Review

Product Name: Petzl Sarken

Product Description: The Sarken by Petzl is an advanced mountaineering crampon with sophisticated features, and 12 points.

Offer price: $199.95

Availability: InStock

  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Quality
  • Versatility
  • Value
Overall
4.6

Summary

The Sarken’s dual capability over ice and snow gives it the edge over other crampons in this category. It makes a great all-terrain option and provides superb stability. With leverlock and the combination of toothed and lateral points, the Sarken is sure to keep you positioned firmly where you want.

Pros

  • Performs Well in Ice and Snow
  • Overall Stability is Phenomenal
  • Leverlock Universal Bindings
  • Strategically Positioned Teeth

Cons

  • A Bit Heavy
  • Not Good for Beginners

The Petzl Sarken is one of the most balanced and stable crampons to hit the market in recent times, and if you’re a mountaineer worth your salt, you can’t miss out on this product. 

Manufactured by French climbing-gear giants, Petzl, the Sarken boasts of quality craft, attention to detail, excellent balance, and an all-round crampon that is set to perform in all situations.

Overview

Technical mountaineering relies a lot on the type and quality of gear you use. With the Petzl Sarken, you’re guaranteed to be a step ahead of the competition in all terrains. The Petzl Sarken is a Technical Mountaineering Crampons made by the French manufacturer, and it doesn’t disappoint.

At first sight, the Sarken seems like it’s designed to perform in all terrains and conditions. This means it has to cover a variety of cold topography. Even for a renowned name like Petzl, that’s a huge ask. Since crampons have very specific functions, it’s hard to generalize their utility over different criteria. For example, Petzl’s LYNX is famous for being incredibly efficient as a heavy crampon on mixed ice. But it may not be the absolute best option for snow-covered terrain. In the same way, the Sarken is a comparatively lighter crampon and perhaps leaning more towards snow. But after looking at the technical specs and capabilities, the Sarken does look like it’s a versatile crampon capable of tackling different conditions.

Petzl Sarken: Description

The Sarken comes under the particular category of crampons, which means it’s not your everyday snowshoe. It has a focused design, and the construction appears to be well-built and reliable. The crampon is sleek, rigid, and held together by an incredibly robust frame. This makes it a sturdy and dependable piece of equipment.

When you’re high up in the mountains and freezing temperatures, you need your equipment to perform better than your body. And assessing the Sarken’s build and structure, it doesn’t look like it will disappoint.

Since the front points of the crampons are T-shaped, it has a broader range of functionality. This point can ensure that your steps can penetrate even hard ice in your climb. This is a crucial feature because it may be a life and death situation if your crampons fail to find traction on ice. The T-point is also designed to give you easy steps in those terrains that have a little bit of everything. These terrains are called mixed-terrains because they may have hints of snow, ice, earth, frost, and greenery. For a pair of crampons to perform well on all these surfaces, it will need a lot of stability, grip, and balance. The robust structure of the Petzl Sarken ensures that it will keep your movements stable even in diverse conditions.

Petzl Sarken: Features

Crampons are all about little pieces held together to perform mammoth movements. To see whether a crampon can deliver, we need to look at some of the finer details of the product.

  1. Durability: The steel frames and the overall structure are have all undergone heat-treatment. This process ensures that it can withstand extreme temperatures. It also hardens the metal to become more resilient to the icy cold temperatures.
  1. Reinforcement: The structural supports on the Petzl Sarken are the most strapping and sturdy features of the product. The dual reinforcements are located on both sides of the crampon. These give it an additional layer of support that strengthens your steps and keeps your movements on point.
  1. Points: The points are the spikes at the bottom of the crampon and are arguably the most critical part of the steel. The Petzl Sarken has 12 points underneath. Each point is optimized to the perfect length for maximum grip and penetration. Furthermore, the angles in which they point down are also meticulously engineered for the best performance. The points are of generally two types – toothed and lateral. The toothed points have saw-tooth indents, and the lateral points have straight but sharp points.
  1. Toothed points: The points are all in strategic positions, and each orientation is designed for a specific purpose:
  • There are two points (toothed) in the front that angle forward and down. These two front teeth will function when you’re walking on soft ice. The two teeth will create the maximum purchase in ice and also ensure that your feet make the best placement on smooth ice. Soft ice can be dangerous to traverse on, and having the extra grip from this crampon will make a world of difference in your trekking.
  • In addition to these points, two more toothed points angle straight forward. The purpose of these additional points is to reinforce the placement secured by the two first points. Also, when your feet begin front-pointing, these angled points will provide extra support to prevent slippage and injury.
  • There is a third row of points behind these front points. The third row will kick in when you have to walk through slopes with hard snow. This row will maximize the bite of the crampon so that you can walk confidently on slippery slopes.
  • The fourth row of points will grip to surfaces and give you stability when you walk downhill. Descending on ice and snow can be a tricky affair. This row will ensure that you can walk with proper balance and reliability.
  • Finally, the lateral (Non-toothed) points will provide support when you’re generally walking. This applies to any direction, whether uphill or downhill.
  • The crampon can also be adjusted to fit either flexible boots or rigid boots. In order to do this, pull the linking bar and set it to either flexible or stiff depending on your boots and requirement.
  1. Name Stamp: The ‘Sarken V2’ name is clearly visible on the frame of the crampon. This is not just for style or aesthetics. It’s there so that you can quickly identify your gear even if there’s a blizzard approaching.
  1. Compatibility: The Sarken is compatible with specific other standard attachments. Its compatibility includes Fil-flex, back flex, lever lock, elastic strap, Kit Cord Tec, etc.
  1. Weight: The crampon weighs 2.1 pounds, which is slightly on the heavier side. If weight is one of your top priorities, you may be better off getting a more light-weight crampon.  
  1. Boot size: The crampon can fit boot sizes from 36 up to 46 (provided you have the linking bar). You can also get an optional linking bar that allows the crampon to accommodate bigger boot sizes from 4 – 50.

Precautions and Safety Measures:

The Petzl Sarken is quite a technical piece of equipment. And like any other mechanical component, it needs to be handled with certain precautions and care. According to the technical notice on the Petzl website, some of the observations to make are:

  1. The Sarken must not be pushed beyond its capacity in terms of grip and placement. Pushing its capabilities might lead to damage or severe injury.
  1. Only trained and experienced mountaineers should use and operate the Sarken. It’s not designed for beginners in mountaineering.
  1. Petzl recommends that you carefully examine your crampon at least once a year. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally take a defective crampon on a dangerous trip. Also, a general inspection should be made before using it anywhere.
  1. Only use accessories that are compatible with the Sarken crampon. Petzl makes other crampons that have their own compatible accessories. It is crucial to know which component goes with which model of the crampon.
  1. Before any use, you have to adjust the straps and lengths of the crampon with your boots. This should be a pre-trip ritual done on a regular basis.
  1. Always keep the fastening belt of the crampon on the outside of your feet. Also, make sure there’s enough strap left to change between FIL and FIL Flex if the situation demands.
  1. The Sarken has an Antibott system. But you still have to be wary of snow accumulation under the points. This will ensure that you don’t meet with any accidents or slippage during your trip.

Conclusion

If you are an experienced mountaineer looking for an incredibly strong crampon that will excel in a variety of circumstances, then the Sarken is right for you! It is one of the most versatile crampons in existence, both in terms of boots and accessories that it can be used with, as well as types of terrain that it can traverse.

If you’re not impressed with the Petzl Sarken, check out this list of 5 Great Crampons!

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