By: Blonde One
The recent Blonde One trip to Bonny Scotland was full of firsts: Scotland itself, Munros, crampons, ice axe, for instance.
Using crampons was a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand wearing them meant that your bag was significantly lighter but on the other hand your feet then felt as if they had massive lumps of Dartmoor granite attached to them. Wearing metal shoes with spikes did give the leg muscles a good workout and it saved the back a little bit.
Wearing them required a John Wayne style of walking so that you didn’t catch your trousers or gaiters on them, and meant that walking took on a whole new set of requirements. They were cumbersome, to say the least! Any ideas of walking in a light footed kind of way disappeared as we all stomped around flat-footedly. The combination of rigid B1 boots and spiky crampons did not feel very nice at all. However, on the positive, coming down snowy and icy steep slopes with them on gave you a feeling of security. There was no slipping at all as we speedily made our descents. It took a bit of getting used to but once I had got part way down the hill I had confidence in them saving me from landing on my bum (or worse). I’m looking forward to using them again.