How to Attach Crampons

Written by candace horgan
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How to Attach Crampons
Crampons enable safe travel on icy terrain in the mountains. (Ice-axe and crampons image by pioregur from

Crampons are metal spikes that strap to boots to enable a person to safely travel on ice. Crampons are made with either 10 or 12 points; the 12-point models are the most versatile for mountaineering, but 10-point models save a little weight and are good for routes that are more low-angle. Most climbers prefer to use crampons with step-in attachments that fasten like ski bindings, as they are faster and easier to attach and remove.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Boots
  • Crampons

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  1. 1

    Examine the crampon to find its curve, and match it to your boot. Crampons usually are designed in a left-right configuration, with a subtle curve from left to right for the left foot and right to left for the right foot.

  2. 2

    Insert your boot into the crampon, toe first. If your crampon has rigid toe bails, slot the bail into the toe lip of your boot. If the crampon has a soft toe bail to accommodate a wider range of boots, pull it up and over the toe of the boot.

  3. 3

    Pull the heel bail up and place it against the heel lip of your boot, then flip the heel lever up. The binding should lock the crampon in place with a solid "thwack" sound.

  4. 4

    Thread the ankle strap on the outside of the ankle through the rings on the other side, and snug it up. On models with a soft toe bail, thread the strap through the hole in the toe bail and then back to the inside ankle rings.

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