Black Diamond Serac Crampons
Crampons provide such a simple function — acting as a claw that helps your feet stick to steep ice and hard snow — that it’s not surprising that they’ve evolved little over the years. Sure, they’ve gotten stronger and lighter as metals have, but the 12-point strap-on from 10 years ago looks a lot like it does today. Which is why Black Diamond’s new stainless series feels like a genuine leap forward in crampon technology. BD is a company known for innovation, and now they’ve stumbled onto a way to make crampons even stronger, last longer, and shed snow better. (Snow build-up is a common cause for losing one’s footing while climbing). Stainless steel is not only stronger than traditional chromoly, it sheds snow more effectively. BD’s in-house testing showed that, while brand-new chromoly sheds snow equally well, as the chromoly becomes pitted and worn over time, it holds onto snow. [$170; blackdiamondequipment.com]
TIP: Crampons can do a lot of damage to the other gear in your pack, especially if space is tight and you’re packing up in a hurry. Keep them in a tough Cordura bag of their own while traveling on the lower mountain, where you’ll be in snowshoes instead.
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