G20 prior to the release of the improved 2012 G20
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I had and used the G20 and G22 for a couple of years now off and on. G12s previous to that.
While climbing in Scarpa boots the majority of time has made the Grivel factory front bail fitting rather problematic for me. So I shied away from Grivel on my Scarpas and generally just climbed in the Petzl offerings.
Dave Searl loved his first pair of G20s to death. I offer the title photo of this blog post as proof. That is Dave's "used" G20 above. Used ( and worn out) mind you wearing the same Scarpa boots that I seem to fret so on the fit. :-)
Three places I don't fret about the G20's fit? That would be the La Sportiva Spantik, the Dynafit TLT 5 or the Dynafit DyNA Series of boots.
The G20 and the G22 are the best fitting crampons I have seen out of the box for the TLT ski boots that I occasionally choose to ice climb in.
If I am climbing ice in ski boots, I am generally soloing. And I really do fret about a crampon failure while in stainless.
Which brings me to the point of the conversation. Back in the fall of 2011 Dave broke the connecting bar on one of his G20s while climbing at the Zoo. The Zoo is a small mixed crag just out of the Chamonix valley at Le Feyet. But plenty of climbing to be had there on a rainy day when the mountains are not an option.
The Grivel factory took a quick interest in the broken G20 and immediately replaced not just the broken connecting bar but replaced Dave's pair of totally worn out crampons as well! That of course made Dave a happy lad! And to be honest, really impressed me. But the story didn't stop there. Hard to imagine I know, looking at how another crampon company has and continues to handle their own crampon failures...
Grivel didn't stop by just replacing Dave's the totally worn out G20s with new ones. They took a very close look at why they failed. Then they kept looking for ways to improve the earlier version.
Grivel went looking for the reason of the failure and how it could be done better and prevent the next failure. No excuses, no questioning the customer' skill level, no blame on the use or abuse of the product, no Internet blather and tasty talk, no "lost" crampons and no obvious public tap dance.
It is clear now that two of the three biggest players in ice gear...what ever the problem.....just do the right thing and then....... get on with life.
My new pair of G20s and a pair of Haute Route crampons showed up on UPS today. Which I paid for BTW. They weren't freebies.
photo courtesy of Krister Jonsson
My older G22s are the same perfect fit.
I had mentioned this before but failed to realise just how big the effort really was to come up with a better connecting bar for the G20/G22. My G20s came with two full pages of printed literature describing what was done differently. If you are new to Grivel, likely you would never notice. I'm not, and did.
"Grivel cares about the perfect fit."
What I have quoted above is the first sentence in Grivel's informative two page, multi language hand out that come in the crampon box for the G20 and both versions of the G22. Take it to the bank..or on your next solo. Grivel does care about your crampon fit and your personal safety. The effort didn't go unnoticed. Respect is due. Thank you Grivel!
Dane's new G20s and another perfect fit!
Thank you Grivel for allowing us that level of trust and keeping the stoke alive!