/ Grip rests

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spearing05 - on 10 Apr 2013
After some thoughts. I have a pair of BD Black prophets and despite the p##s taking from my mate about them being heavy and clunky I do like them.I have big hands and find these suit this.Also I really like the way the spike on the base engages giving an extra point of contact with the ice. However I really want to greet a newer pair and go leashless
spearing05 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to spearing05: Posted too soon.

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?
In reply to spearing05: I've climbed on kinked handled tools and I'm not very convinced the bottom spike does "engage" much.

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?
spearing05 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to TobyA: That's 'em. When you've swung and the pic is in just pushing the handle forward a couple of inches gets the spike at the base against the ice and means it doesn't skid about at all. Maybe my technique I'd all wrong but it does feel more secure. Mind you they stick so well I sometimes struggle to get the damn things out . . .
Exile - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to spearing05:

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.
In reply to spearing05:
> (In reply to TobyA) That's 'em. When you've swung and the pic is in just pushing the handle forward a couple of inches gets the spike at the base against the ice and means it doesn't skid about at all.

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.
spearing05 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to TobyA: That's the thing the base of the prophets that is against the ice is a sharp bit of steel and as you weight them this bites into the ice taking some of the load and meaning that if the load isn't directly in line with the tool it doesn't matter.With tools that have grip rests, although the base of the tool rests against the ice (and the rest holds it off slightly protecting your knuckles as you point out) the bit that is against the ice is the smooth plastic rest rather than the sharp metal spike.This means any pull that is not directly down causes the axe to rotate about the pic till it is vertical.
spearing05 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to spearing05: As you point out this indicates something wrong at the business end and obviously when you have a good solid pick placement the tool is going nowhere. However on thin/weak ice that extra grip at the base and the load being shared over two points is much much more secure or maybe I just need to trust the pick more
ice.solo - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to spearing05:

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).
spearing05 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to ice.solo: Glad I make sense to someone.Took my first ever lead fall this year and it was on ice when the tool I was resting on just pulled out along with the ice it was gripping. Climbed quite a few routes since but trust in placementshas been slow to return. Guess it's just experience, at the moment anything short if a solid 'thunk' leaves me slightly nervous. And it's got to be said the prophets do a solid 'thunk'very well.
In reply to ice.solo: My Reactors have a slight metal tooth thingy above and below the handle (grip rest and the secondary hand postion), but I don't think it makes a blind bit of difference to the plastic one on the Vipers.

A Crook on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to spearing05:

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.
BruceM - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to spearing05:
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!
In reply to A Crook:
> 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.

But will the dagger?! :)

A Crook on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Yup my thoughts exactly as you gently chip your way up em. Always a thank god moment when you get onto more solid ground.
CurlyStevo - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to BruceM:
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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BnB - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: I find the grip rests at the foot of my Quarks are already showing quite a few scratches after only two outing. I don't mind the gnarly look but I definitely agree it is the rests, not the spike whihc are locking in the the ice at the bottom of the axe.

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