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donniecs


Apr 25, 2011, 6:22 AM
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beginner gear question
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I've been rock climbing for about 10 years now and have been thinking the last few years about getting into some mountaineering and ice climbing. I've held off for awhile because of the initial investment but I think that I'm ready to pull the trigger. I've got the opinions of a few friends but thought I'd seek the knowledge here also. I going about this with the mentality that you can do mild ice climbing with mountaineering gear but you can't go mountaineering with ice gear. I since live in the mid-Atlantic region and can't to either extensively (with my current situation) I think this is a good mentality to go to get into the sports.

I'd have a budget up to about $1,200 or so for gear (boots, axes, crampons, gloves) but I don't necessarily need to spend the entire budget. I have most of the other clothing that would be required and can hold off on the rope purchase for awhile. The following is a setup that a few friends said would be a decent start for gear. I was told this would a solid mountaineering setup and could climb ice up to about WI/AI 3 for about $919.

boots
Scarpa Omega $389
http://www.scarpa.com/scarpa/products/MOUNTAIN/MOUNTAIN-PLASTIC/p_12301-500Scarpa

crampons
Black Diamond Sabretooth $170
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/crampons/sabretooth-crampon

axes
Grivel Air Tech Hammer $180
http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/ice_axes/20-air_tech_hammer

Grivel Air Tech Evolution $180
http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/ice_axes/7-air_tech_evolution

What are all your opinions, thoughts, and suggestions?


(This post was edited by donniecs on Apr 25, 2011, 10:30 AM)


johnwesely


Apr 25, 2011, 6:30 AM
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Re: [donniecs] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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For your tools, I would get something with a recurve pick. That way, if you want to do ice, you will be able to.


cush


Apr 26, 2011, 2:07 AM
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Re: [donniecs] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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for your ice tools i would HIGHLY suggest you look into the black diamond venom. they go for around the same price as the grivels you listed. they come in 2 styles(hammer and adze) with identically shaped shafts. from the sounds of what you want you could get the adze version with a traditional pick and that would serve you very well on snow routes on mountaineering objectives. should you need to climb some ice you can use both the tools. the picks are interchangable so you will have tools for snow, ice, or general alpine use.


brokesomeribs


Apr 26, 2011, 5:28 PM
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Re: [donniecs] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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donniecs wrote:
I've been rock climbing for about 10 years now and have been thinking the last few years about getting into some mountaineering and ice climbing. I've held off for awhile because of the initial investment but I think that I'm ready to pull the trigger. I've got the opinions of a few friends but thought I'd seek the knowledge here also. I going about this with the mentality that you can do mild ice climbing with mountaineering gear but you can't go mountaineering with ice gear. I since live in the mid-Atlantic region and can't to either extensively (with my current situation) I think this is a good mentality to go to get into the sports.

I'd have a budget up to about $1,200 or so for gear (boots, axes, crampons, gloves) but I don't necessarily need to spend the entire budget. I have most of the other clothing that would be required and can hold off on the rope purchase for awhile. The following is a setup that a few friends said would be a decent start for gear. I was told this would a solid mountaineering setup and could climb ice up to about WI/AI 3 for about $919.

boots
Scarpa Omega $389
http://www.scarpa.com/scarpa/products/MOUNTAIN/MOUNTAIN-PLASTIC/p_12301-500Scarpa

crampons
Black Diamond Sabretooth $170
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/crampons/sabretooth-crampon

axes
Grivel Air Tech Hammer $180
http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/ice_axes/20-air_tech_hammer

Grivel Air Tech Evolution $180
http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/ice_axes/7-air_tech_evolution

What are all your opinions, thoughts, and suggestions?

Buy used and you'll save a ton of money. Not only that, but if you decide it isn't for you, then you can resell the gear and lose very little (or no) money. The classifieds here on RC.com are pretty mediocre, but http://mountainproject.com and http://www.cascadeclimbers.com have very active Buy & Sell forums. I've bought and sold a TON of gear there over the years, but as always, do your due diligence before sending anyone money over the internet.

Where do you plan on doing your winter climbing? That can make a substantial difference in gear recommendations. Do you have any future goals (Rainier, etc) which might influence your choices?

If you're going to be doing mostly east coast stuff, I would look at a lighter fabric/leather boot instead of the Omegas. Something like a used La Sportiva Nepal Evo or a Scarpa Mont Blanc can be had for probably $250-$300. They're lighter and will climb much better than the plastics. However, above all, getting a good fit is paramount. My foot fits Scarpa much better than LS.

Sabertooths are the perfect crampon choice.

My personal recommendation would be to actually get a pair of 2 technical tools like the BD Vipers or Petzl Quarks. There is such limited terrain here on the East Coast that is really appropriate for the Air Tech Evo's that you'll get much more mileage out of a pair of proper tools. Also, in my experience, any terrain that is "perfect" for something like the Air Tech Evo's can be handled just as easily with a trekking pole and a single technical tool. And then your tools can climb ice well. Ice axes are just like "All Terrain" tires - get something that tries to climb everything, and it winds up sucking at everything instead.

Also, where are you located? I might have some gear I can part with cheaply/free.


moose_droppings


Apr 26, 2011, 7:35 PM
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Re: [donniecs] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Buy used and you'll save a ton of money. Not only that, but if you decide it isn't for you, then you can resell the gear and lose very little (or no) money.

+1

That new stuff is like a new car, one use and it depreciates greatly should you decide that ice and mountaineering isn't your game.

I'd be for guessing that you'll get hooked and want to get some nicer gear though. Used stuff is plenty good enough for a year or two while you work your way through the learning curve. After that you will of learned more about what you'll want/need and the differences in brands to make your own informed decision.


Rudmin


Apr 26, 2011, 9:26 PM
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Re: [moose_droppings] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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Grivel X monsters are half the price of other technical tools


donniecs


Apr 27, 2011, 8:16 AM
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Re: [brokesomeribs] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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brokesomeribs wrote:
Buy used and you'll save a ton of money. Not only that, but if you decide it isn't for you, then you can resell the gear and lose very little (or no) money. The classifieds here on RC.com are pretty mediocre, but http://mountainproject.com and http://www.cascadeclimbers.com have very active Buy & Sell forums. I've bought and sold a TON of gear there over the years, but as always, do your due diligence before sending anyone money over the internet.

Where do you plan on doing your winter climbing? That can make a substantial difference in gear recommendations. Do you have any future goals (Rainier, etc) which might influence your choices?

If you're going to be doing mostly east coast stuff, I would look at a lighter fabric/leather boot instead of the Omegas. Something like a used La Sportiva Nepal Evo or a Scarpa Mont Blanc can be had for probably $250-$300. They're lighter and will climb much better than the plastics. However, above all, getting a good fit is paramount. My foot fits Scarpa much better than LS.

Sabertooths are the perfect crampon choice.

My personal recommendation would be to actually get a pair of 2 technical tools like the BD Vipers or Petzl Quarks. There is such limited terrain here on the East Coast that is really appropriate for the Air Tech Evo's that you'll get much more mileage out of a pair of proper tools. Also, in my experience, any terrain that is "perfect" for something like the Air Tech Evo's can be handled just as easily with a trekking pole and a single technical tool. And then your tools can climb ice well. Ice axes are just like "All Terrain" tires - get something that tries to climb everything, and it winds up sucking at everything instead.

Also, where are you located? I might have some gear I can part with cheaply/free.

I'm located in Frederick, Maryland so I’d guess that most of my ice climbing will be the VA, PA ice with trips up to the northeast a couple times a year for mountaineering and bigger ice. I'd like to think a trip out west (Hood, or something similar) but I wouldn’t necessarily plan my gear around that.

I think that 3 axes might be best, 2 technical and one for mountaineering. Also the switch from plastic to leather boots seems smart.

Thanks for all your input so far!


qwert


Apr 28, 2011, 4:35 AM
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Re: [donniecs] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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donniecs wrote:
I going about this with the mentality that you can do mild ice climbing with mountaineering gear but you can't go mountaineering with ice gear.
What?

define "mild ice climbing" and "mountaineering", but i would guess its the other way round.

At least for me.

qwert


rangerrob


May 3, 2011, 10:00 AM
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Re: [qwert] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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yeah it is difficult to know what you mean by "mountaineering" and "mild ice climbing". Mountaineering in the northeast just means hiking up mountains in the winter. other than a pair of snowshoes and a cheap mountaineering axe, you don't need much. That, however, will not enable you climb ice of any verticality.

I would suggest buying a basic set of mountaineering boots. Whatever is cheapest and lightest. Fit to those boots a pair of horizontal front point crampons. Save the radical vertical monopoint special crampons until you're in the game seriously. Buy the boots first, as not all crampons fit all boot types.

Buy a set of ice climbing tools. Don't try to buy a hybrid mountaineering/ice climbing axe. As someone said earlier, it will suck at both. You can easily do mountaineering with a trekking pole and adze tool.

About the rope, you may think about saving money by not buying a rope and just using your old fuzzy cragging rope. You will be thoroughly miserable if you do that. Trust me. if your rope is not dry treated, and if the sheath is fuzzed at all, it will ice up heinously on the snow, and it will suck up so much moisture that it will be 1/2 again as heavy, and also will not be as strong. Buy a new dry treated rope and dedicate it to snow and ice climbing.

Good luck!


juho.risku


May 3, 2011, 1:46 PM
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Re: [donniecs] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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Well, I would say that one can go mountaineering with ice gear, I've done it several times, but the ice gear might not be the most convinient choice for generic mountaineering. For instance real ice climbing crampons are heavy compared to mountaineering crampons + occasionally you might like to have an axe with longer shaft. There are also pieces that can be shared without any problem, like the boots, which is one of the most expensive parts and perhaps not so good purchased as second hand stuff. Well, then the practical stuff.

Here's my suggestions what to get:

1. Get good pair of mountaineering boots, if you're planning to stay up for several days or go high, double boots are a good choice. Right now I would purchase either Scarpa Phantom 6000's or La Sportiva Spantiks. --> about $500

2. Get a pair of used easily adjustable mountaineering crampons (most of the Grivel, Petzl and BD models will do). --> about $70

3. Get pair of modern ice climbing crampons. It's totally different to climb with something like Grivel's Rambo 4 than those mountaineering ones, besides ice climbing requires more durable stuff + ability to replace the front points. --> About $200

4. Get a pair of modern leashless ice climbing axes with replaceable picks (not the most technical ones), I would go with Grivel Matrix Techs or Quantum Techs, though those are pretty expensive. --> About 200 each

5. If you after trials feel that you need one, get a used straight shaft mountaineering axe (it's not as performance critical than real ice climbing stuff). --> About $70

Of course if you're certain that you're newer going to climb lets say above WI4 you might turn into those hybrid axes (i.e. fairly straight axe + optionally longer shaft), but as ice climbing tends to be pretty addictive, I would invest on tools that will are good for longer run as well.

What comes to gloves, I would select something that has separate inner glove (easier to dry up) and are extra heavy duty (typical ski touring gloves will rip apart in very short period of time. For cold environment I've found that BD Enforcers are a good choice. This being said, there's two schools in gloves, one that uses extra expensive extra heavy duty ice climbing specific gloves and one that uses cheap (<$10/pair) insulated work / skiing gloves that are replaced often.

Here's a few pointers for feature comparisons:
1. Technical ice axes: http://tribevine.com/...mbing|Axes|Technical
2. Hybrid ice axes: http://www.tribevine.com/...=Technical-classical
3. Classical mountaineering axes: http://tribevine.com/...mbing|Axes|Classical
4. Mountaineering boots: http://www.tribevine.com/...Shoes|Mountaineering
5. Technical crampons: http://tribevine.com/...g|Crampons|Technical
6. Classical crampons: http://tribevine.com/...ing|Crampons|Classic


majid_sabet


May 3, 2011, 4:16 PM
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Re: [donniecs] beginner gear question [In reply to]
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get them all used for 1/3 of the price from ebay


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