July 2013
July 31, 2013

Changes to sizing system for the Trail Crampon

Hillsound have changed the sizing system for the Trail Crampon for the coming Fall season to more closely align with the industry standard. The new system will run from a XS to an XL (compared to the old system, which ran from a S to an XXL). Essentially, a ‘Small’ is now an ‘X Small’, a ‘Medium’ is now a ‘Small’ etc. This new sizing system applies only to the Trail Crampons.

There has been no change to the actual size of the products.

The following image is of the old Trail Crampon model packaging, using the old sizing system that ran from S to XXL.


The new Trail Crampons featuring the new sizing system (running from XS to XL)  look like this:


The new sizing system is as follows:

Trail Crampon Size Chart 2013



Changes to the packaging of FreeSteps6 

In a second update, there has been a change to the packaging of our FreeSteps6 model. The old design is on the left below, and the new design is on the right.


Please send us an email (info@hillsound.ca) or give us a call if you need clarification on these changes.

July 27, 2013

The weekend is nearly here, and for most of us that means a lazy sleep-in, followed by a leisurely breakfast enjoyed while reading the newspaper.

But for some dedicated athletes, this Saturday represents the culmination of months of hard work,  training and dedication to one goal: success in the Skyrunner World Series.

No, that is not a typo. There is actually a sport called sky running and the competition is fierce. The sport is a close relative of mountain running, which we featured last week on Trail Mix. Essentially, sky running is a step up from mountain running though, as the elevation gain and incline are more intense. According to SagetoSummit, the requirements of sky running are that it take place 2000 m above sea level. There must also be at least a 30% incline to the race course and the climbing difficulty must not exceed IIº.

Needless to say, you have to be pretty motivated to train in this sport. The 350 racers taking part in the SpeedGoat 50km at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah this Saturday are part of that small community of endurance athletes that love to push the limits and revel in extreme sports.

And there are plenty more opportunities for enthusiasts to enjoy. The SpeedGoat 50km forms part of the 2013 Skyrunner World Series- a series of races held in different locations around the world.

It’s divided into three stand-alone circuits: the Sky, Ultra and Vertical. The SpeedGoat 50km is part of the 2013 Ultra SkyMarathon Series, meaning the race is over 50km in length and has at least a 1,300m vertical climb.

For those that excel in Saturday’s race, the grand final for the 2013 Ultra series is in September- the 100km Ultra Race of Champions in Vail, Colorado.

Good luck to everyone competing this weekend!


July 19, 2013

Most Hillsound fans report using their Trail Crampons for winter walking, hiking and trail running. Recently, however, I encountered an individual that was using them for a sport I had never heard of: mountain running.

I was impressed- visions of fleet-footed athletes leaping effortlessly across the peaks came to mind. I was also surprised to find that it is a sport that has been around for years- in fact, the first World Mountain Running Championship took place in Italy in 1985.

In the U.S. the term’mountain running’ seems to be used interchangeably with trail running. Both activities involve running on single or double tracks in mountainous topography. According to the U.S. Mountain Running Team website, the one thing that sets trail running and mountain running apart is that the latter requires a significant gain in elevation. Although races can be almost any distance, the majority fall between 5- 15 miles.

Even though the sport of mountain running takes place in mountainous terrain, it is no longer considered mountain ‘running’ when use of mountaineering equipment is required. At most, mountain runners use lightweight crampons (like the Hillsound Trail Crampons) and an ice axe, but anything else carries the sport over into the mountaineering category.

Icy mountain

As is to be expected with a sport based primarily on ascending mountains, mountain running can involve other activities such as rock-hopping, scrambling, walking, wading and climbing. The consensus seems to be that the sport does not involve any technical climbing, however. The aim is continuous forward motion and any terrain that requires technical activity (such as ice or rock climbing or glacier travel) that impedes these goals does not come within the ambit of the sport.

You can find more information on mountain running on the Sage to Summit website and the U.S Mountain Running Team website. If you are interested in trying out mountain running, the Hillsound Trail Crampons offer extra traction when travelling across icy terrain.