Crampon Advice

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
Redleg Bruce
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Crampon Advice

Postby Redleg Bruce » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:00 am

I will be going on my first couloir climbs this spring and am looking to get some crampons. I know (or believe, at least) that the BD Contact Strap model will work for couloirs, but are they aggressive enough to use for an ice/mixed climb? I have also looked at the BD Cyborg but was thiking that the Contact Strap might work just as well. I am planning to get into ice climbing next winter and don't want to have to buy a second pair of crampons. Thanks in advance for any input/opinions on the matter!
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ryguy79
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby ryguy79 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:20 am

horizontal front points really aren't that great for steep/vertical ice. i have two pair, a pair with horizontal front points for snow climbs and a pair with vertical front points for ice climbing. the cost of a second pair of crampons is small compared to the cost of ice tools.
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d_baker
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby d_baker » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:46 am

Redleg Bruce wrote:I am planning to get into ice climbing next winter and don't want to have to buy a second pair of crampons.

If you're going to get into ice for sure, you will want something other than the BD contact strap crampon. I climb in the cyborgs, and I have no regret on that choice.
When I first started climbing ice, I climbed in horizontal front points, because they're what I had.
http://www.epinions.com/pr-Climbing-Charlet_Moser_Blackice_RFL_Nylon_Crampon
After a couple of years climbing ice, I upgraded to the cyborg.

I still use my Charlet Moser Blackice crampon for snow climbs, and even on ice occasionally. They work well in both mediums because the front points, and more importantly the second points, are fairly aggressive since the second points are angled forward (helps with front-pointing).

If you already have the contact straps, they'll be fine for moderate snow climbs. For ice, buy another pair, but make sure you have a rigid soled boot.
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Monster5
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby Monster5 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:57 pm

d_baker wrote:If you're going to get into ice for sure, you will want something other than the BD contact strap crampon.


Agreed. I used those yesterday in CCC and I've worn them on several couloir routes - even with mountaineering boots and all sorts of knots, the things don't really stay tight. They work for just starting out on easy routes or if your boots aren't compatible, but I would definitely upgrade/buy something more secure,if possible. It's a bit sketchy to have the front of your crampons slip off mid pitch on ice/mixed or in steep terrain.
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JB99
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby JB99 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:20 pm

I have a pair of the Petzl Vasak crampons that work well for both snow climbs and mild ice climbing (all I'm capable of at this point), eventually I'll upgrade and get a pair of crampons specifically meant for ice but as a starter these are good. The Grivel G-12's would be similar I'd imagine.
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RafalA
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby RafalA » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:07 pm

I'd say your boot to crampon fit is more important than which specific crampons you're using. As long as your crampons don't move around much, you should be fine climbing pretty much anything, especially as a beginner.

I've used horizontal front-points on WI5 and they performed well. I am more used to climbing on mono-point verticals, so had to adjust my style a bit, but it can certainly be done.

If you're looking to get into ice, my first suggestion would be to ensure you have comfortable, rigid, warm and waterproof boots. Then make sure whatever crampons you get that they fit well; see here for some thoughts and ideas about crampon fit: http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/01/critical-look-at-crampon-design.html

As far as specific crampons, they all seem to work well. If you get into mixed & alpine or hard, funky ice (WI5+) you may find that mono-points are more versatile. But, it all comes down to personal preference and what you're used to and comfortable with. Before you buy another pair of crampons, or ice tools, or screws, try and demo all the different gear out there to get a feeling for what works better for you.

FWIW, I climb harder stuff and mixed on Grivel Rambo 4's, alpine I tend to use Grivel G14's in either dual or mono setups, and for easier ice I've been using BD Sabretooths until I broke them.
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d_baker
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby d_baker » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:14 pm

Redleg Bruce wrote:I know (or believe, at least) that the BD Contact Strap model will work for couloirs, but are they aggressive enough to use for an ice/mixed climb?

I've been meaning to post this picture as an example of a BD contact strap on WI (water ice). Notice the second points don't engage the ice. Also notice the climber is in a hiking boot, which doesn't help when climbing WI because of the flex in the sole.
(The heels are little high too!)
And I don't know if the design is still the same, but I've seen the screw/nut thing in the back of the heal (can be seen in picture, right foot) come apart on a student once. Happened on the ice as she was climbing, luckily on top-rope!
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Ross M G
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby Ross M G » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:47 pm

I use crampons with vertical frontpoints for everything: ice, snow, couloirs, etc. I dont see the big deal about horizontal points for snow. vertical works fine and is much more versatile.
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Mindy
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby Mindy » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:51 pm

This thread is over a year old - anything new someone looking at buying crampons should be aware of?

Thanks everyone. I can't get over the wealth of information on this site.
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HuskyRunner
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby HuskyRunner » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:32 pm

I've got the BD Contact Strap as well as some Bionics, still good crampons but if you can swing the cost the Petzl Lynx are the bomb!

Review on Mountain Project (not my review): http://www.mountainproject.com/v/petzl-lynx/107319672#a_107328151
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atalarico
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Re: Crampon Advice

Postby atalarico » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:43 pm

I'd ante up and just get Sabertooths. I've used and demo'd a lot of commercially available crampons, and I have to say that the Sabertooths climb vertical ice competently!

That being said, I own Cyborgs and Contacts. I'd *never* use Contacts on vertical or even steep snow. My Cyborgs actually work fine for most winter mountaineering applications, despite being vertical front points.

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