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Dane

Ice tool mods?

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I've been trying to get a pinky rest on my venoms for awhile, and have come up with something that works pretty well.

 

It's a CNC'd pinky rest that slides up the handle and stays above the bend, when you want to plunge rather than swing. It's quick and easy to switch between plunging and swinging, and it's decently comfortable.

 

I think this would work well on any axe with a uniformly sized shaft.

 

 

PC150508.JPG

 

PC150507.JPG

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abo.sized.jpg

 

Here is a better picture of the Quark shaft without the add on grip support.

 

The left side of the silicon grip on the bottom section in red is a paper thin section of rubber that is left after you trim the grip to fit the grip support.

 

You can also see the hole that the screw makes when it goes through the thin section of rubber grip that was trimmed. Only the steel "spur" going out farther left actually blocks the screw. Easy to see now where the screw is and where the grip inserts snap into the hole in the spike.

 

For you guys wanting to add the grip support to a Axtar I would suggest adding the factory part instead of a Grivel slider. You'll get a better balanced swing on the shaft and better support for your hand than a Slider will offer.

 

Any one that is local and willing to make the drive to Issaquah I'd be happy to add the Quark grip (your part) to an Axtar for you while you wait and at no charge Or you could send me your tool and the part. Either way I'd like to see just how hard it really is to do for my own knowledge. Send me a PM if you are interested.

 

Couldn't find a Axtar locally today between REI, Feathered Friends or Marmot or I'd more to offer on suggestions.

 

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I've got an Aztarex and am looking to give it a little mod. Dane, what you did with that pair you posted is sick and I'd like to get mine to be very similar. I'm hoping to do one additional mod though. As I am a poor college student (without pro-deals) I'm looking to keep my Aztarexes and not spend money on a WI tool. My thoughts are to machine a bolt hole to attach the Nomic headweights and give my swing a little extra weight for the occasional water ice pitch. I figure this mod won't do the tools them selves any harm, at worst I'll be left with a hole in the pick. Any thoughts?

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Joe, done the same thing to a bunch of Quark picks. Easy to do with a hand drill and a cobalt bit...cobalt 'cuz the picks are harder'n shit.

 

Really helps if you have a Nomic pick to overlay the hole pattern. If you don't have a buddy's Nomic pick you can borrow let me know and I'll trace out the pattern for you and mail it.

 

Buttttt..... I'd wait till you do the other stuff done first. You might find you don't need/want the pick weights...they are heavy and expensive. Aztarex is pleanty heavy in the head already. Heavier than a Nomic. I little file work on the picks will make them climb a lot better on pure ice.

 

If it were me I'd buy new picks instead of weights and cut them up to something like this on the Nomic. The Aztarex is already very close to the same weight without the pick weight. And you'd have a extra set of picks. I'd bet the two Cobalt bits and the head weights would cost you close to what the pair of new picks would.

 

abu.sized.jpg

 

I'm am so jazzed about the production ice stuff we are doing at Coldthistle.com. Hope to have some new pictures on online tonight!

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My picks are new, haven't seen more than 5 days on ice and 10 or so on snow.

 

Mostly, what it comes down to is that, being laid up with my knee surgery, I can't climb an am just trying to find a new way to pass the time. i emailed Petzl about getting the head weights and am waiting to hear back. Also, found a place with cheap Cobalt bits. Thanks for the tips.

 

Another question, I was reading into the UIEE and CE ratings and notices that the Aztarex only has a B rating while the Aztar has a T rating. Any idea why? And does it matter?

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Mtn. Tools in California has the Petzl pick weights and the Grivel sliders.

 

The reason I mentioned spare picks instead of weights is a set of water ice specific picks would offer more options than head weights.

 

Azterex is a very good mixed climbing tool but not so good on water ice. But the only reason for the poor performance is the pick design imo.

 

The T and B rating on tools is the shaft/head attachment strength or just shaft strength.

 

Strength ratings refer to the shaft or shaft/head attachment. B rated 50cm shaft must withstand a load of 2.5 kN. T rated 50 cm shaft of a Technical axe must withstand a load of 3.5 kN.

 

The Aztarex lacks a rivet pin through the shaft that all three of the Petzl T rated tools have. There is also a plastic spacer between the aluminum shaft and the steel head. Aztarex is the only steel head in their technical tools. Everything else is aluminum.

 

 

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Worked on these today for a local hardman. Hardest part was bolting the dang sliders on for matching, as usual. Couple bucks in water proof plumbers tape, a few minutes drilling a 1/2" hole in the end of the shaft for a sling or mini biner umbilical attachment point was all it took. Maybe not the best technical tools for water ice but a great lwt alpine mixed rig if where they have been used to date is any indication. Aztar should be even easier with less work. Use a Grivel Slider on the upper and a Quark grip rest bolted on the bottom. Tape as you deem required.

abk.sized.jpg

 

Are these Aztarex you have been working on?

abk.sized.jpg

 

Mine come with their own grip rest though (pain in the neck to remove and not ergonomically molded). I would like to add a Grivel Trigger (is that straight forward?) and umbilical attachments to them. To make the attachments, my climbing buddy kindly offered to help (Thanks - Chad!) as he has access to a machine shop.

 

If you look at the pic below, where within - the 1" - should we drill? Also, the shafts are currently taped with climbing tape, should I re-tape with a more suitable kind before the Trigger add-on?

 

PC310037.JPG

 

PC310039.jpg

 

Thanks for your input, I just cannot afford another mortgage to buy a new set of tools!

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I'd suggest using the moisture sealing electrical tape/rubber slicing tape, same stuff Petzl uses and sells with the Nomic.

Couple of brands available at Home Depot or Lowe's. 3M and Scotch brand. I like the thicker Scotch brand stuff on my Nomics and the thinner stuff on some of the other axes. All of the tape is cheap, sticky when wet and pretty durable.

 

Trigger? Most manufactures have stopped offering triggers on their tools. No matter how they are adjusted in use they tend to stress/rip finger tendons, made worse yet with cold hands and even more chance of injury. The real advantage isn't the directional or limited additional support of a trigger anyway but of a higher grip to match on and do fewer placements. You'll want a bigger platform than a trigger to do that, something like the Slider that can support your entire hand. What ever you decide to bolt on it will work better to add the tape first.

 

Lots of ways to attach umbilicals this is what I thought the easiest answer. I drilled a hole just big enough to hitch a spectra QD through.

 

aci.sized.jpg

 

acj.sized.jpg

 

The biggest improvement you can make in your own climbing on steep technical ground is ditch the leashes, add a second, higher, grip to match on and use umbilicals.

 

Lots of tools out there. Making a tool into a leashless tool, is a start but sad fact is you really don't have a tool designed to climb with leashless.

 

Not something anyone wants to hear but the best tools designed from the start to climb leashless really do make ice and mixed much, much easier. Hard to make a pommel tool like the Nomic or Fusion at home

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Dave's coldthistle.com Nomic adze

acu.sized.jpg

 

acx.sized.jpg

 

Dane's stock Quark grip

abl.sized.jpg

 

Julian's modified Aztar grip

adg.sized.jpg

 

adf.sized.jpg

 

Doug's chopped Fusion pommel

acr.sized.jpg

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Hi Dane (or anyone else who has done this)

 

I'm currently drilling out a pair of 2010 BD ice picks to add the petzl head weights to them. A couple of questions for those who know more about this than I do

 

1) Is this is a bad idea? Will the act of drilling this out weaken the pick sufficiently either by ruining the temper or just by having holes to risk it breaking at the head weight?

 

2) What size bits did you use to drill the two holes?

 

3) Any general tips for getting this done? I've never drilled steel before. I am planning on using a drill press w/ cobalt bits, oiling it down, clamping the pick to the table, and going very, very slow.

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Go slow and keep the drill bit and pick cool and there won't be a problem.

 

Easiest way to do it is borrow a Petzl pick and use it for a pattern and bit sizes. Bit funky as the BD tools don't have the room that the Petzl tools do for the weights.

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Any reason why most of the photos won't show up in this thread? Im looking for some pictures of drilling the spike on an Aztar to attach a Quark Griprest. I have cut away some of the rubber above the spike, but I want to see how far up the spike I need to drill to leave the spike full strength. Any pictures of this modification would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

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