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Crampons, helmet & Ice axe...

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Crampons, helmet & Ice axe...

Postby jfox » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:36 pm

O.K...so I want to get a little more technical, do some snow/ice (NOT vertical ice) and am looking for the above mentioned gear.

Any hints on buying would be much welcomed! i.e.-best brands, type crampons/axe (I know nothing about these). I don't want to spend a fortune but I don't want junk either.

Thanks!

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Postby mildly neurotic » Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:15 pm

It's been 13 years since I bought my crampons and two ice axes, so my info may be a bit dated, but my gear has held up for that long so I know it's good stuff.

I would say that SMC and Charlet Moser (now owned by Petzl) make excellent axes, I've been using one of each for 13 years and they've become like familiy to me.

As for crampons the Charlet Moser models are excellent. I've been using the Super 12 model. However, since Charlet Moser got bought out by Petzl, it seems like the Vasak is similar to what the super 12's used to be. You can get any variety of boot attachment system you want (heel lever lock has worked fine for me so far). If you're into general mountaineering you want 12 points.

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Postby alanb » Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:48 pm

I am by no means an expert on them but I have a black diamond Raven ice ax and Grivel airtech lights for my crampons. I have not had any problems with either.

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Postby Jcwhite » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:03 pm

just go look around the climbing section at rei...you will find what you need.

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Postby Chicago Transplant » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:59 pm

Petzl, Black Diamond and Grivel probably make the best stuff. I have a BD Raven axe and BD Contact Strap crampons with a Petzl Helios helmet.

You will probably want to buy strap crampons, as I am assuming you do not have boots compatible for the clip in type. Get somewhere you can practice on low angle snow before tackling anything serious, St Mary's Glacier is the usual spot for people from the Front Range. Then move on to easier snow routes, 30-35 degree stuff like the Edwardian or the Boudoir Couloir on Horseshoe.

Its a lot of fun, and opens a whole new world to explore!

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Crampons

Postby April Gray » Fri Jun 16, 2006 4:52 pm

I have used Grivel 12 pt Newmatic for the last 5 years on glaciers and ice
climbing with great results. I'm currently using them with Garmot Dakota
with minimal adjustment.
If I come back , I'm bringing the stun-gun and the weedwacker.

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Postby mildly neurotic » Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:03 pm

One thing I would add regarding ice axes... lighter is not necessarily better. When your ass is on the line at the top of a steep couloir and you're trying to cut steps in hard late summer snow/ice, you need an axe with some weight behind it to get the job done. I held a Black Diamond axe (don't know what model it was) in my hand at an REI one time and it felt so light that I didn't think I'd be able to chop my way out of paper bag with it. Check out the weight difference between a BD Raven Pro (382 grams) versus an SMC Shuksan (675 grams) or SMC Himalayan (792 grams). Super lightweight axes are okay for crossing occasional snowfields or glissades, but you want some weight to swing if you're going to get into steep snow couloirs.

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Postby emiller » Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:04 pm

at Neptune mountaineering in Boulder you can rent stuff to try it out first. Kind of like Demo ski packages.

Postby KevinK » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:17 pm

I am also interested in getting into some snow climbing. About how much should one expect to spend on some decent gear?

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Postby Chicago Transplant » Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:02 pm

The BD Raven Ice Axe is about $70, the lighter "Pro" model is closer to $90. I would say ice axes definitely under $100, crampons will run you around $90-120 depending on the model and a helmet will be $40-60. You may find better deals in places like REI, our local shops in Vail are pretty much right on retail.

Postby KevinK » Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:36 am

Is there a snow climbing offseason? Some period when shops sell off last year's gear to make room for new stuff.

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Postby bustaheel » Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:16 pm

You'll need to make sure that your crampons fit your boots right. I wouldn't suggest REI as the starter. Go to a more knowledgeable store like Neptune's ot Bent Gate.

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