Wednesday, October 18, 2006

ULA Axis Crampon review

I’m giving the ULA Axis Crampons a thumbs up. I carried them for over two hundred and fifty miles this summer, hiking through the Sierra in late June and early July. To be honest, I only actually put them on three times but to me that was their intended use. A lightweight crampon for those “just in case” occasions.

Walking up steep slopes was easy with the Axis’. They don’t hinder walking like full crampons do. They also don’t provide nearly as much holding power but I was quite satisfied regardless. On only one occasion was the snow anywhere near the realm of ice; the points sunk in nicely and I was a very happy hiker.

The crampons show almost no signs of wear so far. I walked with them on rock or dirt for a total of about ten feet. The points are still straight and like new. The straps look new as well. The only negative thing that I can think of relates to the straps. Twice, I noticed the back of my foot twisting a little on the crampon. This happened because the plastic straps can stretch a little under stress. That’s a very bad thing! Foot movement was reduced by further tightening of the straps, to the point where they were uncomfortable. Crampons should fit very snugly and the Axis are lacking here.

I’m happy with my purchase and will continue to carry them on all trips where snow might be encountered.