Crampons for hiking boots.

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seanw86

 
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Crampons for hiking boots.

by seanw86 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:19 am

When is it appropriate (is it ever?) to use crampons for hiking boots/approach shoes. Is it ever okay to do this in lieu of technical mountaineering boots? I'm trying to get started on a budget and have seen some summits that require glacial travel but are often done unroped, so it makes it seem like doing so without technical boots would be possible.

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nartreb

 
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Re: Crampons for hiking boots.

by nartreb » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:51 am

When I was young and starving, I wore crampons on my leather work boots all the time - I couldn't afford hiking boots or approach shoes. I even wore crampons on low-top canvas shoes a few times.

The main thing to worry about is the attachment system of the crampon. Step-in crampons will pop right off if the boot sole flexes, or if the shoes' heel or toe lack a suitable welt. A fully strap-on crampon solves that problem, more or less. A flexible boot or shoe will allow the crampon straps some freedom to move and they can gradually loosen over the course of the day, so make sure you check them once in a while, especially just before attempting challenging terrain.

Your next worry is whether your crampon can bend at all. There are a few that will break if you try to flex them, though most have a hinge. (Typically there's a metal tongue that you can position in one of two ways - either flexible or not.)

The thing is, front-pointing in flexible shoes is pretty miserable, and kick-stepping is even worse. So if you're expecting bare ice slopes, or tough snow conditions, above, oh, thirty degrees incline, of any significant duration, you might want to pick another mountain/route.

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Crampons for hiking boots.

by ExcitableBoy » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:18 pm

I wear crampons on approach shoes often here in the Cascades when I am alpine rock climbing and need to cross a small pocket glacier. I would not want to wear approach shoes for anything larger than a non-icy, non-steep, small glacier.

As far as crampons for approach shoes you will want these features:

Universal binding system. Plastic toe and heel baskets will fit on any shoe or boot and when fitted correctly provide a solid connection.

Flexible connection bar. As far as I know, only Grivel Air Tech/(Lite) offers flexible steel bars and Petzl uses cord. This effectively eliminates the movement that can loosen straps as well as placing stress on a an inflexible bar.

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seanw86

 
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Re: Crampons for hiking boots.

by seanw86 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:44 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:I wear crampons on approach shoes often here in the Cascades when I am alpine rock climbing and need to cross a small pocket glacier. I would not want to wear approach shoes for anything larger than a non-icy, non-steep, small glacier.

As far as crampons for approach shoes you will want these features:

Universal binding system. Plastic toe and heel baskets will fit on any shoe or boot and when fitted correctly provide a solid connection.

Flexible connection bar. As far as I know, only Grivel Air Tech/(Lite) offers flexible steel bars and Petzl uses cord. This effectively eliminates the movement that can loosen straps as well as placing stress on a an inflexible bar.



What routes in the Cascades would be okay using this combination? I was looking at Sahale peak, and it looks like you just need crampons and boots picks for the glacier before the summit

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Crampons for hiking boots.

by ExcitableBoy » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:12 pm

Sahale Peak via Sahale Arm would be fine in approach shoes. Sahale Peak via Boston Basin/Qien Sabe Glacier I would personally wear light mountaineering boots.


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