Gear Mods, AKA How to Instantly void that Factory Warranty

Do you want to hack up your gear or drill holes in it or use a backpack strap to secure your crampons?

Me too!

The following modifications and similar changes will probably result in forfeiting your product's warranty, having a greater chance of other gear problems arising, going lactose intolerant, developing mumps, and sacrificing your first-born. Proceed with care.

8.something ounce crampons which are ideal for most summer alpine rock routes with glacier approachs (Bugaboos, North Cascades, pre-dawn starts on the Diamond, etc). 

optional heel-loop attachment glue
  1. These began weighing 12.3 ounces but I removed the heel bindings and "narrowed" the toe binding with athletic tape.
  2. I reinforced the heel loops with lots of Seam Grip, but if you have the models of approach shoes that actually have strong cord/laces running around the back of the heel, that would be even better and super secure. 
  3. I take a short "simple strap" off a Cilogear pack for when it's crampon time, if you don't have one and you've made it this far, you'll figure something out.

$1.29 for an adjustable pinky rest

  1. Buy a hose clamp from a hardware store, I suggest the flathead rather than phillips model, so you can adjust it with a knife or crampon or nut tool, etc
  2. The "J" shaped piece is some kind of electric cable hold-in-place gizmo. I just wandered around the store until I saw something that looked about right. I then bent it into shape with some burly pliers.
  3. You can loosen this just a little and move it up to the top of the ice axe if you are going to be walking with it, then slide it down and tighten it for the part of the climb where you are "swinging" and it only takes a minute.

The world's lightest boots for automatic crampons

  1. This would probably work with most similar boots as well, but I started out with the "Scarpa Rebel".
  2. Take a hack saw and remove some material from the front of the boot. Use Freesole (a thicker version of Seam Grip) to create a little "shelf" beneath the groove you've cut into the toe, and/or glue on a small bit of hard rubber (the sole of any old junker shoe should work) just below this shelf.
  3. Since a well-fitting crampon front bail is pressing mostly "in" on the boot and not "down" you should have yourself a boot that can take a fairly harsh beating using automatic-binding crampons. I did this before going to the Waddington Range last summer, because we knew that it wouldn't be cold and I wouldn't want a heavy and insulated boot, but I still may want something for climbing "real" ice/mixed using an automatic crampon. I've worn this setup for a 
      little local ice and alpine mixed climbing as well, with good results.
    1. However, I just read that the new version of this boot has been made with this minor change built  into the boot itself - Which seems like a no-brainer and makes me feel a bit like Kramer, with someone else again profiting from my foresight. In an effort to consistently reference Seinfeld, here's where the similarity lies. And as in Kramer's case, the only thing stopping me from  implementing my agenda in the world of boot manufacturing was "... no resources, no skill, no ability, no talent, no brains..."

    1 comment:

    1. This is dangerously close to violating my "omnishoe" copyright...