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Jul 03 2014

First Look: Five-point Crampons

 

Five-point crampons. Do you need more?

Five-point crampons. Do you need more?

Serious ski mountaineers know that on occasion crampons are an essential tool to have for climbing skiable snow. It isn’t that a few sharp points of connection to the slope aren’t needed, they are, but 12 points can be overkill sometimes.

Manfred Quaeck was annoyed with the necessity of carrying the weight of full size crampons when all he really wanted was a few points under the toe for additional security when kicking steps in hard snow. What he came up with are a set of five-point crampons that make use of tech inserts on the toe of many AT boots to attach these minimalist crampons and that’s about it.

Three points hold the five sharp ones on your boot.

Three points hold the five sharp ones on your boot.

The key to holding the crampons on is a front bumper that wraps around the front of the sole. Threaded pins are used to hold the crampon laterally via the tech inserts. To attach them the pins are simply threaded tight into the insert cups. As long as your boot meets the AT spec for toe dimensions the front bumper should provide enough contact pressure to keep the points from pivoting about the axis of the inserts.

Do they work? We’ll just have to wait until next season to see. I like the idea of crampons so small and light that I could afford to include them as a standard item in my pack, rather than having to correctly anticipate their need. And when I need them, will just five points around the toe be enough? Unlikely for glacier travel, certainly not for ice climbing, but perhaps for anything you’d dare to ski in softer conditions they would be enough.

Manfred says they’re made from high strength steel and weigh in just over half a pound, 250 grams, per pair. Batteries not included. They should be available before the snow flies north of Mexico.

© 2014
 

  • Frank Konsella

    Clearly not a fan of French technique, I see…

  • waxonskinsoff

    Wasatch refrozen skin trail friendly.