/ heated ice axes
or even if you could climb with ice tools during the part of the year that wasnt freezing cold...
Most tools have a wee hole, right at the end.
You won't be cold when the "ethics police" go all Wicker Man. Anyone for flaming?
I think there would certainly be a market for rechargeable battery heated handles.
I think there would certainly be a problem with the heat travelling up the shaft to the pick and compromising your placements :-)
> I think there would certainly be a problem with the heat travelling up the shaft to the pick and compromising your placements :-)
I don't know. Just rest the pick gently on the ice and it will sink in smoothly. Switch off and the ice will freeze round the pick!
Then when you want to extract the pick switch on again and gently extract it.
Repeat process to the top. You could even enhance the experience with heated crampons!
Progress may be a little on the slow side though :(
Right, well if you think it's safe--you go first; I'm standing back to watch :-)
> However, surely alternating between freezing hands and hot aches are de rigueur for winter climbing!
Unfortunately it is, especially if you have poor circulation or reynauds, as I know a lot of other people on here suffer from. But it's far from ideal isn't it, it's certainly not what I go out for and something which everyone tries to avoid as it's unpleasant and slows things up.
The time the hot aches gets me is after a long stint on belay, seconding a pitch I find difficult, body cold, hands above my head trying to work out what to do and holding on to cold axe shafts. It takes the fun away and slows you down, having a warm axe to hold on to would keep the pain at bay and speed things up.
I suppose it would depend how hot the charcoal sticks got but I don't see it traveling all the way up the shaft and heating the pick to a stage where it's so hot it melts the ice. It's probably on mixed ground that people suffer most anyway and you don't need a cold pick to hook.
I guess you wear them over your trousers then...
Have you considered a pair of Cobras? Carbon fibre shafts'll be less cold to hold, and having to shell out £500 is bound to keep you steamed up for at least a full season
> or even if you could climb with ice tools during the part of the year that wasnt freezing cold...
That would be dry tooling on Grit then....
> That would be dry tooling on Grit then....
yeah but surely cold hands is the bigger issue here
The outside of your hand would still need to be protected from the elements. Specialist glove design as current gloves would insulate the fingers from the warmth.
Most of the blood is occluded from the tissue when you are gripping.
Sweaty hands and loss of grip
Grip material would have to be thermally conductive opposed to insulating
Handle material; if aluminum the whole of the shaft would heat and spread through the head to the pick
Battery performance in cold weather, belt style lithium ion power sorce
It would be an excellent project for an under grad to look at and play with. University of Edinburgh or Salford. Though for what is available at present it would more likely be a feasible option to have heated grips or as someone else has stated heated gloves.
The easiest solution would be a heating element held loosely against the wrist with a modified pressure cuff, major blood vessels close to the surface and minimal loss of dexterity.
>Battery performance in cold weather, belt style lithium ion power sorce
I'd probably shy away from anything battery operated for the faff factor and like you say, the fact that a battery wouldn't operate that well inside a cold axe and outside of it would be a total nightmare of faff. I think a carbon hand warmer would be better as you could just stick it in and forget about it.
>Specialist glove design as current gloves would insulate the fingers from the warmth.
Gloves provide some insulation but obviously not complete otherwise no one would get cold hands. If you can feel cold through a glove surely you can feel warmth also. The intention isn't to be so warm that it heats your hands, it's to mitigate the effect of super cooled metal touching your hand. The grip is rubberized and your gloves provide some insulation but I can still feel the difference between holding the axe and not holding it. Even if I'm not gripping hard.
The grip wouldn't have to be changed for something more conductive, rubberised grips are insulating but they do conduct. If you put a piece of rubber on the radiator it will warm up, even though it's an insulating material.
>Sweaty hands and loss of grip
The thought was that a carbon rod shoved up the bottom would be an easy way to take the edge off the coldness of the steel and prevent it from cooling your hands any more than necessary, if something would give me hands so hot they were sweaty while climbing I'd be laughing.
>just stick some handwarmers... in the axe(it would be fun to try). no point trying to re-engineer all the nice insulation that is allready there...
isn't that what I said?
I agree with the "axe = heatsink" comment. If you apply the heat inside the shaft, most of the heat will be lost.
However, you could buy electric heating wire and wrap it around your handles, and then cover it with as few layers of grip tape as possible.
The problem, of course, would be to supply power to it. Batteries out in the cold would suffer, but the only warm place to have them is inside your clothes, and then you'd need to connect to the axes, which means leashless moves are no longer an option.... But if you're using umbilicals or climbing leashed, it's a useful idea.
> I agree with the "axe = heatsink" comment. If you apply the heat inside the shaft, most of the heat will be lost.
Yeah that's a good point, I guess you'd need to test it to see how much of a problem it was though. There's quite a lot of heat generated from those wee carbon rods, if you had two or three of them in there then even if a large proportion of the heat was lost there might still be enough to make a difference.
Everyone seems to be missing the obvious here - go ice-climbing in the sunshine!
Photo of the excellent ice conditions on Cairnsmore two years ago this week not too far from your house:-
Mind you we could be waiting a long time to get such good conditions again!
If anyone does start trying these things, please do report your attempts :)
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