Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Choking up on ice tools (when and when not to)
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Yotsuba
Feb 6, 2013
Hey friends,

I just have a general question about choking up on tools.

I understand it's quite common for dry routes for outrageous reaches, but I've rarely see it done on ice.

Why is this? Is it because of pick shift? Larger chance of it shearing out?

I find myself often choking up on my tools to reach a better area to swing into. I feel that I can still maintain a downward force on my tools on the upper handle without pulling out on the tool too much. Whereas, on the lower handle, if I reach up too high for a placement, I'll be pulling out on the tool more than pushing down, elbows no longer down. Maybe I'm just too picky with where I decide to swing my axes.

Just curious, forgive my ignorance!

FLAG
By Scott Jones
From boulder, co
Feb 6, 2013
-
I'll do the same thing on most ice routes, especially if it's lower angle. I havent noticed any added instability.

FLAG
By beccs
Feb 6, 2013
I use the upper grip on my tools quite often when out ice climbing. Often for reach (as you mentioned, getting to a better place to swing) but sometimes I just leave my hand on the upper grip after a hand switch.

If you do start choking up on your tools be careful about how far you choke up. I've never had a problem when using the two proper grips on my tools, but I have had an occasion or two when I've chored way up, put a lot of leverage on the tool (pulling it outwards instead of only downwards) and had the tool rip out.

FLAG
By Andrew Blease
From Damascus, VA
Feb 6, 2013
Hello,

Just experiment and find out what works for you. Choking up on your tools is just a part of growing up and changing, don't do it too much though. And, wear sunglasses, you don't want to go blind. I can tell you from experience, it's a much more enjoyable process if somebody else teaches you to choke up on your tools. Have fun!

Andrew

FLAG
By Burt Lindquist
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Feb 6, 2013
Trying to stay warm up on Brownstone Wall Red Rock...
I think it depends on the type of ice you are climbing or maybe better said as the way the ice you are climbing has formed. Usually when climbing vertical ice that is uniform the climber will never need to reach higher up on the tool after the pick has been well placed i.e. the climber just never lets go of the bottom grips (except to maybe switch hand on the tools). If the ice is chandelierd (sp?) or overhanging (with scoops or cups forming in the upward direction) it is a great advantage to grip the upper hand rest for extra reach. I grip the upper hand rest on my Nomics and Quarks alot when I am repositioning in order to place a screw for protection (eliminated the need sometimes to pull the axe out and place it somewhere else out of the way).

FLAG
By robrobrobrob
Feb 6, 2013
To over come bulges and such you can place an axe and climb up it, up the grips and mantle on the head. On low angle terrain you can hold the axe just below the head and place the pick, or hold the top of the axe and just use the shaft point.

If the placement feels solid, move around on it, get used to feeling the different ways axes shift and move.. and with time get to understand the feelings around shearing vs. shifting. I don't know that there are rules, instead play with the idea in relatively safe settings to build up your toolbox of responses.

FLAG
By clay meier
Feb 6, 2013
Thats Me
+1 for choking up on your tools in order to overcome bulges.

FLAG
By clay meier
Feb 6, 2013
Thats Me
also, rob I cant tell if your being serious or not, either way its hilarious.

FLAG
 
By Mike Berkow
Feb 6, 2013
robrobrobrob wrote:
To over come bulges and such you can place an axe and climb up it, up the grips and mantle on the head. On low angle terrain you can hold the axe just below the head and place the pick, or hold the top of the axe and just use the shaft point. If the placement feels solid, move around on it, get used to feeling the different ways axes shift and move.. and with time get to understand the feelings around shearing vs. shifting. I don't know that there are rules, instead play with the idea in relatively safe settings to build up your toolbox of responses.


So to summarize Rob's post, "Just play with your tool until the placement and grip feels right"

FLAG
By Tosch Roy
Feb 6, 2013
Selfie
Here's some good info: Ice climbing techniques?

FLAG
By Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Feb 6, 2013
I do it all the time with my nomics. Cover more distance = fewer swings = climb faster, less chance of fatal pump. Despite comments above, I find this technique far more valuable on vertical ice and less so on lower angle ice where pump isn't in the equation.

While experimenting with the second grips on top rope, I have purposely tried to get the pick to rip out or shift. I have only had it happen when pulling on a "stick" that I wouldn't rely on when lead climbing anyway. But I do use only super secure sticks when on lead and, although secure, its clearly more work and probably holds me back on ice that is really difficult for me. YMMV.

FLAG
By Dane
Feb 6, 2013
Cham '11
As a technique (using different hand positions) for speed and efficency it works well any place you need to swing or hang on a tool. Best used with modern tools would be my only caveat.

On lower angle alpine I might seldom use the lower grip. On vertical ice I am all over the upper and lower grip when ever I can use either to best effect.

No rules...other than "open your mind".

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.