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Crampons, helmet & Ice axe...

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Postby Joe Miner » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:48 am

It all depends on what you wish to do. I know that sounds trite, but is it true. If you only wish to do some easy climbs, then the Grivel aluminum crampons are great. But don't count on much kick-stepping nor on deep penetration. I have both the aluminum and steel Grivels. Grivel also makes an excellent lightweight Evolution ice axe. Contrary to what some might advise, don't scrimp and for gosh sakes don't by a used ice axe. You can rehabilitate crampons but don't bet your life on an old ice tool.

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Postby Derek » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:58 am

cgandy2003 wrote:I know it is often shunned upon to buy used gear


Very true. Its a shame because so many items are just as high quality used a couple years as they are new.

I purchase quite a bit of equipment, new and used, at Wilderness Exchange in Denver. (Corner of 15th and whatever the street that goes around the big REI, kitty corner to REI.) Prices for new equipment is a tad bit less than REI, It think. And used, I got a slightly used pair of OP gaitors for about $10. (Not as good as another pair that I got just like new from a garage sale for $1.00!!!!!!!)

But anyways, I like the place.
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Good deal on Crampons

Postby Phill the Thrill » Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:43 pm

I just purchased a pair of these strap-on crampons:

http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_deta ... ics_Nextag

Call Eastern Mountain Sports at 1-888-463-6367 and ask for a 20% discount, which they will likely give to you (they did for me). With the discount the price is approx $72/pair and that includes a carrying bag and antibotts. Great deal! If your order is over $125 then the shipping is free as well.

Just passing on good info -- I have no shares in Eastern Mountain Sports!

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Postby Yog » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:16 pm

Phill the Thrill wrote:
purchase quite a bit of equipment, new and used, at Wilderness Exchange in Denver. (Corner of 15th and whatever the street that goes around the big REI, kitty corner to REI.) Prices for new equipment is a tad bit less than REI, It think. And used, I got a slightly used pair of OP gaitors for about $10.


WOW! No kidding? I heard they had good deals, but that's just sick! I'm not even going to mention what I had to pay for some Mountain Hardwear gaitors :cry: Going to have to check that store out. I had a bad experience with some of the sales staff a few years back...maybe I'll check them out again.

Running Stix: I have used Grivel G-12 crampons w/ anti-bot plates for the past few years both for couloir climbing and for water ice climbing. I've never really had any problems with them unless the ice was WIV or greater and extremely brittle (cold). But I think that was a combination between crampons my boot not being stiff enough (Sportiva Glaciers). Only other problem I've had with them is doing mixed climbing with these. It is very difficult getting two horizontal points to stick in a vertical crack. This situation is getting remedied soon with some new vert points!

However, for general mountaineering and moderate ice climbing, I've loved these crampons! If you look around for sales (there are many, many sales going on right now from REI to EMS to mountaingear.com, etc) you should be able to find a pair at a reasonable price. They should last you a long time (years) and it is a good investment. I would HIGHLY recommend getting the anti-bot plates. Not only is it extremely annoying to have to whack your boot/crampon with your ice axe every few steps, it can also be very dangerous. You will be glad you have them :)
Good luck with your search!!!

Edit: The link Phill just posted above looks like a great deal. Even comes with a bag :) Those look very similar to the G-12's.
. . .Now, after the hours of torment . . . I have nothing more to do than breathe . . .I am nothing more than a single, narrow, gasping lung, floating over the mists and the summits.
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Postby strat1080 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:37 pm

This is my exact setup. I have the BD Raven, BD Contact Strap, and Petzl Helios helmet. The BD Raven and Raven Pro axes to me had the most comfortable grip when using the self-belay and self-arrest grips. They have slight indentions at the head where your fingers grasp the head. This is accomplished by gluing the head in rather than rivets.

To me the Petzl Helios felt the most comfortable and is reasonably lightweight. Although I really dig BD stuff, I didn't care for any of their helmets.

I'm in agreement with Chicago Transplant, for general mountaineering crampons, strap-on crampons are very versatile and work with anything. At a later time you can buy some mountaineering boots along with step-in crampons. Learn your crampon and ice axe techniques on easier terrain before trying more dangerous and exposed routes. A simple error could be terrifying or even fatal on difficult routes. You should know how to properly use your crampons while ascending and descending and how to properly grip and use your ice axe. Self-arrest is an important technique but no more important than self-belay.

Chicago Transplant wrote: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!
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

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Re: Crampons, helmet & Ice axe...

Postby Andy » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:43 pm

jfox wrote: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!

It's fun to see these old posts dredged up. Jeff was so cute back then. I especially like the emphatic "NOT vertical ice". :lol:

Here he is just 6 months later:
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bees are trying to have sex with them - as is my understanding..."

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Postby timstich » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:17 pm

I got some used Black Diamond Bionics crampons at Boulder Sports Recycler on N. Broadway just before it joins with 36. They were $45. I highly recommend anyone looking for your first pair to buy used. For a beginner and for someone not wanting to buy more than one pair of crampons, get the strap on kind.

I got some Camp Ice Riders on closeout for $65 years ago and have climbed quite a few snow couloirs in them. The big benefit with strap ons is that they will fit any boot. You need not have a super tight fit for snow. And you definitely want flat horizontal points for snow, not vertical and definitely not monopoints.

REI has a sale on the Raven for something like $54, which is a great price. But you can find those used as well. Get a longer axe with a good spike. The cut-off style that Camp uses on their super lights is worthless. It will not stick in ice.

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Re: Crampons, helmet & Ice axe...

Postby rastro » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:26 pm

jfox wrote: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!


I live in CO Springs, and we have a cool outdoor mountaineering store called Mountain Chalet with a great climbing department in back. I grilled the manager, Tristan about helmets and ice axes. He recommended the Camp Neve axe (around $70) for a basic mountaineering axe, but you might need someting a little more technical.

If you're closer to Boulder, Neptunes is the place for gear and info. It's specialized with knowledeable staff also.
Good Luck!
Last edited by rastro on Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rastro » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:57 pm

Slow Moving Fun Seeker wrote:Does anyone know anything about Kahtoola KTS crampons (either aluminum or steel)? Would they be suitable for a beginner (i.e., a winter beginner) doing something like Bierstadt or Quandry in winter? I have Asolo Gore Tex hiking boots, Mountain Hardware gaiters, and Leki treking poles. Would I also need an axe?

I climbed Quandary's standard route in early May '06 in snow shoes.
Just about everybody else I encountered hiked up with skis or snowboards. I almost got lost in the woods on the descent.
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Crampon straps

Postby mattsmithva » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:13 am

Great discussion. My only input is don't trim the excess straps on your crampons to fit your current boots. I did this with my first set so they would not fit most other boots because the straps were too short. Stupid tax paid.

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Postby Yog » Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:57 am

Ezsuperkev - Bummer man, that is a bad place to find out that your crampons don't fit. I'm pretty sure that there are older versions of the
G-12's that are completely strap-ons. Hopefully, REI exchanged them for you.

Brings up a good point...I would suggest you take one of your boots in with you when you are making a purchase of crampons. Save yourself the hassle of going home and realizing you have the wrong ones :cry: It is also a good idea to adjust and fit your crampons to your boots in the comfort of your living room. It is not very fun (or nice to your partners) to try and make adjustments to your crampons at the base of a couloir at 12,000 ft at 5:00 am in 10 degree weather :shock:

Andy - Oooh, that looks like Hidden Falls! Do you know if anything in the park is IN yet? Or any climbs for that matter? I hear Lincoln is coming along nicely...have not seen for myself yet. Need to make some phone calls :D
. . .Now, after the hours of torment . . . I have nothing more to do than breathe . . .I am nothing more than a single, narrow, gasping lung, floating over the mists and the summits.
-Reinhold Messner

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Postby BeamMeUp » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:21 am

Great stuff! Thanks for your insight!

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