/ C2 or C3 crampons for la Sportive Nepal evo's

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J.B.R.Hartley on 20 Dec 2012 - mail.levenshulmehigh.org [proxy11.th.ifl.net]
I have bought La sportiva Nepal evo gtx's boots for Winter mountaineering in scotland this winter and some ice climbing and I keep getting mixed advice on what crampon to buy.

One piece of advice is to buy a C3 crampon regardless that I will be mountaineering as the boot are a very rigid boot regardless hence there wouldnt be much point in having a more flexible C2 crampon youi may as where a c3 that can do everything. But I worry they would be too rigid and become agony.

Another piece of advice is to get an all rounder C2 crampon that can do both mountaineering, steep ice, and ice climbing.

the advice I have been given is from the common shop assistants in such places as Ellis Bringham, Snow and Rock etc.

Any help would be great.

Merry Christmas

ianstevens - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley: Its a B3 boot, so regardless of what crampon you put on it, it will as stiff as a B3 boot.

To answer you crampon question, I'd go for a 'do it all' style crampon that you can use for everything and convert to mono point if necessary. Something like a G14 (I know Petzl/BD have equivalents, just not what they're called)would cover all your bases.

Having said that, a G12 style crampon (less climbing orientated) would serve you fine as a beginner.
kermit_uk - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley:

I have nepal extremes and went with grivel g14s they are c3 fit the boots perfectly (very important i think) and can do everything dual or mono front points. C2 crampons will be fine for mountaineering but if you are going to use them on steep ice then vertical front points are better. G14 still have a flat frame so dont ball up when walkin in.

I looked at a lot of crampons and didnt feel any came close to the g14 for quality ease of setup and fit to boot.

Liked the look of the lynx but once in my hand just felt a bit gimmicky and didnt fit nepals perfectly.

With a rigid boot only adv i can see of softer crampons is they will be lighter. Not gonna be much comfier to walk in assuming you go for a flat framed c3 crampon. Andy K did a really good blog somewhere about all the different types of crampons. Think he classed g14 as c2.5 rigid crampons vertical front points but flat frame.

Just my thoughts!

ianstevens - on 20 Dec 2012
McGuinness - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley: you've got a b3 boot so go for a c3 crampomatic crampon. They won't be agony as the boot you have is stiff. I've got black diamond sabretooth pro crampons. Very happy with them so far. Haven't tested them out on anything hard, but sure you could climb V in them quite comfortably and they're good all round anyway, even for plodding up easy stuff and alpine peaks. Go for the cyborg pro model if you're going to be doing steep ice or hard mixed climbing.
J.B.R.Hartley on 20 Dec 2012 - mail.levenshulmehigh.org [proxy11.th.ifl.net]
In reply to kermit_uk:

Thanks Kermit and to all others that have replied.

The G-14 is what I have been personally looking at recently so now I feel abit better with my own personal choice after this feed I reckon I'll go for them.

Thanks Everyone.

Merry Christmas

Happy Adventures
kermit_uk - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley:

no probs i am size 14 with nepal extreme my mate is an 8 with nepal evos and we both have g14 crampomatics. They fit so well you'd think they are made by the same company. You wont go wrong with them.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley:
Firstly I'd choose the crampon you want and then the fitting. If you can I'd always go for the newmatic style with the basket fitting on the front and the heel lever on the back. They are quicker to get on, fall off less, and IMO if well fitted the boot and crampon are actually more rigidly held together.

With respect to G14, I don't think the front point protrusion is very good on Nepals (with the crampomatic fitting atleast) and as a monopoint there are much better monopoint crampons out there. I very much doubt you'll actually switch around much from mono to dual, most people tend to choose one or the other.

Personally I'd buy a mountaineering crampon initially, something like the newmatic G12 (these fit nepals really nicely) or perhaps the newmatic airtech.

Later on when you need it I'd buy a specialist monopoint crampon, something like the Darts, G20 are good for lightweight crampons, or if you want more support rambos are great.

Personally I'd never buy a crampon before fitting it to my boot. The main factors you are looking for are:
- The sole of the boots should follow the shape of the crampon nicely.
- The front points should have enough protrusion.
- The downward points on the crampon should be evenly spread width wise across the sole of the boot.
- The heel should fit nicely in to the heel posts and not slip too far back.
- The crampon to boot should be held firmly in place.
- If getting a newmatic style crampon you should be able to lift the boot up and the crampon should stay on the boot from the posts alone without being done up.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to kermit_uk:
Can I ask if you have used the G14s on Nepals much yet? I owned crampomatic G14s and nepals and used them together for several years.

I tend to agree with Andy Kirkpatrics that G14 are not really C3 crampons and C2.5 would be more accurate. I think his advice regarding C2.5 crampons and preferring the newmatic style fitting is spot on. (see the above article!)
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to ianstevens:
"In reply to J.B.R.Hartley: Its a B3 boot, so regardless of what crampon you put on it, it will as stiff as a B3 boot."

Thats not the case with most modern B3 boots. If you pair say a Freney (or most the modern non plastics) with a Rambo, the boots will flex quite a bit less when you front point steep ice than a hinged crampon like the G14.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley:
If you do decide to go for a crampomatic style crampon you may need to bend the bail bar to get a good fitting to the boot (I certainly did for G14 to Nepals). The bail bar should follow the shape of the boot welt well and not protrude too much from the sides of the boot. Another option is to buy a different set of bails which do fit your boots well out of the box. I'm sure others will be able to advise in this respect but I think G20 bails fit nepals pretty nicely.
Dan_S - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Thats not the case with most modern B3 boots. If you pair say a Freney (or most the modern non plastics) with a Rambo, the boots will flex quite a bit less when you front point steep ice than a hinged crampon like the G14.

Really? You're strapping two metal plates (the crampon) tightly to the bottom of a rigid structure (the boot sole) would you care to explain where this flex is coming from?

Having used a loaned pair of G10s with a flexible bar on my B3 boots (Raichle All Degree Exp) for a bit of glacier wandering, there was no noticeable flexing of the crampon in any way shape or form, and walking in them felt exactly the same (apart from the lack of long point to trip over) as walking in my Terminators.

To the OP: Have a look at the Petzl Lynx crampons too, similar to the G14, but come with various fittings so you can adapt them to different boots easily.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Dan_S:
Because modern B3 boots that are non plastic have mid soles that are based on fibres and bend. Most modern B3 boots are designed to take rigid C3 crampons but still have a bit of flex for walking.

I'm not saying for sure your B3 boots don't flex, just the most do a bit (including nepals, especially in larger sizes on heavier people). Here's some of the write for jorasses for example "A little bit of flex ensures greater comfort without reducing the ability to take a fully rigid crampon"

Cold Thistle talks a bit about this, there is even a vid up there showing plastics flex a little bit! (if you can be bothered to find it)

steveshaking - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: it may be that your observation about g14 point protrusion is linked to your preference for avoiding full step in. I have g14 with wire bail, the fit and security is brilliant and the points are well forward. Perhaps plastic bails create more variation in where the points end up, I have others mentioning this.?
Really its best to check fit and point protrusion issues in the shop, I can only speak for size 45 fitting ang working realy well, as somne else said, as if made for each other.
While plastic bails will obviously fit more boots, if you already have boots that take step in then this isn't really an issue.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to steveshaking:
"it may be that your observation about g14 point protrusion is linked to your preference for avoiding full step in."

Nope on two counts, as already mentioned:
- I've owned G14 crampomatic and nepals in size 46 and used them extensively together when I lived in Scotland.
- I didn't say to avoid crampomatic crampons completely I said they are preferable if the desired crampon model has the option.

One thing that is worth noting is that there is some variation in the G14 toe bail bars and this can effect front point protrusion.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to steveshaking:
I take it from you resent post regarding nepals that these are new boots for you? Wait until the soles and front points wear a bit and I think you'll notice quite a reduction in front point protrusion and no further adjustment available on the crampon. The best solution is to get different toe bail bars when this occurs.
steveshaking - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: yes they new, the combo is new to me too, so only managed 2days worth of climbing so far. It's just that compared to my previous set up its really good, the bail is adjustable and presently its on the forward holes so I could increase protrusion that way. Also the mono point change moves the points forward too. All that said I am not a veteran user so the problems of boot and crampon wear are yet to be experienced. Anyone else experienced the protusion and wear issues with this set up? These can turn out to be expensive problems to sort.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to steveshaking:
"These can turn out to be expensive problems to sort."

Not really toe bail bars are cheap as chips a set of G20 or rambo bars would cost you less than 20 quid and they definitely improve the front point protrusion over the old stock G12 / G14 bail bars.

One of the issues with the stock (3+ years ago) G14 bars used to be that they were better suited for old style plastic boots that are relatively symmetric and wide at the front, this meant the fit to modern asymmetric narrower boots was not so good. If you are getting good front point protrusion on the front set of holes it is possible they have changed this in the last year or two?

To the OP: In any case I'd read Andy Kirkpatrik's article carefully (http://andy-kirkpatrick.com/articles/view/getting_the_right_crampon) and personally only discount his advise of getting the newmatics over crampomatics if you are sure you know better!

What I don't like about the mono point set up on the G14:
- Heavy compared to G20 / darts etc.
- Not as supportive as Rambos.
- It lifts the point up so the whole boot sits only on the front point instead of sitting on the frame and point like most other monos.
- With the toe bail bars I've tried (3 pairs from grivel of G14 toe bail bars) the front point protrusion was not very good on my nepals once the sole got a bit worn down and the toe bail bars were bent to fit the boots nicely.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
steveshaking - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: Cost-wise I mean its expensive it you buy a binding set up you then feel becomes less than idea - new wires aren't expensive, but swoping the front half of a g14 to a plasic bail would be - they are finished differently.
I should post a picture so you can comment on the fit, the wire could be bent a bit to increase conformity, but I would say its good enough without doing this - it cirtainly meets the Cold thistle test to not being able to move it. Just worried now about future issues.
The AK link is interesting, I have read it before. But I have also read things like this about Newmatic on G14 hence my first post;

"Don't work with small feet Date:November 26, 2012
I've had these crampons for 4 years, and constantly got told how horrible my foot placements are. I could safely lead to about WI4, but even toproping harder stuff just didn't go well. Was about to give up ice climbing out of frustration (just did not seem to progress), when I finally borrowed my friend's Rambos for one day, and hey, REVELATION! Suddenly my feet were secure, etc.
When comparing to the G-14s, I realized what was wrong: Because I got small feet (39 womens), my boots came forward way too much with the plastic front. I had it on mono, but only had about a cm of front point before my foot would hit the ice. Means, kicking often didn't work, and I only got very little purchase.
I've since moved on to G22s, footwork has improved dramatically, and I really like climbing more technical ice now as well as being way more solid overall. So, if you have small feet at least, DO NOT BUY THESE!!
Cons: Heavy, front point too short, plastic front too wide for short feet".

So its the usual hard business of putting this all this together for your needs.
All I can say is so far the step-in isn't (as AK says in his artical too)quick and easy to put on if you are on snow as locating the lugs and needing to push things firmly into place is hard if snow is obscuring things and creating a soft platform. But once on, so far, with very little wear, they are solid and and a delight. But I have gone from stap on to step in, missing out the plastic bail - obviously lots of people do say they are equally good or better in some respects. If I lost them tomorrow I would buy them again, what I would do in 5 years is another question.
Can't comment on mono points, I have just changed to mono to try it next trip out.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to steveshaking:
i recently helped a friend buy crampons for his nepals also size 46. The g12 newmatic are a very good fit. The front point protrusion is fine although Id prefer them slightly longer as they are on the sabretooths. Still its totally acceptable in their unworn state. For dual points the ideal length is approx 2-3 cm and monos about 1cm longer than this. You measure this by attaching to boots and sitting them up right. Then place a ruler vertically down across the front of the boot and from the point it meets the points measure the horizontal protrusion (i mean vertical snd horizontal do not measure the length of the slanted points from where they meet the boot.).For mountaineering crampons you can get away fine with slightly shorter points than vertical points. Also for snow and ice you ideally want longer points than mixed.

Have you read this also?
The Ex-Engineer - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley: James, the issue is that both sets of advice are actually completely correct!

Unfortunately, the problem for you (and others) is that people are confused over the definition of a C3 crampon and there has been a subtle shift in crampon design over the last two decades. This means the different people have been talking at cross purposes.

'Back in the day' C3 crampons were defined as being fully rigid. However, fully rigid crampons have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Apart from the Grivel Rambo Evo 4, 'rigid' C3 crampons no longer exist.

However, what we do have is loads of semi-rigid designs with 'crampomatic' bindings. Someone with 15+ years of experience would classify them as C2 and not C3 as they are not fully rigid, however someone newer to climbing (and not familiar with rigid crampons) would classify them as C3 on the basis that they have a metal toe bale design.

The concern about avoiding rigid (old style) C3 crampons for general mountaineering is entirely correct. Equally, the advice to consider buying semi-rigid (new style) C3 crampons is also entirely correct.

Hope that helps explain why you have been confused.
CurlyStevo - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
I can see why the front toe bail bar hinged crampons are often classified as C2.5 as they are only really suitable for B3 boots (in the main anyways)
Kevin Rutherford on 21 Dec 2012 - host86-165-28-111.range86-165.btcentralplus.com
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley: "some ice climbing" If its a crampon for mostly winter mountaineering then that type of crampon is what you need.
Petzl Vasak, Grivel g12, BD Serac. I wear Nepal Evos and Vasaks, work well for me, both mountaineering and climbing.
Kid Spatula - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley:

Look at Petzl Sarkens as well. Best of both worlds crampon wise, pretty much do anything you want.

I use them for alpiney type stuff and have had a few occasions where I've been very glad of the vertical front points!
neuromancer - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Ecosse Mountains:

What would be inappropriate about a g14, for example, that a g12 would be better at, if you were, say, going to do 85% mountaineering, 15% mixed climbing.
CurlyStevo - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to neuromancer:
I think up to about IV 4 you are quite unlikely to notice any limitations of using a mountaineering crampon whether climbing mixed or ice, yet you are likely to see some positives.

As a single all round crampon for fairly easy winter climbing (up to and including IV,4) and walking as well as straight forward summer alpine a winter mountaineering crampon is the best choice. I started on the G14, I hardly use them now instead favouring either the Rambos or the Sabretooths. Mountaineering crampons will perform atleast as well if not better in most snow conditions and also cruddier ice, as well as being better for walking in.
Kevin Rutherford on 21 Dec 2012 - host86-165-28-111.range86-165.btcentralplus.com
In reply to neuromancer: see above
CurlyStevo - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Ecosse Mountains:
I guess realistically we are splitting hairs just about any crampon will do the job, some are better than others for specific uses. Realistically G14, G12, Vasak, Sarken and many others will all do the job fine. I think a mountaineering crampon with a newmatic fitting has the edge for a single general purpose crampon for walks and climbs up to around grade IV, but that's just an opinion.
steveshaking - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: The http://bigfootmountainguides.com/2010/12/27/crampon-overviewreview/ picture of g14s does indicate poor point protrusion and got me worried.
Now its the weekend and had time to get my stuff out. I currently have them as mono points, I get 28mm protrusion and they just don't look like the photo in the link above - I am submitting a photo, but it takes time. Moving the bails back would give another 8mm or so.
May be something has changed in the boot or crampon as point sharpening and sole wear aren't going to eat up that much length - new points and later on resoling will be options as this does start to progress. I will post the photos it this threat hasn't disappeared into irrelevance by the time they are approved.
kermit_uk - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley:

I saw that photo too and it seemed wrong. Mine are currently set up in dual point and I get 24 mm with the bail on the front holes. I think that's more than adequate. There is also and easy option to macgyver the front bail should you want a bit more, but still can move back to rear holes and I like the idea of drilling more should you need to but to be honest can't see that being necessary.
steveshaking - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to kermit_uk: Yes, this photo http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=210810 (just about, sorry about the lighting) shows the sole to just come up to the point that the tip curves and from the sole the horizontal protrusion is 28mm, I guess 24mm would be about right if they were in dual point. This is with no bending of the wire - can't see a need.
Dane/Coldthistle has tried to get going data on fit as it all seems such a black art. The fit of these is such that with the front bail in the groove and the back of the boot on the crampon I can lift the boots up and the crampon stays in place (with the rear lever left dangling).
CurlyStevo - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to steveshaking: 24mm is a bit short for vertical points imo on ice or neve imo.

the lifting up test is only really applicable to nematic crampons.

with stock bail bars my experience is the the fit is not as good as it should be and gets worse over time. Another user on here says his slip off his nepals about once a year with stock bail bars. personally id tweak the shape or replace them.
CurlyStevo - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to steveshaking: 28mm is also a bit short for a neve or ice mono. 35mm would be about ideal imo.
CurlyStevo - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to steveshaking: Also sole wear and bail bar aging makes a big difference to protrusion on g14.
kermit_uk - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to J.B.R.Hartley:

in mono with the bail on the rear holes i get 42mm ish so dual point but with the bail on rear holes i guess id be getting over 30mm.

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