Forums The Gear Room Crazy Automatic Crampon mod?
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  • #784196
    HansGLudwig
    601 Posts

    I have some CAMP Stalker universals for snowboarding and hiking. . .

    …and I’d like to mod them into fully-automatic ‘pons so they fit ski and mountaineering boots.

    I got this a crazy idea that if I buy some toe and heel bails, I can pop out the rivets for the straps, dril/demell out some oblong holes in the toe and heel pieces, and have me some $50 full-autos.
    Later on, with my pop rivet gun and 20 minutes, I can have my universal pons back for snowboard boots.

    Basically, this . . .

    plus this. . .

    Will equal these. . .

    I found one mention of this in another forum…
    http://www.mountainproject.com/v/add-crampon-bail-to-newmaticclip-style-crampons-/110150330

    I know CAMP had a recall in some Alu crampon models a while ago b/c this very hole I plan to drill was a potential point of failure.
    Does anyone have experience with swapping parts on crampons? Does this just have a whole bunch of “bad idea, Hansy” written all over it? What do you think?

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    #784279
    Jason4
    443 Posts

    I wouldn’t do it simply because any time I’d want the added performance of the fully auto bails I’d also want the fully engineered original method of attachment.

    I appreciate your desire to have one set of crampons that fit different boots well. I’d suggest selling what you have a picking up a crampon that starts out as a full auto ‘pon and then use interchangeable straps that fit into the wire holes to get them to fit as strap-ons. Petzl will be selling their crampons as modular pieces starting in March and CAMP already sells strap toes that fit into the bail holes. Or order some Edelrid Beasts that seem to be a crampon with an identity crisis. Vertical points with a strap heel? Check!

    Petzl sneak peek
    CAMP SemiAuto toe bails, item 0150
    I exceed the weight limit on these…

    #784282
    HansGLudwig
    601 Posts

    Thanks for your response. I think you’re probably right @jason4, about the fully engineered thing. That Petzl preview looks great for toes; it also looks like a heel welt is a must for either mode.

    We may have a winner with CAMP’s C12 crampons! Comparing the Universal vs Semi- vs Full-. . .
    Universal

    Semi-

    Fully-

    . . . On closer inspection, it appears the toe piece for Universal & Semi- is comprised of two pieces (unlike most: e.g. BD’s Serac line, where the universal and semi- toe pieces have toe tabs and the full-auto doesn’t): the larger component with the teeth and a U-bracket to which the straps are riveted (these act like the aforementioned tabs). This U-bracket bolts/rivets to the toe piece from the underside. The full-auto toe piece has no U-bracket, but does have factory drilled holes into which a U-bracket could attach.
    The heel pieces, bar, and attachment systems are identical (and I assume interchangeable).
    CAMP sells replacement toe and heel bails but not replacement universal straps; which means the mod could only go in one direction: universal to full-auto. I still think it might be possible to buy a C12 Universal + toe & heel bails, pop off (and keep) the straps and insert the bails to make full-auto ‘pons; but that’s waay over budget so the rest is hypothetical…
    I wonder if the U-bracket (tabs) would interfere with the toebail or boot in full-auto mode? In which case, it would be better to pop the bracket/toepiece rivets instead of the bracket/strap rivets. The other question is are my pop-rivets (or a nut & bolt with a shit-ton of threadlock) as good as factory rivets for attaching the strap? Methinks no.

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    #784284
    Jason4
    443 Posts

    It looks to me like the Petzl Vasak will be available with a regular strap on heel that can be exchanged with the automatic heel bail but for some reason Petzl only shows that on their preview index page.
    Vasak sneek peak

    And now that I’m an image embedding wizard :D, why not start with a replacement toe piece from CAMP and swap these out as needed?
    CAMP toe strap
    CAMP toe bail

    #784285
    Jason4
    443 Posts

    I probably should have asked first, have you tried strapping your current Stalkers onto the ski boots that you want to use them on? You might find that they fit fine with the straps and you don’t need to go to a fully auto crampon anyways.

    #784291
    rughty
    620 Posts

    This thread got me thinking about how I can mod my strap on crampons to be put on faster without all that damn webbing. I have had some precarious days on exposed faces trying to strap on crampons and that is certainly not ideal. Anybody else have thoughts on using snowboard binding straps, ski boot buckles or any other ideas for crampon mods for soft boots without the toe /heel welts?

    #784299
    HansGLudwig
    601 Posts

    I probably should have asked first, have you tried strapping your current Stalkers onto the ski boots

    For sure. They totally work.
    I, just like @rughty don’t like long, puckered strap times. “Click click go,” “easy on, easy off” is what I want. There are a few approaches to pow stashes with mixed coverage, e.g. ascending a North-shoulder of a few local mountains. Flatter sections where the sun hits snow directly tend to melt and I walk on rock/dirt; steeper sections, where the sun hits more obliquely tend to be covered and icy—all within a quarter mile. I prefer not walking over rocks with crampons and it would be nice to have them pop off (on purpose!). That’s all.
    That’s why I go steel btw.

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    #784326
    rughty
    620 Posts

    Just playing in the garage last night. I have a few ideas to decrease weight, but this should do to get the point across.

    #784329
    Jason4
    443 Posts

    One of the best lessons that I’m continually learning in the mountains is when to get out different tools of the trade and anticipating conditions ahead to make those transitions before the terrain gets too scary. That’s just an experience issue and more time in the mountains will sharpen the line between too soon and too late.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to walk on rocks in steel crampons, probably not a quarter mile at a time but definitely for short distances. I’d think twice if I had just sharpened the points and was on my way to climb ice but for general split-mo trips it’s not usually a big deal.

    You’re right though that step ins are much faster than strap ons. My fiance was out climbing volcanoes in May with the ladies on the Almost Famous Volcano Tour. They are all strong mountain people but she was the only one in AT boots and the others were in standard issue snowboard boots. She said that when it came time to go to crampons she had hers on 5-15 faster than the other 3 ladies even after they had climbed 25 volcanoes and had lots of practice with crampons.

    I’m in the same boat as you though, I have a pile of crampons that I want to be able to fit onto everything including AT boots, fully welted mountain boots, heel welted mountain boots, and approach shoes. My ideal crampon quiver would be a 12 point aluminum crampon (auto/semi/strap), a 12 point steel crampon with horizontal points (auto/semi/strap), and a pair with vertical points for ice (auto/semi). I want all 3 pairs to fit onto all of my boots which I think I’ll be able to do with the new Petzl stuff when it comes out. I’ll keep my current aluminum pons, sell all of my current steel and get the Petzl Vasak with an extra Lynx front half. That way 2 and a half pairs of crampons with both the step in and strap bindings on bails will fit all of my boots and needs.

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