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jonne

Which alpine tool to buy?

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Camp Alpax vs. Petzl Sum'tec vs. Grivel Air Tech Evo

 

Configured as a hammer, low 50 cm length.

 

Opine with your experience, rants, raves, and impromptu wild-animal defense stories!

 

Also, I just realized that I have never posted before. 9 years between account setup and first post has to be a CC.com first!

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this is normally a fruitful discussion.. lots of topics on the '2nd tool'.

 

So the venom will probably be the cheapest. its pretty standard, no frills. Its what I have.

 

I believe the Alpax and the Sum'Tec have t-rated shafts and pinky grips. A friend has the Alpax--it is a bit heavy/has some braun to it, not a bad thing at all. But there is no way it is the lightest of these tools. I like that the pinky grip stows away but the plastic nature/moving mechanism doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. The setup on the Sum'Tec I think is better -- adjustable along the length of the shaft=more versatile. yes?

 

The sum'tec's pics look beautiful, not sure if they perform any diff than whats on the alpax/grivel/venom.

 

I think the grivel rig doesn't let you replace the picks but all the other do. It also is t-rated shaft (i think) and has all them grivel mods as far as leashes and handrests etc.

 

for good measure you should probably get one of each. :) and share them with your partners. and congrats on the first post. thats some serious lurking.

 

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Don't forget the venom...

 

I use a Venom as my primary tool. It's a little heavier than some of the others, but I like the picks (standard or technical), balance in piolet canne, swing, and the rubber grip.

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The new version of the Sum'Tec is sweet. That said you can likely score a good deal on the old version of the Sum'Tec as vendors clear out the old style at discount

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No experience with any of them, but the Sum'Tec is damn sexy.

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The Venom has no pinky/trigger grip, and I want to go leashless/umbilicized.

 

Any thoughts on the Grivel's technical ability since it does not have the reverse pick angle like the other two? Should I worry about my ability to grip the shaft of the Sum'Tec sans rubber grip?

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The Venom has no pinky/trigger grip, and I want to go leashless/umbilicized.

 

I fitted Grivel Easy Sliders to a pair of Venoms (a 57cm axe and a 50cm hammer). It was super simple to do and the end result is very functional as well as clean and professional looking.

Edited by skeletalmachine

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Any thoughts on the Grivel's technical ability since it does not have the reverse pick angle like the other two?

 

depends on the terrain. On some n face gulley about 30 degrees, I had a classic pick and a reverse curve pick tool. The classic pick went in very easy and the reverse curve was a total POS. With my sample size of 1, I would say use a more classic shape for typical summer ventures. SAve the reverse curve for steeper winter pursuits. I wouldn't just assume that the raddest curve is the best.

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if you're looking for a 3rd tool, get the small version of the sumtech, or the Simond Fox Rock

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The Venom has no pinky/trigger grip, and I want to go leashless/umbilicized.

 

I fitted Grivel Easy Sliders to a pair of Venoms (a 57cm axe and a 50cm hammer). It was super simple to do and the end result is very functional as well as clean and professional looking.

 

Did you need to add some sort of stopper to the bottom of the shafts? I've seen people drill and place a bolt. I'm looking to do this and haven't heard of people using the Easy Sliders and would be very interested if one didn't have to drill.

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Did you need to add some sort of stopper to the bottom of the shafts? I've seen people drill and place a bolt.

Yes. Just above the spike I drilled in to the shaft and tapped it to accept two M4 stainless screws. They only stick out enough to retain the slider and do not interfere with plunging at all. I can easily remove the slider if I take out the screws.

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I ended up purchasing the CAMP Alpax. Reasons:

1. it was hugely on sale at BC.com, so cheapness won.

2. If I wanted to buy a matched second tool the Sum'Tec Adze is only reverse curve, no pick swap available either. Referencing GeneSpires, I want to have good snow bite for self arrest and picking on at least one tool. That said I really wish there was one because I agree that the sum'tec hammer had a whole lot of "right" going on.

3. I wanted a bit more shaft curve than the venom. Modding for Grivel sliders would negate any cost difference because the sliders are expensive. Also I'm a bit tired of BD.

4. The lack of reverse curve and non-pointy pick on the Grivel just had me nervous if I need serious bite in blue ice. That said, the slider is the best rest/attachment solution by far.

 

Intial Observations not available on shopping sites:

1. The Alpax's pinky rest is bigger and beefier than it looks.

2. The handgrip slides up and has two lock points via a spring button (like telescoping tent poles have). Maybe an issue in icing?

3. A line drawn from the pick to the spike runs through the pinky grip. Unless it is stowed, it seems this would interfere with low dagger.

4. Sharp teeth all the way to the shaft. No piolet canne without thick gloves.

Edited by jonne

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4. Sharp teeth all the way to the shaft. No piolet canne without thick gloves.

 

One option to deal with that, if you think you are more likely to use piolet canne than use those teeth for hooking etc., is to wrap that section of the axe in athletic tape or something similar.

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