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Matrix Light
Gear Review

Matrix Light

 
Matrix Light

Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Matrix Light

Manufacturer: Grivel

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Created/Edited: May 3, 2012 / May 3, 2012

Object ID: 8198

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Product Description from Grivel

The feather weight ice axe for alpinists: 515 grams! An ideal choice for climbers who prefer the reduced weight and easy handling of a simple tool that retains all the characteristics of a Grivel ice axe.
Hot forged head in Chromolly Steel: no compromise over quality.
Available with shovel or hammer.
The angle in the shaft is high up as this maximises the distance between shaft and anchorage points. The straight lower section of the shaft makes penetration easier even in hard snow.
The Horn can be fitted for comfortable and efficient support.
The Trigger can be fitted to distribute weight onto all fingers.
The new Easy Slider can be used to go leashless.
The new Tech leash can be fitted.

Why they rock

T-Rated

Light for what they are

Forged heads that stick like champs

Very versatile axes that can handle fairly steep ice

Go leashless with few modifications - see below for details

Modify to cover your range of needs in them hills

Inspired by some posts by other gents pretty-ing up their GMLs, I thought I might take it one step further. I liked the idea of taping up the full handle with mastic tape. I also liked the idea of climbing leashless with them on reasonable waterfall/alpine ice. I also wanted them to be plungeable, so tossing a slider in the mix made sense. I wanted to dial in a couple axes that I could make do in the majority of situations I'd find myself in outside, minus very steep ice and such. I'm pretty happy with my results after building them and beating them up a bit.



The grivel slider is great, but you can't slide it past anything but the bare handle. Add tape, and you're screwed...or so I thought I swapped out the stock bolt on the slider for a longer bolt (that had to be trimmed to size) - one I could easily turn with a glove on. You have a few options here: a wing screw, a thumb screw, or what I'm using now - a bolt with a press-on plastic head. This is probably the least durable of the options, but it was what the hardware store had, and I was impatient. For best results, choose a bolt that will match the stock nut that comes with the slider. I also found it helpful to remove a little of the nylon from the locking portion of the nut - this reduces the friction needed to turn the screw, which makes the whole thing easier to manage with gloves. Be careful not to remove all the nylon, you still want some resistance to keep the screw from unscrewing easily. A small washer is necessary as the stock bolt was conical in shape and had a matching divot in the black side of the slider.


Even with a layer of Scotch 2228 Moisture Sealing Electrical Tape, the slider can be opened up enough to move past to the head of the axe for a plungeable tool in firm snow.


The cut side of the bolt was sanded to get rid of sharp edges.

On the approach, etc - if you need to secure yourself by plunging the adze, or using it for a boot belay, etc - loosen the bolt by hand, slide it up, and you're ready to rock. Loosen it back up and slide down to the spike when you're ready to go leashless again.

Tighten and get ready to plunge like a beast. Whatever that means.

Followed a couple pitches of WI/AI3 with a 45 pound pack on my back this weekend - they worked like a dream. You can toss the bungie cord thing as well, don't need it.

Note: I think the slider is no longer in production, so you might have trouble finding one for sale. If you can rig up a similar sliding rest, you'll be in business. The trouble is, the other options on the market (to my knowledge) don't open up like this one, so the nice sticky tape would keep them from going anywhere.

Proof is in the pictures

Album of my modified Grivel Matrix Lights

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