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Ice axe for self arrest

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Ice axe for self arrest

Postby WouterB » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:20 pm

I've got a Camp piolet that I've been using this far, but I've noticed that I've been getting into more and more technical/vertical stuff, which it's really not suited for. I've got my eye on a pair of Black Diamond Cobra ice axes, but I don't want to carry AND two ice axes and a piolet for self arrest and glacier travel. Anyone knows if these would be suited for both scenario's?
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:39 pm

Generally, nobody carries two ice tools and a piolet. Alpinists make do with their technical tools. One option that I have used successfully on moderately technical mountaineering routes is to take a standard piolet and an ice hammer. This way you have a longer piolet for lower angle terrain and a second tool to climb steeper stuff. Something like a Petzl Axtarex hammer would be great. If you got your eyes on waterfall routes and techinical alpine routes you will eventually want a set of good ice tools.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby SKI » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:06 pm

Search: Black Diamond Venom
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby Hotoven » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:09 pm

I agree with excitableboy. If you want to do steeper Ice Climbing like waterfall routes and glacial travel your best bet is to carry one technical tool and one hybrid tool (would be something like the Petzl Aztarex) Now it might not work very for super steep ice, but its a perfect combo for most moderate ice climbing and goes well with glacial travel since the long shaft enables probing and easier self arrest.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:16 pm

Hotoven wrote:I agree with excitableboy. If you want to do steeper Ice Climbing like waterfall routes and glacial travel your best bet is to carry one technical tool and one hybrid tool (would be something like the Petzl Aztarex) Now it might not work very for super steep ice, but its a perfect combo for most moderate ice climbing and goes well with glacial travel since the long shaft enables probing and easier self arrest.


My partner used a Grivel Air Tech Racing axe with a carbon fiber Black Prophet hammer and I climbed on a pair of Charlet Moser Blackbirds. We would swap out the light axe for the technical axe for leading. We climbed big apine routes up to to WI 4, M6, Alaska Grade IV+ with this setup. I sold my old set up (60 cm REI axe + SMC Himalayan ice hammer) in favor of lighter gear and I regret it. It was a way solid set of tools.
Last edited by ExcitableBoy on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby jrisku » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:34 pm

There are plenty of choises that would go between the extreme ends of technical and classical axes. I propably would go with a pair of heavily technical axe anyways (I'm drooling at Grivel Force series right now), but if that wouldn't be an option some of the semi technical ones that provide longer shaft alternatives, such as Grivel Jorasses 2.0, Petzl Sum'tec, Edelrid Gladius and Black Diamond Venom might be good alternatives. Here's a list of such "longer shafted" axes that I could come up with fast: http://www.tribevine.com/products?open=true&ids=4566,5340,5341,4541,49,2245&title=Technical-classical

- Juho Risku http://www.climbingextreme.com
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby WouterB » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:30 am

Thanks guys, good explenations. I can buy these cobra's for 200 euro's for the set hammer/atze, which I think is a pretty good price. I'll see if I can find anything with a longer shaft for that price.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:24 pm

Considering the set is $600 US that sounds like a good deal. If you get the Cobras, you can always pair the Cobra hammer with you current ice axe for moderate terrain and you still have a wonderful set of tools for hard alpine, ice, mixed routes.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:13 pm

jrisku wrote:Here's a list of such "longer shafted" axes that I could come up with fast: http://www.tribevine.com/products?open=true&ids=4566,5340,5341,4541,49,2245&title=Technical-classical

- Juho Risku http://www.climbingextreme.com

Nice list. The Grivel Jorasses 2.0 must be new, we don't have that in the states yet. Very sexy, but is expensive for a piolet even considering the spring leash.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby logsden » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:14 pm

Grivel keeps making tools without replaceable picks. Same deal with that Jorasses. Granted, it's not a highly technical tool - more of a classical mountaineering axe with technical aspirations...so it'll probably last a while...

But I don't get it. I'll pass - despite it being (I'm sure) Grivel's typical quality and performance.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby logsden » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Partner uses the Petzl Sum'Tec and BD Viper combo for the situations the OP describes. Seems to like it. Speaks very highly of the Sum'Tec's ability to handle steep terrain.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby WouterB » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:40 am

This is the set I can buy for 200 euro's. Those attechments at the bottom are home made and easily removed. I think this set-up might do quite well as a multi-purpose axe. What do you guys think?

Image

Image
Last edited by WouterB on Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby Hotoven » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:21 pm

I can't see the photos. It just says image
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby WouterB » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:27 pm

Hotoven wrote:I can't see the photos. It just says image

Thanks. Let me know if it's working now.
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Re: Ice axe for self arrest

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:58 pm

I did not realize you meant the old Cobras. I never liked them because the relatively fat grip tires out me rookers, but if your mitts are bigger it might not be a problem.
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