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johnh

aluminum crampons?

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yo john, I have used aluminum crampons in the Cascade mountains and lived to tell about it. There is nothing special or different about the Cascade mountains that should stop you from using common sense. The route and the conditions of that route will have you going across a lot of exposed rock while wearing your crampons, then aluminum might not be the best choice. But, IMO, not all aluminum crampons are the same regarding durablity. If you just want to get one pair of crampons, then go with a steel pair...they'll last you longer.

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I've never used them but plenty of people do, and it seems to me they are perfectly suited to MOST Cascade climbs.

 

They will lose their sharpness faster than harder metal, I havn't seen any designed for waterfall climbing, and as Oly noted I'd be a little hesitant to use them for a lot of mixed climbing, but for traction on an icy glacier or for what we call "alpine ice" here in Washington (generally more like icy névé than actual "ice" as you might find in other ranges) they'll be just fine.

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There's nothing wrong with Aluminum crampons. They're great for your standard glacier climbs where you don't intend to travel over any amount of rock. Any mixed climbing involved and you'll want to stick with Steel. If you have to choose between the 2 types, Steel would be the way to go but if you can have both, Aluminum would definitly be a good purchase. They will work in the Cascades and they will help light'n the load.

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The Stubai Ultralights (scroll down and click) are a good aluminum crampon. The connector that holds the front and back spikes together is made of steel which reduces some of the flex while remaining very light. For basic glacier travel in the Cascades I think they are a great (light!) option.

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If I don't know what I am getting into as far as conditions go, I use my steel crampons.

But I have used my aluminum Stubai's on Rainier, N Ridge of Stuart, and several other climbs where I knew that I would be on mostly snow or that I would take them off for long stretches of rock. I love em. Those and my aluminum ice ax go almost everywhere I go solo anymore. I could get by without them but they sure make things more interesting.

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I've used Stubai's for the past 3 years on easier snow climbs, mostly up the Mountain Loop Hwy area. I have had no issues with them at all, they fit tight enough on heavy hiking boots, the strap is holding up well and I was a bit concerend about the plastic toe/heel piece but that isn't showing much wear at all. They truly are about the dullest things out there though. I too take them off prior to rock scrambling. One advantage is they are fast & easy to put back on. Stubai's = thumbs_up.gif

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I just got a pair of Grivel aluminum crampons and they are very light even with anti balling plates on them. I have owned a pair of Stubais for several years. My only complaint about aluminum crampons is the secondary points are always to far back, which makes front pointing difficult. If your crampon is fitted to your boot properly you should not have any problem with them coming off or flexing to much.

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I have the Camp aluminum strap-ons. Very nice. Great for trips where you have short glacier crossings to approach alpine rock climbs.

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