By: randosteve|Posted on: August 4, 2011|Posted in: Gear, Gear Reviews | 10 comments

Well, it’s a wild ride down here at the Summer Outdoor Retailer in SLC once again and I’m very busy with appointments for the shop. There are a record number of both vendors and retailers attending this year’s show and it’s quite crowded and hectic as usual.

CAMP Race 290 tech-compatible crampons.
Click all photos for larger image.

Since most companies are showing summer product for 2012, there’s not a whole lot of skiing specific things to see, or at least things that are worth my time to talk about right now. Regardless, I did learn about some really great things coming down the road from Black Diamond for 2012, but unfortunately I need to stay pretty tight lipped about them for at least a few more months. Non-the-less, I know you will be psyched to hear about them….trust me. One very unique item that I saw at the CAMP booth (it was actually shown at the last winter show, not sure how I missed it) is a new, tech-binding compatible crampon called the Race 290.

Yeah, it’s just another uber-light aluminum crampon, but there are two big things that make it different and quite interesting. First off, the heel bail that you find on most step-in crampons has been replaced by a piece of metal that has two pins that clip into the heel of your tech-compatible AT boots. After placing your toe into the toe bail of the crampons, all you do is step down onto the back of the crampon and click in., much like you would with your bindings. It also folds down to allow for a nice tight package when you are storing them in your pack.

The other thing that makes these crampons very different is the Dyneema webbing that replaces the rigid bar that connects the front and rear section of the crampons. It varies in length by loosening some screws and adjusting the webbing to match the sole length of you boots. Not only does this provide a reduction of weight (about 60 grams, compared to its rigid bar and normal bail counter part, the Tour 350), but also adds even more packability to the spikes. Very slick indeed!!!