Petzl Charlet Vasak FlexLock
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Engineered to deliver a high performance crampon for traditional mountaineering, the 12 point Petzl Vasak offers optimum stability while the separated lateral points complement the assymetry of a mountaineering boot and decreases the risk of slippage. The Vasak come complete with Petzl Charlet's AntiSnow system (equivalent to Grivel's AntiBott) to avoid the annoyance of "balling up". The Flexlock system is useful for boots without overlapping soles. Font and back bindings alter to fit the boot's dimensions and the system fastens using straps. The crampon (including bindings) weighs just under nine hundred grams and alterations can be done without the need for tools. Rated at C2.
Petzl Charlet Vasak FlexLock Reviews
Reviewed by Rich L (Aberdeen) on 2006-04-10:
General comments: The Vasak Flexlock will appeal to all those who require a lightweight crampon uncluttered with a traditional heel lock binding system. Although I own a pair of M10 crampons for pure ice climbing, I bought the Vasak crampons for easy mixed alpine and Scottish climbing due to their unique design. The flexlock binding does not hold the crampon quite as rigid as a traditional front bail and heel clip binding but on most ground this is not noticeable, only on really hard blue ice is it a problem. The advantages are the speed at which it can be attached even when wearing gloves and the lack of heel binding which allows totally uncluttered heel moves such as heel hooks etc… The low profile frame allows great rock climbing and it handles snow and ice well enough, although this is not its forte in my opinion. It appears to be durable so far and the front plastic bails seem very robust compared to a similar pair I had from CAMP which burst their rivets. The ring system of attaching the front plastic bail is far superior in strength compared to the usual small rivets on most similar crampons and could in extremis be field repaired.
Pros: Lack of heel lever, ligtweight, quality of materials and design
Cons: Some vibration on hard ice.
Reviewed by David B (Aberdeen) on 2006-10-23:
General comments: Having struggled through my first winter season with old stubai crampons that had front-points that barely protruded past the sole of my boot, i decided to purchase a pair of twelve point crampons for general scottish and alpine use. The Vasak was fairly new out and as with many new products did suffer from a few niggles, the most obvious being the anti-balling plates. The originals were probably well suited to stepping off a telepherique onto crisp snow, but after a good Scottish scuffing were actually more dangerous than having no anti-balling plates at all! On the plus side, Petzl did despatch a free replacement pair very promptly which are the more traditional haevy duty rubber types.
I must admit, these crampons are pretty much perfect for their intended use and show no sign of giving up the ghost any time soon!
Pros: The attachment system works really, especially the ease with which you can get a really precise fit. This is down to the double line of holes in the spacer bar, giving very incremental adjustments, combined with the very 'grippy' double buckle on the strap.
Cons: The new balling plates are quite a crude affair, you often stab yourself with the attachment staples whilst putting the crampons on. The alignment of the front and secondary points are perfectly suited to general mountaineering, but if the going gets steep, you'd be better off with the Sarken.