Diamir Axion Ski Crampons
It is a dilemma that every ski mountaineer faces. You are climbing a slope, gentle at first with good snow. Little by little it steepens, you begin making conversion turns as the gradient gets too hard to handle straight up. Then suddenly your outside ski slides away. It is too steep for your climbing skins to grip and the extra width of the skins makes it hard to get your edges to bite into the slope. You realise that once again, you didn’t fit your ski crampons soon enough.
With a cold sweat on the back of your neck you gingerly unclip your bindings, making sure that the skis don’t slither of down the slope, you are not that keen on climbing! Then it’s a case of finding your ski crampons, you did pack them didn’t you? Fixing them on then somehow getting back into your skis. Here the simplest choice is to dig the tails into the slope, tips facing slightly upwards. Easy for the first ski, not so easy for the second.
Diamir think they have the solution to this problem. No, not writing on the inside of your ski goggles “I must fit crampons sooner” but in the shape of the award winning Axion 82 permanent crampon. When we originally heard of the Axion last winter we couldn’t understand how it worked while maintaining compatibility with older Diamir bindings. Well, thanks to the Vieux Campeur Sports Shop we’ve finally gotten our hands on the Axion and it is both simple but ingenious. It is one of those…“why didn’t I think of that?” devices.
The binding consists of two parts. A strong red plastic clip, this fits to the centre bar of the Diamir ski touring bindings and is held in place by fitting a support lock. The aluminium crampon then folds flat with the teeth sitting face upwards under the instep of the ski boot. The crampon can then simply be rotated into place (teeth face downwards) with the aid of a ski pole, it is really that simple. We are always cautious about recommending new gear but the crampons, including the plastic parts seem robust. There are two main drawbacks. The crampon can only be used with skis up to 82mm width (a 90mm should be available). This will rule out some of the big mountain planks beloved of Fritschi Freedride user. The second potential problem is the length of the crampon blades, these are restricted by the ski boot and, as with other ski crampons, penetration into the slope is reduced by the width of the ski and skin. Being positioned on the link bar they will also disengage when walking, this will reduce friction but may be less secure than the Dynafit crampons.
Although the Dynafit ski crampons can also be fitted without removing boots from bindings they cannot be left permanently in place like the Axion. There is also no chance of forgetting your crampons in the car or refuge. This is undoubtedly one of the advances for the current season in ski touring gear. The Axion fits all current Fritschi ski bindings.
Posted by davidof
on Wednesday, 01 December, 2004 at 06:38 PM
Thanks for the helpful info as always!
- I have been informed that it does not work with older Diamirs because the folding parts don’t quite fold over the attachment for the gliding AFD. (It also blocks the gliding AFD from gliding, but that really doesn’t concern me.) The third sentence of the third paragraph however seems to imply (perhaps unintentionally, given the final sentence of the final paragraph) that it does work with older bindings.
- Although officially only for 82mm, I heard from a reliable source that it works just fine on a 84mm Atomic R:Ex/Tm:ex, etc.
Many thanks again though the informative (and entertaining) review.
Posted by on Friday, 24 December, 2004 at 01:41 AM
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