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New Nomic?


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Well not quite ;-)




One of the new features Petzl has incorporated into the newest Nomic and other tools coming out the fall of 2010 is a way to add an umbilical attachment leash without it being under your hand while climbing.


Basically what they did is drill a hole through the aluminum section the protrudes into the pommel and then mill some of the Delrin pommel away to fit sling material down both sides and out the pommel. What Petzl showed at the OR show was some pretty thin cord (2mm or something like it). Not enough for my liking, thanks. So I did the same with a thicker diameter cord that would take something more than body weight. I have been using 4mm cord that tests at 900#


Easy mod to do to the old Nomic with a hand drill and a file if need be. I used a hand drill and a mill. Much cleaner answer than what I have been using.


Original attachment



Cut Pommel



Additional 5mm hole drilled.



both sides are then counter sunk



new cord



New cord slotted in the pommel





"New" Nomic :)






After looking at this more closely I find it hard to believe that the new Nomic pommels with a "spike" won't retro fit the old tools.


While looking at the new tools (all prototypes) and taking them apart at the OR show my guess was the old Nomics will take both the new picks and the new Pommel. Although Petzl says no on both, my Nomic pick/hammer fit their newest Nomic (I actually fit it to their tool)...but like I said they were prototypes at the OR show. Be fun to see if what I suspect is really the case when they are available.


Either way I think the newest leash attachment is a good improvement on the tools...and worth doing on the older ones if you are so inclined. It isn't much work and I don't see a down side.

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Good information as always.


"Although Petzl says no on both"


Of course they would say that, they want you to buy the new tools! ;)


In a similar vein, Stephen Koch responded to a question on Backcountry.com about putting a Quark Griprest on to an Aztar and claimed it couldn't be done, and well, we both know (thanks to you) how that one turned out. :D

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For those that asked. New Nomic picks will fit the old Nomic heads with a spacer...a simple washer will work there for a spacer.


From the prototypes shown at OR this winter the Petzl hammer and adze will not work without cutting up your old head. They were prototypes but I suspect very close to what we will see as production.


Hopefully these pictures will be more succinct on the newest head profiles. And why the Petzl hammer/adze will not fit the older tools. The incut into the head is to further support the hammer and adze in use. I used a similar technique to support the CT Nomic hammer without cutting the aluminum tool head and got a lower profile and better balance as advantages.


Newest head profile on all the tools..this is an Ergo. Check out the milled slot in the aluminum head and the half thickness back of pick for hammer or adze interface and spacer washer.



Petzl's add on hammer 58g (Petzl pick weights are 65g per tool)



Close up of CT and Petzl interface



CT's add on hammer 34g




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Hi Dane,

I love the stuff you're doing with the ice tool mods. The one thing I would criticize concerning your nomic hammer mod vs. the new nomic hammer is the strike angle. The CT hammer is exactly perpendicular to the shaft near the head, which would make the strike angle strange. That may be necessary due to the hammer being flat against the head, probably to reduce changes in swing due to the extra hammer weight.


The Petzl hammer, however, is at an angle closer to the shaft at the handle. I suspect that will make it strike flatter. The obvious cost for doing so is bringing the hammer further out from the head, changing the swing of the nomic.


Food for thought.

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In a similar vein, Stephen Koch responded to a question on Backcountry.com about putting a Quark Griprest on to an Aztar and claimed it couldn't be done, and well, we both know (thanks to you) how that one turned out. :D


Pics ? Did I miss that thread ? :)


I do remember the thread about how it might be done .. just didn't see the gory details & results.

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Shoo, good observation, right up till you actually use a hammer on a Nomic.


Here is why. The radically curved tools are difficult to use a hammer (any hammer) on effectively. Add a second grip to the shaft and it is even more so.


Easiest way to get an effective hammer is to extend the hammer head away from the shaft. You can make it an even more effective hammer if you add some angle to the hammer to reverse the curved shaft influence.


Last winter we made and used prototypes addressing both distance from the shaft and hammer face angle. I found the Petzl design (our original designs) lacking.


Most that use a Nomic will agree its advantages and how well they climb are in part its balance and light weight. I think adding a hammer (any hammer) to a Nomic defeats part of that design advantage.


The Nomic will never be a good hammer, the curved shaft and dbl grip precludes using one efectively as a hammer. But a Nomic will pound an occasional pin.


Once you decide that you need/want your Nomic to pound pins you have two choices, my CT hammer or with some mods or by buying a new tool that will take the new Petzl hammer. Same basic design for the interface. Petzl choose to try to maximise their hammer for hammering all the while with three different tools in mind. 3 tools means they compromised some where. In this case it was on the hammer. I think they failed to maximise the hammer design for the Nomic and Ergo. The Petzl hammer is too heavy @ 58g and because that weight is so far behind the head the balance is changed too much. The angle of the hammer face at that point isn't going to matter much in use. If you use a Nomic now it will help to to visualise the effect of pick weights @ 65g a pair.


My guess is the new hammer (option only on all the new tools) will most often be used on the Quark and even there it isn't going to have the best balance as the weight is still too far back on the Quark head (actually a Nomic head on the new tools) but the less curved shaft and lack of a second grip will make the hammer easier and more effective to use.


The CT hammer weights in at 34g and is as close as we can get it to the shaft head which is required to minimise the balance change...which even the CT hammer does change. But the CT hammer pounds pins fine. No complaints from the end users to date. Not a big wall hammer by any means but for the occasional pin in the alpine or on mixed it works well.


The best combo answer for the hammer addition to the Nomic is to try and match pick weights to the over all head weight. A CT hammer with no pick weights works well paired with a Nomic with pick weights on pure ice. For mixed or alpine ice I use a CT Nomic hammer and no pick weights mated to a Nomic with no pick weights.


Pick weights put the swing weight in front of the shaft..adding anything behind the hammer changes the swing weight for the worse. The less weight you add to the back of the tool head and the closer you keep it to the tool head/shaft the better the tool balances for climbing.


Since we have to make a choice in this case I'd rather have a ice tool that climbs well than a more effective hammer.


If required to hammer a lot of pins my first choice would be to bring a real hammer. I will then climb faster/better because my tools are more effective. Un-modified Nomics (with no one's hammer) on mixed and ice and a good pin hammer to more quickly place pins effectively. At that point the extra weight of a third tool is well worth the effort.


Nothing is free in this game.




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What Petzl showed at the OR show was some pretty thin cord (2mm or something like it). Not enough for my liking, thanks. So I did the same with a thicker diameter cord that would take something more than body weight. I have been using 4mm cord that tests at 900#


If you can fit it - I'd recommend something bigger than 4mm cord. Buddy recently took a wipper and his 4mm cord snapped, sending the little attachment biner flying into his hand, breaking his index finger pretty badly. Freak accident - but the moral is the 4mm cord is not strong enough to take a hard fall on static tethers.

Edited by pdk
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They were BD tethers - likely a prototype version. In this case, it sounds like the tool would have held his fall if the cord had not failed - but I see your point.


I should have added the other moral of the story that we talked about - attaching anything sharp to you body that has the potential for bouncing around in a fall is a recipe for getting hurt. Unavoidable in some circumstances, avoidable in others (I see lots of photos of people on here using tethers on single pitch climbs - why?)



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Been selling both Petzl hammers/ and pick mods and BD picks most of the winter. All it takes to get them on the way is an email and pay pal :)


4mm is rated to 900#. I took a full length fall onto my BD tethers this winter. My first. By full length I mean tool below chest level and that tool catching me at full extension on the other umbilical. As close as I want to get to a 6 or 7 foot, factor 1 fall. I am no fly weight so the load was pretty high I suspect.


Not a tether yet made that will hold a true factor 1 Fall let alone a 2.

But people have already been asking for them. You'll want to rely on good gear and a rated climbing rope for that with a 8 or 9' fall possible on umbilicals/tethers.


Mine you the other tool was placed higher and ripped through the slush causing the fall. The tool that caught me also ripped through a good 12" or more of bad ice before finally catching the fall. Ripping through the ice worked as a natural "screamer" absorbing energy and the fall did "blow" the 4mm enough to easily see it needed to be changed out. But no core showing yet :)


From an earlier BD email exchange this winter when I asked about the issue of the small BD biner (worried about the sharp edged proto types that I was using. The new Production stuff has much better and rounded edges) on 4 and 5mm cord laced to Nomics with a BD Spinner umbilical.


Black Diamond said:

"Just tested this to 800lbs (single leg). No damage to the 4mm cord or our steel clip (production quality with more tumbling to the part); the bungee webbing breaks first. Then pull tested our steel biner clipped to 5mm cord, this went to 1600lbs before the cord broke."


Not like I want to use 4mm! I would also make sure to use a knot like a dbl Fisherman's in drop form instead of an Over Hand which is typical and much weaker (30% less or more?) in this application. And something like half of the original tensile strength of the rope! Easy bet the cord broke at the knot no matter what knot he was using. But worth hedging your bets here for several reasons. But 4mm seems a good compromise for size (getting it under the pommel or in your hand) and strength. Hanging on a tool is not a dynamic load. Fall far enough and require static cord and webbing to take the dynamic impact load and you'll blow through 5mm or the webbing easily.


I'd take PDK's warning seriously. John (bird boy) Frieh and I are poor examples to emulate on ice. Good climbers don't fall on ice.


Now back to buying Cold Thistle tool parts...what do ya need :)


More on the dbl fisherman's knot and knot strength.






More on fall factors



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...Easiest way to get an effective hammer is to extend the hammer head away from the shaft. You can make it an even more effective hammer if you add some angle to the hammer to reverse the curved shaft influence...

Ha, engineering mind speaking! Yes, 100% correct according to my experience.


I have pounded KB/bugaboos with both regular Quark and Nomic with Cold Thistle (CT) hammer while actually climbing. Offsetting hammering surface away from the shaft would definitely improve the action, and the reverse angle (where the top of the hammer stands farther from the shaft than the bottom) might improve it a tiny bit more. But, interestingly, to me the overall balance of various considerations is quite complex:

- weight distribution and tool balance

- total weight

- cost

- skill and physical conditioning

- actual location of the action (standing on 2 facing the pin vs. hanging and nailing sideways, etc.)

- etc.

After having actually done the action with one arm while hanging on with the other, I ultimately prefer CT design/mod. The biggest problem for me was missing and hitting the pin with the shaft, which I did. Now I am quite certain the new Nomic, heck, any hi-perf ice tool, would not be noticeably more effective in a tight corner while using a single arm. In fact, what would actually be most effective is a short handled, heavy headed hammer which no ice tool will ever be.


The predominant majority of requirements for pounding a pin with a curved tool fall into skill-strength and situation categories. So, after evaluating new Nomic release info I will [much rather] stay with what I have. This will give me a better weight/swing balance, and my old bones the advantage of lighter weight, and allow for further fine-tuning of my setup according to my personal usage and liking. And protecting the shaft? I just made an extra wrap of grip tape at the top of the shaft, done deal! The "rather" also comes from the fact that I actually have not experienced any disadvantage to the old hand/pommel/end piece, heck, even advantage - he-he, see Petzl go into glove business soon :grin: I am actually going to claim that Nomic (or Fusion) and a shaft spike are mutually exclusive.


What I do want is the T-rated pick, so I guess, and really-really hope that CT better get ready for more mod work. Now that I started venturing into alpine more I can just see how limited a life of a pick is and am going to even stock up on a few modified ones.


Again, thank you so much, Dane for picking up the slack, truly appreciate it! As much as I might like Petzl and others, their bottom-line goals are just the opposite of those of mine :)

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