By George North
A long, long time ago when Scottish grade V was the top ice grade in the country and climbers used ice tools called Pterodactyls there was only one crampon available in the UK: The Salewa Classic. Choosing the right crampon for the conditions wasn't a problem because there was no choice. From Striding Edge to Point Five to the Walker Spur, that was it! One crampon for all terrain.
Today there are a multitude of different models available and it's no wonder that people get confused and sometimes over concerned about which crampon to buy. As in the old days, the vast majority of climbers and mountaineers will be looking for (and need), a crampon that will tackle a broad range of terrain. Above all others the Grivel G12 is that crampon. The G12 is technical enough to comfortably cope with ice routes up to Scottish V and mixed climbing VI, so you won't have any problems tackling classics like Point Five, Smith's Route, The Message or Savage Slit (you could certainly get up much harder routes if needs be).
The forward angled 2nd points mean that these crampons are also well suited to classic Alpine north faces and couloirs, where you will experience multiple pitches between 50' and 60'. Here the 2nd point provides valuable support and extra bite. The articulation of the G12 means that they have enough flexibility to be used on classic easy ridges and easy angled approaches. This classic crampon is also much lighter and more compact than its fully ridged counterparts. The ubiquitous Cramp-o-matic binding will fit most boots, including the industry standard models from both La Sportiva and Scarpa. So, if you're looking for a go-anywhere, do-anything crampon the Grivel G12 Cramp-o-matic is definitely for you.