/ Ice axe choices , head ache.

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Cadairmanuk - on 24 Mar 2013
Just thought I would throw this out to you guys.

I'm looking for new axes as I have lost one of mine. I had a set of flys and liked using them.

Narrowed it down to 4.

New dmm flys , wasn't that impressed felt top heavy in the shop.

Petzl quarks , okish. Handles felt really thin.

Black diamond vipers , felt good. But was last year need to revisit.

Grivel matrix tech , not tried but reviews look good.

So my idea is to go and revisit them all in the shops and see which feels the best for me. I would really be interested in what people's opinions are of the above. I'm leading 2s and 3 is my top end. Second a little harder but I can't see me ever doing anything harder .

Ben
PeteWilson on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk:
I recently bought a pair of the new flys as my first pair of axes and they seemed to manage just fine on grade 2/3 on ice and snow straight out, but are also technical enough to manage much harder stuff if necessary!
I cant say i found them top heavy myself, though if you do then that could actually help with better placement? as they would get more momentum with the swing to get them in.
I must say that i do find the handle quite narrow on them though... all in all though they handled well and are a decent axe in my opinion, the hook at the bottom of the grip being particularly handy!

Hope this may help
Mountain Llama on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk: Hi Ben

I had the old flys then moved to the vipers with a spinner leash. The vipers climb much better and the pick just sinks in with little effort, great! Down sides - the hand rest makes them harder to plunge.

All the axes u listed are good, its just down to how they feel and if the handle works 4 u.

Happy shopping Davey
Lew13 - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk:

I had a pair of the old quarks as my first pair of axes and loved them. Not a huge fan of the new ones, much prefer the old models. Depending on what your budget is you can't really go wrong with a pair of flys/vipers or quarks.
In reply to Cadairmanuk:
> I'm leading 2s and 3 is my top end. Second a little harder but I can't see me ever doing anything harder .

In which case it really doesn't matter, I'd get whichever you find cheapest or which ever you think look coolest. Don't over think it, just get out and use them whilst you still can and have fun.
GrendeI on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk: Vipers with laser picks are still the best pure ice tools I've used.

With regards to plunging... was doing it all day today with no issues... just sayin'.
Cadairmanuk - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to TobyA:

In reply to Cadairmanuk:
> I'm leading 2s and 3 is my top end. Second a little harder but I can't see me ever doing anything harder .

In which case it really doesn't matter, I'd get whichever you find cheapest or which ever you think look coolest. Don't over think it, just get out and use them whilst you still can and have fun.

Yeah you can tend to over think things. Getting out is priority.

Cheers
Milesy - on 24 Mar 2013
I think the Apex's handle like a dream.
Dino Dave - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk: I recently used the new fly's also. They felt great to me (be it my first proper use of axes) and not tiring to use, nicely balanced with a comfortable handle. They coped great up to grade IV, but I find them just a little too straight for grade V's. Hope that helps a little
Cadairmanuk - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:

I was looking at the Apexs , I think there too technical really for my needs.

Ben.
Milesy - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk:

I dont put then any more technical than the quark or viper. They have a good weight and the clearance on the shaft is really nice.
Bert - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk:Hi there,
I thought my perspective may be of interest having had the same dilema.
I climbed for years on the old old old charlet moser pulsar straight shafted axes. When they started making a hook for the bottom of the hand that was it. I tried a mates pair of BD Vipers on steep ice on a trip to Ben Nevis. Loved them, for the next trip I went and purchased a pair - they were great. Unfortunately, money troubles forced me to sell them. A year later, I came across a bargain for some new quarks, got them as an impulse buy. Was up on Ben Nevis again a few weeks back and I have to say I like them more than the Vipers - the only reason is the Tiblock, it prevents your fingers bunching at the hook at the bottom making them more comfortable, also I found I had better lateral control because of the tiblock (when your fatigued it is sometimes difficult to swing the axes true so it doesn't bite, forcing more swings). The Vipers are great axes, but the Tiblock on the new quarks makes all the difference in my opinion.
Hope that helps
Cadairmanuk - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:

I will have another look at them then. They do have awesome reviews.

Thanks.
coldwill - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk: I would recommend the Matrix Tech, I climbed loads up to grade VII with the Takoons and now use the Quantums Techs on ice. The Quantoms are probably the best ice tool around and they're pretty much the same as the Tech but with a less beefy shaft. I think they get underrated because people think of them as a girls tool because of their light weight in which case all the ladies who have them are laughing. Having used all the tools in your list except the new Flys, I would recommend the Techs.
In reply to Cadairmanuk: I have Reactors and Vipers, and I regularly use both pairs. I have my old Quarks in the UK for the odd time I get the opportunity to climb there. And to be honest, there's not that much between them all. They all work well and the differences are minimal. Any of the ones you are thinking about will be fine up VI or VII, so they'll work well for you I'm sure!
Ander on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Bert:
> (In reply to Cadairmanuk)Hi there,
The Vipers are great axes, but the Tiblock on the new quarks makes all the difference in my opinion.
> Hope that helps

Tiblock?
http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/multi-purpose-ascenders/tibloc

Do you mean the lower or the higher griprest? Or do you mean the masolettes?
top cat - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk:

Grade II/III ?? Keep with straight shafts or possibly small bends (like Fly). Hand rests etc?? Come on, play fair.

All the classic V's were done on much less.

You'll look very silly with some of these tech tools on a II !!
stella1 - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to top cat:
> (In reply to Cadairmanuk)
>
>
> You'll look very silly with some of these tech tools on a II !!

No he won't.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Cadairmanuk - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Cadairmanuk:

I have managed to get another fly hammer so im now back where I started. Roll on the Thursday so I can go climbing..

Ben

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