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Petzl Sarken and lynx thoughts?


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Blake Bolton · · Boise · Joined 19 days ago · Points: 0

Hey everyone, 

I'm looking for thoughts/reviews of people's experiences with the Petzl Sarken or possibly the Lynx.  I'm looking for a good alpine crampon that can also do occasional waterfall Ice. I plan on using this crampon in the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho as well as the Tetons. I've done as much research as I could online and reviews about the sarken on ice and the lynx in steep snow but reviews have been thin. If I'm missing some prior threads please let me know.

For the sarken:

 How well do they climb water ice? Are the t shape front points actually effective in snow and ice? Durability since front points aren't replaceable?  

For the lynx:

How well does the lynx climb snow? I know they're fantastic for WI but I'm concerned about the vertical front points in steep snow couloirs. Any thoughts?

Any info you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

I found the Sarken to be capable but less than ideal in hard/dense water and alpine ice.  I theorize that it's because the hybrid front points displace a lot of volume but that's pure conjecture.  I definitely climbed plenty of WI/AI3 in them but have moved on to other crampons since then.

I haven't used the Lynx specifically, but my opinion is that crampon type doesn't matter that much on steep snow.  I have climbed plenty of neve in monos and not really had any issues.

Both of them would probably do what you're asking, along with the BD Sabertooth and similar models.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266

The Sarkens are great all-around crampons.  They are awesome on snow and rock, and are what I use 98% of the time.  On waterfall ice the T-point is kind of a pain because of how much ice it displaces - the Lynx would be much better for that.  If you are mostly on snow and are on waterfall ice very occasionally, it would make much more sense to get the Sarkens.  

An interesting alternative is the Snaggletooth that may be good for both.  I own them but have not had the chance to try them out yet.

NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105
Kyle Tarry wrote:

I haven't used the Lynx specifically, but my opinion is that crampon type doesn't matter that much on steep snow.  I have climbed plenty of neve in monos and not really had any issues.

This. 

The difference in area is not going to make a difference. The bigger difference is going to be weight. 

I have some Lynx and the weight is the only thing I don't like about them. Looking to get some horizontal fronts from Petzl for when I want to have lighter weight (ie every time I'm not climbing WI). Either that or just getting the Leopards with the steel fronts.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162
Chris C. wrote:

An interesting alternative is the Snaggletooth that may be good for both.  I own them but have not had the chance to try them out yet.

I will be using the Snaggletooth for alpine missions this season as well, very interested to see how they perform.

So far I have only done drytooling with them, and they are definitely as good as a vertical mono for that, at least on the terrain where I used them.

Blake Bolton · · Boise · Joined 19 days ago · Points: 0

Thanks everyone for your input. I may end up doing the lynx and then get the Sarken front sections since you can't just get the lynx front section.

Although I must admit you all have me curious about the snaggletooths especially since they would be cheaper than buy both. 

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266
Kyle Tarry wrote:

I will be using the Snaggletooth for alpine missions this season as well, very interested to see how they perform.

So far I have only done drytooling with them, and they are definitely as good as a vertical mono for that, at least on the terrain where I used them.

Have you tried them at all walking through snow, or totally just dry tooling? I’m thinking about taking them on a climb in South America with a lot of mixed terrain this winter, but I’m not sure how they’ll perform on the glacial terrain. 

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745
Chris C. wrote:

Have you tried them at all walking through snow, or totally just dry tooling? I’m thinking about taking them on a climb in South America with a lot of mixed terrain this winter, but I’m not sure how they’ll perform on the glacial terrain. 

They are just a modified Saberteeth crampon, one of the best, most-trusted 'pon for that sort of thing.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266
Gunkiemike wrote:

They are just a modified Saberteeth crampon, one of the best, most-trusted 'pon for that sort of thing.

True, but the outer point is pretty small. I’m wondering if that throws off the balance when walking. 

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Make ok pets just make sure they have a friend so they don't get lonely.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162
Chris C. wrote:

True, but the outer point is pretty small. I’m wondering if that throws off the balance when walking. 

I have done a bunch of glacier walking in vertical monos (G14) and it's fine.  The Snaggletooth can only be better.

Heck, they probably walk better than Sarkens, which have quite long front points.

Blake Bolton · · Boise · Joined 19 days ago · Points: 0
NorCalNomad wrote:

This. 

The difference in area is not going to make a difference. The bigger difference is going to be weight. 

Are you saying that the weight impacts the amount of purchase that you'll get in the snow? Or are you just not wanting the extra weight in the pack? 

I'm assuming its about not wanting to carry the extra weight since every ounce counts with alpinism but I just wanted to clarify.

Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 585
Chris C. wrote:

True, but the outer point is pretty small. I’m wondering if that throws off the balance when walking. 

They work just fine for walking. Have booted in them quite a bit on alpine routes in the Wasatch and PNW.

Jared Casper · · St. George, UT · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 0

I came across this post from Steve House researching crampons recently: https://www.uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/best-crampons-for-alpine-climbing/

He is sponsored by Grivel, so there's that, but he does make some interesting points in favor of his sponsor.

NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105
Blake Bolton wrote:

Are you saying that the weight impacts the amount of purchase that you'll get in the snow? Or are you just not wanting the extra weight in the pack? 

I'm assuming its about not wanting to carry the extra weight since every ounce counts with alpinism but I just wanted to clarify.

Not wanting the extra weight on your feet. Weight on your feet matters even more than weight in your pack. 

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

Don't get Sarkens, they suck for water ice.  For a good alpine crampon with occasional water ice, I'd take a look at Grivel G-12 - they handle water ice very well for a horizontal point crampon. I wouldn't worry too much about durability - most climbers will retire their crampons long before wearing down the frontpoints enough to be an issue.  Grivel steel seems to last longer than other companies, but that's purely anecdotal.

Personally, I use Grivel G20 crampons for technical routes and the G12s for everything else up to WI3.

Jordan W · · NC · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Jared Casper wrote:

I came across this post from Steve House researching crampons recently: https://www.uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/best-crampons-for-alpine-climbing/

He is sponsored by Grivel, so there's that, but he does make some interesting points in favor of his sponsor.

The g12's have gotten people up routes on pretty much every mountain in the world. For an alpine crampon, I don't think there are anything better than the G12's. I have used a pair for glaciers and steep snow for the past two years and I love them. They will definitely get you up steep ice without much problem....  I did just get a pair of Lynx for the winter and waterfall ice, but I haven't gotten the chance to try them out yet. They are definitely slick looking and they look like they'll climb really well,  stoked to try them out.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745
Nick Sweeney wrote:

Don't get Sarkens, they suck for water ice.  For a good alpine crampon with occasional water ice, I'd take a look at Grivel G-12 - they handle water ice very well for a horizontal point crampon. I wouldn't worry too much about durability - most climbers will retire their crampons long before wearing down the frontpoints enough to be an issue.  Grivel steel seems to last longer than other companies, but that's purely anecdotal.

I have never owned Sarkens but I have a climbing buddy who had to give them away b/c they just weren't cutting it on waterfall ice. I have also watched dozens of frustrated first-timers try to get good sticks in waterfall ice with Sarkens with almost universal frustration. I think it goes beyond the T section of the frontpoints; their atypical length and curvature seem to be a problem, at least with the boots we had at the time. 

My general $0.02 - I don't put much stock in the preferences of the top 1% of ice pros e.g. Gadd's one time praise of flat dual points for waterfall ice. As others have pointed out ad nauseum, that guy would outclimb the rest of us with salad forks lashed to his boots. The best crampons might just be the ones that require the least effort. A radical notion, I know. And I have the opportunity to watch dozens, if not hundreds of new ice climbers each year, so it is with a heavy dose of first hand experience that I say that vertical monopoints are the preferred setup for waterfall ice. They have an annoying tendency to "hit between the lines" so to speak on candled curtains, but any other time they outperform the alternatives.

NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105

Wow sounds like there was a unhappy seperation from BD with Steve. That being said...I've heard some of the same stuff from other former BD athletes regarding BD ice stuff..

Found it funny that he talked trash on their skis and said go get Blizzard...even though Blizzard now makes BD skis   

Koy · · Denver, CO · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 55

Lynx for technical ice, and G12's for everything else.  You can't go wrong with that combo.  I have both and can't imagine trading either one out for something else.

seano · · Northern, NM · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 20
Gunkiemike wrote:

The best crampons might just be the ones that require the least effort. A radical notion, I know.

Even more radical: "The best gear for most people might just be whatever is most familiar."  I learned to ice climb with used Trangos and BD Contacts I found on the side of a mountain.  Now I use hand-me-down Nepals with Sarkens.  I just scramble easy stuff, though, and don't project WI15 like Will Gadd.  If you think it will make a difference to you, head out to Ouray and demo a bunch of ice gear.  Pick your favorites, if you can tell the difference, and learn to use them well.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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