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Crampon care?

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Crampon care?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:40 pm

Anyone have some good links or info for how best to care for crampons?

Specifically, when to sharpen points, how to sharpen, etc?

Thanks!




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Last edited by Dancesatmoonrise on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Crampon care?

Postby cheeseburglar » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:48 pm

Put some nikwax or other leather conditioning product on the leather straps every 5 years or so.
Sharpen the points a little with a grinder if you don't think they are sharp enough to cut your pants.
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Re: Crampon care?

Postby JonW » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:56 pm

The sharpness of your crampons can depend in what your using them for. My general mountaineering crampons are not nearly as sharp as my ice climbing crampons. Dull crampons still work great on firm snow. Crampons that are too sharp can be annoying.

Also, crampons should be sharpened with a hand file. A grinder can heat the steel and ruin the temper.

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Re: Crampon care?

Postby ElFuegoDelaMuerte » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:37 pm

I stopped sharpening my crampons four years ago. Dull crampons work just fine and it's too easy to get carried away when sharpening them, even when you are using a file. It looks like you have horizontal front points so sharpening them too often will dramatically shorten their length/lifespan. If you are climbing delicate ice you may want sharper points. I have a pair of Grivel Rambo 4s that I use for steeper and harder ice routes and I'd feel more comfortable sharpening them if I were climbing something delicate (since I could swap out the points when they get too short), but either way you're just smashing them into hard ice and rock all the time. They're going to dull, and typically fast. Plus the sharper they are the more they catch your gaiters and pants... Even after nearly a decade of practice.

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Re: Crampon care?

Postby RoanMtnMan » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:44 am

A super shape crampon is about as dangerous as no crampons at all in my opinion. I do sharpen my hiking crampons every few years though (with a grinder). And more importantly, I spray some WD-40 on them at the end of my seasonal use to ward off rust. Probably not the best system but it does extend their life. I have a friend that just drops his in a bucket of motor oil for the summer. Clever, but not sure that is any better.
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Re: Crampon care?

Postby pvnisher » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:19 am

Whether they are new or old, I keep the "big toe" and the one under the ball of my foot dull. When I get new ones I purposely dull those points. They work just fine on snow, and if they're dull then they won't snag on your pants/gaiters, and neither will they puncture you when you inevitably kick yourself.

If you're doing water ice of course that wouldn't apply, but for general mountaineering, it's something I've found which works well.

I started doing this after I kicked myself hard in the back of the thigh trying to mantle up over an icy rock.

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Re: Crampon care?

Postby gb » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:49 pm

Yeah, a little wd40 or something for rust, and I don't keep my mountaineering points that sharp at all. Vertical ice, on the other hand, I like to keep razor sharp. Every pair of crampons I've ever owned says to use a file and never a grinder, for the reasons JonW mentioned.

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Re: Crampon care?

Postby schrund » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:38 pm

I put mine in the dishwasher, I do remove the straps of course~
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Re: Crampon care?

Postby globreal » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:46 pm

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:Anyone have some good links or info for how best to care for crampons?

Specifically, when to sharpen points, how to sharpen, etc?

Thanks!




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Feats don't fail me now.



That's a pretty nice picture Jim. Is that on THE AVENUE?

I've heard the same thing...don't use a grinder but a file when you do decide to sharpen. But I've never done either; guess I should go check my points!
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Re: Crampon care?

Postby RoanMtnMan » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:50 pm

No doubt that a hand file is better, but the bench grinder saves a whole bunch of tuning time for a mainly CO hiking crampon. The rock/snow/rock/snow scenario that often occurs here kills mine. It is an art though. "Gentle" is the best adjective I can come up with for the bench grinder approach. As well as getting the right stones. I did ruin one set of old Grivels before I figured out the technique. I used to be more obsessive about perfect sharpness. But learned that it isn't a huge deal when just climbing snow.

Now I put a quarter coin's side edge perpendicular to the length of the crampon on each point to determine if it needs sharpening for hiking. Random and arbitrary for sure. But it seems to offer some sort of gauge. Water ice crampons are a different story, Samurai sword sharp on the front is the goal and a grinder isn't going to get you there easily. That is when the file comes out for me. Hope all of this helps.
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Re: Crampon care?

Postby glacierfox » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:08 am

Anyone ever try a sharpening stone or wet stone (effectively a slow speed grinder)? I don't ask because I'm looking to experiment on my own.. still waiting on the funds for my own set. However, as a wood carver I spend a lot of time sharpening and hearing that a hand file is the best option makes me cringe a bit.

I'm sure a true razors edge is over kill or perhaps even annoying as JonW mentioned. That being said, I bet a wet wheel could speed up the process dramatically and not impact the temper. After I invest in my own pair I'll experiment and report back.

Bill

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Re: Crampon care?

Postby globreal » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:03 pm

Tboo wrote:What do you use to intentionally dull them without ruining them completely?


That's easy!
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