Crampons? Claws? Which?

After yesterday’s post, this query came in the morning mail:

What footgear does Bugs favor on his climbs?  We see crampons going for everything from $35.97 on up to $219.00.  Standing on the summit of accomplishment as Bugs does, cost is probably no object?  Plus with product-endorsements, he can pretty much take his pick?  But for us at base-camp, the prices look a little steep.  Can you help? – “Obsessed,” Michigan

I put this interesting question to Bugs after he completed the morning run.  Here is his answer.

“Obsessed,” I like the way you think.  When you’re heading for the high places, it never pays to neglect what’s underfoot.  It’s a yin-yang type thing.

Proper footgear can aid in balancing support and agility with the right degree of mental and emotional freedom.  If you decide to go the gear route, you’re looking for something light-weight, with more aggressive points than you tend to find on the older models.  There are some fine rust-free stainless alloys out there on the market these days.

But when it comes right down to it, I just have to say I feel at my very best only when barefoot.  I think the technology – well I don’t know how to say this in a way that will keep the endorsement fees coming in, but I feel I must, I owe it to my public – frankly, the tech thing is over-sold.  Two words:  Au naturel.  You just can’t improve on Mother Nature.

It all comes down to conditioning and preparation.

Here’s what my pads look like.

Aim for this.  Work up to it.





Next, you cannot afford to neglect your back feet.  You’re going to need them to respond in tight situations.



Remember, you’ll be balancing on ledges the width of a dime.



Spot-condition with strength and flexibility exercises, to get your back-dactyls in tip-top shape.

Last but not least, spikes.





Human once tried these things on me, when I was too small to stop her.

She then spent around $35.00 on this thing.  Got as far as putting in the batteries.  To date, however, has lacked nerve to come anywhere near me with it.

Truthfully, these mechanical devices are nonsense.  Here’s what to do instead.

Variety and focus is everything.  I designed this orienteering course where we have spike-conditioners in every room of this house.  I run the course liberally, hitting each control-point pretty much every time I pass by on my rounds.

Control Point One:  This one’s the warm-up.  I gave Human the idea when she got tired of standing shivering naked in the bathroom, waiting to turn on the shower, as I put this thing to its proper use.

Control Point Two:  This ups the resistance to the next level.


Control Point Three:  Got to jump up to get to this one.


Control Point Four:  Now we’re moving up the slopes.


Control Point Five:  The foothills.  See the scrap up top there?  Feather decoration.  Took care of that in :30 flat.  A tasty fillip, but if we’re talking essentials, essentially unnecessary.

Control Point Six:



I’m up to 125 reps.

Overall Training Goal:

You see now, I hope, how vital it is to keep those – I believe some folks call them dogs? how on earth was that permitted to happen? – they’re feet, got that? feet – in tip-top condition.


When you summit, send us a postcard.

About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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9 Responses to Crampons? Claws? Which?

  1. Elizabeth Bullock-Rest says:

    Last year we bought some used furniture—an overstuffed couch, love seat and chair—from friends of ours for our son’s downstairs rumpus room. We were delighted to hear our friends say that the furniture was “pre-scratched” by their cat so we wouldn’t have to feel bad when our Tabasco did the same thing. I see by your blog that there are other decoys we could have used.

  2. lifewith4cats says:

    excellent post! I could relate to Control point 3. Remember the days when your books could look nice ON the table? They were probably catagorized and were prominently displayed to their best features. Now you have made your house cat friendly and put those books on the floor UNDER the table. AH the things we do for our cats, home decorating tips go right out the window.

    This is stumble worthy, wheres that button?

    • nadbugs says:

      Oh — are you saying all I spent on decorator fees has been wasted? No! No!

      Now about this stumble-button. [initial complaints about age & new tricks removed; learning has been accomplished against all odds.] I just installed it. Another new blogtrick learned by an old dog moi.

      • lifewith4cats says:

        Great, I just stumbled your post and submitted a review of it as well. But like you, I am on my first baby steps with stumble. I hope I did it right. Once I figure out how to, you and I can be stumble friends? Does that sound ok?

        now for an off topic: I just found this blog, and I know you will love it as much as I. It’s not about cats though. But I just HAD to share it with you. So forgive me for putting a random link into this comment, I didn’t know how else to share it and if you want to edit this last part out, its ok. here is the link:

  3. kimmo says:

    Great to see Bugs work-out gear. But I could have swore that when he was telling tales of a recent safari adventure- that he said he was wearing flip-flops….

    • nadbugs says:

      Reason is, he has more than one pair — quartet? — of footgear. He has cammo flip-flops to complete the safari ensemble.


  4. Pingback: The Honor Is Ours | catself

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