Hiking on Ice with Freedom

Crampons - hiking spikes to hike in Utah at Arches National Park

On our first serious winter hiking trip, we knew we would run into snow and ice. Our road trip was from Virginia to Utah. We stopped at the REI sporting goods store in Denver to buy some crampons – boot spikes. This turned out to be an experience in itself. The Denver store is one of REI’s flagship stores and is housed in an old warehouse. There are 3 levels of sporting goods and a giant rock climbing wall in the center that extends up through all levels. The building is interesting and historic. It was built in 1901 for boilers and engines to generate electricity for the Denver Tramway rail system.

REI's flagship store in Denver - December 2017.
REI’s flagship store in Denver – December 2017.

Our salesperson was knowledgeable and patient. He helped us find just the right crampons – and at a reasonable price considering we wouldn’t use them often. He even pulled out hiking boots for us to try on identical to ours to make sure the size was correct. We ended up getting Freesteps6 Crampons by Hillsound. REI also has an informative article on their website about crampons.

Hiking on ice with boot spikes - crampons - in Utah at Arches National Park.
We were the envy of all hikers as we sailed past them on the trails.

We wanted to hike in Arches National Park on Christmas day. It had just snowed a few days before we arrived, but the trails were packed down and had mostly turned to ice. We were the envy of all the other hikers as we sailed past them on the trails. The Freestep6 Crampons, aptly named, gave us the freedom to hike on ice with confidence.

a girl hiking in the snow with high heeled boots

Because it was the holiday season, most of the hikers were tourists who came ill-prepared. We wished we had bought a couple dozen crampons to sell for a profit!
nomadbarb January 2017


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