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crampon binding question

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crampon binding question

Postby catalyst81 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:40 pm

I'll be purchasing some Grivel G12 crampons. I can't decide on the type of bindings though. I'm thinking either the classic straps or the new-matics. Either will work with my boots. I was thinking the classic setup might be nice in case I want to take them on backpacking trips to the Sierras later in the season where I may not plan on using them all that much unless there is still snow on higher passes. On these sorts of trips I usually take trail runners and the new-matic bindings would not work. What do you think? Are the new-matics a lot more convenient? I'll be using them for mostly general mountaineering, i.e. Socal peaks in winter and trips to the Sierra in Spring and possibly Winter (MR on Whitney).
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby drpw » Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:23 pm

straps. you'll wanna use 'em with your trail runners in the sierra. also, if you get a pair of step ins eventually you'll be glad you have the straps when it comes time to loan them out to friends.
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby JHH60 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:59 am

For mountaineering use the newmatics are a lot faster, more convenient, and easier to put on. While you can get a secure fit from the classic binding if you're careful and check them every so often, the newmatics are more idiot proof, especially if you're not in an ideal spot when you have to put them on. Having a crampon pop off on a steep ice slope (or worse, on vertical ice) can be a serious problem. If your primary use for the crampons is going to be on your approach shoes, then get strap on, but if you want to do any serious alpine or water ice climbing in them, I'd go with newmatic and bring lightweight, newmatic compatible mountaineering boots if I were doing a hike which might require crampons. Mountaineering boots are a lot better in the snow (e.g., for kicking steps) than approach shoes anyway. My lightweight ones (Trango Evos) aren't much heavier than my approach shoes
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby mrchad9 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:43 am

Based on what you described (winter/spring trips in SoCal/Sierra) I'd go with straps.
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby OJ Loenneker » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:03 am

If you like the New matic binding, just buy one of the light mountaineering boots available today. They all feature a welt on the heel for the bail of the newmatic binding. I like my La Sport Trango Alp GTX. As comfortable as any other hiker I have ever used, and crampon compatible...

Scarpa, Garmont et al all make similar models that would suit your needs.
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby catalyst81 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:27 am

I have some light mountaineering boots that the new-matics would work with. It looks like the G12's are semi-rigid. Would they even work with trail runners for limited use, or are they too flexible? If not, I think I'd prefer to get new-matic bindings.
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby gcap » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:33 pm

catalyst81 wrote:Would they even work with trail runners for limited use, or are they too flexible?


A flexible crampon IS what you want for trail runners. I don't have the g12's, but I'm pretty sure they come standard with a rigid steel connector bar, which won't work well with your runners (shoes will bend, crampons won't = shoes come out of crampons). You'll want these: http://www.buy.com/prod/grivel-grivel-flex-plate-for-g10-g12-g14-air-tech-crampon-add-on-fall/q/sellerid/31012571/loc/68687/217493154.html for use with soft sole shoes.

Ideally, you'd want the semi rigid new-matics for use with the boots, and a lightweight full strap for use with the trail runners (grivel air tech light, black diamond neve strap, stubai's).
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby MoapaPk » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:21 pm

slight hijack... do you wrap the straps around your ankles when you wear crampons with trail runners? I've tried this approach, and boy is it uncomfortable.
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby catalyst81 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:34 pm

gcap wrote:
catalyst81 wrote:Would they even work with trail runners for limited use, or are they too flexible?


A flexible crampon IS what you want for trail runners. I don't have the g12's, but I'm pretty sure they come standard with a rigid steel connector bar, which won't work well with your runners (shoes will bend, crampons won't = shoes come out of crampons). You'll want these: http://www.buy.com/prod/grivel-grivel-flex-plate-for-g10-g12-g14-air-tech-crampon-add-on-fall/q/sellerid/31012571/loc/68687/217493154.html for use with soft sole shoes.

Ideally, you'd want the semi rigid new-matics for use with the boots, and a lightweight full strap for use with the trail runners (grivel air tech light, black diamond neve strap, stubai's).


Yeah, that's what I was thinking. That the trail runners would be too flexible. It sounds like using the classic bindings with trail runners isn't a great fit, so I think I'll probably go for the new-matics and figure out a different solution for when I'm backpacking light later in the season when there is still patches of snow/ice.
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby MoapaPk » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:03 pm

There are lighter stiff-soled boots, with higher ankles, ~2.5 lb.

I was able to wear these
http://www.spgear.org/gear/1913/fury.html
with crampons, but they are far from trail runners.
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Re: crampon binding question

Postby JHH60 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:51 pm

catalyst81 wrote:Yeah, that's what I was thinking. That the trail runners would be too flexible. It sounds like using the classic bindings with trail runners isn't a great fit, so I think I'll probably go for the new-matics and figure out a different solution for when I'm backpacking light later in the season when there is still patches of snow/ice.


If you're using stiffer, lug-soled shoes (like lightweight mtn boots) you can often get away without using crampons on snow sections by kicking steps. For short sections of very hard snow or ice, you can sometimes just chop a few steps with an ice axe in less time than it takes to put on crampons, especially strap-on crampons.
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