I have been wandering in the mountains for several years now and I have been evolving my mountaineering skills step by step. From simple hiking to rock climbing, alpine climbing up to demanding mix climbing techniques.
While evolving and acquiring new knowledge, it has been necessary to update my mountaineering gear too. My first pair of crampons were the Rock Empire Mackhi, and my second pair the Grivel G12. While my general mountaineering skills got more advanced, I felt the need to update my crampons too. The Grivel G12 are exceptional, though I was feeling that the G12 were limiting me on the mixed climbing and Dry Tooling fields.
Like in every new gear I buy, I do an extensive research and I always try to understand the features of potential new gear and especially how these features would meet my needs. For the crampon research, I went through all different brands and especially the more advanced models of each brand. Between the numerous options of the market, I had narrowed my choice to the following options:
- Petzl Lynx
- Cassin Blade Runner
- Cassin Alpinist Tech
- Black Diamond Stinger
- Black Diamond Snaggletooth
- Grivel G14
In order to take my final decision, I needed to define my final criteria:
- Monopoint or dual point?
- Modular front points
After an extensive research and reading previous reviews, I have decided to purchase and try the latest model of CASSIN, Alpinist Tech.
Cassin Alpinist Tech
The evolution of the Alpinist Pro, the Alpinist Tech features the aggressive functionality of a mono-point with a precisely positioned secondary point for extra support and stability. Designed for technical climbing at the highest level, the Alpinist Tech is also Camp’s lightest technical ice crampon making it a great choice for top level alpinism where the secondary point provides extra stability on hard snow and mixed terrain.
The Alpinist Tech, has an asymmetric design that allows it to contour to your boots, a solid adjustable linking bar and anti-balling plates.
The Alpinist Tech is made for technical alpine and ice climbing. The front bail can be set in three positions and heel bail in two.
What’s in the box
The CASSIN Alpinist Tech arrives in a branded box and the box includes the following items:
- The Crampons
- Anti-bailing plates (with 2 screws)
- Carry case
Design & Materials
The CASSIN Alpinist Tech, is very nice crampon and has a very nice industrial design. In addition, all parts fit together really well and this means that this product has been engineered properly.
Most probably, the designer of this products, is the same designed of the Blade Runner crampons, which is Matteo Rivadossi.
The front part of the crampon is in a bright orange colour, just like many other CASSIN products. Instead, the rear part of the crampon is in glossy black.
For the Alpinist Tech, CASSIN constructed the entire crampon from chromoly steel for the best energy absorption anywhere the crampons might be stressed.
Furthermore, the webbing is pretty narrow and is again in the bright orange colour from one side and black from the other side.
As soon I have got on my hands the Alpinist Tech crampons, I soon realised that this was a rather complex product.
The elimination of the connection joints is for sure a plus point, but I struggled a bit with the adjustment of the crampons. Though, as soon I understood the way it has to be adjusted, then i did not struggle any more.
From the other side, installing the anti-balling plates required at least 10 minutes and a screwdriver. Therefore, I suggest to place the anti-balling plated at home and not on the field.
The Alpinist Tech is delivered standard with automatic toe and heel bails, but can convert to semi-auto with the Semi-Auto Toe Bails and Semi-Auto Heel Bails sold separately. The micro-adjustable linking bar allows for fine-tuning of the length. The front bail can be set in three positions for optimally positioning the front points and the heel bail can be set in two positions for different size heel lasts. The heel bail also has three height settings for the most secure attachment to the boot.
It took me about 15 minutes in order to adjust the crampons on my La Sportiva Spantik (size 46) boots. From the way it looks, it seems like a good fitting, though, I will need to do a test field and especially in a Dry Tooling session.
CASSIN is more than a story. CASSIN is a legend with two great protagonists: the mountain and the man. From Grandes Jorasses to Denali, places where the challenges are for real, Riccardo Cassin established some of today’s most iconic alpine routes with tools he made by himself. CASSIN is ‘alpinismo in evoluzione’ which stands for exploration in its most extreme sense, in places that exist only beyond known boundaries.
- Aggressive mono-point functionality with a secondary front point for greater support and stability
- Our lightest technical ice crampons
- Asymmetric design follows the contours of modern boots to ensure a precise fit
- Micro-adjustable linking bar with integrated heel piece for better torsional rigidity
- 3 front bail positions, 2 heel bail positions, 3 heel bail height settings
- Dynamic anti-balling plates included
- Adjustable fold-over carrying case with lashing straps included
|WEIGHT PER PAIR (G / OZ)||810 g / 28.60 oz|
|IDEAL USES||Mixed (Rock & Ice) / Dry Tooling|
|BINDING SYSTEM||Automatic Semi-auto|
|SIZING||Size (Eur): 36-48|
|FRONT POINTS||Vertical Mono |
|FRONT POINT OFFSET||Yes, Permanently Offset|
|NUMBER OF POINTS||11 main points + 1 m|
|MAIN MATERIAL||Chromoly Steel|
|HEEL SPUR ATTACHMENT||None made for this model|
The Alpinist Tech, seems to be a very solid tool, that hopefully will provide extra support on the mixed climbing and Dry Tooling sessions.
The design, materials and engineering of this crampon are phenomenal, though, complex enough. Therefore, I personally recommend to set up the crampon at home and not in the field.
Something that I did not like, is that CASSIN did not include the semi auto front bail in the package. Competitors, such as Petzl, provide in the same price the auto and semi auto front bails.
In the future, i will follow up with a long term review and I will provide all info and my personal experience with the Alpinist Tech crampons.