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CDN


Dec 14, 2009, 1:00 PM
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Ice Tool Recommendation
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I am looking for a leashless set of tools for harder waterfall/mixed/alpine ice to supplement the Aztars I have for easier waterfall and alpine ice.

The tools I have been looking at are:

BD Vipers
Petzl Quarks
Grivel Taa-k-oon


I have used both the vipers and quarks on ice, and only swung the taa-k-oons in the store. These three were chosen primarily because of the good reviews, but also pick availability.

The primary use will be WI and mixed climbing (single and multipitch) in Alberta and the West Coast. I would also like to use the tools in the future for harder alpine routes...

Quick Specs on each:

Viper:
625g
Replacement Picks - $40
Quark:
645g
Replacement Picks - $60
Taa-k-oon:
730g
Replacement Picks - $40

I enjoyed both the quark and the viper. The viper was harder to clean, but I heard from a few people filing the first tooth down solves this. Both felt comfortable swinging. I have small hands and both tools felt comfortable gripping.

I currently am leaning towards the vipers. The only concern is that the BD picks break easier than the other two mentioned. Also, the hammer on the viper seemed a little small in comparison to the quark(though I could get the standard hammer instead of micro) I haven't tried bashing any pins with either hammers, so I don't know if one is better than the other. The price for the vipers is quite nice also (almost $100 cheaper than quark, each tool). I also like how the vipers and taaks come with an upper rest for matching, whereas the quarks I need to add a grivel or similar rest.

The consideration for the taa-k-oon is because I can get a pair for a decent price. The people who use taa-k-oons seem to love them. Though they dont seem very common since they have been discontinued.

At a cost stand point, the taaks are the cheapest, then the vipers, then the quark. Price is also a concern, but I would rather have a decent tool now, instead of buying something else in two years...

I have heard constant good things about the quarks. They are pretty popular in the petzl thread for 2009 tools.

How are the vipers for placing pins? Does the curve in the shaft/grip rest make it difficult to hammer accurately? This isn't too big of a concern right now though. The quarks sound like they do it well.

Obviously buying new ice tools is an investment, so I want to make sure it's done right the first time...

Suggestions/Comments?


(This post was edited by CDN on Dec 15, 2009, 11:44 AM)


swaghole


Dec 14, 2009, 1:41 PM
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Re: [CDN] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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I have both the Taks and Vipers and they both climb very well. Although I prefer the swing and the beefiness of the taks, the Vipers would get my vote. Why, you ask? Because the Vipers has an extra trick up it's sleave. There a rated eyelet below the fang - something that the tak does not have (when the fang is in place). With the eyelet, you can clip in a biner or fifi hook and hang off the tool to rest. With the Vipers, you also won't have to worry about finding replacement picks a few years down the road. If using the hammer for placing pins is a big concern, I wouldn't go with the Vipers. The hammer is almost non-existant and prety much useles. It's just there to give you something a little more pleasant then an adze in the face if you tools pops out at the wrong time...


tomtom


Dec 14, 2009, 2:58 PM
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Re: [swaghole] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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swaghole wrote:
If using the hammer for placing pins is a big concern, I wouldn't go with the Vipers. The hammer is almost non-existant and prety much useles. It's just there to give you something a little more pleasant then an adze in the face if you tools pops out at the wrong time...

You can replace the little hammerhead with a big hammerhead. I did this on my cobras to increase the swing weight.


CDN


Dec 14, 2009, 3:05 PM
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Re: [tomtom] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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tomtom wrote:
swaghole wrote:
If using the hammer for placing pins is a big concern, I wouldn't go with the Vipers. The hammer is almost non-existant and prety much useles. It's just there to give you something a little more pleasant then an adze in the face if you tools pops out at the wrong time...

You can replace the little hammerhead with a big hammerhead. I did this on my cobras to increase the swing weight.

How much of a difference in swing did you notice?
Have you pounded any pins with the larger hammer? Improvement?


coastal_climber


Dec 14, 2009, 4:12 PM
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Re: [CDN] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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I vote for quarks. A bit on the heavier side, but have a good swing.


flying_dutchman


Dec 14, 2009, 10:15 PM
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Re: [CDN] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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the Taa-k-oon's are the best deal since they can be found on sale while the Quarks have been unchanged in many years ~ aka good quality. The Vipers i suppose are the cheapest unless you include the cost of a leash too but they come with a cute little hammer that is more for show and reduces the weight to make em look lighter. BD picks are the weakest from my few years of experience - i use Quarks now


nikmit


Dec 15, 2009, 1:25 AM
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Re: [CDN] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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I vote for taakoon's- have them and love them... Mine are with BD Android leash. Works well, but I have to admit that Petzl's solution is better.
I've climbed in the three models an my lest favorite are Vipers(olred model- haven't tried the new one)


tomtom


Dec 15, 2009, 9:42 AM
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CDN wrote:
tomtom wrote:
You can replace the little hammerhead with a big hammerhead. I did this on my cobras to increase the swing weight.

How much of a difference in swing did you notice?
Have you pounded any pins with the larger hammer? Improvement?

They add a couple oz to the head and it swings better to me. Hard to quantify. I haven't pounded any pins, so can't help you there.


CDN


Dec 15, 2009, 11:43 AM
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Re: [tomtom] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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The carbon fiber thread has created a spark in my mind about the cobra.

Why is it better than the viper? It's lighter, dampens vibrations, and supposedly swings better. Is this worth the extra 100 dollar a tool?

How does the cobra compare to the quark, overall?


a-e-jones


Dec 15, 2009, 1:07 PM
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Re: [CDN] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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these are pretty badass





http://www.rockclimbing.com/...m_view=recent_posts;

but in all seriousness the vipers get my vote


hansol04


Dec 15, 2009, 5:29 PM
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Re: [a-e-jones] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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a-e-jones, I hear those Satan Axes are pretty heavy?


coastal_climber


Dec 15, 2009, 11:52 PM
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Re: [CDN] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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CDN wrote:
How does the cobra compare to the quark, overall?

Cobra is lighter, good swing, definitely (to me) doesn't feel like a tank. It will take some abuse, but didn't seem like it would take everything.

Quark is heavier. No denying that. Pounds pins like a champ. Built like a fuckin' truck. Period.

I've personally climbed with both. I like both. Neither is a bad choice. I have quarks because I want the long route durability, which I don't want sacrificed.


rk2000


Dec 18, 2009, 9:39 PM
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Re: [coastal_climber] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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nomics kick ass.. i just used a pair today on a mixed project... wow.
i am climbing a good few years an i never thought a piece of gear could really help you climb harder.... these babies do... buy them....


CDN


Dec 20, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Re: [rk2000] Ice Tool Recommendation [In reply to]
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ending up getting a super deal on Quarks, so quarks it is!


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