/ Petzl Dartwin or Simond Vampire crampon, opinions/experiences?

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frqnt - on 23 Apr 2012
I’m buying crampons for a trip to Chamonix to climb various North face routes and I will be spending a month this winter pushing my grade on cascade ice and mixed routes.

Is a beginner going to notice much, if any, difference between the Dartwin, which I have climbed on, and the Vampire?
Has anyone climbed on both?
After how many days could I expect the Dartwin front section/Vampire points to require replacing?
Can anybody advise if/how well the Vampire Speed fit Nepal EVO’s?

It is worth noting that I'm too eager to wait for the Lynx in September.
smithaldo - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to frequent: when are you doing the north face routes? I would wait till september and get the lynx if you want one crampon to do it all. Mixed climbing would shag the darttwins pretty quick.

Also please remember that eagerness does not always equal safeness. You might find cham north faces a little trickier than rjukan WI4 if you have been climbing for a year.
iksander on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to frequent: Only climbed with Dartwins (nice and light, but ball up). Vampires look pretty good with anti-bot and relatively cheap replaceable frontpoints, but that means a bit heavier than Dartwin.

Can't comment on boot fit, either get down decathalon with your boots or buy online and return if they don't fit.

I would have thought you'd have the best selection out in Chamonix, but if you won't be told to wait...
Al Walker - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to frequent: I've been using the Vampires for 3 years now, use them in the twin front point mode, and find them to be a pretty good, stable, all-purpose crampon. The front points do wear, but not excessively - I'm nowhere near the point of replacing them. I wear them with a pair of Trango Evo Extremes, and find the toe clamp a bit fiddly to get just right, but in saying that, once I have them on, I've never felt any movement under my feet when climbing, even on awkward mixed ground. They do feel a bit heavy on the feet, but it's all relative, and they seem to me to be a pretty solidly built item.

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