Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

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Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby climbingaggie03 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:39 pm

Has anyone used the kahtoola light weight crampons? I have real crampons for ice climbing and glacier travel ect. and I have yak trax type grip enhancers, but I've always been intrigued by these, and I recently found a slightly used pair for pretty reasonable price but thought I'd see if anyone has any input before I pull the trigger.

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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby cheeseburglar » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:51 pm

I borrowed a pair of these from Astobassman when we climbed the CC' on Peak C. Pretty sure they were kahtoola. I had trailrunners on. It was a bit icy in places and was no problem. I liked them.
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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby nyker » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:13 pm

I bought them right around the time they first came out.

I used them on a trail where there was some new snow, and primarily for the packed 3-4" switchbacks that made the long steep hill tricky without them. For that class 1 hike up, they were fine.

However, I would caution that if you plan on using them where there is any mixed terrain with bare rock, the points will dull pretty fast and be less useful, since they are short and not too sharp to begin with. For 100% shallow packed snow, they work well and can work on trail runners and 3 season boots. They also make a steel pair.

For the price of them, you might as well get a more standardized pair with longer teeth you can use elsewhere unless you only want them for the specific climbs as above.

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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby kushrocks » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:14 pm

They are great for non technical hikes when microspikes just wont do the trick. I actually wore mine up Rainier in 2011. I don't recommend that. They are lighter and pretty easy to put on but they are not even close to being as good as "real" crampons. The spikes on these are shorter than most crampons to. If you are doing anything technical I would go with someone else.
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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby pbakwin » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:53 pm

I've used them a ton for years. Rainier, Gannett, Aconcagua, Longs, etc. they are great for moderate snow. I never wear boots, and don't want to climb ice. Last year I picked up a pair of the steel Kahtoolas which I like even better for the more aggressive points & durability. Steel is just 2oz more per foot. The aluminums failed me on icy Volcan Osorno in Chile, but I think it would have gone with steel.

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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby nyker » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:59 pm

Pbakwin, just out of curiousity, what footwear did you wear on Rainier and Aconcagua if not boots, and in what season?

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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby climbingaggie03 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:23 pm

Thanks all, I appreciate the info. I have crampons for technical routes, but I'm thinking about using these for more of faster and lighter type routes that I can do in trainers. I'm don't have specific routes in mind, but I think they will be a nice tool to have in the gear bin. I think that they might also be useful for longer trips in the back country when I'm not really sure that I'll need crampons, but they'd be a nice option to have.

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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby unclegar » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:42 pm

I have used a pair for several years and have never had a problem with traction though the spikes are a little shorter than standard. I did get the steel for better durability with minimal added weight. The points are starting to bend back a little but I'm sure I will be able to just pound them back and continue using them. They are great for bending with shoes that are not as stiff as some boots. Never had a problem with them getting loose, etc. and they are very easy to take on and off. I don't think you would want them if you intend to front-point, but otherwise they should do the job. I've climbed Dead Dog, Bell Cord, Conundrum with no problem.
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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby HuskyRunner » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:22 am

pbakwin wrote:I've used them a ton for years. Rainier, Gannett, Aconcagua, Longs, etc. they are great for moderate snow. I never wear boots, and don't want to climb ice. Last year I picked up a pair of the steel Kahtoolas which I like even better for the more aggressive points & durability. Steel is just 2oz more per foot. The aluminums failed me on icy Volcan Osorno in Chile, but I think it would have gone with steel.



Unfortunately I'm a blodder and will likely never be capable of the feats of Mr. Bakwin and his climbing pals. Gannett in a day from Green River Lakes via Wells Creek, Keiners in a few hours while product testing and taking pics, and your South Park/Mosquito traverse, absolutely freaking awesome! Just part of what I love about CO, guys like you out there showing us what is possible and keeping me inspired to push my sorry butt a little harder.

Did the Emmons/Winthrop on Rainier years ago, couple of locals cruised up the hill in a few hours in low tops and aluminum crampons. Think that was late June and the snow had softened up a little by late morning.

If the crampons are a real good price go for it, but as others had said, be careful to avoid the rocks and take extra caution on hard or steep ice.
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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby pbakwin » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:09 am

nyker wrote:Pbakwin, just out of curiousity, what footwear did you wear on Rainier and Aconcagua if not boots, and in what season?


On Aconcagua I used Montrail GTX hiking shoes, which were sized large to fit with lots of socks. These were on the heavy side of footwear for me, 18oz each if I recall. Climbed in early Feb because the permits were cheaper in Feb than Jan. Aconcagua was interesting - microspikes would probably work fine, but we didn't have them in 2004/05. The route isn't steep, but the snow was very hard so you needed some traction. Used trekking poles as well (no ax).

Did Rainier as part of the Cascades Trifecta in early June 2005. That was kind of a big snow year, and early June wasn't the best time to be there - things were changing rapidly. The snow was soft, not icy. I used some Pearl Izumi running shoes which were, I think, 10oz - the lightest goretex shoes I could find - plus mini gators. That set-up worked just fine, and I also used them on Adams and Hood. I've heard of people using track spikes for fast ascents on Rainier later in the season, but I'd imagine the Kahtoolas would work pretty much any time.

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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby Jeff Valliere » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:18 am

I have the Kahtoola aluminum crampons and really like them. I find them to be very easy to put on/take off, are light and provide good traction on moderate snow. However, as mentioned, I will confirm that they do wear quite fast if you are forced to negotiate mixed terrain, even if only for a short while (which can be a bit discouraging given their ~$140 price tag).

Since Microspikes came on the market though, I rarely use the aluminum crampons anymore, as the Microspikes now generally fill that niche (Microspikes are also easier to put on/remove and withstand more abuse on rock).

I also have the Kahtoola steel crampons and do like them better than the aluminum, if only for their increased durability and slightly longer points. If I had to choose between the steel and aluminum, I personally would go with the steel (unless you are a serious gram counter, then go with aluminum).

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Re: Kahtoola Aluminum Crampons

Postby JerryB » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:02 pm

Thank you for all the good info here. I just happen to be in the market for these,
and this discussion was quite helpful.

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