Petzl Charlet Vasak Flexlock 2011

The Petzl Charlet Vasak Flexlock is a very stable, low-weight crampon that comes with a good set of tough features. For added strength you get 3D stamping throughout, as you do with the Grivels. There are 12 spikes and these are quite long, which is good on névé and ice but a little bit of a compromise on rock. Four of the points are rotated through 90 degrees to provided added traction on steep snow. Anti-balling plates are fitted as standard. Fitting the crampons to your boots is very easy thanks to a heel and toe strap system. The crampons can also be easily adjusted, without tools. A exceptionally well-documented set of instructions give meaning to all the straps and fitting adjustments as well as details on how to care for them. These are fine in full-on winter conditions or out in the Alps but less good in mixed hill-walking conditions. But the Petzl Charlet Vasak Flexlock’s spikes are longer than some, which is an advantage on snow, but they require a bit more care for mixed terrain of snow and rock, and beginners may tend to snag the long points on gaiters.

Classification C2
Materials steel
Sizes 36-46 (medium); 41-50 (large)
Weight 946g (per pair size large, including anti-balling plates)
Made in France
Stores in the UK 50

The Petzl Charlet Vasak Flexlock is a superb crampon for regular use in mountaineering situations with full snow and ice conditions.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2011