There are various styles of crampons that from the lower end suit general mountaineering, through to glacier walking, and at the far end to vertical ice climbing.
Crampon Boot Compatibility
In the late nineties Brian Hall developed and promoted a grading system for boots and crampons to try and resolve compatibility issues between crampons and boots. He developed this system alongside footwear manufactures Scarpa, and ice climbing manufactures Grivel. The system was quickly adopted and publicised in the UK, and has now been widely adopted by outdoor shops through out the world.
Boots are graded as follows:
– B0: Boots that are unsuitable for use with crampons.
– B1: Partially stiffened four-season walking boots, which can be used for occasional crampon use
– B2: A boot with stiffness about equivalent to one with a three quarter shank. It can be used for winter mountaineering.
– B3: A fully stiffened (full shank) mountaineering / ice climbing boot.
Crampons are graded in a parallel as follows:
– C1: A flexible walking crampon with straps
– C2: A flexible crampon (with toe and heel piece). It usually attached with straps.
– C3: A fully rigid technical ice climbing crampon with toe bale and heel clip.
The system is as follows: the boot number must be higher or equal to the crampon number, but the ideal is that the numbers match.