/ Carbon ice tools

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wi11 - on 31 Jul 2013
I was wondering if other people have found the "warmth" of carbon tools noticeable and if you think it makes much of a difference when it is very cold i.e. for use in Alaska. Obviously carbon tools are much more expensive so I guess the bottom line is are they worth it?

Cheers

Will
a lakeland climber on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to wi11:

I think the lack of wrist loops will be more noticeable. I've been in -20C with ice axes with wrist loops and didn't notice the coldness of the tools. I don't think it will be a problem.

ALC
Colin Wells - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to wi11:
> I was wondering if other people have found the "warmth" of carbon tools noticeable and if you think it makes much of a difference when it is very cold i.e. for use in Alaska. Obviously carbon tools are much more expensive so I guess the bottom line is are they worth it?
>
> Cheers
>
> Will

Personally, yes. I have a pair of BD Vipers and a pair of BD Cobras. I don't suffer from cold hands nearly so much when using the latter (carbon fibre). But then again, I don't have brilliant circulation, and so other folk with naturally 'warm hands' may not notice the difference as much.

Col
wi11 - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Colin Wells: I have a pair of vipers and have bad very cold hands on a couple of occasions, although this may have been down to the gloves in part. Just out of interest have you kept the vipers for any reason?

And to ALC I have only used leashes a couple of times and it did seem a lot colder with them. I guess I'm just tying to find what's worth the extra expense and what isn't.

Cheers!
ice.solo - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to wi11:

id say yes, for multiday trips that are consistantly cold - alaska fits the bill.
it may be im fanatical, but i put a lot of effort into keeping my hands warm and consider tools the starting point. price may even work out similar if you offset that over several days you may then be taking an extra set of gloves to deal with it. depends on how and what you climb tho.
lots of low angle stuff where youre daggering, its makes a big difference.

all said, a layer of insulation over your alu tools will be a cheaper option, unless weight is an issue too.
also, grivel carbon tools are better priced (at least in my neck of the woods).
dek - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to wi11:
CF tools, swing and stick, better on ice, than my metal shafted tools. Debatable about the warmth factor. For Alaskan length routes, I'd say go for it if you can afford them though! :-)
stevieweesaxs107 - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to dek: I used to use the older Quarks and loved them Mainly climbing in Scotland with a few trips to Norway
However the shafts and heads were always bloody freezing and
Sticking to my gloves especially the old model Quarks, new models weren't as bad , however my Cobras haven't been anywhere
Near the same can't think of a time my gloves have stuck or Ive noticed the cold when daggering, I don't suffer cold hands but its definitely noticeable with the Carbon Fibre

IMO can't agree with They swing and they stick better,in fact I prefered the older Quarks:-)
dek - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to stevieweesaxs107:
I must 'Swing differently' to you then! :-) I didn't get on with old style Quarks at all. The new super lightweight ones feel too flimsy for me.
The CF Cobras look, and feel lovely ( for ice) a bit of insulating tape helps,I find.
Damo on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to wi11:

I used old style Vipers a lot, including in Antarctica, but now have new Cobras, which have not been to Antarctica. The Cobras feel like they will be less-cold than the Vipers, but I never really got cold hands anyway, so it's relative. I did once try wrapping the upper shaft with soft rubber pipe insulation tube, available at most big hardware stores. Was definitely warmer but a little too bulky. I later put sheets of sticky-backed sandpaper-like material there, which improved grip with soft gloves and meant my hands were not directly on metal.

I agree it's mainly when daggering - I doubt actual swinging from the handgrip will make a lot of difference. As for swing and stick, I really liked my Vipers, and I don't think the Cobras swing and stick any better in hard water ice, though there is some noticeable difference with vibration dampening etc, but no big deal. The Cobras feel *lighter* to swing than my old Vipers, but that doesn't necessarily mean I like them more.
Stuart the postie - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to wi11:

I climb with Grivel Quantum Racing, which are carbon wrapped.

One thing I've noticed is that carbon chips very easilly, my hammer is through to the alloy beneath, glad it's only just 'wrapped'!!!!!

Stuart
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wi11 - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to wi11: Thanks for all of the replies. I have insulated my vipers in the past with bike grip tape and self amalgamating tape in the past but I was thinking that the carbon axes would be even more insulating.

I would probably get cobras as my partner has vipers and I have spare BD picks already although the quantum techs do look very nice and I have heard very good things about them.

Stuart, it is interesting you say that, I had wondered about the durability of carbon tools, maybe the fact that yours are carbon wrapped eater than made from carbon has meant that the carbon chips more easily than on completely carbon tools? How have other people found the durability? I shouldn't imagine that I will be abusing them any more in the UK, Alps and Alaska than other people who use them such as Colin Haley, Andy Houseman, Will Sim etc.

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