CAMP XLC Nanotech crampons

XlcnanoCAMP is really going nuts innovating lightweight alpine gear these days. Their latest products use aluminum for everything except the pointy parts, and even there they have some hocus-pocus nanotechnology inserted to make the steel even lighter. I learned all about nanotechnology from reading Michael Crichton’s Prey, and I’m happy to report CAMP’s XLC Nanotech crampons did not transform into a cloud of flesh-shredding nanoparticles.

The Sandvik steel points are attached under the frontpoints of the all-aluminum 12-point frame. They stand up well for their intended use: snow routes with the occasional moderate ice patch. You would not want to use them on vertical ice, sustained alpine ice or mixed rocky conditions. Also available in automatic bindings, I used the semiautomatic. The softer frame really sucked into the soles of my boots so that there was no detectable slop in the system, which is unusual for such a lightweight setup.

These spikes combined with a lightweight boot like the La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX results in a nimble set of footwear that really improves your fast and light options. I’ll be keeping an eye on long-term durability, but at under 20oz for the semi (17oz for the auto) the XLC Nanotech with steel frontpoints extends the range of CAMP’s XLC crampons while maintaining a category-leading low weight.

$111.96 (on sale from $159.95) at Backcountry




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