On Point - AustriAlpin Skywalk Crampons


AustriAlpin’s efforts to become a significant brand in America are bringing some terrific values to U.S. consumers. In anticipation of spring and summer mountaineering seasons, we tested the aggressively priced AustriAlpin Skywalk Crampons ($89.99, austrialpin.at). These 10-point ’pons come with three binding styles and built-in anti-snow plates; we used the Kombi binding, with a universal toe cuff, adjustable step-in heel bail, and broad length adjustment. With an all-steel frame and points, these crampons weigh and perform about the same as comparable models from other companies, yet cost $40 to $50 less. They’re intended primarily for glacier travel and classic mountaineering routes, but we found they performed well on steep water ice, thanks to aggressive secondary points behind the horizontal front points. (AustriAlpin also offers 12-point Skyclimb crampons at $99.99). One caveat: Because of their dead-flat fore-section, these crampons may not fit well on boots with sharply upturned toes or a significant rocker. Try them on your boots before buying—if the shoe fits, you won’t be disappointed. —Dougald MacDonald