/ Good compliment to a 'walking' axe for lower grade climbs

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Oo on 15 Oct 2013
I've done limited winter walking and am hoping to get up to the Gorms over new year and refresh some skills and learn some new ones. Currently the misses and I each have a 60cm new style Cirque. So my thoughts are at what point does a second axe become useful, and then necessary?

Can I start by getting away with buying a pair of 'climbing' (for want of a better word) axes like Quarks/Apexs and splitting them up between us, or would it be better for one to be properly equipped and one to have two Cirques to keep a bit more balance?

I imagine this is a situation more people than just me have found themselves in.... all thoughts appreciated, and yes I've gone into a shop and swung some axes and baulked at the price tags already, hence I think I'd like to end up with a pair of quarks/apexs.
Jamie B - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:

My thoughts are that if it's steep enough to want a second axe you'll want something a bit more specific to that purpose than a 60cm Cirque, let alone two of them!
Gav Parker - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:
If you get onto grade 1 ground your cirque will be fine but if you thinking of even grade 2 in some circumstances a second may be usefull. A dmm fly adze may work for you.
Have a look on e bay normally plenty to choose from cheap..
CurlyStevo - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:
Personally I think the Vipers swing better in to ice than quarks. the handles on the quarks are further forward (or conversely if you hold a viper and a quark in the same way upright the viper pick will be nearer to the ice). This means when using my quarks I need to flick my wrist quite unnaturally (for me) just before the pick hits the ice to bring the pick forward to stop the handle hitting the ice as the pick goes in. The Apex are more similar to the quarks than the vipers in geometry.

With regards to your question, I'd get a pair of tech axes now to go with your cirques, you could either go with second hand and then sell them in a few years time when you upgrade or go straight for the real deal. Option 1 is lower risk on the off chance you never really get in to winter climbing. Option 2 means if only one of you go climbing in future you can climb on a pair of really nice axes and you'll be learning on something that you intend to keep (faster learning curve) (or the leader could use the 'good' axes)

I personally would only go winter climbing using 1 axe to lead on easy (grade I) snow climbs in good neve condition, anything else I much prefer 2. Even on grade I you may get a cornice that would be much better suited to 2 axes.

Michael Gordon - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:

a pair of crampons?
felt - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:

"nice shaft"
pog100 - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to felt:

Beat me to it..... One of my pet peeves
Oo on 15 Oct 2013
hmm, interesting points by first three posters, thanks! i'm tending towards buying a pair of technical tools (so if i'm on my own i can use them, and then split them and get the cirques out when with the misses). i didn't like the feel of the vipers so much. would be good to use a pair in anger though and see for real.

we've both got crampons already (spent a bit more on some 2nd hand G12s and G14s so that we could climb in them when the time came).

and the last two chaps, i'm afraid you've lost me...
AdrianC - on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to felt: Great head, too.
CurlyStevo - on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:
One thing to note on the new quarks is the upper grip rest, many people are finding this breaks far too easily. I tried retro fitting it to my old quarks and broke 4 sometimes in only a few days use. Others I know of have had the same problems when fitted to the new quarks.
stuart58 - on 17 Oct 2013
MG - on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:

> and the last two chaps, i'm afraid you've lost me...

Try "complement".
Father Noel Furlong on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:

I started with a pair of these and they're a great buy if you can source a pair. Done up to Grade 4 with them.

SteveoS - on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to Oo:

As a matter of personal interest and peoples opinions:

Raptors with Fly picks? (Prepares to be shot down)

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