DiY anti-balling plates

Today, kids, we're gonna be making our very own crampon anti-balling plates, mostly from rubbish.  These are the blobs of plastic that sit under your shoe spikes to stop wet snow coagulating on the sole of your boot, sending you sliding down the hill in a very not on purpose glissade.  Its the perfect bit of amateur Make Your Own Gear nonsense to do when you are still listless and reeling from that nasty flu which completely wiped out your christmas - which is just as well really.

First, collect your rubbish in a pile.  You'll also need cable ties, scissors, a hole punch, a permanent marker, and a moderately steady hand.  Have another slug at that medicinal tipple.

Hack away fairly briskly at the plastic stuff until it fits loosely in the gaps where your shoe sole would be.  You'll want to leave a bit of overlap so that the holes don't pull through, so don't be too precise, you aren't gonna see it after all.  Its best to use chunky thick ice cream tubs and not, as some suggest, milk bottles, as the latter will raise their hands in surrender at the first bit of mixed ground you may encounter NOW THAT ALL THE BLOODY SNOW HAS GONE.

Flip the crampon and mark where you want your holes to be.  I chose to make 4 holes for the front and 3 for the back, but you hill types are independent sorts, do as you will.

Now remove the plastic patch and use the hole punch to make a hole.  I assumed the plastic would resist the advances of a thing designed to make holes in paper, but it was not so, the plastic acquiesced without so much as a candlelit dinner. 

Now use the mini cable ties you stole from work to attach the patch to the crampon.  I love cable ties, they are great things to take on a longer trip too, good for repairs.

Trim those puppies, et voila!  You just avoided watching an hour of televisual misinformation, and saved yourself £15 odd.  For the weight conscious, there's a small saving of about 15-20gms.  Admittedly these aren't those fancy Grivel rubbery pop out ones, but you could experiment with using a bit of curved edge of a tub to see if you can replicate that in some way.  I tried, but the ties pulled out the curve.

There's something really lovely and ever so slightly perverse about attaching junk you would normally discard, to perfectly shiny new equipment, and hopefully these will send all the Arc'teryx wearing poseurs running to their champagne saunas in faux terror, leaving more hill for us.  Or else they might just break on the first day.  We'll see.