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Crampons Questions

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Crampons Questions

Postby mambwe » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:01 am

I'm buying my first pair of crampons and I'm not sure which ones to buy. I'm from NY and will be using them here and on Mount Washington/White Mountains to gain experience. I also plan on going to Rainier in 1 1/2 years ,so I want a pair that I can use in both places. I would also like to tackle Denali in the future.

Do I buy 10 or 12 point? What would I need on Rainier/Denali?

Steel or Stainless? I've read that aluminum doesn't handle abuse that well.

Any brands I should be looking at?

I have Asolo backpacking boots, so I wouldn't be getting the step-in type. I realize I will need to upgrade boots eventually, but for NY/NH i'm sure they are fine. Is there anything else I should be looking at?

Thanks.
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby seano » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:12 am

For moderate snow and ice, probably anything will work. Andy Kirkpatrick has a good discussion of the options.
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby DanielWade » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:29 am

Get proper boots first.
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby mambwe » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:16 pm

What do you mean by proper boots?

I don't plan on trying Rainier for 18 months. I would rather not spend a bunch on money new boots. Especially considering my Asolos are pretty new. Are there no crampons that would work on my current boots and also a boot that I would take to Rainier? What is the advantage from getting new boots now? Keep in mind I am from NY and don't have any real high altitude climbing.
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:54 pm

mambwe wrote:What do you mean by proper boots?

Are there no crampons that would work on my current boots and also a boot that I would take to Rainier?


If you get a steel, 12 point crampon with 'universal' style bindings they should work on your current boots, boots you would wear on Rainier and boots you would wear on Denali. Here are some examples:

http://promountainsports.com/index.php/ ... assic.html

http://promountainsports.com/index.php/ ... strap.html

http://promountainsports.com/index.php/ ... xlock.html

My suggestion is pick up a pair of plastic boots for your Rainier trip then add insulated overboots to them for Denali. While there are newer boots that are lighter and climb technical terrain better, the Scarpa Inverno is a proven boot that is durable, warm, relatively inexpensive and will work for both Rainier and Denali (with the addition of an overboot). Boot: http://www.rei.com/product/780182?prefe ... erralID=NA Overboot: http://www.40below.com/product_detail_p ... uctID=6194
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby drpw » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:16 pm

don't listen to them. winter in the north east will be perfectly comfortable in uninsulated backpacking boots. you're right, you won't be at any elevation and it's not like any mountains in the north east are world famous for being extremely cold. just buy whatever pair of strap on crampons are cheapest and enjoy your winter.
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby Mountainjeff » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:42 pm

I have a pair of Petzyl Vasaks with the strap on system. They are a great general mountaineering crampon because they can be converted from semi-rigid to hinged. I use them on both my mountaineering boots and more flexible hiking boots. They have been used on ice and plenty of rocks and still a nice and sharp.
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:44 pm

[sarcasm]don't listen to them. winter in the north east will be perfectly comfortable in uninsulated backpacking boots. you're right, you won't be at any elevation and it's not like any mountains in the north east are world famous for being extremely cold. just buy whatever pair of strap on crampons are cheapest and enjoy your winter.[/sarcasm]
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby brokesomeribs » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:38 pm

If you take uninsulated leather backpacking boots into the Whites or on to Mount Washington, I give it 2-3 trips maximum before you get caught in bad weather and lose some toes.

Get a pair of winter boots. If you spend $200 - that's only $20 per toe that you want to keep.
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby DanielWade » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:59 am

My point was not that you cannot find a crampon that works on a backpacking boot but that mountaineering requires specialized equipment. Getting a stiff insulated boot and learning how to climb steep snow with only an ice axe comes before crampons.
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Re: Crampons Questions

Postby mambwe » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:26 am

I will mostly be snowshoeing in the Whites and Adirondacks this winter. My buddy who is from NH and has done many Mt. Washington hikes in the winter told me to get crampons for sections where snowshoes might not be enough. He also hikes in Asolo backpacking boots. I have hiked in single digit weather in an old pair of Merrell boots and my feet never bothered me.
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