Petzl Charlet Vasak Leverlock 2009

The Petzl Charlet Vasak Leverlock is a very stable, low-weight crampon which 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. An exceptionally well-documented set of instructions give meaning to all the straps and fitting adjustments as well as how to care for them. Good for full-on winter or Alpine conditions but less good in mixed hill-walking conditions. But the Petzl Charlet Vasak Leverlock’s price tag is a drawback. Also, the anti-balling plates are not quite as good as Grivel’s and you need a small screwdriver to replace them. There’s nothing to keep the snow out of the heel breast area. The spikes are longer than some, so not ideal for mixed terrain, and they may snag.

Classification C2
Materials steel
Sizes 36-46 (M); 41-50 (L)
Weight 950g (size M) including anti-balling plates
Made in France
Stores in the UK 34
Stockist details tel. (015396) 25493, www.lyon.co.uk
Verdict
The Petzl Charlet Vasak Leverlock is a superb crampon for regular use in mountaineering situations, but less good for walking.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2009