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Combination Crampons
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By Paul-B
Oct 28, 2012
Flakes of Wrath

I am looking at getting into ice climbing this winter. I currently own the Lowa Cevedale GTX boots, they have a nice stiff sole, and a crampon compatible heel, but no toe welt. I have the black diamond sabertooth clip crampons, lock on heel, strap to front. While I know this is not the ideal set up, will this work for entry level ice climbing? I don't have the money for new boots/crampons this winter. They feel quite secure, however I realize that might change when I am kicking hard.

Love some input....thanks


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By Taylor-B.
From CO & AK
Oct 28, 2012
Mt. Churchill, University Range

A lot of top climbers rock the front strap in the mountains. Like Colin Haley and Steve House.


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By Paul-B
Oct 28, 2012
Flakes of Wrath

Good enough for me. Thanks Rowdy.


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By James O. Thompson
Aug 4, 2014

Hello, I don't want to resurrect an old thread but this came up when I was running a Google search. I have the same boots and was wondering how well that crampon setup worked for you. Thanks.


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By Jon H
From Boulder
Aug 4, 2014
At the matching crux

That combo works perfectly well for everyone who has it. I'm sure Paul will chime in and tell you the same thing though.


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By Paul-B
Aug 4, 2014
Flakes of Wrath

Yep, I climbed on that combo for a season. Worked fine. Eventually upgraded to the pretzl lynx, but I was happy with the sabertooth for the level of ice I was at.


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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Aug 5, 2014

The size of your boot matters.

I have a pair of Sabertooth clip crampons with the cradle in the front. I wear about a size 41 in Nepal, Batura, Lowa Civetta and some other similar boots. The toes of these boots are too narrow for these crampons. They're fine on snow, but as soon as I kick into waterfall ice, the toes push through the front cradle. This results in a very scary situation of not being able to use my frontpoints at all and eventually the heel comes unclipped. The only thing I can do to prevent it is to use French technique exclusively. It's not pleasant.

And just to clarify, my crampons are super sharp, the fit is correct, and my footwork isn't particularly heavy.

My solution was to buy a spare set of crampon bails and mount them alongside the integrated front cradle. Now they work great. Actually even more secure than just having the bail.


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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Aug 5, 2014
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

You'll be fine like everyone else said. Besides.. You can experiment and see as you'll be on toprope.

I watched Erik Eisele go up Bob's, (grade 4) with the same sort of setup. He decided that the route was too baked 3/4 of the way up and then downclimbed to the bottom. Money well spent that day.


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