|Ice is Slippery (UÞ)|
|Written by Iceland Review|
|Wednesday, 01 February 2012 11:13|
This doesn’t seem like something that needs to be said. It should be common sense that walking across ice carries with it the danger of slipping and bruising something.
Yet despite this, every year there are people who appear to believe they can maneuver across such hostile terrain without a hitch, which on the bright side provides some entertainment for those watching.
Not that it isn’t possible to traverse patches of ice, of course.
A firm step that moves as little as possible after landing can keep you steady on moderately smooth ice, and by sticking to rough patches of snow, if there is any to be found, a careful man can make his way across even a large field of ice.
Then again, there are patches that can’t be safely moved across at all, the wettest, slipperiest patches of ice that require good balance and a degree of risk just to cover five feet.
And this is why God made ice cleats. Or maybe some resourceful person; an Icelander, if you prefer.
Most people know the principle of ice cleats: They’re spikes that attach one way or another to the shoes and allow safe, easy movement across even the slipperiest of ice.
They might seem a bit unreliable at first—how can you be sure the spikes will cut through the ice; how do you know they’ll work?—but a proper set of ice cleats could let you jump up and down like a madman on the ice, if you like, with no chance whatsoever of slipping.
During a winter such as the one we’ve been having, where snow, rain and some very temporary increases in temperature have conspired to create vast fields of wet, slippery ice, it should come as no surprise that ice cleats are in high demand—both among locals and those tourists who decided to come see if an Icelandic winter is all it’s cracked up to be—and only a mild surprise that some stores are reporting they’ve sold out entirely.
The media certainly haven’t been hurting business.
The news stations have sent out cameramen seemingly with the express aim of watching the roads to see if someone slips so they can use the footage in their reports on the (apparently numerous) incidents across the country of people neglecting to bring their cleats and ending up with broken bones.
Sadly this is all too easy to believe; I myself have had to use ice cleats to walk 20 feet with a bag of trash so I wouldn’t break my neck. Chore day really shouldn’t be that hazardous in a first-world country.
Naturally, for marketing reasons, as soon as something exists that can be sold commercially, different versions of it must also exist, mainly so that people will buy more.
In the same vein, there are three general types of ice cleats: The smallest kind are only really good for walking around in the city, where the ground is slippery but the terrain is hardly treacherous; the second type has medium-sized spikes and are just as good for walking down the street (preferably not a crowded street) as up a reasonably steep hill.
The last are for serious mountaineers who enjoy vertical climbs up snap-frozen waterfalls with bits of metal the size of house keys attached vertically to their shoes. How they intend to walk around in those is anybody’s guess.
In closing, while I personally have only tried the medium-size cleats, I find them to be remarkably helpful (even if putting them on takes forever. Rubber stretches? Since when?) and they can turn an arduous, tedious and even hazardous trek across inhospitable terrain into a simple stroll across the street. In a season like this, they are a must.
Now I just have to grab my product placement check from the makers…
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 14:29|