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allthumbs

crampons

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Any thoughts, good or bad, on aluminum crampons by Stubai? I'd be seldom using, mainly for crossing the occasional snowfield or glacier, or powerwashing my shake roof. I'm not talking hardcore ice climbing/front pointing here...just nice, light crampons for hiking safety in certain situations. Good advice will sure be appreciated!

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Just got 'em, haven't had a need for 'em yet - probably will later in the season.

Stubai's binding system is rock-solid. From what you said you will use them for, definitely get them - an excellent choice. You could use them for climbing any of the major peaks here in WA.

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My wife and I both have them and love them. We've had them for about five years, and used them multiple times on various local volcanoes, and they are perfect for routes like N. Ridges of Stuart and Forbidden, Sahale Quien Sabe Glacier, Colchuck Glacier, etc. I've climbed up and down hard snow and some alpine ice to about 55 degrees and felt reasonably secure in the aluminums. Anything beyond that I use the steel teeth. The aluminums are so light that you'll often opt to take them just in case.

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I have a pair and love them. The ability to go light(even if your not fast) makes climbing more fun. Sometimes you have to take crampons for short strectches of snow and its nice to be able to shave a few ounces on this one typically heavy item.

The binding on these works well with lighter approach shoes too, giving you an even bigger weight savings. I've used mine with my guide almightys and lowa triolets.

I'd sell my soul to shave an ounce of weight.

Get em.

Rgds

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Wow...thanks guys for the super quick response and overwhelming endorsement. I'm outta here pronto to my local outfitter to get a pair. Sounds like the "cat's ass". You guys and this forum rocks!!!

thumbs

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I just got a pair based recommendations on other threads here... tried them out on Adams a week ago and they were great! Get-em!!!

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Get the Stubai's with the universal speed binding that has the zytel plastic heel and toe cups. They are really fast to put on and work with any boot.

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Remember not to throw away the screw that comes with them... as a buddy of mine did. He found out what it was for all the way across the Chickaman as the crampon kept coming off of his boot... we had some duct tape to fix the problem.

I have the steel ones (same binding) and they work great. I have a really lightweight salomon gtx boot that keeps my feet dry on the glaciers and this setup works well.

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Thanks everybody for the advice to buy the alum. crampons. I'm not a real climber like you guys but I do like crossing some snow and ice once in awhile to get further up. I took your advice and got some Stubais and tried them out on Baker last weekend. They worked great and were so light I didn't feel any additional weight on my daypack. I get way more info. from you guys than from the more sedate backpacker forums elsewhere online. Thanks

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Guys - I'm new on this site so I hope you don't mind me horning in on this thread. I'm reading it with great interest as I'm in the market for the ultralite Stubai's with the universal binding, myself. However, I've been told by some other hikers that these aluminum crampons really lose their appeal when used in areas where you may have to cross rocky sections between snowfields. I've heard they get beat up pretty badly in a quick way if you make the mistake of walking on rock with them - unlike steel crampons. Which means you have to go through the hassle of removing them when you get off snow and then putting them back on when you hit snow again, even if it's a short distance. Is there any truth to this? For the record, I'm just a backpacker who occasionally gets into snowfields and ice a few times a year - not a climber. Thanks.

Cliff

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Cliff,

If you are a backpacker crossing snowfields i would say use the aluminum. Sure the aluminum will wear out WAY faster than steel. Sure if you run them over racks all the time they will get beat up.

But so what if they get beat up. If you are crossing snowfields then a section of rock then back onto snowfields everyday for a year, yes they will wear out fast. Sounds to me like you are not doing that daily. The weight saved is GREAT. I bet with your use they will last YEARS.

Go Light

Good luck

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I've had my Stubai's for a couple of years, and I've really enjoyed them. They do wear down more quickly on rock. It is mostly a rounding of the points, not wearing them down to nubs. If you don't sharpen them, they will wear more slowly. But even when worn down a bit, they still have enough bite to keep you in place on the glacier/snow. They work ok for short distances of front pointing, but are not the best choice for it.

I have had a bit of a problem with snow balling, more so than with my steel Grivel's. Since I couldn't find an anti-bot plate for the Stubai's, I forced the Grivel anti-bot plate onto the Stubai. The Stubai Aluminum is a bit thicker than the Grivel steel, so a bit of forcing (eg pliers) was required. But now that it is on there, I leave it there and there has been no more problems with balling.

Strap system generally works pretty well, although I have had occasional problems with the straps loosening during a climb. Just remember to check them every pitch or so. For generaly glacier walking, they have been problem free.

Also, if you have big dogs like me (size 15), you will have to make or buy extension bars. I made mine and believe that they are needed for most boot sizes over 12 or 13 YMMV. The Grivel extension bars may or may not fit, I didn't try them.

Greg

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Thanks Rodchester & Greg. The guys at Pro Mountain Sports here in Seattle recommend that you do not sharpen these Stubai aluminum crampons at all, and perhaps that's one of the reasons why (less weardown). Pro Mountain also has (or had, as of two months ago) the anti-snowballing plates for the Stubai ultralite amuminum crampons. You're probably right (Rodchester) about my use of them being extremely light. I think I will go for a pair. Thanks guys.

Cliff

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quote:

Originally posted by lambone:

Oh yeah, please support the little guys! Small retailers are introuble cause of these .coms and wholsale magazines.

Buy from Jim, but be carefull not to make him feel "uncomfortable"!

I refuse to buy anything online. I very seldom use REI, for obvious reasons.

I met Jim for the first time yesterday at his store, and found him to be totally cool, mellow, informative, and not trying to pressure me for a sale.

I buy all my shit at either Cascade Crags, Base Camp in Bellingham, and now that I found him (thanks to you guys) Pro Mountain Sports. By the way, Jim wanted me to tell all my friends that his Smartwool was cheaper than REI's; which it is.

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Cheap Smartwool? Say it ain't so.

I bought a pair of their long johns last year, and while spendy ($120 for the set), they're the best damn layering piece I've ever had. Their mountaineering socks kick ass, too.

 

 

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Yeah smartwool is awesome but spendy

get whatcha pay for though

Have a good weekend climbin everybody, the weather forcast looks great

summer...finally!

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Originally posted by allthumbs:

Thanks everybody for the advice to buy the alum. crampons. I'm not a real climber like you guys but I do like crossing some snow and ice once in awhile to get further up.

Allthumbs,

If you climb, than you are as real as anyone else out there. Give yourself some credit! You've got the right attitude, light is right!

matt

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Oh yeah, please support the little guys! Small retailers are introuble cause of these .coms and wholsale magazines.

Buy from Jim, but be carefull not to make him feel "uncomfortable"!

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I agree with this post in general: the new universal crampons rock! There are a few other options out there other than the Stubai which folks may want to investigate.

BD makes the Contact, and Grivel makes the G-10. Both are very similar - 10 point steel crampons. I have the G-10s. I considered the Stubais for a long time, but opted for the greater durability of the steel points and a bit more weight.

On that note, a weight comparison:

Stubais: 21.4 oz

BD Contact: 30 oz

Grivel G-10: 29 oz

Links are below. (Sorry about the REI link - Grivel does not seem to have a web site up yet.)

Black Diamond Contact: http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/alpinism/crampons_contact_strap.html

 

Grivel G-10: http://www.rei.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=5743&prmenbr=8000

Live Large,

johngo in Portland

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