/ Replacement general purpose crampons

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oldie - on 07 Jan 2017
Looking for replacement general purpose crampons.
Have recently bought North Face Verto S4K boots (fairly light, widish B2s, UK9.5, heel welt only).
Currently have vintage 12 point Salewa DBP flexible, steel crampons with ring binding with front and rear straps and pin buckles, and short, downward sloping front points rather near to the secondary ones. There's an image of similar here: https://heavywhalley.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/1983
The old crampons leave a largish gap due to the boot sole rocker, exacerbated by the long front part compared to modern crampons, and also a slight sideways movement due to a space between the second uprights and boots near the instep. The bindings are very time consuming compared to modern ones
Have tried on various crampons and liked different aspects of BD Serac, Grivel Air Tech and CT Nuptse (all had hybrid/New Matic binding option).
I'd welcome some thoughts on the following.
One problem is none of these models follows the line of the edge of the boot sole as well as the Salewas; the downward points being either well inside the outer edge or inside both edges. Question 1: Does this matter? One sales assistant insisted it didn't, saying all one's weight is directed through the spikes (I can imagine a foot turning eg walking on hard, stony ground, and problems climbing if the points are away from the inner edge).
Question 2. Is it worth persisting with the old crampons? Possibly with some sort of spacer between crampon and toe end of sole and also on upright. The crampons only have 2 uprights (with rings for straps) towards the back of the heel so a modern single double ring buckle strap system might be be an option (possibly partly DIY).
Duncan Beard - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to oldie:

I have the same boots & use the Nuptse. I have size 11 / 45.5. They were a great combo in the Ecrins last year. I have other boots & another pair of crampons. All combinations give a similar result to what you say i.e. the crampon inside edge is well within the sole profile. I can't say I've noticed any real problem with this on the S4Ks. When walking on hard snow/ice in the Cairngorms last year in some Trango Extremes I did notice an inward tipping sensation sometimes, possibly due to my weight being more on the inside set punching them in first.
thlcr1 on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to oldie:

I used to use exactly the same Salewa crampons, then later used the original Grivel 2F's. In both cases as you say all the points were around the edge of the boots and felt fine for walking. In recent years I've use Grivel G14s on size 46 Scarpa Jorasses Pro's. Probably because the Scarpas are extremely asymmetric the points were close to the inside edge but miles away from the outside. Walking on uneven ground, particularly frost/ice covered boulders just under the snow I was always going over on my ankle with the foot turning outwards. Drove me mad and was sometimes incredibly painful. Thought if it carried on I was eventually going to twist an ankle. End of last winter I got some asymmetric bars for the G14's. That put the crampons much more in the centre of the sole but the front points angle inwards by what looks a ridiculous amount. Never got try that combo. The Jorasses were always agony for me to walk in, and this year I found some Mammut B3's which I find much more comfortable. They are much less asymmetric than the Jorasses, and with the standard bar the crampons fit very much in the middle of the sole. Havant had a chance to try them yet, but hoping they will be better. It seems to me most modern crampons have a very narrow fore foot for large size boots, sort of a one size fits nobody. So for your questions 1) yes it might matter 2)Not sure, but if those Salewa's are as old as mine I'd be worried about metal fatigue and whether there was enough of the points left.

Lee
thlcr1 on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to oldie:

Forgot to mention in my previous post that I've also got a pair of Camp Ice Rider crampons which I've used for several years with a couple of different pairs of B2's. They seem a bit wider in the fore foot than the Grivel's ( if a bit shorter) and seem to "fill" the soles of the B2's better than the G14's do with the B3's. Never had any feeling of instability with them. Only bought the G14's because the Camps's didn't fit the Scrapa Jorasses very well. I guess it probably worth trying various combos in the hope of finding something that fits well, but sometimes difficult to find a dealer with much choice.

Lee
oldie - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to thlcr1:

Thanks both. Will try Camp crampons before I decide.
Can see why many people now use Kahtoola spikes for walking on easy, icy ground, at least one friend takes them together with crampons when climbing.
thlcr1 on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to oldie:

> Thanks both. Will try Camp crampons before I decide.

> Can see why many people now use Kahtoola spikes for walking on easy, icy ground, at least one friend takes them together with crampons when climbing.

Don't think the Camp Ice Rider is available anymore. Think the current one is the Stalker. No idea what's that's like for fit. Funnily enough got some microspikes for me and the misuses last month after an embarrassing walk in the lake district when we couldn't get up Cat Bells due to ice on the path! Of course its been sub tropical ever since not used them yet

Lee



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