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First ice tools, advice needed
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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Mar 12, 2013
11th hour of the Sundial

Gunkiemike wrote:
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).



I have it straight from trango that they will have an ice specific pick out next season that will be the 2-3 degree reduction in angle thats needed, so hopefully the Raptor will be much better for ice next season. and the new pick design will fit on the existing tools.


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By Dane
Mar 12, 2013
Cham '11

Gunkiemike wrote:
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Raptors are very Fusion-like, dare I say even first generation Fusion


I've climbed extensivly on both generations of the Fusion, the newest. Ergo and a bunch on the Nomic. And most recently on the Trango Raptor.

Mike has suggested a 1.5" less drop on the Raptor's pick. Nice if you want a typical swing and less security of typical reverse curved tool.
Only a couple of degree less drop (not inches) would make the Raptor much easier to swing for the unititiated. But still a tool a beginner could easily adapt to and climb hard with. And it will easy repalce any of the better tools at half the price of their retail.

Mike says here:

www.iceclimbingforums.com/showthread.php?9460-Trango-Raptors>>>

"In the meantime if anyone sees me out there swinging my Raptors, ask to see the picks. I have gone WAY beyond what I described above, and they (Raptor) are now totally AWESOME."

My point to all this is if you want to make blanket statements in public about how different tools compare in use and for a specific use helps to actually have climbed with all the tools you are comparing in print. Makes no sense when reviews are not being fair to everyone involved. Al lthe tools have a place. None radically better than any other when you compare the selection of "best".

I and my partner spent a lot of time soloing on WI4 terrain before commenting on how the Raptor would work on easy (WI4) or harder (WI5) terrain. Nomic? Raptor? Ergo? Fusion II? Pretty much in that order for ease of use on moderate ground. Biggest difference IMO is in the grip sizes. Not in the pick performance or how well they climb.

coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/01/trango-raptor-ice-tool.html


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By Gunkiemike
Mar 13, 2013

Well Dane, we clearly disagree on a couple points, and that's OK. I am focusing in all this discussion on how well the Raptors perform on ice, and I was explicitly clear in the NEice.com post you linked to that I haven't used the Fusion-I. I'm only saying that MY issue with the Raptor parallels what many folks reported for that BD tool when it came out (and are continuing to say to a lesser degree about the F-II) and how some minor tweaks to both the tool and my use of it improved the situation. I believe you are familiar with the issue I'm describing; you yourself called the Fusion-II a "terrible ice tool" (in your backcountry.com review).

As for what is the optimum angle for ice performance vs. drytooling, that 1.5" number was a seat-of-the-pants guess. A few degrees may be fine. I have adjusted the raptor picks upwards by about an inch and ice penetration is vastly improved FOR ME. I don't know how many degrees that represents. Have you tried them upwards by a few degrees? Did it get them more Nomic-like?

Plus, there seems to be an issue with many of the Raptor picks that were not manufactured to spec. I will be returning mine for a proper pair ASAP. This may also account for some of our different perceptions.


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By Kirby1013
From Baltimore Maryland
Mar 13, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

Again, I used the original Fusions for few days (Haffner Creek, Icefields Pkwy) and they suck! I got my hands on a pair of BD Cobras after that, Sweet! Nomics.. sweet! Finally I gave the Cobras to my wife and used the Fusions so we could get up Grotto Falls and.. they still sucked. I hooked my way up Hers in Grotto Canyon so, OK the Fusions hooked well but what tool doesn't?

Maybe it's my footwork.. Haha


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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Mar 13, 2013
11th hour of the Sundial

Mike, keep me updated on how things go with Trango. I know my experience with them was great, they really went the extra mile to make things right. Beyond that I can say with confidence you'll see a night and day difference between the picks. What I noticed was the 3mm consistently doing 1st to 3rd swing sticks while the 4mm always seemed to be 10 plus and just horrible... It did better after a tuning but still not great.


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By RobC2
May 31, 2013
This..

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


As I recall I landed my first set of F1s in autumn of 2004, these were superseded by the F2s which I received in Autumn 2009. That would be a manufactured life span of about 5 years, pretty typical for an ice- tool design.

Regarding whether the now discontinued F1 tools "suck" I should point out that Heeyong Park just won the overall 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup title in lead/difficulty using a set of modified F1s...


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By RobC2
May 31, 2013
This..

Busted Laser picks
Busted Laser picks


Regarding this stack I can only say that I have used Laser picks for some pretty scaly ascents including a solo ascent of the Direct Super Couloir on Mont Blanc du Tacul where on some of the dry-tooling sections I would actually use one F2 to "tap" the other into a more secure placement then wrench said tool out when I climbed past. The picks were pretty beat after all of this but didn't break. I also pounded an F2 w/ Laser pick into a crack at belay # 3 on Minus Two Gulley on Ben Nevis clipped in by the spike as a belay anchor, it actually held a fall by the second climber, again no breakage...

In fact the last time I broke a BD pick was in 1997 using a Carbon Fibre Black Prophet.

Even so, I am phasing out my BD picks as they move the production to China. At the end of last season I started using Krukonogi beaks manufactured in Russia, as favored by Marcus Bendler and Park Heeyong, way more aggressive and the armor steel variety is apparently indestructible!


Krukonoginess
Krukonoginess


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