/ Grip rests
With the new grip rests this doesn't seem to be the case as the rest prevents the spike gripping. Having tried my mates with rests this feels much less secure- is there a reason for this? Also any recommendations for an axe good for big hands?
Here are some black prophets http://www.alpinedave.com/jpg/icetools.jpg I don't see how that spike can really be against the ice that much? If the spike protruded too much it would actually stop the blade from going in properly surely?
I've got a set of Black Prophets which are one of the best leashed tools known to man - but if you want to go leashless don't mess around trying to convert tools to do something they were never designed to do. Check out Grivel X Monsters for big hands - I've now got a pair, (X Monsters that is, not big hands,) and they climb very well. For your purposes the handles have a lot more room than many tools.
I would say the base of your tool should always rest against the ice and if it skids around something is badly wrong at the business end!
Grip rests are great as they protect your fingers on knobbly ice, make the tool easier to grip (even if you're not going leashless) and keeps your hands warmer. I added them to my Quarks about a decade ago, and the tools I've used since (Reactors and Vipers) both have them. If they lead to "skidding" you're doing something wrong somewhere else I think.
i agree. aside from the otherwise stupid scalloped thing on recent versions of nomics, few other tools have this.
it doesnt concern me as much as you it seems, but i agree that some sort of bite in the grip rest wouldnt hurt - even just a few small teeth, not a spike, and certainly not the glove-chewing thing petzl use (that i covered with tape and find now works better).
I have the Nomics with the silly serrations on the bottoms. Then generally do nothing other than hurt your hand when reverse plunging. (they sometime grip the ice but rarely).
I think it all down to placements. The geometry of modern axes is designed to pull through the pick. (a down ward force being more secure and reliable)
I found over time and with experience you get better at axe placements and just 'know' when its good and when its not. The absence of the spike is nice however when thrutching up mixed stuff, as you don't snag your self any more.
IMHO experiences is a big factor in ice climbing over strength. Knowing how hard to grip how to make efficient swings, when to tip tap ont he think stuff and when to hack away when it looks a bit rotten.
As to trusting the pics I found a bit of dry tooling goes a long way. (White goods or the works for example) You learn that the picks can move around a bit and still be solid. how to move around side ways etc on one axe. That the picks do hold you on very small holds 'match heads' in fact. It also helps with learning body tension and keeping your weight on your front points. Some indoor walls (Liverpool) have telegraphs poles to practise 'ice' techniques as well.
It helped me. After a bit of dry tooling i went from simple garde IV chop ups to VI 6 hanging ice daggers. I wouldn't say I am comfortable on them they are very insecure features but I can climb them confidently knowing the pics stay put.
I've gone from Pulsars to new Quarks. The spike on the quark protrudes below the grip rest and does the sticking think quite often, dependent on the shape of the ice. I remember feeling this action a lot this weekend and quite liking it. Of course, the weight diff from the Pulsars is phenomenal!
But will the dagger?! :)
Yup my thoughts exactly as you gently chip your way up em. Always a thank god moment when you get onto more solid ground.
I think you'd have to be climbing some pretty funny shaped ice for the spike on the quark to be digging in and for that to be helpful in some way (in fact I can remember occasionally thinking it would make my pick less bomber!), the grip rest does often push against the ice though which can be useful on easy ground.
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