My wife wants me to aerate the lawn, so I figured a pair of skis with crampons would do the trick. But what crampons to use? A few weeks ago, Bill Bollinger at B&D Ski Gear set us up with a selection of ski crampons and associated mounts. His crampons work in similar fashion to those from Dynafit, only more versatile.
You can use the B&D along with its slick little catch (“crampon lock”) that fixes it to the ski so it doesn’t hinge up and down. Along with that you can use Bollinger’s spacer system that allows the crampon to hinge up and down — thus ending the most important philosophical debate in North America, that of whether your crampons should be fixed or hinged. We’ll cover the hinged setup in part two. For now, here is how I mounted some B&D 90 mm cramps on Lisa’s hot Goode Carbons (so she’ll have to do some lawn work too.)
|Bill sells 100% Dynafit compatible crampons, but we didn’t have those in this shipment of B&D stuff, so I made a simple mod to the binding so I could use his regular crampons. As can be seen in the photo above, my first step was to grind some plastic off the Dynafit toe unit base plate so the opening in the B&D crampons fits down over it when the crampon sits flat on the ski. A sanding disk on a grinder made short work of the project, but the binding does have to be off the ski. You can use the B&D mount and not use the Dynafit attachment slot, but this requires drilling two more holes in the ski and weâ€™re trying to keep a minimum of Swiss cheese effect in the Goodes.|
|After you’ve got the crampon working correctly on the ski, you use it as a jig to position a paper template for the catch screws, as shown above. Installing this could be a cake walk. In my sad case, the Goode skis were so thin I had to shorten the screws. Pain, but it least the screw mod required power tools and kept me away from the lawn project for a few more minutes.|
|You insert the crampon in the Dynafit binding by holding it in the hinged up position and sliding to the side. It’s a tight fit, which is probably good. In Lisa’s case, B&Ds 90mm crampons fit the Goode skis like they were made for them, with a snug fit against the ski sides and absolutely no play. B&Ds crampons come in three widths, 85mm; 90mm; 100mm, so you can fit just about any ski, albeit with a bit of side room that might allow some play and possibly damaging torque in odd situations such as walking across a dirt or rock area while wearing skis. Most of the time, some space betweeen the ski sides and crampon is not a big deal.|
|Our selection of B&D gear, ready for summer projects! More coming in Part Two.|
Bill also makes a Fritschi Freeride crampon. More, his product will also work with just about any other randonnee binding, either fitting under the boot area or mounted in front of the toe.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.