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second tool options

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second tool options

Postby mountainsandsound » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:06 pm

I'd like to get a second tool for some moderate alpine routes this summer. Glacier climbs that involve no more than some AI 3. Would an old-school style straight shafted hammer with a classic curved pick (such as a SMC himalayan hammer) be a hinderance? I suspect I don't need a fancy new tool for this sort of thing. Could the old-school climbers chime in here?
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Re: second tool options

Postby Kai » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:39 pm

You will be fine. Moderate terrain up to AI3 is perfect for traditional tools like this one.
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Re: second tool options

Postby mountainsandsound » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:59 pm

I was pretty sure I'd be alright, one thing specifically I was wondering about is the difference between a reverse curve pick and a classical curve for this application. Would one notice a huge difference between pick shapes when swinging and cleaning the tool at this grade? I have only ice climbed once so at this point I don't know any better.
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Re: second tool options

Postby Kai » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:31 pm

Classic curve is fine for climbing at moderate angles.
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Re: second tool options

Postby mountainsandsound » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:38 pm

OK, that's the insight I was looking for. Thanks. A friend's dad is offering a himalayan hammer that looks indestructible.
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Re: second tool options

Postby asmrz » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:03 pm

IMO, for easy to moderate alpine ice (up to 70 degrees or so) the classic alpine picks work better than banana or other re-curved picks. It all has to do with the angle of the ice...Once you get on steep terrain and frozen waterfalls, re-curved picks rule, they were designed for that.
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mountainsandsound

Re: second tool options

Postby mountainsandsound » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:46 pm

Thanks, I was hoping I'd hear from you or the chief. I don't have plans for vertical ice (now). I was thinking I wanted to rock the mountain axe/second tool setup. It seemed weird to me, seeing people bring two aggressive waterfall ice tools on a long glacier route with only a pitch or two of 50 or 60 degree ice.
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Re: second tool options

Postby JHH60 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:19 pm

You might also take a look at the BD Venom. It's relatively light and inexpensive, and straddles the line between an alpine and a technical tool. The shaft is slightly curved near the head and it's available with a classically curved or with a slightly reversed curve pick (and unlike old Skool SMC hammers you can change the pick). I like it a lot for moderate alpine ice.
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Re: second tool options

Postby asmrz » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:27 pm

As JHH60 said, Venoms are great for alpine.

My wife Penelope has had them for about 8 years now, axe 60cm, hammer 55cm and loves them to the point that her BD Cobras sit at home. A few years back, we spent some time in Scotland climbing some of their classic gullies, the tools were just perfect for that terrain.
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Re: second tool options

Postby Burchey » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:31 am

+1 on the venoms for your application
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