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teddyp324


Aug 3, 2006, 1:50 PM
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Ice Tool Recommendations???
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Yes I know it's a LONG time till winter and I'm looking at getting some ice climbing equipment, I know which boots, crampons, ect... but I really don't have a good idea on what ice tools to look at. I have been looking at the BD Venom because of the price, $125 each but I don't know how good it is going to be at vertical ice. My other idea is the Petzl Quark... more expensive but seems suited better for vertical ice. I have ice climbed so I know what I'm doing but it was equipment my school owned. Ideas on pros/cons of the two I am looking at? And another question... does anyone climb with the Petzl face shield, and if so does it work? And hopefully their will be better ice this year in NE, unlike last year.

-Ted


mbez


Aug 3, 2006, 2:14 PM
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I opted for the Quarks and have been very happy. I tried the BD Vipers and still like the Android leash attachment clip, but since I got my Quarks, most everybody I know that's tried them has bought their own or plan to. They say that using Quarks is like cheating. If you can get over the price, opt for the Quarks. Oh, and they're lighter than the Vipers.


gargrantuan


Aug 5, 2006, 8:10 PM
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i am using quarks and i really like them but almost everyone around these parts uses vipers, i have tried them, and for the price i think they are the better tool. the android leash system is WAY better than the clip system on the charlet moser too.

quarks = excellent tools but pricey and shitty leash system

vipers= cheaper and a better leash.


timd


Aug 10, 2006, 8:46 PM
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Petzl Nomic, great tool and the best leash system out there. :lol:


skinner


Aug 10, 2006, 9:32 PM
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I think the best advice on this is to hook up with a bunch of people who have a variety of tools that they are willing to let you try. What may be the greatest tool in the world for someone may feel like a POS for you.
I have owned and used dozens of tools and have finally settled with my second set of Simond Naja's. I say "second set" because I sold my original ones and thought I was moving up to the latest greatest BD's, then Petzls, only to discover that it was a step down as far as my climbing was concerned. Now that I realize what tools work best *for me*, I spent a month- two season ago fine tuning my leashes and picks. I ended up modifying the Naja's to take the BD Android leashes which I prefer. This and re-working the factory pick shape, has made more difference then the actual tool itself, especially on marginal ice. I spent that month filing 4 sets of picks away to nothing while I experimented using different shapes under different conditions. My picks now resemble finely tuned surgical instruments.. and everything is perfect.. 10 years and thousands of dollars and switching/swapping later.

All that gibberish was just to emphasize that fact that it is really a personal thing, that you will only discover through trying different tools and not from reading specs.


timd


Aug 10, 2006, 10:00 PM
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Good call skinner


easton


Aug 10, 2006, 11:19 PM
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Great idea to try multiple tools. I went to an Ice Festival (Ouray) and was able to try out three different tools for free, along with boots, crampons, gloves, etc. I know there is an Ice Fest up in NH, maybe head to that. I tried the Quarks, and the vipers, and prefered the vipers. I haven't bought mine yet, but I will before the season is in this year. Ouray usually has deals on gear, too, but I don't know about the ones out east.


lambone


Aug 10, 2006, 11:58 PM
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My Pick:

Leahes- Cobra
No Leahes - Quark Ergo

gotta have both basically...


chossmonkey


Aug 11, 2006, 7:11 PM
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In reply to:
Petzl Nomic, great tool and the best leash system out there. :lol:

Exactly

Leashless is where it's at. :righton:



The Venom would probably be a bad choice for steep ice as it is more geared towards mountaineering.

Pretty much any modern tool will work pretty well. You just need to decide if you want to go leashless or leashed. Then find a tool that feels good in your hand and swings nicely for you. If you can't try them on the ice at least find a good shop where you can hold them and feel how they grip and balance in your hand. While price can be a factor it should be low on the list of why you buy or don't buy a tool. Undoubtedly there will be a whole wack of new tools out on the market this fall too.

I have a set of Vipers that I climb leashless with. I've gotten so used to them the pick angles on other tools feel all wrong when swinging them into the ice.


skinner


Aug 13, 2006, 1:41 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Petzl Nomic, great tool and the best leash system out there. :lol:

Exactly

Leashless is where it's at. :righton:

Again,.. I think this is a personal choice, whatever works for you. The only time I climb leashless is on 1-2 pitch waterfalls. When I am on at extended alpine routes where dropping a tool can really put you in a bind, the leashes go on, and stay on. Plus when I am all pumped out, I can hang there like a lame-a$$ on my leashes. :D
But I find leashes really do make a difference in keeping blood circulating to the fingers in extreme conditions. I just naturally grip my tools tighter when leashless.

Speaking of...

http://www.mtntools.com/.../images/bd_viper.jpg

Anybody no someone who is looking for a used pair?
comes with:
(1) set of Android Leashes
(2) spare picks
(1) Adze
(2) Hammers


teddyp324


Aug 13, 2006, 2:05 PM
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Thanks for all the ideas!!! I think I'd have a problem going leashless at first... with my luck I'd drop my tool and my belayer would take it in the head and then I'd be really screwed.

-Ted


gunkiemike


Aug 15, 2006, 6:58 PM
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You really can't go wrong with any tool from BD or Petzl. Or Simond or CAMP. Or HB. Stubai I'm not too sure of though.

Seriously, you really need to try them. The differences between tools can be dramatic, and if you're not made of money, you must try before you buy.

On leashed vs leashless, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if you're not at least a solid 5.11 rock climber, you're going to pump out on steep ice climbing leashless. The grip angle on most LL tools also dictates a different swing motion, which may not work for you.


Partner brent_e


Aug 15, 2006, 7:20 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Petzl Nomic, great tool and the best leash system out there. :lol:

Exactly

Leashless is where it's at. :righton:



The Venom would probably be a bad choice for steep ice as it is more geared towards mountaineering.

Pretty much any modern tool will work pretty well. You just need to decide if you want to go leashless or leashed. Then find a tool that feels good in your hand and swings nicely for you. If you can't try them on the ice at least find a good shop where you can hold them and feel how they grip and balance in your hand. While price can be a factor it should be low on the list of why you buy or don't buy a tool. Undoubtedly there will be a whole wack of new tools out on the market this fall too.

I have a set of Vipers that I climb leashless with. I've gotten so used to them the pick angles on other tools feel all wrong when swinging them into the ice.

:lol:

well put, Chossy.
leashless feels weird sometimes but when you can move around with your tools you can be more creative with how you ascend the ice or rock, too!

No one has mentioned trango tools yet. Just another option!!!!


Brent


redpoint73


Sep 11, 2006, 10:49 AM
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I think the general concensus is stay away from the Venoms. Its really a mountaineering axe with a bend and optional technical pick in case you need to make a couple swings in a section of ice.

If you are really on a budget, I think you would do better with the Grivel Monster than the Venom. There is also a less radically shaped version this year, called the Xmonster ($125). I know the Monsters were a pretty good seller last year due to the price point. But I can't vouch for them, as I haven't tried them. My guess is they would be good for mixed, but not enough heft for real ice.

Maybe it was just a series of flukes, but last season it seemed that about 70% of the climbers I saw at the NH spots had either Vipers or Quarks, and mostly leashless. If you can afford it, I don't think you would be disappointed by either. And both work well with or without leashes. It has been stated that the Quarks are easier to clean due to the more tapered pick. While Viper enthusiasts claim they are fine as long as you don't over drive them. And yes, most will tell you that the BD leash system is superior to the Petzl Charlet.


skinner


Sep 11, 2006, 11:22 AM
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In reply to:
Whitecourt - Edson - Fox Creek - Swan Hills
Hinton - Grande Cache.
Wednesday..Rain. Low plus 4. High 11.
Thursday..Rain. Low plus 2. High plus 2.
Friday..Rain or snow. Low minus 1. High plus 4.
Normals for the period..Low plus 2. High 16.

Ahh.. won't be long now :D


redpoint73


Sep 12, 2006, 6:41 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Whitecourt - Edson - Fox Creek - Swan Hills
Hinton - Grande Cache.
Wednesday..Rain. Low plus 4. High 11.
Thursday..Rain. Low plus 2. High plus 2.
Friday..Rain or snow. Low minus 1. High plus 4.
Normals for the period..Low plus 2. High 16.

Ahh.. won't be long now :D

Ahhh, you are blessed with both altitude and latitude.

It will likely be December until there is any ice around here. Maybe late November if I want the 3 hour approach up Mt. Washington.


tradmanclimbs


Sep 12, 2006, 7:01 AM
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Monster picks are gonna suck for water ice in cold temps. that tool is made for rock climbing. Look for Vipers on sale @ gearexpress.com its a decent system also if budjet is a concern Camp has a good system Awax? I think..


the_climber


Sep 12, 2006, 8:34 AM
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Don't by any means limit yourself to only trying BD Petzl and Simond. It is worth your while to also try other brands as well. Grivel, DMM, and Tarango for example. Definitly take the initatve whenever you see someone with tools you haven't tried before, and ask if you can try a few swing on their tools. Most climbers will be glad to let you give a run on them.

I've climbed on most of the brands of tool you can get out in my area and have even given some rips on the old pteras (or what ever they were called... maybe bash-the-hell-outa-your-knucklesa).

My list of tools you should try that will give you a good feel for the different brands (Even if it's only one from each brand. I'm listing ones that should have a typical feel for the swing in each brand).

Grivel: Taa-k-oons, Alp wing, Top wing (Taa-k-oons, Top wings are good both with or without leashes)

Petzel: Quark, Nomic, Aztar (Quark is great both with and without leash, Nomic is a leashless tool, but has a 'very' similar geometry to the Taa-k-oons which I climb on both leashed and leashless)

DMM: Fly (Great alround tool that will take you from alpine to WI 5), Rebel, Anarchist (these last two are new this year and have an impresive design. IF you can find them try them)

Tarango: Scorpion (New), and Madam hook (Madam hook has an interchangable handle for leashless = vesatile)

BD: Viper, Cobra (Both Great)

Simond: Naja, Anaconda Cup (Both great)

I'm Not saying you need to try all of these, but these are tools I think 'should' give you a good 'feel' for the different brands. Don't get me wrong, each tool within a brand swings and feel different. I guess I'm encouraging you to try a lot of tool before you buy.

Of this list the Rebel, Anarchist and Scorpion are the ones I haven't tried yet. The others I can say are all good tools from first hand experiance.
Tool I'm on right now are the Taa-k-oons. There are amazing 'for me' and suit my swing and grip. Find one that does the same for you.

Good luck and have fun... might be easier to find the perfect climbing shoe :lol:


chacal


Sep 13, 2006, 6:50 AM
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Leashless...

Yes, you might start on ice but then you'll want to try mixed which will mean leashless.

Start out leashless and you'll end up where you should be.

If you want a tool that does it all get the Nomics, this tool will go fully leashless or can be used with the leash, this tool ice climbs well.

The Ergo Quark is no more, Vipers and Quarks I see are always jury-rigged with Grivel triggers and what-not to go leashless so just skip all that crap and get a set of leashless tools.

If you want to go cheaper BD has a new tool out called a Reactor, less technical than the Fusion but will accept BD picks which are without a doubt the best in the business bar none. The pick is critical, a good tool can be made less effective by a porr pick design and an older tool retrofitted with a new excellent pick made whole. BD has 3 picks to try from mega-thick to refined for dry-tooling. Excellent customer service from BD too, I have had tools serviced and returned to my house within a week all on their nickel.

As far as the guy goes who filed 4 sets of picks into oblivion goes, he could have just bought a second set of tools, any ice gear worth its salt should work right out of the box, if it doesn't it sucks.

If you bought a new car you wouldn't go straight home and swap out the engine, would you?

Lastly, be wary of old-school (i.e., dinosaur) climbers who say you need a leash, you don't. I've never lost a leashless tool in over three years of climbing leashless. Have I ever dropped a tool with a leash off a route? Yup...


the_climber


Sep 13, 2006, 8:14 AM
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To expand on what 'chacal' in a bit of a different direction...

OK YES Charlet-Petzl tools are great, so are BD tool, just don't limit yourself to trying only them (as I said earlier).
As far as pick go...
Yes, a good pick make a HUGE difference. And if you had asked me a couple of years ago I would have said DB had some of the better picks out there, but not so anymore. The design is still great, but IMO the strength has gone downhill a bit. Last few season I've seen to many broken BD picks (from both agresive mixed climbers and conservative 'semi-weekend warior' ice climbers. (Note: I have seen broken pick in just about every brand, and ANY pick can break it it isn't treated properly. Twisting the tool to get the placement out for example put strain on the pick and potentially weekens it).
My opinion of the Toughest pick out there right now: Grivel picks are some of the toughest I have ever climbed on. Charlet Moser's newer picks are a close second (newer defined as post axtar, pulsar,...), and likely some of the strongest 'low profile' picks out right now.
I've also seen DMM, Simond, trango, stubia, and old BD pick that have been put through so much abuse they deserve to be retired and hung on a wall as a testiment to good metal.

Bottom line is that most pick are strong, and most are overly passionate about the brands they climb on (including me, *cough* ahhheemm Grivel :D )

If you are planning on doing mostly ice and a bit of mixed to start then moving to more of both.... go with a tool that can go both leashless and leashed (especially if you intend on some alpine also). Get some BD android leashes right away and say yourself the troble of other systems though.

Vipers and Quarks don't need to be "jury-rigged", They have horns that can or already are attached so you can go leashless. Taa-k-oons, Scorpion, Nomic, Vipers, Quarks, Rebels, Anaconda Cup are a couple examples.

Take all advice here with a grain of salt (even my advice for that matter), but definitly do youself a favour and try more than just a couple of brands.

Oh, and those old school climbers, ya, listen to there advice about the climbing. Most are 'Very impressed' with the new tools and see the value in BOTH leashless and leashed climbing. Just don't listen when they tell you that a loop of 1" webbing and twisting you wrist in them is the best leash system. :roll:


Partner brent_e


Sep 13, 2006, 3:38 PM
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I'll chime in and expand on one point the_climber made:

In reply to:
If you are planning on doing mostly ice and a bit of mixed to start then moving to more of both.... go with a tool that can go both leashless and leashed (especially if you intend on some alpine also).

if you want a modular system I have to bring up the one that Trango has. If you get a madame hook/captain hook you can also get straight handles. This will give you a tool with great leashless ability and, IMO, great ice climbing ability. I have both the straight handle and the leashless handle and love both, although i don't use the leashed system at all anymore.

madame hook

headless madame hook

something completely different

good luck with your quest!!!


reno


Sep 14, 2006, 2:40 PM
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Yes, you might start on ice but then you'll want to try mixed which will mean leashless.

Says who?

I climb mixed, using Quarks. Granted, I'm no MI9+ mutant climber....


chacal


Sep 21, 2006, 8:26 AM
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Zzzzzz...


the_climber


Sep 21, 2006, 9:16 AM
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Alright, one of my partners is picking up the DMM Rebles as soon as the gear shop get them in. Which means we'll be doing a dry tool run on them and possibly even an alpine ice run if conditions, his papers and midterms permit. Dry tool for sure though. I'll try to rig up a tree/log climb to see how they swing into something too. As soon as I have given a burn on those bad ass tools I'll write up a short review.


jimdavis


Sep 21, 2006, 10:13 AM
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In reply to:
Leashless...

Yes, you might start on ice but then you'll want to try mixed which will mean leashless.

Start out leashless and you'll end up where you should be.

I disagree. I started out leashless on Madame Hooks, lead my first pitch on them. I also climbed on Quarks, Aztars, and BD BPs...then sold my Hooks and bought Vipers. Leashless isn't for everyone.

In reply to:
If you want a tool that does it all get the Nomics.

A tool that you can't plunge...does NOT "do it all".

In reply to:
The Ergo Quark is no more, Vipers and Quarks I see are always jury-rigged with Grivel triggers and what-not to go leashless so just skip all that crap and get a set of leashless tools.


BD makes the Fang, and the Strike for the Viper...why would you fit a Grivel part to them? :lol: I've never seen that done before.

In reply to:
If you want to go cheaper BD has a new tool out called a Reactor, less technical than the Fusion but will accept BD picks which are without a doubt the best in the business bar none. The pick is critical, a good tool can be made less effective by a porr pick design and an older tool retrofitted with a new excellent pick made whole. BD has 3 picks to try from mega-thick to refined for dry-tooling. Excellent customer service from BD too, I have had tools serviced and returned to my house within a week all on their nickel.

BD's Laser pick works wonders on ice....but they don't make a pick that can hold a candle to Charlet's Quad, or Grivels Goul. for mixed(heavy ass pick, I forget the exact name). BD picks tend to break more than the others too. (a small trade off for getting great sticks in ice)

In reply to:
As far as the guy goes who filed 4 sets of picks into oblivion goes, he could have just bought a second set of tools, any ice gear worth its salt should work right out of the box, if it doesn't it sucks.

Just about every tool that gets used for hard comp. climbing gets modified. Grip tape, pick filing, etc....so all the top climbers are climbing on shitty tools then?

In reply to:
Lastly, be wary of old-school (i.e., dinosaur) climbers who say you need a leash, you don't. I've never lost a leashless tool in over three years of climbing leashless. Have I ever dropped a tool with a leash off a route? Yup...

Also, be wary of new school climbers that blindly follow what they see in the magazines. I know plenty of people that have dropped leashless tools...and a lot of people that climb leashless are so scared of dropping their tools, that they never use the leashless tools to their full advantage, cause they deathgrip them the whole time and never match hands.

Leashless is fun sometimes...but there are certainly times when you absolutly want to have a leash...and considering that your just getting started, your gonna find those times a lot.

I'm really happy with my Vipers, cause I can use them leashless on top rope routes and all, and on mixed stuff IF I want to....but I feel much better leading on leashes (read: ANDROIDS!!!).

With a good leash system, you can use leashless technique when you want to, and use the leashes when you need to.

About just tools though... I think the Quark tends to swing FOR you, where as the Viper swings smoothly. That's how I think about the tools.
Either of those tools are easy and enjoyable to climb on. I just liked the swing the BD tools have more, so I got Vipers....but I was really close to getting Quarks if I didn't.

Cheers,
Jim

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