Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Dart
Manufacturer Charlet Moser
Page By JScoles
Page Type May 2, 2003 / May 2, 2003
Object ID 729
Hits 5289
Crampon for high-standard mixed, dry-tool and competition climbing

Technical single-point crampon, for ice-climbing, mixed ground and dry-tooling.

Born from competition, it is intended for climbers operating at a high standard on ice, mixed ground and dry-tooling. The Dart crampon offers :

- closer contact with the ice or the rock (the crampons are closer to the foot although the points are of normal length)

- various hooking possibilities (heel spur, vertical hooks on the front part of the foot, hooking teeth, notched single point)

- a wide range of foot movements and greater precision due to the off-centered single point

- more precise length adjustment because of the new central bar (holes every 4mm)

- possibility of screwing to the boot to save weight.

The Dart features the Sidelock bail-latch system..

Specs :

Mono-point only.

Materials : high performance cold forged and tempered steel, except hot-forged single point (more precise distribution of material for extreme resistance to deformation).

Highly compact for easy storage.


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JScoles - Dec 10, 2003 9:00 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Picked up a pair of these last spring so have only just started to use them on ice but even this early in the season I can safely say these are simply the best I have ever tried.

At less than a ½ kilo each you barely notice you are wearing them. These really make ice climbing more like rock climbing as you get a real feel for the ice. You have to dispense with old fashion brute force foot bashing, it is a gentle touch with these puppies. Sticking the mono-point into cracks and pick holes, side hooking, even edging with the swept-back picks and of course don’t forget hooking with the large heel spur.

With these crampons one takes a much more natural stance with less calf and leg fatigue. However, you will have to get a very stiff pair of boots and ensure they are tightened correctly as your boot will be doing more work that a “rail” type crampon.

It is in hard mixed terrain that these crampons excel and having played with them over the summer scaring up a local practice area with them I can easily say they really do make a big difference. I was able to do my first big overhand problem this summer (M7+?) with them. If you work at it a little you can quickly improve your skill at least one or two grades by just changing crampons.

They are a little out of place in a pure alpine environment but still usable for traditional flat-footing you only have to be careful of impaling yourself on the heal spur. I have found that they do not ball-up at all. Personally I would use them only on steeper alpine routes (north faces) where their light weight makes a difference, but on simple glacier plods they are overkill, stick with your Ecrins.

The range of adjustment for these crampons is acceptable with symmetrical and asymmetrical front point options, long or short front points and the ability to snugly fit onto any size boot. They are quite narrow so they are better suited to newer narrow toed boots but they will still fit on most older boots. Check before you buy. You can also have them bolted to your boots if you want.

There has been a lot of talk about how radical this design is but in actuality, it is more of a throw back to the crampons of old. They share a good deal of design ideas with the original front points of the early 1930s. The mono-point, though first popularized in the mid 80s goes way back to the some of the first front point crampons that Laurent Grivel created in 1929. It is only today with modern materials and welding methods that this sort of design is now practical to produce.

The side-lock system is much more comfortable to wear and it gives one a little extra room on the heel and it most likely will never pop-off like so many others I have tried. As for it being a new idea, again there was a similar design about in the 70s by Salewa but it proved to be an impractical hook-up of springs and torsion bars that never caught on.

The novelty of these crampons is that they have taken the best of traditional design and updated it to produce an ice-weapon that rises above the competition.

The one complaint I have heard about these is that when the points wear out you have to buy new crampons. I think this is a little bit of a false argument as I find the steel of the point much stronger that the regular M10 I have only sharpened it once even after a summer of dry tooling and even then it was just a little. With the regular rail type crampons I found that when it came time to change a front point the screws spacers and rails were so bent up that it was a problem getting them back together and expensive to buy all the little parts. With the Darts all I have to do is buy a replacement front points and I am done, and the cost not much more than a regular blade replacement.

CM has completely redesigned its line of crampons for the 2004 season and you will see the Side-Lock as a standard option on most of their crampons. Darts without heel-spurs are now standard. You have to buy the heel spur as a separate option. There is now a dual front point and an alpine front points called SARKIN available as well as an antiballing plates for the rear.

If you want to push your envelope and move up a few grades on the ice climbing scale or your keen to get into high level M6+ mixed climbing then I suggest you get a pair of these.

If you are starting out on little WI2~3s or are heading up a PD on Rainieror Mont-blanc STAY AWAY from these they will not help you much.

I give them 5 stars.

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