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
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
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.
> 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!
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.
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)
> 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.
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...
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)
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.
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
> 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.
> 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.
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.