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November 2020 Issue
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Review: Salewa Alpinist Step-In Crampons

Salewa Alpinist Step-In Crampons

Specs: $259.90, 885g
Used by: Ski-touring features and trips writer Hazel Phillips
Used for: One year

After snapping not one but two strap-on crampons in one season, I decided to add these Salewa 12-point crampons to my arsenal, identifying a need for an automatic steel crampon.

At 885g they are relatively light and benefit from a simple design. They’re easy to adjust on the fly, meaning I can switch them between my mountaineering boots and my ski touring boots within minutes.

Those living in less icy areas than my local haunt of Ruapehu will appreciate the effective anti-balling plates – I haven’t yet seen an issue, even after using them to ascend Hochstetter Dome in Aoraki/Mt Cook on a recent ski touring trip, in snow that was occasionally rather powdery.

So far I’ve mostly used these on gritty North Island conditions and they’ve held up well. I’ve used them for non-technical snow tramping and easy (Grade 1–1+) climbing. The major selling point is how solid they feel, even when clambering over rime ice features on ridges or kicking steps in hard ice.

I also like the swiftness of the snap-in clip around the ankle – it means you’re ready in seconds.

A sensible choice for anyone looking to graduate from a strap-on crampon, the only disadvantage is that they don’t come with a crampon case.

Verdict: A lightweight crampon, providing a tight fit, and suitable for general mountaineering use.

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