At Outdoor Retailer last week, I got the low down on all the new climbing gear from Petzl for 2017. With updated helmets and new ice tools, fast and light alpine pursuits never looked better.
For those of you that love the current Sirocco, you are going to like the updated helmet even better. To add durability and do away with the slight Conehead look, Petzl carved out the top of the helmet and replaced it with an EPS foam — the same you would find in the Meteor Helmet. EPS foam absorbs more on impact than EPP foam meaning you don’t have to use quite as much. Petzl also dropped the back of the helmet 3 mm for a bit more back of the head protection — as we all know your first inclination is to duck your head when someone yells “Ice!” or “Rock!” when you should really just keep it straight.
So now you get a combination of the ultra-lightweight EPP foam (what the rest of the helmet is made from) and more durable EPS foam in a lower profile, extended coverage helmet. The new Sirocco weighs 160-170 grams (depending on Small or Medium size), just 5-10 grams more than the original but will cost the same at $130. As color doesn’t adhere well to EPP foam, you get just white and black in the new Sirocco — but it’s a nice change from the bright orange of the original.
The new Gully tools ($200) weigh only 500 grams for the pair — the same as a single Quark. Each tool is 45 cm long so can easily fit inside your pack — great for all the ski mountaineers out there. These are the tools that Ueli Steck used in his 82 Summits project last summer.
The updated Sum’Tec has to be one of my favorite new pieces — it’s a mix of classic mountaineering axe or piolet and more aggressive technical ice tool head. Either would make great tools for glacial alpine ascents such as Denali or even Rainier and Baker where you need a piolet for the majority of the time but have steeper ice sections such as the headwall to 17 camp on Denali. The grip is adjustable on both and both come in a hammer and adze versions.
Expect to see all the new Petzl climbing products hit shelves sometime later this summer.