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Super Edge to the Rescue!

    I hadn't tried ski crampons until recently because some now-former-friends told me they weren't that great. They were wrong. For going straight up something steep it's true, they're not that useful, but that's not what they're for. Where they're amazing is traversing, especially steep and firm slopes. These make your edges bit and stick on traverses, they keep your edges planted on kick turns, basically ski crampons are SUPER EDGES, like a super hero of sorts. Or maybe edges on steroids. You probably get the picture. You need grippy skins for fore-aft grip, but for sideways stability ski crampons are amazing. They do more or less eliminate glide, but if you're on something steep enough to want these you don't care about that.

    On to these specific crampons: I don't know why BC doesn't have them in stock anymore, BD still makes them and they're still available. I like them, they're durable and easy to use. Installing on Fritschi bindings is literally a snap, just step out, snap them in, and step back in. I use them on the Diamir Explores and they're a tight fit but still good. If you use heel riser they will dig in less; I find that with the highest riser they barely touch the snow. Of course, why are you traversing in the highest riser? If you're going to traverse, there's no point in going so steep! They get good penetration in the second highest riser, though.

    Bottom line, I never enter the BC without them anymore. They make skinning steep stuff enjoyable because traversing switchbacks and kick turns are so much easier with them.

    Ski Crampon

      Ski Crampons are a must in the Euro Alps. Hard snow and icy skin tracks are common. You probably need a pair if you're doing to do the Haute Route (conditions dependent). They save a lot of energy when compared to slipping skins.
      Put your heel risers down you pusses

      Addendum to my last

        Pay attention to Kyroklimber. These DO have a function on low angle breakable crust, and I probably was just put out by a particular event in the previous negative review. However, bear in mind that if you cannot push the teeth through the crust it is like walking on unbalanced stilts and THEY CAN BE LETHAL. In that situation you should be wearing boot crampons with a tool in hand. They are well made and durable.

        Occasionally helpful

          Since they attach to the pivoting part of the binding they bit into the snow less and less as the heel riser is raised. There are other, better, options for skinning steep hard snow. That said, I have been happy to have them along more than once, and have seen that they have allowed me to go faster than others who didn't have them.

          Only works in very specific circumstances.

            Pros: Beefy, well built construction. Built well for intended use. Mates to binding system well.
            Cons: Crampon teeth cannot engage and get good purchase into the snow/ice while the heel riser is up. Increase in heel riser equates to proportional loss in crampon penetration into surface.
            Thus: only real great utility is giving great traction to skier while doing low angle icy snow traverses. If you're a wieght conscious ski mountaineer as myself, thier limited F(x) doesn't justify the added wt. take light wt. regular crampons or try to buy the fixed plate Voile ski crampon.

            Seem to work quite well, must have for the Alps

              I purchased these crampons for sking the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, and used them on several steep icy traversing climbs. They worked quite well. I do not use the heal lifters on the bindings very much anyway, because it feels more secure to get my heal down on the ski and the crampons dug in in difficult conditions, but I am kind of an old timer. I did not notice any other binding/ crampon combos that did not have the same heal lifter / crampon bite conflict. I put them in a bag in my pack for carrying, didn't seem to be much of a problem.

              Find another option

                These crampons suffer from a design flaw that renders them fairly useless. If your heel lift is engaged the teeth won't dig into the snow, because the crampon itself fits over the rail that connects the binding's toe piece and heel piece. Voile makes a ski crampon that attaches directly to the ski - a significantly better option. It's more expensive, but you won't be wasting your money.

                I'm pretty unhappy with the design

                  I just climbed Mt Shasta in them trying to keep them on for as long as possible before switching to regular crampons. The fact that you absolutely can't use your risers on even moderately steep sections sucks a lot. I ended up doing hundreds of switchbacks on the icy slopes and it was very unpleasant. I would have saved lots of energy and time if I just took my skis off. So, I'm not sure what the purpose of these crampons is...

                  fails miserably on crusty traverses

                    Listen to "built to hike" and "ahay" . This product bites big time. I'm glad to hear others drilled holes in them for cord carry also. Fritchi should be doing the job that garage tinkerers are doing now. On any real ascent, you will be in your two highest settings and the teeth on the crampon do not cut it! I am looking to modify it into a fixed crampon (Petzl style) ahead of the toe. If your binding allows it, buy the voile fixed crampon.

                    Not designed for serious climbers

                      The downfall of the crampons if that they attach under the boot and rise and fall with your foot. This is fine on an easy grade, but any attempt on a moderate to steep grade your faced with difficulty. You are not able to set your risers up (because then the teeth will not penetrate the ground effectively) and therefore to climb at a steeper angle your body has to be in an awkward, crouched over, less secure bend that takes an unnecessary amount of energy.
                      With that said, unless your sticking to easy flat terrain, consider another option or plan to custom alter them to work for more diverse backcountry terrain.

                      Not sure when I would use them

                        Imagine climbing up a steep icy slope, just hanging on with the ski crampons, then it gets really icy and you start to slip. WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU DO?? If you take off the crampons you fall. If you turn around you will fall. Very difficult to back down a slope.....This is what happened to me. I had to dig a hole in the ice and flee. Cool looking, durable, funky, looked good on the pack and I got plenty of glances from other tourers but really I should have used real boot crampons and not these strange substitutes. Buy them for a easy ride to serious trouble.

                        Requisite for the alps.

                          A necessity for steep skintracks ski touring in the Alps.

                          The easiest way to carry them is to drill a small (3/16") hole and thread them with parachute cord, then clip them to the waistbelt of your back so they are easy to get to when you need them.

                          NEED INCREASED EASE OF CARRYING


                            Required Gear for Steep Skintracks

                              Ski crampons should be required gear for any steep traversing skintrack. They greatly enhance security in such situations.
                              The only drawback of the Fritschi design is that you have to exit the binding to attach the crampon, so best to figure you that you'll need the crampons before you're suddenly on steep terrain and have to do some tricky moves to exit and then reenter the binding. The other problem is finding a convenient way of carrying them in your pack, try threading some shock cord through the small holes in the crampon for an external attachment approach.
                              If you have the most recent generation of Diamir bindings though, you might want to consider the newer Axion crampon, which can be affixed yet not deployed until you actually need it.

                              Unanswered Question

                              I got these for free with my Freerides,...

                              I got these for free with my Freerides, but the waist of my touring ski is 110mm- has anyone else modified the Larges to fit wider waisted skis? Reading these reviews I probably won't use them much, but I'd like to at least give them a try.