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Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

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Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby JohnP » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:33 pm

Got back from an ice climb a few weeks ago and had a problem with the toe of my boots lifting up in the front area on verticle ice(maybe 1/4 inch?? According to my partner's observation). Did plenty of in the field adjustments to no avail. Now that I'm home, I have since been doing a fair amount of tinkering (and online research) trying to get a perfect fit of my Nepals (size 45.5) to my Sarkens (leverlok, not the lever lok fil with the toe bail) without too much success. I've adjusted the length so the boot is tight before locking it in and all seems "ok", however the toe of the boot tends to lift when locking it in and the strap, although seemingly tight, does leave me wondering whether the toe will lift up in the front when the climbing gets more vertical. Reading Dane's article on Cold Thistle was a real eye opener on just how tricky getting the perfect fit can truly be. The thought of plunking down $ for a different set of pons is not something I really want to consider. Being in Southern California, finding a shop with a competent fitter, is going to be hard at best, if not impossible. My only thought is to install a front toe bail and abandon the strap system (the holes for the bail are there) but haven't been able to locate them online (Petzl shows a telemark toe bail replacement, but not the OEM toe bail). Beyond that fix I'm lost as to what to do. Thoughts? Sugestions?
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby Nitrox » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:12 pm

The Sarken isn't very ideal for water ice climbing. However, if you're stepping down on the front points why would your toe lift up?
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby JohnP » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:44 am

Nitrox wrote:The Sarken isn't very ideal for water ice climbing. However, if you're stepping down on the front points why would your toe lift up?


I realize they aren't idea for water ice but they aren't horrible and being as I'm new to water ice (2nd time out), my skills don't really justify dedicated gear, right now. The problem is the boot itself lifting up from the crampon when the front points and secondary points are engaged with the ice.
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby Dane1 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:27 pm

Hi John,

"trying to get a perfect fit of my Nepals (size 45.5) to my Sarkens (leverlok)"

Don't worry too much about the fit in this combo. As long as the lever is tight and the basket strap is tight the combo will climb well. Biggest fit issue really is making sure the front points are the right length in front of the boot toe. Your binding style is the most popular in the world and lots of difficult climbing has been done with a similar combo.
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:50 pm

Nitrox wrote:The Sarken isn't very ideal for water ice climbing. However, if you're stepping down on the front points why would your toe lift up?

Why would you say that? They seem ideal for mixed alpine/water ice. I recall Colin Haley saying they were his favorite crampon.
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby Dane1 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:57 am

ExcitableBoy wrote: I recall Colin Haley saying they were his favorite crampon.



Daniel :) was that before or after Colin's long time sponsorship by Black Diamond? Just an opinion but I don't think you'll find many experienced on pure ice who will prefer a Sarken there unless the conditions are really soft. Water ice and alpine ice generally aren't soft. Even the winter Neve season will require you to climb on soem hard brittle ice. There are better options for that than the Sarken I think.
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:04 am

Must have been before. I recall he was climbing in Patagonia and dropped them off a climb and was bummed because he liked them so much. But back to why they aren't ideal, is that because they are not fully rigid?
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby Dane1 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:59 am

ExcitableBoy wrote:But back to why they aren't ideal, is that because they are not fully rigid?


No, same rigidity on the Sarken as the Dartwin or Dart. Heels pieces can been interchanged in fact.

For pure ice the T shaped front points shatter a lot of ice in hard brittle conditions and require more effort for secure placements. The same place a Dartwin or Cyborg is a better option generally.

Where the Sarken does excel is on mixed conditions from Neve to soft ice, to moderate mixed rock. Same place the T shaped front points shatter hard ice they offer more support on softer conditions. My 2 cents anyway. None of this is written in stone it is all just opinions. I know Colin used Petzl gear early on prior to his BD sponsorship, just busting on ya :)

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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby Nitrox » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:27 am

ExcitableBoy wrote:
Nitrox wrote:The Sarken isn't very ideal for water ice climbing. However, if you're stepping down on the front points why would your toe lift up?

Why would you say that? They seem ideal for mixed alpine/water ice. I recall Colin Haley saying they were his favorite crampon.


The Sarken has fairly long front points and on the Leverlock they can not be adjusted to move the boot forward. They kind of fall in between the Vasak and the Dartwin except they come with a weight penalty and a strange front point profile. I'm certain you can climb water ice with the Sarken but they were designed for mountaineering.

Admittedly I have never seen Colin's childhood photos but I can't recall ever seeing him with any crampons but BD.
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:27 pm

Dane1 wrote:For pure ice the T shaped front points shatter a lot of ice in hard brittle conditions and require more effort for secure placements. The same place a Dartwin or Cyborg is a better option generally.

I have T shaped front points on my orginal Grivel Rambos and they climb water ice really well. Doesn't the Lynx, which is supposed to be the bee's knee's, have T shaped front points? Is it the specific shape of the T shape? I can see why the lack of length adjustment might be problematic, though. I appreciate the adjustibility of my Rambos for getting the front points just right.
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:29 pm

Nitrox wrote:Admittedly I have never seen Colin's childhood photos but I can't recall ever seeing him with any crampons but BD.

Colin climbed in all kinds of weird shit when he was young.
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby Dane1 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:19 pm

Google dude :) Most any crampon will climb ice. But some make it a lot easier than others. Lynx in a mono format.

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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:27 pm

I did google images, but upon closer inspection it seems the Lynx has a tapered cross secton rather than T shaped. Is this correct? It is hard for me to tell as I am losing my eyesight.
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Re: Petzl Sarken Fit Question On LS Nepals

Postby JohnP » Tue May 08, 2012 4:35 am

Thought I'd update on what I eventually did to possibly resolve my problem. Went back and looked at some photos of the climb and indeed the boot wasn't connecting to the crampon like it should be. So I played around some more with the fit and strapping the boot in more tightly and it seemed to be better but realized I needed something more idiot-proof in the field. Getting everything right in the comfort of my home and getting it right in the field under less desirable conditions was another thing all together. So I searched around for Petzl bail replacements and again came to a dead end. Then I found that BD sold the replacement toe bails so I ordered a pair of the small bails. Once they arrived, the next step would be to determine if they would work and give the fit I was looking for. After much fitting, I realized they would work however the posts for the strap system had to go. Luckily my neighbor had the metal cutting tool necessary and he made quick work of cutting them off flush. Once installed, the bails fit the boots tight and solid. Not sure if I'll get any looks from having a BD metal strap over the top of my boot in Petzl crampons. :D
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