Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Deciding on some crampons. Looking for some feedback.

Post climbing gear-related questions, offer advice. For classifieds, please use that forum.
 

Deciding on some crampons. Looking for some feedback.

Postby JonnyAces7 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:53 am

I have known about this site for a little while but finally just signed up. So I do a lot of hiking during the Spring-Fall seasons in the White Mountains in NH and plan to pick up some winter mountaineering this winter.

Anyways, I have been considering going with a strap style crampon, like the BD Seracs so I can climb with my regular hiking boots. My question is, how do these strap crampons hold up without using plastic mountaineering boots? Will these give me sufficient stability? I would rather not buy new mountaineering boots right now given the cost but at the same time, do not want to buy crampons I will regret. Anyone who uses the strap style, I would appreciate some feedback on how they hold up, feel on the boot, and work on a long hike? Also, will the strap ones work on the hard plastic boots as well (should I happen to regret using hiking boots)?
User Avatar
JonnyAces7

 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Maine, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby Luciano136 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:10 am

Strap on crampons are just fine for most use. I don't use rigid boots and have been fine up to 40 degrees. For much steeper stuff, newmatic with rigid mountaineering boots might be better.

IMO, for general mountaineering, strap on crampons are the way to go and fit most boots. On a rare occasion you might have a problem with the heel part but not very often...
User Avatar
Luciano136

 
Posts: 3734
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, California, United States
Thanked: 9 times in 8 posts

Postby mconnell » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:45 am

I've climbed 70 degree water ice with strap-on crampons on rigid mountaineering boots (using 2 65cm mountaineering axes for tools). Works fine although I wouldn't do a big climb with it. I've also used them on everything from trail runners on up on lower angle slopes (up to about 35 degrees with trail runners, 50 degrees on leather hiking boots).

My opinions is that they work almost as well as any other crampons if they are fitted correctly. The main issue is that that take too damn long to put on.
mconnell

 
Posts: 7474
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2001 4:28 pm
Location: Divide, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 266 times in 158 posts

Postby Wastral » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:51 am

Strap on are fine for any normal routes. You will only want the support on longer multipitch routes. Up to 70 degrees no problems at all. Your non stiff boots will be problems LONG before the crampons are problems for climbing ice. Below 60 degrees is not "ice" climbing". That is just normal mountaineering where on longer routes in long coulairs which generally run around 40-45-50 degrees you will want stiffer boots, otherwise your calves will really burn after a while standing on "point". Two ice axes of course past 50 degrees, though 1 is just fine for this steepness, just less secure and slower moving.

Brian
mconnell wrote:I've climbed 70 degree water ice with strap-on crampons on rigid mountaineering boots (using 2 65cm mountaineering axes for tools). Works fine although I wouldn't do a big climb with it. I've also used them on everything from trail runners on up on lower angle slopes (up to about 35 degrees with trail runners, 50 degrees on leather hiking boots).

My opinions is that they work almost as well as any other crampons if they are fitted correctly. The main issue is that that take too damn long to put on.
Wastral

 
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: Washington, United States
Thanked: 25 times in 21 posts

Postby JonnyAces7 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:26 am

Thanks for the replies. Good info. Last year I had my current boots in about 0 degrees with some snow (-30 with windchill) on mt washington so I think temperature wise I should be good. Stability and comfort are probably my biggest concerns. Not planning any steep ice this year, just general mountaineering. Hopefully will be doing Rainier next summer though.

So, how do people feel about the lightweight material? As of now, I am leaning towards the BD Seracs which are stainless steel but I noticed some Stubai's on Ebay for about half the cost. Unfortunantly, since I am a noob, I really do not have the slightest who makes good quality crampons.
User Avatar
JonnyAces7

 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Maine, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby brenta » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:25 am

Grivel, Petzl, CAMP, BD, Stubai: they all make good crampons.
User Avatar
brenta

 
Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:43 am
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 20 times in 16 posts

Postby Wastral » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:37 am

Well, if they are stainless steel they won't hold an edge as long as Steel will. That is if they actually use good steel.

Since both crampon types are stamped and bent without heattreating and the manufacturer doesn't say what they used, the stainless steel may actually be tougher than the steel version. It all depends on what they actually used. I have never had a rust problem so I see no reason for stainless to start with.

If they do heat treat them, then the Steel crampon will be far superior to the stainless version unless they use the PH series of stainless and actually machine them instead of stamping them out which I highly doubt as it would be way way way more expensive and the steel would still be better if the correct steel type was used.

Hope that stirs the mud for ya.

Brian

brenta wrote:Grivel, Petzl, CAMP, BD, Stubai: they all make good crampons.
Wastral

 
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: Washington, United States
Thanked: 25 times in 21 posts

Postby vidclimber » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:08 am

Aluminum is good and lite and if you are on rocks very little they will last. But if you plan on walking on rocks alot you should stay with steel. I heard CAMP has a nice lite waight pair.

I use the CAMP XLC 490 (green Aluminum) pear with stiff boots for Mt. Whitney's Mountaineers route in early March. They worked great.

vid
User Avatar
vidclimber

 
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:25 am
Location: El Paso, Texas, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby Mark Straub » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:16 am

Aluminum crampons are not as strong and they have to be retired earlier.

Another factor to consider is that crampons make your feet a lot colder than they would be without because they conduct your body heat into the snow; wear an extra pair of socks.
User Avatar
Mark Straub

 
Posts: 530
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Everett, Washington, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby Bootboy » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:14 am

My $.02
I bought a new pair of Grivel airtechs for general mountaineering and love them.( my old ones fell off my pack on Rainier) I got the strap on version simply for versatility. They are lighter and have slightly shorter spikes than say the g12 (overkill for anything less than 50deg.. They are wide and stable and work exceptionally well for what I use them for. In my experience, Grivels hold up very well as they use a heat treated chromoly steel with excellent wear properties. Stainless, I feel, is kind f gimmicky and expensive for the benefits. Rust really isn't an issue with chromoly as long as you take care of them. nothing a little oil and steel wool cant resolve. They will wear longer and require less frequent sharpening.
User Avatar
Bootboy

 
Posts: 479
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 1:30 pm
Location: Ghetto, Utah, United States
Thanked: 5 times in 1 post

Postby Luciano136 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:58 pm

JonnyAces7 wrote:Thanks for the replies. Good info. Last year I had my current boots in about 0 degrees with some snow (-30 with windchill) on mt washington so I think temperature wise I should be good. Stability and comfort are probably my biggest concerns. Not planning any steep ice this year, just general mountaineering. Hopefully will be doing Rainier next summer though.

So, how do people feel about the lightweight material? As of now, I am leaning towards the BD Seracs which are stainless steel but I noticed some Stubai's on Ebay for about half the cost. Unfortunantly, since I am a noob, I really do not have the slightest who makes good quality crampons.


IMO, don't buy aluminum, it's not worth the weight savings. The points wear very fast and if you get on hard ice, they might not bite; the wife had a rather frightening experience with that (she wore the Stubai aluminums). Steel only here!! If there is something you want to do what it's intended for, crampons would be it!!
User Avatar
Luciano136

 
Posts: 3734
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, California, United States
Thanked: 9 times in 8 posts

Postby brenta » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:49 pm

Aluminum crampons have their place in a mountaineer's toolbox, but you shouldn't buy them as your first pair. You want versatile crampons for that, like the Grivel G12 or the Air Tech that were suggested. (Not the Air Tech Ligth, which are made of aluminum.) BD Contacts are also good. These versatile crampons will continue to serve you even if you then discover that you like technical ice climbing, because then you'll be able to get a rigid, step-in crampon without worrying over what you'll do for winter hikes or easy snow climbs. Finally, I wouldn't rush to adopt stainless steel. Rather, I'd make sure my new crampons come with ABS (a.k.a. anti-bott).
User Avatar
brenta

 
Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:43 am
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 20 times in 16 posts

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:08 pm

I believe that the interest in stainless is not really for rust prevention. Typically stainless has lower thermal conductivity than most ferrous alloys, so is less prone to balling than other alloys. For example, carbon steel (1% carbon) is about 2.5 to 3 times more conductive.

Some of the CAMP crampons use a high-alloy steel that has a similar bulk composition as stainless, but is reputed to be much stronger so a thinner crampon has about the same strength as a normal low-alloy crampon. Since the phase composition likely differs from stainless, I can't vouch for the thermal conductivity.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7576
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 730 times in 470 posts

Postby brenta » Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:35 pm

Two opposing views on stainless steel crampons:

Grivel

Black Diamond
User Avatar
brenta

 
Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:43 am
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 20 times in 16 posts

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:13 pm

brenta wrote:Two opposing views on stainless steel crampons:

Grivel

Black Diamond


The first article says,
"SS creates less snow build up:
The build up of snow below crampons depends on the effciency of the anti-balling system. With the dynamic anti-balling system the alpinist’s weight puts a downward pressure on the device with every step taken and it springs back when the foot is raised."

So Grivel attempts to negate the argument by assuming there is an anti-balling system on the crampon. This is a fairly good point; in fact crampons are being sold more and more with anti-balling systems already installed, and some countries have toyed with the idea of requiring such systems on all crampons sold.

But anti-balling systems all have some weight, above that of the bare crampons. And the points and connector bar, which are nearly always exposed, do contribute to balling.

But I'm not sure I buy the "lighter" aspect touted by BD; the strap serac crampons still weigh 34 oz.

Much of the other BD stuff in the video is fluff -- particularly some of the eco-friendly aspects.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7576
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 730 times in 470 posts

Next

Return to Gear

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.