Tips for Using Crampons

Author: M Wilkinson , WhittakerMountaineering and FitClimb

Ice Climbing Crampons Picture

Using crampons when Ice Climbing or Mountaineering is a must. It's a skill you will have to master to get the most out of the sport and these useful bits of gear will make the impossible seem a lot more possible once strapped to your boots.

If your new to using them however they can seem very daunting, frustrating hard to fix and secure to your boots and they do have the potential to rip an almighty hole in your trousers. So, here are a few hints to help you master the use of crampons, and a couple of super helpful videos as well, we hope they help.



  • The Sole of your boot should match the shape of your crampons a perfectly as possible, the more flexible to boot, try and get a more flexible crampon

  • To make sure your crampons are fitted correctly, they should not come off the boot even with the straps and clips undone, make sure you have the fit perfectly adjusted before you start your climb

  • When approaching the climb, make sure you have your crampons in crampon bag or other holder that shields both your self, your other gear and others around you from the sharp points, try and pack them inside your pack also.

  • If you are using crampons with a strap system, such as the grivel G12, make sure the straps are trimmed to a sensible length, enough to allow a secure fit to the boot, but no so long you could trip over them

  • always check every details of the crampons before use, the straps, screws, linking bar and spikes all suffer from wear and tear and so must be maintained and checked regularly

  • Unless you are climbing technical water ice, try and used anti balling plates so stop excessive snow build up underneath the crampons, if you don't have these you can fashion them out of bin liners and tape, though these dont tend to last long

  • Always carry a repair kit of sorts, including, plastic cable ties, some tape (pvc electrical works best) a replacement nut and bolt that fit your crampons and some chord. These can all help should you have mechanical failure on the climb.




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