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Grivel G12 Crampons

Ice Climbing

When it was time to replace my old crampons, I looked around and ended up purchasing the G12 Crampon from Grivel. These crampons seemed to offer the best combination of technical features, comfort, ease-of-use and price. I honestly wasn’t looking for a pair of crampons for technical ice climbing, instead I wanted crampons that were good for general mountaineering use and perhaps a bit of ice climbing here and there. The Grivel G12 fit the bill. They are designed mostly as a mountaineering crampon but can be used on climbs and even some technical routes.

Crampon Basics

Crampons are really just metal spikes you wear on the bottom of your shoes. They give you traction in icy conditions and let you climb up ice. A good crampon will fit to your boot tightly and comfortably, giving you plenty of support and allowing you to use your boot and your crampon to grip to the ice, snow or rock that you may be walking on.

The Grivel G12 Crampon features 12 metal points, 10 of which face downward from your boot and two of which, in the front of the crampon, point out horizontally. The downward spikes give you traction, while the horizontal spikes bite into the snow or ice to give you support while climbing. The spikes under your heels are serrated, which makes the crampon grab the ice more strongly and gives you better traction.

The crampons are made from steel and so besides having the paint removed, you shouldn’t experience any breakage or cracking in the crampons, even with heavy use. The crampons weigh in at just over 2 pounds together so you’ll be wearing an extra pound on top of your boot on your feet. This is lighter than my older crampon and really not all that much extra weight.

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The most amazing thing to me is the adjustability and ease of putting these crampons on. The G12 fit men’s boot sizes from 4 to 12 and to adjust it, you merely stretch out or slide in the crampon with a quick squeeze. There are no special tools needed and you won’t be spending time trying to get the boot to fit. The crampon basically molds itself to the boot. Even tightening it up and securing it to the boot is easy. The boot slips into the binding and then there’s a strap that secures the boot to the crampon. The New-Matic binding system also features a quick-lock feature where your heel is held in by the clamping the binding down. This gives you the ability to use a lighter-weight mountaineering boot with the crampons instead of heavier, heavy-duty one.

The G12 also features an anti-bot and an accordion sleeve to prevent snow build-up on the crampon. The anti-bot fits in the areas beneath your heel and the ball of your foot in areas that would otherwise be open on the crampon. The anti-bot is simply a flexible piece of plastic that prevents the snow from balling up and making the crampon difficult to wear. The accordion sleeve protects the connection between the front and rear portions of the crampon and it flexes as you either stretch out or shrink the crampon to fit your foot. The sleeve prevents snow from getting in there and making any modifications to the crampons fit more difficult.


There’s nothing worse than constantly having to bother with something while you are hiking or climbing and with my old crampons, I’d always have to stop and tighten them or somehow adjust them. Not so with the G12s. I put them on, tighten them down and more times than not, don’t worry about them until I take them off.

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The adjustment to fit various boots is quick and the New-Matic binding system is really simple to use and does a good job at holding your boot in. It also lets me use various boots instead of only being able to use my heavy-duty mountaineering boots. I’ve used the G12s with heavier leather hiking boots without any problem and I’ve even used my mid-weight day hiking boots without any problem. Mind you, I was wearing the crampons for simple hikes and climbs, not technical climbing. For the more technical climbs, I wear my heavy-duty boots, which provide extra support and rigidness for the technical climbing and allow the G12s to really do their job on ice climbs.

The crampons are comfortable to wear and taking the G12s off is just as easy as putting them on. Release the New-Matic binding and then loosen up the strap. Your boot will pop right out of the binding.

I’ve worn my G12s for several seasons without any problems. They are well constructed and beyond some of the paint wearing off the spikes, I haven’t noticed any wear and tear issues. The straps are still fine and the New-Matic binding still works as it should.

In the end

I don’t think you can really go wrong with the Grivel G12 Crampons. They are well made, will likely last for a long time, and will handle most mountaineering climbs along with more technical climbs. In my mind, if you are looking for crampons, you should try out a pair of the G12 Crampons from Grivel, I doubt you’d be disappointed.