Review by: the_climber, 2006-02-15
Best tool I've ever had. Been climbing on the Taa-K-oon's since the first year it was released in North America. It's a dream on steep pure ice and steep mixed. Chandeliered ice is no problem even when ice quality is poor. Grivel is true to form on this tool with a very refined feel to the swing and perfect head weight, even if the hammer is removed to lighten the tool. Rolling moderate and highly featured steep ice is where you'll love the high clearence the shaft provides, as you clear buldges and hook you way up the climb. Feedback from the tool when steinpulling or torquing is perfect. Plunging is difficult, but managable, with the Horn and Trigger in place and improves slightly when they are removed. If your tendency is to climb pure ice, then the Cascade pick is the best bet, but if you do enjoy mixed, or tend to find yourself climbing boilerplate ice all to often, then the stronger Mixed pick is the way to go. Filing down the 1st tooth on the mixed pick will greatly reduce the effort needed to clean the tool and has no noticable change in performance on mixed terrain. As for leashes, the tool swings better without one, but I have found I still like the comfort of a leash on longer routes where the prospect of a dropped tool is not an option. I recomend the BD Android, set so that the leash is not weighted untill you loosen your grip on the handle. You'll want low volume gloves when swinging these puppies, so consider carrying a set of belay gloves when climbing in cold conditions.