Putting on ski crampons

Putting on ski crampons

Ski crampons are the wildcard you can play when touring skins no longer grip icy surfaces – and a form of safety equipment, especially in steep, exposed terrain (see crampons: why / when / which width). 

When in icy snow conditions on your ski tour, it is important to put on the crampons before you get into difficulties. You should therefore look ahead as you ascend and put on the crampons sooner rather than later. You can put on ski crampons in various ways depending on the binding model. With pin bindings like the Marker Kingpin and Alpinist, the central bar on the crampon is inserted into a groove on the lower edge of the toe piece from the side. It is important for insertion to occur at the correct angle, on a slight tilt and with controlled force. The bar must be positioned centrally so as to lock easily. When mounted and subject to load, the crampon’s points must not touch either the sidewalls or the edges of the touring ski as this can dent and damage it. Pin bindings have the advantage that you can even put on crampons in walking mode. To do this, simply lift your heel and push the crampon on from the side as described above. In the case of frame bindings, such as the Marker Tour series, crampons are directly attached to the touring binding’s central bridge. To do this, the binding needs to be set to walking mode and the frame must be lifted by the heel to provide access to its underside. The crampon is then attached to the rear of the bridge (near the ski stopper) using a strap and clipped onto the underside of the central bridge. Care should again be taken to ensure that the points do not touch the ski’s sidewalls or edges.

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