How to choose Crampons

10 or 12 points?

10 points: the advantage of the 10 points crampons lies mainly in the weight gain. These crampons are ideal for glacier hikes and for ski touring where lightness remains an important criterion.
12 points:
The 12 points crampons have become the standard for mountaineering and ice climbing. It is the most versatile crampons. It is ideal for glacier hikes, but can do much more; they make you feel safe on vertical icy slopes, or even on overhanging parts.
For technical parts and more vertical ice, front «technical» points become essential. They offer better penetration into ice and a better hold.

With or without Antibott?

The Antibott offers a real advantage in the sticky snow, it avoids indeed a hard snow blade to get inserted between the shoe and the crampons which can make you unshoe.
To not use Antibotts is possible it permits to gain some few grams when research of lightness as essential, or when you are sure not to meet sticky snow, but only ice or hard snow. (For example while ski touring).

What mounting system?

Strap attachment crampons: Strap crampons will fit on any sufficiently rigid shoes. (Although some people get them on to running shoes, it's still dangerous and not recommended). The strap crampons are sufficient to progress on a glacier or for easy alpine routes. Much attention is required on the hard ice where impact force on the front points may tend to move the crampon under the shoe.
Semi-automatic crampons: Semi-auto crampons, fits to any footwear having a rear overhang for this purpose. These are the most versatile crampons: they offer enough flexibility for glacier hikes while remaining extremely effective in most alpine routes. They find their limits in practice of ice climbing or dry tooling where more rigid crampons will be appreciated.
The automatic crampons: automatic crampons fit only to shoes with front and rear overhang. Mainly designed for technical mountaineering routes, for ice climbing, and Dry tooling. They offer a perfect union with the boots, on which even repeated impacts into front points will fail to make them move. They will be too rigid for hikes on glaciers.
Hybrids: (Petzl Lynx): These last years ‘hybrid’ versions have emerged, on these crampons you will be able to change attachment from automatic to semi-automatic, and some models to move from one point to two front points. It is ideal for people looking for a single pair of crampons that can be used for all practices.

Steel or aluminum crampons?

The advantage of aluminum is summed up in one word: Weight, the lightest alu crampons weigh around 350g compared to 800-900gr for the lightest steel crampons.
They are suitable for ski touring or hiking but on hard snow only! Aluminum crampons get used really quickly on mixed terrain and offer not enough grip on bare ice. It is difficult to sharpe them correctly, the tips will never be as sharp as on steel crampons.
The steel crampons are heavier but also more durable; they last over time and can be re-sharpened several times. They are ideal for mixed terrain and offer excellent performance even on the hardest ice (provided they are very sharp).
The new alloys: some brands have been using new hybrid alloys which offer a better ratio strength / weight, crampons are slightly heavier than aluminum crampons, but they offer a much better resistance. (This is the case of Camp Nanotech crampons).

Latest innovations:

Grivel crampons with front attachment system: Grivel just released adapted crampons for ski touring boots. There has always been a problem with Ski Mode / Walk that bothered closing the crampons back slot. Grivel overruled this by proposing a locking system in the front of the crampon. We have so far only little return of uses, but it looks very promising.

Monopoint crampons: Some crampons offer a single front point: they are called 'monopoint’ they will be better compared to twin points on thin or fragile ice, on ice 'colons' which are not wide enough for the second point, or when specific positioning is needed. It also allows the use of ice axes holes and to wedge the tip into a crack. These crampons are rather for good ice climbers, they are really adapted for dry tooling.
Wide versions: Perfectly suited to wide shoes, like snowboard boots.

Note: all crampons not necessarily fit perfectly with every shoe, ideal are to try, or ask us to.

Telemark 75 standard boots favoring automatic Grivel crampons, those are best adapted to 75mm standard. 

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