CAMP 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.