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August 2014 Issue
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Black Diamond Contact



Our Rating:

The Black Diamond Contact is a basic, moderately lightweight (814g) backcountry travel crampon designed for tramping, transalpine, ski mountaineering and basic mountaineering. It’s a 10-point crampon, so lacks extra side points for stability and purchase for prolonged use in hard snow and ice, but is lighter for it, and less likely to ball up in soft snow. Replaceable anti-balling plates complement this well-designed crampon.

Uniquely made from stainless steel (most crampons are made from hardened steel such as chrome molybdenum), the Contact is corrosion resistant and extremely hard-wearing. A weekend of mountain travel in early winter conditions with occasional sections of scree and rock scrambles left its points only slightly less sharp than new.

Easily adjusted without tools, it is flexible enough to fit a wide range of boots, hard and soft, and has a binding system that will fit any boot. A flexible plastic toe bail and plastic heel wrap combine with a strap to hold the crampon firmly to your boot. I did note that the Contact is quite a narrow crampon, so those with wider boots should check the fit before purchasing. The narrow fit does make this crampon ideal for use with approach shoes though – ideal for lightweight summer alpine travellers.

For climbers who already own a technical mountaineering crampon, the Contact is an ideal second (lighter) crampon for moderate terrain and flexible boots or shoes and it’s ideal for moderate-terrain alpine use by trampers, skiers and mountaineers.