Crampons open up a new world of terrain for trampers, and, as with your boots, you need the perfect fit – Living Simply’s Ben Sinclair explains
1. Size them up
Poorly-fitted crampons are a danger on the slopes, so it’s important to purchase the right type, and adjust them before use.
“There are a multitude of crampon options which vary in point, size, and count (how many metal spikes they have, and how long and sharp they are), the rigidity of the frame bar, and how they attach to your boots,” Sinclair says.
“The best way to differentiate [which crampons to use] is to decide whether you are doing technical climbing, or just walking on snow.”
To fit, slide the linking bar through the adjustment clip until your boot fits snugly between the toe and heel bindings. “When fitted well, the crampons should cling to your boots without the binding strap,” Sinclair says.
When choosing crampons, ensure the linking bar has rigidity equal to or greater than your boots – otherwise, crampons can twist off as you walk.
2. Heel to toe
Set your boot on the crampon, and if you’re happy with the fit, feed the binding strap from the ankle through the toe binding loop, ensuring it has no twists.
3. Toe to heel
Pull the binding strap from the toe binding loop to the opposite heel loop. If you’ve done everything correctly, the binding strap should cross your boot like a jandal.
4. Lock the binding
Bring the binding strap across the top of your foot, and you should find yourself back where you started. Thread the strap through the loops or buckle.
5. Tighten and stow
Pull the binding strap tight until the loops or buckle catch, and tie off the excess binding strap on the opposite heel. Test your work by taking a few steps – the crampons should feel secure and rigid.
Stuck? View the video tutorial: