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The cold world of alpine climbing.

The cold world of alpine climbing.

Friday, February 4, 2011

More on crampons, this time from Joe Palma

Joe Palma?   The early Polar Circus topo was Joe's work.   He has been around.

Ya just gotta love a guy who is well on the way to winning the gear war by attrition :)

"Dane,
I'm going to try to sit down with all my boots/crampons this weekend, fit them stock and modified and get you some photos, if you're interested. In terms of selection I believe I have:
Boots:
Salomon Super Mountain 9 Guides (uninsulated, damn...loved the fit on these, perfect, just weigh a ton)
Scarpa Freney (blue first gen)
Kayland Super Ice
LS Nepal EVO GTX
LS Batura (first gen)
LS Trango Prime
Scarpa Phantom Guides (latest gen)

Crampons:

Dartwins (sidelock)
G14s (crampomatic)
G20 (both 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 versions, additional small frontpoint on the 2010/2011 version)
Air Tech (newmatic)
Rambo 4
Rambocomps
Old Sabretooth Pro
SS Sabretooth Pro
Finding the G20s and SS Sabretooths are the go-to choices on the Primes
and Phantom Guides
Joe"

"Hey Dane,


Attaching a few pictures from some setups. the possible permutations would take days to run through so I haven't got a complete set. My observation is that the Petzl front bale is the most likely to fit other manufacturers crampons,

BD's/Grivel's are generally too wide to swap to other frames. However, I'm not 100% happy with the fit of any combinations...was in the Daks this past weekend and was annoyed that I had a rattle in my Phantom Guide/Sabretooth combo (right boot only) that I was able to eliminate by cranking down the
tension on the heel bale. Didn't seem to impact performance at all, but I don't want to be wasting energy thinking about losing a crampon!

(my note) * I ended up bending Petzl bails to fit my Phantom Ultras with Sabertooths till I got a almost perfect fit.    The Ultra and Phantom 6000 likely have the hardest toe priles to fit currently.   The modified Sabers now fit my Guides as well.*  

(back to Joe)
End of the day, I'm running G20's (latest ones) and new Sabretooth crampons stock, interchangeably on both the Phantom Guides and Trango Primes. Just need to modify the length and adjust the heel level tension. Relatively happy with both setups, as long as I carefully adjust the heel bale tension.

I really would like to be able to use my Rambo 4s on either set of boots, but regardless what I do with it I can't get a bomber fit. The flat profile of the frame and rocker in my boots just don't play well together."


La Sportiva Prime with Stainless Sabertooth with a Black Diamond Bale on the lft and the Petzl bail on the right.


By all accounts the new Scarpa soles are difficult to fit. Stock Rambo IV and a Scarpa Guide.  Note the gap at the toe.
 toe gap.....on the Rambo/Guide combo
 Rambo/Guide combo with a Petzl front bail...better but not perfect

More from Joe on 2/07/2011

Made an interesting discovery regarding the Rambo 4. Happened in to Mountain Equipment Co-op, here in Toronto, last week and noticed that the pair of Rambo 4s they had on display appeared to have a much more pronounce rocker to them. Dropped in again on the weekend with my Phantom Guides, Trango Primes and original Rambo 4s in to take a closer look. Sure enough the frames are different, there's a visible dfference in rocker between the pair I had (purchased late 2009, original active anti-bots) and the new (all
black ABS antibots). Makes for a much better fit on both boots. MEC was kind enough to do a straight exchange for me, assuming that the flat frame on my pair must have been a defect. Climbed in 'em yesterday with the Trangos...man, they're fantastic for pure ice.








3 comments:

debs said...

Thanks so much for all this info- all this talk about fit has been so informative! If you can take just one more tangent, or point me in a direction, could you add in some women's boots? Or is there a gear gal out there testing/blogging that you know of? I work with a lot of gals, and fighting with ill-fitting gear is, I really believe, part of the reason women are not more present in ice. I'm hoping some of the manufacturer's could get us some options- and I'm not talkin' ponytail helmets ;-) ~smaller profile under boot crampons, smaller grip axes, etc...

Dane said...

Hi Debs,
I don't know of any women that specifically blog on gear. May be it is just a guy thing with toys and all :) But I do know some amazing women climbers that can help you get sorted out I suspect. Send me a private email and I'll try to get you connected with them.

Boots? I don't write things up I can't test myself but the La Sportiva Nepal Evo is one of the very best ice boots around and it comes in women's sizes. I would expect the Baruntse as a much warmer boot would be good as well if you can get a pair in your size.
But there are other good choices as well. Having small feet can be a blessing on ice imo,

Men have the same problems as women getting all this gear to fit right so don't despair. It just takes money, time and experience.

Tools? BD grips get smaller intentionally as you get to the most technical tools. The Cobra and Fusion being the smallest. That may help. Petzl tools have a adjustabe grip on the Nomic and Ergo which might help as well. I ma a big fan of all four.

Guv said...

Dane,

Made an interesting discovery regarding the Rambo 4. Happened in to Mountain Equipment Co-op, here in Toronto, last week and noticed that the pair of Rambo 4s they had on display appeared to have a much more pronounce rocker to them. Dropped in again on the weekend with my Phantom Guides, Trango Primes and original Rambo 4s in to take a closer look. Sure enough the frames are different, there's a visible difference in rocker between the pair I had (purchased late 2009, original active anti-bots) and the new (all black ABS antibots). Makes for a much better fit on both boots.

MEC was kind enough to do a straight exchange for me, assuming that the flat frame on my pair must have been a defect. Climbed in 'em yesterday with the Trangos...man, they're fantastic for pure ice.