/ La Sportiva Makalu with G14 Cramp-o-matic

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steveshaking - on 11 Nov 2012
I know this isn't state of the art stuff, but will this combination work, has anybody got experience of it working.
In theory Makalu's are B3, the la Sportiva site says they take step in crampons http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwear/mountain/makalu , they have a steel shank, they have the groove at the toe, they seem to fit well on my boot.... but before I find myself halfway up something with a crampon hanging off - has anybody used or seen this combination in action?
Thanks
Cameron94 on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to steveshaking: Give it a bash on non serious ground and see how it works/if you're happy with it.
cannichoutdoors - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to steveshaking: Makalus are B1s. I'm on my second pair, and my wife uses them as well. The steel shank is not full length and is reflective of the age of the design in that this was how they achieved a measure of stiffness before more modern sole materials were available. They are also quite heavy for a B1, almost as much as Nepals, hence the confusion, possibly. Great boots for general mountaineering though.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to cannichoutdoors:
la sportiva site claims they have a 1.5mm FULL steal shank and they can take automatic crampons which would seem to suggest the boots are B3.

If you read user reports on line there are a lot of people suggesting they are too flexible for fully rigid C3's and others saying they have used them for years with makalus with no issue.

Personally I'd tend to err on the side of caution and get a either strap on C1 style crampon ( if you don't intend to get on any / much steep ground) or a newmatic style C2 crampon otherwise.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to steveshaking:
By the way many people now a days prefer the newmatic fitting anyway and G14 can be bought with this fitting. I think its easier to put on and less likely to come off, and actually if anything more solid if its a good fit (you can tell this as the crampon should stay on the boot when lifted without doing up the strap, and the sole of the boot should be well aligned to the shape of the crampon). One thing I'm not so keen on with G10 / G12 / g14 is the front point protrustion can be a bit poor on moderm boots. Black diamond crampons are much better in this regard.

Personally I'd probably suggest a general mountaineering crampon such as the newmatic g12 may be a better choice as your first crampon but there really isn't going to be a huge amount of difference.
BruceM - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to steveshaking:

Mountaineers have used Makalus with rear clip on crampons for years. Including me. Most don't trust the front welt for front bale crampons. There is a bit of sole flex, and even rear clip/front strap will pop very occassionally under certain size combinations and wearing situations (had it happen about twice descending fast down steep slopes facing downwards). Kind-of "walk" out of them.

So you do have to take a little care. However, rear clip, front strap are the defacto standard crampon combo for Makalu wearers.

Also if you are thinking about extended front pointing, then they don't cut the mustard. Bashed up toes and knackered calves from not enough sole/ankle support. For a hundred metres of less-than-bullet-proof ice up the final slopes of a mountain they are fine.

Also Makalus changed in design over the years. The more modern versions give slightly less support in the ankle and the sole is not as precise.
steveshaking - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: thanks for your answers, I guess I am asking for a definitive answer based on experience rather than advice as I already have the boots and crampons. They were a special offer in that fitting only. I do have another pair of old g10 strap only bindings that I am up grading from. Maybe I have found the perfect excuse to upgrade my boots too. But so far I have found they fine for ice, and no way could they be described as b1, perhaps they are a soft and low Tec b3?
Glen - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to steveshaking:

I had some makalu's years ago that I used with full step in crampons (with wire front bale). I never had a problem with them, although I don't think I did any proper steep climbing with that combination.

If the newer ones are the same as the ones I had (they look the same), they certainly are not B3 (they are fairly stiff, but definitely some flex).
However, 100% rigidity is not required for step-in crampons. Take a look at the animated image of the flex in the scarpa phantoms here for example:
http://coldthistle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/systems.html
steveshaking - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to BruceM: I wonder if the discrepancies come from different user weights, I'm around 75kg with size 45 boots, so relatively light for my shoe size. I guess they do have a safety strap to avert total disaster.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to steveshaking:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo) thanks for your answers, I guess I am asking for a definitive answer based on experience rather than advice as I already have the boots and crampons. They were a special offer in that fitting only. I do have another pair of old g10 strap only bindings that I am up grading from. Maybe I have found the perfect excuse to upgrade my boots too. But so far I have found they fine for ice, and no way could they be described as b1, perhaps they are a soft and low Tec b3?

Sorry was the information I provided from the La Sportiva website not good enough for you? My advise was further backed up by Bruce who uses these boots.

I was also partially pointing out the some of the advise you did already get from people who own these boots is contradictory to that on the La Sportiva website.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Glen:
Most modern B3 boots that are not plastic flex now a days.
steveshaking - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: heck, I did say thanks, you went to a lot of trouble. But I did already supply the la sortiva link myself, and I have also done the googling thing, which has given ambiguous results. so it was experiences I was after. But I guess its an unusual combination - things move on.
steveshaking - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: I guess not, but this is an interesting development, pity he doesn't say what binding he's using, but the photo looks fully automatic.
Glen - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Glen)
> Most modern B3 boots that are not plastic flex now a days.


I know, but i believe the original definition that Brian Hall came up with for B3 was "Fully rigid boots...", which suggests no flex.

However, virtually no one outside the uk, nor most manufacturers, use this system anyway. Boots are usually just rated as stiff enough for steep climbing and/or step in crampon bindings, or they aren't.
CurlyStevo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Glen:
Aye there is also the lateral stiffness of the boot to consider. B3s tend to be laterally stiffer than B2s also.

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