/ DMM Fly vs BD Viper Help me choose

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BnB - on 04 Mar 2013
I'm hoping to take advantage of any season end clearance offers to pick up a bargain pair of technical axes (adze & hammer). I'm confident leading up to grade II at the moment, with a modicum of experience on short grade III pitches. Nevertheless I'm hoping to improve my capabilities come next winter, mostly on Scottish ice with the inevitable mixed. On the other hand, I'm 50 years old so hardly likely to reach beyond grade IV any time soon!!

The DMM Fly and BD Viper seem to be most highly regarded tools. But which is right for me? Any others to consider?

Thanks for any advice.
CurlyStevo - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB:
Personally I don't see many / any advantages to the Fly over the Viper. I take it you'd be looking at the new Flys with the hand rest with view to using lanyards over old school leashes?
CurlyStevo - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB:
That said at grade III and under I don't think the differences between the new flys and vipers are going to be that profound.
climber34neil - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: it's got to be vipers, fantastic tools and good deals around on them at the moment
David Barratt - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: Vipers. I'm not climbing any better than you right now and I've found the vipers great.
Mike Lates - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: Pick one up & its likely to be obvious which suits you. Apply the same to anything else in your budget.
BnB - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:
> (In reply to BnB) Pick one up & its likely to be obvious which suits you. Apply the same to anything else in your budget.

Sounds like eminently sensible advice. Thanks Mike.

In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to BnB)
> Personally I don't see many / any advantages to the Fly over the Viper. I take it you'd be looking at the new Flys with the hand rest with view to using lanyards over old school leashes?

Yes, that was what I had in mind.

Plenty of early votes for the Viper. Is the curved shaft of the Viper (compared to the Fly) a liability (or advantage) when plunging the spike traversing steep terrain, or when daggering?
JLS on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to the thread:

Should the OP consider wether the picks are "T" rated or "B" rated?
BnB - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to the thread)
>
> Should the OP consider wether the picks are "T" rated or "B" rated?

I was expecting to go for T-rated
JLS on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB:

>"expecting to go for T-rated"

I could be wrong but I had thought Vipers came with "B" rated picks as standard and Flys "T" rated.
BnB - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to BnB)
>
> >"expecting to go for T-rated"
>
> I could be wrong but I had thought Vipers came with "B" rated picks as standard and Flys "T" rated.

You are correct: the Vipers come with B-rated as standard but you can upgrade when you make the purchase.
Kid Spatula - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB:

They're also pretty frickin' tough B rated picks.
Mountain Llama - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: I have n't swung the new fly's so can't comment. Had vipers for a couple of years and would rate them - previously had old style fly's.

I would go into a shope which stocks both and give them a swing with your gloves on, so you can check handles out and see how they feel. Both are not ideal for plunging due to hand rest.

If you go for the vipers with b rated picks you'll be fine unless un get into mixed climbing in a big way.

HTH Davey
BikeClimbWalk - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB:
I've used the old Flys and currently have the Vipers, comfortable on IIIs and climbed a couple of IVs.
Both axes are great axes and whichever you choose I doubt you would be dissapointed. The 2 reasons I prefer the Viper are, they are more comfortable to hold on the head when walking with (the Flys lump was rather uncomfortable) and the Vipers are easier to use leashless with the trigrests (not an issue with new Fly design).
Adam T on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: I have the new Flys used them in the Ice Factor, and grade IV on the Ben. They were only 99 each from the Outdoor Shop, i am pleased with them but after having a go with the new DMM Apex's i wish i would have purchased them instead, my advice from limited personal experience is try before you buy if possible.
jas wood - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: http://www.urbanrock.com/technical-ice-tools-pair-deals for your need i'd get the new fly's and get a spring leash. IF you intend to use the tools leashed, god knows why!, the old fly's are quite cheap.

Vipers are good tools but i personally favour the new fly's

Jason
Gob_Stopper on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: Easy. Vipers every day of the week.

The new DMM axe which is one up from a fly has a nice swing too. Not a fan of Flys - at all.
Double Knee Bar - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Gob_Stopper: just been to Rjukan with my DMM apexs. Fantastic on steep ice.
Nath93 - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: I have old school Fly's with pinky rests at the bottom for climbing leashless, but that's mainly because i can't afford anything better but they do the job and will get you up pretty much everything in that cat but if had the choice between either then i'd go for the Viper.

You had a swing of the Petzl Quark ?
alasdair19 on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: allmost all modern tools are amazing. I have vipers. Best plan is rotate picks, save a pair for ice. Can be worth doing the same for crampons, the bd picks are expensive to replace.
LJC - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: Which ones would you actually like to buy? Get them and get excited about using them.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Nath93:
i own the old quarks and believe it or nor find vipers swing and stick better in ice.
alasdair19 on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: its funny isn't it how personal it is, mostly these threads are less than helpful as we've actually really used so few tools. And for most of them are obsolete!

Camp woodpecker, Simond piranhas, vertige, dads old terror, grey and now one Orange viper, quarks and brief goes on a few more.
Damo on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to alasdair19:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo) its funny isn't it how personal it is, ...vertige, dads old terror, grey and now one Orange viper, quarks and brief goes on a few more.

Agreed, very personal, for lots of reasons - arm length, strength, grip, hand size, what you used before etc etc.

Though having used Vertiges for years, and having climbed at least several pitches of steep ice with them, Pulsars, Quasars, Vipers, Cobras (old), Cobras (new), Predators and a few others, I can say with some certainty that Vertiges would not be my pick of that lot! ;-)

On the other hand, original Vipers felt better in the hand from the word go than any tool I've ever tried.

I reckon UKC should arrange for TobyA to do a gear review where he climbs the same pitch of ice with three or four different vintage tools - Terrordactyls, Vertiges, Pulsars and Nomics. Photos or it didn't happen - video even better. Toby?
alasdair19 on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Damo: excellent idea and to be fair he should climb in order of date of manufacture so there is no sneaky hooking!

I mostly used the later vertige which was better balanced than the original knuckle masher
Henry Iddon - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Damo:

Drop a chacal / Barracuda combo in that mix.
steveshaking - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: I upgraded from old fly to viper after just 2 seasons, which does waste money even reselling them. I am in my 50s. Basically u found the curve of the viper made them much better as they are more secure on mixed, have more clearance on ice, more clearance daggering too. Basically nicer and safer.
Not sure if the new flys are as curved.
Haven't found the curve an issue plunging or using the hammer but obviously a straight shaft would do those jobs better.
Got mind from needlesports who sell them in a variety of guises including t rated picks.
Jimmybarr on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB:

Get the Vipers from Needlesports in the 'Scottish mixed' flavour. You can't go wrong.
HeMa on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Damo:
> I reckon UKC should arrange for TobyA to do a gear review where he climbs the same pitch of ice with three or four different vintage tools - Terrordactyls, Vertiges, Pulsars and Nomics. Photos or it didn't happen - video even better. Toby?

I'll promise to tag along and shoot pics + video.
ianstevens - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: Go and have a swing of each, and your mind will be made up. I'm a quark owner (beautiful tools) myself, so can't really recommend either. However, I had a play with the new style flys (and apex's) recently just to see what they were like, and tbh thought they were horrid. Rather like someone had take a concrete block and put it on top of a twig, then sharpened said block.

Anyhow, I guess my point is different tools are balanced differently, and you may find that you enjoy using one far more than another. So go to a shop and scare some fellow customers by swinging axes about.
ads.ukclimbing.com
isi_o - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB:
Swing them and see! But I have Vipers... Having upgraded from Flys as soon as I started venturing on to IVs. Flys are great for mountaineering type routes, but I'd not trade my Vipers back for them!
Whatever you end up with, enjoy! :)
Isi
BnB - on 05 Mar 2013
Thanks for all the help guys. Some great tips. I shall go swing a few in the local store. Have to say I'm tempted by something more technical in shape to contrast with my DMM Cirque mountaineering axe. But, as plenty have suggested, I'll let the hands, not the eyes, decide.
alasdair19 on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to BnB: just out of interest what do you have on your feet?
BnB - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to alasdair19: Good question: Charmoz GTX with Grivel Airtech crampons. How far up the grades will those boots go?

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