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carolyn

W's Nepal Evos/crampon issues

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So psyched to treat myself to a new pair of boots, after a decade in the Alphas. So bummed to find my sabretooths do not match well with the boot. I think it's unlikely there is anything I can do to MAKE them fit properly. I will keep researching, tho.

 

In the meantime, my google searches are showing plenty of people having issues fitting crampons to this particular boot. Grivel Rambos are a popular choice. I have a pair, and agree...they would fit if I could shorten them. Unfotunately they have been sitting in the closet too long and the bolts to adjust appear to be either stripped or rusted. DOH!

 

I guess I am wondering if anyone else has had an issue with these boots and crampon compatibility. Have you been able to find a way to get BD crampons to work? What crampons have fit well that you like?

 

Thanks!

 

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i took a hammer to the front bail of my cramons on the nepal tops and it solved my problems.

 

p.s. Hi Carolyn!

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The SS Sabretooth generally suck for fitting on the small sized boots. IMO, the SS sabertooth Pro and the LS Evo Trango Light Extreme GTX (size 39) is the worst combination possible: the SS sabres felt like having flip flops on. The ridiculously worthless toe anchoring band does nothing but adds fat and weight rather than securing the fit.

 

Do yourself a favor and replace the original sabres' bails with the Petzl bails - those the Darts, Dartwins or Lynx come with.

Petzl warranty department rocks and although they do not sell the bails as a spare part, they always have a few on hand and might send it to you for free if you ask nicely.

 

My SS sabres modified with the Petzl front bails:

8281397849_1d14f48516_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Unfortunately, I don't think taking a hammer to the front is going to do much good. After closer inspection, I would have to take a hammer to the entire crampon. They are just flat out too wide front to back. Even switching out the front bale wont do any good. :(

 

I do work at a shop which sells climbing gear. I should have known better than to assume my (or any) crampon would fit. Though it probably would not have changed my mind on the boot. I would have just budgeted and planned differently. Gotta say, it is going to be quite a mourning process after 10yrs of DT, mixed, and WI in those sabretooths. I just LOVED them!!!

 

Anyway, I should have a few varieties of petzl crampons by the end of the week + parts to tinker with. I've got a shout out to Grivel. BD and I are playing phone tag. After trying on 5 different BD crampons tonight, I realize it is just hopeless. All I can do is express my concerns. If I must, I will see what LaSportiva has to say about their experiences with the particular boots and best crampons.

 

How is it such a great boot has such a slim collection of crampons to match? Frustrating!

 

I'll keep you posted. Though I am still curious for those who own this boot (particularly women's or smaller sizes) which crampon is working best for you. I would like both mono and dual pt.

 

P.S. HI MIKE!!!! :wave::grin::grin::wave:

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What size Woman's Nepal Evo are you using?

 

Likely the crampon combo that will fit very small boots the best will be a Grivel (G22/20) (they have the smallest/narrowest heel retainers) with a Petzl front bail.

 

Typically Nepal Evos are easy to fit with most any crampons, despite the fact you have read other wise. Small boots on the other hand and/or inexperience knowing what a decent crampon fit should be are two totally different issues.

 

I can't speak from experience on small boots, having only fitted a few. But I have fit just about every combo (literally) of modern ice boots and modern crampons in a 45. From that experience I think you have done well. I would never pick a specific crampon to climb in. I'd pick the boot that best fits my feet first and then find/fix a crampon that will climb well on your choice in boots.

 

Let us know what you come up with and good luck!

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come to think of it, i needed to tweal my petzl poons (hammer to sabertooths worked fine) and the sidelock was what worked best for me. I have medium (size 10 mens) feet, so i guess that doesn't help you much as what worked for me may be different for you.

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Dane is right on with the Grivel G22 or G20 suggestion.

 

A friend of mine has had the same issue with getting a good crampon fit for her Nepal Evo. She ended up with an excellent fit using the G22.

 

I also use the G22 but not because of fit issues. I just like it.

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Dane- I have an average size (womens) foot...39.

 

Great to hear success w/ grivels. Again, my planning was poor. I'm coming up on 2 weeks off and no crampons, unless I can make any of the petzls work. I would have to order grivels, and that could take weeks.

 

I suppose I could always get back in my alphas. That's like giving you keys to a mercedes and then saying you can park it in your garage, even sit in it all you want. But, you will have to drive that beater to get around.

 

Bah humbug! :P

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Petzls might work. I fit a pair of Lynx to Yokum's (mens) 39 Trangos. Not the best fit in the heel. Her boots was very worn, but she was able to climb well enough with the Lynx. Petzl heel is likely going to be way too wide though on an even smaller women's size 38 boot.

 

Looks to me to be a market the hardware companies are simply missing. But then they have a hard time getting it right for an average mens 44/45 as well.

 

I often wonder how any industry that is so specialised, have so much liability at risk, and still be so clueless.

 

 

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carolyn, I have the same boot as you -- Nepal Evos in size 39 (or maybe 38.5 or 39.5 -- yeah I can't remember my own shoe size). My own crampons are Petzl Vasak in the leverlock (no toe bail) version -- they fit as in have not fallen off yet (I've had the crampons for about 5 years but the boots for only two) -- but they are on the too wide side so the front points are kind of hidden under the boot if that makes sense at all. I do a lot more ice walking and gully slogging than ice climbing so 99% of the time the frontpoints don't matter. The posts on the back also do not really do anything at all, but that hasn't seemed to be an issue.

 

I demoed the Lynx with the toe bail at the Bozeman Icefest. The front point problem appears to be solved with the toe bail (and adjustability thereof) but the heel post things have the same issue. The Petzl rep told me not to worry about that (of course he would). Due partially to clinic malfunctions I only climbed about a pitch and a half with them so not enough to form an opinion. But they also did not fall off which is a good start.

 

(disclaimer/etc: I don't actually know that much about crampon fit due to lack of experience and that it's hard enough to find crampons for my boots that don't fall off while waving the boot around in the store, and again, I ice walk a lot more than ice climb)

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I fit a pair of Lynx to Yokum's (mens) 39 Trangos. Not the best fit in the heel. Her boots was very worn, but she was able to climb well enough with the Lynx. Petzl heel is likely going to be way too wide though on an even smaller women's size 38 boot.

 

As I recall, you swapped the Lynx heel pieces for the BD ones and that seriously improved the fit. The Petzl rear bails are too wide for the small sized boots, period. Which makes a big difference on steep brittle ice for me: I had a couple of close calls in the past with the feet blowing off while trying to hold on to my dear life.

So here we go again. For the upcoming ice trip, I am planning on using the mens Phantom Guides (s. 38) and Dartwins fitted with the BD heel pieces.

 

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"The Petzl rear bails are too wide for the small sized boots, period."

 

Agreed. Neither Petzl or BD heel up rights fit my 45s like they should. Grivel has that part figured out.

 

I use the BD rear levers on my gear because the bottom of the lever offers a better platform and more surface area than does Petzl's imo. Switching rear bales doesn't change the fit any, just makes the crampon more secure by the leverage and retainer strap position BD uses. Having a pair of boots that the soles are in good shape will help that as well.

 

But I am rethinkiing the BD levers at the moment. They were just easier to get than the Grivels. But either will work on Petzl crampons and offer the similar benefits other than the adjusting nut on BD's version is aluminum and Grivel's is plastic.

 

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1092529/gonew/1/BD_heel_bails_inspect_for_wear#UNREAD

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The small BD toe bail works well for me with my low-profile ski mountaineering boots. No hammering necessary. Get them as a spare part.

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So here is what I know, and I'm sticking to it! :/

 

Spoke with BD (by phone) and was told I probably did not have them tight enough. Its likely I may need the smaller bail on the newer crampons. Since they are out of those replacement parts I would have to buy an entirely new set. Uh, if it was only that simple :rolleyes: . After shortening/tightening them my boot hung off the back and it looked like the entire crampon would bust. It did nothing to improve the width, which was my main concern.

 

Petzl was WONDERFUL. Between my local rep and their customer service, I ended up with a pair of Sarkens, Lynx, and dartwins in my hands today. My concerns were addressed as real vs someone who does not know how to put their crampons on. :tup:

 

I tried the Sarkens with newmatic/soft bails. Aside from the heel stops they fit very nice. I'm not too fond of the soft bails, but should be able to trade them out with a step in and get similar results as the other two. Truthfully, these are not the crampons I want, nor do I think they would be ideal for WI/mixed/DT.

 

Dartwins are weird. Once they are on, it is almost as if they are on the wrong feet. I swear, the linking bar is correct and I know my left/right. The width in the middle is nearly as bad as the sabertooths. Again, same problem with heel stops. (ok, just got a call midposting from an old petzl rep and someone who climbs in them. He says they are weird, but they do a great job. I do have them on right. :) )

 

The lynx seem to be the best fit, aside from the common heel stop problem. The width is just perfect almost all the way around. The bails (on all actually) could easily be hammered into shape. The front bail seems to have a little more contact with my boot than the sabertooths. I also prefer the extra points.

 

Its so sad I will probably never be able to find the Lynx. Petzl told me they are still on backorder. :cry:

 

I think I could correct the heel stop problem with some pretty heavy hammering. I read online about someone putting a hole in the heel stop, then adding a screw/bolt. Maybe I could be less dramatic and try some duct tape to start. Any other suggestions?

 

Hopefully I will get out on them in the next week and see which ones stay on my feet. :grin:

 

For anyone interested, I uploaded some photos. They are not high quality or edited, but you will get the point (no pun intended :laf: ) with all the crampons I have tried.

Crampons

 

 

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Are you trying to get the back of your boot heels flush with the crampons? If yes, that's not really necessary. Your boot heels can protrude pass the back of the crampons (1cm for the Lynx).

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No (and yes, but that does not seem to be an issue w/the petzls).

There are small stops on the heel sides. They don't come close to hugging my boot. The sabertooths had general width issues, but I am still concerned that after a lot of kicking and/or walking it will allow for enough movement to loosen them a bit. If the rest of the crampon is not too wide, then this may not be as big of an issue.

 

The photos I provided in the link show the obvious space between boots and stoppers. Aside from trying some grivels, which I plan on doing soon, the lynx is the most narrow.

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The lynx are the winners!!!! :grin:

 

That said, after one climb and some walking/standing around, it looked like the front bail was about to come off. Thankfully, we noticed a set of smaller bails in the box of goodies (ETA: Apparently they are off an old pair of Montrail Ice9). After switching them out, there was pretty much no movement in the crampons the rest of the day. These smaller front bails also worked better on the Scarpa Phantom Guide than the original Petzl or Black Diamond bails.

 

Of course the one that works best for my boots and climbing needs is on back order. :tdown:

 

Then there is the issue of getting used to climbing on vertical points vs horizontal. :shock: Other than using mono/vertical for dry tooling and occasional mixed, I've exclusively used horizontal (which I loved). As long as they stay on my feet, I will learn to love the vertical points.

Edited by carolyn

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