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Need to interview people who have ice climbing experience
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By Mike Lai
Jan 17, 2013
Hi, guys, I'm a student from Art center college of design. I have project about designing Ice climbing gear. I need to find some problems or needs for my design. Now, I need to interview people who has ice climbing experience. If anyone is willing to be my interviewee, please let me know. The interview will mostly via email. Thank you.

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By tsuji
From Boulder, CO
Jan 17, 2013
On Peak 11,300 in the Ruth
Hey Mike, I don't mind answering a few questions. I'm not the greatest ice climber but I'm happy to help. Just shoot me a pm.

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By BryanV
From Fort Collins, CO
Jan 17, 2013
Ouray Ice Park
Mike,

I am happy to help as well if you want multiple perspectives. I get out 15-20 days a year ice climbing and winter mountaineering. Feel free to PM me and we can swap emails.

bv
whiteknuckled.com

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By Josh
From Golden, CO
Jan 17, 2013
Stairway to Heaven (pitch 3)
Hi Mike,
I've climbed ice for about 12 years, mostly in Colorado. Happy to chat about ideas-- I've definitely had a few of those moments over the years when I thought, "someone should invent a [blah] to deal with this problem..." Feel free to send a pm.

Good luck with the project.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jan 17, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
been through the gear changes since the 70's(still have most of it in my 'museum'.) Drop me a line if you want a view on ancient gear days vs today's specialty tools.

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By randy88fj62
Jan 17, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Mike,
I am the one that pointed you here from the Socal Climbers facebook page.

To answer you question:
I like simplicity and do not like it when I need tools (like wrenches and screw drivers) to adjust gear. I had a pair of old charlet moser crampons (Petzl now owns the name) that had a flat head screw driver integrated into the buckle that you could use to adjust the crampons.

Newer crampons still need a screwdriver but don't have it integrated onto the crampon.

I also have a set of older Simond Ice Tools which allow you to take off a pick using the other ice tool pick as a flat head screwdriver.

As in both designs you don't need to carry any tools to adjust or replace components when out in the field. I think this intrisic value has been lost lately on manufactueres and I wish the desing engineers would bring that back into their thoughts when developing new hardware.

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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Jan 17, 2013
H ave about 10 years of ice climbign experience. I have several ideas I can give you for where I feel that ice gear has its weaknesses ans a few easy additions that would make some better gear.

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By Alan Ream
From Lafayette CO
Jan 17, 2013
Breakfast of Champion slacker climbers.
IMO - The DMM Predator is the most artistic ice tool ever designed - too bad they are so heavy. They feel great in the hand and have many thoughtful features. Check them out. I like them so much that I keep a pair on my wall. Alan-

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Jan 18, 2013
Alan Ream wrote:
IMO - The DMM Predator is the most artistic ice tool ever designed - too bad they are so heavy. They feel great in the hand and have many thoughtful features. Check them out. I like them so much that I keep a pair on my wall. Alan-




:P

As a fellow IDS student can't wait to see what you turn out.

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By JohnnyG
Jan 18, 2013
thin, heated gloves

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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Jan 18, 2013
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Mike, I'm available for interview too. Shoot me a private message.

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By Mike Lai
Jan 18, 2013
I have a question. Is there any difference between women and men while climbing on ice? I see a article about women has smaller hands( wearing heavier gloves) that cannot hold a large grip as easily. They usually don't have the upper arm strength of men. And they can more often be vertically-challenged compared to their male climbing partners.

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By Yvette Whitaker
Jan 18, 2013
Me on Off to Bozo, .10b
As a female ice-climber, I find it easier to climb with tools that have small grips. But the biggest difference I've always noticed between me and the guys is that it's so much harder for me to keep my hands and feet warm (!). Other women have told me they have the same problem.

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By Alan Ream
From Lafayette CO
Jan 18, 2013
Breakfast of Champion slacker climbers.
This is what I am talking about - I am interested to see what you come up with. Go get em!
DMM Predator Ice Tool
DMM Predator Ice Tool

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By doligo
Jan 22, 2013
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
Mike Lai wrote:
I have a question. Is there any difference between women and men while climbing on ice? I see a article about women has smaller hands( wearing heavier gloves) that cannot hold a large grip as easily. They usually don't have the upper arm strength of men. And they can more often be vertically-challenged compared to their male climbing partners.




Read the tagline in the ad. IMO, The most brilliant copywriting, I've seen in a while... The tool design is not too shabby either. Now that I think about your question though, I wish Petzl would add the fourth XS setting for the pinky rest.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jan 22, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
I have (what I think) is a great idea that may or may not already be on the market: A thin neoprene pad on the ass of ice-climbing hard shell pants. I have thin gore-tex hard shells which are amazing, but when I sit in the snow with them, my ass gets cold very fast, which a thin pad of neoprene on the inside might help a ton with.

Just an idea

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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Jan 22, 2013
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.
Ben Brotelho wrote:
I have (what I think) is a great idea that may or may not already be on the market: A thin neoprene pad on the ass of ice-climbing hard shell pants. I have thin gore-tex hard shells which are amazing, but when I sit in the snow with them, my ass gets cold very fast, which a thin pad of neoprene on the inside might help a ton with. Just an idea


+1

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By Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 22, 2013
Cleaning up in Jenny Lake.
Alan Ream wrote:
This is what I am talking about - I am interested to see what you come up with. Go get em!

Kill it with fire!

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Jan 22, 2013
I would like a pair of soft shell pants with a built in real gaiter bottom. So Velcro boot closure, stirrups, strap below the knee. Also waterproof and abrasion resistant knees and bottom. Full length side zips and suspenders.

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By Mike Lai
Jan 27, 2013
thanks for your idea! Im still working on this project ! if you guys have any thoughts please let me know.

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By Mike Lai
Mar 3, 2013
Hi, guys, I decide to design crampons. Right now I have a idea that crampons with a magnet. The magnet will attach on the boots' sole. This idea provides easy step in with no mess. I found it is really difficult when wearing crampons on heavy thick snow. Also, with magnet, it will hold crampons and boot to increase safety. I saw a video on youtube. A guy pops off his crampons when climbing. Is there anyone has this experience?
Right now I'm making a prototype with magnet for testing climbing with bail on or off. Here is a link shows how magnet attaching: magnet test
The next prototype I have fixed it to become one piece instead of two.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 3, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Hey Mike.

I fricken love the idea of magnetic crampon attachment (WAY more pioneering use of magnets than the dumb magnetic carabiner by Black Diamond, in my opinion.) That said, magnets pose some very real problems when it comes to crampon attachment.

1.) Crampons, by the nature of their intended use, take a lot of forward and backward force...think kicking into bullet hard alpine ice, or running down a trail doing a little "skiing" to make quick time on the walk-down descent. This really necessitates a bail type attachment, or something with a thick enough hole in the sole of the boot to keep the crampon from detaching itself.

2.) This leads me to my next issue: boot manufacturers each have fairly different soles, so this would make it pretty difficult to come up with a universal attachment system that would work with a bunch of different boots, which is something that the traditional front and rear bale design excels at, to a degree. I see in the video you have a separate piece under the duck-boot with magnets to grab the crampon's magnets, this is not really an option if you actually want to ice climb with the cramps, unless that attachment point is extremely light and grabs the boot VERY tightly. Couple questions about your prototype: what kind of sole is on the magnetic sheet attached to the boot to grab the crampon? How much does that piece weigh?

This is less of a concern if this is just an academic project, but if you want this to be something that can really be climbed on, some creative solutions are going to be necessary.

3.) This is kind of hard to explain, but I'll try. With a traditional bale attachment system, the fit is just as tight as the front and rear bales are. Put differently, if there is snow on the sole of your boot, you either won't be able to fasten the crampon correctly because there is too much snow in the way to be able to close the rear bale completely, giving you the cue to clear the snow from the sole, or the force of pushing the rear-bale closed will crush the snow underfoot. With magnetic attachment, how will you know when the crampon is fully "on?" The crampon could seem like it's latched to your boot, but is just being pulled via magnets and is simply resting on a pile of snow/ice on the sole of the boot, which could be a catastrophic failure the second you kick a placement into some hard ice.

This was not meant to be critical and nothing else. I REALLY hope you come up with something usable...that would be sick. This is a great idea, and if perfected (is it possible?!) could be a really cool technology. I think your biggest foes right now with this idea are force from kicking and walking and making a universally usable product given the plethora of different boots out there. Keep us updated, I'm intrigued!

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 3, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Also: consider the neoprene ass-patch hard-shell ice climbing pants...they would be a god-send for me and probably a few others!!

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By doligo
Mar 3, 2013
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
You will have to make magnets big in order for them to stay put, i.e. super heavy. Hell no, I'm walking around with 2 pieces of metal on soles of my boots if I don't have to.

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By Mike Lai
Mar 3, 2013
Thank you guys. For the magnet, I'm still trying to test it and see how much force it can hold. But my priority will be easy to step in ( or reduce time) and increase safety, so it might not be a really huge magnet. Also, others told me they have issue to put crampons in their backpack. I'm not sure is it a problem for you guys.

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By Mike Lai
Mar 3, 2013
I have one more question. Why there is no manufacture selling their own crampons and boots? Like an exclusive. Is it because people love to switch their gears?

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