UKC

GROUP TEST: Technical Ice Axes

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 UKC Gear 16 Feb 2018
Axes montage 2, 3 kbWhether it's for Scottish mixed, Continental ice or drytooling, a pair of technical axes are your key weapons. In this comparison review seven models go head to head.

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In reply to UKC Gear:

You actually can get ice picks that fit a hammer and adze for the Grivel tools! Ice Plus Blade. I run them on my North Machines. 

Good review otherwise.

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 martin09 16 Feb 2018
In reply to UKC Gear:

in relation to the Grivel axes  contrary to the report you can buy ice picks (or at least you could a year ago ) which accept the hammer/adze - I have a pair bought from Needle Sports

In reply to martin09:

Hi Martin (and Tradisrad), thanks a lot for letting us know. None of us knew that, and indeed Tech Machine owners we've talked to didn't either. It's not clear on the Grivel website but I see that Needlesport do indeed sell them. We'll amend that bit of the review now 

 Pina 17 Feb 2018
In reply to UKC Gear:

No wonder there's no best in test, there's no test of the Camp-Cassin X-Dream (which I suspect is to do with their poor UK distribution so no fault of yours). Great handle, good value, amazing on ice, no wobbly heads and pick replacements which are affordable.

Post edited at 09:27
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In reply to UKC Gear:

> Whether it's for Scottish mixed, Continental ice or drytooling, a pair of technical axes are your key weapons. In this comparison review seven models go head to head.

Ha, Joe, we didn't want to assign as Best in Test for 2 reasons - Pretty much all axes these days are great depending on what you're wanting to use it for. It's a personal preference thing. On the day we tested at the ice wall with a bunch of folks everyone seemed to have a different opinion. This was a theme that seemed to be recurring throughout the entire time we were testing. Even Dan and I couldn't agree on what was best! 

 

 Big Lee 17 Feb 2018
In reply to UKC Gear:

The DDM Switch looks to have seen the most climbing based on the picks in the first photo. The same photo suggests the Grivel Tech Machine and Nomic users haven't been able to get out as much as they had hoped this winter.

 nufkin 17 Feb 2018
In reply to UKC Gear:

A bit of a shame the eClimb axes weren't included. It'd be interesting to see how the reviewers compared them to the usual suspects - but I suppose they are harder to come by (still only direct from Spain, as far as I know)

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 Hay 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Pina:

100% agree. Obvious miss from the review.

New X All Mountain looks and feels excellent too.

Bruce

1
In reply to Big Lee:

> The DDM Switch looks to have seen the most climbing based on the picks in the first photo. The same photo suggests the Grivel Tech Machine and Nomic users haven't been able to get out as much as they had hoped this winter.

Both the Switches and Apex were recieved from DMM in a used state. I did 3 routes with the Tech Machines, Dan also used them. The Nomics were only used by Dan, I've been climbing with Nomics for the last 5 seasons so I didn't need to take the new ones out to contribute to that review. 

The more technical axes were all used on routes between grade VI and IX and every axe was used on less technical ground. We also took on board feedback from some of Scotlands most active winter climbers, many of which are operating at a very high standard. All in all quite a rigerour review!

Photos taken could be on the first or last route we had them out. Getting photos of people using axes in winter is harder than you think. Bum shots don't cut it.

 

 PPP 17 Feb 2018
In reply to UKC Gear:

What about alpine mountaineering ice axe review? It's been few years since the last one and I am considering about replacing my Grivel Air Tech Evo. Didn't like the feel of DMM Cirque as much, but been drooling over the Petzl Summit Evo for quite a while now... 

In reply to Martin McKenna - Rockfax:

Here here, get that man a beer!

 Pina 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Brian Pollock:

Agreed. Tennents ok Martin?

In reply to nufkin:

E-climb and X dreams both in stock in Joe browns , climbers shop has also been selling e climb axes for quite some time ( think they are all under same ownership now so presumably will be continue to stock them)

In reply to nufkin:

The climbers shop and joe brown have them in UK. Amazing tool for Scottish climbing. For pure ice not as good as Nomics, but better than most in this review, specially for the tapered ice pick which is a beauty in brittle ice. Though now BD and Petzl have copied them (only took 10 years!) and so i assume those will be equaly good as eclimb picks.

In reply to UKC Gear:

Good review, good points and I like the reviews now tackle some of the more nuanced details. Still, some glaring omissions, specially the x-dream and some of the other grivel models which are very good for Scottish stuff. The true test of any tool is durability, something that’s impossible to do in this test, as some of these tool wouldn’t last more than a season or two in scotland, bashing all that gear in and out. From my experience the most durable are the DMM swith, the BD fusion, Eclimb Cryo, and any of the Grivel with the CNC shaft. All those will take a lot of punishment and you can climb as hard as heart contents

 nufkin 19 Feb 2018
In reply to Ramon Marin:

>  Though now BD and Petzl have copied them 

Surely a coincidence. Just like the new Petzl screws...

 Big Lee 19 Feb 2018
In reply to climber34neil:

> E-climb and X dreams both in stock in Joe browns

Nobody seems to be stocking the X-Dream Alpine though, which is what I use. The spike at the base I think offers a better point of attachment for leashes and the hammers are more substantial. The original X-Dreams seem spec'ed more for leashless drytooling.

 ColdWill 19 Feb 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

The only difference is the spike at the base. 

 Big Lee 19 Feb 2018
In reply to ColdWill:

> The only difference is the spike at the base. 

No, the X-Dream Alpine is supplied with the ice pick, which includes a proper hammer. The original X-Dream comes with the mixte pick, which just has a flat hammering surface similar to the Nomic low profile hammer.

 

 ColdWill 19 Feb 2018
In reply to Big Lee:that should have been finished with a question mark. I see now. Still the mixed pick is so good on ice I can’t see the ice pick being any better. It is a shame you have to change up the whole pick to put a hammer on especially for Scotland. 

 Big Lee 19 Feb 2018
In reply to ColdWill:

Kuznia Szpeju sell a mixed pick that can be fitted with.a hammer. Not tried them myself. The hammer looks as though it needs to be screwed on separately. Not a lot of information on the website though.

 HeMa 19 Feb 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

True. The pages ain’t the Most informative, but the stuff is good. Perhaps not as robust as Krukonogi, but at half a price. 

I like ’em (for my BDs).

 ColdWill 19 Feb 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

Wow, they do a lot of picks, looks like the number of picks for each axe corresponds directly their popularity.


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