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DPS

Axars or Black Profit

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Having snapped the tip off of one of my venerable Blackbirds, I am in the market for new ice tools, suitable for both alpine and waterfall routes. I have narrowed the field down to the old Black Profits and the CM Axars. I would like to hear what folks have to say about these tools.

BTW, having read the thread about Black Diamond's alleged price gouging, I find it ironic that they named their tools 'Profits'.

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Actually, they named their tool after the French Climber, Christophe Profit.

Just kidding, its spelled "Prophet", and (as you know smile.gif) thats my vote!

Alex

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Daler,

Thanks for the input. I really can't even consider the Cobras, they are just too expensive. I had a pair of Pulsars back in the day and I didn't even bother bringing a spare pick 'cause I knew there was no way I'd be able to change it in the field. The Axars are $40.00 a piece cheaper than the BP. Is it worth the extra money to get the BP, in your opinion?

Dan

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The Cobras are pricey but if you invest in a great tool to start with they will last you 10 years. Plus all BD picks are compatible but Charlet has just started with a new pick design for the Quark. No plans in the near future to stop making picks for the pulsar or Axar but you never know!!! A year from now you will have long forgotten about the 80 bucks.

Happy shopping

Dale

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Hmmm. A year from now I might have forgotten about the 80 bones, but the VISA folks sure won't have =). I think I just might go with the BP. BTW, did I see your photos of Little Si climbers in Nelson's new guide?

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The three main attributes that you want seem to be: good on pure water ice, good on alpine routes, and inexpensive. If I were you, I would definitely go with BD Shrikes, not BP's. Not only are Shrikes significantly lighter (a big alpine bonus), but they climb almost as well on waterfalls. Not to mention the fact that Shrikes are much less expensive. Even if BP's and Shrikes were the same price, I think that I would get Shrikes because of the weight difference.

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Colin,

Thanks for your input. I had thought of the Shrikes, but assumed the BP were the better tools. (They cost more so they must be better)

Dan

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On that last note, my first wife cost more, but she was definitely not better.

What about the Trangos with the funny handles? Captain Hook? I hear they're a good and not-too-expensive tool.

Just a thought.

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The Cobra is .7 oz. heavier than the Shrike. But remember because of the Carbon fiber all the weight is in the head.

But the others are right. You'll pay a ton for not a huge benefit on pure Waterice.

Dale

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Clothes do not make the man and tools do not make the climber. Don't you have a quiver of tools?

Once again, no tool does it all in my opinion. Last year, I watched my friend plop down $600 for cobras and then I watched him as he followed my leads. Looking down I was envious of the incredible clearance he had over bulges and cauliflower ice. I was very envious no doubt. I swore I would splurge as soon as I could justify it to my wife.

Then I climbed this year with a friend who had the new Quarks. "Oh my god" I thought, "to think I almost bought cobras. Glad I waited!" Finally CM made a tool that wasn't too heavy and not as expensive. Hummmm.....but what about those Shrikes...they look pretty good too and even lighter.

And that guy I saw climing with Cpt. Hook...they looked nice, felt good in my hands in IME...not too bad priced... I should probably ask a few more people...

Ahh, but ALPINE you say. True Alpine? You mean plunge your shaft alpine. What about all these crazy curves and protrusions....I think I'll get those from my wife and keep my straight shaft X-15s and change from stinger to alaska pick easily depending on where I'm going.....

and see what comes out next year! DPP

------------------

 

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The Cobra and the Quark are the same weight.

FYI- The machine that makes the Quark is broken and spare parts and tools won't be ready to go until late spring. That was the last info from Petzl.

dale

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Don't count out the Cobras!! I have old school straight shaft prophets and Cobras and have actually had better luck in the alpine zone with alaska picks on the Cobras. No difference in how well the shaft plunges in snow situations. But as far as Waterice goes the cobra will be far superior.

I climbed a season on the Axars when they first came out and they are a good tool. But if you ever break a pick in the field it will take 10 times as long to change as BD tool. Plus you have to carry tools to tighten or change out Charlet tools. The BD picks you can just use the other tool.

Dale

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Guest

Hard to beat the BP's. I see online prices down to $180 each with picks and leashes.

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Thanks to everyone for your considered opinions. I have decided on Black Diamonds due to the ease of changing out the picks and the superior pick design. Now, my next question: are the old Black Prophets that superior to the Shrikes? I have climbed on the Black Prophets and liked them quite a bit. I have only swung the Shrikes in the store, but was very impressed by their balance and feel. Plus I can buy Shrikes for $109.00, and BP for 166.00. I am on a tight budget as I am trying to fund a trip back to the Alaska Range this spring. (My dad no longer works for Alaska Airlines, so there goes the cheap airfare.)

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I have a pair of the Shrikes and I am very happy with them. They swing well and are fairly light, considerably lighter than the old X-15, which I also have used.

Another other thing to consider on the Shrike is the strength of the shaft. I think that the BP with a carbon fiber shaft is weaker than the Shrike's aluminum shaft when cross loaded, as in use as a deadman to belay off of. Just something to consider...don't quote me on this...just something to consider.

------------------

Have a nice day.

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They both swing about the same. But one thing to consider is you can't change out the hammer or adze on the shrike. And I asume since you want these for Alpine climbing you want an adze. But when it comes to Waterfall climbing you're going to want to get rid of the adze and use two hammers. I would definately get the prophets.

Are you finding Carbon fiber tools online or the old style peanut grips. BD hasn't made either of them for a while now. If you find a pair buy-em quick!!!!

Dale

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It Seems to me that you would want just the opposite. If you were climbing Alpine you can get away with a regular ice axe and a hammer (for pickets). And why two hammers on pure ice? How does one clear off rotten ice with a hammer?

I don't think that modular backs are that big of a deal, but you're going to get it if you go with almost anything other than an x-15 (or knockoff). But as for the B/Ps, are people talking about the old carbon fiber version or the fully randed version? I thought that the fully randed version's shaft was not made of carbon fiber.. true?

Also, as far as fully randed tools go, if you use a leash that attaches to the shaft (twist leash by bd, and many others) the loop will catch mercilessly on the rubber of the shaft. This can be a mild annoyance while climbing in the leashes or a pain in the butt if you want to move you hand to the top of the head while it jams onto the shaft. May be something to think about with those B/Ps.

(and to follow suit)

Just a thought. smile.gif

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I guess it depends on what type of route your on. Sure, an ice axe and alpine hammer is great for alot of moderate routes, but if the route is mostly ice two tools is alot nicer.It takes a long time to chop a bollard or ledge without an adze.

For waterice clearing ice is easy just with the picks. The adze is only a leathal weapon looking you in the eyeball on waterice. It's also nice to be able to pound pins with either hand on steeper routes where you don't have the luxury of standing on a nice ledge and switching hands.

Dale

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I think the point is, that with BPs the point is moot, as you can mix and match to whatever your climbing style.

Dan, if your budget is really that tight, then just buy one tool.

One thing to note, the BP adze is a godsend for just about everything. Makes real nice work of steep snow when topping out on a route and the ice runs out. You cannot say the same for non-modular Black Diamond adzes.

Another thing to note: the "old" x-15s were all made with carbonfiber shafts, bonded rubber or no. I found the Prophets have a better swing than the old and new X-15s, especially with the curved shaft.

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Dan,

Why don't I just sell you my used BD BP with adze for a good price. I'll even include a homemade purple spectra leash with water knot still intact.

I just bought those new Grivels and they won't be leaving my side for awhile. As a matter of fact I sleep with them under my pillow.

I'm afraid the BP just wouldn't get out much anyway so it should go to a good man like yourself.

It's only been drytooled a few times and dropped once rolleyes.gif

Mike

North Bend

[This message has been edited by mikeadam (edited 01-09-2001).]

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Kind of surprised no one on here has mentioned the new BD Rage tools, as they are getting good feedback. I have never used them, but on other boards people are comparing them to the Axar quite favorably.

I'm not half the climber some folks here are, but I never liked the old BD Prophets, the ones with the full rubberized shaft. Beyond what dbb noted, I found the shaft so slippery when wet it was quite annoying.

Daniel, have you checked Euro or Canadian prices? If you'd rather buy US for ethical reasons, I understand, but you can get some great deals going Euro or Canada. Especially if you buy Euro made products (such as CM).

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Snowleopard,

I briefly considered the Rages, but I am really looking for an alpine tool that I can do a few waterfalls with. I have decided to buy from Barrabes, in spain. I know two fellows who have mail ordered from there with good results. The Shrikes are $109. Cash is tight right now, so I am looking to save money where I can. From what I can tell, the superiority of the BP over the Shrike for alpine climbing is debatable.

Dan

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I just got back from Ouray and one of my trip partners was switching back and forth between a pair of Axars and carbon fiber BPs. He seemed to prefer the Axars when climbing heavily picked out routes or routes with several bulges. The clearance helped keep the shaft from bouncing (and same the knuckles). However, on "fresh" routes he seemed to prefer the BPs.

Another fellow had a pair of the Rages and had good things to say. He was using the Android leash system and occasionally unclipped - probably not something you would be using in an alpine situation anyway.

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