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Snow Preparedness in Puget Sound
Old 12-19-2008, 09:58 AM   #1
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Snow Preparedness in Puget Sound

Seattle is just south of 48 degrees N latitude. Yet we pretend that it never snows. I guess we don't have the usual Norhtern city investment in plows, sanders, etc. But of course it does snow, just not every year. Right now much of the city and region is shut down with moderate snowfall (heavier in some outlying areas, even at near sea level.)

The freeways seem to have been reasoanably cleared, but even downtown Seattle is like an ice rink. Stranded and wrecked cars everywhere.

For me the problem is that the buses run erratically if at all. So I wind up standing on the corner in the wind for a long while, or trying to walk on sometimes very slick sidewalks. Yesterday I saw a middle aged woman take a pretty bad fall, but she was fortunately OK.

Has anyone tried Yaktrax? I guess they are kind of light duty crampons that you strap on your boots to give better traction on icy sidewalks. I doubt they would reach me in time for this cold spell, but there may be others and there will certainly be other years.

Ha
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:19 AM   #2
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The worst is when the weather hovers right around freezing. That's when snow and sleet melt and then freeze again, forming sheets of ice everywhere. I'll take 10 degrees and a snowstorm over 32║ and icy as hell every time.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:42 AM   #3
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I've never used Yaktrax but they seem like a great idea . When I lived up north the ice was the worst tons of people with broken wrists & hips so be careful.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Seattle is just south of 48 degrees N latitude. Yet we pretend that it never snows. I guess we don't have the usual Norhtern city investment in plows, sanders, etc. But of course it does snow, just not every year. Right now much of the city and region is shut down with moderate snowfall (heavier in some outlying areas, even at near sea level.)

The freeways seem to have been reasoanably cleared, but even downtown Seattle is like an ice rink. Stranded and wrecked cars everywhere.

For me the problem is that the buses run erratically if at all. So I wind up standing on the corner in the wind for a long while, or trying to walk on sometimes very slick sidewalks. Yesterday I saw a middle aged woman take a pretty bad fall, but she was fortunately OK.

Has anyone tried Yaktrax? I guess they are kind of light duty crampons that you strap on your boots to give better traction on icy sidewalks. I doubt they would reach me in time for this cold spell, but there may be others and there will certainly be other years.

Ha
Hmm - looks like the track our postman is leaving... Pretty sure there is an REI in Seattle - can you waltz yerself over there for a set?

http://www.rei.com/gear/feature/sear...FQsQagodyEN4zg
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:47 AM   #5
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Hmm - looks like the track our postman is leaving... Pretty sure there is an REI in Seattle - can you waltz yerself over there for a set?

Yaktrax at REI.com | 100% Satisfaction Guarantee | Customer Reviews
Hey, thanks- I can walk down there as soon as they open. I'll call to be sure they are in stock. I didn't even think of trying this.

Ha
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:02 AM   #6
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I'm curious how they work out for you. My grandparents live in Bend and I worry about them in the snow and ice. Whether or not they'd use them is another story.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:48 AM   #7
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Haha- REI is sold out of all 500 pairs of traction devices they carry. I am a little slow of the blocks.

I talked to the salesman- he said YakTrax break easily, and recommended a different device called Micro-Spikes. (Sold out of those too).

Microspikes: Lightweight, flexible traction for winter hiking

I found a product called Due-North which I can get at Walgreens not far from my apt. I am heading down there now.

I have to make my way out to my sons to deliver something.

Hey, a little more news from the City-

In downtown Seattle, morning traffic tangled up when an articulated Metro bus jackknifed on First Avenue, crashing into a concrete tree planter and fire hydrant in front of the Lusty Lady. The bus had no chains and its accordionlike midsection jammed against the hydrant.
The cashier in the strip club's lobby, Virginia Lerroy, watched the planter skate by the front door, then saw dozens of passengers unload in front of the marquee, which advertised "Our gifts come unwrapped."
Lerroy said she asked the driver: "Were you delivering them to the Lusty Lady?"
"But, unfortunately, we didn't get any customers off the bus," she said.

Lusty Lady, a Seattle 1st Avenue landmark, you can find it just south of the market, just north of Seattle Art Museum.

Ha
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:33 PM   #8
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The REI in the Redmond Town Center may still have some in stock. It could be worth a phone call.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:52 PM   #9
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Same thing here in SW Oregon. Normally doesn't snow much and when it does it melts quickly. Not this time. My wife took a nasty spill this morning while walking the dogs. Thank God nothing broke but she's very sore.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:52 PM   #10
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We use these, which have studs on them:Cabela's -- STABILicers Sport Snow and Ice Cleats
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:14 PM   #11
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I use yaktrax for ice fishing. (buy them on eBay, off season)

I've tried them for walking (3 mi/day)when I have to walk on the city streets, (snow too deep on the walking trail) and they last about 1 winter. Est about 50-60 miles. the coils wear through from abrading the bare pavement areas.

Ha's linked ones look attractive, if pricy, but, how expensive is a broken whatever?
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:43 PM   #12
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I use YakTrax and think they're great.

I have had to replace them, though. I don't have a problem with them wearing through at the coils, but the stretchy rubber parts that rub against the edges of the boot seem to wear through (where ther is no coil)

You do have to be careful with them where there is no ice or snow, though - such as on smooth concrete or tile - they could make you slip.

Another problem is snow sticks to the coils sometimes if it's the wet heavy kind.

My 87 year-old mother uses them and loves them

Another thing - you will mark up a wood or vynil floor of you wear them inside - best to take off/put on at the door.

I imagin that would be true for the spike varieties as well.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:48 PM   #13
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Has anyone tried Yaktrax? I guess they are kind of light duty crampons that you strap on your boots to give better traction on icy sidewalks. I doubt they would reach me in time for this cold spell, but there may be others and there will certainly be other years.
Yes. They work as advertised and are a good idea. Broken hips are not fun.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:09 PM   #14
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The worst is when the weather hovers right around freezing. That's when snow and sleet melt and then freeze again, forming sheets of ice everywhere. I'll take 10 degrees and a snowstorm over 32║ and icy as hell every time.
That was our weather from noon yesterday 'til the wee hours this morning....end result for us was about 2" of frozen solid yuck. It started as sleet, then a we little bit of snow, then sleet, then freezing rain to cap it all off. I just came in from about 1 1/2 hours of scraping & shoveling...the cars are cleared off, as well as the walks & driveway. No more snow in the forecast 'til tomorrow! YEA!!!

Back to the OP...several years ago, while still working, I had to do a lot of work on slippery, slidy, vegetation covered hill sides. I finally got tired of slipping & tumbling down the slopes, so I took a pair of my lace-up, high-top work boots over to our local shoe repair shop, and had him put golf soles (with spikes) on them. They worked marvelously!!! As a side benefit, I found that in the winter, they worked fantastic on ice coated walkways too!!! Absolutely NO slippin' & slidin' or fallin' down after that!

Co-workers made fun of them, but I could smack 'em in the head with a snowball, and then run like h*ll, and they couldn't chase me!
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:11 PM   #15
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In other news, there's now a charter bus that has skidded out and is dangling off of an overpass in Seattle...
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:56 PM   #16
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In other news, there's now a charter bus that has skidded out and is dangling off of an overpass in Seattle...
You see, that's the thing about Puget Sound in winter when there is snow, the hills create all kinds of driving "opportunities."

All it takes is an inch of snow that's frozen and an 18% grade, and you are on your own (either on your bum or in your bumper car).

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:18 PM   #17
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I buy Yaktrax at the local REI and trade them in once a year (free) when they break. To be fair, I hike a lot in the winter, so they get good usage.

One problem I've found is that they can work loose and flip off without you knowing it. I attached a short string and clip, which I attach to my shoelace. When they flip off I know immediately. After picking myself up,I...........
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:46 PM   #18
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Ha,
I used to go ice fishing with my dad and we used some very effective ice spikes that he called "ice creepers". They consist of leather straps with two very aggresive spikes on a metal plate that rides between the heel and the sole of the boots. I never slipped with these on, but we did have to make sure to plant the heel of the boot with each step. The toe area had no spikes. He may have gotten these at an Army surplus store.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:50 AM   #19
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I'm in southwest Washington State and we're getting a lot of snow and ice as well. I bought a set of Yaktrax a couple years ago from REI. They are still in fine shape because, unlike other posters, I only wear mine occasionally each winter when the sidewalks are snowy/icy. I give them a thumbs up for effectiveness and ease of use.

Travelover, if you have problems with them slipping off, you could always upgrade to the Yaktrax Pro which have a strap that goes over the top of your shoe.

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Old 12-20-2008, 02:09 AM   #20
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I bought a pair of DueNorth spikes at Walgreens. They are spikes, similar to loggers corks in rubber mounting that just slips on your boots. I don't know how long they will last, but they only cost $15 and they sure do the job. I woldn't want to wear them onto Mt. Rainier or anything critical, but they seem great for around town. Not for indoors, except the marble or granite cdound in big stores, Also a little tricky on an escalator which I discovered going down into the bus tunnel.

DueNorth by Sure Foot« Corporation - Products - Traction Aids

I was out from noon until midnight, and I put about 7 miles on my new spikes, almost all of it on ice and or packed snow, up and down hills all day long. I had a great day, and met several very interesting people which I will report on tomorrow when I am not so tired.

During the day I was on one bus that got stuck, one that threw it's chains, and another that aborted it's route and just put us out. "A shuttle will be along" the driver said. But after an hour in the cold, no shuttle. T least I missed the buses that were dangling over I5.

Ha
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