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Black Watch Alpine

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  • 4 Post By stug
  • 2 Post By GravelBen
  • 1 Post By Tentman

Thread: Crampons

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015


    I've been hearing too many stories of mates sliding down ice & snow this year, not good.

    I'm after a pair of quality crampons that will universally fit my Lowa Tibets & hopefully my lighter weight crispis.

    Also interested in one of those Ice Axe / Walking stick hybrids. Can't seem to find it anywhere.

    Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Member stug's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Oxford, Canterbury
    Once you've got your crampons make sure you practice with them before venturing out on the steep stuff. Find a steepish slope with a safe runout and walk in big figure 8's to practice all the different angles.
    Main thing is to keep your feet flat/parallel with the slope to get all points in the snow/ice. It does feel a bit weird at first. ALWAYS have an ice-axe when wearing crampons.
    Before you try the crampons, practice self-arresting first, don't wear your crampons when practicing self arresting (unless you want big rips in gaiters etc). Wear a bike helmet or similar when practicing self arresting with ice-axes.
    Take your boots in to an Outdoor store to make sure you get the correct size, and they can show you how to fit them to your boots. For crampons to stay on your boots you need a fairly rigid sole.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    here's one, not too sure it would win my confidence, but Grivel stuff is usually ok . . . . https://www.trademe.co.nz/sports/cam...5d9fd0fda712e3

  4. #4
    Member GravelBen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Stug speaks sense.

    As well as practicing somewhere safe with crampons and ice axe before using them in anger, get someone with experience to show you how. Its much easier to learn that way than by seeing which ways make you fall over or asking people on the internet. Unless you're a lightweight I'd go for 12-point rather than 10-point crampons.

    Ice axe without crampons is much safer than crampons without ice axe so the axe takes priority (if you fall without an axe on a slope that needs crampons you probably won't stop until you hit the bottom). I haven't tried one of those hybrid walking pole/axe things, better than just a pole if you need to self-arrest I guess but not much good for climbing snow/ice or doing other ice axey things like chipping a wee shelf to give your sore calves and ankles a rest on steep hard snow.

    Speaking of sore calves, don't forget to drop your heels when going up steep stuff on the front points of your crampons. And if you go for a slide and need to self arrest while wearing crampons, keep your knees bent and the points up off the ground! Don't get tempted to kick your points in while sliding (especially if you're going fast), that can result in things like snapped achilles tendons and end-over-end ragdolling down the hill.
    planenutz and dannyb like this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Stewart island / canterbury
    Got a set of Kahtoola microspikes and been impressed wih them, don't cover you for serious steep country but for a trip with he of patch of snow they are great

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    And if all else fails I can tell you that a rifle barrel (in this case my 1923 Mauser Kurz 250-3000) makes a damm fine self arrest tool, I fell (twice) on hard ice. Luckily it wasn't steep Without prior training I wouldn't be here to relate this (and ofcourse you could also so add lack of sense to try my luck on a ice bridge, it fair scared the shit out of the two Swedes with me, they very sensibly declined to try and we turned back after a two day walk in - oh well)

    Rifle still shoots fine too!
    dannyb likes this.



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