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Help picking first pair of crampons
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By Tyson Anderson
From Las Vegas, NV
Dec 29, 2009
Rapping from the top of Cat in the hat
I'm trying to pick out some crampons but am at a loss as to which ones to go with. Any advice would be appreciated.

-they will mostly be used for summer alpine climbing in the sierra, wind river range and possibly the bugaboos where most of the approach is on dry ground except for the last part.

-I don't have step-in compatible boots right now but I plan buying some in the near future.

-I don't see myself using these for waterfall ice

-I'd also like the ability to do longer snow routes

So it seems to me that because the crampons will spend most of their time in my pack it would be best to get aluminum ones. How do these hold up over time? Are there alternatives to aluminum that are still fairly light but more durable? Having never even worn crampons...do the step in ones make a big difference over the strap on crampons? I don't want to be replacing them as soon as I get better boots.

Thanks

PS- if anybody is looking to sell a pair I may be interested

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By Ralph Kolva
From Evergreen, CO
Dec 30, 2009
BD Contact Strap is a good all around choice for steel crampons, will fit most shoes/boots, durable, not too heavy, and reasonably easy/quick to put on. Get the ones with anti-bot plates included.

The biggest difference between strap, step in, newmatic is how quickly they go on your boots. After a lot of years of using step-in flexible crampons I'm real happy with the Contacts since now I just toss them on my pack and go without having to worry about my boots, I've used them on light hiking boots and heavier boots. Did the Kautz on Rainier this past spring and they did fairly well on the steeper bullet hard glacial ice.

Aluminum crampons will be a bit lighter but you need to be careful to not use them on rock. Be prepared to take them on and off if the route covers mixed ground. I'm not flush enough to own 3 pairs of crampons so for me it's steel for the durability and the Contacts aren't really that much heavier than some aluminum crampons.

Vertical Ice and mixed will require as stiffer pair of crampons, and generally a more expensive pair.

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By Lee Smith
Dec 30, 2009
You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE" your rope! <br />(Back by Popular Demand.  There you are Mom) <br /> <br />
Check out Kathoola Microspikes. Relatively inexpensive, very light, go on any footwear from trail runners to mountaineering boots, and have real live steel spikes.

I (heart) my Kathoolas.

Website

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By sberk4
From concord, MA
Jan 5, 2010
As far as aluminum/aluminum alloy crampons go, I like my Grivel Air Tech Lights. They're about the lightest thing around and climb moderate snow really well. But if you want to do alpine routes (with bullet snow), I'd go with the Grivel G12 or something like that. I don't own them, but having rented them I think they work great.

As far as clip versus strap crampons...I don't think there's much difference, at least if you're only climbing snow. Sure, if you buy welted boots, you should get clip crampons; but having heavier boots will negate any weight savings you make with the crampons.

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By mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Jan 5, 2010
Like Lee Smith said, the Kathoola MicroSpikes are excellent. A pair of MicroSpikes now and a pair of step-in crampons later when you invest in some welted boots would be a good combo.

Step-in crampons are a lot more convenient to put on and take off than strap on models, I was awfully happy when I replaced my strap-on crampons with step-ins.

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