Ya just gotta love a guy who is well on the way to winning the gear war by attrition :)
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:
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)
G20 (both 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 versions, additional small frontpoint on the 2010/2011 version)
Air Tech (newmatic)
Old Sabretooth Pro
SS Sabretooth Pro
Finding the G20s and SS Sabretooths are the go-to choices on the Primes
and Phantom Guides
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.
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 (allblack 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.