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vanisle

Best all-around ice tool????

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I am looking for the best all around ice tool for waterfall ice, long alpince ice, mixed routes.

I am thinking of Grivel Alp Wing, BD viper or rage, petzl aztar?

thanks

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aztar is too short. Alp wing is a smidge longer than all the tools mentioned. So for alpine ice and waterfall ice I would vote for alp wing

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I tried the Aztar and thought it sucked on steep ice because it was too short, but then I'm tall with arms to match. Maybe if you're shorter it wouldn't be as much of a problem.

 

I quite liked the Alp Wings when I used them briefly but the lack of rubber one the handle makes them very hard to hold without a leash. You certainly can't choke up on the shaft etc. Maybe you could fix that with some tool grip paint.

 

Whatever you buy to do all these things is going to be a compromise. It depends a bit how hard the waterfall and mixed climbing your planning to do is. Most alpine tools are going to be just fine on anything upto WI4.

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I used the Alp Wings for a week. They have a rubber grip the light wings do not. For hard waterfall ice I was thinking of getting the Alp wing and putting on the horn and the trigger. for Alpine i would probably take the horn and trigger off.

 

Oh ya how are those grivel easy G leashes??????

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Simond Vautour.

 

Takoon

 

Otherwise rage, then viper.

 

Then alpwings and aztars.

 

Actually you should consider the possibility of climbing leashless. Then the Takoon and Viper win. I strongly prefer the mixte pick on the Takoon. Note: the hand thingy on the Takoon is removable!

 

The Vautour has about the same clearance as a rage or old axar, suits small hands best, has a very comfortable head assembly for canne, and a very good forged pick. Think of it as the modern result of a cross between the old naja and piranha. Negative aspect is that you can't clip the spike, but on a positive note, there is a clip-in point on the pick when holstering the tool.

 

 

GB

Edited by fishstick

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Somehow I knew fishstick was going to work in a reference to the Piranha

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If the emphasis is alpine, then the Carbon Fiber Black Prophet's super nice. The straight shaft keeps it from being the ultimate for WI, though. In that case, the Cobra wins it.

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Sure the Aztar is shorter, but only by 3cm. You can make that up by where you hold your hand. And yes, it is a little bit lighter...good for many conditions, not good for others. I like the Quarks a lot. But I think the question was "Best all-around..." So, I took all kinds of criteria into consideration. Cost as well. For me, steep alpine, some mixed, etc. and at $150 bones (which is how much I paid for mine), I love 'em! rockband.gif

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quarks 100%. damn light, fantastic on ice, and plunge along with the rest of them. hammer pins well too. what can you say? just put some cinch leashes on them for alpine..

 

now for swinging your tools into rock around snoqualmie pass, anything goes.. smile.gif

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I actually took my Quarks to play in the alpine this weekend and was super pleased with them. They'd been looking sooo sad at home with no ice to play in. I was too lazy to refit them for alpine so used the standard leashes etc. Thankfully the route was steep and the neve was all hard.

 

On easier ground with soft snow I'd still want something with a narrower handle for plunging though.

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I find if its soft snow you can plunge the shaft just fine, and in hard snow, you just use the pick under most circumstances.

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Try before you buy is what I say...

 

I'm a total newby. Bought some used Grivel Alp Wings and used them on an ice trip this past February (only the second time I have been on ice). They were okay, certainly better than the CM Pulsars I used the first time I ever climbed ice. My guide had BD Cobras, and I ended up using these most of the time while I was climbing. They swung so much better than the Alp Wings, and I felt like I got better sticks on the Cobras than the Wings. However, my guide remarked that she thought the alp wings would be better than her cobras for alpine. But, my guide much preferred her Cobras over my Alp Wings for water ice.

 

If I had to choose over again, I would have held off on buying until I could have tried out more tools on actual ice. It's worth waiting if you can. I did fall in love with the Cobras after my trip. It would be nice to try Quarks and the BD Viper though.

 

Just some opinions from a total beginner...

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Hi

Just had the same problem like you do now. I tested the Vautour, Alp Wing and Aztar in a shop. I decided for the Simond Vautour because I could hanlde it best. Maybe because of my small hands. The Aztar is too light and the alp wing is too heavy in the head. I felt like falling backwards with the Alp Wing.

 

My boyfriend is using the Quark. It's really good but too expensive and not made for allround. But If you want Petzl than take the Quark. The handleash is best with the Alp Wing. You need to get used to the one from the Vautour but it's all right, too only the hole at the end (sorry, missing english words) is way too small but you can put your rope easily over the head of the Vautour. The hole is too small with the Aztar also.

 

But best would be if you try it in a shop. My boyfriend said the Al Wing copes better for him, but not for me.

 

Hope it helps.

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Aztars shouldn't even be mentioned as all around tools. They do one thing easy ice. Quarks are a much better all around tool. They climb harder ice, climb mix well, and can still do fine in the alpine.

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Aztars shouldn't even be mentioned as all around tools. They do one thing easy ice. Quarks are a much better all around tool. They climb harder ice, climb mix well, and can still do fine in the alpine.

 

I think the Aztars are only inferior when compared with the super tools now available. If Aztars had come out 10 years ago they would have been the shit.

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For one tool in the mountains, gotta be the Co-brah. Does everything decently. Sensitive enough for scratchy mixed, nice balance, carbon fiber dampening. However, beware the dreaded 'cobra pinky' until you get your swing dialed...

Unfortunately, Cobras don't have an effective leashless mod and you don't wanna drill that carbon fiber. So if you're going leashless, consider BDs Vipers, the Taakoon or the Quark: all leashless-capable, yet low-profile enough to be used in the mountains.

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