/ Vipers - "Scottish Mixed"

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CurlyStevo - on 10 Dec 2012
Hi,
I'm considering getting Vipers and I'm toying with getting the "Scottish Mixed" version.

http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Winter-Climbing-Equipment/Ice-Axes/LeashlessLeashed-Axes/Viper...

Does anyone have an opinion if the larger adze and hammer are really a plus for Scottish climbing?

- How hard is the normal hammer and adze to use?
- Is the scottish adze better for jamming in cracks (does anyone actually do this I've tried with my quarks but got no where!)
- Does the Scottish version unbalance the axes? I notice it makes them 50 grams heavier per axe.

Thanks,
Stevo
In reply to CurlyStevo: I've got both - a pair of old Rages with the large adze and hammer (interchangeable with the vipers') and also have some Vipers with the smaller versions of both adze and hammer.

In cruddy snow I might occasionally swing adze-first for a move or two, and the big one is definitely more confidence inspiring than the small adze for this; but it's not useful that often. I very rarely use an adze for cutting, and probably never for jamming into cracks, so on balance I can't say the small adze is that often a disadvantage really.

As for the big hammer, well I've bashed quite a few pegs in with both and it definitely has the edge over the weedy version. But the small hammer is still perfectly useable - it just takes more welly. The big one is also a bit better for climbing, though I rarely seem to use hammers for this.

I like the feel of the Vipers with the lighter set-up and haven't yet felt the need to swap the beefy hammer/adze over from my old Rages. So i can't tell you how having a heavier head affects the Viper swing. I tend to think the weight saving of the small versions trumps the slightly more useful size of the big adze/hammer
StuDoig - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
Hi Stevo,
I've got the vipers and think that the micro Adze fine, but the full weight hammer is far better imo. I've never used the adze for torquing in cracks, generally only for clearing and cutting. Full weight felt hammer much better in cracks, much better for knocking pegs in/out on the rate occasion I have to, and great as a "skeleton key" for padlocks if you've locked yourself out of the shed....

I'll qualify the above by saying I only briefly used the micro hammer and adze on a borrowed set prior to buying mine.

I've not found the balance to be a problem, but I was upgrading from old rages which weighed a ton each, at least (though were great axes too), but had similar / the same hammer and adze so didn't have any issues using them. Can't remember having any problem with them originally though.

I bought the same Scottish mixed set (actually ordered the normal set, but wrong set delivered - I decided to accept as wasn't all that bothered), and haven't changed out the adze yet (as that would cost money....).

Cheers,

Stuart.





Alex Slipchuk on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: i have converted my rages to leashless with petzl trigrests. I found that using laser picks and micro Adze and hammer made the balance better as my grip moved slightly up the tool. They actually mimic the new Quarks very well. I put the titan picks on my reactors. Seems better for mixed.
CurlyStevo - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:
Are you using the Titan picks? Do you find they still climb ice well? Do they taper in width from the head to the point (ie the narrowist measurement - across the top of the blade). Quark T picks didn't taper at all and I found they smashed up ice too much, plus the B rated picks are strong enough.
The Ex-Engineer - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> - Is the scottish adze better for jamming in cracks (does anyone actually do this I've tried with my quarks but got no where!)

I do it regularly on pretty much every mixed route I climb, especially in the Cairngorms - however I still use old school Vertiges for mixed which have a massive adze and torque brilliantly.

The fact that no modern axes torque well o hammers or adzes is one of the reasons I've not upgraded my axes for mixed.
Exile - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I have the big adze and hammer on my old kinked shafted Black Profits and found them both to be very useful for torquing / wedging into cracks, which I did realatively often. I'm not sure how well the curved Viper shaft would allow you to do this though.
In reply to CurlyStevo: The T-rated ones? Yes, they taper, and yes they're fine on ice, that's mostly what I've climbed with them (for what it's worth at my bumbly level)
CurlyStevo - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Exile:
When you do this are you revesing the whole axe? I tried it this way with the quarks (as well as the other way) but never found a good enough wedge to compensate for having a blade face me.
CurlyStevo - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:
ta
Simon Wells - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

The 'lite' adze is a total pain to use to dig / clear ledges. Having put the 'scottish' adze on it is a lot easer, the heavyer hammer makes bashing in pitons easer.

For scottish stuff I preffer the heaver set up
trivett - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Can't say i've used my set of 'needle sports special' scottish mixed vipers on much scottish mixed, but in the alps this summer the big adze was great for clearing a foot of chossy ice and neve to get to some decent screw placements!
Exile - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yeap, reversed the axe, but as they are kinked rather than bent shafted the hand position for using the adze / hammer like this was just the same as using the pick, just a little further up the tool.
Hay - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
I had standard adze and hammer but swapped to two micro hammers. Adzes freak me out - just perfectly designed eye scoop. Micro hammer fine for general bashing. Never had an issue digging. Just blooter about with the hammer and sweep away the mess. :)
nniff - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Reactor user, who removed the micro hammers and put a big adze and hammer on. Add a pair of beefy picks and it suits me nicely for Scotland. The adze is perfect for scraping rubbish out of corners to see if there's a crack there, and between the pick, hammer and adze there's usually something that fits most awkward cracks.
Wee Davie - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to nniff:

Same here. I like the bigger adze for both better clearing ability & the wider jams you can do with it. The big hammer is just easier to use too.
alasdair19 on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: get the Scottish version, I think the picks are the beefier ones which are well worth having buy spare ice picks at same time and swap round. I have torkrd the adze well worth 50g. V good tools.
ice.solo - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

i thought quarks were better?

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