ANATOMY OF A CRAMPON
Every crampon frame has two parts:
- Back, for the heel.
- Front, for the metatarsal region and toe.
The points are located on the bottom of the crampon, usually following the shape of the boot and organized in more or less symmetrical pairs (except the varying lengths of the front points). These are attached to some type of anti-bot system.
Bindings (which can be âstrapsâ, âautomaticâ or âsemi-automaticâ) at the heel and toe keep the crampon attached to the boot.
TYPES OF CRAMPONS
TYPES OF FRONT POINTS
Crampons can be categorized according to their front points:
- Technical or climbing crampon, with vertical front points
- âWalkingâ crampons with horizontal front points
In contrast, using a vertical monopoint instead of a horizontal front point provides a number of advantages when ice climbing.
- Use short points for rock climbing and mixed terrain.
- Use long points for snow and ice.
These are the classic front points with a horizontal section and downward curving points.
New wraparound systems that improve the cramponâs grip in the snow are starting to hit the market.
In general, horizontal front points end in a sharp point to provide a solid grip on the ice (something thatâs always a possibility on the high mountain), but wider points shaped like a screwdriver are also available and provide better grip on uneven snow.
It all started when the front points were added to crampons: suddenly, the myths of unclimbable terrain became a thing of the past.
If simply adding front points managed to do all thatâ¦what happens when those points are shaped like the tip of ice ax? The grip on ice becomes incredibly solid and reliable.
Various combinations, such as secondary or T-shaped points, counteract the grip on the snow that is lost when changing direction.
It didnât stop there. A single point instead of two makes climbing with unprecedented precision and making moves that were traditionally impossible with dual-points, like pivoting laterally, possible.
Monopoint crampons are used when it comes to technical climbing. Many users buy modular crampons and use the dual-point design until they try out the monopoint; the wide range of technical possibilities with the monopoint compensates for the stronger grip of the dual-point.
As for stability, a second pair of points come into play to compensate.
Tip: Long, sharp point for ice; short point with a 90-degree edge for rock and mixed terrain.
TYPES OF BINDINGS
Binding systems include:
This is the classic binding system. A strap attaches the front and back of the crampon to the foot.
This system is the most basic and the least solid; however, it is also the most universal and versatile and can fit almost any boot, even snowboarding boots.
These bindings comprise a steel wire bail that fits the toe of rigid boots (works with most rigid and ski boots) and a bail or lever that fits the heel.
When the bail is lifted and the crampon is properly adjusted to the boot, this automatic step-in binding attaches firmly with a characteristic âclickâ. An additional strap on the heel keeps the boot from accidentally slipping out of the crampon.
This automatic step-in system provides several advantages:
- Secure fit
- Adjustment options (the boot can be moved forward or backward on the crampon for use on rocks or ice, for example)
This is a hybrid of classic straps and an automatic step-in binding that combines a toe strap with a step-in heel and can be used with any rigid boot on the market along with a wide range of semi-rigid or summer boots. The back bail used with step-in bindings make these semi-automatic models much more comfortable for snow walking.
These are versatile bindings that can be used with both winter and summer boots. They are the most comfortable to wear, so they are very popular for use in extreme cold (eight-thousanders, polar expeditions) where the use of thick gloves makes it harder to handle crampons.
Disadvantages: While designed for technical climbing, the boot cannot move forward or backwards with semi-automatic bindings and are less precise and more bulky.
Edelrid was the first with its Shark model: a modular model that features all three binding systems in one crampon. Petzl came out with its model last year, improving the design and applying the system to its entire crampon range.
TYPE OF ACTIVITY
CLASSIC (horizontal front points):
- Snow walking
- Classic and multipurpose climbing
- Mixed terrain
TECHNICAL (vertical front points):
- Technical mountain climbing
- Rock climbing
BARRABES 2017 CLASSIC CRAMPONES COLLECTION
CLASSIC (horizontal front points):
- G10 is a walking crampon. The wider WIDE version is ideal for snowboarding or other wide boots.
- G12 Features a total of 12 points. Versatile crampon that can be used from everything from snow walking to vertical climbs. Its long points deliver outstanding grip. Infallible.
- AIR TECH: Lightweight model that can used for a full range of activities, although it truly shines on rocky and mixed terrain.
- AIR TECH LIGHT: This 590-gram model boasts the same design as the AIR TECH but in lightweight aluminum, and includes an extra surface between the front tips for enhanced grip on snow.
- IRVIS: Ten-pointed ultra-compact model now available with three binding systems for a fully versatile crampon. Aggressive points make it the perfect choice for any climb.
- VASAK: The 12-point new Vasak design has improved its anti-bot system and features a new wraparound shape and a variety of binding options. The tips are somewhat shorter and wider for maximum stability.
- STALKER: Multi-purpose and lightweight mountaineering crampon with twelve steel tips and an excellent elastic strap for use with hard or soft boots. Great price.
- C12: High-quality crampons with aggressive points for ice, suitable for wider boots, and lightweight despite their steel construction.
- XLC 390: The aluminum bar can only be used with hard boots that wonât split with continuous bending. However, at 390 grams these crampons are hard to resist.
- XLC NANOTECH:The lightest stainless-steel crampons in the world, this model features sharp front points (also nanotech) attached to an XLC. Perfect for ski mountaineering, of course.
This is an âall-around rock-climbing cramponâ. Careful with the automatic binding bails, which are not compatible with ski boots.
- CONTACT: Solid ten-point crampon. Good for any lightweight, sturdy, maintenance-free boot.
- SERAC: The Serac is the twelve-point version.
- SABRETOOTH: Model for mixed terrain. Wrap-around design with ample short and ridged points for enhanced grip and stability.
- ICE CLASSIC:For any terrain and any boot for less than â¬65.
- SHARK:The prestigious German brand Edelrid is well known for its track record of innovation. The Shark was the first crampon with three binding systems in one and full-coverage front points.
- FAKIR:Versatile twelve-point crampon with a solid reputation and unbeatable price.
TECHNICAL (vertical front points):
- G14:Extremely versatile and lightweight, reliable in vertical terrain.
- G20:Minimal yet extremely aggressive design for technical mountain and rock climbing, at 794 grams per pair this crampon is the lightest on the market.
- SARKEN: Dual-point for the most popular kinds of climbing: snow walks and easy climbs.
- LYNX: Modular crampon: long or short monopoint and long or short dual-point.
- DART AND DARTWIN:Two extremely technical crampons simplified to the max: Dart (monopoint) and Dartwin (dual-point).
- BLADE RUNNER: Packed with exclusive innovations, these crampons can be used with vertical or horizontal monopoints or dual-points. Heel plate adjustment (another innovation). Features unprecedented adjustment options.
- CYBORG: All-around modular, monopoint or dual-point crampon in stainless steel.
- STINGER: The only one of its kind with an interchangeable and anti-bot front tip on the front plate.
- HAUTE ROUTE: Front plate in âbombproofâ steel with a reduced size and weight and fixed bails for the best fit for ski boots on the market.
- SKITOUR AND SKIRACE: Front plate in âbombproofâ steel with a reduced size and weight and fixed bails for the best fit for ski boots on the market.
- LEOPARD: A lightweight model for ski mountaineering.
- TOUR 350: At 350 grams, thereâs no excuse for not wearing crampons.
- RACE 290: Competition crampon with the first textile center bar (in Dyneema Tape), color-coded for left and right and with Dynafit heel. 290 grams. Amazing.