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Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Crampons on 10/31/2009 01:20:47 MDT Print View

I am looking into taking a Crampon (actually a snow travel) class, and so now I need to get a set of crampons and an ice axe. What are your favorite crampons, not for climbing but for hiking? Or better yet, what should I be looking for in choosing a set of crampons?

Thanks!

-Jace

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Crampons on 10/31/2009 12:34:42 MDT Print View

The Camp aluminum strap-ons are good and pretty lightweight. I've been able to do pretty steep-angled stuff with them- beginning to enter the realm of climbing...as long as you're not trying to climb steep ice/or frontpoint.
I think they're all you'd ever need for trekking. I've even walked on a good deal of scree and talus with them- they hold up pretty well- I've bent/mangled a few points but they're easy to fix with a file.

I'd also get Camps lightest axe to match them- I've been happy with it. Again, not a true mountaineering axe (not sure I'd trust belaying off of it, etc.), but great for hiking in steep snow country.

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Crampons on 10/31/2009 13:27:53 MDT Print View

Craig's advice is good, especially if you will be hiking mostly on snow.

However, if you'll be hiking on mixed terrain (hard ice & rock in addition to snow) I suggest you buy steel crampons, not aluminum. They'll be a bit heavier, yes, but they'll last much longer.

I suggest Black Diamond Contact (Strap). They're all you'll need for hiking.

The Black Diamond Raven ice axe is a classic design. I like it.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Crampons on 10/31/2009 18:32:46 MDT Print View

If you don't have a lot of money and only want to buy one pair, steel strap on 10 or 12 point pons would be my recommendation. If you're the kind of person that likes an arsenal of gear for all conditions, grabs some superlight strap on CAMP aluminum crampons for snow climbing and get steel pons later for mixed/ice climbing (probably newmatic or step ins depending on your boots).

There are times when a pair of trail runners, alum pons and a superlight axe are so much better, faster and safer than the "do without" alternative and if it's only a matter of less than 2 lbs you'll bring them.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Crampons on 11/02/2009 19:36:05 MST Print View

Hey, Jace,

Al crampons can be good, depending on the conditions, but ya gotta really know what the conditions are going to be. Ellen over on the San Jacinto forum was wearing some aluminum cleated snowshoes. They didn't bite on a patch of ice, and she slid into a tree. She had a busted ankle. Had to crawl on hands and knees to the summit hut. Took SAR three days to find her (storm on day 2 prevented searching). Steel's a good all around bet, but yes heavy. Al's a nice lightweight choice, but you'd really better know what kind of terrain and snow conditions you're getting into.

My crampons and ice axe are so old, they don't even make them anymore, so I'm not much help there.

HJ

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Thanks on 11/02/2009 21:57:11 MST Print View

I am probably going to end up with the BD contact with the plate. Theya re pretty reasonable, and i only have one pair of boots that have a ridge thingy on the back.

-Jace

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Crampons on 11/03/2009 01:28:30 MST Print View

"I am looking into taking a Crampon (actually a snow travel) class"

Most alpine skills schools will provide the gear you need, and it's also a good chance for you to try before you buy, so I would expect that you wouldn't need to buy before taking a class.

You may also find that, like traditional heavy-weight hiking schools (e.g., NOLS), the snow-skills schools do not approve of lightweight gear like AL crampons. Which is a pity because I've owned steel (BD contact strap) and AL (Salewa universal)and, like the guys above, much prefer the aluminium ones - you get more points for less weight, and some top alpinists do actually ice-climb in them.

Another point to consider is that if you are larger you may not be comfortable on 10 point crampons - which is one of the reasons I bought my AL 12 point crampons, which were lighter than the BD 10 point ones.

Patrick Young
(lightingboy) - F

Locale: Southwest
"Crampons" on 11/03/2009 05:53:57 MST Print View

I'd look at the steel Katoolas. I've used them for hike runs at the local ski resort which has some pretty steep runs, not vertical though. They are light weight and won't wear out as fast a their aluminum counterparts.

From Kahtoola.com:
Durable, lightweight crampons for hiking and nontechnical mountaineering
The Steel KTS features the same innovations of our original aluminum KTS... but it’s designed to handle rockier terrain. The points are 1/4-inch longer and sharper than the aluminum model. At 23.3 ounces per pair, they’re still lightweight, and they fold down into a compact package. Like the original KTS, these crampons work with your running shoes as well as your ski, snowshoe, hiking, and telemark boots.

Spruce Goose
(SpruceGoose) - F

Locale: New England
Crampons on 11/06/2009 09:40:51 MST Print View

My favorite crampons for hiking are the Kahtoola KTS and the CAMP Stalkers. Their middle bar seems to be more flexible than the BD, Petzl, etc. The Kahtoola points are a little shorter too, IIRC.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Crampons on 11/06/2009 09:56:43 MST Print View

DW,

I'd love to see a report or story with alpinists climbing ice in alum front halfs? That would be pretty neat.

Mixed with aluminum yes, as long as you don't care about wearing really fast. Some people feel the soft metal bites/smears better. Aluminum back halfs to save weight sure. I think you'd break most aluminum front points in short order climbing water ice with them. This is all really out of the scope of the original poster though :)