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By Max Lurie
From Conway, NH
Feb 22, 2010
Me happily toping out pitch two on the back side of Seneca rocks, WV.

I've been experimenting with all different kinds of gloves for ice climbing and am interested in others opinions/experiences. I know that there is no "perfect" glove and no matter what I do my digits will always be sore/swollen until spring.

So far here are my findings:

Straight up old school wool gloves - work great in dry conditions, but get soaked really easily when the sun comes out and things start to get drippy. Also offer moderate bashing protection and decent dexterity.

Wool in a new modern Gore-Tex shell - warm, and dry no matter the conditions, with good knuckle protection, but really poor dexterity.

Neoprene paddling gloves - didn't really work as well as I thought they would. My fingers consistently got cold faster than I expected them too and there wasn't as much padding as I'd hoped (3.5mm).

Lightweight modern soft shell gloves - have good dexterity, but lack warmth and finger protection.


That's it so far, I haven't had a chance to try any of the new Black Diamond ice specific gloves, because of the $100+ price tag. But it seems that there are four general requirements for an ice glove and trades off must be made.

1) Warmth
2) Knuckle protection
3) Dexterity
4) Waterproofness


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By Jon H
From Northern NJ
Feb 23, 2010
At the matching crux

I've had good luck using insulated work gloves. Kincos seem to be extremely popular, but I don't own a pair. I picked up a pair of generic insulated leather work gloves for $12 off STP but they seem to be out of stock now. A thick coating of SnoSeal wax helps tremendously. They're relatively good at everything but waterproofness.

One memorable day of climbing it was about 20 degrees, yet the ice had running water coming down so the gloves were absolutely saturated. The hike out of the canyon saw lots of Class 3-4 scrambling so the soaked gloves were actually contact-freezing to the exposed rock and peeling layers of leather off the fingers as I moved upwards. Despite that, they seem to be holding up well after about 8-10 days of ice.

I also have a pair of Mountain Hardwear Hydra gloves that have everything going for them except durability. They're a softshell glove, but have been perfectly warm for me as long as I'm wearing my thin Powerstretch liners. I've never once had wet fingers, even when the glove leather is soaked. Most importantly, the waterproof membrane is bonded to the inside of the gloves outer fabric layer (as opposed to a free-hanging GTX liner) so the fingers can't "invert" when you pull your wet hand out.

Unfortunately, I can;t comment on how warm they are without liners... the glove is a bit too large, so I have to use the liners or there's too much extra material around my fingers and my handwork gets sloppy, especially when matching, switching tools, and general leashless endeavors. I'm pretty careful about how I use them though: It's a very high quality glove and the construction is impeccable, but the materials are thin - it's just not built to take a ton of abuse.

One final thought: Waterproofness is generally lowest on my priority list. I fully expect my gloves to be anywhere from damp all the way to completely soaked by the end of the day. At the end of each pitch, the wet gloves immediately get stuffed deep inside my shirt and after bringing up my partner and finishing my next lead, they're always warmed up and usually considerably drier.

The smart climber carries 2 pairs of gloves at an absolute minimum and I've carried as many as 5 pairs on long multi-pitch days. I usually carry 2 pairs of gloves: My Hydra's for the lead, the leather work gloves for the belay and rappelling. On days that I expect to find lots of wet stuff, I'll bring a 2nd pair of lead gloves
(Mad Rock Alpinist glove. Decent, fairly low quality workmanship, you get what you pay for. But the $35 or whatever I paid has been well worth it). On very cold days I have a pair of XL insulated overmitts for belays that a permanent home in my belay jacket's pocket so I can just pull them over my regular gloves when its 10F or lower. In Scotland, climbers are regularly known to bring a pair of gloves PER PITCH.


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By Brumbrown
Feb 23, 2010

Obviously there are many types of gloves out there, but I have found a near perfect combination for myself. For the approach I wear a thin fleece glove that I put in my pack at the base of the route. At that point I put my climbing gloves between my base layer and my R1 Hoody and puffy. My climbing gloves are either of two choices.....BD Torque which I use on harder climbs and for temps down to about 15F, or I use the Rab Latoks for temps down to -15F. Both of these gloves are about 50$ so not going to break the bank. After putting the gloves in my coat, I put on mittens to harness and rack up. The mittens keep my hands toasty warm, and having my gloves in my coat heats them up so that when I put my hands in them they don't get cold. I clip the mittens to my haul loop and at the top of the pitch remove my climbing gloves and put the mittens back on. I then use the mittens (with a leather palm) for belaying and rappelling and save the gloves only for climbing.

Out of about 25 days on ice this season I have only had the screaming barfies 2 times and many of those days were sub zero temps. I love the BD torque for climbing....extremely dexterous and sticky but not very good for temps below 10-15F. The Rab Latok is waterproof, dexterous, warm, and sticky! An amazing glove for sure

Hope this helps.


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By Max Lurie
From Conway, NH
Feb 23, 2010
Me happily toping out pitch two on the back side of Seneca rocks, WV.

Thanks for all the input,

Earlier this season my longtime climbing partner bashed his fingers every weekend and they got really swollen. To the point of having to take the rest of the season off. This is kind of what spurred my writing this forum, I just thought I'd throw that out there because I forgot to mention it at the beginning.

Anyway,
I always have at least two pairs of gloves with me when I climb and rotate a pair through my inside pocket on my puffy etc. I looked at the BD Torques and they look really nice for leading in mild temps, I saw the rating the BD gave them. But I was still skeptical of how warm they are in reality. I didn't know about the RAB gloves and they look good as well for when the temps go south. Thanks again.


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By Matthew Kennedy
From boulder, co
Feb 23, 2010

kellycordes.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/glove-article/


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By Gunkiemike
Mar 4, 2010

Three categories of gloves:

1. The big ones that try to be really warm. Some really are warm, others are not. You can climb in them, but handling gear is out. Use 'em for belaying only and squeeze the rope hard. Examples - Original BD Ice Glove ($150, massive leather palm, cheesy liner, sloppy fit).

2. The slim, tactile ones. Great for gear handling, not so warm. Generally lightly built so they get wet easily. Newer ones have sticky synthetic palm (e.g. the OR Alibi). Most climbers end up going with this type for leading and deal with the coldness that may result. Examples - original Cloudveil Ice Flow (awesome!), EMS Work Glove (awesome deal at end of last season - $17.50 but the tailoring is hit or miss), OR Contact, Hardware store work gloves if you size them small (but these rarely have curved fingers). BD Punisher may be the current best-in-class.

3. Everything else, i.e. the ones that are neither warm/dry nor sensitive and grippy. Examples - many hardware store gloves, wool mitts, ski gloves.


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By Joe Santambrogio
Mar 4, 2010
on top of the 3rd, in the mist

I love Marker spring gloves, i use them for everything from ski days, to ice climbing to shoveling the walk....only on the coldest of coldest of days do i have to use something thicker...I have tried the OR fancy gloves for mixed climbing and unless it's warm, or a short climb, my hands freeze by the time I'm at the top. regardless, i keep a pair in my chest pocket to keep them toasty.


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By Ty Harlacker
From Albuquerque, NM
Mar 11, 2010
Silverton

OR Alpine Alibi is the best glove iv'e owned. These have lasted through the season with 40 days and counting. I usually go through the finger in BD gloves in about one season. No matter what model. Punisher included,
Te cuff cinches down and releases with ease. It fits my large hand well.


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By Bryan Gilmore
From Your Mama
Mar 11, 2010
Beagle

I don't understand the big glove problem, putting in ice screws and clipping a rope doesn't take much dexterity... That said, I love my OR Stormtrackers for hard ice leads and anything but the most technical dry tooling, for that I use a pair of FOX cycling gloves (very thin, no padding) and then use Alpine Alibi's for cold weather climbs/following/belaying, and I'm giving BIG prop's for Kinco's, easily found at most ACE Hardware stores, great cheap gloves for rapping, belaying and following when things are not wet. Multiple gloves and lots of love with the Sno-seal will really help prolong your gloves life.


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By Jim Amidon
Mar 11, 2010
What ??

So I've been swinging the tools for about 16 years or so and what I've come up with is this.

One pair of old Leather Wool lined gloves for the approach, Or any glove you like, but usually approach gloves get sweated up.

Lead Gloves, 2 pairs, one light one heavy.

Currently I still use and love are Filson leather wool lined gloves.

If it's super cold I climb in my BD Guides, which are my belay gloves.

I always have 4-5 pairs of gloves in my pack.......

Gloves get wet then you get cold.....having a dry pair to swap out into is well very nice.....

Don't forget as soon as you get to the base of your intended route to get your lead gloves into your shirt......up tight against the tummy while your gearing up........

Nothing better than putting on a warm pair of gloves before leading...

Oh also if your using modern curved tools.....you should NEVER bash your hands.....


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By Evan1984
Mar 11, 2010

Ty Harlacker wrote:
OR Alpine Alibi is the best glove iv'e owned. These have lasted through the season with 40 days and counting. I usually go through the finger in BD gloves in about one season. No matter what model. Punisher included, Te cuff cinches down and releases with ease. It fits my large hand well.


I've only been climbing one season, so don't have alot of experience, but I really like my Alpine Alibis. They are stupid $$, though. For me, it is worth it becauuse I have a circulation issue in my fingers and toes and it makes even warmer conditions unclimbable in my other ski gloves. With handwarmers, i was good down to -9.

I think alot of it has to do with where you climb. In New Hampshire, I think the cold is a lot different than in CO or UT. My friends called me stupid for dropping the money on AA's when Kinco work gloves would do fine...then one came out and tried to climb with Kincos on a warmer day and had a miserable time.

In the end, there is no perfect glove. I use the AA's for climbing and belaying. I wear mitts on the approach and if its really cold at the belay.

handwarmers go a long way.

Evan


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Mar 11, 2010
Bocan

Jim Amidon wrote:
One pair of old Leather Wool lined gloves for the approach, Or any glove you like, but usually approach gloves get sweated up.


One thing I started doing on longer, cooler approaches is using a pair of lighter fleece mittens. They only get slightly warmer, but it really helps reduce cold fingers once you start climbing. I noticed hiking with poles and light gloves really set me up for failure once climbing, as they allow the digits to become really chilly.

The mittens really set me up for success (at least in some aspects), for when I switch over to gloves.


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By Trevor Kreznar
From Sherburne, NY
Mar 25, 2010

I use the thin BD torque gloves for an ice climbing with temperatures above 20 degrees. Your hands get cold, but you still have great dexterity. Once I finish a pitch I throw on the belay mitts.
For colder days I use the BD punisher gloves. While warm they lack the dexterity for placing screws that the thinner torques have.
As long as you don't mind some cold fingers, I'd recommend the torques


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By coryred797
From Yonkers, NY
Mar 31, 2010

I have been ice climbing for the past 3 years with the basic not fancy EMS work gloves. There super cheap compared to ice gloves and are extremlley warm. I have 3 pairs of them, usually i wear one, have another in my pack and keep a set stored away incase I forget to take the gloves off the top of my car when I get back and drive away with them ontop waving goodbye on the way home. Has happened to me like 3 times.... Anyways there really nice.

www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3651751


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By J Antin
From Denver, CO
Apr 8, 2010
First morning at Indian Creek!!!

Jon H wrote:
I've had good luck using insulated work gloves. Kincos seem to be extremely popular, but I don't own a pair.


These gloves are simply AMAZING. I used them all season. I re-applied Sno-Seal to keep them water proof and it worked great. The only downside is that they are a bit bulky and weren't great for leads at my "limit".

I climbed with three pairs of gloves this season.
-Kinco Work Gloves $10 + $4 tube of sno-seal (wore 90% of the time)
-BD Patrol Gloves: Good dexterity, not quite as warm as the kincos, but used for harder leads - $95 bucks (9%)
-Mountain Hardware Talisman Spring/mixed glove: $35.00 not waterproof at all. (1%)


Summary: KINCO WORK GLOVES!!!


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By Tony T.
From Denver, CO
Nov 29, 2011
Getting up the Great Dihedral on Hallet Peak, RMNP.

I usually use the Punishers to climb and either the Mercury mitt or the Guide gloves for belaying. Off the shelf the Guides are not waterproof by any means. I've had many cold and wet climbs in them. I just applied some Nikwax Glove Proof and I'm headed up to Vail on Friday, so I'll let you know.

Otherwise, I've heard great things about the Outlast waterproofing on the Mountain Hardware gloves. I've heard less great things about Hardware's durability.

The Arc Teryx rep swears up and down that their new-ish line of gloves were designed for ice climbing and mountaineering, but who the hell can afford that? They feel uber bulky too.


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By Alan Ream
From Lafayette CO
Nov 29, 2011
Breakfast of Champion slacker climbers.

There are so many great gloves out there. I have had great luck with the Dakine Mustang glove (my favorite). Kind of a light to middle weight glove, not waterproof but it works great with the tools. I usually bring two pairs of these, an additional light / waterproof glove and a nice warm glove or mitt for the belays.


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By iceman777
From Colorado Springs
Dec 4, 2011
0

well
I really like the cheap Flylow work style glove , there as warm as the overpriced black garbage punishers, have an all leather palm n fingers (cept for the back which is cloth) there lightly lined, have a baked in waterproofing , however i still treat the cloth parts with
a good waterproofing compound .

I use em for rapelling ,climbing,belaying and have yet to wear a hole in a pair ( going on two years worth of use now) they grip well with the tools and I can easly place screws with them ( I only use Petzl screws BTW) AND the Flylow's are ONLY 28 BUCKS !!!!

I gave away a brand new set of Punishers to a friend I was teaching ice climbing and will never ever pay more than 28 bucks for ice climbing gloves again.

Just one more note I beleave I have the worlds coldest hands n feet

Just my 2 cents
cheers....


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By funkyicemonkey
From Colorado
Dec 5, 2011

I really miss my Dachstein mitts from the days of straight axes. My wife accuses me of being a glove fetishist, and I kind of agree. I have LOTS of gloves, Im down to carrying only a few pair - The rab gloves are truly well designed and warm enough, I also have a pair of Mountain Hardwaer ice climbing gloves that are not too great but have lots of dexterity (leather palm is wearing out, not waterfproof and no insulation) and canvas/leather winter work gloves that are generic. But my number 1 combo... Yellow rubber coated knitted nylon fishermens/coldstorage gloves that Ive cut the finger tips off and wear over a cheap pair of windproof gloves or a thick liner. They grip like nothing else, protect my pinkie from lazy placements, keep me warm and dry with a shake. They are so cheap that they are free at some work places. I do go through a lot of liners at the fingertips, but the combo works well. This season Im thinking of wearing them over a pair of elkhide gloves.


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By TuRETZ
From Denver, co
Dec 5, 2011
FLIGHT!

Anyone climb ice in FlyLow Gloves??
www.neptunemountaineering.com/neptune/product.asp?s_id=0&pro>>>
EDIT: I'm a dick and don't know how to read. Refer to 2 posts up. FML! :)


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By Kevin Craig
Dec 5, 2011
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

AntinJ wrote:
These gloves are simply AMAZING. I used them all season. I re-applied Sno-Seal to keep them water proof and it worked great. The only downside is that they are a bit bulky and weren't great for leads at my "limit". I climbed with three pairs of gloves this season. -Kinco Work Gloves $10 + $4 tube of sno-seal (wore 90% of the time) -BD Patrol Gloves: Good dexterity, not quite as warm as the kincos, but used for harder leads - $95 bucks (9%) -Mountain Hardware Talisman Spring/mixed glove: $35.00 not waterproof at all. (1%) Summary: KINCO WORK GLOVES!!!


+1 for the Kinco gloves, at least for belaying/rappelling. A friend in Montana can't say enough good about these. I will be trying out a pair soon.


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By Ricky A. Myers
Dec 11, 2011

this is a cool find. i have been looking for commendable gloves that can be used since I am planning for a mountain climbing project this summer.


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By edlinmccosker
Dec 12, 2011

Marker spring gloves is great!


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By nick frazee
From bozeman, MT
Jan 16, 2012

Rab m14 for everything down to 10-15F. you can get em for $31 and the dexterity is awesome... this is not only beneficial for setting screws and clipping rope but the better you can feel you tool the less you have to hold on. the thicker the glove, the harder you squeeze, the colder your hands get, and the more pumped your forearms get. In 15 degree weather my hands get just as cold in a thick glove as they do in these


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By George Barnes
From Westminster, CO
Jan 16, 2012
Jones Pk

Which Kincos are preferred? There are quite a few options!
www.kincoworkgloves.com/

Also, are you snosealing immediately, or after break in?

FYI- Surprisingly (to me) Murdoch's doesn't carry the Kinco brand. Trying a pair of Wells Lamont instead.


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By Wes Goulding
Mar 4, 2012

Max, I use the Mountain Hardware Epic glove.

1) Warmth, not too warm. But since they are totally waterproof and breathe well you are on the right track. Also see below.
2) Knuckle protection, none. Swing technique adjustment can help with that.
3) Dexterity, is great. This is why I use them. These gloves are very thin but grip the tools, rope, gear very well. Gently holding on to the tools while you climb, place pro, clip the rope is the key to avoiding the screaming barfies. Better circulation through relaxing your death grip = warmth. These gloves help with that big time!
4) Waterproofness is excellent!!! The Outdry product is very good. Also this glove has a synthetic palm. At first I thought I had to have a leather palm because all the awesome climbers had leather gloves. But after I used these I will not go back to leather. The material is tacky or grippy on the tools and rope. Also it does not absorb water! So no thawing out a frozen solid glove with your belly. :)

I have climbed in these mostly around 15-35 deg F, California and Nevada, but they have kept me warm down to 5 deg F. Extra thick belay gloves came in handy that day.

Hope this helps

Wes

I am currently looking to get another pair as a back up. :)


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