Links

Avalanche Conditions
CRITICAL TO CHECK.

Mountain Safety
Good information on traveling safely in the Canadian backcountry.

Ice Encyclopedia
Nice site providing route descriptions and photos for ice climbs in Alberta and BC.

Canmore Guide
Where to stay, eat, etc.

Rockies Climbing Cycle
Ice Season Progression--how to plan a trip to the Rockies.

Gravsports.com
The old Gravsports Ice Page--lots of info on past years, etc.

ACMG
Mountain Conditions Reports, good resource from guides in the area.

CASA
Climbers' access group, worth supporting.

Most Recent Photos
North Ghost devastated
Aquarious
Fearful Symmetry
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#8972 - 02/15/11 11:24 AM Broke my crampons...
Rafal Online   content

WI7

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 272
Loc: Canmore
So the story goes like this: heading back to the car along the ice river in Grotto Canyon last night, I suddenly noticed my right foot felt a little weird, as if my crampon had loosened or come off. Surprised that I still had some traction, I looked down to find the front points of my Black Diamond Sabretooth crampons flopping around on the strap.

Details and photos here: Broke my crampons blogpost

Inspect your crampons and stay safe out there!
_________________________
My site: The Alpine Start
& Gear Editor at Gripped Magazine

Top
#8974 - 02/15/11 11:35 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
karel Online   content

WI7

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 282
Loc: Calgary
I've had problems with crampons lately as well. My old (awesome) Grivel Rambo 4's were at the end of their life after 3 or 4 hard seasons. Without really thinking about it I replaced them with new Grivel Rambo 4's. For some reason Grivel has gone from the flexible yellow antibot to a rigid plastic antibot of the same shape. The hard plastic has predictably shattered from walking on rocks (within a handful of uses). Not only are they less durable but the also suck because when you step on anything like a rock or a cauliflower, it just skates around on the hard plastic. They also ball up quite a lot. Not sure what Grivel was thinking there.

I'm currently test-driving a pair of G22's. So far I'm very impressed, but I've only had them out once.

K

Top
#8979 - 02/15/11 02:03 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: karel]
AThomas Offline
WI4

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 23
Loc: Calgary
My brother had a similar experience, with my sabretooth's, at Grotto. Must be some weird things going on in the Canyon this year...

Seriously though, mine fractured in the same place. I'm planning on bringing them back to Dave at Wicked Gravity as I'm sure BD will want to know about this.


Edited by AThomas (02/15/11 02:04 PM)

Top
#8981 - 02/15/11 03:01 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Rafal Online   content

WI7

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 272
Loc: Canmore
That looks like exactly the same place mine broke. Unless there's a third pair, BD already know about yours as well...

I wonder if it's all the flat-ice walking on the Grotto approach?


Karel: Those are my exact issues with the Rambos! I have a pair, and naturally the plastic is cracked and broken in several places, but the biggest issue is the lack of flex in the anitbot- stepping on features, my feet skate off because the point don't even have a chance of contacting the ice.

I'm glad to hear you're liking the G22's - I've been looking hard at the G20's and G22's to replace my Rambos and G14s.
_________________________
My site: The Alpine Start
& Gear Editor at Gripped Magazine

Top
#8982 - 02/15/11 03:10 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
Yowsers...I had hoped it was only the clipped version and not the Pro as well. That is the earlier version with less metal in the toe area but sheeeeeeeeeeet!

What kind of boots were used and what kind of time frames?

Top
#8983 - 02/15/11 03:26 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Dane]
CarlJ Offline
WI4

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Canmore
Nice photo. Just what you'd want to see halfway up a pitch.

I'd wager we're just seeing the long(er) term consequence of their shift to using stainless instead of other steel alloys. (After all, there's a reason why they don't make pins out of it.) There's always the possibility it's a QC issue, but from where they fractured it looks more like a fatigue issue to me.

I've never really heard what prompted BD to switch in the first place.

Top
#8984 - 02/15/11 03:33 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: CarlJ]
Rafal Online   content

WI7

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 272
Loc: Canmore
Originally Posted By: CarlJ
I've never really heard what prompted BD to switch in the first place.


To quote the BD website: "Distinctive stainless steel construction doesn't rust, is more durable, resists snow balling and saves weight"

I agree that it doesn't rust... the rest I think are a pure PR and Marketing spiel.
_________________________
My site: The Alpine Start
& Gear Editor at Gripped Magazine

Top
#8985 - 02/15/11 04:05 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
iwelsted Offline
WI6

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 144
I've broken two pairs of BD crampons in the last 5 years. Putting up a new route on gear an old Sabretooth frame cracked, similar to your photos, and fell of my foot. I thought wiser than to call the route by the first name that came to mind; BD Crampons Suck. The second time wss a Cyborg where the frame in the forefoot also cracked, much like in the photo also. I had a Rage snap in half half way up the shaft. The Viper bump on my Vipers kept popping off at inopportune moments as well.

Only in one of the four cases did anyone warranty the stuff, and that was because I was friends with someone at a store. Twice I contacted BD about the problems and no one seemed too worried. Imagine if a wheel fell off a GM, you contacted the company and no one did anything. This is about the same degree of severity I would think snapping a tool half way up a pitch would be.

Anyway, my Fusions seem solid and I don't break picks anymore so it seems maybe they're doing a better job on quality control on certain products, but it does seem worrying that their crampons are still snapping in the frame. Used to think Petzl/Moser gear was infallible but it seems from recent Nomic problems that maybe is not so anymore, and who knows what you're getting if you buy Petzl gear these days , wink.

Top
#9002 - 02/16/11 01:11 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Dane]
BThomas Offline
WI4

Registered: 11/16/10
Posts: 22
Originally Posted By: Dane
Yowsers...I had hoped it was only the clipped version and not the Pro as well. That is the earlier version with less metal in the toe area but sheeeeeeeeeeet!

What kind of boots were used and what kind of time frames?


Nepal Evo's

Top
#9005 - 02/16/11 08:03 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: BThomas]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
Nepal Evos?

OK, that eliminates one theory.

How old and how much walking in them. I agree looks to be a serious problem to me. And, having just packed two pair of Sabers for a 6 week trip.

Top
#9007 - 02/16/11 08:12 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
CarlJ Offline
WI4

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Canmore
Originally Posted By: Rafal


To quote the BD website: "Distinctive stainless steel construction doesn't rust, is more durable, resists snow balling and saves weight"

I agree that it doesn't rust... the rest I think are a pure PR and Marketing spiel.


Yeah, that's what I was getting at. I like their product in general, but from a functionality standpoint, one has to question the choice of materials for such a high-impact application. The weight savings is worth considering for light-duty applications, but these are waterfall ice crampons. They sure look shiny though....

Top
#9008 - 02/16/11 08:56 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: CarlJ]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
There is no weight savings using stainless over chromoly. Do I need to repeat that? THERE IS NO WEIGHT SAVINGS over Chromoly.

A stripped down Sabertooth is one of the lightest if not the lightest 12 point (14 actually) crampons on the market but it has nothing to do with being stainless.

Stainless generally has better impact resistance than chromology but either can be tweaked by alloy and heat treat.

Any number of issues here most I don't give a shit about past the front of the 'pon falling off. And that has I suspect ZIP to do with the crampon being made of stainless.

Petzl Dartwin 1/2 bot 30.5oz / 865g
Petzl Dart no bot 28.8oz / 816g
Grivel G 20 28.2 oz / 800g
Grivel G 22 w/full bot 900g
Black Diamond Stainless Sabertooth full bot 34.2oz / 969g
Black Diamond Stainless Sabertooth no bot with Petzl bail toe 28.4oz / 808g

Top
#9009 - 02/16/11 10:21 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Rafal Online   content

WI7

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 272
Loc: Canmore
Update as of this morning: BD said they'll replace the crampons, I just have to send mine in.

Updated the blog post with more detailed images of the breaks, for those interested.

http://rafalandronowski.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/broke-my-crampons/
_________________________
My site: The Alpine Start
& Gear Editor at Gripped Magazine

Top
#9012 - 02/16/11 03:39 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Dane]
CarlJ Offline
WI4

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Canmore
Originally Posted By: Dane
There is no weight savings using stainless over chromoly. Do I need to repeat that? THERE IS NO WEIGHT SAVINGS over Chromoly.

Black Diamond Stainless Sabertooth full bot 34.2oz / 969g


Dane,

Last I checked, the old version weighed about 1180g. 210g more than the stainless.

Top
#9013 - 02/16/11 05:59 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: CarlJ]
KenC Offline

WI5

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Prince George, BC
I bet the stainless Sabers are lighter not because of being stainless but because there is just less material in the crampon. Try putting an old chromoloy one next to a new stainless and compare.

I'm also willing to bet those crampons broke because they were flexing a lot at the break point....boot/crampon fit? If you flex a piece of metal enough times it will break regardless of what it's made from.

Maybe the race to have the lightest setup has some downsides that come with it?

Top
#9015 - 02/16/11 06:51 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: KenC]
cmagee Offline
WI6

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 89
Loc: banff
dont see how walking on ice can break crampons conpared to front pointing on ice

stainless has a history of work hardening

with so many grades on s/s and chrmos weight comparison is bold

but ken has a point

Top
#9017 - 02/16/11 07:34 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: cmagee]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
Guys steel is steel when it comes to weight. One more time...there is no weight difference between stainless and chromoly.

Come on?!

The weight saving is all in design changes, in the rear levers, the bots and in the ultimate design of the crampon...simply less material. I know, as I have weighted and measured them all. No matter what the BD commecials imply. Steel is steel when it comes to this topic. Stainless is NOT lighter. Nothing bold about it...just the facts. The new design is lighter but it has nothing to do with stainless.

How light is a pai of new Sabers? A good bit lighter than a pair of Darts when you compare apples to apples.....think about that.

The newly designed crampons are lighter and *are made of stainless* is how the BD ad should read to be truthful and not misleading. Good to know the ad department at BD is earning their wages. Saying other wise now that is "bold".

No question some stainless alloys will work harden.

Walking in crampons is a totally different work model for the crampon than front pointing. How stiff the boot is makes a difference as well. As does the binding and center bar material.

I want to hear what BD has to say once the crampons are back in SLC.

And I would really like to see some detailed pictures of the broken Pros and their complete history. Is it possible?


Top
#9018 - 02/16/11 07:49 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Dane]
cmagee Offline
WI6

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 89
Loc: banff
nothing to do with ur crampon comparision s/s is lighter than chromo as is chromo lighter than s/s. different grades

nothing do do with ads, however i do like their spin on saving the planet with s/s poons. gonna send dodge an email see if i can get a s/s ram.

Top
#9020 - 02/17/11 01:53 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
BThomas Offline
WI4

Registered: 11/16/10
Posts: 22
They had about 20 days total at that point. The only walking was a few days up Grotto. Zero days on any mixed routes. They were purchased in Feb 2010.

Top
#9021 - 02/17/11 08:32 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: BThomas]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
Thank you very much for the additional info. Any more or detailed pictures of the break? Any noticable cracks in the second crampon?

In the picture it looks like a crease across the one front point under the index finger. Was the crampon damaged previous to the break? Or just the lighting in the picture.


"s/s is lighter than chromo as is chromo lighter than s/s. different grades"

Nope..sorry. Alloys, stainless or chromoly, used in crampons all weighs virtually the same. How much metal you choose to use in your design is what determines th weight of your crampon.

Even the Vector Nanotech. They just use less metal.



more info on crampon steel here:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/11/stainless-steel-crampons.html

Top
#9024 - 02/17/11 11:23 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Dane]
cmagee Offline
WI6

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 89
Loc: banff
s/s is not same weight as chromo

READ: nothing to do with crampons dane. 1cubic cm of each weight different amounts

aluminum chromo is lighter than 316ss

Top
#9025 - 02/17/11 11:32 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
nmcan84 Offline
WI6

Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Canmore,Canada
The main thing BD or any other company should be focussing on when making crampons is
durability,i hate how some people get so hung up on saving weight or just looks in general.

i sometime wonder to myself,how did all these guys climb ice back in the 70's/80's,
it must have been damn near impossible without these fancy pancy new curved tools with super duper new ultra light picks and these light stainless steel crampons.


grin

Top
#9026 - 02/17/11 11:36 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
BThomas Offline
WI4

Registered: 11/16/10
Posts: 22
I will have a look at the camera tonight and see. I believe that might just be the lighting in the picture. Prior to the incident we did not notice any damage or breaks. No visible lines of weakness or bending.

Top
#9032 - 02/17/11 03:02 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: BThomas]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
BT..thanks very much...great info and very useful. Did the crampons get shipped back to SLC?

"aluminum chromo"...dude what are you smoking...time to give it up.

try this
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080619072849AACrrSu

"how did all these guys climb ice back in the 70's/80's,
it must have been damn near impossible"

Not impossible, just not as much fun...but we sure did break a lot of sheet smile Even bitd never saw crampons broken like THAT!

Top
#9033 - 02/17/11 06:37 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Dane]
cmagee Offline
WI6

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 89
Loc: banff
never heard of aluminium chromo?? used it lots. oh your just going on shit you read on yahoo answers...

chromoly is group of steel grades, governed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Alloying elements include chromium and molybdenum, and as a result these materials are often referred to as chromoly steel or CRMO.

i'm thinking of writing a blogg with all my unconfirmed blab, opinions that i consider rules and posting links on others bloggs to get my hits up

Top
#9034 - 02/17/11 07:01 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
iceadmin/Will Gadd Offline
WI∞
WI8

Registered: 11/01/07
Posts: 359
Gentleman: Interesting discussion, but let's leave the profanity and attitude out of it from this post forward or the discussion will unfortunately get canned. Thx.

Top
#9038 - 02/17/11 08:42 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: cmagee]
Rafal Online   content

WI7

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 272
Loc: Canmore
Originally Posted By: cmagee
never heard of aluminium chromo?? used it lots. oh your just going on shit you read on yahoo answers...

chromoly is group of steel grades, governed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Alloying elements include chromium and molybdenum, and as a result these materials are often referred to as chromoly steel or CRMO.

i'm thinking of writing a blogg with all my unconfirmed blab, opinions that i consider rules and posting links on others bloggs to get my hits up



Whereas you're just going to quote wikipedia?

"41xx steel is a family of steel grades, as specified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Alloying elements include chromium and molybdenum, and as a result these materials are often referred to as chromoly steel or CRMO" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/41xx_steel

And before you criticize Dane for his efforts, perhaps you should consider contributing to the thread, or any discussion of climbing in general, in a thoughtful and well-written manner so that we can all learn from each other.

As Will has pointed out, can we try to keep the discussion civil an on-topic? I'm sure there's a forum out there somewhere to discuss aluminum vs steel, grades and their relative weights...
_________________________
My site: The Alpine Start
& Gear Editor at Gripped Magazine

Top
#9040 - 02/17/11 10:31 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
cmagee Offline
WI6

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 89
Loc: banff
no qouting i edited the wiki page thats why my re-type reads similar.

just trying to pass on facts it makes things easier to understand

no criticism to anyone. just trying to add facts to a thread... then the opinions start.. all correct of course.

all bubbling aside, my dealings with BD warranties have been good. and ther'ye very helpful. i doubt if the change in ownership will have an effect

Top
#9041 - 02/17/11 11:38 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
I have no doubt BD warrenty will take care of broken crampons. No doubt BD will find the reason and address the issue accordingly in upcoming production. But neither is going to do much for us climbing on Sabers tomorrow is it?

A little shocking if you climb on the same crampons that are seen here broken in a catastrophic manner.



I'm more concerned in avoiding the situation than getting my gear warrentied once it has failed. Understanding the materials used and the reasons for the failure are important to me personally.

I manufacture extremely high quality proprietary picks of my design for BD tools and hammers of my design for the Petzl tools. Those are just part time efforts for me and a very tiny bit of my everyday business, which is metal work. Been doing similar materials research and manufacturing for 20 plus years. If what I build fails, it can easily be fatal to the user. I come by my materials opinions from long use and manufacturing experience, not speculation.

The faster these kinds of issues (gear failing) are brought to our attention as climbers and the faster we know the intimate details behind the failure the more likely we as consumers can avoid a similar situation.

Forums like Gravsports and blogs like mine and Rafal's are the fastest ways to get information out to the public. Welcome to 2011. Same reason you see blog links on forums. It is easy and it is fast. The idea is, information exchange, not hits on a blog. I would think that everyone in the climbing community is best served by making that info the most accurate possible, be it a TR, a gear review or a caution on something that might well get you killed if it hapened at the wrong moment.





Top
#9048 - 02/18/11 11:40 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Dane]
cmagee Offline
WI6

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 89
Loc: banff
12 years in the industry on and off, product testing for fletcher steel and NZAS, built complete axes and crampons, including rubber ones for the movie vertical limit. resumes aside lets see how the crampon situation pans out. i'm interested in seeing if theres going to be a recall. as you said dane. wouldn't want it to happen half way up.

Top
#9049 - 02/18/11 12:11 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Barry Blanchard Offline
WI6

Registered: 11/22/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Canmore, Alberta, Canada
From the 70s and 80s: I broke a dozen pairs of crampons on lead. Luckily none of those breaks led to a fall. I don't seem to break crampons anymore, but since 1991 I've been sponsored and can keep several pairs on the go then trade them out for new ones.

I'm sure that I've broken a hundred picks, really. Broke both main picks and my 3rd tool pick on the crux of Acid Howl on a cold day in the 90s. Hauled up one of the wife's tools, and a file for the longer broken one, to finish. Broke both of my picks on one lead on the NW Face of Les Droites in 91. I still break picks, but just one so far this year. I think I've logged between 1500 and 2000 days of ice climbing between my guiding and recreational climbing. Many more days if I add the alpinism, where I break stuff also.

The take away: stuff breaks, and in ice climbing you are suspended by said stuff, without a certain amount of it in the ice you fall. Keep an eye on the stuff and replace it when it ilks at your confidence.

Great day out on the ice yesterday!

Barry

Top
#9051 - 02/18/11 01:01 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Barry Blanchard]
Rafal Online   content

WI7

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 272
Loc: Canmore
As always, thank you kindly for the historical (!) points of reference Barry. However, as many have mentioned, you're somewhat superhuman so the fact that you didn't fall on lead while breaking stuff isn't exactly confidence inspiring!
_________________________
My site: The Alpine Start
& Gear Editor at Gripped Magazine

Top
#9054 - 02/18/11 03:56 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Barry Blanchard Offline
WI6

Registered: 11/22/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Canmore, Alberta, Canada
no superhumaness here, just always managed to get myself out of the situation. The third tool use to be the solution much of the time. Bludgeoning away with a blunt broken pick can work, it sucks, but it can work. A broken crampon usually means getting your weight suspended onto a good tool, or getting in a screw and getting your weight onto it. I use to teach people how to get their weight onto a good tool. There is something to it as the pull changes. It is probably still a good thing to practice on the ground before you have to do it for real.

Top
#9056 - 02/18/11 04:33 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Dr Who Offline

WI5

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Canmore
edited out as it got out of conversational sequence.


Edited by Dr Who (02/18/11 10:07 PM)

Top
#9062 - 02/18/11 11:20 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Belcourt Offline
WI2

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 9
I normally would not comment on this until I see the parts but I'll make some preliminary observations and follow up when I have more than just pictures.
Rafal's crampon looks to have broken in a classic metal fatigue manner. Flex any crampon rail for enough cycles and it will break regardless of who makes it. The Sabretooth Clip comes equipped with a rigid center bar for steep technical climbing with rigid soled boots. Other models of crampons we make (Contact, Serac strap, Neve) come with flexible center bars for trekking or hiking boots with flexible soles. I have seriously considered putting flex bars on all of the Clip style crampons because the plastic toe piece allows them to be put a lot of boots that are less than appropriate.
If you use a flexible boot extensively on crampons with a rigid bars it will shorten the life of the crampon because the metal takes all the stress as the boot flexes. The only type of crampon that can make a flexible boot rigid without sustaining fatigue damage is a vertical railed crampon like a Grivel Rambo.
Rafel states on his blog - - "Most usage has been on Scarpa Escape sz. 43 boots as walk-about crampons for photography purposes. Also used by my wife (in the same boots) for ice / glacier walks a few times."

The Scarpa Escape is a flexible trekking boot not a rigid technical climbing boot. While it is burly enough for use with walking crampons with flexible center bars like the Contact or the Serac strap, it is not appropriate to use with a crampon with a rigid center bar.
So Rafel, if you plan on using this boot with your replacement Sabretooths use the flex bars instead of the rigid bars or you will eventually run into the same issue. If you need a pair of flex bars I will send them to you, and I will make the crampon instructions more clear as to what bars to use with what boots.

BThomas, I really need to see those parts please get them back to me or to the local shop. It looks to me like the frontpoints are bent down a fair bit and points don't even line up in the front. There also looks to be a crease in the steel under your finger that I zoomed in on that does not look like a light artifact to me. More detail as to what happened would be nice, and you'll still get a replacement, but at this point I'm really not buying the "I was just walking along and the front points fell off". I tried to break a pair like this in the lab and it was not possible and we bent back and forth in a vice while beating on it with a Yosemite hammer (yes very scientific I know but it was late on a Friday).

Next, Ian. I'm sorry you've had a bad time with BD poons and got no love from warranty as that is just not our style and I don't know what happened. Let me know what crampons you want and I'll send you a pair. Gadd or Barry can get you my email address. If you don't want crampons because you think they suck, just tell me what else you might want that doesn't suck and I'll send you that instead. Thanks for still using our tools.

Finally, how we treat each other on line should be no different then belaying each other at the crags or having a beer after at the Drake; yet it is. Back in the day being a climber meant something, there was a code between us, and there was respect. If that's gone we are not climbers anymore, we are just people who climb. Let's try to keep the bar a little higher on this site anyway.
It doesnít help us if issues like this get blogged around the world before we even know about it or see the parts and have chance to figure out what happened or offer any insight or analysis. All it creates is sensationalism and fear with no answers. The crew at BD really sweats this stuff big time and we have a warranty center with 3 full time guys who arenít just standing around whistling Dixie. Make them your first call and if you donít like what you hear; post away.


Thanks,

Bill


Edited by Belcourt (02/19/11 12:12 AM)
Edit Reason: one more thing...

Top
#9063 - 02/19/11 01:17 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Belcourt]
Rafal Online   content

WI7

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 272
Loc: Canmore
For some more comments on this issue, please see this thread on CC.com: http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1004766/Broke_my_crampons#Post1004766

As posted there:

Bill, thank you for the comments. A point of confusion, or misunderstanding, and perhaps the cause of all this, is my perception of the flex-bars. I have always thought these were to prevent the bar from breaking when using the crampons on semi-rigid boots. Never would I have thought that the front points of a crampon which - as tradhead mentions - are, presumably, designed to sustain continued front-pointing on vertical ice would be the weak-point when used on trekking boots. After all, when you look at crampons, the weakest link seems to be the bar, which due to its lack of flex doesn't allow the crampons to conform to the shape of the boot sole. To me, a flex bar would merely solve the issue of the bar flexing, not the way the front points contact the ground while walking.

I'd also like to thank BD for being very understanding in this situation, and I look forward to your conclusions as to the cause of the breakage.

Originally Posted By: Belcourt
It doesnít help us if issues like this get blogged around the world before we even know about it or see the parts and have chance to figure out what happened or offer any insight or analysis. All it creates is sensationalism and fear with no answers. The crew at BD really sweats this stuff big time and we have a warranty center with 3 full time guys who arenít just standing around whistling Dixie. Make them your first call and if you donít like what you hear; post away.


While I appreciate where you're coming from, I respectfully disagree with this attitude.

The first thing I did was contact my local climbing shop, wherein the owner in turn contacted the local BD rep, who got in touch with BD HQ. I'm not sure how that's not letting you know about the issue asap. I also got in touch with Dane at Cold Thistle, who I know had a good relationship with you and could pass on the issue directly. Finally, I sent an e-mail to BD Warranty Dept the same day.

Secondly, I am simply trying to keep my friends safe by alerting them to something that happened to me that could potentially be life threatening. My first thought when I saw the broken crampon wasn't "How can I make an issue of this?" but rather "I was leading the crux of Bourgeau two weeks ago on these, and soloing most of Cascade a couple months ago. What if they had broken then?"

I know a few people that climb on SS Sabretooths, both pro and clip, so felt it only right to share my experience with them so that they could take an appropriate course of action, be that inspecting their crampons, choosing a different pair until there is official word on the cause of the breakage, or anything else they deemed fitting. The fact that I can post the information on a blog or forum only helps spread the information around, helping to get it to more climbers than just my circle of friends.

I do not feel that taking the time to send the crampons to BD and waiting for your analysis of the issue was the safest course of action. Again, I'd like to stress safest. Ice climbing can be dangerous enough already without having gear fail mid-climb. If an accident can be avoided, I feel it should be. I'd do the same thing if it was any other company's gear. I'm sure you take this kind of issues seriously, but so do I, just from a different perspective.

Once you have received the crampons, I look forward to your analysis and insights into the cause of breakage. And when I have that information, I will gladly share it with friends and other climbers.


Edited by Rafal (02/19/11 08:18 AM)
Edit Reason: clariication
_________________________
My site: The Alpine Start
& Gear Editor at Gripped Magazine

Top
#9064 - 02/19/11 02:17 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
Interesting observation from a picture. 2nd gen Saber on the left and 1st generation Saber on the right. Serac's look to have added the same amount of material to the forward rails. Difference across the flat, in the same area as the breaks above, has gone from .53" to .70". Or if my numbers are correct, a 38% increase in material to the rails. The center bar on the front points went from .50" to .62" or 24%.




Top
#9065 - 02/19/11 08:55 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Belcourt Offline
WI2

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 9
Ok, just a few more comments. Rafal, the center bars we use are pretty thick and rarely will break, especially when adjusted to smaller size boots such as yours and your wife's (less leverage on the bar). The stress is taken up by the rails.
As I said on the other website you mention, frontpointing is not as much of an issue because the rail does not get deflected as far before it starts getting support from the sole of the technical boot. When walking on a hard flat surface with flexible boots the rails seem to get deflected further, or maybe its just the pure cycles that do it. 5 years ago no crampons came with flex bars and we saw a lot more rail faliures especially from Glacier tour companies. This issue was solved by going to flex bars on the crampons they use. Sometimes how things work don't follow the most obvious path and we have to do a bunch of testing to truly understand how it works. We do a lot of testing to design products, and a lot of testing to understand issues when they come up.

You are totally correct that you are free to handle the breakage of your stuff in any manner you see fit if you feel it will keep your friends safer. But also understand they are our friends too and we take our responsibility very very seriously. Through our extensive experience with this type of stuff it is much better if an investigation can come first.

Lastly, Dane points out (to be fair I had told him about this) a small geometry change on all crampons from when we moved the plastic toe strap from the outside of the up-tab on the front of the crampon to the inside (some time in November of 2009). This required moving the tabs out and added some meat in this area, and we also added what we could to the ABS shelf on all models. While these changes would improve the life of the crampon in the failure mode that Rafal saw, it will not solve it over the long haul. Only using the flex bar will prevent fatigue failure on flexible boots.

With many products we make there will be constant refinements and adjustments as we learn more about how they are used and what they are used with. As many of you have seen over the years; boots have changed dramatically to lighter and softer construction. They have more rocker, breakdown faster and they become more flexible faster, some have thin soles and narrow toes that make them more difficult to fit securely. All these issues can quickly become problems for us crampon manufacturers. We have to always have a watchful eye out on the market, adapt as quickly as we can, and are always a step behind what the boot guys do. If you see other issues, please let us know. I will post again when I get the parts back and we have had a chance to analyze them.

Thanks,

Bill


Edited by Belcourt (02/19/11 09:12 AM)
Edit Reason: had coffee, found errors

Top
#9067 - 02/19/11 10:07 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Belcourt]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
Originally Posted By: Belcourt
Lastly, Dane points out (to be fair I had told him about this) a small geometry change on all crampons from when we moved the plastic toe strap from the outside of the up-tab on the front of the crampon to the inside (some time in November of 2009).


For complete disclosure, I asked about the additional material added to the Saber Pros when I first saw the change in the fall of 2010. It was long before I heard about or saw any failures of the Sabertooth Pro. I was curious and asked because BD had added material to my favorite pair of crampons. And Bill explained the added material then, much as he did above. I didn't/don't care because I don't climb in the Clip version.

Bill's comment pretty much covers that now with the failures public.
Quote:
these changes would improve the life of the crampon in the failure mode that Rafal saw


It's no secret that Bill encouraged me to start Cold Thistle; we just disagree on how a blog or forum can best serve the climbing community in these situations.

Sabertooth is my favorite crampon. Knowing there "could" be a problem is half the solution. BD has always taken care of their friends and will here as well.

Top
#9070 - 02/19/11 12:35 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Dane]
Dr Who Offline

WI5

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Canmore
Firstly, kudos to Will for providing an excellent place for the climbing community to converse at. Secondly, kudos to thoese that post feedback on any gear safety issues. This approach (at times flawed with emotions and passion)serves both the climbing community as well as its suppliers and ultimately leads to better gear solutions and win-win scenarios all around (good examples abound here).

However, i think it was rather unfortunate for Bill to request, to "keep the bar high", while at the same time swiftly discount BThomas' feedback as somehow dishonest, or impossible! Perhaps it was a late night...or frustration given this is a new technology (kudos for innovation btw!). Regardless, i would hope that any client's integrity deserves more public respect.

To quote another BDE rep's (Thomas Laakso) published words, BDE's customers "entrust...lives upon BD pro when we ski or climb". Thats the bottom line as publicly stated by the company (kudos!). Let's behave accordingly and indeed maintain the bar high at all times. Loyal BD client for a long time, the Doc

Top
#9072 - 02/19/11 01:48 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Belcourt Offline
WI2

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 9
Alright, fair enough.
BThomas, I'm sorry if I came off as kinda harsh, it was late and I should have controlled the tone better then I did. I really need these parts and more detail on what happened. Some better photos in the short-term would also help. I have asked Will to get a hold of you to get these crampons. Please connect with him as soon as you can.

Thanks,

Bill


Edited by Belcourt (02/19/11 01:55 PM)
Edit Reason: never get it right the first time

Top
#9119 - 02/21/11 05:02 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
BThomas Offline
WI4

Registered: 11/16/10
Posts: 22
Bill,

The front point failure occurred while I was down climbing on hers. We had warmed up soloing Grotto Falls ad then I headed over and lead Hers. About half a body length from the deck my partner said "whoa". I went to kick my foot in with no avail. Upon looking down, I was sans front points. He took and lowered me and we laughed.

The crampons were purchased in feb 2010.

I believe we headed into the shop the next day but had it explained to us that we probably wouldn't have any luck with warranty. I still have the pair and would be more than happy to get them to you.

To be clear, I wasn't just walking and had them fall off.

Top
#9272 - 02/28/11 11:15 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Rafal Online   content

WI7

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 272
Loc: Canmore
Just heard from BD:

my crampons are/were prototypes!


So be careful when buying used gear, even if it looks like new. How to tell if they were prototypes or which generation I do not know.

Looking forward to more info from BD.
_________________________
My site: The Alpine Start
& Gear Editor at Gripped Magazine

Top
#10009 - 07/07/11 01:43 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
iwelsted Offline
WI6

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 144
Heard from reputable people who have seen this happen to them or those they are with, but hasnīt come out on this forum. Yikes!

Seems more common than one would realize.

Top
#10021 - 07/14/11 09:52 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
jwilcox Online   content

WI7
*****

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 265
Loc: Calgary, AB
Just checked my crampons and they are the same design as the ones that broke.... I guess from Dane's comments that would make them gen 1 SS Sabers?? That or BD must release lots of prototypes...?
No cranks visible in mine yet, but I have only put about 10-15 alpine days on them, no waterfall ice... but I will certainly inspect them on a regular basis from now on.

Thanks Rafal for bringing this to the public's attention! Glad you weren't halfway up a WI5 when it happened!

JW

Top
#10063 - 08/25/11 02:43 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
Here is my opinionated follow up on this subject. More directly focused on the quality of steel used in crampons than just the failures. The gear geeks might find it interesting.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/08/crampon-durability-stainless-or.html

Top
#11407 - 02/11/12 06:35 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
Farzad B Online   content

WI6
*****

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 99
Recently discovered hairline fractures along the top of the front points on my Sabretooth crampons. Four in total, some are bigger then others. Bought these in the summer of 2010 and used mainly on around 30 days of ice climbing with a few days of mountaineering. Most of the time used with Scarpa Mont Blanc boots but also a few days with Scarpa Escape boots including glacier travel. No mixed climbing. I have no idea if this normal wear and tear but it's disconcerting so I've replaced them.


Top
#11413 - 02/11/12 10:56 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Farzad B]
Dane Offline
WI6
*****

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 131
Weird..second pair broken this week that I have heard about. Almost a year to date after the first broken pairs turned up, "02/15/11 11:24 AM Broke my crampons..."

Top
#11435 - 02/13/12 08:51 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
iceadmin/Will Gadd Offline
WI∞
WI8

Registered: 11/01/07
Posts: 359
Hi Farzad, PM sent. Sorry for the hassle, I'd like to have a look at these in person to check serial etc. Likely from first gen but best to be sure, thanks for your help. And I'll sort you out with a new pair or something different in person today, same as I do with any reasonable issue around here.

Thanks,

-Will Gadd

Top
#11559 - 02/20/12 08:41 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
iwelsted Offline
WI6

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 144
What ever did become of this officially from BD. Going over the discussion Bill Belcourt says he will get back to us after he's had a look at the failures. Is there a recall, are all Stainless crampons kind of dubious like coldthistle seems to suggest?

I'm in need of a new pair and the Stingers look really sexy, but I am left wondering if this has been resolved at all or if it's just a case by case use-them-until-they-break approach.

Top
#11609 - 02/23/12 09:52 AM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Farzad B]
Marc Lindenbach Offline
WI5

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 78
Picked up a pair of Sabertooth's in December, have 25+ days on them with some light mixed and I'm seeing really small hairline fractures on both, in the exact same spot. Dang.

Top
#11613 - 02/23/12 11:14 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: Rafal]
iceadmin/Will Gadd Offline
WI∞
WI8

Registered: 11/01/07
Posts: 359
Hi Marc, I'd like to get my hands on those to do a few tests on, and will get you a new pair or different gear from BD ASAP. Thank you.

-Will Gadd

Top
#13328 - 01/15/13 08:00 PM Re: Broke my crampons... [Re: iceadmin/Will Gadd]
chilly Offline
WI4

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 31
I am having the same problem. Photos can be found here:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a...mp;l=1782787f28

Top
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 >

Moderator:  Will Test 
Random Radness
Shout Box

Who's Online
1 registered (Grant P), 0 Guests and 15 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod


Gravsports-ice.com

Also visit:

Gravsports.com