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Sarkens vs. Vasak: Pinnacle Gulley Mt. Washington

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Jeffo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 260

Greetings All,

I own a pair of Petzl Vasak's for general mountaineering. But am planning to head up to Pinnacle Gulley this year on Mt. Washington (NH) and am considering a new front section of crampon for that purpose. Was looking at the Lynx or Sarken as i can just buy the front part and use my existing crampons for the back end.

Any advice, for Pinnacle Gulley? Would the Vasak's work or not really?


Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 321

Disclaimer: I have never climbed in the area you are looking at.

However, I do own the Sarken and Vasak crampons. I find that the Sarkens excel when you have to cross snowy, alpine ice, and mixed terrain. Something with vertical points like the Lynx is really great for pure water ice and mixed terrain. The Vasaks are best in snow, alpine ice, and easy hard ice conditions, and are all around great crampons. The Sarkens are my go-to in the PNW where we encounter everything except hard water ice.

Hopefully that assists with your descision!

cjdrover · · Watertown, MA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 355

What Dave said is correct. Vasak's will be fine. However, in the interest of making life more enjoyable, if you are interested in upgrading anyways I would suggest taking any crampon with an actual front bale rather than a strap. For something like Pinnacle the style of front point doesn't really matter (I've done it in both BD sabretooths and Grivel G20s) but in my experience the strap-on crampons don't feel as secure.

Jeffo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 260

Cool. Thanks all.

FYI, I do have a toe bale on my vasaks. They fit great and tight on my G2's.

Andrew Blease · · Bartlett, NH · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 480

The Vasaks are more than fine. In all actuality you will spend more time walking in them than climbing, so a good general purpose crampon like the Vasak fits the bill just right. I climb up to WI4 M4-5 in mine and do just fine. They are the right tool for those gully climbs.

Jon H · · MD/DC · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 123

Vasaks are my favorite pure ice crampon. Like the poster above, they are my choice on WI4 or WI5 climbs as long as there is no significant mixed component.

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

The horizontal points will work but I actually prefer verticals for that brittle, cold Mt Washington ice even though it's not very difficult climbing. Less fracturing that way - tends to come off in dinner plates up there. Otherwise I really like horizontal points, more than most people I think. If you're thinking of upgrading anyway I would, but it won't make or break your climb.

climbamt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 35

The rear section of all recent Petzl crampons are the same. Petzl sells just the front section so you can easily swap they out. I use Sarkens for my clients and it fits the bill as a great all around crampon IMHO.


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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