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Gear Guy

Are My Modified Crampons Safe?

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I reversed and flipped a front point on my DMM Terminators to
make a heel spur. This required cutting a notch in the frame of the
crampons to fit the point. Have I seriously compromised the integrity of
the crampon? Am I heading for Armageddon? My modification also required widening some of the heel bail notches to allow for hardened steel nuts and bolts. These were supported by the extra spacers that came with the crampon to make it dual point.

—Caver J. Rowley, via rockandice.com

Heel spurs were universally deemed cheating years ago when
Will Gadd discovered he could hook them and sleep like a bat on the
world’s hardest mixed routes, but you obviously did not get the memo.
Gear Guy respects a fellow DIYer (do-it-yourselfer), but DMM would
surely not condone drilling and sawing their beautiful products, nor do
I, and you may have structurally damaged your crampons. Simply drilling
the bail holes a bit and notching the heel frame a little should be OK,
assuming you didn’t overheat the metal or remove too much of it, but
your Frankenstein creation sounds like it took a bit more than just a
simple nip here and there. If you feel like you might have damaged your
crampons, you probably did. Get new ones. Gear Guy has spoken!

This article appeared in Rock and Ice issue 191 (January 2011). 

Got a question? Email: rockandicegearguy@gmail.com

Feature image by DBaisley