/ Scottish winter: Quarks vs Nomics
It's a very broad question - you don't say what style and grade of climbing you are targeting. What are you using at the moment and what are its strengths/weaknesses?
sorry, up to and around grade V of Scottish mixed.
at the moment DMM Flys.
I'm still using my old Quarks on routes up to V,6, and am not sure that Nomics would give me anything extra, although I have been tempted...
Just keep your picks sharp whatever you go with, either of them are way better than Flys, which really need to be consigned to the dustbin of ice-axe history.
Flys are great tools man! Grade VII was climbed with Terrors ffs!
Any axe which cannot be used leashless has to be seen as archaic.
thanks for the thoughts.
so can't the new Flys be used leashless? Not that I want a new pair!
Absolutely- thanks for correcting me. Anyone with any of these offensively archaic items please forward them to 'PO Box 69, World Capital of Alpinism, Paisley' for immediate safe disposal.
Actually, looking at them they could be used leashless, but to my mind there isn't enough of a curve on them for hooking over bulges.
id choose fusions because im tired of the argument. and theyre cheaper than both.
> id choose fusions because im tired of the argument. and theyre cheaper than both.
Not in this country they ain't - Quarks can be got about £50 cheaper, from my bare minimum of research.
I'm thinking of getting these for this season (and hopefully many after...). Anybody got experience using them?
> Flys are great tools man! Grade VII was climbed with Terrors ffs!
when you compare the flys with the likes of quarks, you cannot safely say that the flys are great tools. they are adequate at best.
Absolutely Davie, you'd also happily handle all those old wires that have no anodised colouring thy're impossible to choose the right size without, hex's are no good at all so pop them in the box as well, warthogs man - haven't you heard of bulldogs, throw them in laddie, what are you dooing hanging on to insulation that isn't primaloft one - so shove it in, and you've got a gore-what??
Pitty the poor postie Davie!
Quite honestly, on any grade V mixed route I've done, I'd have been equally happy with Flys or Quarks. I'd also prefer both to the Nomics.
It'd be a different different story on WI5/WI6 cascade climbs with bullet-hard blue ice or hard, thin ice routes like Stormy Petrel where I would much prefer the more precise swing of the Quarks.
Why would you prefer Quarks to Nomics on more technical mixed climbs? Not a rhetorical question, I was thinking of buying a pair (of Nomics). I borrowed a friend's for some reasonably technical chalk climbs and they felt a world apart from my Quarks (in a better way). You could hook more reliably and grip the neck more easily when you got pumped. I got less pumped. But that was just my experience for about 5 minutes!
I thought for a sec you were talking about Stuart the Postie, but then all became clear! Haha
THE Postie just did a FWA on the Cobbler today- I'll leave it to him to enlighten us with a run- down of the gear.... ; )
Grade V mixed routes are just glorified snowed up VDiffs & Severes. The climbing is ultimately easy but is invariably time consuming, awkward and tricky to protect. The choice of axes is therefore pretty much irrelevant but it is still fairly useful to have both a hammer and a decent adze.
I personally wouldn't go anywhere near Cairngorms grade VI/VII mixed with Nomics but I'm decidedly 'old skool' in that I'll always torque rather than hook given the slightest opportunity. Even when I owned some Quarks I still used my Vertiges for mixed depending on the route and venue.
I'd love Nomics if I was attempting something really massive on ice like the Ginat but I would need to climb loads harder before I would ever be on steep enough mixed terrain in Scotland to definitely need that style of axe.
damn...what are fusions worth where you are?
I climbed for a long time with flys and think there a pretty reasonable mixed tool but the lack of a grip and for me relatively poor performance on ice was enough to get new axes. I did retrofit grips to the Flys but after 6yrs of abuse it was time to change anyway. I bought DMM rebels and didnt really like them..especially in North America for long ice pitches and when i tried vipers and nomics both felt better (more supportive, better swing and feel of placements). Something like a quark is probably the ultimate do anything axe. I am using nomics which are great on steeper mixed but are let down by the fact that for clearing snow,,hammering anything or if you wanted to ice axe brake your going to have fun! Oh and by the way the nomic is fine for torquing too!
can we invent 'tools law'; any discussion about ice tools, regardless of the beginning EVEN if its about vipers, quarks or nomics, will always descend into defending how good DMM flys really are?
I get kinda of annoyed by statements like this. You might so effing brilliant that V,6s are piece of piss for you: so good for you, well done, aren't you great, etc. But I'm probably not the only very moderately talented climber out there who has been quite proud of climbing V,6 in reasonable style. Plus I've also done V,6s that were neither time consuming nor tricky to protect, they were just tough moves, for me at least.
At the risk of a grave breach of etiquette, I'll try replying to the original question: I tried a wide range of tools before buying a pair of nomics about 2 years ago, including quarks. I think it may depend a bit on your climbing style - I am a bit thuggish and find the weighting of the nomics suits me. I've found the nomics versatile on a mix of conditions, which you can normally expect in Scotland. The best advice I could give is to try both - this is normally possible in the rather sterile environment of Vertical Chill or equivalent, although that can't give a real indication of real climbing conditions. Hope this helps.
Which would you choose - nomics
Why - they're better
> Which would you choose - nomics
> Why - they're better
like all good zen haikus, the reply is wordless.
Good point DanielJ. Do Nomics really make such a difference at grade IV?
i like it.
could this unwholesome appetite for nomics be the devils way of tempting us all into drytooling?
You seem to be guilty of making some assumptions here. Nowhere did I imply that I think climbing grade V is not challenging. What I was commenting on is my view of the NATURE of the challenge it poses. I firmly believe it is mainly related to factors other than the difficulty of the individual moves you need to climb.
For me, the whole joy of Scottish Winter climbing is that it is essentially the antithesis of bouldering. Success is generally related to your tenacity, perseverance and the ability to progress in a calm, considered and occasionally bold manner and has less direct connection to pure physicality.
One of my best ever climbing experiences was spending 3 hours leading my first pitch of VI,7 in the Cairngorms. I am massively proud of the fact that I persevered and succeeded but I am equally relaxed about the fact I was standing or bridged (albeit nervously) in balance for almost the entire time and that I didn't actually make a single 'hard' move on the whole pitch.
For me, it is just a statement of fact that the individual moves on Winter (or Alpine) routes are not particularly challenging in isolation, at least compared with other styles of climbing. If you have a different view, then we will just need to agree to disagree.
see!! its the devils work i tells ye
Now then, let's go out / to enjoy the snow... until / I slip and fall!
You wrote "The climbing is ultimately easy". Perhaps I was wrong to assume that when you wrote "easy" you meant "easy"? I have found otherwise in some cases.
To the OP: I've had Quarks since 2000. I've used them on some Welsh and English winter climbs, although not actually in Scotland, if I remember right. I've also climbed mixed and ice routes with friends' Nomics and the new Quarks. I would have thought that the Quark's main advantage would be the spike at the bottom for when you are on easier ground, whilst the Nomics are clearly one of the most popular and best respected tools for steep ground and hard climbing. So it might depend on what sort of climbing you do.
> Good point DanielJ. Do Nomics really make such a difference at grade IV?
NE Buttress - No
The Message - Yes
Does anyone apart from me use Reactors - or are they considered to be rubbish? (I've never used Quartks or Nomics).
Your criticism was probably justified and my reply rather harsh.
Especially taken in isolation, that phrase can certainly be interpreted, as you did, in implying that I consider grade V routes as easy.
As previously explained, I don't, I find grade V more than a worthy challenge. However, on nearly a score of grade Vs (including several I've backed off), I have regularly being massively gripped and 'hung on like grim death' but I have still not come across any particularly 'hard' moves. Committing, insecure, awkward, thrutchy and scary certainly, physically hard, no.
For what it's worth, I've just taken delivery of some Nomics because I felt the new-design Quarks I had just weren't reliable on small holds when I was gripping the neck (i.e. using the upper rests). They just kept blowing and this is even after I've done a fair amount of mixed climbing with them so it's no longer purely attributable to rookieness although it may partly be.
The Nomics don't blow. I can testify to this having just completed a first ascent of my refrigerator, with apologies to my live-in landlord (he's on holiday). You can climb with your hands in the upper position just about as safely as in the lower position. I really like them, in short. Yeah they're not so good for plunging but how often do you plunge as a necessity to keep you upright rather than as a mere backup/comfort thing? Not often
I think it was the original Fusions that Ian snapped. I've got Reactors, they are simple in an elegant way and seem pretty tough. I have mixed climbed with mine plenty, as well as lots of ice, and they're fine. They're five years old now as well, so have been used quite a lot. Not heard of anyone breaking that model.
The Reactors are the green BD ones. http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=80848
A chap here using them on Nevis VII,8 suggesting they won't hold you back on Scottish mixed! http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=108378
Good to have clarification on that point as it wouldn't do to have wrong allegations that a climber had snapped a pair of axes. Just to confirm that it was not the Reactors that were snapped, for anyone deciding to buy a pair...
careful nath. denial is the first sign. the devils greatest trick was to make us believe he didnt exist.
Interestingly I swapped Vipers with Androids for Reactors leashless and everything suddenly seemed easier (relatively.....actually I still find most things desperate). I bought them because they were cheap and I much preferred the feel of them to Fusions in the shop. I mentioned them because I rarely see other people with them. Good to know they're not prone to snapping in half!
Yeah it was Fusions that Ian Parnell snapped. I reckon every tool on the market will snap given the right (or wrong) combination of abuse.
I use Reactors with springy lanyards. I had a brief flirtation with fully leashless but got incredibly pumped from being scared to drop a tool.
I reckon Reactors are pretty good- they seem to do ice and mixed well enough. I've got the full size hammer and adze on mine.
good, good. thats the second stage. you can still be saved.
Elsewhere on the site
This streamlined, midweight thermal layer has an incredibly speedy moisture wicking ability and dries ultra fast if it gets... Read more
Climbing as a discipline offers plentiful metaphors for tackling life's obstacles - bravery, courage, climbing to... Read more
More than 20 years after first setting eyes on the peak and noting it as a potential objective, Mick Fowler, with Paul Ramsden,... Read more
October 21, 2014 – Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit dedicated to sustainability in the apparel and textile industry,... Read more
The B.D.V. — short for Black Diamond Vertical — jacket and pants are Black Diamond’s most versatile climbing... Read more