My column this month is an attempt to persuade folks that lightweight footwear is like the Yellow Pages, not just there for the nasty things in life, like a blocked drain. It’s there for the good things as well. Wait, that analogy is shite. I’ll edit it out later.
So, it’s waterproof mids, mini gaiters and the like. It’s not maybe the sexiest read, but it’s a genuine plea for folk to believe me and try it for themselves.
My manky trail shoes are pictured large in the Used and Abused section, the Crosslites versus the X-Talons. The result of the long term test wasn’t hedging my bets, they really are different but equal in many ways.
There’s a couple of other bits in there, but the most obvious is the one accompanying the nice big photie of one of my rather scuffed aluminium Kahtoola crampons on a Salomon boot.
The Kahtoolas are assassinated in the text, and I dare say there’ll be folk getting all upset about it, but you have to put it in context. It’s a left field, even abstract bit of kit and it just doesn’t fit in with any of the methods or advice that we’ve been used to hearing. They require a leap of faith and a complete change of approach to use them beyond their remit of glacier crossing assisters as seen through traditional eyes.
Of the contributers giving their opinion I’m sure I’m the only one who’s used them and can compare their performance to other crampons. I know their limitations and their application and I’m surprised the other contributers didn’t think outside the box and see that a change of footwear, technique and approach make the Kahtoolas a viable option. As a young John Conner said as he tapped the T-800 on the head, “Are we learning yet?”. But, all the points made by the contributers in the article regarding the Kahtoolas are valid, from a certain point of view. I only object to blanket dismissal, leave it up to the individual and arm them with all knowledge possible.
And you know, I’ve been in Trail for a while now, but it’s nice to know that sometimes I can still feel like I’m fighting a lightweight guerilla campaign.
It was nice to see Dave’s review of the ME Xero down bag he got in the Lakes when we did the wildcamp for the lightweight article earlier in the year.