There was a time... But I was just wondering if anyone still did, or even considered it. Maybe as an option to lanyards or for even for the sake of an easy-to-use hammer. I think I had one of the last HB Third Tools but I sold it on: it was purpose made -light, short (40cm), next to useless but just enough if needs musted. I've occasionally wished I had a 'Terror adze with me at a cornice, but they were hefty wee so and soes. I think I'm getting nostalgic for Chouinard Interalp peg hammers. Do they still have a place, do you think?
No. There have been exactly zero times I have needed or wanted an additional tool, if there is a monster cornice I strategically run the rope to just below the cornice and allow my partner to cut through it. I have fusions and quarks, the hammer on the fusion is enough to get a piton in or drive in a turf screw, if I'm having a more bimbly day then the quarks adze is fine.
No. But just about every trip I wish I did. Modern tools are f'ing useless at driving pegs and warthogs.
Yeh, yeh, I know you can, but I'm from the Chacal generation and I have something to compare with.........
I don't although I tend to climb more with my Vipers than with my Switches. The hammer isn't great with the Vipers but it is better than the one the Switches!
I have seen pictures of New England ice climbers carrying BD pin hammers on their harnesses. Most of the routes seem to be trad protected there so they are climbing with the most radically curved tools for very hard mixed and ice and then driving pitons and the like with a hammer made just for that purpose.
I'm seriously thinking about carrying a 3rd tool, given the difficulties of pounding in gear with modern ergonomic tools. I too am of the Chacal generation.
A couple of winters ago, on the Ben, a well known Canadian climber had a very compact wee hammer. It was ideal for bulldog and pecker placement and easily clipped to a Gear Vault type holder on the harness. I never managed to track down what make/model he was using but a bit of searching showed plenty of ideal caving hammers that would suit. I have even noted someone in Scotland using a wee claw hammer.
These tools are very short shafted but have a good sized hammer and even a short pick, which would be great for cleaning out icy/dirty gear placements (rather than wearing out those nice profiled picks on your tools).
I haven't yet gone down this route but I think it could be a handy method for winter only style lines, rather than just snowed up rock climbs. Maybe I'll experiment with a cut down peg hammer or butcher an old axe.
Aye my climbing partner Dave!
Not so much that type of axe, more a specialist peg hammer/caving hammer with a very short shaft and small pick length. For example the Kong Speleagle. Or at the cheap and readily available end of the market, a mini claw hammer.
Unfortunately I only have two arms, although I've often thought a third would be really handy.
(and a less obtuse response, no, never)
Ha ha...granted But just drop a tool soloing; fail to notice an unclipped tether: or slip off your perfectly placed axes...
Thinking about the peg hammer bit of the discussion, a heftier Bulldoggish peg, a bit like eClimb's Icepider but just beefy enough to hammer with and stll use as nature intended 90% of the time might be handy.
The HB Typhoon I had went the other way - it was an emergency replacement tool at minimal weight. The pick extended a little so you could hammer with the back of it (4mm thick), but you'd be hoping you had your other hammer!
I met a pair of climbers in Coire nan Lochan once that had 6 axes, 4 walking poles and 4 pairs of crampons between them. They had walked in with 2 poles each, put their C1 crampons on and got out their walking axe when they hit the snowline, then put on C3 crampons and got out their climbing tools at the base of the crag.
What? No snow shoes? Irresponsible!
I wasn't thinking belt braces, & string with the 3rd tool question - you'd probably trade off something if you felt it had enough value where you were climbing. I've never carried one but I have had near misses losing a tool before stretch lanyards arrived ( and once since). Having a spare doesn't strike me as crazy, though these days I'm mostly just cragging around shorter routes with no great commitment, but for bigger stuff the weight cost probably does rule it out again.
On the hammer front - idly wonder which tech tool has the best hammer? I've got Apexes and they aren't bad tho it can be hard to swing the big tool in a tight corner, and a pair of Edges that are like Sum'tecs so fine.
I think if I was worried about that I'd use a leash securing each tool to my harness rather than carry a third tool.
I once lost an ice on the top of the first pitch of point 5 gully. I considered the need for a spare axe at that time! But I still got to the top with one axe without any real difficulty. Just got the leader to use two axes and second using one axe. We also had the option of sending the spare axe down on a rope to the seconder but did not need to do this.
It was caused as I led pitch one and planted my leashless axes at my feet in the snow. When my mate led pitch two he pulled the rope tight and it pulled the axe out of the slope and sent it flying off down the route. I did manage to retrieve it later in the day.
I would never carry a spare axe though.
That's impressive - did you ever recover the axe?
Seems third tools are a bit like spare crampons*, prima facie plausible but ' never going to happen' . Thanks everybody for comments
*A friend had a very expensive chopper ride off the Innominata a few years ago after losing a crampon...
> I'm seriously thinking about carrying a 3rd tool, given the difficulties of pounding in gear with modern ergonomic tools.
Ditto. Have considered it for a few a while and have regretted not bidding on a few compact tools I've seen on eBay over the years.
> A couple of winters ago, on the Ben, a well known Canadian climber had a very compact wee hammer.
Yes, ran into him as well. Looked like a good set up.
What's the old saying? 'As much use as a spare pick...'
Anything like this Salewa?
I carry a third tool, but I don't use it for climbing though
It took a while, but we got there.
Two picks and a prick.
> ... from the Chacal generation and I have something to compare with.........
As a beginner in the 80s I had the highly instructive pleasure of ascending Hadrian's Wall Direct behind Colin MacLean. He was using Chacal and Barracuda. I think we were about half way up the interesting part of the route when I observed on object approach at speed and, just off to my right, an almost new Simond ice tool whistled by at 120mph or so. Oops. From the next belay I was deprived of one of my tools and used a Warthog in the other hand, daggering for better balance.
Third tool? Does your second really need two?
Don't you just hate it when they do that...
At least Colin had a second
Only my partner if he hurts himself
> I carry a third tool, but I don't use it for climbing though
I don't climb ice, but I opened this thread only to see how long it took to get there. I can't believe it took close to 20 responses.
> From the next belay I was deprived of one of my tools and used a Warthog in the other hand, daggering for better balance.
A pal of mine finished a route on Creag Meagaidh using an axe and a warthog after the pick of one of his axes snapped. This was back in the early 2000s so not exactly ancient history.
Do people carry warthogs these days?
never carried a third tool.
but on one day a couple of years ago, we wished we had a third tool.
climbing in Bad Gastein, Austria. The leader standing on a ledge 2/3 up the first pitch, with no sollid protection possibilities in ice and a tricky crux on rock just ahead. he pulled up a third tool from the belayer. he used this third tool as an ice/turf pitton for protection. (did not really have an other option).
after reaching the top, he led down one of his two climbing tools for the one seconding.
worked well. but didn't test the protection tool on a fall luckily.
a big ice-peg would have worked as well probably, but we did not bring one.
I think that was the rationale for the HB Typhoon. It was almost a very big Bulldog and could have been placed as a runner. Just the wrong side of practical, but close.
Well back in the day when I did winter routes of any merit, I used to carry an old terror hammer as it was perfect for bashing in warthogs or drive-in/screw-out ice pegs. Then when doing the second pitch of Louise Falls (V) at Lake Louise the pick fell off. Good job I wasn't using it to actually climb with! My technique was completely anathema to local climbers, as I would place my two tools as high as possible, then clip them to my harness with two leashes, and sit back to place the ice screw with the terror. I was told that it was cheating? But as I wasn't actually harming either myself or the route, who cares?
This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are...