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Colin

How fast does volcanic choss dull crampons?

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I'm always pleasantly amazed in the Canadian Rockies at how my crampons and ice tools stay perfectly sharp after tons of mileage on limestone (not the quartzite though...). Back on granite or gneiss they get quite dull in just one day of mixed climbing.

 

How does volcanic choss compare, say on Tahoma, Kulshan, Colfax, etc? Of course the rock isn't solid at all, but that doesn't necessarily indicate a lower hardness. My limited experience seems to suggest that crampons don't dull nearly as fast as on granite/gneiss, but perhaps faster than on limestone.

 

I'm guessing that people who tromp around on Tahoma (Rainier) all summer have a pretty good gauge of this.

 

Thoughts?

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Stands to reason that a scratchy substance that crumbles and crunches under the points, therefor causing a lot more rubbing/friction against them, would dull them faster than a point sitting on hard rock and let just lifting back up

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Non-scientific, but I took a new set of G14 crampons out on Kautz Route on Tahoma a few weeks ago, and was surpised by how much dulling occurred even during the brief DC descent on ground pumice. This was with barely any walking on the DC itself - the crampons were left on just long enough to cross off the snow and take 'em off.

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Non-scientific, but I took a new set of G14 crampons out on Kautz Route on Tahoma a few weeks ago, and was surpised by how much dulling occurred even during the brief DC descent on ground pumice. This was with barely any walking on the DC itself - the crampons were left on just long enough to cross off the snow and take 'em off.

 

You hotspotting?

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The minerals in rhyolitic or andesitic volcanic rock are the same as in granite and gneiss, just smaller crystals.

 

As opposed to calcite (makes up limestone), which is much softer and does not come out of volcanoes. It's dead corals and seafloor ooze.

 

Swing at limestone hard, seat your pick. Swing at granite hard, bend your pick.

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