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Question about ice tools?

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forrest_m said:

randygoat said:

To tighten the CM bolts requires 2 hands and 2 allen wrenches


CM pick only requires 1 allen wrench, there is enough friction between the female part of the bolt and the soft aluminum of the head to hold it in place. The advantage of the separate bolt system is that you can swap the whole thing out. My partner did the "tighten my BD tool with the other one" thing on a fairly serious alpine route and stripped the threads, which are on the tool head itself, i.e. impossible to fix in the field. He had to finish the route with a shaky pick which shatters the ice something fierce. On a CM, if you carry a spare bolt assembly (which weighs nothing, I keep one attached to my spare pick in case I drop something), you wouldn't have this problem.


Seriously, I've never seen anyone try to deal with a loose or broken pick without having two hands free, either they a) place a screw and hang b) pull out their third tool or c) gut it out to the end of the pitch and fix it at the belay.


Also, although the pulsar and axar are being phased out, the quasar picks have a second set of holes that fits these tools, so don't despair.

I have tightened/replaced the picks on my Rages using a spare pick as a wrench. I have had no problems with stripping. YMMV.

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sobo said:

Straight shaft, bent shaft.. WTF? You will learn to climb with what you learn to climb with (Is Yogi Berra out there somewhere?).


Seriously, I started ice climbing over 15 years ago with Lowe Hummingbirds long before this bent shaft shiz became all the rage. Replaced the 'birds with BD x-15s (straight shafts) with drooped picks a few years back. I can climb WI-4 easily with straight tools, and have climbed WI-5 with tehm as well before I got married (and fat). So Dave, it's all about good technique. You will be required to use good technique on vertical ice with straight shafts or you WILL bash your knuckles, but it CAN be done without getting hurt. And vertical ice will require droopped picks for security. Just don't bash the shit outta the ice. Accuracy counts.


As others have suggested, get Craig's and/or Duane Raleigh's ice books, and maybe even Jeff Lowe's vid and others, and study up with whatever tools you choose. And climb safely. wave.gif

ok so i started climbing 23 years ago. i am on my 5th set of tools. i climbed WI5, WI6 and WI6+. my advice is - technology rules, mmakes your life easier. so don't listen to lamos, just get the most advanced and the newest tools out there. only 2 brands to consider BD or CM. you won't be disapointed

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In my experience taking beginner ice climbers out, the first 4-5 trips it wont matter what tools they are using, but as soon as some technique is developed, there will be a substantial performance difference if they are using Hummingbirds/BPs vs. Cobras/Quarks. You will get used to whaever axes you buy, but some will give you an edge over others. Hard thing to consider when dropping $1000 at a time. Reminds me of the first kiteboard wing I bought...

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Sorry Man, but I had climbed with CMs for quite awhile. They ussually needed both wrenchs, otherwise the bolt could spin. Just my expeirience.


As far as BD stripping, well Hercules , don't throw out so much pressure on the bolt. It is better to use a real tool, on the ground to tighten the bolt. But it can be tightened on the fly, also my own expeirience.


I had been warned about the possibility of the stripping problem ahead of time, so I guess I was careful not to over do it.


Anyway it is personal preference that matters. Just opinion. cool.gif

Edited by randygoat

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