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justplanecrazy

Best tools for the upcoming season...

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What's everyones favorites and why? I'm leaning towards the standard Quarks or Vipers. They'll be used for WI5 and beginner mixed. Anyone selling some tools in really good shape, let me know.

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For beginners I wouldn't recommend the Quark. They are the best if you are a confident climber, but if your strike if just a few degrees off they seem to deflect off the ice. I haven't had the chance to try the vipers so I can't comment on them. I found the BD shrike to be the best all purpose tool I have used. They are not very aggressive but great for beginners and mixed

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If your leading WI5 and starting mixed skip the quarks and vipers go leashless. Get reactors, ergos, nomics, something along that line.

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Not exactly a beginner, like I said it'll be WI5 and beginning mixed. I want an advanced tool for ice that'll work with mixed also. I'm still too scared to do the leashless thing. I would have dropped my tools a ton, especially with frozen hands after a day on a long multi pitch. I wanted to go with something that was borderline leashless, like quarks with the finger guard at the bottom and then consider it if I started feeling more confident about not dropping them.

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My measly two cents worth is...go to an ice fest (one with real ice; no disrespect to John) and try out a bunch of tools, or when the ice comes in, start going out with a group of people and ask to do a pitch or two with as many different ice tools as you can get your hands on.

 

Or, just wait until you find a good deal, and learn the style of swing the tool demands afterward. I have a set of Quarks, and they're great...but they don't swing naturally for me; I'm still learning how to use them most efficiently. I seem to have to hook down at the end of the swing. Maybe something, such as the Viper with a bit less of a curve, doesn't dictate this.

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I plan on going to one before I fork out the dough. I just thought I'd get some beta from guys that have used them for a whole season rather then take a few swings with each one and an hour later take a guess at what will work best.

 

I'm kind of surprised, I thought there'd be some strong opinions out there.

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I'd go with quarks and run em' leashless. All the various "ergo" style mixed tools are great for mixed but suck on pure challenging ice. Also you can almost count the total number of all the bolted mixed routes here in the cascades on your fingers thus it would be wiser to buy a "swinger". M12 has even been climbed with "swingers".

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Oh, ok, since you're looking for strong opinions...

 

I've climbed on Quarks for the last year or more. Like them, but had some good beta given to me by Marcus today on dropping the elbow with the wrist flick. It's not much of a realistic surface, but I keep a chunk of 2x8 screwed above my garage door to swing into as practice. As soon as I started dropping the elbow today, it made a difference (especially with my left arm that's not quite as good at swinging as my right).

 

I hear rave reviews about Grivel picks (they seem to be stickier than the Petzl picks that I use), but that's only with a morning of screwing around with them.

 

The best bang for the buck right now, seems to be either Vipers or Quarks. Both can be used leashed or leashless. I like the idea of the CF Cobras, but my smallish hands don't work real well with the larger grip.

 

-Chad

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