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Tools for saving my ass?
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traddad


Jan 4, 2002, 8:38 AM
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I am a sport climber turned trad climber (isn't growing up wonderful?) and have come to the head slapping realization that on some of the projects I want to do, I will need to learn to swing ice tools in order to save my ass when the cracks freeze up. What I need to know is, what are good ALL AROUND, REAL WORLD tools to own? I am DEFINITELY not interested in becomming some preening, sponsor patch festooned, sport/ice gibbon weilding tools that look like they were developed by the French space program. I want the type of tools that one might use to approach across a glacier then use to clear bivis or clean out cracks. Think Eiger or Cerro Torre (although I have no dillusions of climbing either) NOT Ouray.

Traddad


atg200


Jan 4, 2002, 9:13 AM
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For approaching across glaciers, any 75 cm or so alpenstock will do. I have the BD Alpamayo(not sure if it is still made), and though kind of heavy it works very well for me. I only use this on glacier walks and moderately steep couloir routes-no more than 45 degree angle.

For cleaning out cracks and steeper alpine iced and mixed routes, you want short tools that look like they were developed by the french space program. Long alpenstocks suck for even easy mixed climbing, so think 45 cm or even 40 cm. If you are planning on climbing iced up 5.8 hand cracks or easy mixed alpine routes, any tool will do. Straight shaft will be better if you are doing glacier approaches, and get axes with modular heads-cranking on picks and adzes is very tough on tools. Get one hammer and one adze-you'll need two tools for most easy alpine routes. The old straight shaft BD Black Prophet was the best alpine tool I've ever used, but I have no idea if that style is still made.

Make sure you get leashes for any axe-even an alpenstock.


traddad


Jan 4, 2002, 10:49 AM
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Thanks for the info.
I already own the Alpamyo ($9.00 at a garage sale) but was hoping to dispense with the need for three different tools. I am a real weight/bulk/complexity fanatic and I don't like to leave gear at the bottom of the route if I can possibly avoid it. I hate having to trudge back to the start of the climb to fetch expensive gear if I choose to take a different descent route.
As for mixed climbing, the mix better be mostly rock (like 90%) or I'm down in the nearest bar nursing a dark, bitter beer to match my attitude.
What about that device (insert Frank Zappa sound byte here) that BD makes that fits on top of a trecking pole? A short, collapsable trecking pole would be light and fit into a small pack after I got through humping across the glacier from bivy to bergschrund.
Also....light and cheap is good for the swinging/chopping units.

Traddad the soft and flabby


atg200


Jan 4, 2002, 11:04 AM
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I guess I don't see where you are going with this. If the climb is 90% rock, why do you need an ice tool? I have used nut tools to chip ice out of cracks for gear placements, but only on very easy routes-and I certainly wouldn't want to jam in that kind of situation. Even here in Colorado, I get shut down by cold way before I resort to climbing icy cracks.


traddad


Jan 4, 2002, 12:17 PM
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Well.... 90% leaves 10%, and I would rather not blow off a road trip to, say, the Cirque of the Unclimbables because of a late season cold snap. The nut tool is a good idea for cleaning out placements (I've used it), but it would get old after a while. What I'm saying is, I need to get by, over or through icy sections, if confronted with such, but I never intend to "climb ice". I figure your idea of a set of straight handled, lightweight tools is the ticket. Simple, cheap and to the point.
Thanks
Traddad the misunderstood


andy_lemon


Jan 7, 2002, 6:36 PM
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If your going light and fast then check into Alpine climbing. Mountaineering might not be your kick seeing as your a hard trad climber.

Funny your name though... one of my climbing friends calls himself Traddaddy... He is actually here under that name.

Andy


traddad


Jan 8, 2002, 6:12 AM
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Andy,
Actually, alpine rock is EXACTLY where I want to go. While, being from AZ I don't get to the "high, cold, windy and wild" nearly as much as I would like, that is where my desires are always pointing. Pulling up to a sport crag and belaying off my bumper is, shall we say, unsatisfying. To me, climbing is the whole ball of wax. The planning, the scraping together gear, the driving all night, the humping a 50 lb pack six miles back into a wilderness area, the dealing with storms, being cold, moving fast to avoid bivying in my harness, doing so when I have to, getting to the top and feeling the journey is only half over. Like I said, ice climbing is not my focus, but it is a skill I may need to know.
Traddad is a name I picked because I love trad climbing and am a dad (for the fitst time, at 43!). It kind of encompasses the two things I love most. Oh, BTW ANDY, my wife graduated from Purdue. Go Boilermakers.

Traddad


bradhill


Mar 28, 2002, 1:56 PM
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The Grivel Pamir is a solid, inexpensive all-around alpine ice axe good for self arrests and moderate alpine ice and snow. It sells for around $60.


If you're really a light freak and just want something for the occassional scary snow slope but don't consider yourself an "alpinist" you might go with a Cassin Ghost instead.


If you really want one tool that will go from general use to the Eiger, you need a high strength tool. The Grivel Jorasses is a good choice, as is the USHBA Altai (all titanium, light, strong but $$$).


For a technical tool to back it up your alpine tool, you can get a Stubai Hornet for just $80 at promountainsports.com. They're great.


beyond_gravity


Mar 28, 2002, 4:05 PM
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I dont get what ur asking for, there are 3 kinds of ice tools, Mountaneering axes, Technicaly ice tools and 3rd tools. Mountaneering axes are long and ment for snow and glacier stuff, technical ice tools are for waterfalls/dry tooling. 3rd tools are just, well, 3rd tools!


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