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Beginner Crampons

Do you know of a good pair of beginner crampons for use in the Rockies? What's the price range?

Question:

Do you know of a good pair of beginner crampons for use in the Rockies? What’s the price range?

Submitted by - Ethan - St. Louis, MO

Answer:

If, by beginner crampons, you mean ones that can handle crunchy trails and low-grade snowfields, you might want to consider “microcrampons” which are less aggressive, lighter, and easier to pack than the seriously tooth ones used by big-mountain and ice climbers. And you’re in luck, because our Boulder-based staff did a roundup of them recently. They start at $30 bucks, fit over most any boot, and are great for general winter use.

If you need a bit more bite, consider getting some traditional aluminum crampons, which start at around $130. Look for strap-on bindings (good for use with all of your boots) with a flexible construction (they have a spring under the center of the foot which allow the crampon to flex along with lighterweight boots while walking.

For some more crampon edification, check out our video tutorial on how to put them on.

And our step-by-step slideshow on how to sharpen them.

1 Comment

  1. RevAaron

    +1 on the Kahtoola Microspikes!

    The only thing you need unless you’re doing serious mountaineering. Far superior to anything Yaktrax.

    I’ve been using them this winter quite a bit, only day hikes so far. Excellent kinda-sorta crampons- very secure and robust, unlike Yaxtrax and similar. Easy to put, even wearing gloves.

    The only situation I’d recommend Yaktrax for is getting granny between the car and the door. The one advantage they have in this regard is that the spikes on the Microspikes could damage the floor/ground when it isn’t snow, ice, or dirt.

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