Walking and mountaineering boots can be categorised on a rating between 0 and 3 to signify the purpose for which they are designed and the crampons with which they are compatible. Crampons are similarly rated 1-3.
This is an edited excerpt from the How To Climb An Unclimbed Mountain chapter of my new book: How To Get To The North Pole And Other Iconic Adventures.
Light and flexible walking boots that won’t reliably take any crampons.
Flexible but stiff soles. Used for walking but not climbing. Takes C1 crampons.
Semi-rigid boots. Designed for mountaineering but not harder ice or mixed climbing. Takes C1 or C2 crampons.
Fully rigid boots. Designed for mountaineering including steep ice and hard mixed climbing. Takes any crampons.
Flexible crampon. Allows walking on snow and ice. Fits B1-3 boots.
Semi-rigid crampons. Allows easier level ice and mixed climbing. Fits B2 and B3 boots.
Fully rigid crampons. Allows steep ice and hard mixed climbing. Only fits B3 boots.
The higher the number, the more expensive and heavy the equipment tends to become.
How to Get to the North Pole:
and Other Iconic Adventures
Newly published for April 2012