Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Alpine & Ice:
Viper Picks?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Alpine & Ice

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


kmc


Jan 31, 2007, 9:09 AM
Post #1 of 40 (6022 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 24, 2006
Posts: 252

Viper Picks?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I have been climbing on my Vipers for a couple of seasons now, and I always keep the picks sharp. But after watching a friend climb on his Quarks, and taking a lap on a climb with his tools, I found myself being able to trust, and pull off of much shallower placements. I dont think it is because of the tool, b/c I like the swing of the Vipers more so than the Quarks, but probably because of the shape of the picks.

So my question is this. For those of you using Vipers, how do you have your picks shaped. Mine are pretty much how they were when I got them, the front of the pick is somewhat rounded. My friends Quarks had more of a squared off edge, and they seemed to hold much better. Should I file my picks down this way as well? Any tips?


natec


Jan 31, 2007, 9:47 AM
Post #2 of 40 (6015 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 13, 2001
Posts: 667

Re: [kmc] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The old cobra picks used to have the squared off front like the quarks do and I would always round them down to help penetrate and reduce ice breakage.

The new picks come with the front rounded and I really prefer them this way.

What I've noticed betweent the two, is that it seems as Quark picks get more and more worn down, the shape is difficult to maintain and get good secure sticks from, where the BD picks maintain the same geometry throughout their life.

Can you post pictures of your picks so we can see how you are sharpening them and give some advice?


granite_grrl


Jan 31, 2007, 10:11 AM
Post #3 of 40 (6007 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 25, 2002
Posts: 14812

Re: [natec] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

could it be the difference of pick anle between the two tool you were noticing more than the way the pick is shaped.


Partner taino


Jan 31, 2007, 10:29 AM
Post #4 of 40 (5999 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Posts: 5371

Re: [granite_grrl] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

granite_grrl wrote:
could it be the difference of pick anle between the two tool you were noticing more than the way the pick is shaped.

I'll second this: I suspect that it's pick angle.

FWIW, most of the experienced ice climbers I know that use Quarks round down the front of their picks instead of keeping them as-factory; it displaces less ice. I'm planning on doing the same thing.

Anykineclimb once posted a link to a site for "tuning your picks"... perhaps someone has that link saved?

T


kmc


Jan 31, 2007, 12:53 PM
Post #5 of 40 (5979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 24, 2006
Posts: 252

Re: [taino] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks everyone.

Before looking back to this post, I searched on the BD website. It looks like the Vipers came with the Laser picks, and I am looking for more of a shape like the Titan picks. I think im just gonna buy replacement picks instead of filing down my current picks to model the others.

If the Viper is considered a more technical tool, used primarily for vertical ice, why would they put a less technical pick on such a tool when they sell it? The website basically says the B rated picks* will work on technical and steep ice, but T rated are more ideal.

If you use Vipers, what picks do you typically use? Did you tools come with the lasers as well, or did you have to change the picks that you use?

*B rated picks are defined as "Ice tools other than technical ice tools" by the Black Diamond website

~Kevin


Partner taino


Jan 31, 2007, 1:28 PM
Post #6 of 40 (5968 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Posts: 5371

Re: [kmc] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kmc wrote:
Thanks everyone.

Before looking back to this post, I searched on the BD website. It looks like the Vipers came with the Laser picks, and I am looking for more of a shape like the Titan picks. I think im just gonna buy replacement picks instead of filing down my current picks to model the others.

If the Viper is considered a more technical tool, used primarily for vertical ice, why would they put a less technical pick on such a tool when they sell it? The website basically says the B rated picks* will work on technical and steep ice, but T rated are more ideal.

If you use Vipers, what picks do you typically use? Did you tools come with the lasers as well, or did you have to change the picks that you use?

*B rated picks are defined as "Ice tools other than technical ice tools" by the Black Diamond website

~Kevin

Kevin, I found this on the BD site...

In reply to:
CEN-T vs. CEN B Picks
A CEN-T designation means that an ice axe is a “technical” tool for steep ice climbing, while a CEN-B, or “basic” tool is intended for general mountaineering. To provide climbers with higher performing ice tools, CEN-T axes are often fitted with CEN-B picks—picks that are higher performing but less durable. The logic? A tool equipped with a thinner CEN-B pick with a sharp top-bevel and beveled teeth climbs better and cleans easily, translating to greater efficiency and speed, and hence greater safety on the ice. To benefit from a CEN-B pick, avoid over driving your ice axe. Also, avoid twisting the pick or cleaning the axe with excessive force.


natec


Jan 31, 2007, 1:44 PM
Post #7 of 40 (5959 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 13, 2001
Posts: 667

Re: [kmc] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kmc wrote:
Thanks everyone.

Before looking back to this post, I searched on the BD website. It looks like the Vipers came with the Laser picks, and I am looking for more of a shape like the Titan picks. I think im just gonna buy replacement picks instead of filing down my current picks to model the others.

If the Viper is considered a more technical tool, used primarily for vertical ice, why would they put a less technical pick on such a tool when they sell it? The website basically says the B rated picks* will work on technical and steep ice, but T rated are more ideal.

If you use Vipers, what picks do you typically use? Did you tools come with the lasers as well, or did you have to change the picks that you use?

*B rated picks are defined as "Ice tools other than technical ice tools" by the Black Diamond website

~Kevin

If you select the Laser pick or the Titan pick on BD's site, then click the tech tips it explains exactly why they do this with the B and T rated picks.

From the black diamond website:

"A CEN-T designation means that an ice axe is a “technical” tool for steep ice climbing, while a CEN-B, or “basic” tool is intended for general mountaineering. To provide climbers with higher performing ice tools, CEN-T axes are often fitted with CEN-B picks—picks that are higher performing but less durable. The logic? A tool equipped with a thinner CEN-B pick with a sharp top-bevel and beveled teeth climbs better and cleans easily, translating to greater efficiency and speed, and hence greater safety on the ice. To benefit from a CEN-B pick, avoid over driving your ice axe. Also, avoid twisting the pick or cleaning the axe with excessive force."


basilisk


Jan 31, 2007, 1:49 PM
Post #8 of 40 (5956 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2005
Posts: 636

Re: [taino] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

once again, Andy Kirkpatrick to the rescue. B vs T picks:
http://www.psychovertical.com/?choosingatechnicalaxe

In reply to:
Of far more importance is the pick rating, which is either denoted by a 'B' or 'T' stamped on the pick. The 'permanent deformation' test does not necessarily relate to practical application either; picks are clamped in a vice, a lever of 330mm (often the shaft of the tool itself) is used to apply 42 (B) or 60 (T) Newtons of force for 60 seconds. At the end of the test period the lever must not show more than 70mm of permanent deflection from its start position.

Unfortunately, most picks that are noted for their 'high performance' are B-rated, which suggests a contradiction between the best performance and the greatest strength. The 'cyclic fatigue' test applies only to T-rated picks, which must endure 50,000 flexes at the end of a 250mm lever in order to pass. What this means to you the climber is that B probably stands for 'bent' if used for full on and intensive mixed climbing, while T stands for 'Tourquer', aimed at some serious twisting.

Of course. this doesn't mean that if you climb mixed routes then you need a T-rated pick, just as climbing ice doesn't mean you need a B-rated pick. What it tells you is what they were intended for, meaning you take more care with a B-rated pick when it comes to a full-on horizontal torque. For the majority of climbers the best pick will no doubt be of the B variety, as this will work best on all terrains, but if your thing is mixed climbing, or you know you're a monster and have drawers full of broken picks then go with a T pick.


redpoint73


Jan 31, 2007, 2:09 PM
Post #9 of 40 (5945 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 1717

Re: [basilisk] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The main difference between the T-rated Titan and the B-rated Laser is the thickness of the pick.

The Titan is thicker, and indeed more resistant to twisting. They are very durable, I haven't heard of a Titan breaking. But it also displaces much more ice and causes more shattering. In brittle conditions this can be a real problem, and shattering is a big complaint of the Titan. The only tools that are factory equipped w. the Titan are the old Rage and Shrike (neither of which are made anymore).

Most vertical ice climbers prefer the Laser for this reason, although they can break. So its a mostly a tradeoff of durability versus displacement. Don't let the "technical" versus "basic" monikers guide you. This nomenclature is largely obsolete, as many technical tools (Viper, Quark) come equipped with B-rated picks.

The Lasers are by far the most commonly used for the Vipers. I would not change your picks based purely on the shape of the tip, as this can be easily changed, and the factory shape only lasts for a short time anyway.


basilisk


Jan 31, 2007, 2:11 PM
Post #10 of 40 (5944 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2005
Posts: 636

Re: [basilisk] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

double post

the shape of the top of the pick is unimportant for what you're thinking. logically: your argument is that a squared off top holds better than a rounded. but it's the bottom of the pick that does the holding. the real difference probably lies in how you're sharpening your picks. from my experience the stock laser picks are okay, the stock quark picks are great. i fault the front tooth. i filed mine to look like the quark pick and they're great

behold:
roommate's stock quarks vs. my modified vipers


stock laser picks:


ultimately, you're looking at something like this:


th lasers have to be sharpened into the modified pick. the quarks come stock that way (minus the rounded head)

btw, i just checked, and the quarks come with a B pick. so that argument is out anyway
Attachments: picks.jpg (33.4 KB)


Partner brent_e


Jan 31, 2007, 2:37 PM
Post #11 of 40 (5934 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 15, 2004
Posts: 5111

Re: [taino] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

taino wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
could it be the difference of pick anle between the two tool you were noticing more than the way the pick is shaped.

I'll second this: I suspect that it's pick angle.

FWIW, most of the experienced ice climbers I know that use Quarks round down the front of their picks instead of keeping them as-factory; it displaces less ice. I'm planning on doing the same thing.

Anykineclimb once posted a link to a site for "tuning your picks"... perhaps someone has that link saved?

T

definitely could be pick angle, yeah. It could also be the amount of teeth at the very tip of the pick holding it into the ice better. compare that, maybe?


For b rated vs t rates stuff. If you have a t rated and you want it to penetrate better, round the nose then you could try this: grind down the sides on the first couple inches of the pick. Use a belt sander and DO NOT heat the pick up. As in, keep some cold water close by and keep dipping the tool in it. If it's too hot to touch, you're softening the steel.

that will help. Beveling the top will help, too.


kmc


Jan 31, 2007, 3:23 PM
Post #12 of 40 (5913 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 24, 2006
Posts: 252

Re: [brent_e] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thank you everyone for your help.

I think I will change the front tooth like Ballisk suggested. That would make the most sense since im concerned with the pick holding on shallower placements.

A friend of mine also has spare T-rated picks which he said I could experiment with, so hopefully this weekend I can play with them and my slightly modified B-picks and see what works best.

~Kevin


drzaous


Jan 31, 2007, 4:11 PM
Post #13 of 40 (5905 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 97

Re: [kmc] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The T-rated picks will most assuredly climb poorer (in ice) than the B-rated ones. I would highly suggest the rounded off nose and modified first tooth. Those are the two things I do first to any new ice tool pick.


gunkiemike


Jan 31, 2007, 4:36 PM
Post #14 of 40 (5899 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2002
Posts: 2263

Re: [brent_e] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

To amplify on something Brent mentioned briefly - there are MORE TEETH on the underside of the Quark pick than on the BD pick. This is enough I suspect to explain why it hooks up better on shallow sticks. The profile of these little teeth is also more "downward pointing" so the tip bites into the ice when you weight it. By contrast, the BD teeth are stepped to resist sliding backwards, but they don't present such a pronounced downwards point.

This difference in teeth shape probably helps explain why the Q is among the easiest releasing tool around. Watch someone climb with the Quark - their hand never leaves the grip. Now watch a BD user (doesn't matter which BD tool, I've been aware of this for years) - they wiggle the tool up and down a few times, then slide their hand up the shaft to near the head and LIFT it out of the hole. Then tediously shake the hand back down to the grip. Experienced BD users do this so smoothly you might not even notice. I call it "the BD Shuffle"; watch for it next time you're out there. On challenging ice, who needs all that extra motion?

BTW I have owned Quarks and Vipers (the latter with both Titan and Laser picks) and my conclusion is - (DRUM ROLL) rounding the top has a negligible effect... on anything. You want to shatter less ice? Reduce the area of the pick that's hitting the ice. Either thin the sides (not too much! But I am starting to do this more often) and/or file the top down aggressively so the tip is not so tall (like the diagram a couple posts above this one). Bu changing to the Laser pick, BD has done this. Now if only they'd fix the underside of the pick, they'd have a great tool.


drzaous


Jan 31, 2007, 5:33 PM
Post #15 of 40 (5889 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 97

Re: [gunkiemike] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

beveling bottom teeth to be a bit more rounded will also help release issues. BD picks release poorly because they do not come with any bevel on the bottom teeth.


kmc


Jan 31, 2007, 5:36 PM
Post #16 of 40 (5889 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 24, 2006
Posts: 252

Re: [gunkiemike] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I have found myself doing the "BD shuffle", but I just did not know that it had a name.

Is there anyway to use a Charlet pick on the Vipers? I do like the swing of the Vipers better than the Quarks, so its not like I would want to replace the tool itself. Not that I could afford to do so anyway.

~Kevin


gunkiemike


Jan 31, 2007, 6:26 PM
Post #17 of 40 (5878 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2002
Posts: 2263

Re: [kmc] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kmc wrote:
Is there anyway to use a Charlet pick on the Vipers? I do like the swing of the Vipers better than the Quarks, so its not like I would want to replace the tool itself. Not that I could afford to do so anyway.

~Kevin

I'm holding the two picks in my hands. There is certainly enough metal in the Quark pick to match the Viper pick (you'd have to cut a lot away). But the problem is that the butt end of the BD pick is a lot thicker than the Charlet pick, like 4.6-4.7 mm vs 3.9-4.0 mm. So you'd need a shim in there. Then you'd want a very precise way to mill that triangular groove in there. Veeerrrry precise. Any slop in that groove and the pick wobbles (been there done that with my X-15's. A weak design IMO)


redpoint73


Jan 31, 2007, 6:38 PM
Post #18 of 40 (5874 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 1717

Re: [gunkiemike] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

gunkiemike wrote:

This difference in teeth shape probably helps explain why the Q is among the easiest releasing tool around.

There was a post on these forums last year, and it attributed the difference in ease of release to the amount of vertical taper of the pick. The Quark pick tapers much more in height from the head of the tool to the tip. Where the BD picks height stays almost constant. The person who wrote the post calculated the change in height per inch (or some such ratio), and the BD picks have vastly smaller taper then any other pick around, by orders of magnitude. Now this doesn't actually prove the vertical taper is the culprit, but it sure looks suspicious. The only way to prove it would be to remove enough material of the top of a BD pick to change the taper w/o changing the other dimensions, and this would be a serious amount of grinding.

In any case, I have heard most of the release problems are solved by not over driving the BD picks. Personally, I can't vouch for this, as I still overdrive the hell out of my BD picks!!!


gunkiemike


Jan 31, 2007, 7:00 PM
Post #19 of 40 (5869 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2002
Posts: 2263

Re: [redpoint73] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Blush thanks, RP73, that was my analysis and post last year re. pick taper. As you can tell, this has been on my mind a while.


Partner brent_e


Jan 31, 2007, 8:48 PM
Post #20 of 40 (5852 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 15, 2004
Posts: 5111

Re: [gunkiemike] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

gunkiemike wrote:
kmc wrote:
Is there anyway to use a Charlet pick on the Vipers? I do like the swing of the Vipers better than the Quarks, so its not like I would want to replace the tool itself. Not that I could afford to do so anyway.

~Kevin

I'm holding the two picks in my hands. There is certainly enough metal in the Quark pick to match the Viper pick (you'd have to cut a lot away). But the problem is that the butt end of the BD pick is a lot thicker than the Charlet pick, like 4.6-4.7 mm vs 3.9-4.0 mm. So you'd need a shim in there. Then you'd want a very precise way to mill that triangular groove in there. Veeerrrry precise. Any slop in that groove and the pick wobbles (been there done that with my X-15's. A weak design IMO)

so that's why they are so tight!!!!

the calipers tell me that BD uses a 4.5mm piece of steel for their picks (doesn't matter what pick, the 4.5mm that goes into the head of the tool will be the same).

CM makes a pick that is 4.3mm. Pretty close. The groove would be hard to do without proper tools.

to the OP:
If you send me the picks I can give it a shot!

gunkiemike wrote:
Blush thanks, RP73, that was my analysis and post last year re. pick taper. As you can tell, this has been on my mind a while.


HAAHA nice!

I'll be the problem lays more with the way the teeth are then they taper of the pick. The trango picks i have are similar for tooth shape, and they stick now and then. I would think that having more taper would ram the teeth into the ice more as it penetrates, making it harder to remove.


(This post was edited by brent_e on Jan 31, 2007, 8:54 PM)


skinner


Feb 1, 2007, 12:13 AM
Post #21 of 40 (5838 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2004
Posts: 1747

Re: [kmc] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

redpoint73 has it figured out. It took me hours and hours of filing, testing and re-filing to perfect it, but now I have it dialed in. Everyone who has every tried my tools can't believe how easily they go in, and how well they stick with a minimum of effort.





I did the same basic mod to a set of viper with titan picks , it's improved them substantially, but they still didn't work as well as the Simond picks. As soon as we switched to a set of laser picks, which required minimal reshaping, they worked great.

This mod is definitely for pure ice only.


redpoint73


Feb 1, 2007, 6:21 AM
Post #22 of 40 (5820 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 1717

Re: [gunkiemike] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

gunkiemike wrote:
Blush thanks, RP73, that was my analysis and post last year re. pick taper. As you can tell, this has been on my mind a while.

Can this be retrieved from your forum history? I tried searching for it, with no luck. It was a very good post.

brent_e wrote:
I would think that having more taper would ram the teeth into the ice more as it penetrates, making it harder to remove.

I can see where you are coming from, but I think the problem lies in the removal, not how the BD pick drives. It makes sense that a tapered object will be easier to remove from a slot than a non-tapered one. And that the non-tapered object will be more likely to get stuck.


gunkiemike


Feb 1, 2007, 12:49 PM
Post #23 of 40 (5790 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2002
Posts: 2263

Re: [redpoint73] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I can't seem to find it either. But you've captured the essence: the BD Titan pick is a virtual rectangle along the first inch or so. The Laser has more taper, but it's nowhere near the taper on CM Cascade picks (std on the Quarks), or the CAMP Awax or the pick on the Omega Alpha. I think it was something like 25% taper on these vs 2% taper on the Titan.


stymingersfink


Feb 1, 2007, 6:13 PM
Post #24 of 40 (5771 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 12, 2003
Posts: 7250

Re: [skinner] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

skinner wrote:


This mod is definitely for pure ice only.

Fat ice at that! I'd bet the first time you hit the rock the nose folds over quite nicely.


skinner


Feb 1, 2007, 9:19 PM
Post #25 of 40 (5760 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2004
Posts: 1747

Re: [stymingersfink] Viper Picks? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Like I said, "Pure Ice", I don't hit rock.
Other people who have had me re-shape their picks are a different story, I guess If you didn't do all the filing, you're just not quite as careful. The thing is.. you don't have to swing nearly as hard, so the few times I had to touch up the point for people, it really wasn't that bad at all. I few strokes of the file was all it took.

You get out of the "brute force & ignorance" mode of swinging for all you are worth very quickly with these. If you swing them that hard, you'll spend more time trying to remove them then climbing.

I was taught early on to look for natural placements that you can lightly tap & hook your tools in. The less energy you expend swinging and removing buried tools the further and faster you can climb.

-Kevin

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Alpine & Ice

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook