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AlpineClimber

Beginning Ice Tool Reccomendations

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So I am moving into low-moderate angled ice. (Grade II) such as observation rock, Buckner etc and am looking for reccomendations on good Ice Tools. I have heard that the BD bent shaft tools are very suited for these types of climbs. Also, what about Adze vs. Hammer?

 

If anyone cares to share their comments, it would be appreciated.

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Agree on Shrikes. There is a strong argument on steeper ice using two hammers, because if a tool pops the adze could really do some damage to your head. However, I have one of each.

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Shrikes are good...

 

I bought a pair of CM Aztars or Atzars (whatever) for my wife (and me) and find them to be a nice light weight, cheap set of tools. the hammer and adze kind of suck, and their swing weight doesn't allow them to penatrate hard ice with 1 swing, but they are still good.

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Shrikes are good...

 

I bought a pair of CM Aztars or Atzars (whatever) for my wife (and me) and find them to be a nice light weight, cheap set of tools. the hammer and adze kind of suck, and their swing weight doesn't allow them to penatrate hard ice with 1 swing, but they are still good.

if the hammer and adze suck, and they are too light to place with one hit,what's good about them?

 

I used to use CM Axars and retired them right after I tried the BD Rages. Similar design, but the CM would glance off the ice as much as it would stick. I like the heavier weight of the Rage,butthat is just preference. If you have the strength to heft a well balanced,heavier tool, you won't need to swing very hard at all. I feel like I use less energy with the Rage vs. the Axsar. Just my opinion cool.gif

 

Just like to add, a friend of mine was struggling to get good placements in something under 10 or more hits per stick. She was using some crappy light weight Simond tool[venoms?Viper?], I hooked her up with a set of Shrikes and they made a world of diference for her,now she is following me up 4s. smile.gif

 

As far as straight vs. bent shaft,preference rules. I learned on those old blue handled,straight shafted Chouinards, and resisted for a very long time switching over to bent shafts. Once I did I havn't turned back.However,if you haven't learned on straight shaft to start with ,you'll probably like the bent better.

 

Enjoy bigdrink.gif

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So you reccomend the straight shaft over bent shaft such as the BD Viper or Fusion?

; - )

 

It depends on what you want to do with them.

 

For what you descibed above, like Cascade Alpine Colouirs and such, I'd want more of an all around tool, like the Shriek or Aztar. Straight shaft is nice for plunging on steep snow, and makes hammering pin easier.

 

The Viper and Fusion are both pretty specific to vertical waterfall ice, so if that's what you want to do and you can afford them, go for it. But check the price...a pair of Fusions is almost twice as much as a pair of Shrieks...plush being a 'leashless tool" I wouldn't call it either a begginer tool, or an alpine tool. In fact, they got pretty mediocre reviews on straight water ice also, best suited for overhanging rock.

 

I own a pair of Vipers and can say that i like them alot for Waterfall climbing. I'd use them in the alpine in a pinch, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

 

If you want the ultamite all arounders, that will always outperform you on everything....just get a pair of Cobras and call it good. They have good grips for big handed guys as well. bigdrink.gif

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if the hammer and adze suck, and they are too light to place with one hit,what's good about them?

 

they are light and cheap...like I said. They place fine with a little bit of technique. My wife likes them because she can swing them with better precision and gets less pumped (yeah, she has wimpy arms...like me). I like them for alpine stuff because they don't add much to the pack weight and do their job just fine. Maybe if you were doing some burly mixed alpine route, placing pins on every picth and doing 20 rappels off bollards...then they might not be the right tool.

 

plus the grips are way more ergonomic the the Shriek...which i like....and yes I owned Shrieks for a while....Willstrickland has them now.

 

I'm not one of those people who whines about the ice being too brittle or hard to get good sticks...

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I think Shrikes are a great alpine ice tool for the beginner. They aren't great, but the price is right. I'd get a straight hammer and a bent shaft adze. The hammer is useful for placing pickets and pitons. The adze for chopping belay platforms and clearing surface crud when placing screws.

 

Then, if you want to graduate to frozen waterfalls, you can pick up a curved shaft tool, like the Viper or Rage, to use with the bent shaft Shrike and you are ready to start. If you find you really dig waterfalls, you can buy a fourth tool with curved shaft. Now you have an alpine set and a frozen waterfall set.

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don't waste your money on beginner's tools. Get something good the first time around so you don't end up with a bunch of tools and like the tools on this board bwahaha

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don't waste your money on beginner's tools. Get something good the first time around so you don't end up with a bunch of tools and like the tools on this board bwahaha

 

Straight up. It doesn't take that long to get "good" at ice if you're already a decent rock climber. There's no point getting lame ice tools now only to want better ones after a season or two. For straight waterfall ice get the CM Quarks or the BD Vipers. If your going to be doing some alpinism look at the BD Cobras or Rages. Rages, I think, are the best all around tool on the market.

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and yes I owned Shrikes for a while....Willstrickland has them now.

 

Correction. I had them, used them for 3 seasons, and recently sold them. Suckbm now has them. They are/were good tools, particularly if you need one set of tools that will do just about anything. They were both bent shaft and I never felt that to be a hinderance when plunging. Also, the price is right.

 

I now have Quarks (it was a toss up bewteen the Q's and Vipers, I lucked into a deal on some used ones, thanks LooseBrie!) and will at some point relatively soon need to add a set of alpine oriented tools, as I used the Shrikes for everything.

 

If I were looking for one "do it all" set for beginner or otherwise my first choice would be CM Aztars (for the grip, and to have some pick compatability with my Qs...even though I think the geometry at the adze sucks for gripping while plunging) I'd look at bent shaft tools with a the bend at the top such as:

 

BD Cobras

BD Rages

Grivel Alp Wings

CM Aztar

 

I don't think you will be disappointed in any of those, just find the one that swings right for you and fits your hand best. I would have bought Cobras as my one and only set of tools for everything a long time ago if the grip wasn't so damn fat and shitty.

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I would buy used (and therefore cheap) tools if you've never climbed ice before. _Any_ tool will be just fine and take you all the way through WI4 or so, which will take you about a year to feel comfy leading if you're ambitious. If you get the addiction, maybe then drop $500 on a pair of nice tools which will give you a marginal performance benefit. No sense spending that when you can get something that will perform just as well for the first year or so for $50-100 a pair...

 

Hype hype hype

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I would buy used (and therefore cheap) tools if you've never climbed ice before. _Any_ tool will be just fine and take you all the way through WI4 or so, which will take you about a year to feel comfy leading if you're ambitious. If you get the addiction, maybe then drop $500 on a pair of nice tools which will give you a marginal performance benefit. No sense spending that when you can get something that will perform just as well for the first year or so for $50-100 a pair...

 

Hype hype hype

 

Then you just spent $600 instead of $500. That don't make no sense. Like you're gunna go once and say "this shits lame," I'm going back to the gym. If you're really just curious, borrow gear for a day or two.

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No, you've only spent $100 with the prospect of spending $500 in the future. Should you decide to continue (and it's not for everyone!!) you've spent $600 on TWO pairs of ice tools. Assuming you did get addicted enough to drop 500 bones on tools, you're probably going to be raving about it a lot to your friends, to whom you will be able to easily sell your old tools too. Also never hurts to have a backup for when your nice tools get stolen or you have a newbie in the group. Just my opinion, feel free to blindly invest $500 in something you've never tried. I agree borrowing is a good idea, especially if you're going to spend the big bucks but you'll climb better on your own tools, however crappy they may be.

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As of a couple months ago the BD retail store had demo Vipers for $99/ea. Cheap and good tools. Give 'em a call.

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This is great feedback everyone. I appreciate it. What I will most likely end up doing is trying a couple tools out (maybe borrow one or two) and then make a decision. I don't see myself doing any water ice in the near future. Just moderate 2 or 3 pitch ice climbs. I like the idea of starting something lower end that allows me to figure out my likes and dislikes, and then throw down the big money next season after a couple of pay raises. ; - )

 

Chris

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Alpine Climber-

 

The Plan

 

Patiently hold off on purchasing tools till November 21-23.

 

Sign up for the Bozeman Ice Festival.

Ice Fest

 

An excellent opportunity to test drive all tools by the major players (Black Diamond, Charlet Moser, Grivel, Climb High)

 

Climb excellent ice

 

At night swill away bigdrink.gif while watchin' slide-shows and hang with the pros (Barry Blanchard, Doug Chabot, Kitty Calhoun, Kim Csizmazia,Will Gadd, Stevie Haston, Steve House,Joe Josephson, Jack Roberts, Jay Smith,Jack Tackle, Mark Twight, Mark Wilford, etc.)

 

Leave the Fest supercharged on the up-coming ice season

 

Purchase the tools you were most stoked on.

 

Now you have December through April to hack away.

 

Go to the Canadian Rockies!

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I'm not one of those people who whines about the ice being too brittle or hard to get good sticks...

 

yelrotflmao.gifhahaha.gif

 

Lembone,

I will be the first one to CRY!!!! it gets me in line

I wish I could be bad ass like you boxing_smiley.gif

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The Boozeman Ice festival sucks...why the hell would you wan't to go to Hyalite on the most crowded day of the year? Not to mention, they try to hold the ice festival every year in November on climbs (Genisi and Sceptor) that don't form up well until at least mid december, then everyone hacks away on TR and knocks everything down. What a joke.

 

Fuck the name droppers, those with names and photos in the mags...buy some cheap tools and go find some solitude and epic in the mountains.

 

Ice festivals make me wanna puke. But if you had to go to one, go to the one in Cody.

 

By the way, if you don't like my attitude, don't go to Mt. the_finger.gif

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Well ... locals need the business. And if Capt. Caveman's going to be in attendance, that's a whole other story.

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