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Hybrid Tools

Postby Apex » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:26 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm looking into purchasing an ice axe/hybrid tool to use for general mountaineering with a focus on being useful for a variety of things from glacier travel to some beginner ice-climbing. I don't as of yet do any ice climbing, but I'm trying to get into it eventually when I have some time to learn, hence the need/desire for a hybrid tool.

Ideally, if I were to only use an axe for mountaineering and skiing, I would probably purchase the BD Raven axe, as it suits those needs perfectly. However, I'd like to save money, and have an axe with a bit more capabilities if I did want to learn more skills and begin ice climbing.

Does anyone have experience with the BD Venom axe (with adze). It seems to be the perfect axe for nearly everything, only drawback being it isn't a "real" ice tool for steep or overhanging ice routes.

Cheers.
Last edited by Apex on Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DanTheMan » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:35 pm

Petzl Sumtec or Summit are solid mountaineering axes that you can also swing over your head if you need to.
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Postby Apex » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:37 pm

Thanks Dan, I'll be sure the check those out too. Also, for those of you that don't know, BD is having somewhat of a sale right now... Just found out, ends Sept 1.
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Postby Apex » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:29 am

^^ Exactly what I need :lol:
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Postby jmh5331 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:55 am

I just used a BD venom adze (mountaineering pick) as my primary tool to climb Dreamweaver couloir on Mt. Meeker in RMNP. I found the venom and a second ice tool (aztar) to be the perfect combination for a mixed alpine route like that. It performed its duties as an ice axe well, and it climbed ice well. I wouldn't want to lead difficult waterfall ice with it, but as an alpine ice tool it was perfect
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Postby Apex » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:59 am

Thanks,

I think im set on the Venom now... As for length... I held a 65cm Raven and it felt pretty good, I could easily plunged on fairly low angle snow to help stabalize myself and swinging wasn't much of an issue, though shorter would be nicer.

The Venom comes in 64cm and 57cm... I Think 57 would be too short for general mountaineering though I'm not completely sure.
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Postby Kai » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:27 am

Apex wrote:Thanks,

I think im set on the Venom now... As for length... I held a 65cm Raven and it felt pretty good, I could easily plunged on fairly low angle snow to help stabalize myself and swinging wasn't much of an issue, though shorter would be nicer.

The Venom comes in 64cm and 57cm... I Think 57 would be too short for general mountaineering though I'm not completely sure.


I'm 5 foot 10 inches tall. The 57 cm Venom is about right for me. Some folks say that the spike should touch the ground when you are holding the head, arm at your side. I don't find this to be true. When I'm on dead-level ground, I'm typically not needing my ice axe for balance. It's only on steeper ground that I really use the axe a lot, and in that case, 57cm is about right. 57cm, works well for steeper terrain too. A combo of a 50cm Venom hammer, and 57cm Venom adze will get you up just about anything, from snow slogs to some pretty technical alpine routes.
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Postby Apex » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:29 am

Just discovered the Grivel air Tech Evo... Reviews say to be a fantastic axe, are there any users on this forum?

As for length, comes in 66cm and 58cm. I think 66 would provide more security for plunging and self-arresting, but 58 would be much easier to swing on steeper terrain.
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Postby climbxclimb » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:15 am

I have the Air Tech Evo, but I use it rarely...manly when I approach on glaciers routes which are rock climbs..
It is a very good axe, very light and it is a bit on technical side with a slight curvature which in the shorter version can allow some occasional ice climbing....
I do not consider this tool though a generalist..
Get the shorter version if you want to use it as second technical tool or the longer (based on your height) if you want it for more general mountaineering...
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Postby hamik » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:32 am

Sum'tec is pretty awesome. I used to own the Venoms, and I much prefer the Sum'tecs.

http://www.supertopo.com/review/Petzl-SumTec
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Postby rhyang » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:03 pm

I also have an air tech evo, bought it in 2004. I've used it a couple of times for alpine ice climbing where I had to cross a glacier first (Shasta, Rainier).

But mostly I carry a grivel air tech racing, which is lighter. The head is basically the same as the air tech evo, but the pick is a bit thinner and has beveled teeth .. in theory this should provide better ice climbing performance. The shaft has a slight bend, though not as pronounced as the air tech evo, and has a similar steel spike. And the air tech racing is B rated as opposed to the T rating on the air tech evo (shrug).

I've mainly used the air tech evo on glaciers where I may have to use it to pound in pickets. Not something I do much of these days .. maybe next season :)
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