It’s always exciting to check out the gear being offered at the Michigan Ice Fest demo and again this year we are super pyched to have the Black Diamond Stinger Crampon available for participants to try out!
Designed to tackle serious ice and mixed lines on winter crags and alpine faces the world over, the Black Diamond Stinger is the lightweight stainless steel crampon offered by Black Diamond, with a replaceable monopoint. An asymmetrical design fits the contours of modern mountain boots, and thin, low-profile heel and toe wires offer a precise fit for less weight.
- Asymmetrical stainless steel design is lightweight, won’t rust and fits the contours of modern boots
- Mono frontpoint is replaceable at low cost and can be changed quickly and easily in the field
- Hooded frontpoint and aggressive secondary points are optimized for precise, secure placements
- Low-profile micro-adjust heel level offers precision fit
- Thin, low-profile toe bail and thinner, shorter heel wire for improved fit with modern boots
- Includes front and rear dual-density ABS
From the Black Diamond Web Site, the following interview took place with Climbing Hardgoods Category Director Bill Belcourt to talk about the BD Stinger crampon, a highly technical monopoint crampon designed for high-end mixed and ice climbing.
What was the design goal in creating the Stinger?
We wanted a crampon that climbed ice like a sticky rubber rock shoe climbs rock. This meant a monopoint crampon that was as stable as a dual, and had traction no matter where you stepped on it.
What kinds of climbing is the Stinger designed for? Why the monopoint?
Hard ice climbing and mixed climbing of all kinds. The Stinger has been developed and tested by our global climbing team on serious new routes all over the world, including a first ascent on Hispar Sar in Pakistan. Mono points allow you to follow your tool placements with your front points (tracking). Monos are also lighter and better for climbing rock because they fit in cracks and on small holds.
What are the main features that set the Stinger apart from other monopoint crampons on the market?
Using stainless steel is the biggest thing; it wears better, sheds snow better, and doesn’t rust when compared with CrMo steels typically used in crampons. The stainless steel we use is also 3 times more expensive, but it is worth it. The Stinger has a front point that easy to replace and inexpensive, and this is a big advantage considering how quickly the front point wears compared with the rest of the crampon. We also positioned the secondary points closer to the front points providing much more stability, and we added a massive amount of point serrations giving traction in all sorts of situations where a normally configured crampon would leave you slipping.
What design features have been incorporated to accommodate modern mountain boots?
A new, narrower toe and heel bail have been designed with modern boots specifically in mind. We will still stock our older wide bails for those with older boots that still have plenty of life left in them.
Were there any unique challenges encountered by the design team when building the Stinger?
The biggest thing is the spectrum of boot models and boot sizes that crampons need to fit today are as broad as ever and it just gets bigger every year. It is a real challenge. The second is creating a light and strong crampon with a full ABS system that does not compromise on climbing performance. It is too easy these days to sacrifice real performance to save a little weight and we don’t want to fall into that trap; performance has to be king.
Like what you see? Give the Stinger a ride at Ice Fest this year and don’t forget- for the first time ever during the 2014 Michigan Ice Fest participants can score a HUGE deal! We are excited to announce that all clothing will be discounted 30% off, all hardgoods will be 20% off!