Top 5 favorite pieces of gear for 2017.
The XLC 390 Crampon is one of the best and most used backcountry ski products. Go up to Tuckerman Ravine in the spring and watch the mayhem as skier and riders attempt to boot up the Chute or the Lip with no crampons. It's a disaster. There's really no excuse to not have crampons anytime you're looking to boot up a run. Even if there's an established booter, you climb much more efficiently. If you complain that they are too difficult to put on then you're doing it wrong. You'll save the 30 seconds it takes in the first few steps that you'd normally be slipping.
I used these crampons in all sorts of conditions, even for scrambles up icy chokes. While not recommended, they work. I can't emphasize enough the importance of crampons because without a good footing, you're risk level skyrockets.
Fitting the crampons is simple - there's one flathead screw that needs to be adjusted and the heel attachment is easily fine-tuned for a snug fit. I find that it might take a couple tweaks to get the perfect fit but once set up for a pair of boots they are solid. The cross-strap gives you extra confidence in the event it does pop off, it won't go sliding down the mountain. The easy clip buckle is much quicker and more efficient than typical weave through fasteners.
I did have some balling issues on hot pow days but don't have the anti-balling plates. I'll be looking into those next year in addition to getting some ascent plates.
Photos coming soon but in the meantime, buy a pair on sale this summer before the price goes back up.
Weight: 397g w/o bag
Fits most boot sole lengths.