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Crampons

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Crampons

Postby jd119342 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:24 pm

Most everyone I have been reading say crampons are good to have in late May or Early June. Will strap on crampons like the Black Diamond Strap on work on basic hiking boots or must you have mountaineering boots. Thanks for all the support everyone comes through with. It is great for a beginner like me.

Re: Crampons

Postby Bean » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:32 pm

The BD Contact Strap will work on ordinary hiking boots, but non-mountaineering boots aren't very stiff and aren't ideal.
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Re: Crampons

Postby Monster5 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:38 pm

They'll work fine. The only problem may be sizing and width. Normal hiking boots tend to be wider than mountaineering boots and may not fit as easily into the contact strap-ons. The boots may not be as comfortable if you're climbing something steep (not as stiff or rigid generally). Either way, you can use strap ons with just about any shoe
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Re: Crampons

Postby Weegie5 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:43 pm

Like you, I wear basic hiking boots when expecting substantial snow. Rather than the BD Contact Straps, which I tried (rented from REI), I ended up buying the steel Kahtoola KTS crampons as they are way more flexible. I didn't find the width to be an issue with them, but I don't have wide-soled boots either.

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Re: Crampons

Postby SurfNTurf » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:44 pm

I have the Grivel G-12s (similar) and they fit nicely on both my La Sportiva Glacier mountaineering boots and Merrell Moab hikers. That said, they're infinitely more comfortable when used with the Glaciers.
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Re: Crampons

Postby strongmelon » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:15 pm

jd119342 wrote: Thanks for all the support everyone comes through with. It is great for a beginner like me.


Great, glad to have you here.

You won't need crampons in Colorado unless you're planning on a very steep snowclimb. On those climbs you'll also most likely want an ice axe or ice tools.

Did you have a particular climb in mind?

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Re: Crampons

Postby gearhunter » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:01 pm

I actually bring both Snowshoes and Crampons with me. If I have a choice I'll wear the crampons. Never been much of a fan for walking long distances in snowshoes. Unless flotation is needed I just find them annoying.

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Re: Crampons

Postby kaiman » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:10 pm

I have a pair of Black Diamond strap crampons that I wear at least in May and sometimes into early June. They work well with both stiff mountaineering boots and soft waterproof trail hikers. I've actually mainly worn them with soft waterproof hiking boots (because they are more comfortable) and haven't found those boots to be too soft or problematic in any way. Maybe the only downside being that they take a bit longer to put on then standard crampons, but work on all types of boots.

Unlike strongmelon, I would argue that crampons are definitely a necessity for a number of peaks at certain times during the year. While it's true that we don't have to contend with rime ice or glacier travel in Colorado like in the Cascades or other parts of the world, there have been a number of times that crampons saved me from having to turn back on my way up steep snow filled headwalls or across large snowfields below ridges. As far as snowshoes are concerned, I'm with gearhunter, I only use them when the snow hasn't consolidated yet (during the winter, early spring to avoid post holing) otherwise I take crampons.

Just my 2 pennies,

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Re: Crampons

Postby strongmelon » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:40 pm

kaiman wrote:Unlike strongmelon, I would argue that crampons are definitely a necessity for a number of peaks at certain times during the year. While it's true that we don't have to contend with rime ice or glacier travel in Colorado like in the Cascades or other parts of the world, there have been a number of times that crampons saved me from having to turn back on my way up steep snow filled headwalls or across large snowfields below ridges. As far as snowshoes are concerned, I'm with gearhunter, I only use them when the snow hasn't consolidated yet (during the winter, early spring to avoid post holing) otherwise I take crampons.


On a serious note kaiman, can you say where you used crampons? I've never needed them on a standard 14er route in June.

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Re: Crampons

Postby MtHurd » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:35 am

I've used crampons on several peaks in May and June. Did I absolutely have to have them? No, but they were nice to have as the ascent was much easier. Just a couple of 14ers that they would come in handy on that I can think of would be Castle, Snowmass, the Wilson Group, the Crestones, and Little Bear if there is still ice in the Hourglass. I didn't have them with me on the Northwest Couloir of Crestone in September once and I had to turn around due to verglass covering the rocks. I wish I would have had them.

I have Grivel G-10's. I actually strap them on my trail runners and they work fine.

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Re: Crampons

Postby ThuChad » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:03 am

Would Microspikes be sufficient for May and June? I've worn a pair for a the last week straight and I love them. They're a lot less headaches than crampons and would probably work in most situations but I'm no expert.
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Re: Crampons

Postby rking007 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:48 am

Being newer to higher peak climbing I'm really curious to this conversation. I've only experienced a small snow field on the decent saddle between Grays and Torrey's and that was in late July. There was obviously already a highway sized trailed kicked and packed into the side so we could have probably walked over it in bowling shoes, but... is there a good place to learn about when to use crampons, and what types or micro spikes? I've looking at micro spikes as an affordable option to have on me and may purchase some in the next week or so but where do you learn about the basic limitations of application and when you should jump up to crampons? Hopefully this stays on topic, if not, feel free to PM me. Thanks!
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