A crampon is a traction device that is attached to footwear to improve mobility on snow and ice during ice climbing.Besides ice climbing, crampons are also used for secure travel on snow and ice, such as crossing glaciers, snowfields and icefields, ascending snow slopes, and scaling ice-covered rock.
There are three main attachment systems for footwear: step-in, hybrid, and strap bindings. The first two require boots with welts, or specialized mountaineering boots with dedicated front and rear lugs, as a cam-action lever attaches the crampon to the heel. The last type (strap bindings) are more versatile and can adapt to virtually any boot or shoe, but often do not fit as precisely as the other two types.
Oscar Eckenstein designed the first 10-point crampon in 1908, dramatically reducing the need for step cutting. This design was then made commercially available by the Italian Henry Grivel. [ citation needed ]
Crampons are made of steel alloy, light weight aluminium, or a combination of the two. Lighter weight crampons are popular for alpine ski touring where demands are generally lower and light weight a premium.
Early 10-point crampons lacked forward angled spikes and thus required step cutting on steep terrain. In the 1930s two additional forward-slanting points were added, making them exceptional for mountaineering and glacier travel and beginning a revolution in front pointing. There is currently a range of models, including specialized crampons with as many as 14 points and models with single points for ice climbing.
Crampons are fastened to footwear by means of a binding system. Improved attachment systems – such as a cam action "step-in" system similar to a ski binding and particularly well adapted to plastic technical mountaineering boots - have widely increased crampon use. Crampons also use a full "strap-in" system and a "hybrid" binding that features a toe strap at the front and a heel lever at the back.
To prevent snow from balling up under crampons, especially in temperatures around freezing, most models can be fitted with plastic or rubber "anti-balling" systems to reduce build-up. Rubber models use flexion to repel snow while plastic anti-balling plates employ a hydrophobic surface to prevent adhesion.
Crampons are graded C1, C2 and C3 relative to their flexibility and general compatibility with different styles of boots.No crampons are suitable for B0 boots (flexible walking boots).
|Type||Use||B0 boot (flexible)||B1 boot (semi stiff)||B2 boot (fully stiff)||B3 boot |
(technical climbing boot)
|C1||relatively flexible - for walking||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|C2||versatile - for both walking and mountaineering||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|C3||for technical mountaineering||No||No||No||Yes|
Specialized "ski crampons" are employed in ski mountaineering on hard snow and ice. Far more common in the Alps than in the United States, these ski crampons are known by their European names: Harscheisen (German), couteaux (French) and coltelli (Italian)[ citation needed ], literally French and Italian for "knives" in those languages.
While crampons generally have a solid frame, large spikes, and may only be attached to a mountaineering boot, microspikes typically are flexible rubber or metal chains with more, smaller spikes. Since crampons are tighter and have larger spikes, they are typically used for mountaineering on steep and dense snow or glacial ice in order to maintain strong traction and avoid falls, whereas microspikes may be attached to multiple types of shoes and are generally used for hiking on flatter surfaces such as snow or even gravel or dirt.
A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration and fashion. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with form originally being tied to function. Though the human foot can adapt to varied terrains and climate conditions, it is still vulnerable to environmental hazards such as sharp rocks and temperature extremes, which shoes protect against. Some shoes are worn as safety equipment, such as steel-toe boots which are required footwear at industrial worksites.
Snowboards are boards where the user places both feet, usually secured, to the same board. The board itself is wider than most skis, with the ability to glide on snow. Snowboards widths are between 6 and 12 inches or 15 to 30 centimeters. Snowboards are differentiated from monoskis by the stance of the user. In monoskiing, the user stands with feet inline with direction of travel, whereas in snowboarding, users stand with feet transverse to the longitude of the board. Users of such equipment may be referred to as snowboarders. Commercial snowboards generally require extra equipment such as bindings and special boots which help secure both feet of a snowboarder, who generally ride in an upright position. These types of boards are commonly used by people at ski hills, mountains, backcountry, or resorts for leisure, entertainment, and competitive purposes in the activity called snowboarding.
Ice skates are metal blades attached underfoot and used to propel the bearer across a sheet of ice while ice skating.
Snowshoes are specialized outdoor gear for walking over snow. Their large footprint spreads the user's weight out and allows them to travel largely on top of rather than through snow. Adjustable bindings attach them to appropriate winter footwear.
A ski binding is a device that connects a ski boot to the ski. Before the 1933 invention of ski lifts, skiers went uphill and down and cross-country on the same gear. As ski lifts became more prevalent, skis—and their bindings—became increasingly specialized, differentiated between alpine (downhill) and Nordic styles of skiing. Until the point of divergence in the mid-20th century, bindings held the toe of a flexible, leather boot against the ski and allowed the heel to rise off the ski, typically with a form of strap or cable around the heel.
The pedal is the part of a bicycle that the rider pushes with their foot to propel the vehicle. It provides the connection between the cyclist's foot or shoe and the crank allowing the leg to turn the bottom bracket spindle and propel the bicycle's wheels. A pedal usually consists of a spindle that threads into the end of the crank, and a body on which the foot rest is attached, that is free to rotate on bearings with respect to the spindle.
Ski boots are footwear used in skiing to provide a way to attach the skier to skis using ski bindings. The ski/boot/binding combination is used to effectively transmit control inputs from the skier's legs to the snow.
An ice axe is a multi-purpose hiking and climbing tool used by mountaineers in both the ascent and descent of routes that involve snow, ice, or frozen conditions. Its use depends on the terrain: in its simplest role it is used like a walking stick, with the mountaineer holding the head in the center of their uphill hand. On steep terrain it is swung by its handle and embedded in snow or ice for security and an aid to traction. It can also be buried pick down, the rope tied around the shaft to form a secure anchor on which to bring up a second climber, or buried vertically to form a stomp belay. The adze is used to cut footholds, as well as scoop out compacted snow to bury the axe as a belay anchor.
Ski mountaineering is a skiing discipline that involves climbing mountains either on skis or carrying them, depending on the steepness of the ascent, and then descending on skis. There are two major categories of equipment used, free-heel Telemark skis and skis based on Alpine skis, where the heel is free for ascents, but is fixed during descent. The discipline may be practiced recreationally or as a competitive sport.
Backcountry skiing (US), also called off-piste (Europe), alpine touring, or out-of-area, is skiing in the backcountry on unmarked or unpatrolled areas either inside or outside a ski resort's boundaries. This contrasts with alpine skiing, which is typically done on groomed trails benefiting from a ski patrol. Unlike ski touring, backcountry skiing can include the use of ski lifts including snowcats and helicopters. Recent improvements in equipment have increased the popularity of the sport.
Motorcycle boots are associated with motorcycle riders and range from above ankle to below knee boots. They have an outside of a typical boot but a low heel to control the motorcycle. To improve motorcycle safety, motorcycle boots are generally made from a thick, heavy leather and may include energy absorbing and load spreading padding, metal, plastic and/or composite materials to protect the motorcycle rider's feet, ankles and legs in an accident. For use in wet weather, some boots have a waterproof membrane lining such as Gore-Tex or SympaTex.
Hiking (walking) boots are footwear specifically designed for protecting the feet and ankles during outdoor walking activities such as hiking. They are one of the most important items of hiking gear, since their quality and durability can determine a hiker's ability to walk long distances without injury. Hiking boots are constructed to provide comfort for walking considerable distance over rough terrain. Boots that protect the hiker's feet and heel are recommended. Hiking boots give ankle support and are fairly stiff. A less popular alternative is to use light trainers with thin soles. Footwear should be neither too loose nor too tight, to help prevent blisters and sore feet. Hiking socks that wick sweat from the feet, provide warmth, and cushion the feet are recommended and a thin, inner sock may also help. Most hiking boots are also designed for other outdoor activities such as backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, and hunting.
Sporting equipment, also called sporting goods, are the tools, materials, apparel, and gear used to compete in a sport and varies depending on the sport. The equipment ranges from balls, nets, and protective gear like helmets. Sporting equipment can be used as protective gear or a tool used to help the athletes play the sport. Over time, sporting equipment has evolved because sports have started to require more protective gear to prevent injuries. Sporting equipment may be found in any department store or specific sporting equipment shops.
Cycling shoes are shoes purpose-built for cycling. There are a variety of designs depending on the type and intensity of the cycling for which they are intended. Key features include rigidity, for more-efficient transfer of power from the cyclist to the pedals, weight, a method of attaching the shoe firmly to the pedal and adaptability for use on and off the bicycle. Most high-performance cycling shoes can be adjusted while in use, via a quick-adjusting system that has largely replaced laces.
Mountaineering, expedition or high altitude boots are a type of footwear used in mountain climbing. They are designed specifically for moving over harsh terrain.
An ice tool is a specialized elaboration of the modern ice axe, used in ice climbing, mostly for the more difficult configurations. Ice tools are used two to a person for the duration of a pitch, and thus in some circumstances such as top-rope-anchored climbs, a pair may be shared among two or more people, where only one of them at a time is climbing. In contrast a classical "ice axe" is used one to a person for the hours or days a party is traveling across snow or glacier. In communities where it is common to refer to an "ice tool" simply as an "ice axe", classic "ice axes" are often referred to as "traveling axes", "walking axes", or "general mountaineering axes" to distinguish them from "tools".
Cleats or studs are protrusions on the sole of a shoe or on an external attachment to a shoe that provide additional traction on a soft or slippery surface. They can be conical or blade-like in shape and can be made of plastic, rubber or metal. The type worn depends on the environment of play: grass, ice, artificial turf, or other grounds.
Spademan was a type of ski binding, one of a number of "plate bindings" that were popular in alpine skiing during the 1970s. It used a bronze plate screwed into the bottom of the boot as its connection point, held to the ski by a clamp-like mechanism that grasped the side of the plate. Unlike conventional bindings, the Spademan could release in any direction, in response to any force or torque. It provided greatly improved protection compared to contemporary designs, which generally allowed release of the toe to the sides and heel directly forward, keeping the foot attached in any other fall direction.
The Grivel Scarpa Binding, or GSB, was created in 2004 as a design collaboration between the companies Scarpa, an Italian shoe and boot manufacturer, and Grivel, an Italian manufacturer of mountaineering crampons, ice axes and other mountaineering equipment. The system involves combining a specially designed mountaineering boot sole unit with a tailored crampon design.
Ice cleats are a contraption, affixed to a shoe or boot, with small spikes underneath. They are used to avoid sliding on slippery surfaces like ice or snow. Ice cleats are attached to footwear with either straps over the heel and toe or a single strip over the foot. Not to be mistaken for crampons used for ice climbing, ice cleats are much smaller and are commonly used in arctic areas.