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Gear Review: Black Diamond Contact Crampons

Stainless steel crampons that bite into ice and repel slushy buildup.
GG11_BlackDiamondContact_445x260Black Diamond Contact (Courtesy Photo)

Mountaineers have long prized steel crampons for their strength—but rued their weight and tendency to rust. Enter the stainless steel Black Diamond Contact, which does it all at a reasonable weight. The Contact bites into ice and névé on slopes up to 50 degrees. “The steel is so hard, the 10 points stay very sharp even when used on gritty ice,” says our tester, who wore them on Mt. Rainier’s wet snow, glacier ice, and rock piles. Integrated anti-balling plates repel slushy buildup, and the rubbery toe and heel brackets are supple enough for lightweight boots. $130; 1 lb. 13 oz.; blackdiamondequipment.com
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