Crampons Guide is the No.1 online resource for everything to do with crampons and cramponing. Everything you need to know about crampons is contained within these pages.
A crampon is essentially a traction device used to increase mobility and grip on snow and ice. They attach to existing footwear via a binding system and have a number of steel or aluminium points to cut into and grip the snow or ice. Crampons can be flexible, semi-rigid or rigid, with each type being better suited to different climbing or walking activities. The number, depth, and edge design of the points can vary from model to model and many crampons now include anti-balling plates to prevent the build up of snow and debris that would hamper its effectiveness.
It is thought that crampons have their origins in the 16th Century when shepherds in the Alps would attach horseshoe nails to a wooden or metal frame to assist them over slippery and icy terrain. In the early 1900s, Laurent Grivel designed crampons with front-points that very much resemble modern day equipment. Grivel are still one of the best-known producers of mountaineering and walking crampons today, some 190 years after the formation of the company.
These days, crampons are an essential tool for amateur and professional winter enthusiasts alike. Whether you are taking a leisurely winter trek through the Scottish hills or ascending a frozen waterfall, you will need a good set of crampons. For difficult near vertical climbs, a rigid technical crampon will allow your feet to cut into the ice to provide a foothold that otherwise would not exist. Most winter enthusiasts simply prefer a chilly climb up their favourite Munro and crampons give them the sure footing and traction they need to prevent dangerous slips or falls. Thankfully, there is a crampon type for everyone and – while technically not a crampon – you can buy boot spikes for extra grip on flat icy surfaces.
If you are new to mountaineering crampons, it can be difficult and confusing to choose one crampon over another. In total, there are three grades of crampon, four grades of boot, and three binding systems. In addition, there are numerous manufacturers each with their own unique selling points and marketing techno-babble. Crampons Guide exists to assist you in cutting through the noise to establish which crampon will best suit your chosen activity and skill level. By using the navigation buttons to the left, you can work through the site to learn about the crampons types, how they attach, cramponing technique, and how to maintain your crampons. When you are ready, you can compare crampons to browse the best models on the market.
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Climb safely and enjoy the outdoors responsibly