Traditionally Crampons have been separated into 3 categories:
C1 or ‘strap’ crampons go with B1 boots. They require no special features on the boot thanks to their flexible strap attachment and a flexible middle bar means that they will flex slightly with your boot. A C1 / B1 set up is suitable for winter walking and glacier travel but when you start getting into steeper terrain then a stiffer boot / crampon combo is required.
C2 crampons feature a rear clamp that will fit a B2 boot’s specially designed rear welt. They provide a more secure fit and stiffer base which is helpful in steeper more technical terrain, think Scottish grade II and up or Alpine climbing.
C3 crampons feature the same rear clamp as C2s with the addition of a front bar that fixes into a B3 boot’s front toe welt. This provides an even more secure and precise fit for ice climbers and also works well on ski boots.
Obviously most of us aren’t just ice climbers or ski tourers, we like doing all kinds of winter activities depending on where we are, the time of year and most importantly for us in the UK, CONDITIONS. Agonising over which crampon to buy is always a big deal when you are first getting into winter and alpine climbing. Do I go for the basic strap ones that will fit my current boots? but what if I love it and then buy some La Sportiva Nepals (Everyone buys some Nepals at some point) so I’ll want some C2 or C3 crampons for a better fit?
Thankfully all Petzl Crampons are now ALPEN ADAPT compatible. This means you can change the attachment or sometimes entire front section depending on your objective or boot choice. Got a pair of VASAKs but you don’t want to have to wear your heavy B2 boots for a wintery walk? put the Flexlock on them and they will work with most reasonably stiff boots.
The chart above shows the compatibility of each crampon binding system with various types of footwear. You can explore our full range of Petzl ALPEN ADAPT Crampons at facewest.co.uk