/ Crampons choice help!

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adamholden - on 14 Jan 2014
I am looking for some advice from any winter climbers out there. I am eager to get into winter climbing, I am already a reasonable sport climber but when it comes to crampons etc i am into unknown territory. I understand you will require B3 boots & C3 Crampons for actually climbing but what is the score with the walk-in, do i just sacrifice comfort and use the B3/C3s or buy another set of easier walking crampons? Any help would be hugely appreciated.
Mark Bull - on 14 Jan 2014
In reply to adamholden:

I don't know anyone who carries two sets of crampons on the hill!

One possible option would be to carry a set of microspikes as well as climbing crampons: useful for icy paths, but I'm sure you will soon discover that any extra weight in winter is unwelcome...
adamholden - on 14 Jan 2014
In reply to Mark Bull:

Thanks, i thought i would ask though, I guess its just an awkward/uncomfortable walk in then.
martinph78 on 14 Jan 2014
In reply to adamholden:

It's the stiffness of the boots that causes the "discomfort", not the crampons. So if you were to walk-in in comfort you'd need two sets of boots!

I did this in the Andes, but the multi-day walk-in's made it worth while carrying the plastics on my back and walking up in my hiking boots(and I stand by that to this day!). As soon as crampons were needed though I switched to plastics so only took the one set of crampons. We left a cache of gear at the base of the glacier though, so I didn't carry my hiking boots with me to the summit :p
In reply to adamholden:

Don't get too hung up on the whole B/C thing. Plenty of modern boots that people climb ridiculously hard in are termed B2 in the UK (I don't think anyone uses the system in the rest of the world) and people are climbing the hardest routes in the world with classic "C2" crampons.

With some general, crampon compatible mountaineering boots (which now can be light and comfy enough to walk in all day) and classic 12 point crampons you'll be able to go from grade I to VII if you're good enough.
rossmckenzie123 - on 24 Jan 2014
In reply to adamholden:

Adam, I am getting into winter walking (not climbing) and found Andy Kirkpatrick's article on crampons very interesting and informative. Here is link to it and hope you find it useful:

http://www.andy-kirkpatrick.com/articles/view/getting_the_right_crampon

Kind regards, Ross
crayefish - on 24 Jan 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Don't get too hung up on the whole B/C thing. Plenty of modern boots that people climb ridiculously hard in are termed B2 in the UK.

And some B3 boots are almost like wearing trainers on the walk in! (stiff sole, flexible upper).
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Tim Chappell - on 24 Jan 2014
In reply to adamholden:

> I guess its just an awkward/uncomfortable walk in then.


It depends on your priorities. Me, I can get absolute misery from my feet, and blisters that mean I can barely walk for 3 days. So foot comfort is numero uno for me. That means I use boots that aren't absolutely top-end rigid-soled ice-climbing boots, and am very careful how I lace them before I start climbing. It also means I carry duck tape a lot. And if the boots have been troubling me recently--these things seem to go in phases--it means I am quite prepared to walk in in trainers and shoulder the extra weight once I get to the route.


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