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Help Out a Noob with Crampons


Original Post
WarnerISU · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

New to the forum... I have a bit of experience with simple class 3-4 summits here in Idaho, going up most of the Twelvers and whatever peaks happen to be around my groups' backpacking camp.

This year, I want to step things up and start going up peaks that have year-round snow fields. I was thinking of the likes of Gannet, which I hear has a decent portion of snow on the easiest approach.

Having read WAY too many reviews and guides, there seems to be no real consensus when it comes to what boots can (or should) take certain "C" crampons. The boots I have are the Merrel AllOut Blaze and Timberland Chocorua. College is not cheap, so I would like to avoid buying another "all around" pair like the "Asolo Titan GTX."

Do I have any options for what I want to be doing? Or should I save up for those Asolos?

Thank you!!

Parker H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 0

Black diamond contact strap type crampons will work on nearly everything. They use flexible straps on the front and back to attach vs a clip and or metal bail i.e. Auto or semi auto, nearly every crampon producer offers something like that and they are fine for snow and general mountaineering

Next is assessing your ability, Gannett is a serious glaciated peak and is quite remote. Make sure you have a good snow skills, and a competent partner before going there.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135

You will find using crampons with the Merrel shoes (those aint boots) to be very unstable. Too much flex in the shoes (side to side and front to back). Might be fine for a short approach where you really need crampons but otherwise your Timberlines will be the foot wear of choice.

As for crampons, save yer money and find a pair of the old SMC hinged crampons

ebay.com/itm/SMC-Strap-On-M…

You can find them very inexpensively and they will last a life time. I have pair that is 35 years old and I just use them for a little snow/ice fun this winter.

Collin Holt · · Golden, CO · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 40

I send all of my crampon questions to Alex Honnold directly...

WarnerISU · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Thank you all very much for the replies! I will make sure to head up with someone knowledgable, and check out those SMCs.

Cortney LeNeave · · Golden, Colorado · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5

"I send all of my crampon questions to Alex Honnold directly..."

yeah he really knows his stuff when it comes to crampons.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

There grivel air techs rear tabs for locating the heel of your boot tend to be more secure on approach shoes/light hikers than the BD contacts, at least in my experience.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745
WarnerISU wrote:Thank you all very much for the replies! I will make sure to head up with someone knowledgable, and check out those SMCs.
Our local consignment store has a pair of medium SMCs for $25. $10 shipping and you're all set. Let me know if you want to pursue this. They are full strap-on, fit any boot. Medium should fit roughly men's 9 to 11, maybe a half size more on either end.
WarnerISU · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

I wear 11 1/2 to 12 depending on the boot, I wouldnt want to push my luck with fitting. Thank you though.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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