/ NEW REVIEW: Top Ice Axes - Reviewed
If you are in the market for some technical tools, this is the review for you.
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4473
The switch isn't out yet, so I don't think they could. It would be nice if they updated this to include the switch when it comes out.
I was also planning on updating my vipers to switches, but reading this it seems they recommend Apex's unless I plan on lots of single pitch dry tooling. I think it's a bit too early to write the switch off as a tooling axe and not a Alpine or Scottish axe.
I would have liked to see the Trango Raptor included as well. Looks like a good axe, (at least better than DMMs at a glance) at a super competitive price.
Anyone tried it or at least fondled with it?
The swedish outdoor retailer www.northstar.se usually has some Trango stuff, but for now not the Raptor. I“ll give them a call and see if they“re planning to have them in stock. Just googling I cant find Raptors anywhere in Europe.
Found them at US sites for 330 USD/pair, if thats not a steal what is?
First saw the axes mentioned at http://coldthistle.blogspot.se/ and then on mountainproject.com ,like other nerds I guess...
> The switch isn't out yet, so I don't think they could. It would be nice if they updated this to include the switch when it comes out.
Agreed (hint hint, UKC).
From the DMM website, it looks like the Switch is pretty much the same as the Apex aside from a slightly more ergonomic handle - plunging aside, I assume it will be as good as the Apex for what the review described, and even better for dry/mixed. Very keen to see one!
Good review, thanks for some good food for thought.
The Switch may not be in the shops yet but couldn't someone have got hold of a pair to test anyway? Comparing them to Black Diamond, they look more like Fusions while the Apex look more like Vipers?
Based on DMM's past form with new stuff (Alpha Lights, handled ice screws), I wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't actually made any yet!
> The switch isn't out yet
I realise that. From the video in the article, though, it's clear that DMM have samples ready. I think it's a pity that a pair wasn't available for this review.
It's very brave to do a review like this. If you ask a sponsored climber what tool is best of course they'll say it's their sponsors! If you need to buy one tool that does everything, buy a nomic, fusions are way too heavy and not well balanced in my opinion. Nothing swings better in ice than a nomic with weights on. If you want a pure drytooling or hard mixed, the e-climbs cryo and petzl ergos are the bill, cryos are longer and make everything easier, a bit like cheating really ;)
The selection of tools tested is about right, i would have add cassin/camp and e-climb as well. But if you include the grivel alloy, you really need to include the ergo's and cryos. Anyways, the most important thing is technique and forearms! ;)
Happy crushing everyone
I should add that despite dmm having come a long way since rebels and anarchist, their pick design is still poor and the grip handle and grip rest are way behind what everyone else is delivering in terms of ergonomics and adjustability. On that note, edelrid have cracked the ergonomics better, but non-adjustable pommel is a massive problem if you want a tool for everything.
The perfect all rounder pick though would be the bd design with the strength of petzl or e-climb. Best drytooling is undoubtely e-climbs.
They only sell direct, don't they? A shame, as it would be nice to feel how these compared to everything else mentioned in the review in a shop
ive tried 2 types of bubus (ones with the 'S' shaft and ones with the exaggerated double grip) and they are exceptional.
i only used them on a steep ice wall, not alpine stuff, but can imagine they are less suited to alpine as they are very light (carbon) and not designed for torquing in cracks, bashing into hard ice or pioleting/daggering.
also, snapping a pick (they are very thin) would be a nightmare, even sitting in a heated cafe without gloves on they are fiddly to replace and a bizarre shape to carry.
as a minor detail, attaching them to a pack would be an exercise in itself.
but magic on steep ice (if you can afford them)
the two i tried are here
the geometry eg where pick and handle are relative to one another are allmost identical, the switch simply has an off set (ergo,nomic,fusion) style handle. the curve for both axes is near identical.
I'm particularly impressed by the far more durable picks. What will new picks cost? I'm fed up with BD £40 a pop....
there are far more similar than say the viper and fusion.
likewise have fumbled them in the shop (theyve made it to japan). seem nice.
this season ive climbed mostly with fusions. i lost one nomic (1st gen) so replaced it with a new gen one and im not impressed. all sorts of tiny differences that added up dont float my boat: the pommel issue obviously (you can even see the crappy looking metal work...), then the silly scalloped thing. the handles a bit longer too, which when combined with a small change in geometry between the handle and the pick tip - they just dont have what they once did.
or maybe its me (4 seasons/approx 150 days on them may have made me picky, ho ho).
fusions are heftier, but resolve the niggling issues with nomics and they punch into ice much better. i miss the nomic handgrip, but appreciate the molded upper grip over the $3 tennis racquet junk petzl use.
nomics are nicer to hook with if its that sort of thing, but if im on virgin ice or steep/overhung stuff needing a bit of juice, fusions win for me.
ive also used reactors a bit this season too and they are damned nice tools - other than for heavily featured ice requiring the clearance, id take them equally to nomics.
truth be told, i find nomics and cobras to feel identical. screwy due to the different shapes, but balance, weight etc made no noticeable different.
I do have small/medium hands, but have had no trouble with a thickish glove like a ME guide or Randomee.
Hope this adds a little more to a quite comprehensive review.
> ive also used reactors a bit this season too and they are damned nice tools - other than for heavily featured ice requiring the clearance, id take them equally to nomics.
Reactors - agree, very underrated tools
Although I love my Nomics and rate them higher than any of the other axes I“ve tried the Raptors gives me a kind of "need to have-feeling". Too bad I dont know anyone whos going to the US, again 330USD/pair is a real bargain!
My review from 2007 www.lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2007/02/black-diamond-reactors-review.html (Vipers and Quarks mentioned in the piece are of course the first gen. of both).
Ive spoken to the guys at www.northstar.se and theyre willing to order Raptors in their next order from Trango. Shipping Will be a couple of weeks, price will be surprisingly low. 2700/pair or 2600/pair if 2 pairs are ordered. 1300 SEK/axe equalls something like 115£ so Its a extremely competetive price for ą axe thats supposed to be among the best of the bunch.
That was enough for one of my friends who just ordered a pair. Im however rather cash strapped so cant justify it. Oh well, at least Ill be able ro try them
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