/ Ice Axe Advice Please!

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Superchop75 - on 22 Dec 2012
Looking to invest in a new pair of axes shortly.
I basically want a good all rounder that'll do me up to Grade V.
My current thinking is either the new Flys or some second hand new model Quarks.
Any advice on either or other suggestions would be most welcome.

Cheers all!
Radioactiveman - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75:

the new flys are 100 each on theoutdoorshop or 110 @ field and trek

Went on sale just after I bought a set. As for what to go for no idea I am new to winter
iksander on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75: Reactors
highclimber - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75: Don't buy the flys. spend a bit more and get the quarks. you might even find someone selling some 2nd hand though they might be the old style which are still better than the Flys.

That said, I do like the look of the new DMM range!
The Ex-Engineer - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75: Why not go for a new pair of quarks?

You can get them for 243, if you get Go Outdoor to price match at 10% less than the 135 each they are from the Outdoor Shop http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN19526

Or you can get BD Reactors for 240 from the Outdoor Shop http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN5322
steveshaking - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
> (In reply to Superchop75) Why not go for a new pair of quarks?
>
> You can get them for 243, if you get Go Outdoor to price match at 10% less than the 135 each they are from the Outdoor Shop http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN19526
>
> Or you can get BD Reactors for 240 from the Outdoor Shop http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN5322

Or the old flies for 170 pair and have change for some ice screws.
Its difficult. Yes you might want to upgrade in a couple of years. So spend more now, or save your money and see how the flies go?
I have the old flies, they are a great all rounder. Its true I am thinking of upgrading, I will see how this winter goes, but its only my compusive shopping problem, they are
The Ex-Engineer - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to steveshaking: I'm afraid I must be completely missing something about DMM Flys.

I didn't rate them 10 years ago, have I never rated them since and I do not rate them now. With the exception of Stubai Hornets I cannot think of a single less inspiring ice axe.

They are a mediocre axe for ice routes, they are a pretty poor axe for mixed routes, they are not even a fantastic axe for mountaineering routes and they are not something anyone would choose to take up an alpine North Face.

Quite simply I cannot see a single reason on God's earth to buy them apart from either blinkered loyalty to DMM or that fact you have the imagination of a turnip.
ice.solo - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

its the same mentality that has people still buying nomics, even after the f*ck ups and stupid redesigns from petzl.
fusions solved all those issues and bettered the nomic blueprint in several other ways - but still 'ooohhhh, nomics, gotta have them'.

OP: whoever suggest reactors, heed that idea. best all rounder out there with the geometry for mixed, the ergonomics for classic alpine and the add-ons for anything you can think of.
cheaper too (at least where i am).
steveshaking - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer: no wonder people are reluctant to post, turnip.
I think flies are limited, I talk about upgrading, the only thing I am bigging up is the price.
But they have stood the test of time, they are ok, for a lot of us punters they fall into the realm if being adequate and good value. If you are able to do a lot of winter stuff that probably isn't enough, but if its the odd weekend each year may be they are enough.
The Ex-Engineer - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to ice.solo: As far as Reactors go, they do have the distinction that they are the only axe currently in production that I don't think would be guaranteed to be worst than my current axes for 'Gorms mixed.

However, I am not really a 'follower of fashion' when it comes to mixed climbing as I'm only now considering upgrading from Vertiges to Aliens ;-)
Liam Ingram - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
> (In reply to steveshaking) I'm afraid I must be completely missing something about DMM Flys.
>

What he said.

ice.solo - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
>
> However, I am not really a 'follower of fashion' when it comes to mixed climbing as I'm only now considering upgrading from Vertiges to Aliens ;-)

i know a museum where they wouldnt notice a pair missing if youre in the market.

its the wizard not the wand....
Superchop75 - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75:

Thanks for the advice and opinion folks.

I think I'll get Xmas out of the way and have a look for some Quarks.

Cheers all!
CurlyStevo - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75:
The upper grip rest of the new quarks is brittle and is breaking regularly in use.

The other gripe if from what I've seen the head metal is very soft like the old quark. It's not a safety issue on my old quarks yet but it does get worn down when mixed climbing.
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
> (In reply to ice.solo) As far as Reactors go, they do have the distinction that they are the only axe currently in production that I don't think would be guaranteed to be worst than my current axes for 'Gorms mixed.

I've read that sentence about 10 times, and still can't work out what you are trying to say. As you're making a comparison it has to be "worse" not "worst", but then it could mean either were the best or the second from worst.
steveshaking - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
Despite being a turnip for buying Flies in the first place - where next is still a problem.
The reactors look good and good value, but come with B picks which isn't great in Scotland? There is the new apex and switch. Obviously quarks - but they have a soft head and brittle rests says curleysteveo, vipers at needlesports come in a variety of configurations including a Scottish version. Its hard.
Can't see myself climbing beyond grade 5 so not looking at anything too exotic.
The Ex-Engineer - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA: Sorry, it was a typo. It should have been 'worse'.

When mixed climbing I still regularly place pitons/warthogs/bulldogs so I want a hammer that will function at least as well as a 600g Vertige (which isn't even that great in the first place). I also want the ability to easily torque both adze and hammer in cracks.

Put these two requirements together and I end up discounting pretty much every modern ice as they all have geometries optimised for steep ice or hooking on overhanging terrain which preclude easy hammering or torquing. Pretty much the only modern technical axe I can't discount on those grounds are Reactors fitted with BD's standard hammer and adze.

It is probably worth mentioning that I am not completely stuck in the dark ages. I've been climbing mixed leashless with Grivel triggers fitted for several years and for ice climbing I bought original Quarks soon after they cam out, which were then replaced with X-Monsters.
http://www.vimeo.com/19746428 A pair of Fusions plus a holstered peg hammer. Sorted.
Ronan O Keeffe on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75:
Anyone looked at any of the e-climb offerings? They're shiny if nothing else.
http://www.e-climb.com/piolets_en/
Mountain Llama on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75: IMHO I. Would get your self in a shop which stocks several makes. Give them all a swing and see how they feel. Take your gloves along so you can see how the handle and grips feel. Decide if you want a real hammer or adase, then make your choice.

HTH Davey
ads.ukclimbing.com
The Ex-Engineer - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA: I have been thinking that a peg hammer or 3rd tool might indeed be the way forward. However that still doesn't address the issue about the ability to adze torque that 'old skool' Vertiges, Aliens or Predators have.
The Ex-Engineer - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Ronan O Keeffe: I've had a good look at the e-climb axes. I am a great fan of triggers so the fact you can fit them makes them very appealing at least for ice and alpine use. In more general terms, they look like they have a very similar geometry to other tools from the big manufacturers so there shouldn't be any surprises about how they climb.

However, given how competitive the retail environment is in the UK, I was slightly less impressed with their prices compared to Quarks, Reactors etc..
nniff - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
> (Pretty much the only modern technical axe I can't discount on those grounds are Reactors fitted with BD's standard hammer and adze.
>

This is what suits me all round - Reactors, big hammer, adze and jaggy picks (slightly dejagged on top) for Scotland. Skinny picks for ice falls.

Proper leashless, spike. Sane price, and they work.

I've studiously avoided trying the Nomics that belong to Sparrow (of this parish) on the basis that I might like them, when I know perfectly well that I'm perfectly happy with my Reactors. I also know that digging out cracks with a BD adze is a breeze, and a right pain with nothing but a teeny hammer.
Superchop75 - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75:

Ok.

So now I'm totally confused!

Quarks or Vipers sound like the way to go.

Bearing in mind I'm a big lad (17 stone).

Which?!

steveshaking - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Superchop75: other shops may do the same, but going through the same process I noticed needlesports do variants on the vipers eg a scottish version with larger hammer and adze. The standard one comes with b rated picks and possiawhich may not be what you are looking for.

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