torn pants

Posted by: smileygirl

torn pants - 12/30/10 12:38 AM

Went ice climbing for the first time and tore up my brand new gaiters and my pants with my crampons. So, am I just clumsy, or is this standard? Do I try to patch up the gaiters, leave them as is, or just invest in cheaper ones in the future. Also, the pants i have are just a standard Marmot gortex shell that I bought many many years ago. Whats good for a top shell? Ski pants? Any advice is appreciated. I stayed very warm, so Im ok with the layering. Just curious on what works for others, especially when my crampons seem to just tear everything to shreds. Maybe the simple answer is I need to be a better climber. Could be.

Love advice, feedback, ideas, links to gear, info on brand names, etc... so please, feel free to fire away.

Posted by: Rickster

Re: torn pants - 12/30/10 12:25 PM

Smiley, keep everything tight and tidy around the lower legs. Snagging crampons on clothes is as you know costly, but also dangerous should you trip and fall, etc.
Heavier material on the instep side of the pant leg will help as well on both pants and gaiters. Whatever fashion statement works for you, but nothing baggy and loose. Tight is right, but not so much so as to cut circulation or restrict movement.
Until you get used to walking about in crampons, you might try walking with a wider stance as well.
Posted by: phlan

Re: torn pants - 12/30/10 04:34 PM

its a common mistake to cheap out on gaiters and get gaiters that are too short and don't adjust well. a lot of them don't go higher than the ankle. I think these are too short. be very selective about them, and get ones with substantial kevlar protection, and figure out how they will adjust with your boot and crampon system. wear them over your pants and keep them snug and you should do all right.
Posted by: Welle

Re: torn pants - 12/31/10 03:43 AM

Smiley, it's pretty common to tear up your pants and gaiters in the beginning. Just patch the gaiters up with duct tape (if you're concerned about the looks, you can ducttape from inside). Most people wear softshell pants (lined with Polartec fleece) without a top shell. Something like Patagonia Simple Guide Pants or Outdoor Research Solitude pants (you can usually find them on sale). They're usually made of burlier fabric and are quite tear-resistant.
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: torn pants - 01/01/11 04:51 PM

Yep, what everyone said. I still snag my pants leg near the ankle now and again when highstepping on a move, but the days of outright big tears are pretty much over. Lerning to walk normally in crampons is probably akin to learnign to walk normally in heels. Takes a bit of getting used to, and you can tell right away when someone hasn't done it much. One thing I would say differently than the others is to buy cheap gaiters. They are the expendable part of the system. You want to protect your pants. i wouldn't spend the money on goretex, kevlar lined bulletproof $100 gaiters. You're going to wreck them. Get the cheapo 30 or 40 dollar pair and you won't be so annoyed when you do rip them. iactually don't wear gaiters anymore unless snow condiions warrant it. But when I do break them out you'll see that they are more duct tape then gaiter.

Posted by: KathyS

Re: torn pants - 01/04/11 03:55 PM

My shell pants have a cluster of patches on the inside of each knee. My Gaiters are untouched. I have a tendency to turn my foot inward when high stepping. It does not help that the shell pants are more geared to skiing than ice climbing, and so are a bit loose in the legs. I just keep slapping patches on them. Fortunately, they are inexpensive Gore-tex pants from EMS. Another good sale score. Climb on.
Posted by: Chas

Re: torn pants - 01/04/11 05:42 PM

I'm with RangerRob on this. Go with a pair of softshell pants (I got a couple pair of inexpensive fleece pants with full zips with a nearly windproof top surface really cheap at REI (they were an REI brand). Saved the hardshell pants for days that are super nasty and actually warrent in (actually on a day with full on spindrift at -5F to 5F and 30mph winds I still wore my softshells (it was this day ).

When you do wear your hardshell pants go with cheap gaiters. They are going to get ripped so why pay for expensive ones that will get trashed.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: torn pants - 01/04/11 11:06 PM

What seems like so long ago I bought Chouinard Super Gaiters for both my ice boots and my teleboots. Glued them to the boots with Coltex Skin Glue. With ballistic grade cordura nylon, they never took a hit from either front points or ski edges. On one occasion while skiing down from Giant's Ledge in the Catskills, I was attacked by someone's unleashed shepard. Though I had two rows of bruises on my calve from his maw, as much as he tried, he couldn't tear through the gaiters. $$$ well spent.
Posted by: smileygirl

Re: torn pants - 01/04/11 11:21 PM

Chas. Nice pic. you rock
Posted by: Chas

Re: torn pants - 01/05/11 01:33 PM

Actually that was a guy named Ray from Durango. I was taking the picture. We were wearing about the same thing (actually we were trading off belay jackets that day). The gaiters were because the hike in was in knee to thigh deep snow.
Posted by: Idaho Brad

Re: torn pants - 01/07/11 03:48 AM

Everyone tears their pants, even the pros.

The good thing is it is an easy fix. Most folks probably already know this trick, but just in case...

Do like this: with the pants removed, stretch the ripped/torn portion of the fabric (softshell works best, but goretex shells work too) taught and realign the ripped portions. With the rips butted-up with themselves, place masking tape along the length of the torn sections. Now turn the pants inside out. The masking tape will still be holding the torn areas tightly together. Now apply seam-sealer to the torn areas like a wide glue-bead (5mm) along the length of the tear/puncture. When this seam-sealer drys, it will hold the torn area from the inside and be waterproof and a bit flexible. Now turn the pants right-side out again and remove the masking tape. Almost good as new!
Posted by: smileygirl

Re: torn pants - 01/08/11 09:29 PM

Are softshell pants typically water resistant, or is that not really needed. Just got the Outdoor Research Solitude pants, and they are super nice. So those should be my top layer and thats it?
Posted by: Rickster

Re: torn pants - 01/08/11 10:44 PM

That should do it for most of your cold weather activities, with appropriate insulation layers depending on forecast. Full on rain, might be a different story however.
Posted by: Chas

Re: torn pants - 01/11/11 08:36 PM

Sometimes it depends. Something like the OR Solitude pants is often what you would need for 80-90% of your days.

On days that are ugly cold (where you wonder why are you even out) or when its really warm (and you wonder if its sane to be climbing since the climb could collapse- which I've seen and its spookie to have just walked away from it) and the climb is running with water; then the hardshells are often appropriate.