Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Fusion
Manufacturer Black Diamond
Page By JScoles
Page Type Aug 22, 2003 / Aug 22, 2003
Object ID 797
Hits 4269
A tool designed specifically for leashless climbing on steep ice and mixed ground. The Fusion features a lower grip that adjusts to fit different hands and gloves. The lower handle is less radically raked than some other leashless tools, allowing for a more natural grip angle. The offset curved shaft clears bulges, pillars, and other obstacles. It also creates two grips, allowing you to stack both hands on when needed — both grips have a similar angle to minimize imbalance and subsequent pick shift.

A serrated top edge on the new Fusion pick will not slip when cammed. The pick also features a steep front tooth and angle.

Steel head and pick.

Fusion pick is T-rated — thicker and stronger than B-rated picks, but displaces more ice.

No hammerhead or adze component.


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tymelero - Jan 7, 2004 12:16 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Since I have been dry tooling quite a lot lately I purchased a set of these tools to go “leashless.” What a difference. No leashes translates into much more precise placements and greater level of sensitivity I did not find with my leashed picks.

Of course with all leashless tools you get the advantages of being able to match hands to shake out, or to bust that difficult move. No leashes also allows for many more options for hand positions: lower handle, upper handle, tool head, mantling and stein pulling.

After using these tools on rock for a dozen times I have taken them to the frozen stuff. All the same advantages I found for rock translated well to ice. I also found these tools very comfortable to use on ice.

Although there were advantages I did find some disadvantages. Pick placements were very difficult. The tools tended to bounce out of the placements or shatter the ice leaving me swinging again and again to find a proper and safe placement. I have varied my technique trying to find just the right swing to minimize this effect but to no avail.

I am not ready to hang these tools in the back of the gear closet just yet. I am going to keep searching for that “right” swing to alleviate the pick placement problem on ice. As for rock “climb on.”

Time for an update. I have used these extensively and have found that I cannot go back to a leashed tool. My swing is more used to this type of tool now. It takes more wrist and a downward pull and the end of the swing. Climbing with leashes feels like climbing with one hand tied behind my back. I use these tools now for all my ice climbing.

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