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Josh Lewis

Ice Tools Wanted

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i climb with an old school, straight shafted chouinard tool from 1987 in my left hand and a grivel alp wing in my right. the chouinard tool sucks for steep climbing, yeah, but i cant justify to myself the expense of cutting edge ice tools. for just about any climb WI 3 and lower i hardly notice a loss in performance and am happy with my mismatched tools. i think for josh and mark who are just starting to ice climb straight shafted tools(cheaper) would be a good choice. yeah, modern tools make climbing ice easier. but if you open up a copy of chouinards "climbing ice" and look at pictures of people sending hard with a single 70 cm wooden handled ice axe, don't you feel like a cherry picker?

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I sure don't feel like a cherry picker recommending current tools.

 

I think anyone who wants to get into technical ice would be better served by buying and using newer technology and doing so on a LEASHLESS specific tool. Yes, the price will initially be more. But then you won't be selling them as quickly either.

 

Technical ice starts at WI3 and gets harder. If you don't want to climb 3 or better I wouldn't bother with modern tools. If you can climb 5.10 rock, Grade 6 ice is not a huge reach given some time and the most modern tools and gear.

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None taken, no worries! I know not everyone agrees with my thought process and rightfully so. I remember just how hard money was to come by for gear when I started. Just trying to offer what I think is good advice on how to spend your money wisely if you are just starting.

 

I bought a $25 REI axe my first season and sold it 6 months later for $15 and bought a $35 70 cm bamboo Chouinard. You couldn't climb ice with the first axe but it was great for self arrest!

Believe it or not that seemed like a huge amount of money as a 17 year old kid. So that new Chouinard Piolet actually cost me $45...or half a months rent BITD! I didn't have anyone telling me just save another $10 and buy the Chouinard :)

 

I used that same axe (and still have it) for years. Seems like it was a good investment. (as a usable climbing tool now and the fact they sell on Ebay for $300+ today) I think tools like a Nomic or Cobra will stand the test of time as well *if your goal is climbing technical ice*.

 

 

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That's a screamin' deal on the Awax. I have been singing the praises of this tool for 3 years now. It's super light, so it requires a sharp wrist flick; definitely not going to feel right if you learned to climb with something heavy from BD or old Rambos. Yet the tip of the pick is very small so even as light as they are, they penetrate better than the other lightweights out there (Aztar, Simond Anaconda Cup Light). They are noticeably less fatiguing to swing on long steep pitches. The grip is small and well suited to, well, people with small hands. I wrapped mine with a bit of foamy tape for insulation, as there is exposed metal there. The cuff-style, detachable leashes that go with those tools are pretty nifty: you're climbing leashless until you hook them on a hook on the shaft e.g. while hanging to put a screw in. Definitely different from every other leash system out there. Only downside to this sale price is it appears to be only on the adze model. And did I mention they are LIGHT?

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I emailed Camp USA about the Awax not too long ago, and here is what they said -

 

As a result of merging the CAMP and Cassin companies, the Awax tools will be discontinued in February. We will certainly be keeping a good stock of replacement picks for all the Awax users out there. The Cassin tools will be available in March.

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Josh- get some nice tools. They don't have to be great, but they have to be decent. I love my Aztars, I could probably sell them for much more than I bought them for and make some money, but NO WAY. They are too nice for that. Trust me- when you are pumped to the point that you can't even hold on to a tool halfway up a pitch because you went for a price over value, what then?

 

I don't see why you are interested in steep snow. It's like ice, only a lot easier and not as easily protected.

 

Some of those deals posted (like the Camp Awax) are nice.

 

-Mark

Edited by rocketparrotlet

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Only downside to this sale price is it appears to be only on the adze model.

 

The hammer or adze is part of the pick, so just buy hammers for spares :)

 

I got some Awaxes on closeout this summer, love 'em.

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If you can climb 5.10 rock, Grade 6 ice is not a huge reach given some time and the most modern tools and gear.

 

ummmmm... maybe its my straight shaft leashed tools holding me back then ;) I have only managed to lead WI5 so far and I can lead 5.12+ and onsight 5.12- trad ...

 

I think it also has to do with headspace, as WI6 (on the coast) always seem to involve very sparse pro, possible big air time and scary hooking on shit ice....

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you onsight 12- trad?!?!?

 

well, my day is ruined. I can't even onsight my stairs.

 

Can you send the stairs free yet, or are you still using an aid placement for every 2nd move?

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ummmmm... maybe its my straight shaft leashed tools holding me back then ;) I have only managed to lead WI5 so far and I can lead 5.12+ and onsight 5.12- trad ...

 

I think it also has to do with headspace, as WI6 (on the coast) always seem to involve very sparse pro, possible big air time and scary hooking on shit ice....

 

Yep that would be my guess..straight shafts and leashes are ripping you, Marc. And you know I am not kidding. The rest is easy. It's the one arm pull ups that are tough to come by.

 

Is there really any reliable WI6 on the Coast?

Think you've been busted on that one already by Trainwreck :)

 

We should get away to the Rockies where I could sic your skinny, finger crimping, one arm pull up ass on some WI6 so I could have a nice, sane, safe and weenie TR :) And you can meet Trainwreck.

 

I'll even lend you my twins, tools and screws for the trip!

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Well there is nothing reliable on the coast, thats why we have super technical but short climbs a lot of the time it seems. The collumns are 20 meters but you can dig holes through it without finding a real stick or any pro, thats the story a lot of the time. I definitely want to go to the rockies and try some of their steep but 'good-ice' lines for sure. But right now I have 3 dollars to my name and the rockes are kinda far away... :rolleyes:

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you onsight 12- trad?!?!?

 

well, my day is ruined. I can't even onsight my stairs.

 

Can you send the stairs free yet, or are you still using an aid placement for every 2nd move?

 

yeah, the damn crutches are still getting in the way of the send.

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wow, that is a deal. josh, you should jump on this.

 

EDIT: Crap, they're $100 each. I don't have $200. Worth it or no?

 

-Mark

Edited by rocketparrotlet

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e-mail, state your age and climbing interest/experience and tell him you've got $100--? (whatever you have). Ask if there are any chores or something you could do--hell, that you'll spend a day chopping firewood or help remove some asbestos from their garage--whatever.

 

that is if you want them. nothing to lose. fair 'mount to gain.

 

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I almost fell for this myself, Mark calls me and tells me to jump on this deal, but then as he was talking to me I caught the each details which turned me down, but if it was for the pair, heck yeah I would get it!

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