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Farrgo

Ice tools??

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Okay, so I've done a bit of mountaineering and glacier travel and I want to start climbing some alpine and waterfalls. I've been shopping a little bit for tools but I've realized that I really don't know which tools would be best for my style? I plan to do mostly alpine stuff, although I would like to do some waterfall ice. Any suggestions?

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Straight shaft is best for alpine. The reason for this as you may know is it works better when you need to thrust the shaft into snow for a self-belay. You want one hammer and one adze. The hammer to drive pitons (and maybe pound ins- not common anymore). You need the adze to cut steps, and to cut down to good ice before you place a screw.

 

Maybe get one straight hammer and one bent shaft adze. If you plan on doing waterfalls, get a third tool with a bent shaft and hammer. Many alpine trips you will use an ice axe and one tool. So start with a good technical axe. Some axes just suck on ice.

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Do you no anyone who you could borrow tools from before you go spend the big dollars? I would recommend this highly.

 

Also I won't rule out curved shaft tools. The curve is nice when clearing bugles.

 

I have alp wings, they are curved and pulge well.

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Do you no anyone who you could borrow tools from before you go spend the big dollars?
Borrow from a friend. Join one of the climbing clubs, they usually have a few to share.

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Borrowing tools is excellent advice. It's a big investment and you want to spend on something you can live with. Everyone has different preferences. I know a guy who bought a couple of tools on Barabes, because the price was right, but when he tried them, he didn't like either of them.

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If I was going to get tools for mostly alpine, and some ice, I'd get the Grivel Light Wing, they are sweet. if you plan on climbing a fair bit of ice, get the Cobras hands down, they are worth the$.

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Chouinard says that for all ice and mixed climbing the best combination is a 70 cm wooden-handled modestly-drooped ice axe. For really steep stuff, add a short "North Wall Hammer". For both the best leash is a length of webbing girth-hitched around the head, and lashed to the bottom with cord. To adjust, twist the webbing. bigdrink.gif

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Chouinard sounds a little dated there. Who uses axes with wooden handles anymore? I would love to have one for my mantle, though. I'd like to get my hands on a pair of those old hand forged crampons too. They too would look cool over my fireplace.

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I'd highly recommend the Alp Wing. They were perfect for bushwacking and stumbling through devils club boulderfields on Saturday. And then when we stopped below the face to listen to the copious rockfall, the were just what I needed to sit on cantfocus.gif

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Chouinard says that for all ice and mixed climbing the best combination is a 70 cm wooden-handled modestly-drooped ice axe.

I've got one of those, and it actually saw service just this last summer, as did the old Salewa crampons with the flashy brown neoprene straps. Its only 25 years old, I need to make sure I get my money's worth out of it. Now if I could just find my old coathanger ice screws and the knickers I made out of a pair of Belgian Army pants I'd be styling.

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