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kmehrtens

Second Ice Axe/Tool?

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I have recently returned from climbing Mt Hood in June (7th). It seemed that the last part of the Old Chute route before the summit ridge we could have used a second ice axe or tool in addition to our normal 60cm ice axes. Does anyone have an opinion on this? (Foolish question) What would make a good second tool for future climbs?

 

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I have a short (50cm) CAMP Corsa Nano-Tech I use as a second tool; or alone as super light axe for short approaches or skiing, works well. Weighs about 8oz. Has a steel tip on the pick for ice, but being as light as it is I wouldn't want to use for any sustained ice stuff. Excellent 2nd tool for snow/snice.

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I use a grivel alp monster. It's heavy but until recently was the only non-modified tool in the market that was short, had a hammer and would swing like an ice tool if needed. Other than the weight it's a pretty good little tool.

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If things are getting more technical than you were espectin, a hammer will be a lot more useful than another adze..

 

I haven't bought one yet, but I intend to this fall. Also comes in longer shaft lengths.. http://www.petzl.com/us/outdoor/verticality/ice-axes/technical-mountaineering-ice-axes/sum-tec-43

 

BTW - Old Chute definitely doesn't require a second tool.. You can take whatever you want, but I chuckle a little when I see guys coming up a 40* couloir swinging two technical tools in piolet-traction.

Edited by Ben B.

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ill second that corsa nanotech.

 

ive used two axes in the (top 40' of) old chute in high dagger position, probably could have gone without the 2nd, then again ive also done it with ski poles...

Edited by christophbenells

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Not a foolish question. It depends on your comfort level and conditions. I've got a BD Venom hammer that works well on snow and short ice sections, and have used a picket for downclimbing steep firm snow. I've been considering a Petzl Sum'tec hammer which is 4 oz. lighter than my Venom.

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I have been looking at the Black Diamond Venom tools in a 50cm length. That seems to be the "right" length for a 2nd tool. Is the only reason to change from the Black Diamond to the Petzl only weight? When you say comfort level, what do you mean?

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The Petzl Aztarex and BD Venom both make nice 2nd tools. The former has a more curved shaft - better for high gripping. The latter's shaft is straighter - better for plunging. The lighter toy axes don't climb anything icy for shit - and that's when you feel the need for a second tool, no?

 

If you feel the need for a second tool, take one. You and only you determine the trajectory of your training and comfort level. After a while, the second tool may stay at home more often, but that's your call and no one else's.

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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By comfort level, I mean how comfortable you feel moving on the terrain given the factors of angle, exposure, snow conditions, and experience. As far as the tools go, I'm always looking for ways to save weight (being an old fart) while maintaining performance in my gear. Don't get me wrong, I love my Venoms for alpine climbing.IMG_08582.JPG

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Really depends on the route. Often I just take both bd reactors if I am doing something kind of technical. For big mountain slogs to technical routes I use a longer (70 cm- I'm tall) ice ax paired with a reactor. There are definitely better options out there, this is just what I've become comfortable with. I used to have some convertible ice axes from Camp that had a retractable pinky rest. Then I lost one soloing Baring and just sold the other and bought something else. Camp does seem to be on the cutting edge of light mountaineering axes.

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The corsa nano-tech is definitely a good option, b/c it's light. I like the Petzl Sum'Tec b/c it has a bit more of a bend to it, and it's a bit more sturdy that the nano-tech.

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You have to think about where you'll most likely end up in the near future, and then think about the distant future. An axe/tool can and will last you a while if you aren't destroying it every other day. Buy something that will grow with you.

 

I ran the venoms for a while, and they were great. As my routes grew more difficult - sections of moderate ice tossed in - I outgrew them. Snow/snice were a dream, but they don't swing well for hard water ice, and you pump out fast without leashes. If you plan to advance your game (as most of us do) keep that in mind.

 

I found the Grivel Matrix Lights to fit my bill - short and light for a T-rated axe that swings really well / sticks in ice like a champ. I modified a couple - climb WI3 with zero issue leashless - beyond that you'd probably need more aggressive tools unless it was a short section...gets pumpy more quickly due to the angle of the grip on steeper stuff.

 

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1066886/Grivel_Matrix_Lights_Maximum_V#Post1066886

 

 

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