Latest C.A.M.P Alu Crampons Float In On a Light Breeze

Post by blogger | October 21, 2007      
Lightweight crampons for backcountry skiing.
Fairly easy to adjust for boot size; after a bit of trial and error you’re ready to go in 20 minuets or less.

We’ve got some goodies from camp-usa coming in for review. First, we’re messing around with the XLC 390 Hyperlight Crampon, said to be the “lightest semi-ridged 12 point crampon in the world.” If not the king, at 9 oz each (256 gr, weighed with anti snow ballup plates) they’re certainly up there in the top of the lightweight cramp’ genere.

Will alu cramps substitute for steel? We always have both and pick according to route and anticipated conditions (steel if we thing there will be much hard ice), but I’ve found over the years that in nearly any snow climate we we can do the bulk of our ski alpinism and backcountry skiing climbs with the aluminum version.

Lightweight crampons for backcountry skiing.
When the latest cool gear arrives at WildSnow HQ, we can’t help but be bad boys, leave the dishes in the sink, and go for the goods. Chores? What chores?

Thus, we’re always looking for the best iteration of such lightweight crampons, and it appears these are a winner. These guys are made of 7075 aluminum, with a design that’s said to distribute force so the points are less likely to bend or break. Will they hold up to walking patches of scree on a Colorado 14er in January? Time will tell, but we are optimistic.

I’ve been on all too many climbs when my crampons balled up with snow and needed an ice axe whack almost every step or else it was time for a fast and possibly last ride down the mountainside. Thus, for safety and efficiency, anti snow ball-up “antibott” plates are as important as the crampons they attach to. We really like the CAMP version that come with the XLC 390. Made from a Vibram brand rubber material, they stretch and snap on with small hooks. To prevent snow sticking we’re pretty sure we’ll still want to spray our cramps with silicon before each trip, and perhaps mod them by adding some plastic tubing to the connector rail, but it’s all got to start with the antibott, and these look to fit the bill.

What else? The heel clip has a nice hand operated dial for fine tuning the fit. And you can lighten these crampons a bit more by cutting off the unused portion of the connector rail after you get your length dialed.

Camp Antibott
CAMP Antibott is shaped for each crampon model, and pops on with these clips.

Camp Antibott
Adding to the anti-snowball Antibott effect, I mod my crampons by covering the connector rail with poly tubing. With this mod you can’t collapse the crampons for storage, but I’ve actually come to like that feature, as my cramps come out of my pack ready to clip on my feet.

And just in case you’re doing some early Christmas shopping:

Camp XLC 390 Crampon is light, and even has a telemark boot-compatible toe bail to make it a standout choice for ski mountaineering with telemark or AT gear.

Shop for the Camp XLC 390 crampons here.


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6 Responses to “Latest C.A.M.P Alu Crampons Float In On a Light Breeze”

  1. steve romeo October 22nd, 2007 8:14 am

    Sup Lou!

    The CAMPs are nearly weightless. I like using plastic and duct-tape to make anti-bot plates…to keep the weight down. Less durable…but way lighter! IMHO.


  2. Mikemcee October 22nd, 2007 9:16 am

    Lou….I used these for a nasty glacier ice/scree scramble up Shasta in August and couldn’t have been more psyched. Had them on for 12 of the 18hr car to car and never had an issue. The weight is awesome and even with all the mixed moves we had to make near the summit, the points stayed in good shape. Definitely a strong choice when weight matters…then again, when doesn’t it?

  3. David October 22nd, 2007 10:24 am

    I have scrambled over a fair bit of rock in mine without any damage. They are clearly going to be less durable than steel, but the weight saving is so nice…

  4. Chris October 23rd, 2007 8:58 am

    Hey Lou –

    I see you say that you can use Al crampons for most of what you do, but I am also noticing that you and Louie are pretty skinny. What are your opinions on this same crampon for us heavier folks hovering around 200 lbs or more – I am wondering if something like the XLC nanotech might be better for us ?

  5. Frank October 23rd, 2007 10:30 am

    Seems like the reviews are generally favorable on these- I’ve often considered getting a pair but was curious about how much abuse they could take. I bet they work great on most routes, especially for a lightweight guy like myself.

    Nice looking plates, Steve. Mine are not nearly as clean (might be a fall project to make some better ones) but I am a big fan of the homemade variety and they seem to often work better than store-bought ones in my experience. I prefer to attach mine with zip-ties instead of duct-tape.

  6. backinaustria October 25th, 2007 10:34 am

    hmmm.. would love to know how these measure up to dynafit’s aluminum crampon at 300gr/pair (!!)

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