5. Wearing & Adjusting Crampons

In this video we look at how to adjust crampons for ice climbing.

When putting on crampons:

1. Have a seat, put up your foot, and make sure the front welt of your boot is free of any snow. Check that you have the right crampon for the right foot.

2. Adjust the frame size of the crampon, and then fine tune the fit of the frame using the metal bar with holes that connects the toe and heel pieces. The frame should set the back points of the crampons very close to the heel of the boot. Please note that the video here does not mention sizing the crampons first, it only mentions fine tuning the adjustment with the rotating screw in the heel bail.

Most crampons used today are called “hinged crampons” which means the toe and heel are separate and the whole crampon can collapse into a smaller package for carrying in a pack. Take care to make sure the frame of your crampons is set correctly with the crampon fully opened—sometimes a bad fit is due to the frame size being too big, and the solution is to move the lever to another hole in the crampons’ middle bar.

3. Place the toe bail (metal bar) of the crampon into the front welt of the boot, and snap the heel lever onto the top of the plastic ledge on the heel of your boot. Fine tune this fit with the rotating screw in the heel lever. The heel lever should require some strength to leverage onto your boot.

4. Connect the ankle strap. This has no role in keeping the crampon in place, but it will at least keep it on your foot if it does pop off somehow.

While climbing throughout the day, periodically check to make sure that the crampon is still tight on your boots, and that snow has not lodged between the toe of your boot and the toe of your crampons.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.