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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Sometimes I wonder.. by dr_banuska   (Show all posts)
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weedavie
2009-12-03 13:24:38
"Ronnie dons his crampons" from weedavie Contract pics
Picture: Ronnie dons his crampons (Contract pics)

Crampons
Conor, if you're seriously using crampons, go on a course or find a friend who knows. Two hours talking and a half day practical will be worth 1000 written words.

Crampons help you deal with icy / hard packed snow. If the snow is deep you don't need them. Gordon and I were coming down Beinn Dubhcraig last winter in fantastic thigh deep snow doing giant steps. We passed two people struggling with crampons and ice-axes, tripping when they could have been flying. But when you're climbing a steepening slope on hard packed snow, a slope you've thought innocuous in summer, and you realise that a single slip and you'll be picking up speed till you start ricocheting round the boulders below, you bless their pointed little heads.

If you're doing serious climbing you need rigid boots with fitted crampons. If you're a walker who wants to be safe in winter, a reasonably stiff three season boot will take a flexible crampon and keep you safe. Don't listen to the outdoor shop people who tell you you must have four season boots. Equally don't be put off with "walking crampons". You need full 12 pointers with the sticky-out ones in front.

You hardly ever need your crampons - I walk in Scotland all winter and in recent years I've typically used them once or twice. When you do need them though, even if it's only for fifty metres of a ridge - it's worth the trouble to stop and put them on. They stick to anything - the security of standing fixed on ice is unbelievable. Make sure they're strapped on properly though. I've seen a couple of nasty moments when a crampon has come loose. That'll happen too if the boot's not stiff enough - I was serious about a solid 3 season boot.

The only exception I've run into to the hard snow and ice scenario is a steep slope with shallow spring snow. Again you can slide far and fast on this. I've a couple of times used crampons, ignoring the feeling of silliness as they bite into soil and heather. Always carry an ice axe in winter. It's your essential safety device.

Make sure your mate puts on his crampons when you do. One day on Beinn Laoigh, I was feeling smug after stopping to fit mine. I was rapidly overhauling Ronnie, who hadn't bothered. Suddenly I became aware that if he came unstuck he was going to be travelling fast when he came through me. Fortunately he clung on.

In deep snow you've more reason to worry about avalanches. It's worth knowing the conditions and slope types that increase the risk.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Corduff: My wee dander to the summit
Ulsterpooka 13 hours ago.
I followed Muschi's and Paddyhilksbagger route. When going to the trig I moved on a few cows before I walked to the trig. After taking a few pics I seen the large brown bull in the field was block...

  
Forum: Suggestions
Clare Coastal Hills
simon3 15 hours ago.
We have added 14 Coastal Hills for Clare today. Intriguing names like Stockeen Cliff Top, 185mJust to remind. A Coastal Hill is a hill of at least 50m with a drop from the top or prominence of 20m...

  
Track
Arona to Parador Hotel via Valle de Ucanca
GSheehy 17 hours ago.
Sticking the boots in the bag, when the intention was to go and have a rest.Justifying a walk, that?s predominantly as walk, Len: 30.8km, Climb: 2274m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

Summit Summary
Slieve Main: Inishowen's second mountain.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 2 days ago.
Parking in a small quarry 3km to the east at point C444 372, cross the smaller top of Damph and then head north, curving around the valley until you cross a fence at C425 380 then begin to ascend ...

  
Summit Comment
Castlemahon Mountain: My outing to Castlemahon summit.
Ulsterpooka 6 days ago.
I followed Peter Walkers route and asked permission to walk to the summit mast. The person was very friendly and accommodating. I parked at the last house in what is a four house dwelling lane. Th...

  
Track
Inishowen Slieve Snaght from the north.
simon3 2 days ago.
This linear walk route starts from the north and includes the two Arderins and one Vandeleur-Lynam in the area. It sta... walk, Len: 9.3km, Climb: 515m, Area: Slieve Snaght, Inishowen (Ireland) Sliev

Summit Comment
Caoinkeen South-East Top: Caoinkeen
davsheen a week ago.
View of Caoinkeen from Gougane Barra Horseshoe walk

  
Summit Comment
Knockatee: October Cahas Walk
davsheen a week ago.
View over Kenmare Bay from Knockatee Summit Co. Kerry

  
Track
Cruach Eoghanach
Peter Walker 3 days ago.
Cruach Eoghanach is a handy outing on the days when you get out of the car, feel the force of the wind and rain, look... walk, Len: 10.4km, Climb: 329m, Area: Cruach Eoghanach, S Donegal/W Tyrone (Ir

Summit Summary
Mullagh More: Iconic hill with waymarked ways.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a week ago.
There is a way marked route up this iconic mountain. To get to the start drive out of Corofin in the direction of Kilfenora. After less than 2 miles turn right at a sign for 'Kilnaboy Church and S...

  
Bibliography
High Mountains of Britain and Ireland, The by Butterfield, Irvine
Peter Walker 4 days ago.
Long out of print, but well worth seeking out by the serious hillwalker (especially if they visit Britain as well as Ireland), this is a gloriously impractical guide to all of the 3000ft mountains...

  
Track
Pics de Batoua
David-Guenot 5 days ago.
walk, Len: 18.3km, Climb: 1672m, Area: France, Occitanie ()


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>