Feb 7, 2007 at 9:04 pm #1221704
Im looking for some instep crampons to carry primarily for short icy sections of trail, not for vertical use. Im leaning toward the Grivel spiders at 140g, but the spikes look too short. Any suggestions please? These will be worn with Inov-8 330s. Thanks.Feb 7, 2007 at 10:56 pm #1377557
@otterLocale: WyomingFeb 8, 2007 at 12:52 am #1377562
Amazing how different these all are. I'll choose one most appropriate to flat terrain and occasional ice. Thanks!Feb 8, 2007 at 2:31 pm #1377649
With regard to step-in crampons there are a huge range available in Japan – any hiking shop should have a good selection. I'm not sure where you're living but if you're in Tokyo check out the gear shops in Jimbocho (there are hundreds there), Ochanomizu and Shibuya. Stores like OdBox, ICI Ishi Sports, Sakaiya, L-Breath etc. There are a lot of Japan-only brands like Mochizuki and Mt.Dax that make good products.
I have 6 point Grivels and 4 point Snow Peaks but I stopped using all of them because I found them completely unhelpful in the mountains. Instead I switched to 12 point aluminium crampons that weighed about the same as the Grivels. If you are on flat terrain 4 points or 6 points may work but the problem with 4 point crampons is that they are in your instep, so unless the points are very long and the ice/snow very firm they don't help much. They don't help at all on slopes or slushy summer snow fields like on Shirouma's "big snow valley". 6 points do work better but can be uncomfortable because they're only under part of your foot – on hard surfaces like ice they can be quite "tippy". We went into Kamikochi in the winter one time and had to walk through the road tunnel which was a solid sheet of ice. One of the other guys had 6 points and it was like he was wearing geta, so he kept tipping forward on them.
If you want good info on a lot of these mountains, check out this site:
The guy who set up the site has 3D maps, gradient profiles and some really good photos, one I use as the background on my computer.
good luckFeb 8, 2007 at 4:00 pm #1377656
I've used CMI instep crampons before for winter hiking in the Smokies, where higher country often resulted in icy conditions. They were decent, but the patches were often 200 yards of very slick nastiness, then a rocky rough stretch that required me to remove my CMI's. This would get pretty monotonous. This past Christmas time I used a pair of Yaktrax Pros after having gotten very good feedback about them. They were excellent in the icy/rocky/muddy mix I experienced. In flatter or fairly gentle-sloped ascents and descents, I was very impressed with traction and durability. I was on them off and on for three days and they show very little wear. I have heard very poor reports on durability of the regular Yaktrax, but the Pros were a winner for me, and at a much lighter weight than the CMI's I've used.Feb 8, 2007 at 4:34 pm #1377663
You might want to consider Ice Walkers. I've been using them for years, though I actually wear them under the ball of my foot, rather than the instep (better traction). I've even worn two pairs at once: one at the front of the foot and one under the heel.
They come in two varieties. One uses adjustable neoprene straps (shown above) that hold quite well (recommended). The other uses nylon straps fitted with side-release buckles that don't stay in place very well (I'd pass on these).
They're cheap and light weight (I've confirmed the manufacturer's published weight of 4.5 oz per pair) so I usually take them anytime I think I might encounter snow or ice. Try stay off rocks with them however, since they're not super-durable and will dull rather quickly. On the other hand, they're also easily sharpened with a file or bench grinder.
Certainly not a substitute for real crampons when mountaineering, but perfect for that occasional snow or ice field crossing when hiking.Feb 8, 2007 at 4:57 pm #1377667
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
You might consider Alpin six point crampons at 13 oz. I used them for awhile before changing to Kahtoola's
Kahtoola:Feb 8, 2007 at 6:37 pm #1377688
In Japan, easy to obtain Evernew's Crampons.
2007 equipment catalog (page 24)
I use Kahtoola from sneakers to boots.
It is expensive, but functional and am comfortable.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hardcorehiker/324737654/in/set-72157594424248692/Feb 8, 2007 at 6:48 pm #1377690
Thanks everyone! Im really pleased with all the personal knowledge; essentially reviews. I am going to look for the Yaktrax pros at Jimbocho, and order a pair of the $4 Ice walkers; cant go wrong at that price.
Im going to the Yatsugatake area this weekend, and the Nagano (old winter olympic) area next weekend. The weather really is not cooperating and there is very little snow. :(
Damian, thanks for the list of shops; I've discovered those one by one by accident. ODBox really was a SURPRISE, they carry items from tiny US cottage makers like gossamer gear, antigravitygear, minibull designs, etc.. all at hugely inflated prices of course. I found the best prices at a medium sized store in Tokyo which only has kanji in the name
http://www.kojitu.co.jp/Feb 10, 2007 at 6:10 pm #1377959
Yes, ODBox's UL gear collection is both surprising and expensive but unfortunately with delivery costs etc getting stuff directly from the US didn't seem to be a lot cheaper.Feb 12, 2007 at 2:30 am #1378086
Thanks for the links; I was in Yatsugatake last weekend, falling all over the ice. Wish I had my instep crampons already but they are still in the mail!
Great slide show of Kumotori mountain; you have great gear, including that Black Diamond bivy.. consider posting your gear list here please? Your website seems to be a wealth of information; I will try to use machine translation to read it.Feb 12, 2007 at 3:30 am #1378096
Because weather forecast wasn't fine, was the Yatsugatake very cold?
I'm…though there was little experience of the snowy mountains, I should have advised you.
Didn't you have trouble with your crampons?
I think that crampons more than eight points require at least to go to Yatsugatake.
I planned to go to do Snow hike last weekend alone in the vicinity of north Yatsugatake.
Gear list at that time:
Gear list at Mt. Kumotori, Dec. 16 & 17, 2006:
Because I include a lot of Japanese slang, my description may be no use by machine translation.
If there isn't machine translation, I can't understand English language.
Good luck!Feb 12, 2007 at 7:17 am #1378110
ブレットFeb 12, 2007 at 12:22 pm #1378157
I climbed Tengudake a couple of winters ago – it was -14 C in the carpark and -20 at the summit …. before windchill.
What's the weather like this year?Feb 27, 2007 at 1:19 am #1380210
..this year in Japan. Sorry for the late reply, I came back to this thread to post about a new type of crampon I found.
-20C at the summit of a Northern "Alps" peak would be normal around Yatsugatake also, but it was only about -5C. We dont have much snow, and looks like winter will end before I can learn to ice climb. :(
You climbed the Tengudake which is on Shikoku?Feb 27, 2007 at 12:18 pm #1380278
No, the Tengudake which is one of the peaks of Yatsugatake. This year sounds unusually warm, even last winter when we were on Yatsugatake it was below -10C.Feb 28, 2007 at 4:52 pm #1380485
I have a couple different pairs, these CAMP 6 point are my favorite:
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