If they’ve got spikes on the end, you can basically use any pair of shoes to climb Mount Everest, right? Not exactly.
But that didn’t stop Reddit users this weekend from posting imaginative shoe choices for ice climbing. To be clear, their creative ideas probably don’t meet American Mountain Guides Association standards. My guess is that these tongue-in-cheek climbers were bored with the Thanksgiving festivities and daydreaming about alpine summits to avoid awkward family politics.
And what better place to escape than the wilderness of Reddit? In this case, it’s the Mountaineering subreddit, where you could find crampons made from forks and ice axes … or hot pink Crocs with microspikes.
Why not? After all, ice climbing is kind of a weird sport to begin with. These (hopefully) sarcastic DIY “crampons” simply turn the dial to 11. Here are our favorites.
Ice Axes Go on Your Shoes, Right?
This Reddit user came up with a creative DIY solution for crampons: Just tie a pair of ice axes to the bottom of your shoes, and you’re good to go!
Climbing an overhanging waterfall like Will Gadd is no problem when you can use four to six ice axes instead of just two. Who’s gonna pick up on this revolutionary design, first? (Looking at you, Black Diamond.)
Shoe-Optional Micro Spikes
The ultralight hiking movement meets ice climbing with this visionary idea: Skip the $300 mountain boots and just use your feet, as the above Reddit user illustrates. However, the author does seem a bit concerned about how to prevent the traction device from, you know, breaking his feet as soon as he walks in them.
“I just picked these spikes up from REI. The employee there said the fit was good, but I’m concerned about the toe bail coming loose?? Also how do I get the metal to stop rubbing against my ankles, do y’all use Leukotape for that?” Maybe functional, sure. Comfortable? Hell no.
Godspeed, amigo. I hope you have the fortitude of Wim Hof.
Doc Martens for Dhaulagiri?
If Doc Martens are a classic black dress, then Crocs are kind of like a clown costume. They’ve always been kitschy and anti-fashion, while somehow remaining reliable and reaching iconic status and selling limited-edition runs with major designers.
I mean, are Crocs with crampons any stranger than the limited-edition run of ‘Survival Kit Crocs’ in 2020? They came with a compass, carabiner, headlamp, paracord, and stuff sack. It’s just a matter of time before Mountaineering Crocs become a reality.
Forks for the Ascent
Finally, we have arguably the laziest approach to extra snow traction: forks and socks.
Sure, it sounds ridiculous. But mountaineering might look different in 50 years, when the world’s tallest mountains have mostly melted, and adopted a climate akin to South Florida. By then, summit seekers will probably put on their Balenciaga alpine flip-flops and Gucci climbing onesie, strap on their Versace oxygen tank, and ride a gondola to the top.
It’s only a joke … until it isn’t.
All jokes aside, sometimes, DIY can be a great approach. But as evident by this Reddit thread, sometimes it’s best worth dropping some dough on gear you can actually trust.