-20's... Spurs are skating off the frozen trees.

timmysaint

Active Member
Location
Ontario
I sharpened my spurs in January. Anyway, working up North and spurring Pine for removals, and my spurs are skating out like crazy. Like, seriously, I'm moving a body length, then my spurs are blowing out - two steps forward, one step back.

Is this normal? Don't do a TONNE of winter climbing with spurs, but this is getting embarrassing.

Thoughts?
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I sharpened my spurs in January. Anyway, working up North and spurring Pine for removals, and my spurs are skating out like crazy. Like, seriously, I'm moving a body length, then my spurs are blowing out - two steps forward, one step back.

Is this normal? Don't do a TONNE of winter climbing with spurs, but this is getting embarrassing.

Thoughts?
I’ve never worked where it’s that cold, but around here frozen trees can be a bit harder to spike. I’m sure it’s worse where it’s THAT cold!

Maybe try changing the angle of the spurs to make them a bit more aggressive, or change your technique, kicking in a little harder at a little wider angle from the tree?
 

timmysaint

Active Member
Location
Ontario
I’ve never worked where it’s that cold, but around here frozen trees can be a bit harder to spike. I’m sure it’s worse where it’s THAT cold!

Maybe try changing the angle of the spurs to make them a bit more aggressive, or change your technique, kicking in a little harder at a little wider angle from the tree?
Like outside in? I'll give that a try. I'm really worked today. Colder tomorrow.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I see your problem... Those spurs look like they might have trouble digging in to balsa! They’re ground to the wrong angle - as in backwards. The point should be on the outside, the side away from the stirrup, so they dig in to the tree when you step down. With that angle, they will push out instead.

This video may be of some help, to point you in the right direction. I am afraid though that your spurs may have been filed down to the point where the gaffs need replacement to point them the right direction.
 

timmysaint

Active Member
Location
Ontario
I see your problem... Those spurs look like they might have trouble digging in to balsa! They’re ground to the wrong angle - as in backwards. The point should be on the outside, the side away from the stirrup, so they dig in to the tree when you step down. With that angle, they will push out instead.

This video may be of some help, to point you in the right direction. I am afraid though that your spurs may have been filed down to the point where the gaffs need replacement to point them the right direction.
Haha! Love it!!

Fair enough! I had been filing them like my ice axes. They actually sorta worked okay but I figured they were not great.

I have a package from Wesspur with new gaffs AND the Buckingham Gaff Sharpening kit... Probably should read the instructions!!
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Haha! Love it!!

Fair enough! I had been filing them like my ice axes. They actually sorta worked okay but I figured they were not great.

I have a package from Wesspur with new gaffs AND the Buckingham Gaff Sharpening kit... Probably should read the instructions!!
I would take a guess that an ice axe may be sharpened on the opposite angle to reduce the likelihood of it splitting out pieces when you dig in to something, but that’s just a guess. I’ve never climbed ice, I used to want to when I was climbing rock, but it never happened.

Sounds like you already have a good plan, put on the new spurs and see how they work right out of the box. And reading the directions is a good idea, most of the time. Perhaps read them and see if you can use the current set for practice before you start filing on the new ones.
 

timmysaint

Active Member
Location
Ontario
I would take a guess that an ice axe may be sharpened on the opposite angle to reduce the likelihood of it splitting out pieces when you dig in to something, but that’s just a guess. I’ve never climbed ice, I used to want to when I was climbing rock, but it never happened.

Sounds like you already have a good plan, put on the new spurs and see how they work right out of the box. And reading the directions is a good idea, most of the time. Perhaps read them and see if you can use the current set for practice before you start filing on the new ones.
Yeah survive the week head home pick up the package put on new gaffs and almost-mediocre the sh*t out of 'em!!

Thanks Reach! Stay safe!!
 

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