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Josh Lewis

Ice Tool Triggers?

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I am planning on ice climbing next month in South America and was wondering if it is better to have ice tool triggers or not. The previous owner rigged some on (quite well too). However I worry that they might either be more stressful on the index finger or make my hands colder some how. Any thoughts on this?

 

My ice tools look kinda like this:

 

QUARK_panne-marteau.jpg

 

Also I was considering the idea of removing the bottom trigger/rest as seen in the photo above (right above the bottom spike). The reason being is that my bottom triggers require the usage of the entire hole slot area which makes it very difficult to attach axe leashes to them.

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maybe you could drill a small hole through the plastic of the bottom grip to allow you to thread some perlon through and make a loop for your teathers.

 

My quarks have only the bottom grip which I like. No upper grip so no educated opinion on those. But I would think that you would want the upper part of the upper grip and maybe could get rid of the index finger trigger. maybe you should try it out with your climbing gloves and see how it feels before chopping it off. It might be the best thing ever.

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Here is what my ice tools actually look like:

 

P10303251.JPG

 

It only has one set of upper triggers. I suppose it might be possible to drill through the bottom section if I do it just right.

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just my mediocre opinion, but I would get rid of the index finger trigger. seems like the hose clamp would tear up the hand. if it doesn't bother, then I would leave it.

 

you could drill a small 1/4" diameter hole through the plastic bottom trigger but you won't be able to make that loop go through the metal hole. not that you are suggested to do, but anchoring with your tethers since would be on plastic and bolts.

 

Just curious, what kind of ice climbing are you gonna do in S America? maybe a more alpine (no triggers) may be a better option. are we talking winter ice climbing or alpine ice climbing?

and why S America? why not in USA or Canada in our winter? seems like a long way for cragging. maybe none of my business.

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Thanks for the tips. I plan on climbing Alpamayo and possibly a few others like it. In North America we aren't really in the market of 20,000 foot peaks. Denali is too expensive for me right now, so I figured settling for Huascaran Sur and such would be pretty fun.

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You are gonna be climbing more like hard snow than ice and those lower grips totally hide the spike.... shaft penetration is going to be near impossible.

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Thanks for the heads up on that. Than I suppose I should remove both triggers? The bottom triggers come off fairly easy, the upper triggers seem to be wrapped on.

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it looks like that upper grip is just a plastic plastic biner held on with grip tape and a hose clamp. should be easy to take off and put back on.

 

+1 to what Dru said. Never been there myself but seen photos. Maybe someone who has been there can chime in.

 

good luck down there. that looks like a amazing place.

Keep the duct tape off the feet. :)

 

Edited by genepires

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For sure get rid of those triggers. I do like them up the shaft farther where you can use them on steep terrain and grip the shafts when the snow is too hard for plunging.

 

After using the facory index triggers for a short time I noticed my index finger got damn cold when it was seperated like that. Doesn't seem like it would make a difference, but it does. I also agree that those grip-rests should go unless you are doing hard mixed. Plunging the shafts are what you are going to be after.

 

I tend to like one adze head in the alpine as well, but I'm old school.

 

Have fun!

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Id have to know your climbing style before making a strong recommmendation, but here are some criteria:

 

index finger supports (triggers)are like power steering on hard ice. for me they make a huge difference in the effectiveness of my swing on steep hard-or-brittle water ice. if you're not climbing waterfalls, they're less of an advantage

 

if you're on neve - hard snow - soft ice, at moderate angles, your spike has got to be functional for the cane position. most pinky and trigger supports are unacceptably obtrusive. I have seen some streamlined versions that don't interfere so much in the cane position.

 

on steeper neve - hard snow - soft ice, you'll likely be doing a lot of daggering, in which case neither the spike nor any finger support really assists function.

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Those are Petzl Aztars - I have the exact same setup w/o all the weird homemade trigger things on them. They are great for alpine ice as they're quite a bit lighter than other tools and you can still plunge the spike when you need to (ie. when the slope is steep enough to need it). My setup is these plus a hiking pole for low angle glacier treks instead of a mountaineering axe.

 

I just did Baker N Ridge this weekend with them - they were great for that. I agree with above poster, having one hammer, one adze is ideal (digging T Slots w/ your hammer sucks). If you ever see a pair of adzes, PM me, we could split 'em...

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I just did Baker N Ridge this weekend

 

How did that work out for you?

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Personally, I am not fond of trigger finger rests. They make my index finger colder, like you said, and stress my hand in a way I don't like.

 

However, a pinky rest on ice tools is super helpful for me- it allows my weight to be where I want it. Keep in mind that I have (essentially) the exact same tools as you (Thanks again, Curt! They've gone a long way!)

 

It really varies from person to person. Find what works for you and stick to it.

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