folks have some nice technical snow shoes and have done a few winter hikes, but only since I've been out of state. I do enjoy cross country skiing though.

    Must have been a long day, 2000+ meters up and down plus slow going through all that snow and ice. Thats about 7800', tough for a winter hike I'm sure!
     
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  9. ArcticDuplo

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    Thank you Tristan :)
    I agree the mountains are so nice in late autumn, especially as vegetation are frozen over and snow starts rolling in. We had some amazing conditions on this trip around 1,5 meters of pure blue ice, covered by anywhere from 10-50cm of snow and for the most part it bonded fairly well to the ice, but we had to venture outside the normal line to the peak, as there were a fwe areas where the risk of creating a slide was too big. I was quite surprised to see that the cornices were so well developed this early in the season.
    I am not a big fan of the gear required either, but I love winter with snow, ice and mountains and live with the gear required. After all the most important part of a trip is to return home in one piece :)

    And yep I am back in boots next time, but I would love to find a better compromise for use with cramp ons.

    Skiing is one of those things I do not have the motor skills to do, I can manage a snowboard, but how anyone keep track of two skies and two poles is a mystery to me... :)
     
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  10. DNEchris

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    The same way you get to Carnegie Hall .............................. practice, practice, practice!
     
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  11. happysongbird

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    Love looking at the photos ... while sitting in my nice, warm house.
     
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  12. ArcticDuplo

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    Thanks :D
     
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