WRITTEN by CHRIS & ANNE ENSOLL
As winter draws nearer, it's time to give your winter gear a check, and maybe invest in some new kit. In December 2014 I did a review and comparison of three general mountaineering crampons: Black Diamond Serac Clip, Petzl Vasak Lever Lock, and Grivel G12 New Matic. At the time of writing, my favourite of the three was the Petzl Vasak Lever Lock. Since then, Petzl have released a new model, so what are the changes, and are they for the better?
Bar length adjustment
Petzl have kept the fine adjustment of the offset holes, but have also added a quick system to make them fit different sized boots – useful if you’re giving them to clients and need to make adjustments, not much of an advantage if they are for personal use.
Gone is the old adjustment system. Fine tuning is now done by moving the heel piece in holes on the crampon. This seems to work fine, and must save some weight.
There are two main changes here
The toe system has changed which keeps the crampon closer to the front of the boot, giving a cleaner profile when front pointing.
There is now also the option of using a bale to fit on a technical boot.
This looks much the same, and works well.
I have only used them for a short summer season in the Alps. However, they are holding up well.
The new model has a thinner frame. The old model weighs 480g each crampon, the new one is 430g, saving 50g per crampon. That may not sound like a lot, but bear in mind the saying, “1lb on your foot is equal to 10lbs on your back”. If you’re out for a long day in the hills, it does make a difference.
As you can see from the photos, they fit snugger than the old model
The new Petzl Vasak Lever Lock is an improvement on an already very good product, and I highly recommend them. Happy climbing in 2017 and 2018!