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dan_e

Black Diamond Android Leashes

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Desciption: Leashes that you can remove in seconds from your ice tools. They feature wrist loops that you don't remove your glove from when placing pro, you simply 'unclip' them from the tool via a spring-loaded clip.

Positive: You could not ask for a faster way to free your hand from the ice tool. Quality stainless steel materials. Versatile placement on tool, allowing almost any range of movement. Wrist loops are comfortable and have a simple tighten system (two rings).

Negatives: People have lost tools while using these (a guy dropped a Cobra at Ouray while using these). Close attention must be paid when clipping back on to the ice tool or it's history.

Summary: I think for technical ice these leashes are great. Supposedly they have been getting good reviews by some pro climbers, but hell what do they know, they are paid to use the stuff (just kidding, sort of) I checked out the construction, played with them on a tool in the store, and then went and tried them out. I can say they were worth the $40 (a piece) cost. I bought mine at Marmot.

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I'll second that. I have one of these too and am very pleased with it, enough to drop another $40 for a second one.

You can also set them up to use your own wrist loop with the steel connector piece if you don't like the BD wrist loop.

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I'll second that. I have one of these too and am very pleased with it, enough to drop another $40 for a second one.

You can also set them up to use your own wrist loop with the steel connector piece if you don't like the BD wrist loop.

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I we are trying to get feedback on leashes I prefer a design like the Grivel Free leash. http://www.grivel.com/products/default.htm

It is a simple no brainer once you get it on (self tightens). It is easy to remove by looping the adze or hammer and pulling. No fanciness. There are other companies that make very similar designed leashes too. I just dont prefer the leashes mentioned above mainly because of price. I paid ~ $20 for mine.

I also have a Charlet Moser leash that I believe is not as simple and user friendly.

I was guilty of not adjusting the small plastic piece near the wrist padding so it would not cut off my circulation at first. Many others miss this little feature and it is key.

-Ray

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I'm suffering through life with CM saf loks. This will change soon though.

The android is the way to go for sure. Most of the Yamnuska guys were using these including Barry Blanchard who I saw using this system on Saturday.

My other buddy Hajime was using one and "raved" about it in his Japanese manner.

Mike http://alpinelite.com

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The one problem I've experienced with the grivel lock down leash is that it has handed-ness. If it's rigged for a right hand, it is outright painful to hang on it with your left hand. The other is that I doubt it would be real useful with an adze tool.

I've been using the BD twist leashed with great success for leading ice. They are super easy to get in and out of to place pro. Their advantage is also to their dissadvantage because I'm always afraid of dropping a tool if I have to let it dangle while using my hands. This is mostly a problem for alpine climbing, which leads me to ask: does anyone use tool leashes anymore?

Though, in the end, it is all moot because we're euro hardmen and don't need those "aid climbing" leashes!

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I often clip into my tools at the belay and use them as part of the anchor system. Is the Android system designed to handle that force and be part of the belay? Full strength leashes are an important safety issue.

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erik, 35$ for both, or each?

As to clipping leashes, I am not sure I would want to with the android, but you dont have to clip the leashes at the belay; you can always clip the spike of the tool.

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Alex is right, better to clip the spike, any good tool has a hole for there for clipping. Even a the more standard designed leashes are not guaranteed to hold more than body weight anyway.

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Black Diamond says you shouldnt use the CFBP's or BP's as your belay or part of your anchor simpily because they arnt very strong. i use the BD lockdown leashs. for alpine climbs they are the best. they combine comfort and the fact that they are lightweight. for pure vertical waterfall ice i wouldn't recommend them because the process of taking them on and off is awkward.

Aidan

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I've been using the BD lockdown leashes for waterfall ice for the last season and a half and I like them a lot. My last leashes were "slider" types and the lock downs are a real improvement. The only draw-back is you need to remember to not place the "free hand" tool too high. I thought they worked only OK with the pointy BD adze, though I switched to double hammers and any issues there went away real quick like.

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Using your tools as part of the belay, as opposed to just clipping them into the belay as an emergency backup in case of some horrible event, isn't recommended. Alex is right though, you should use the hole in the spike not the leash either way.

"Ice : Tools & Technique" by Duane Raleigh (I think or was it the Craig Luebben book?) has some interesting data on this using tests by the author and BD including scary pictures of tools that broke at pretty low loads.

My second Android appeared and I'm off to test it in the NE so I'll let you know how I get on.

Later...

Ade

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I have one BD Android leash. I have used five other types of leashes, two BD types, one DMM (sucked), Grivel, and one charlet moser......

BD Android wins hands free...so to speak.

Easy, quick, but somewhat expensive. It does take some adjustment and is not good for alpine.

Just my view....

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

Have a nice day.

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I use the Grivel Free leashes, and would say they are the best of the sliding to release type of leash. It is easy to hook the leash over the hammer/adze and slide to release your hand. The sliding metal buckles are a big improvement over BDs system which uses nylon over nylon. When the nylon freezes or rimes, it does not slide very easy, if at all. Nothing pisses me off more than fighting this while I am getting pumped before ever even getting to the screw placement. The android leashes are even easier to remove, but you must have thin enough gloves on to easily grip the metal buckle to releash. I watched Will Gadd use this system, and he gets in and out very fast. He swears by those leashes. Of course he is also sponsered by BD. I tried them, and I found them quite easy to use, but worried about dropping a tool. This is probably only because I was not use to that system. I do think that $40 is a bit steep for one leash.

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For those who like the easy sliding Grivel Free leashes: I have 2, used only few times this year, want to sell for $10 each. No defects. Why selling? They slide easy!

To prevent the nylon from freezing I used some magic waterproofing stuff Jim Nelson has - works great(!), but used only in Lillooet 2001.

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"Free" leashes are gone.

I love the BD Lockdown's, waterproof them and they won't ice up. Dale's tip: hook the free-hand tool from the loop on the leash of the other one. Works well on both BD and Grivel. You can either leave the tool hanging from the loop or re-place it.

Android: try using index and middle fingers to unlock, or just index. Adjust the leash accordingly.

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re. clipping tools into a belay. A toughie. On one hand, very few leashes these days are runner-strength, though I believe the Wild Things leashes still are. On the other hand, spikes are not that strong either, and not just Black Diamond's. I hitch a runner around the head of a tool to string it into the belay, so the force, if any, comes onto the strongest part of the tool.

Haven't tried the Android, but last winter I watched a guy using the C-M clip leash system drop a tool, and that was it for me. I like the newer version of the Lockdown, The Twist (though it never seems quite secure enough on really steep ice), and see promise in the BD Robo leash, which I used once this season. My wife has the CM Saf-T-Lok leash on one of her tools. Used a couple times, works OK, but have yet to try in cruddy conditions where icing would be a problem.

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One more thing. I still find it's easier for me to leave my mitt parked in the tool's leash, and place gear barehanded, than it is for me to try to get a mitted/gloved hand out and then into a leash.

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As promised more testing took place... With a pair of Androids... Personally I'm still totally sold on them but here's a list of minor stuff worth knowing:

frown.gif My only gripe is that the clip can catch on things when your hand is free and trying to place gear. This is annoying but minor and can me minimised by bending then end of the clip down to reduce the gap for things to snag in.

frown.gif The clip attached to the side of the shaft also makes it harder to slide into a tool holster or gear loop.

smile.gif Two really is better than one. You can start screws off with your better hand (my left hand isn't dextrous enough to set a screw) and then swap quickly to finish it with the other hand.

smile.gif Dropped tools? Never even came close. Personally I think you're just as likely to drop a tool while trying to get your hand in or out of a traditional leash. I always carry a third tool anyway.

wink.gif They're expensive but in the grand scheme of things not really. After all a pair of Androids will set you back less than two screws. Climb a lot and the cost per day/pitch makes it all seem OK. Mine are currently about a $1.30 a pitch.

If you're like Illimani94 and really take your hand out of a mitt to place gear then these aren't for you. When an Android is on it's not easy to get off. I used to use mitts but switched to gloves when I changed leashes.

Ade

[This message has been edited by Ade (edited 03-27-2001).]

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Here's my finally summary for these leashes (00/01 season)

THEY ROCK!

Serious, the webbing appears to wear quickly since the buckles are all metal. I think they will last one more season though.

I agree with Ade that they do get snagged sometimes when trying to grab screws, ect.

Dropping tools, nah. Again, I agree with Ade, it's possible with any leash.

I would like see the spring tension increased and maybe protect the areas where the webbing enters the buckle.

I will be climbing with these next season for sure!

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Just repeating myself...

Ya know, I usualy rave about Black Diamond equipment. I have never had a piece of BD gear fail on me before, until...I invested in some new Android leashes this year. Some of my friends swear by them, and they seemed great when I first used them.

So I took the leashes up to Baker to try them out and guess what happens. They fall apart! On the first day out!! [Wazzup]

Here is what happend, and those of you who own these leashes should WATCH OUT! The little clevis pin that holds the spring that keeps the thumb latch closed FELL OUT! Yep, it just fell right out for no apparent reason. The pin, spring, and thumb latch droped into the snow. Luckily it happened while I was eating a cliff bar...It took me a half an hour of fussing and frozen fingers to get it put back together temporarily, now it is all bent and tweaked out. mad.gif" border="0

I would hate to be on a serious pitch and have this happen. Imagine being run out at your limit and having one of your leashes instantly disapear! blush.gif" border="0 Personaly I like to have the choice of climbing with or without leashes.

Nonetheless I still think the concept kicks ass! I may try to repair them myself, cause I don't think that getting a new pair from warrenty would help much. I don't see why this would not happen with every Android leash produced.

If you have a pair, BE CAREFULL! Check them out closely and make sure the same thing won't happen to you on your next desperate lead. shocked.gif" border="0

Side note:

The spikes on the BD carbon fiber tools are just glued into place. They will not hold any type of falling force. Don't do it...

Also, unless you clip in directly below your tools you run the risk of bending the picks. For example, my buddy use to clip into his old Rambo's at the belay; once he had them over to the side, leaning his body weight against them caused enough torque to ruin both picks. frown.gif" border="0

[ 11-18-2001: Message edited by: lambone ]

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Clipping into your tools as part of the belay isn't exactly recommended anyway. If you're going to do it then it should always be as a backup to the main belay. They shouldn't be weighted as part of the belay.

Clip into the heads of your tools not the spikes. The spikes are only really designed to hold the weight of the tool or maybe body weight.

Ade

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Seems like most of these replies have said that dropping the tool was not a problem. Well, I must be a geek cause I almost lost my cobras 3 times during a week at ouray. If the hand stays at the bottom of the shaft, then there is no problem. But if you have a tendency to grab the head of the axe, like during low angle ice technique, then the hand pushes down on the clip and releases it unknowingly. Luckily every time I caught it before losing it, once while the tool was falling. Anyway, I love them for hard ice bit wouldn't use it alpine or low angle ice or anywhere where losing the tool would be a disaster. (like multi pitch) For those I throw on the lockdowns which rule.

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