/ effects on axes- DT vs Scottish mixed.

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French Erick - on 10 Jan 2017
Following the following thread:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=656067&v=1

I have done very little DT and I am not very sure about how DT affects axes. Only heard that the Nomics wobbly heads were at least as badly affected by DT as when doing Scottish winter action (probably of the snowed up nature).

My first thought upon using wood axes in Scotland in winter was similar to that expressed by Dave Kerr in the linked thread. Namely, I'd reduce them to chips if the look of my alloy axes is anything to go by.
Roger does mention repeated use of shafts. May be some folks don't realised how much we do use them? I have stepped on my axes shafts which were horizontally/vertically wedged in cracks (sometimes picks 1st other time spike first)!

I would also do a demo with them Kronos...provided that if they come broken or savagely chipped I'd not be blamed. Not holding metal when cold would make a HUGE difference IMO.

But back to topic. For those who do both DT and Scottish winter (Andy, Neil, Misha...) what's your thoughts on the wear and tear between the two practices? Is one more wearing than the other?

I'd have thought that the heads would be under greater strain in DT and I don't see DT climbers using axes the way I do in SW. Am I wrong?
Steve Perry - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:
One factor is the strain put on axes in sub zero temperatures when the metal is weaker than say on a summer day at Dunkeld. I always thought squeeky heads on Nomics could be a temperature factor I.e installing at room temperature then the metal contracting in cold conditions and not being as close a fit. Constant contraction and expansion is not great for joints unless you've designed for it.
Post edited at 17:36
Martin McKenna - UKC - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:

I reckon I do 5 or 10 times more damage to my axes on a Scottish mixed route as I do in a day dry tooling, although I am stupidly light.

There's no doubt there will be ridiculous amount of force going through your axes dry tooling, especially on steep routes with stuff like stein pulls, but I think hammering on the axe shaft and whacking rock and hoar when clearing in winter seems to cause much more damage. I've had my Nomics for a few years now and they went from being solid to very wobbly after a route back in November that required a lot of clearing.

That's my experience anyway. I'm sure dry tooling will have contributed to the damage.
Sophie G. - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:
For obvious reasons, I have 2 different pairs of axes for mixed and ice. I used the quarks on The Overseer the other day for this reason; the Flys are getting nice sharp new picks from an online shop in Capel Curig. I haven't dry-tooled recently, but if I do I will seriously consider using only my oldest and bluntest tools for that--i.e. "retiring" the current mixed tools, downgrading the current ice to mixed, and buying a nice sharp shiny pair of new tools for ice.
Post edited at 18:28
meffl - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:

Not a huge amount of difference, seeing as most Scottish mixed is more or less dry tooling these days...
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rogerwebb - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to meffl:

> Not a huge amount of difference, seeing as most Scottish mixed is more or less dry tooling these days...

Basis for that?
Adam Russell - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:

In my experience Scottish Winter does significantly more damage. Even without considering encouraging some gear placements, or placing bulldogs. Hopeful swings at blades of grass you see sticking out of rime/snow/ice (imagining they might be rooted to a solid blob of turf, only to find they seem to be growing out of solid rock) and trying to get a stick in a near pick-width ice and dirt choked crack.
I rate the durability (with regards to Scottish mixed) of tools that have a solid shaft like the Grivel Masters/Forces, E-Climb Cryo 2, and the DMM Anarchist (they also seem to grip better in shaft torques). Hollow aluminium tube style shafts seem to fall apart pretty quick ie Nomics - wobbly heads and cracked shafts on two pairs for me. Though I haven't heard of any issues with the new Fusions or Switches yet (?) they're both pretty heavy though.

More to the topic: I'd happily use Nomics for a lot of drytooling as they're comfy to hang on to, but wouldn't expect two pairs to last a single season of Scottish Mixed (for me anyway).
Misha - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:
Agree with Martin and Adam, mixed is far harsher on the tools. Torqueing, hammering, blunted picks and general abuse. I imagine long, powerful tooling moves are hard on the head attachment area, so wouldn't use Nomics for tooling given the creaking head issue. Instead I've used Ergos for tooling for several seasons and they've been fine. Have used Nomics for mixed for the last couple of years and they're fairly battered but no creaking heads yet.
meffl - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to rogerwebb:

For example McLeod, D. 'Climbing Frosty Rocks With Tools.' Has inspired quite a following amongst lesser climbers. See YouTube/Twitter/UKC spats passim.
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rogerwebb - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to meffl:

I think that YouTube/Twitter/UKC are all small worlds that think they are the universe.

I do share some of your concerns but
most people I see out in Scotland are climbing pretty traditional routes in pretty traditional conditions,
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meffl - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to rogerwebb:

Liked.
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Tricadam on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to meffl:

> Not a huge amount of difference, seeing as most Scottish mixed is more or less dry tooling these days...

And last month was (generally) so bad there were even days when Newtyle wasn't in.
Pina - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:

I think that mentioned by others on here, a lot of it basically comes down to how much the shafts get abused in winter. DT will put larger forces through the heads as there's a lot of dynamic moves which may result in a full body load falling into one axe which is much less common in winter. Winter however involves potentially a lot of bashing of axes which means the shafts get deformed and fatigued in a pretty aggressive manner.
andyinglis - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:

Erick - DT'ing in the main doesn't cause undue stress on axes (although there are a few moves at Birnam I would caveat that about!). Mainly the angle of the pull is in the direction the axe is designed for (for nomics, they also dont fail/wobble due to weighted pull up's), and the heads see little contact with rock. My own concerns about using a new pair of axes at a tooling venue would be wasting the nice sharp new picks!

Scottish winter (well the way I climb and place gear!) destroys nomics. At the moment I am up to ~6 broken nomics all due to winter climbing. At first I thought it was down to aggressive use of the shafts/heads to seat gear, but even with hammers on the axes I have still had wobbly heads. In fact I have now given up buying new nomics which is a shame as I think they are a great axe, just not durable.

Personally I think that the suggestion of cold temperatures affecting the metal causing (nomic) failures is a red herring. Scottish winter climbing is very seldom conducted in a temperature range (and for long enough) that could cause the likes of brittle fractures (excluding frequent manufacturing defects!) i.e. -10 up to +5degC. If we climbed in -50degC then I'd probably give the theory more credence.

Cheers
Andy
French Erick - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to French Erick:

Interesting reading although I am wondering if I am not suffering from a good dose of confirmation bias.

As an aside, I climb with Nomics* and have been climbing with those for at least the last 2 (may be 3?) seasons. Admittedly, I don't climb that many routes a year as my average number of outings rarely goes beyond 10 per year (so few...depressing) these days.

So consensus is that, like Roger stated, SW destroys tools more than other disciplines?
Does anyone feel flush enough to invest in a pair of Kronos to tell us what would be the results at the end of the season? I know I can't.

*I believe my tools to be the first generation of Nomics. They were more or less "donated" to me by a generous soul of this parish who knew my pride would not suffer a straight and entirely free donation. I am still deeply grateful as it certainly changed my climbing.
3leggeddog on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Steve Perry:

Aluminum alloys tend to form face centred cubic crystals and so do not suffer a brittle ductile transformation. There is no temperature related weakening.

NottsRich on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to 3leggeddog:

Thanks, beat me to it!

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