Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ice Climbing Failure - Crampons end the day

I'm OK - I'll get that out first. In fact, I never set foot on the ice in Lilydale Park.

I was to go ice climbing with a friend today. I have a little climbing background to know (slightly) what I'm doing. But that is on a wall. In the summer. This was a little different. The only boots I have that would possibly work for a pair of crampons are an old pair of hiking boots that still keep water out after all these years. They don't breath particularly well (al beit GoreTex lined), but they do work. I currently use them for biking to work. They are not meant to be used with crampons.

We had two pairs of crampons at our disposal - a pair of Grivels and a pair of FootFangs (these were old). We tested the crampons on my boots indoors. The Grivels did not fit, but the Footfangs did. At least indoors. Both crampons were step-in style and depended on grooves in the boots to lock the two together. Needless to say, my boots lacked these all-important grooves.

Had we used a pair of non-step-in crampons, I would have been able to climb with the boots. The winter camp I work at has sets of crampons that will work with my boot. Alas, we lacked these. Without crampons, we were left with nothing to climb. Hike out we did, and enjoyed the sunshine in the early portion of the afternoon. Noting the failure, I'll get a pair of boots that work for ice climbing. Perhaps next year or sometime in the summer when winter is far away.

On another note, St. Paul requires a $25 use permit per season. This we found out when a city park employee walked up the trail to inform us of this fact. My friend will now be getting a permit.

1 comment:

samh said...

Good ice climbing is a couple hours drive north as well at Sandstone, MN in Robinson Park. Also check for beta on a semi-private climb across the river from Stillwater on the Wisconsin shoreline.