I think one of the most important skills in the climber’s repertoire is knowing exactly what gear to take for any given climb, and taking no more and no less than what is required. When I go climbing, I choose tools based on the nature of the route. (I want to reiterate that I am speaking from the perspective of what I want in the mountains and what works for me, and am not trying to establish an ultimatum for the climbing community as a whole.) On a hard trad climb at Index, I climb in an aggressive pair of shoes with a chalk bag on my harness. On a long, easy ridge climb in the mountains, I ditch the chalk and wear looser shoes for comfort. If the freezing level is high, though, and there are consecutive pitches of 5.9 difficulty or higher, I will take a chalk bag. But if the freezing level is forecasted to be low that day, the chalk bag will probably stay at home. Similarly, I want different ice tools for different climbs. On a climb like Airborne Ranger in Hyalite, I’d use a pair of Nomics and a pair of crampons with vertically oriented frontpoints. On a climb like the North Face of Chair Peak, however, I don’t care if I’m using Nomics or straight-shafted Black Prophets with leashes, because on low angle ice, you aren’t really hanging from your arms much. And if you aren’t really hanging on your arms, the pump-factor and circulation issues aren’t a problem (for me). It’s also important to note that there are many different tools and many different kinds of leashes. and some of them really suck. Some leashes cut off circulation and are hard to get out of to place protection. Some leashes keep the blood flowing and are damn easy to pop your hand out of to place a screw. Another time I'll bring leashes is if the terrain requires frequently transitioning from dagger position to actually swinging tools. Much easier to move your hand up and down the tool with a well-made pair of leashes than it is with umbilicals. On a glacier climb with a couple pitches of technical ice climbing like the North Ridge of Baker, I’ll take an ice axe and a slightly curved tool, both with leashes. I wouldn’t take a pair of Nomics on that climb for a couple reasons: on a two-person rope team, I like the peace of mind afforded by an ice axe if my partner were to slip and I had to arrest his fall. (Although I’m sure there are sensible ways of arresting with an ice tool, it just seems easier and safer with an ice axe) Second, on glacier climbs, it is not uncommon to be in exposed terrain without protection; in these situations, a solid self-belay with an ice-axe is reassuring. Call me a n00b if you want, I don’t care. I know you can self-belay with modern curved tools, but it doesn’t feel as bomber to me. And I’m aware that people like Ueli Steck are using Nomics for just about any alpine ice route, but Steck is a fucking professional who probably hasn’t self-belayed with an ice axe ever. To summarize, I want state of the art ice tools for difficult ice routes. On easy ice, I don’t really care. If the route requires a lot of glacier travel, I like having an ice axe. Not saying my way should be yours, however.