/ Should I replace my crampons?

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d80f0u 17 Nov 2019

Thank you all in advance of sensible, reasoned advice!

I have a pair of G14s which are probably >10 years old but usually only see a handful of uses each year. Coming back from the Alps this summer I noticed that one of the rearmost points on one crampon had sheared clean off. I did what most people do and put them away in the garage (after drying and WD40, of course) and promptly forgot all about them. The recent weather means I've just started to get excited about winter so I had a look over my gear and remembered the broken point. I'm in two minds about whether to replace them or not, given that I didn't even notice it happening and therefore didn't feel any less secure as a result. On the other hand, could the fact that it happened at all indicate a more general weakness that might lead to other - more catastrophic - problems?

And by way of disclaimer, I know that ultimately this is on my head and no-one else's. I'm just interested if there are any informed opinions (metallurgists? blacksmiths? materials scientists?) out there before I decide whether to shell out for a new pair.

Ben

McHeath 17 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

If that point hadn't been there for a reason, they'd have been designed as G13's ;)

Bit of a bummer if that one would have been the point which could have prevented the final fatal slide. I'd replace them immediately.

2
Robbie Blease 17 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

I would definitely replace. Those two back points provide a lot of resistance when walking downhill. 

HeMa 17 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

I would get new ones, but still keep the old ones for training (safe drytooling etc).

ena sharples 17 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

The fact of you asking says (to my mind) you already know the correct answer-replace them.

Ffat Boi 17 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

Yes, I agree , you should replace them, however I would probably get some g10's and swap over the rear points (depending on their over all condition) and use the g10 for hill walking and the g14 for Alpine routes.

Or just go shopping for new ones..X-mas is coming

Eric9Points 17 Nov 2019
In reply to Ffat Boi:

Don't know the model but can you just replace the broken part?

If so, I'd consider this but first examine the rest of the spikes for cracks with a magnifying glass, especially around the bends in the metal.

wilkie14c 17 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

I’m sure someone has an odd one cramp theyd sell? Loss of one cramp of the pair has happened to me and must have happened to others

1
profitofdoom 17 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

If that was me, I would definitely replace them and bin the old pair

1
TobyA 17 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

I've never heard of people shearing one point off - thats interesting. Where did it break?

I've snapped the frame of a rigid crampon in the past https://1.bp.blogspot.com/_3bhSo6922y4/SXihls4U5UI/AAAAAAAABRs/-mVPI3JmK7I/s1600/terminator2.JPG but I've not heard of a point breaking off on steel crampons.

It PROBABLY means you should be boring and buy some new ones, but you could just think lightning doesn't strike twice and wobble about on the one missing the point (the crampons, not you!). I suspect actually one less downward point than the normal 10 isn't likely to be that noticeable.

1
Exile 18 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

To a greater or lesser extent I agree with Toby, although, for some reason, I'd be happier doing it myself than advising somebody else to do it(!)

An alternative could be to buy another pair of Grivel crampons second hand, (a pair of G12s on here for £50 at the moment,) and swap the heals.

yodadave 18 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

wow! never thought I'd see a broken pair of terminators

French Erick 18 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I have done the same with mine and hadn't realised until my partner pointed it out from a belay. 

Being broke at the time I climbed another twice with that and then...lost the pair on a night-time climb walk out (cheeky after work route on cha-no.

Having said that, they didn't owe me anything having seen me through 13 years of climbing from grade IV- to soft touch VIII (most likely hard VIIs)

French Erick 18 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

Buy another pair but keep those either for spare easy day out or just spares for the new pair.

I wnet back to buying a new pair of G14s- I had spare points, always got on well with them and wasn't that convinced by other alternatives to abandon my spare points.

TobyA 18 Nov 2019
In reply to French Erick:

> Being broke at the time I climbed another twice with that and then...lost the pair on a night-time climb walk out (cheeky after work route on cha-no.)

How long does the walk in take? I'm coming up to Scotland just before Xmas with a friend who hasn't winter climbed in years and meeting an old Aussie mate of ours on a flying visit to Scotland -he hasn't ice climbed in years and hasn't winter climbed in Scotland before- and thought it might be a good place to introduce them to the delights of Scottish winter (if, fingers crossed, its in condition then).

Webster 18 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

you can generaly buy new front ends for crampons (though probably not the G14s as they have replaceable front points instead), but i dont think any manufactures sell new heal pieces. as others have said, buy a second hand pair and mix and match, keeping everything except the old broken heel piece as spares

French Erick 19 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

A big hour if you know your way round the crag and walking conditions are good? Most people will go too far up on their first visit and end up walking back down a fair bit (me included) making this closer to an hour and a half I think. I have never properly timed myself there on my 2/3 visits. Last I went, I was full of the lurgy and almost died going there ;)

mick taylor 19 Nov 2019
In reply to Webster:

Correct.  Trekkinn.com do spare heels for g14’s

d80f0u 19 Nov 2019
In reply to mick taylor:

Thanks Mick, I'll take a look. I've never heard of Trekinn though, any experience with them? Are they reliable?

Cheers,

Ben

In reply to d80f0u:

I'm sure the knowledgeable metallurgists on here can advise about metal fatigue, that's a pretty concerning failure. I know what I'd do..

The Lemming 20 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

Have you considered contacting the manufacturer direct?

They may be interested in seeing the damage for research purposes.

And you never know, they may offer a discount on a new pair.

mick taylor 20 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

No experience with them.  Noticed at least one other place selling them as well.

d80f0u 24 Nov 2019
In reply to d80f0u:

Many thanks everyone for all your advice. I've weighed it up and decided my best option is to buy a pair of G12s or G10s (probably new but on the lookout for good second-hand) and swap the heels over. Buying the heel piece separately was tempting but all the online reviews for that website (TrekkINN) made it sound a bit dodgy.

Ben


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