Monday, 11 June 2012

Mastering my crampons...

I've been really nervous about managing to get my crampons on and off whilst wearing gloves, in minus 10 degrees with no I took it upon myself this weekend, and did some practising.
Now for those of you as 'green' as me in this department, just open that box slowly...crampons are seriously scary at first...once I had taken them out the packaging, I thought that I would never figure them out!  They are sharp, they clang and there are bits and pieces that move, tie and so much more!

The best advice I can give you here is this:  YOUTUBE!! It's my new favourite friend!! I have learnt tons on there, from putting on crampons, to  stuffing a down jacket!  It's incredible how people just know what people need to to familiarise myself with crampons in general I watched a pile of videos from how to walk in crampons, different techniques and then how to get them on and off safely.  Do yourself a favour, go watch these videos, they will give you a bit more courage to attempt it yourself!

Joe helped me a bit, I placed them on a folded towel on a concrete floor and then stepped into them, toes down and first, clipped the toe clip up and then pushed my heel down.  I then had to wrestle the plastic back clip for a while, I thought it would break I was pulling so hard, but we were told they must be tight, and voila! Eventually I got the hang of it and can now put both on quite comfortably...but in saying that, I'm sure it's a different story once I'm on the glacier, in the dark with thick gloves on!

A little tip:  I painted bright lumo pink nail polish onto my right crampon's front foot lever...I just wanted to make it a little easier for myself in adverse conditions to immediately put the right one at the right boot!

For now I've left them in their box, as soon as the bags arrive I will repack them into that.  You need to pack them point to point in the back to avoid the spikes spiking through the bag and causing chaos!

It's a lot to take in and learn all at once - walking in the plastic boots is hard enough as it is...I feel like a space man waddling from side to side...they are also heavy on their own, but once the crampons are added it really becomes tricky!

I'm very excited to try these for real, and will definitely report back!


  1. Another good video to watch is the how to use your ice axe for self arrest

  2. Awesome! Thanks so much! Quite nervous about the self arrest, but I'm sure once we are there and doing it in a controlled environment it will be ok!!