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Crampon Advice
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Patrick Young
(lightingboy) - F

Locale: Southwest
Crampon Advice on 11/16/2011 06:04:18 MST Print View

Looking for some new crampons to use with my trail runners and with my 40Below Overboots.

I had the Kahtoola steel KTS but found the binding adjustment took too long to change when going from trail runner to overboot as the temp. dictate.

Looking at the BD Neve and BD Contact, both in the strap version.

Anyone have experience with these?

The binding seems simpler to adjust so it would keep me from stopping too long to do a change out.

Obviously I'm not iceclimbing or doing any technical terrain. I like the thought of the stainless steel for durability but the aluminum looks better for weight.

Edited by lightingboy on 11/16/2011 06:05:39 MST.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: Crampon Advice on 11/16/2011 08:23:11 MST Print View

I am not too sure what kind of information you are looking for, but I have owned a pair of BD Contacts for a few years and find that they are a great all-round mountaineering crampon.

The BD Neves are an aluminum crampon and mainly designed for snow climbing-- I certainly wouldn't want to be doing any mixed climbing in these and I would imagine you would have a harder time kicking steps in ice with this crampon. Personally, I would always opt for a steel crampon (the weight difference in negligible but the performance is tenfold) and the Contacts are a great beginner, all-round crampon that will see you well for anything that you want to do in the U.S. including Rainier and McKinley-- In fact Pete Whittaker even wore a pair to the summit of Mt. Everest.

FWIW, neither of these are suitable for actual ice climbing anyway-- so if you are hoping to get into that then I would probably look at the G12s.

In my opinion I would opt for the Contacts over the Neves any day of the week.

Edited by PaulHope on 11/16/2011 08:30:40 MST.

Ben W

Locale: NW Center for Volcano-Aided Flight
BD Contact with trail runners on 11/16/2011 09:53:12 MST Print View

I have had good results using Salomon Speedcross trail runners and BD Contact crampons with the regular bars swapped out for flexible bars. The Contacts are easy to put on, take off, and adjust.

Note, however, that the heels are relatively narrow. The two metal tabs where the rear plastic binding attaches at the heel are set fairly close together, targeted towards most mountaineering boots, which seem to have narrow soles at the heel. They work fine with the relatively narrow heel on the Speedcross, but they do not fit my Salomon XA Pros, which have quite a wide flare in the sole at the heel. I had the same issue trying to use the Contacts with my old, now infrequently used hiking boots, which have a relatively wide sole at the heel. You can get the heel of the wider shoe/boot to rest *on top of* the metal tabs instead of between them, but I found with the boots that this results in a much less secure binding. I accidentally kicked one of the crampons part way off the first time using them, when using those boots. Fortunately, it was not in a safety critical spot. With the narrower heels on the Speedcross, they fit fine, and the binding has been very secure, not loosening noticeably over the course of the day.

Edit: Maybe obvious, but I should note these were BD Contact Strap, not the clip variety.

Edited by bpwood on 11/25/2011 15:41:10 MST.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Crampon Advice on 11/21/2011 16:02:18 MST Print View

Original BD SS(Stainless Steel) crampons fatigued and broke. They supposedly "fixed" it. They introduced high stress points in their manufacturing and made their corners way too tight. I would bet that the problem truly is fixed. Seems you will be fatiguing them even more with a non rigid shoe?

In either case, SS crampons should ALWAYS be inferior to a good pair of steel crampons regarding point sharpness durability. I find even my steel crampons wear wayyyy too fast and if you ever do find yourself on hard ice you REALLLY want said point sharpness.