|Boot Size Range:||35 thru 46|
|Number of Points:||10 + 2|
|Grivel Air Tech Crampons||$156.95|
|Grivel Air Tech Light - New Classic Crampon at SunnySports||$149.95|
If you recognize the limitations of aluminum crampons, you will be happy with the performance of these Grivels. Just returned from Rainier, and I loved not carrying a heavy set to high camp. My route had no rock (I knew in advance there would be little to none). Turns out there was also very little hard ice, and none at much of an angle.
They performed flawlessly on this climb. The anti-balling plates did their thing - not a single curse or ice axe tap necessary. As stated by an earlier reviewer, these will now always find their way into my early season day pack as well.
One minor caution - I found the absolute limit of the adjustment range with a size 11 Koflach Arctis Expe. Boot sole length is almost 34 cm, and even with removing the quick adjust to gain the last bit of range I had to push hard and wiggle the boots into the bindings.
I used the Air Tech Light Crampons climbing Mt. Hood and Mt. Shasta June 2006. They worked great. They have shorter, wider, and less sharp spikes, making them easier to carry and walk in and less likely to catch a gaiter, damage your rope, or poke you while handling them. The New-Matic fit works the same as the steel crampons, providing a solid fit. We climbed at night, and the ice was frozen nieve with rime ice near the summits, and they worked well front pointing the steeper sections on Mt. Hood. They don't seem as sharp as their steel counter parts, but I feel they would work well on water ice. While descending Shasta from Lake Helen in the blazing sun, they didn't ball up, partly due to the new anti-ball tubes covering the rail between the toe and heal sections. These will be my first and possibly only crampon choice.
Gotta pick the right tool for the job but if you are looking for an ultralight boot to use on snow these are awesome! The New Classic binding will fit on anything from a ski boot to a trail running shoe. I use them year round when I don't expect to be doing extended walking on rocks or ice. Easy routes up cascade volcanos? Perfect! Ski mountaineering - steep bootpacks and lots of snow? Perfect! Not the right tool for steep ice or mixed climbing but if you are looking for light these are sweet! Strap system works great - I fit them to my biggest boots and cut the strap short. I am using the lightest bars and no need for the plastic accordion thing.
I have used these crampons on about 20 climbs so far, including Rainier, Hood, Baker, Little Tahoma, even more technicl Mt Jefferson Jeff Park glacier route. I haven't had any problems with them. I have used Stubai and CAMP lightweight crampons too but still love Grivel. I removed the antibott plates to save weight. No they are not designed to climb on steep ice. Get a pair of G12 or G14 for that purpose.
I've used the air tech light to climb the Catskill High Peaks...Slide, Hunter and Wittenberg this Winter and this crampon is all that Grivel claims it to be and more.Easy to carry...so light that it has become standard in my back pack all Winter. I would recommend this crampon to anyone tackling New Yorks High Peaks in Winter.
Very light and can be used with any boots. Great for mixed alpine travel there microspikes are not enough, but steel crampons and mountaineering boots are overkill.
My 3 star rating is based completely on what I found out about these crampons out of the box. I have yet to use them, so I'll give them 3 stars because they are pretty solid construction and I expect them to still be awesome. I bought them to throw in my UL kit in the shoulder seasons and for medium use in winter. But first impressions out of the box:
On my scale these crampons weight a little over 20 oz with regular flex bars and the flex bar accordians, not the 17 advertised. For most this isn't an issue, but when buying specifically because they weight so little it sort of sucks.
On the new classics, you can't replace the metal strip bar with a screw and bolt to extend the size by 2 holes because you cant remove the antibott plates to put the nut on the screw. I think you can do this with the matic ones. So the regular flex bars worked for everything but my koflachs arctis exp (us 9.5, eu 9), which I had to buy the $15 long flex bars for.
That said they seem pretty bomber and I'm still psyched about them, just a few out of the box blues.
I purchased these, snapped a tooth off climbing Rainier and a second tooth snapped off while climbing Pico. They may be light, but they aren't built to take on heavy duty climbing on ice.