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Grivel G14 Cramp-o-matic, 23 December 2010
By ERU (Cardiff)
General comments: With many types and makes of crampons out there, how do you know which ones to buy? Well if walking and climbing up to grade 2/3 is your thing and you don't fancy progressing through the grades then these probably are not the ones for you. However, for technical climbing, the Grivel G14s are awesome. The vertical front points are really good, they sharpen up really well to give good penetration into ice providing a good stable platform espescially in dual point mode. In fragile water ice it can take a few kicks to get a good placement unfortunately. It is on mixed ground that these crampons come into their own. The front bale can be moved back or forward to increase or decrease the front point length. For mixed, move the bale forward making the points short, this decreases the leaverage and makes life easier on your calf muscles. In mono point mode the point sits directly under your big toe giving very precise placements. You get really good feedback so you can gauge how good the foot placement is. With the G14 being a semi ridged design they do flex a bit depending on how much your boot flexes. I found this to be a benefit have used fully rigid ones before. The flex helped give a bit more feedback helping you climb more precisely and avoid scrabling around so much which ultimately saved energy. They clip on to your boots very easily and are quick to adjust to fit your boots. This can all be done without tools making life easy. When clipping on they make a load clunk when on properly and in 3 seasons of using these they have never come off my boots even when having to walk in them. The straps tighten up well and dont get in the way. All in all these crampons are brilliant.
Pros: Precise placements, secure fit at home on steep mixed ground.
Cons: Can take a couple of kicks for secure placements in fragile ice. Rubbish for walking in.
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