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Kit advice page - Crampons
Welcome to this kit focus
We are in the process of developing these equipment advice pages for many of the key items of equipment, in order to help people prepare better for their trips. We are always editing these pages, so if you have any feedback about information we should add to the page, please let us know.
This page has largely been written by Emma from our Windermere HQ, and it's here that most people have their first contact with us, in person or on the phone. We feel it's important that all our staff are experts on the mountains and kit we offer, so we are all involved in developing these advice pages.

Which crampons?
10 point or 12 point, or 12+ points? Dual point or mono point? Alloy or Steel? Heel clip or strap? There are so many questions and options when it comes to choosing crampons, but the starting point must be 'What do you want to use them for, and what terrain will you use them on'. Do you need an around crampon that can be used for a variety of terrain, or do you need a technical crampon for high end ice? What type of footwear you are going to use your crampons with is also an essential decision as to which crampons are suitable. Proper fitting of your boots properly is also key, if your crampons are too big for your boots they will upturn your feet in a way that could leave you at risk of an ankle injury. To return to the equipment lists and advice pages overview, please click here.

Why use crampons?
Crampons are fixtures designed to attach onto your boots as you walk or climb, and they are built specifically for use over snow and ice. Crampons prevent damage to either your feet or you walking boots, and also provide you with better traction on slippery surfaces.

Rigid or flexible?
Some crampons are rigid and some are flexible, dependent on what classification of boots you are wearing. Crampons come in varied amounts of rigidity and flexibility. If you wear crampons with the wrong rigidity of shoes, such as shoes that are not technical, or too flexible, your crampon will simply fall apart.

Crampon Ratings
Crampons come in three ratings, C1, C2 and C3.
C1 Crampons - a flexible style of crampon that is able to fit a B1 Rated Boot.
C2 Crampons - a semi-rigid style of crampon that is able to fit a B2 Rated Boot
C3 Crampons - a very rigid style of crampon that is able to fit a B3 Rated Boot
Boot Ratings - Boots are within four rating categories: B0, B1, B2 and B3.
B0 Rated Boots - Boots that are not crampon compatible, such as very flexible, fabric based hiking or walking boots.
B1 Rated Boots - Flexible boots that will fit C1, or flexible crampons only.
B2 Rated Boots - Semi rigid boots that will fit C1 or C2 crampons (flexible or semi rigid.) These are ideal for summer routes and low level snow based routes, but not for ice climbs.
B3 Rated Boots - Rigid boots that can fit C1, C2 or C3 crampons, and are suitable for highly technical Alpine climbing routes. Usually very stiff, these can be made from leather or plastic, and are very heavy. They come with stiffer soles and supportive features for front pointing en route. Insulation is usually common in B3 boots, but they are far too heavy for simple summer routes.

Crampons points
Points are the spikes of a crampon that run along the main area of the crampon and dig into the terrain to provide stability and grip.

Dual point or Mono point? - Front points are located in front of the toes and disperse debris and ice or rock. Most crampons have two front "Dual" points for general purpose climbing; however single "mono points" are useful on some technical route climbs for more precision.
How many points?
10 point crampons are advised only for walking, trekking and on general routes such as summer alpine routes
12 point or more are technical crampons designed for trad and ice climbs where you need a firmer grip on steep ice.

Steel crampons VS Aluminium?
Steel Crampons
These are durable and hardwearing on stiff fixed terrain and obstacles, making them ideal for general mountaineering and ice work. However steel crampons are heavy in weight.

Aluminium Crampons
Lighter in weight than steel framed crampons, these are ideal for use on alpine climbing routes and general approach climbs, but have less durability than steel, particularly on rocky terrain.

Heel clip or Heel strap?
Heel CLIP: A hybrid system with a toe strap and rear heel bail, designed for appropriate boots with a heel welt.
Heel STRAP: Flexible toe and heel attachments for use with approach shoes or non-technical mountain boots.

Anti-balling plates?
Anti-balling plates made from ABS plastic prevents snow from balling up in the crampon's body. We advise having crampons with anti-balling plates for all of our mountaineering courses to stop snow collecting underneath attaching to the sole of the boot, which dramatically reduces the effectiveness of the crampon.

Getting advice
Our Icicle shop in Windermere stocks and sells 8 different sets of crampons manufactured by Black Diamond; and CAMP. Here is a quick guide as to which we sell, and some key points to help you decide which are best for what you need. If you need any assistance in deciding which crampons are best for you, visit our shop and Office in Windermere in the Lake District for kit and course advice; or see our online shop (click here) or email our team with any queries if you are looking to purchase a set, or wish to know if an existing pair you have is suitable.

Below is a table showing the crampons that we stock in the Icicle Windermere shop.




Crampon Name

Image

Heel fastening mechanism

Weight (grams)

Fits boot Sizes

Material

No. of points?

Anti-balling (ABS) plates?

Route uses and boot types

Black Diamond Cyborg crampon
Heel clip
1080 grams
Fits boots
36-46
Stainless steel
11 or 12 points
ABS plates included.
Hard alpine mixed routes, high-end ice and mixed climbing crampon. Adjustable and replaceable front points that can be configured in either dual (12 points) or mono point (11 points).
Black Diamond Sabretooth crampon
Heel clip
925 grams Fits boots
36-46;
&46+*
Stainless steel
12 points
ABS plates included.
All-around crampon for everything from moderate ice routes to big alpine faces.
* Boot sizes 46+ can be accommodated through use of a long bar (bought separately).
CAMP C12 newmatic crampons
Heel clip
1020 grams
Fits boots
36-47
Chromoly steel crampons
12 points
ABS plates included.
Classic mountaineering and alpine routes. newmatic binding is ideal for B3 rigid mountain boots, or ski touring AT boots.
CAMP C12 universal crampons
Heel Strap
980 grams
Fits boots
36-47
Chromoly steel crampons
12 points
ABS plates included.
Classic mountaineering and alpine routes. The universal binding is ideal for all boot types, including B2 or snowboard boots.
Black Diamond Contact crampon
Heel clip
808 grams
Fits boots
36-46
Stainless steel
10 points
ABS plates included.
A lightweight crampon, ideal for mountaineers, skiers and hikers. The fast-adjust attachment system accommodates almost any footwear.
CAMP XLC 490 universal crampon
Heel Strap
490 grams
Fits boots
36-47
Alloy
12 points
Not included
Super light ski touring alloy crampon, with a universal binding that is designed to fit any type of boot.
CAMP XLC 470 semi-auto crampon
Heel clip
470 grams
Fits boots
36-47
Alloy
12 points
Not included
Super light ski touring alloy crampon, with a heel clip and plastic toe bail, so ideal for ski boots
Black Diamond Neve crampon Heel Strap 576 grams Fits boots
36-46
Aluminium 10 points ABS plates included. Ideal super light crampon for ski mountaineering. Can accommodate both technical and non-technical footwear.

Photo of the day - updated every time the page loads




Key ropework
If you are on a climbing or skiing course, you may wish to refresh or learn some of the key knots and ropework before your trip. Click on a knot on the left to visit the page that explains the 9 most popular knots that you might use, as well as the 1:3 and 1:5 rescue hoists.
 


 
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