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Clivus

Aluminum Crampons for the West Buttress?

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Recently the Park Svc has been placing pickets up to Denali Pass for the "climbing" season. But as ryland_moore mentioned, they can be burried. If they are burried in soft snow of course, you won't need crampons.

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I recall watching a Korean team go up past Windy Corner, after their smoke break. No crampons, packs IN their sleds and not roped together. Surprisingly, they all made it.

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I've got aluminum crampons that I really like for general mountaineering (Rainier-type) climbing, and for with hiking shoes (Black Peak.) But the one time I tried them on real ice (the N. Face of Baker) they didn't work well at all. Seems like Nelson told me they'd work fine on water ice, but maybe I'm remembering wrong.

 

I've not done Denali, but seems like on an expedition climb like that you'd be better off bringing more dependable gear, even if it is a few ounces heavier. I'd hate to go to all that trouble and expense, and then have to say "I couldn't summit because it was too icy for the crampons I brought along. But man, they were light!"

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I'll let you all know how it goes with alluminum crampons on Mt. Kenya. It is the only type I brought and I hope to do one of the ice routes up on the mountain if they are in. My concern on Denali, would be the cold temps, aluminum is much more brittle than steel in colder temperature found on the mountain. As for climbing and purchase on icy slopes, as long as the points are sharp and they are fitted on the boot properly they are fine for climbing even techincal ice. Granted steel in my opinion is better, but if you wanted to shave some oz. it is a good option.

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I just got off the mountain. right now aluminum pons would be ok, but 2 weeks ago aluminum pons would have made the trip nearly impossible since the glacier was all blue ice. it snowed a lot since then. i was glad to have steel pons on the HW though, even with the fixed lines.

 

the pickets are in place on Denali Pass, about 100' or so apart. some were burried, but could be easily dug out. all have biners attached to them w/duct tape. tie in long if there are only 2 on your rope team.

 

Kurt

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