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Topic: Crampon advice, heel strap or heel lever lockdown?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2011, 4:16 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Need advice on crampons.  I am looking at the Grivel G12, and it comes in a "New Matic" version with the heel lever lockdown, and a "New Classic" version with flexible straps around the heel.  What are the pros and cons either way?  The crampons will be used in a variety of mountaineering circumstances, except steep water ice.  Any advice is appreciated.  Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2011, 10:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What boots do you have? If they have a welt in the back, go with the heel bail. If not, go with the strap-on.

The heel bail makes the on/off process faster and easier. The strap-on kind can be used with boots w/ no welts - like most boots designed for backpacking.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2011, 9:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Boreal Kangri boots for mountaineering, which definitely have the heel welts, but I was thinking that I might sometimes want to be able to use the crampons with my light, flexible, regular backpacking boots, so maybe the heel strap would be better to give me the option to use the crampons with either set of boots.

But I definitely go for "faster and easier" and I hate messing with a bunch of straps.  I wonder if it is worth it to get the heel strap just in case I "might want to" use the crampons with my light boots someday.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2011, 9:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Positively Heel Bail. If you need crampons, you need crampons. To solve the hiking boot scenario bring an ice ax and cut or kick steps, with the ice axe security you can self-arrest.

Good Luck!
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 11 2011, 1:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have the G12/New Matics. If you tried them both on you probably wouldn't be asking. The New Matics are a much more solid fit and give you more solid footing. I don't do a lot of climbing, but when I have the fellas in strap-ons were jealous of my crampons.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2011, 5:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mountaineering boots (e.g., plastics or full shank boots) that are built to accommodate 'step in'  with heel and toe lock downs are boots that you will use crampons with almost all the time.  They are not the best approach boot in the world.

If you expect to spend most of your time backpacking and want to sometimes use crampons with the same boot, the you will want a lighter somewhat more flexible partial shank boot (e.g., Asolo)  that is built too work with something on the order of a Petzl Charlet.

The New Matics are a fine tool, however, if it will work with your boot.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2011, 4:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Right.  The Boreal Kangris are for mountaineering only.  Completely rigid boot, and I definitely agree that the New-Matics would be best for them.  I just thought maybe it would be wise to get a crampon with the flexibility to also use with my soft backpacking boots if I ever wanted to.

But my thinking now is to get the New-Matics and then buy microspikes later if I ever need them during "normal" backpacking.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2011, 9:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've used my strap-on crampons with light mountaineering boots on up to 60 degree snow with no issues (well, cold feet from cinching the crampons down on my flexible boots). I haven't used semi or automatic crampons, but I think you've got to be doing pretty serious stuff before they're really needed.

I would evaluate whether or not you really need them, and if not save yourself some weight and get strap ons.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2011, 12:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Essentially, I use the Grivel New Matics with a pair of La Sportiva Makalu boots for spring snow ascents. Generally I achieve a peak by hiking up a couloir. The Makalu's aren't the optimal boot for approaches but work nice on snow and ice, loose rock and scrambling. So I use the mountaineering boots and crampons for specific snow climbing intentions. First and foremost the ice ax is the number one tool with the highest priority.

On the other hand if I am hiking and expect to encounter snow fields, I wear my usual Asolo 520's sans crampons. I bring the ice ax. The ice ax provides protection from a fall as well as cutting steps if necessary. Plus I save weight by no bringing crampons.

I've tried the strap-ons and the are sub-optimal. For me the fiddle factor etc. is aggrevating. If I need crampons, it's the mountaineering boot with lock-in crampons. If it's not, I just bring the ice ax.

Essentially, it's a go, no go decision.

Of course, everyone has their on style and technique.

Cheers and have fun!
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2011, 6:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I guess my response may be outdated, but I like New Matics all the way! If your boots have the heel bail, go with New Matics if you want peace of mind and convenience.  I used strap on crampons for a while, and they totally get the job done, but there's definitely the "fiddle factor" as mentioned above, and I was always looking down to make sure my straps were secure.  With New Matics, it's lock and go, you don't have to worry much.  

New Matics are also better, in my opinion, because they take way less time to put on, which is great in freezing winds when you want your thick gloves off for as little time as possible!


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2011, 2:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks guys, I bought the New Matic version.  And on sale at Whittaker Mountaineering too!  Then I realized I needed the extra long extender bars for my size 12 boots.  The extra purchase for the long bars negated my savings from the sale price, but at least I broke even.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2011, 9:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

You would have had to get the extensions anyway.  They are always sold separate unless included as a special.

If you get tired kalumping around like Frankenstein in the Kangris in the summer, you might want to pop for regular season lighter weight hiking, backpacking boot that doesn't have a full shank.  These would use the, e.g., Petzl.  

And another pair of light weight trail 'runners' when you just want to do it for the fun of it on a day trip or overnight and not have the extra energy going into heavier foot coverings.


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