By Jonathan Doyle
Looking for a do-it-all pair of crampons that can accommodate every possible type of winter climbing you can think of? Well look no further, the Petzl Lynx are the crampons for you. They are compatible with B2 and B3 boots thanks to the interchangeable front bail - which strap / clip to the front of your boot respectively - and have five different settings with three front-point mounts, all with forward and backward positions. This means that one day you can have super-stable dual points ready to climb an icefall, then the next day you can switch out to mono points for some mixed climbing or dry tooling! Gone are the days of needing multiple pairs of crampons for different disciplines.
Adjustability and Fit
One of the biggest selling points for the Petzl Lynx is the adjustability, as the brand clearly recognise that the perfect fit is absolutely paramount. There is a good range of adjustment in both the front and rear attachment points meaning that you can mitigate all lateral movement and flex, leaving them feeling solid and dependable. Furthermore, they are slightly curved to follow the shape of your boot, meaning that the front point points slightly inwards, allowing your stance to feel more natural.
I’ve primarily used my pair of Petzl Lynx for dry tooling due to the somewhat poor Lakeland winter conditions of recently times. For this I used them in their mono configuration, preferring the shorter points to ensure they remain as close to my toes as possible. Even on this demanding terrain they performed exceptionally. They are strong and solid, never once feeling like they could pop off at any moment. In this configuration, the mono point extends directly out from under my big toe. I found this meant they felt stable and allowed me to be precise with my footwork, even when aiming for a tiny drill-hole.
When playing out in the white stuff, I tend to use a dual-point configuration to help with the approaches since the majority of the routes I aim for involve more ice and a little less mixed terrain. The vertical front points as you would expect are a little less supportive than their flatter counterparts when on a snowy approach or when bashing up a gully. They certainly hold their own when you kick into the ice. They bite into it very nicely and provide a solid foundation when both points are in contact with the ice. There’s not much more to say here as they literally perform as you would expect, exactly how you want, when you want.
Another strong characteristic of the Petzl Lynx is the fact they are entirely modular. This means that if you do somehow manage to break a section (although you’re more likely to lose one), they each individual part can be bought separately. This is huge as while they are a little more expensive to begin with, it means you never need buy a full brand-new pair of crampons again, leading to much fewer materials wasted over your winter-climbing career; being eco-friendly has never been easier. Oh, and it’s also much kinder to your wallet in the long term too!
The Petzl Lynx are game changers in the field of crampons. As you would expect their performance is exemplary and the modular system is straight forward to use as well as being more eco and wallet friendly than other options. The chromoly steel is hard wearing, easy to maintain and sharpens well too. If I am splitting hairs, it must be noted that they are a little heavier than your dedicated mono point crampons, but for a do-it-all system they really can’t be beat!