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CaleHoopes

POLL: Crampons For Denali

Crampons For Denali  

72 members have voted

  1. 1. Crampons For Denali

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Folks,

 

I keep getting different results when I ask people about their experiences regarding Crampon styles for Denali with overboots. I've heard "Go with all straps" and another friend said "Keep the clip in the back". I very rarely hear to use full-clip crampons.

 

I am going to use the 40 Below Purple Haze overboots (at the moment) on top of a pair of La Sportiva Baruntse boots. I run cold, so I think this is a good approach.

 

Right now I'm considering G12's with a strap in the front or BD Serac's with strap in front.

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks if you respond.... want to get opinions here.

 

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I have seen many types of crampons on denali with all types of boots and overboots. With the 40 below overboots i have never seen a pair of crampons that do not work. The OR overboots are another story. The only thing I would recommend is make sure you have horizontal front points and dont go with aluminum crampons. I think you are fine with what you have.

 

 

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Test your set up before you go. I used Spantiks, 40 below overboots, and BD Sabretooth pro which has a strap that connects with the front welt bail. WOrked great.

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Take your boot/overboot combo to a gear shop and see what fits. In some cases, the combined volume of a boot with overboot is simply too big to fit in the plastic/webbing toe strap. Also, the width of the boot/overboot heel may be wider than the heel bail on the crampon. The heels on my boots are so wide that I had to shave a little bit of the sole off to get my crampons to fit.

 

If you buy either a semi-automatic (half & half) or fully automatic (step-in) crampon, store your boots with the overboots on and crampons attached (i.e. as if you were about to set off on summit day). This will compress the neoprene of the overboot where the bails connect and the foam will develop a "memory" of where the bails sit. This will make it a little easier to put the crampons on when you're actually on the mountain.

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I cut a small hole in the back of my Brooke's Ranger overboots so they would be compatible with my g12's. Works well.

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So, to answer a few questions:

 

West Buttress.

 

I have a pair of Sabretooth Pro's with the wire front (full automatic). I might just give em a try before I do anything. If I don't like, I'll get a pair with straps.

 

"Take your boot/overboot combo to a gear shop and see what fits"

 

Ends up probably being the best idea. I just wanted to hear what everyone had to say about the topic. Thanks for all the great responses!

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An additional concern might be to see which crampon attachment system you can do with bulky gloves on...and reliably. As Alasdair mentioned, the OR overboots are terrible for use with anything other than full-strap crampons. I have seen issues with 40 Below also (actually, with those it's mainly a size issue with the boot welt), but these can be resolved with some creativity with a pocket knife. So, you can do some modifications to overboots to get them to work more consistently with 'automatic' crampons, but it's just another thing to worry about in my opinion. As for me, all I take anymore are full-strap models. If a guest of mine and I can't resolve their crampon fit issue at 14,000', they're going down. It'd suck to end your trip that way.

 

Get it perfect before you head to AK. Nothing's easier up there.

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Kurt,

 

Thanks a ton for chiming in! That's exactly the kind of response I was wondering about. I was sorta less interested in the "it would work" than "it would be better if you did..."

 

I basically got the same comment you gave from John Race who's up there all the time - and a different response from Mark Allen who's up there often but doing more alpine routes than the West Buttress (need more sensitivity so the overboot is not as important).

 

Thanks a ton!

 

Thanks everyone for your input - I think I have a plan.

 

Cale

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FWIW, when we did the w Butt a few years back I used the old chrom-moly BD Sabretooths, full bail front and back, with 40-Belows and had no problems at all.

 

I had recieved the advice above about leaving the 'pons mounted to the boot/overboot combo to create "memory" in the foam, and it really did seem to help.

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I use full front / rear bail sabertooths with my 40 below overboots and they work great. In the past I have also used those grivel (?) crampons that have the plastic clip for the toe. Both worked fine but I prefer the sabertooths.

 

When I use my super gaiters I sometimes have trouble with my crampons popping off so I use the front part of my sabertooths and the toes bail / the rear part of my cyborgs crampons. That way I can use the metal strap that latches the toe to the ankle.

 

 

 

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As Alasdair mentioned, the OR overboots are terrible for use with anything other than full-strap crampons.

 

I had no issues using OR Brooks Ranger overboots with newmatic G12s.

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With the FortyBelow overboots one can cut the neoprene for the bail to fit into. BITD I cut mind and then patched it with duct tape. Now, I would use a hot glue patch. The cut allows the bail to get better purchase on the heal. We did not modify the front as there was typically enough surface area to get the bail to hook in to the welt.

 

As for crampons get something light and easy to use. Most have way more crampon than they need. IMHO one of the best was the old Chouinard Rigid crampon with bails. I used them for several Alaska trips including the Cassin. Still have a pair. A close second was the Salewa Messner Scissor which while a pain to adjust worked nicely. Both are basic crampons that were lighter weight compared to many of days crampons.

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I'm gonna start out by trying out my Sabretooth Pro's on the 40 belows. I'll let you folks know how it goes. Thanks for all of the responses! You people ROCK!

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