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First ice tools, advice needed
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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Mar 10, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

Dane wrote:
Problem these days is everyone wants a pair of axes. So few learn to climb with a single tool and gain the required skills.


That's because everyone says it's a gimmick that guides use to waste the client's day and be at bar by 1pm. No one actually goes out and tries it. I enjoy trying one tool when TRing with beginners. It's kinda like wearing hiking boots on an easy rock route when in the same situation.


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By Unassigned User
Mar 10, 2013

Point taken -ad updated to reflect tool as 'USED' status according to eBay's policy so it's honest and fair to all.

: )

Enuff said...let's not keep beating a dead horse here, eh?

I've learned one thing here - everyone wants to be (or thinks they are) Ueli Steck with their ideas and opinions. Truth be told - maybe all are right - for them. What works for one person may or may not works for another - and any it's hard to decipher from the Internet what someone is trying to explain, etc. If I were to take a poll of what everyone thought was THE best ice tool let's just say - I'd prob get 20 different answers. And all would prob be right - for them - their experience(s), preference, etc.

Personally - I didn't care for the Nomic at all versus my Viper's. I am sure MANY would disagree - and that's fine. I am sure some would say they think Cassin is the best, or Grivel, Camp, BD or Petzl, or DMM maybe. I guess the bottom line is - whatever works for you - go for it!


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By Dane
Mar 10, 2013
Cham '11

One axe? As Ray pointed out previous it is all about foot work.

Any one can climb moderate terrain with a pair of Nomics or what ever with 2 minutes of instruction. Few these days are as comfortable and secure with a single classic axe on similar terrain.

Imagine what you might do with both skill and a set of decent tools.

Tools? I've said it many times..any old club with a nail through it will climb ice. If the climber can climb ice. That starts and ends with foot work.


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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Mar 10, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

Michael.. I enjoyed your last reply. It was getting redundant around here between the chest beating and the little advice given.


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By Unassigned User
Mar 10, 2013

Dane wrote:
One axe? As Ray pointed out previous it is all about foot work. Any one can climb moderate terrain with a pair of Nomics or what ever with 2 minutes of instruction. Few these days are as comfortable and secure with a single classic axe on similar terrain. Imagine what you might do with both skill and a set of decent tools. Tools? I've said it many times..any old club with a nail through it will climb ice. If the climber can climb ice. That starts and ends with foot work.


In my day I have climbed with one axe as Chouinard shows in Climbing Ice and have used flat French foot technique a lot versus front pointing. I am amazed these days that many guys I climb with know nothing about resting one of their legs/ankles that way especially when on a slab or even faced with nice ledges or slopes. They seem to think the only way up is front pointing! Not so. Pied plat has it's place on angles 40 degrees or less many times. Sometimes I use a hybrid system of both French combined and front pointing techniques!

It's ALL about energy conservation!

I climbed with a ice climber of about 6 yrs last week and when I used some French technique he thought that I was using bad technique! NO!
French Technique


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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Mar 10, 2013

Here's a set on sale on MP.com for $300 now down to $250. This may be good if one leans towards alpine. They swing pretty well, they plunge better than the leashless Quarks, Nomics, Cobras, or Vipers. IMHO, they're pretty close to DMM Flys. Plus, they seem to come with spare picks...really nice for your 1st pair.

www.mountainproject.com/v/petzl-aztar-ice-tools-plus-accesso>>>

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 10, 2013
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

That looks like a nice set of tools.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 10, 2013
Cleo's Needle

Michael Urban wrote:
In my day I have climbed with one axe as Chouinard shows in Climbing Ice and have used flat French foot technique a lot versus front pointing. I am amazed these days that many guys I climb with know nothing about resting one of their legs/ankles that way especially when on a slab or even faced with nice ledges or slopes. They seem to think the only way up is front pointing! Not so. Pied plat has it's place on angles 40 degrees or less many times. Sometimes I use a hybrid system of both French combined and front pointing techniques! It's ALL about energy conservation! I climbed with a ice climber of about 6 yrs last week and when I used some French technique he thought that I was using bad technique! NO! French Technique


Joe blow off the street leads WI4 and up. That should tell you something about technique and gear now compared to 30 years ago.


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By doligo
Mar 10, 2013
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style

Michael Urban wrote:
It's ALL about energy conservation!


Anyone who leads ice knows that, plus you have to hang off one tool anyway when placing a screw so most smart leaders flat foot it. I noticed that people who dislike Nomics, either overgrip them (as if holding straight-shaft tools) or drive them in too hard (hence make them hard to clean). I only dislike Nomics on low-angle ice and clearing the bulges, oh and and on very cold days I wish they had carbon fiber shafts like Cobras.


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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Mar 11, 2013

One thing that is sort of hard to recognize as an early climber is that Nomics, even with the newer add-on hammers, are rather hard to use in hammer mode. The pronounced upper curve gets in the way. In comparison, the Quarks are easier to use as a hammer...still even the Quarks aren't as easy to use as straight shaft tools. This matters in the alpine, mixed, and exploring type climbs.


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By Pete Elliott
From Co Spgs CO
Mar 11, 2013

To the O.P... I've got a set of current model Carbon Fiber BD Cobras for sale (actually selling them for my boss). They have maybe a dozen days on them.

He's looking for 450 shipped for the set.

Email yangalala@gmail.com


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By Just Solo
From Colorado Springs
Mar 11, 2013

That Aztar setup is a pretty good deal for a first set, particularly if you have smallish hands.


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By Rory Macomber
From Redlands, California
Mar 11, 2013
Shark's Fin

Wow, thanks for all the info.
I'm heading back up to the Mammoth area in the next week or so. I'll stop in the climbing shops up there and swing as many of the tools around as I can get my hands on.
I'm leaning towards something a more vertical ice biased since I'll probably be climbing that more often than alpine, at least for the time being.

Leo, I found the Steve House vid. Super awesome, that guy is a monster climber. Thanks


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By RobC2
Mar 11, 2013
This..

Fusion 2.

To rule them all...


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By shoo
Mar 11, 2013
Rock wars, Red River Gorge

RobC2 wrote:
Fusion 2. To rule them all...


Owner of current fusions. There is almost nothing the fusions do that nomics don't do at least as well. Most notably, almost all will prefer the balance of the nomic over the fusion for swinging. The only real thing I like about the fusions over the nomics is that the picks swap in and out in the field much more easily.

If the trango raptors are truly as good as the hype (as in nearly the same as the nomics) and come in at $125 cheaper PER TOOL, that might be my #1 choice.


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By RobC2
Mar 11, 2013
This..

Here's something Nomics certainly do better than F2s:

Busted Nomic
Busted Nomic


Which would be most inconvenient when you are doing this:


RCC solo Drool: Photo by Rob Fullerton.
RCC solo Drool: Photo by Rob Fullerton.


Drool photo by Rob Fullerton.


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By Dane
Mar 11, 2013
Cham '11

Only Petzl picks I have ever seen bent (none broken mind you) have been climbing with them indoors.

Pictures of broken Nomics are hard to come by. Broken or bent picks from Petzl are as well.

Wish the same could be said for BD.

Not my gear shown here. I originally supported BD, much to my own embarrassment now. I was mistaken to do so. I think the resulting failures and time has proven my original opinions wrong.

broken BD picks
broken BD picks


"none of these picks had more than 20 days on them and most had a lot less. I switched to Quarks last fall and the peace of mind was almost imeadiate.. I did keep the Vipers and rotate one in as a 3rd tool or let guests use them. I no longer carry a spare pick with me. Don't need it with the quarks."

Not soloing but I'd rather not break anything here either.

Nomics on Canadian ice
Nomics on Canadian ice


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By Just Solo
From Colorado Springs
Mar 11, 2013

Not sure about the Fusion 2 but the original Fusion sucked on pure ice. The swing was funky and they liked to bounce. The new tools by Camp do look really good, but I'm not 100% sold on having the lightest tool in my hand. Light, at times, has to sacrifice something. Usually durability, or comfort... if I were competing or something then maybe. But for hacking around local climbs not so much. That's just my NSHO.


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By doligo
Mar 11, 2013
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style

RobC2 wrote:
Here's something Nomics certainly do better than F2s: Which would be most inconvenient when you are doing this: Drool photo by Rob Fullerton.


Hey, you're Rob from the Ouray Ice Fest 2012? I recognized the pants.


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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Mar 11, 2013

Keep looking. DMM makes some great stuff but ice tools aren't them. There are lots of great used tools on the market, most have been mentioned up-thread.


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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Mar 11, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

I find broken BD picks interesting. My wife and regular partner both use the BD Reactors. While my wife doesn't climb harder than 3+ my buddy has drytooled lots with his Reactors and hasn't had any problems with the picks. I will have to give him some sh*t for his choice in tools!

Rory..That reminds me that the BD Reactors may be a good tool for you. I've used them on grade 2. My buddy has done M7 with them so you should like them for everything.


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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Mar 11, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

Just solo..There's something we agree on. The original orange Fusions sucked!!!!


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By RobC2
Mar 12, 2013
This..

Just Solo wrote:
Not sure about the Fusion 2 but the original Fusion sucked on pure ice. NSHO.


Depends on the climber...


F1s
F1s


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By Just Solo
From Colorado Springs
Mar 12, 2013

RobC2 wrote:
Depends on the climber...


Didn't say they didn't get used, but there is a reason the orange ones lasted only a couple of seasons!


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By Gunkiemike
Mar 12, 2013

shoo wrote:
If the trango raptors are truly as good as the hype (as in nearly the same as the nomics) and come in at $125 cheaper PER TOOL, that might be my #1 choice.


Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Raptors are very Fusion-like, dare I say even first generation Fusion, with a very steep pick angle that is really good for hooking, but tends to bounce off the ice rather than penetrate it. It is certainly easy to make a few mods to fix this, and for $170/tool you might enjoy having a pair in your quiver. PM me if you want to hear more about the mods to improve the ice performance (yes, at the expense of hooking performance).


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