[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[pct-l] crampons

Before hiking in 98 I asked a similar question. Why
not use crampons? I'd think that it would be better
not to fall than to self arrest. I bought a pair of
small crampons (I think instep cramposn is the enlish
name for them) that I actually could fasten to my
sneakers. Kept them in the driftbox for a while, but
went with an ice axe in stead. I also did a flip-flop,
so I didn't go thru the Sierrras until September, but
got a lot of snow in Washington in stead.

The main reason for never using the crampons were that
the snow is usually so soft that you can easily make a
steps just by kicking in even with sneakers. My
crampons also wasn't stable enough on sneakers that I
would trust them 100%. There are better solutions now
though. Backpacker magazine did a review some time ago
(during the last year I believe) of at least one pair
that seemed to be made for use with lightweight

There's also a lot more hassle putting on a pair of
crampons than taking the ice axe off the pack. Another
reason for carying an ice axe is that you don't
necessarily fall because you slip on a patch of ice or
frozen snow. You might simple loose balance because
one or both feet go unexpectedly thru the snow cover.
And a crampon wont help with that. An ice axe will, at
least to some extent as it gives you a third "contact
point" with the ground ang give you better balance.
And of course you can self arrest.

Still, I can't give you an exact conclusion. I felt
the need for an ice axe (or crampons) only once during
my whole trip. That was near Idyllwild on a pretty
steep slope with completely frozen snow, and I didn't
have either. Got thru, but one situation is really
enough if something goes wrong. So my reccomendation.
Bring an ice axe, no crampons unless you feel very
unsafe on snow.


Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Greetings - Send FREE e-cards for every occasion!