Hiking Crampons vs. Mountaineering Crampons

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Hiking Crampons vs. Mountaineering Crampons

Postby 63ChevyII » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:27 pm

Do the Kahtoola KTS (1"/ 2.5 cm) or K10 (.75"/1.9 cm) crampons have aggressive enough points for routes like the Baldy Bowl or the route that bypasses the switchbacks on Mt. Whitney? Is something like the Black Diamond Contact Strap Crampons (1.18"/3 cm) better suited?

K10
KTS Steel
Contact Strap

I used the Contact Strap Crampons to bypass the switchbacks last year, but am curious about the offerings from Kahtoola. Some points I am thinking about:

• It seems the learning curve would be easier with the Kathoolas - less worry about hurting yourself and it seems you'd be able to walk with a 'normal' gait/stance, but I am unsure if they'd provide enough traction.
• The Black Diamonds are the most aggressive of the 3 products, but are the most dangerous in terms potentially injury yourself (kicking an ankle, catching clothing)
• I don't plan on doing anything technical. The Baldy Bowl or bypassing the switchbacks on Whitney are as steep as it will get for me.
• I think the Kahtoolas would cover a wider range of terrain.
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Re: Hiking Crampons vs. Mountaineering Crampons

Postby Sally » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:57 am

We just got in a couple of pair of those Kahtoola crampons in the store where I work, and my initial thought was "Wow, these are really cool!" They would be perfect for when microspikes are not enough and full-blown crampons are over-kill. The only problem I could see was that occasionally I am on a route that would be perfect for those cute little Kahtoola crampons when, suddenly, there I am faced with a really sketchy icy patch where I really need the real crampons. So, being as we rarely know what the conditions are until we are right on top of them, I would be compelled to carry BOTH kinds of crampons, and then I could be in a situation where I am carrying redundant weight.
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Re: Hiking Crampons vs. Mountaineering Crampons

Postby 63ChevyII » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:06 am

Thanks for the reply Sally. You make a valid point!
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Re: Hiking Crampons vs. Mountaineering Crampons

Postby 2600fromatari » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:10 pm

I have used those Kahtoola KTS on the slope above Trail Camp when it was hard snow/neve. I wouldn't use it for anything steeper than that or hard ice. Sally hit the nail on the head with their usefulness. They're very easy to put on and pull off so when the situation doesn't warrant, they're much more convenient than crampons, and more reassuring/safe than Microspikes.

63ChevyII wrote:The Baldy Bowl or bypassing the switchbacks on Whitney are as steep as it will get for me.


You never know! :D
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Re: Hiking Crampons vs. Mountaineering Crampons

Postby 63ChevyII » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:22 pm

I am hoping to get some more time in them this weekend. I will carry my Grivel's too.
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