CRAMPONS

There are crampons suitable for every adventure on snow and ice; from the most gnarly Arctic ice climbs to Scottish winter walking and even ski-mountaineering. Our collection of crampons and accessories includes replacement bars, anti-ball plates and crampon bags to ensure your b-rated boots are fully equipped for any frozen expedition. More details are below, but please also take a look at our crampon buying guide to select the right pair for you.

Crampons have revolutionised mountaineering and ice climbing. Ice routes like Point Five Gully on Ben Nevis were once climbed siege-style over a number of days, using ladders of laboriously cut steps. Those same routes can now be climbed in just a few hours using modern crampons with front points.

It's essential that crampons are fitted only to stiffened B-rated boots (often referred to as B1, B2 or B3 following a ratings system devised by the mountaineer Brian Hall). Fitting a stiff crampon onto a flexible boot could lead to the crampon falling off mid-climb, with potentially disastrous consequences.

For snowy walking, such as winter Munro bagging or on the easiest routes on Mont Blanc, a C1 crampon will be ideal. These styles strap on and flex with B1 rated boots, though they can also be fitted to stiffer B2 or B3 boots. They have low-profile points which give excellent grip on snow and neve but are also easy to walk in.

When mountaineering – perhaps doing the easier Scottish winter gullies or alpine routes – a C2 crampon will be technical enough for the climbing while still being relatively low-profile. The attachment system will be a rear heel lever and front toe cage, strapped together on a B2 or B3 boot.

For ice climbing, choose a pair with vertical front points. An ideal set-up would be a pair of B3 rated mountain boots together with C3 technical crampons. The more aggressive front points give extra bite. These styles can also often be adapted to a mono-point set up for even better penetration and precision on hard ice. Attachment is usually by a metal front bar and rear heel lever which will only work on a B3 boot.

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