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Crampons Buying Guide - How to Buy Crampons

Crampons Buying Guide - How to Buy Crampons Crampons attached to your boots will make walking on snow safer. They will give you more hold and are therefore an important part of your Mountaineering equipment. In this section, we will give you a number of things to consider when buying Crampons. It is best if you are already familiar with the different Crampon Types. Otherwise, please check our Types of Crampons section where the topic is discussed in greater detail.

Here is a list of the things you should consider when buying Crampons:

Know the type of climbing you are interested in. This suggestion seems pretty obvious enough, but you really should know what type of climbing activity you want to use your Crampons for. In this way, you are ensured that you are buying the right kind of Crampons for your intended activity. For example, you wouldn't want to buy Rigid Crampons when you intend to use it a variety of climbing activities since Rigid Crampons are used for very specific climbing conditions.

Identify what type of Crampons will work best for your climbing style.
This one is closely connected to the type of Crampons. After determining what type of climbing you are interested in, you are now more or less armed with the knowledge of what Crampon type will work for your climbing style. Do you want Crampons with fixed points or do you want those which are adjustable? Each climber has his or her own quirk and that includes you. Therefore, it is essential to know which of the Crampons in the market suits your particular taste and style.

Familiarize yourself with the different parts and features of Crampons. Although this portion
is discussed more thoroughly at the Crampons - Parts and Features section, it is still worth noting that you should be familiar with whatever gear you have. It ensures that you are using that gear to its maximum potential. Aside from that, by being familiar with the different Parts of Crampons and how they work, you would somehow be able to perform at least simple maintenance tasks on it especially when you are out in the wilderness and no help is immediately available.

Consider Crampon - Boot Compatibility. You should also make sure that your boots and Crampons are compatible. Otherwise, they will fail to work together safely and effectively. Keep in mind that using the wrong type of Crampon on a certain type of boot can have very serious consequences such as Crampon loss or breakage. Therefore, the best option is to choose a suitable crampon to use together with your winter boots.

Below is the Boot-Crampon Compatibility guide designed by mountaineer and mountain guide, Brian Hall. You can use it as a guide when buying the correct pairs of boots and Crampons. Along with it are the boot and Crampon grading charts. Refer to it when analyzing Hall's Boot-Crampon Compatibility guide.

Crampons - Crampon - Boot Compatibility Guide Below is the grading system for boots:
  1. B0 - Flexible walking boots - UNSUITABLE for use with any type of Crampon since these boots can be easily bent to an angle of 45 degrees or more.

  2. B1 - Stiff mountain walking boots - Suitable for use with C1 Crampons only. The sole of this type of boots can be bent with some effort to an angle of 10 to 45 degrees.

  3. B2 - Very stiff Mountaineering Boots - Suitable for use with C1 or C2 Crampons only. These soles can only be bent to an angle of 10 degrees or less with some effort.

  4. B3 - Fully rigid, winter climbing and Mountaineering Boots - Suitable for use with all the Types of Crampons.
Here, on the other hand, is the grading system for crampons:
  1. C1 - are articulated or flexible walking Crampons attached with simple straps. These Crampons mostly have 10 points, two front and 8 at the backside. This type is light and simple, and is best for occasional use.

  2. C2 - are articulated or flexible step-in Crampons attached with a heel clip and a toe strap. It commonly has 12 points, giving the best balance between ease of attachment, walking comfort, and climbing performance. It is therefore a good choice for general Mountaineering and lower grade climbs.

  3. C3 - are stiff or fully rigid Crampons attached with a heel clip and toe bail. This type is usually equipped with 12 or more points, and often with adjustable front points. They are the best choice for pure climbing performance.

Find the Right Fit. Finally, nothing beats finding the right fit for your Crampons. This matter depends entirely on your own personal taste. However, the following things would ensure that you are buying and using the best fitting Crampon:
  • It is always a good idea to take with you the boots that you will be using when buying your Crampons. That way, you can be sure that the boots and Crampon fit perfectly.
  • For step-in Crampons, you should make sure that the toe bails of the Crampons fit the shape of your boots' toe. Aside from that, check if the heel cables are wide enough for the heel of your boots to fit in snugly.
  • Meanwhile, for strap-on Crampons, the Crampon should stay on the boot when you pick it up even without straps.
  • Also check the front points of the Crampon. They should protrude about a half inch or an inch from the boots.
These are the guidelines on How to Buy Crampons. We have discussed things as knowing the compatible types of boots and Crampons, and finding the right fit when buying Crampons. We hope that this has been helpful as it has been informative. Finally, please keep in mind that along with this guide, it also pays to ask around for other expert advice on Crampons including experienced mountaineers and mountain guides.

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