Is it a matter of personal preference, or are there advantages to using different front-point setups on your crampons specific to what you are climbing?

For example, I'm still just getting into ice climbing and I have a pair of DMM Terminator crampons, which can be setup a variety of ways; dual front points, mono point, offset mono and mixed mono. They also come with bolt on heel-spurs, for doing things that I will probably not be doing anytime soon.

What are the advantages to these different setups? I understand that mono points are preferred for mixed and dry ice climbing, I can see offset mono points being useful climbing overhanging ice or ice columns, but could someone please list exactly what these different front-point setups were developed for?

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  • Sales and Marketing come to mind.
    – user5330
    Jan 7 '15 at 21:56
  • If it's a marketing gimmick then what are they marketing them as?
    – ShemSeger
    Jan 7 '15 at 23:14

The single point setup was developed to aid in very high technical levels of mixed climbing. Dual points can make it hard to keep the crampon on small rock holds. Also in certain kinds of ice, the monopoint can get a better grip.

The various other setups are attempts to make a compromise between getting full grip in the ice and staying stable on rock.

My ice climbing experience is 30 years out of date, but I can see the advantage of being able to tweak the front point setup for various climbs and conditions. With any luck someone with more recent experience can chime in on exactly which setups are optimal for which conditions.

  • 1
    So basically, as a beginner ice climber, I don't need to worry about it, but if and when I get into more technical/mixed climbing, then I will know when I can take advatage of the other setups.
    – ShemSeger
    Jan 14 '15 at 16:13

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