How to dress up padded cats

How to dress up padded cats

Climbing crampons are essential equipment for many types of mountain sports such as mountaineering, mountaineering, ski mountaineering, ice climbing, etc. However, for each specific sport, there are special models of cats designed specifically for it. And it is very important to choose the right model that suits your requirements and tasks.

There are two fundamentally different approaches to choosing climbing crampons:

  • the first means buying shoes first, and then choosing cats for them;
  • the second, on the contrary, buying cats and only then choosing the appropriate shoes.

Both of these approaches have the right to life, but the first one should be recognized as more correct. Since the shoes are still primary. After all, we spend a lot of time in boots, and the success of the whole event depends on their correct selection. Suppose that you already have shoes that are suitable for you in all respects, and you come to the store to choose and buy crampons for these shoes. And here you are faced with such a huge number of different types and models of these "animals" that you fall into a slight stupor for a long time :)

Let's figure out what's what.

According to the method of attaching the crampons to the boots, all crampons can be divided into crampons with soft, hard and semi-rigid (or semi-soft :)) attachments.

Cats with soft bindings are the most versatile - they can be worn on any boots or even on sneakers, if so desired. The soft mount is most often a plastic brace that is fixed to the boot with a sling. These cats are represented by models Petzl Charlet VASAK FL, IRVIS FL, Grivel G12 New Classic, G10 New Classic, Air Tech New Classic, Black Diamond Contact Strap, CAMP C12 NB, C10 NB, XLC 490, Stalker Newmatic and others.

However, this mounting method has its drawbacks. First, cats with soft bindings are longer and harder to dress. And if you have to put on cats somewhere on the pass in a severe frost and strong wind, then the speed and ease of dressing the cats plays an important role. Secondly, no matter how carefully you adjust the size of the crampons to the size of the boots, and no matter how much you tighten the straps of the bindings, all the same, after a while, the fastening weakens and the crampons begin to dangle a little on the boots. I must say that this does not give much joy when climbing an ice slope, for example. It also happens that poorly secured cats fly off their boots and, as a rule, at the most inopportune moment - and this is not only inconvenient, but also simply extremely life-threatening.

In this regard, cats with rigid attachments are much more comfortable and safe. Such cats are not worn on all kinds of boots, but only on boots that have so on. welts in the front and back, for which the fastening elements of the crampons cling - a brace in front and a "frog" in the back. Having adjusted such fasteners once, in the future, in a matter of seconds, you will be able to put on your crampons in any situation. This type of cat is represented by models Petzl Charlet VASAK LLF, SARKEN SL, M10, IRVIS SL, CAMP XLC 390 Fast, C12 F.

The intermediate position between the crampons with soft and hard bindings is occupied by the crampons with semi-rigid bindings. They have a soft front part of the mount, and a hard back (usually a "frog"). This type is represented by cats Petzl Charlet VASAK LL, IRVIS LL, IRVIS SPL, SARKEN LL, Grivel G14 New Matic, G12 New Matic, G10 New Matic, Air Tech New Matic, Air Tech Light New Matic, CAMP XLC Nanotech, C12 NBF, Stalker Universal.

In addition to the way they are attached to the boots, crampons also differ in the way they join the front and back. So that cats can be put on a shoe of any size, they are made of two parts - front (under the toe of the boot) and back (under the heel). By the way they are connected, cats are semi-rigid and rigid (platform). Some time ago, cats with a soft, or articulated, connection were also common, but now you will not find such cats anymore, so we will not describe them here.

The need to create platform crampons has arisen due to the increased technical complexity of ice routes. Previously, climbers had to chop steps long and tediously in order to climb a steep ice wall. Thanks to the rigid platform crampons, it became possible to navigate steep ice sections on the front teeth. As a rule, on platform crampons, the front teeth are located vertically, which provides them with greater strength, and the rigid platform provides reliable support for the foot. Platform crampons also consist of two parts that slide relative to each other and are fixed with threaded connections. Almost every cat manufacturer in the lineup has at least one platform cat model - for example, the Grivel 2F New Matic.

However, hard platform cats are, after all, single models for a narrow circle of users. The most widely used nowadays are semi-rigid cats. In these cats, the front and back parts are connected by a metal plate with many holes for adjusting the cat to the size of the shoe (like a regular belt). This design combines the comfort of soft crampons and the stability of hard crampons and allows the use of semi-rigid crampons both on simple firn slopes and on more difficult ice slopes. As a rule, on semi-rigid crampons, the front teeth are located horizontally - precisely because they are designed for a very wide application, and it is much easier to move on an ice-snow, snowy or firn slope in such crampons. vertical front teeth will simply cut through loose ice or firn. The exceptions are the Petzl Charlet M10 and Grivel G14 crampons - these models have two front teeth located vertically, in addition, it is possible to put one tooth instead of two front teeth.

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