Monday, 30 January 2012

Snow cleats!!!

You may have thought that owning a pair of snow cleats said as much about you as possessing those must have frumpy checked shirts advertised in the back pages of the Press, tilting chairs, and crimpolene (or is it crimpalene?) tabards, but away with you, they are a great and inexpensive way to prevent yourself inadvertently featuring in the World Ice Skating Championships!!! We have bought several different kinds and come back to the Stabilicers type brand (we found that the Yaktrak [with coiled metal foot plate] didn't last very long and easily pinged off) which is a rubber galoshe which slips over the toe of your boot/shoe and has studs on both the ball of the foot and heel section. They come in various sizes and cost between about £10 and £15. Make sure that you have secured the cleat over both your toe box and the heel so that it is gripping where it should be. These little fellas are great to keep in the car to cope with the kind of weather that the UK is now "enjoying", the type that creeps up on you and you just haven't remembered to put your snow shovel, and luminuous padded coat in the car. Be forewarned - why not!?! In the mountains - the cleats have a superb function on days out, as we have seen in the Mercantour during our winter walking holidays, where is has been cold but there is no snow, with occasional icy patches, especially in areas with have no sunlight in the winter months....easier to pop the cleats on and walk deliberately, planting your feet firmly that to end up scrabbling around the undergrowth trying to avoid the spectacular ice!!! Of course for more serious stuff, snow shoes, half crampons and full crampons give much better purchase. Have a browse on a search engine - I've even seen ones suitable for high heeled shoes - for the fashion victims who don't mind breaking their necks and ruining their Louboutins in snow and ice!! - or get yourselves over here to the Mercantour where we have assorted rubber wear (!) plus plenty of lovely mountains abundant in snow and ice of every shape imaginable.
The picture was taken on a trip in JULY - in the Valmasque - there's a refuge at the far end of the left hand lake - we started out in wonderful Alpine pastures, knee deep in flowers, slept in the super friendly Valmasque refuge - and then slogged up to this view point the day after - be prepared for any weather in the South of France when walking, even in the summer......Enjoy...

1 comment:

  1. Just bought some "Blacktoe" brand cleats to try out - no toe piece to hold in place at the front but an interesting design - we shall see - and keep you posted....with current weather investing a tenner in some is well worth it!