/ Scottish winter: Quarks vs Nomics

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Sliabh1982 - on 07 Dec 2012
Which would you choose and why?
Jamie B - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:

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?
Sliabh1982 - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

sorry, up to and around grade V of Scottish mixed.

at the moment DMM Flys.
highclimber - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982: Quarks, they have a hammer and it's easier to attach clipper leashes to them due to the lack of a ferrule on the Nomics
Jamie B - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:

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.
Wee Davie - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

Flys are great tools man! Grade VII was climbed with Terrors ffs!
Jamie B - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:

Any axe which cannot be used leashless has to be seen as archaic.
Sliabh1982 - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

thanks for the thoughts.

so can't the new Flys be used leashless? Not that I want a new pair!
Wee Davie - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

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.
Jamie B - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:

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.
ice.solo - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:

id choose fusions because im tired of the argument. and theyre cheaper than both.
nufkin - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Sliabh1982)
>
> 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.
Double Knee Bar - on 07 Dec 2012
The new DMM apexs look like a fantastic tool, somewhere inbetween a quark and a nomic. I'd go for them.
Nick Russell on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:
> The new DMM apexs look like a fantastic tool

I'm thinking of getting these for this season (and hopefully many after...). Anybody got experience using them?

highclimber - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:
> (In reply to Jamie Bankhead)
>
> 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.

ScraggyGoat on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:


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!

The Ex-Engineer - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:
> sorry, up to and around grade V of Scottish mixed.

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.
jhw - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

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!
Wee Davie - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

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.... ; )
The Ex-Engineer - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw: I think you slightly missed my point.

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.
ice.solo - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to nufkin:

damn...what are fusions worth where you are?
Sam Simpson - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to highclimber: amen
weejimmy - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:

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!
ice.solo - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:

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?
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
> The climbing is ultimately easy but is invariably time consuming, awkward and tricky to protect.

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.
nightclimber - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:
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.
jhw - on 08 Dec 2012
Note that it's possible to retrofit an adze and hammer to Nomics, although they're quite expensive
Exile - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:

Which would you choose - nomics

Why - they're better
Rick Ashton - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982: Nomics every time. You'll never regret it.
ice.solo - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Exile:
> (In reply to Sliabh1982)
>
> Which would you choose - nomics
>
> Why - they're better

like all good zen haikus, the reply is wordless.
ads.ukclimbing.com
DanielJ - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to ice.solo: Its also required to state that some uber hardmen climbed scottish this and that in the eighties with possibly even worse axe than the Fly. Why could you possibly want something better if youre not onsighting tech 10? Who do you think you are?

Wee Davie - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to DanielJ:

Good point DanielJ. Do Nomics really make such a difference at grade IV?
ice.solo - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to DanielJ:

i like it.

could this unwholesome appetite for nomics be the devils way of tempting us all into drytooling?
The Ex-Engineer - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> I get kinda of annoyed by statements like this ...

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.
Nath93 - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982: I use an old set of Fly's (two different models might i add) simply because i'm incredibly poor. If I could afford a decent pair of axes i'd buy Quarks just for the long term aspect of things. Although Nomics would be handy for Dry Tooling, and i do enjoy Dry Tooling.
ice.solo - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Nath93:
> Although Nomics would be handy for Dry Tooling, and i do enjoy Dry Tooling.

see!! its the devils work i tells ye
L.A. on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to ice.solo:
Now then, let's go out / to enjoy the snow... until / I slip and fall!
Basho
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

> You seem to be guilty of making some assumptions here.

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.

Exile - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:
> (In reply to DanielJ)
>
> Good point DanielJ. Do Nomics really make such a difference at grade IV?

NE Buttress - No

The Message - Yes

Nath93 - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to ice.solo: Come on, Its not all that bad haha !
WILLS - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982: I have both the older version of quarks and the new version of nomics. While I love the nomics; they suit water ice routes much better. My quarks suit welsh winter and easy alpine stuff. But they also do fine on WI5. The nomics are really great on WI4 upwards, mixed climbing is also great with them if there isn't a large 150m snow slope above you. You can fit an adze to them but they still take a lot of effort to plunge. I have considered selling both pairs and buying the new quarks but just can't be bothered with the hassle of it.
Robert Durran - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Sliabh1982:

Does anyone apart from me use Reactors - or are they considered to be rubbish? (I've never used Quartks or Nomics).
The Ex-Engineer - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> 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.

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.
jhw - on 09 Dec 2012
My impression of Reactors (never having used them) is that they're great but I read on here about, I think, Ian Parnell or was it Neil Gresham breaking them - twice - so that put me off. Not that I'd ever approach the kind of stuff these two are engaging.

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
In reply to jhw:
> My impression of Reactors (never having used them) is that they're great but I read on here about, I think, Ian Parnell or was it Neil Gresham breaking them - twice - so that put me off.

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

In reply to Robert Durran: I think somehow BD managed to undersell the Reactors. I think they're great, I'm just rubbish at leashless climbing so have Vipers as well as for steep ice I prefer to use the latter with the android leashes, but if you like being leashless I reckon the Reactors are excellent, strong, simple, effective and best of all pretty cheap!

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
jhw - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:

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...
ice.solo - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Nath93:
> (In reply to ice.solo) Come on, Its not all that bad haha !

careful nath. denial is the first sign. the devils greatest trick was to make us believe he didnt exist.
Robert Durran - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) I think somehow BD managed to undersell the Reactors. I think they're great, I'm just rubbish at leashless climbing so have Vipers as well as for steep ice I prefer to use the latter with the android leashes, but if you like being leashless I reckon the Reactors are excellent, strong, simple, effective and best of all pretty cheap!

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!
Wee Davie - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

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.
Nath93 - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to ice.solo: I'm not denying it mate, I'm admitting my love for it !
ice.solo - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Nath93:

good, good. thats the second stage. you can still be saved.

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