/ Correct crampons

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G30RGE - on 11 Nov 2012
Hi, I'm new to climbing and this winter I'm looking to get out for some winter walking, mainly around snowdonia. I've just purchased a pair of garmont vetta mt gtx boots for this winter and not sure which crampons would be best suited for my boots. Whilst looking on forums etc, I've read that I'd need semi auto crampons, am I right in believing that the crampon be stepped into at the rear of the boot only?
Anybody got any suggestions on a decent crampons I should be looking to purchase? As I've stated this is all pretty new to me and I'd really appreciate some advice off people with knowledge.
Thanks!!
drysori - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

You won't be able to fit semi auto crampons on them. A basic 10 point strap crampon would be ok, lots of models to choose from. I'm sure someone here must have a tip for what they use with them.
Snoweider - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:
Is this the boot you have purchased?
http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/index.cfm/product/mens-vetta-mountain-gtx-boot/fuseaction/products.de...

Not familiar with this boot, but there is no crampon compatibility rating mentioned (b1/B2 etc), nor a toe bail slot, which makes me wonder whether its a winter boot, so I'd be very cautious about which style of crampons (if any) you fit to it. It does say it has a stiff sole for crampons.

The most versatile crampons for bendy boots would be a fully strap on pair such as the Grivel G10 with a New-classic binding http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/2-g10, but I'd check with the shop where you bought your boots/garmont about crampon compatibility before buying.
G30RGE - on 11 Nov 2012
Thanks Will, it's all new to me so I appreciate any feedback.
Thanks for the reply!!
G30RGE - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Snoweider: yes that's exactly where I bought them from. It stated that they were an all season boot and said the boot was rigid enough to take a crampon. They were on offer, I've ordered them in store do haven't picked them up yet. I take it it's worth giving the guys in the shop a grilling over what or if crampons will be compatible as you've stated!!
Thanks for your advice!!
Snoweider - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:
Yes, absolutely. They will probably work ok with a 10 point fully strap on binding, but check their recommendations. Boots look to me more like a summer alpine boot, lightweight, designed for scrambling and glacier crossings- probably a bit cold for uk winter, but as its walking you are doing, not standing on a belay with feet like blocks of ice you'll prob find they are fine as a bargain first boot. (If you've got big feet, a 12 point may fit better, and would be more use in the long run if you are planning on getting in to winter climbing...)
G30RGE - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Snoweider: that's all been taken on board!! Thanks for the advice, it's much appreciated!!
martinph78 on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE: These will do the job. Made by Grivel, they are the Monte Rosa crampon, just cheaper :)

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/north-ridge-snowline-crampon-p193163

Worn them with my 3 season hiking boots last year and they worked well.
G30RGE - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin1978: thanks Martin : )
In reply to Snoweider:

> Yes, absolutely. They will probably work ok with a 10 point fully strap on binding, but check their recommendations. Boots look to me more like a summer alpine boot, lightweight, designed for scrambling and glacier crossings- probably a bit cold for uk winter,

Yep, they look really good as summer mountain boot but they're not what most would consider a classic UK winter boot. Nevertheless, plenty of people use running shoes in winter with micro spikes, so I expect these will be ok - just get some good strap-on crampons - ones with plastic baskets front and back. I would also get some serious gaiters that fit those boots as well as possible, as they look pretty low cut.
G30RGE - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA: I'm debating whether to get a refund now instead of picking them up from store. I did look at description for the boots on the website. I suppose I've rushed into things a little and should of really sought some advice from the likes of this forum beforehand. I think the fact that the boot was half price swayed me into jumping in two footed!!!
Thanks Toby
DaveN - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE: kahtoola kts, then you can wear your trainers!
Snoweider - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

Hi George, they are a good deal, and may be fine as a first season boot, so why not go and try them on and have a chat with the staff about what you want to be doing? Generally Cotswold staff are better trained than some of the other big outdoor chains, although bear in mind that they are sometimes just repeating what the reps have told them, and may not have personal experience.

Also, I would always recommend trying on a boot before buying anyway, and even more so a winter boot, as the fit is essential- you don't want loads of heel lift (hard to avoid with stiff boots- so good fit is essential, and you need plenty of room for your toes so they stay warm, and don't get mashed when you are kicking in to snow and ice.
Snoweider - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

Had a look round the Cotswold site, and this boot (Asolo alpinist gTX) also looks like a great deal and more suitable for winter use; http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/index.cfm/product/asolo-mens-alpinist-gtx-boot/fuseaction/products.de...

And this boot (Scarpa Manta), is more expensive, but is the archetypal entry level winter mountaineering boot; http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/index.cfm/product/scarpa-mens-manta-boot/fuseaction/products.detail/c...

Both of these will take a semi automoatic 12 point crampon, but the fit of them is totally different, so would recommend trying them on.

G30RGE - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Snoweider: I'm gonna get in touch with them tomorrow, think I'm cutting corners with the garmonts. I'll have a good look at those boots now, it was just down to the fact that they were so cheap!!
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

You'll be fine using those boots with crampons, they won't be mega warm, but unless you run really cold they'll be OK. I nearly got the next model up, the vetta mnt plus earlier in the year but bought another very similar boot instead (B1's.) I use black diamond serac crampons with them, but anything with a plastic front and rear plastic strap (no plastic clips will work,) will be fine. I've climbed 2 grade V's and a grade VI in them this year and like them a lot as they are so light. You feel the weight difference in every step.
AndyE9 on 11 Nov 2012
hi

as others mentioned might be worth taking theses boots back for a refund , i would recommend something with at least a b2 rating , that way you know they will serve you well .. and then have a greater choice of crampons ..

jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to AndyE9:

> something with at least a b2 rating

Why would you want B2 boots for winter walking?
simonclimbs - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:
Hi, I hope I don't add another element of doubt, but I would be cautious of buying any boot without trying on several first. The first and most important thing is fit, different makes, and different models within a make fit very differently. This is even more important when you move onto stiffer boots. My advice would be to try on as many pairs as possible to find out what fits you.
My experiance of Cotswolds has been very hit and miss, sometimes fantastic and at other times pretty useless, just depends who you get. If you get the right person they will analyse your feet and make good recomendations based on that. it will be pretty obvious quite quickly if you get someone who really knows their stuff or not.
Ron Walker - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

The boots look like summer glacial approach shoes for HA alpine rock climbs rather than proper winter walking or climbing boots. They're the kind of boot that is popular in places like Chamonix due to their low weight, being able to pack them into a small rucksack when climbing with rock shoes and the ability to take lightweight crampons. They are not really a UK winter hillwalking boot!!!
CurlyStevo - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to AndyE9)
>
> [...]
>
> Why would you want B2 boots for winter walking?

Because most b1 boots are meant for occasional crampon use and limit your progression. I have a set of b1 boots but ill never put crampons on them, great for very rough walking and scrambling though.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> Because most b1 boots are meant for occasional crampon use and limit your progression. I have a set of b1 boots but ill never put crampons on them, great for very rough walking and scrambling though.

As B1 boots are "ideal for winter hillwalking," (http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4385 ) I suggest you try your B1's out with crampons. Who told you that B1's are meant for occasional crampon use? I think they may have been mistaken. As I posted earlier, I climb in them and they aren't holding back my progression; the opposite it seems.
CurlyStevo - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: why would i do that when i have a pair of freneys that are far superiour for winter use and will fit any crampon i like?
CurlyStevo - on 11 Nov 2012
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430) why would i do that when i have a pair of freneys that are far superiour for winter use and will fit any crampon i like?

Due to the stiffer sole, Freneys will be better for climbing, but not so comfy for walking. It's all there in the article, why do you need it explained? The OP wants boots for winter walking, you can read into that a desire to winter climb and recommend a boot that isn't best for winter walking, or you can recommend a winter walking boot.

*superior. If you use google chrome as a browser it has a spell checker.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> for example http://www.durc.org.uk/club-meets/kit-list/boots-and-crampons

That is wrong. About B1's: "They are suitable for the easiest snow and ice conditions found when hill walking. They are also suitable for emergency and occasional use when crossing a short patch of snow or ice."

As you claim not to have use your B1's with crampons and I've spent an Alpine summer and the start of this season climbing in them with crampons up to grade VI, why not try them out?
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> so would you advise climbing grade V and above regularly in a c1 b1 combo?

Define regularly. I am climbing grade V and above in them, my advice would be tailored to the person I am giving it to. In this case it is to someone that wants to use B1 boots for winter hillwalking, which is what they are designed for.
CurlyStevo - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
sounds like you really know your stuff. So is this your first season with your own winter gear?
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> sounds like you are very experienced. I mistoke you for a numpty that bought b1 boots and strap on crampons to climb grade V and above with. I do appologise.

I started on B3's and C3's. I lightened my B3's to B1's for the Alps this summer and am that delighted with how they perform that I'm going to keep going with them in Scottish winter until I see a reason to stop (they do seem to wear very quickly though.)
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> sounds like you really know your stuff. So is this your first season with your own winter gear?

I think you are getting me and the OP confused.
CurlyStevo - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: do you not think youll be unduely stressing the metal regularly climbing grade V and above in C1 B1 crampons? im not saying i wouldnt do it but id be aware im pushing the boundaries of what the gear is designed to do. Did you read black diamonds response to the stainless steel sabretooth failures and bendy boots?
G30RGE - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: I'll take on board everything that's been said guys and appreciate you all giving a novice like me advice. The idea was to try them on in the Cotswold store once they have arrived there and to also speak to the staff at the shop and I will raise some of the points you guys have made to me. I appreciate you all looking out for my best interests when I'm out and about this winter..
Thank you : )
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I've broken C3's in the frame with B3's on a grade V ice pitch before, so have a fear of snapping crampons. I read about the sabretooth failures at the time and concluded that the best reported failure was from using some really bendy boots (i.e. summer walking boots,) on a frozen lake. I assumed (this was for my peace of mind,) that as sabretooths have more technical front and secondary points for climbing the stresses where the front points join the frame would be greater than if the person had used a C3 crampon, which is designed for the rolling walking motion.

I wouldn't class B1's as bendy boots, I'd class summer walking boots as bendy boots. B1's and C1's are designed to go together, so am happy using them as a pair. As for climbing in them; they are fine on mixed, but I'll be interested in seeing how they perform on vertical ice when I think I may appreciate a higher boot and stiffer sole.
CurlyStevo - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE: if you already have summer walking boots i can see no advantage to buying b1 boots for winter. id go for a b2 boot if you a fairly sure they will mostly be used for walking (with the scope or climbing) and b3 if you think youll defo want to climb in them a lot in future. stiffer boots not only widen your choice of crampons, but crampons also have less tendency to fall off, and stiffer boots work better without crampons on snow (putting on crampons for short snow patches isnt always practical) as well as provide more support if you do climb in them. As Ron points out these boots as with most b1 boots are probably going to be too cold for many for full on winter days.
anotherwally - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

Tee hee, bless you George that was diplomatic. For the record, I'd err more on the side of getting something higher spec than the basic minimum, because it will make it easier for you to upskill and get in to winter climbing. Others, obviously would argue that they can climb grade whatever in a pair of bendy lightweight boots, but, until you are more experienced, I'd avoid making radical kit decisions. Scarpa Mantas are a pretty good start, they are B2, you can climb lower grade stuff in them, and are built to last, but they don't fit everyone. The most important thing is fit. Expect to spend a fair bit. Don't do what a friend of mine did and buy a pair of snazzy looking Scarpa Mont Blancs he liked the look of on the internet for £300 and then massacre his feet wearing them outside on the first day. No returns for worn boots and no mercy!
In reply to jonnie3430:

> I've broken C3's in the frame with B3's on a grade V ice pitch before,

Sounds fun! :) What model and what happened? I broke a terminator a few years back http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2009/01/too-much-of-good-thing.html DMM were pretty amazing considering they were 8 years old; said "oh no, that's not really meant to happen! We'll send some new ones"! I had been kicking things with them for eight years.
anotherwally - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to anotherwally:

Aargh- I'm actually Snoweider, but I'm using my husbands computer while he's down the pub. Doh. Didn't log out.
G30RGE - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to anotherwally: scarpa I think it is then, I'm gonna phone snow and rock today and cancel the order. I was trying to be diplomatic you're right, it was the first post I'd put on here and I thought I'd caused ww3 with all the comments Id seen when I came back online yesterday evening.
As I say, I'm just a mere pawn in this game of chess and value every bodies opinion!!
jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:
> (In reply to anotherwally) scarpa I think it is then,

It's whatever fits. Each boot manufacturer has B1's, B2's and B3's for sale and the all fit different feet. If you want boots for winter hillwalking, you want B1 boots. If you want boots for winter walking and easy climbing you want B2 boots. You need to figure out what your ambitions are which will let you decide on B1's or B2's. Once you have done that then you need to visit every gear shop you can find (because none of them will have all the B1 or B2 boots in stock,) and try them on until you have figured out which are comfy and which aren't.
Wesley Orvis - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE: The review below say's not crampon compatible-
Garmont has done a great job with the Garmont Vetta Mnt GTX boot. In one package it has managed to pack in all the key scrambling features and yet still give a great level of walking comfort. What’s best though is that it manages to do this all for under £200. You wouldn’t really be able to stick a pair of crampons on them, and the flex is not stunningly progressive, but in every other sense they punch well above their weight. The rand in particular is chunky, and it manages to offset the slightly soft uppers with the end result of producing solid and reliable foot jams. Under the toes there is a precise feel on smaller holds, but elsewhere the edges of the sole flare out a bit too much, which results in a less confident feel when these areas are used on smaller holds. Climbing zone lugs further enhance grip on rock, while a moderately aggressive tread pattern competently deals with mud, slippery vegetation and scree.
The Garmont Vetta Mnt GTX offers a nicely lightweight package that will suit
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
The thing is with most the B1 and some of the more flexible B2 boots you see in the UK is they are not really primarily designed for winter walking they tend to be either designed for heavy duty 3 season hill walking or scrambling with the ability to accept C1 crampons. I think this also tends to reflect the usage. Most people using these boots don't spend the majority of there time using them with crampons on or even with the view to definately putting crampons on at some point in the day.

I disagree that for full on winter walking these type of boots are better than B2 boots (or even the more flexible B3 boots like the freneys which are really B2.5 IMO). I've walked a fair bit in my scarpa SL M3 in snow (when I don't expect to find neve / ice) and these boots are as stiff as some of the more flexible B2 boots. I find that kicking stepts isn't as good and also using the kicked steps doesn't provide such a secure platform, meaning the boots are more likely to slop backwards out of the holds when you stand up. Also they don't edge as well accross slopes when you slice steps with your boot.

Also a lot of B1 and some B2 boots don't really have the insulation many would need for proper winter walking (which is mountaineering IMO) and you can easily tell they have been designed more towards summer walking/scrambling than winter mountaineering.
butteredfrog - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

If you have a slimmer foot, have a look at the Asolo Alpanist (suggested as an option earlier), B2 rated but with a resonable rocker(makes for a more natural walking action), comfy, well made and warm.
martinph78 on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE: Bet you wish you hadn't asked nopw ;P

You have said that you want a boot and crampon for winter HILLWALKING. In that case use either the boots that you already have with some warm socks and gaiters, and the crampon I linked to above. Cost £69.99 and gets you out over the winter.

If you don't already have boots then I would be going for a lighter boot, maybe up to B1, but B0 would work well enough for winter hillwalking, that you would be happy wearing all year round.

If you upgrade to a B1 winter boot for next year the above crampons will still fit. My mate has a thinsulate lined B0 boot (Berghaus, £70 Go Outdoors) and they were spot-on for winter hillwalking in the lakes with the same crampons. Both of us can afford to enjoy a few beers in the pub when talking abou the snow that never came :p

That is unless you have loads of money of course, in which case go for it!

I've walked up to 4000m in 3 season hillwalking boots (several times) and spent last winter plodding around the lakes in my Meindl Burma Pros with Grivel Monte Rosa crampons (same as the ones I linked above at Go Outdoors). It's not ideal, but I didn't enjoy myself any less.

You may have loads of money. In which case you can afford to spend £300 on a boot and £130 on crampons to use for a few weeks of the year (who knows how long a winter we will get?).

Otherwise there are a lot of "nice to haves" but you can still have fun on a budget.

Don't forget you'll be wanting an ice axe as well ;) May I recommend the North Ridge axe, also made by Grivel :p



*anyone that thinks you need a greater choice of crampons than the grivel Monta Rosa (or cheaper Go Outdoors version) for hillwalking, or says that you need a B2/B3 boot has far too much money to burn in my opinion, and will probably be suggesting that you need a pair of Quarks. No point buying a straight walking axe if you might want to progress in the future ;)

If you do want to take the route of ice climbing in the future you can get on a course or try it indoors, and hire the kit to see how things go.





jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

Welcome to UKC! You get very different opinions on here and people defend their opinions which is why almost every thread turns into a bun fight!

I think Martin1978 is speaking the voice of reason and that the cheaper approach is the better one. You know how you deal with things best so figure whether you are happy bodging it or, as the safety brigade would say "is your life/toes worth £300," though I think normal people know when to turn around when out of their depth.

My first winter trip was at 17 with a friend, he had proper kit, I had my dads wooden axe and his 1970's strappy crampons on a pair of summer hillwalking boots and was perfectly fine.

Others will say that you need B2's and a winter safety course before you go into the hills. It's your call.

Can I ask if you want to get into climbing, in which case going winter walking will be a long way to getting there. A better approach is to advertise on here looking for a winter partner as people are always looking for seconds, or someone else to try winter out with (there are several threads on UKC for this year already.)

If it is winter walking a thread asking if someone will to go out on the hill with you should provide you with a partner. Your local mountaineering clubs will also be active over winter and are a great way of safely getting out to the hills for the first time. (I don't like courses, not the British way.)
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

B0 boots are listed as crampon incompatible for a reason, I've seen crampons fall off these boots during a winter walk, luckily it didn't happen on one of the steeper icey slopes we encountered that day.

I'd be keen to hear more about these winter walking days you encountered last year in the lakes that required crampon use. During the early winter when most the snow fell it was unconsolidated for the most part and crampons would have been more of a hinderance than a help.

Seeing as a good set of winter boots that may only get used a handfull of times per year will probably last a decade I don't think it really makes sense to argue about saving 10 - 15 quid a year buying cheap boots that are more suited for summer walking and scrambling than proper winter walking and would certainly not be as suitable for climbing, which it's far from clear the OP won't progress to seeing as he is now rock climbing.

Heres a review of the boots in question.
http://www.livefortheoutdoors.com/Gear-Reviews/Search-Results/Footwear/Garmont-Vetta-Mnt-GTX-2012/


jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I just disagree that's all, and my experience is telling me that I am right, yours is telling you that you are right. For me to agree with you would be for me to have had a bad time in a B1/C1 combi, which I haven't done. They've been warm enough and stiff enough for anything I've wanted to do.

Friends have seconded me up grade V in summer walking boots and C1 crampons, so I know that can be done as well, so there is no requirement to have anything more for your first few trips out in winter. They were warm enough too, even while belaying.

I disagree with your interpretation of what a boot rated B1 is suitable for as I believe that for a boot to have B1 classification, it should be suitable for winter hillwalking and much crampon use. I gave you a link from this site that backs me up on that which you choose to ignore. Dundee University Mountaineering Club may not think B1's are suitable for winter, UKC thinks they are designed for it; you choose.

So we disagree. Great, life goes on. Remember that everyone is different so what you think may not be right for the OP and what I think may. I'm not saying it is either, just that I think your approach is too rigid and you should instead be saying "in my opinion, from my experiences, B1's are too flexible..." instead of comments like "most the B1 and some of the more flexible B2 boots you see in the UK is they are not really primarily designed for winter walking," that is your opinion, not fact, so don't present it as fact.
Ramblin dave - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
My general experience of winter walking has been that if I'm going to be wearing crampons for a lot of the day or on difficult ground I'm happier in my B2s than my B1s - they just feel a bit more solid and secure.

On the other hand, I only had B1s for a couple of years and didn't have any actual problems.

For me it'd depend on whether you expect to spend enough time out in winter to justify having a pair of boots that are pretty much specialist winter boots or whether you'd rather have a pair that are more general purpose but less ideal in winter. When I was a student, I knew a lot of people who had Scarpa SLs because they could basically only afford one pair of boots and wanted something that would do alright in winter and be useful for scrambling, summer walking, long mountain routes etc as well.
jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Martin1978)
>
> I've seen crampons fall off these boots during a winter walk,

It just means the crampons were incorrectly fitted. I can fit my BD seracs to a pair of trainers and they will not fall off. My C3's come off my B3's at the toe bale about once a winter (I think because of the twist in the front bale.)

In reply to TobyA:

It was on Peter Pan on Beinn Udlaidh, I was 3/4 up the steep bit and felt my left foot wasn't working. When I looked down, the front point was sticking off at a 1 o'clock angle and I thought "only you would be able to bend a front point you idiot," and kept going with an offset kick. When I had a closer look they had snapped in the frame. The distributors were great and I had a new pair from them in impressively fast time (which I continue to use.) I don't know what caused the break but assumed it was fatigue from long glacier approaches in the Andes. (I.E. walking in climbing crampons.)
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
I have never said B1 boots are not suitable for winter use, although I have noticed that is how you have interpreted my posts. I think it is you that wants to interpret me as completely disagreeing with you, when actually I don't!

I do believe however if you are gettin boots soley for winter mountaineering (which winter walking is) in proper winter conditions, that in general B2 boots are better than B1 and that B1 boots tend to be primarily designed towards 3 season heavy duty hill walking and / or scrambling.

BTW there is a lot of websites out there other than Dundee Uni that I can quote that backup this viewpoint as well as my own experience, but I'm sure you are also capable of using google. Did you read the review I posted for these boots?
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
"It just means the crampons were incorrectly fitted. I can fit my BD seracs to a pair of trainers and they will not fall off. My C3's come off my B3's at the toe bale about once a winter (I think because of the twist in the front bale.) "

You have some pretty interesting views when it comes to crampons and boots don't you. As a sub point I've never had a pair of c2/c3 toe bail bar crampons come off a pair of B3 boots and I've owned a few. You must have paired up your boots and crampons badly in some way or not done up your heal clips tightly enough.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> My general experience of winter walking has been that if I'm going to be wearing crampons for a lot of the day or on difficult ground I'm happier in my B2s than my B1s - they just feel a bit more solid and secure.
>
> On the other hand, I only had B1s for a couple of years and didn't have any actual problems.
>
> For me it'd depend on whether you expect to spend enough time out in winter to justify having a pair of boots that are pretty much specialist winter boots or whether you'd rather have a pair that are more general purpose but less ideal in winter. When I was a student, I knew a lot of people who had Scarpa SLs because they could basically only afford one pair of boots and wanted something that would do alright in winter and be useful for scrambling, summer walking, long mountain routes etc as well.

Seems pretty much spot on to me.
Ron Walker - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

The 'Trail' reviewer is wrong, the VETTA MNT GTX boots will take strap on crampons such as 'New Classic' binding or similar! See http://www.garmont.com/outdoor/eng/prodotti-dettaglio.php?categoria=120&prodotto=358

I actually tried them on in Chamonix as the low cut boots were on sale at the end of this season. I'd seen a few folk using them on snowy approaches to alpine rock climbs. They were using them as a compromise between normal mountain approach trainers with plastic bags over their socks and proper climbing boots...!

The VETTA MNT PLUS GTX version will take a quickfit crampon. See http://www.garmont.com/outdoor/eng/prodotti-dettaglio.php?categoria=120&prodotto=357

They're summer alpine approach shoes or low cut boots but not proper UK winter hillwalking or winter climbing boots.
At the end of the day if you are experienced enough and judge the right conditions, you can get away climbing with a pair of flippers (I'm not suggesting this!) or Kilian Jornet's traversing Mont Blanc in trail running shoes - so you and jonnie3430 are both right!

I also looks forward to watching jonnie3430 (who I've met) winter climbing in flippers, though I doubt crampons will fit ;-)
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Ron Walker:
Aye I spotted that descrepency too although the review does aim the boots more at scrambling and walking than winter activities which I thought was interesting. The garmont site also seems quite focused on how well they walk.

I think henning made a post last year of a grade III climb he soloed in trainers (WITHOUT CRAMPONS !), so I wouldn't rule out flippers for the ubber elite ;) Actually it was never the point I was trying (rather badly I admit) to make.
FrankBooth - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430) why would i do that when i have a pair of freneys that are far superiour for winter use and will fit any crampon i like?
Freneys are B3 - way over the top for walking! I've got Freney and the slightly lighter Charmoz (B2). The latter are much better 'all-rounders' - far more comfortable for walking long distance, and perfectly okay for climbing in the lower grades and great for scrambling and 'big-boot' climbing in the summer.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to FrankBooth:
Im not arguing with that! But freneys are quite flexible for a b3 boot (many people are calling these new b3 boots B2.5 which I think is fair).

The point I was making is that my B1 boots I now own are Scarpa Sl Active and I wouldn't swap my freneys for those on any day I was aiming to be traveling mostly on snow / ice.
In reply to jonnie3430:
> I was 3/4 up the steep bit and felt my left foot wasn't working. When I looked down, the front point was sticking off at a 1 o'clock angle

They work better at that angle anyway! Asymmetric and all that. :-)
Scomuir on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

As a winter hillwalking book, SL Active's with the right flexible walking crampon are a good combination. You may be happier with a stiffer boot, but each to their own.

jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> You must have paired up your boots and crampons badly in some way or not done up your heal clips tightly enough.

It is a Nepal Extreme/ G14 combo. I've never like the front bale because of the double twist in it which I think makes the bale too flexible, so when I crank the heel clip in it stretches the bale forward, reduces front point clearance and gives a bit of stretch that I think allows it to pop off at the front. I've replaced the bales with G20 bales (no double twist,) but haven't used them yet. The fit is much better and there is more clearance for the front point so I have high hopes. When I get around to using them of course, rather than the light weight boot/ crampon combi I learned to love in the Alps.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
I've used that combo in size 46 nepals for several years. However I did find the toe bail bar needed manipulation to make it better conform to the boot. I didn't do this initially and I noticed the toe bail bar which was never a great fit, becomming a less solid fit over the first couple of seasons, so I ordered a new pair and bent them to shape. Never had them pop off the boot though.

I also noticed the front point protrusion was not great with this combo (or g14 / freney).

I've since replaced the bails of my G14 with Rambo IV bails which tend to fit modern scarpa boots much better and also provide better front point protrusion.
jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Ron Walker:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>
> I also looks forward to watching jonnie3430 (who I've met) winter climbing in flippers, though I doubt crampons will fit ;-)

I didn't want to be posting rubbish about fitting them to trainers so put on on my slippers to check! They fit fine, but the foot pops out at the back of the slippers. If only they had a full heel I'd have a go with the slippers, but my heel would pull out if the crampon got stuck. Still I reckon grade II would go easily, warmth would be an issue that I'm worried about even though they are fluffy, after going getting major hot aches in the toes after I walked in across snow in some crocs once... ( https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/34308_409125698004_6035655_n.jpg hopefully the link'll work.)

In reply to CurlyStevo:

My reply about the crampons being incorrectly fitted is because I've seen a lot of people using strappy crampons without wrapping the strap around the ankle, only going forward to the toe and across the front of the boot which makes it far more likely for the crampon to fall off.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
Which B1 boots do you own out of interest?

You do realise the Seracs are not really that light? They are heavier than G12 which are heavier than G10 and the G10 are not really a lightweight crampon as such. Also that in Grivel crampons atleast the newmatic fitting is actually lighter than the new classic fitting?
jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> Which B1 boots do you own out of interest?

Salewa Ravens, as for lightness of crampons, they are lighter than the G14. (1150gm compared to 850gm,) but are not made of softer metal so they wear out quickly.

CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
The Seracs are listed at 1080 grams on the needlesports site which is almost definately with anti bailing plates, whilst the G12 is 1050 with plates for the same model / set up.
jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Sorry, my kitchen scales must be faulty. There should still be a 300gm gap though.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
The flexi bar will be lighter, but then the strap fitting is likely heavier (well it is with grivel crampons anyways)
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
Raven Combi GTX ?
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
Yeah looks like Salewa Raven Combi GTX
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=517299

Firstly thats a B2 boot not a B1. Secondly its not any lighter than the B3 Jorasses (25 grams per boot) and they are a fair amount heavier than many other B2 boots.
jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Interesting. How do you work that one out? I've had them described as B1's and B1.5's, but never B2's. But that was only from gear retailers, you found something different?

Normally when people shop for boots, they try to get ones that fit best while still doing what they want them to do. There may be other boots that are 25 g lighter but that is irrelevant if your boot is full of blood from burst blisters.

Scarpa Jorasses are claimed to be 1700g as well, while my Salewa's are 1650g, so I don't know where you are getting your "facts," from...

Remember my "light," is in comparison to my "heavy," which for me is the difference between Ravens and Nepals and it is quite a difference (and I'm loving it!)
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
"Interesting. How do you work that one out? I've had them described as B1's and B1.5's, but never B2's. But that was only from gear retailers, you found something different? "

B1 boots can only take flexible crampons, almost always with no heal welt fitting, these can take semi automatic crampons. Call them bendy B2 or B1.5 I don't really care, they are certainly not your typical B1 boots. Do you not think they would work fine with a G12 newmatic crampon?

"Scarpa Jorasses are claimed to be 1700g as well, while my Salewa's are 1650g, so I don't know where you are getting your "facts," from..."

yeah and thats 25 grams per boot as mentioned (or the same weight as 4 2ps)
jonnie3430 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Do you not think they would work fine with a G12 newmatic crampon?
>
Why not? If I can get a Lynx plastic front bale I'll use them with G14's, or maybe get some G20's and use them, now that would be nice!

> yeah and thats 25 grams per boot as mentioned (or the same weight as 4 2ps)

Oops, my bad, misread your post.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
Well I think you've said all I need to hear to classify them as B2 in the same way Freneys, Jorasses are B3. People do often classify the modern B3 as B2.5 as they do bend to some extent even though they take all C3 crampons (and the same can be said of mont blancs / cumbres once the leather has softened).

You simply can't get a safe fitting of G12 newmatic to B1 boots, thats pretty much the definition of B1 they can only take flexible walking crampons with a strap fitting!!!!
Wesley Orvis - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:

I have been out with lots of people and warned them of the dangers of crampons and bendy summer boots, but to be honest the only times i have seen a crampon pop off is when it was not fitted properly and most people i go out with seem to find climbing grade I's and II's no harder in bendy boots than me in my full C3 crampons and B2.5 winter boots. I think a lot of it is like the rest of the industry you must wear this brand new goretex to be safe in the mountains, you must wear these B3 boots to be safe in the mountains. Pretty soon if it carries on the way it's going the MRT team won't be able to assist in rescues if the victim isn't wearing a grands worth of gear or more.

"No sorry lads leave him alone he's got Regatta's on"

So in my opinion for winter hillwalking you will be fine keeping your summer boots and buy some equally bendy crampons and use the money saved for petrol to get up to Scotland or the Lakes more, when and if the winter conditions arrive.
martinph78 on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:
> (In reply to G30RGE)

> So in my opinion for winter hillwalking you will be fine keeping your summer boots and buy some equally bendy crampons and use the money saved for petrol to get up to Scotland or the Lakes more, when and if the winter conditions arrive.

I agree, that was pretty much what I was getting. Seems it's much more fun to get bogged down in technicalities though!




Bruce Hooker - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

It must be better, and more economical, if the OP gets the right boots for what he is likely to want to do in a year or two right off from the start though, surely?

Basically that's the decision that has to be made, and he's the only one who can make it.
G30RGE - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: anybody give their opinion on these? http://openair.co.uk/product147733/aku-sl-pro-ltr-ii-gtx.aspx
Cost is a major factor for me, especially on the build up to Christmas!!
I'm looking to just get out in the white stuff around snowdonia and the lakes, no hero stuff, just to enjoy the walk.
In reply to G30RGE: Those AKUs are a decent boot, very rigid, quite heavy (but all things are relative). If I had to classify them I would give them B2, though i'm not sure if AKU officially use that 'system' (a flawed one at best)
bluerockman - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE: Haven't read all the replies so this might have already been covered...

I used to boot fit for Cotswold and here is what the line should be...

They can only recommend a crampon going onto a boot that is designed to take crampons. If they knowingly give you incorrect advice("you'll get away with it") which you take and have an accident they are liable. You and the company need to be sure it's a B1 boot. (I've never seen the boot and it wasn't around when I worked there so I can't pass comment). Bottom line on this from a company point of view if it isn't B1 rated or above companies can't recommend a crampon for them. Garmont say that the boot is suitable for Alpine Travel - which to me says crampon compatible, but as it isn't clear, I'd be phoning the rep/supplier and getting conformation on it. If they are then brilliant.

Here's the reality - many of us have a pair of 10 points with a flexible bar that we can put onto our stiff 3 season boots. We've got away with it and been ok. But judging the fit, the security and whether you are inadvertently damaging the crampon that could cause it to fail comes with experience - so I wouldn't recommend for your situation. Secondly the insulation of the boot also needs to be considered

Onto the boots: You MUST get your boots correctly fitted. This means getting an appointment and spending an hour or more (some places do late night opening just for this reason) testing lots of different models - the lasts that they are constructed on are all different; hence the shape and fit are all different. The best boot depends on the shape of your foot matching a boot. A good pair of well fitting boots could last you 5 or more years so you might as well spend the money on them. Both Cotswold and Snow and Rock have good boot fitting services, can't comment on many other shops because I haven't bought boots from them. Boot fitters will have undergone formal training which is important to understand the bio-mechanics and what the foot is doing inside the boot. More importantly, as you try them on, the fitter will understand the feed back you're giving and be able to adjust the boot etc to get the perfect fit - takes time and experience.

Once you've got the boot right the crampon is pretty easy to source. For winter walking look at a 10 point walking crampon. If you think that you're going to progress a little further then it might be worth considering a B2 boot with a crampon to match; most are comfy enough to walk in as well as the rudiments taking things a little further.

Hope that helps
alasdair19 on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE: they look great I have a 2 pairs of Aku's and am very happy with both, however only good if these boots fit your feet so please try them on first.

Any C1 or C2 crampon should fit, they do not need the clip in heel but will be a bit quicker to put on with it.

Have used Camp ice riders very happily and they seem to me excellent value.

have fun
Wesley Orvis - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to G30RGE:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker) anybody give their opinion on these? http://openair.co.uk/product147733/aku-sl-pro-ltr-ii-gtx.aspx

These are the boots i use and have been totally fine for walking and climbing up to III and am sure you could climb up to V in them. I have used them for long walking days ticking off five or six munro's and never had any bother with them, i would give them a B2.5 and have used them for 2 years, i find them a little bit clumbersome for summer scrambling though, you can't really feel the rock very much through them. Very durable boot and you don't really see people in them very often, i find it quite funny when five or six people pass you and between them you have four pairs of Scarpa Manta's and two La Sportiva's. The Aku's are a bargain i paid £150 two years ago and and have showed very little signs of wear apart from the climbing zone and front toe bail have worn away, but make no difference to performance as my crampons have clip at the back but strap over the front.


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