X Monster


X Monster
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title X Monster
Manufacturer Grivel
Page By rhyang
Page Type Jan 25, 2007 / Oct 21, 2008
Object ID 2071
Hits 9909

Product Description

Blurb from Grivel website :
Monster upset the accepted rules about climbing equipment in 2004-2005. Although a bit extreme the Monster concept was appropriate to the era and accepted by the climbing community. That said, Monster is specifically adept on overhanging terrain, therefore not for everyone. Now Monster is complemented by the X Monster, which is a less radical tool featuring a slightly straighter shaft and a grip better suited to vertical and less steep terrain. X Monster’s pick is thinner to improve penetration and make it less destructive to fragile ice features. It is also shorter but due to narrow profile of the shaft (slightly thicker than the pick) the whole head of the tool may slice between icicles or into narrow cracks to reach deep anchor points. Where you expect to see an adze you’ll find a small hammer shaped like a curved nut – don’t expect too much but it will drive a pin or torque in a crack better than nothing. X Monster’s shaft is the same flexible spring steel as that of Monster, which allows those accustomed to it to manipulate the tool differently than one with a totally rigid shaft. This flexibility is generally beneficial, rarely a disadvantage. A hole in the shaft will take a releasable leash and the shaft is finished with a small but effective tooth to allow traction in the piolet canne position. CE certification as a category 2 PPE.


Length: 47cm
Weight: 754g



Viewing: 1-2 of 2

rhyang - Jan 25, 2007 12:41 am - Voted 4/5

Interesting tool
I picked up a pair of these for very cheap last season, basically for fooling around on mixed climbs. In the Sierra most mixed involves torquing picks in cracks, and I really didn't want to do a whole lot of that with my Quarks.

The fun thing about these tools is that they do not have regular tubular shafts - they shaft is a flat springy steel thing which bends slightly. So torquing is a little more secure - you can really hang on these things.

I was a little skeptical about the thick, beefy pick, but it seems to work decently in the ice we have around here. I've followed multipitch to about WI3+ with them and led mixed to about WI2+ / M-easy. I haven't tried them in colder conditions though. It's a relatively heavy tool, so I find it less easy to peck delicate placements in thin ice than, say, my aztars. Perhaps I need bigger forearms ...

They came with a rubber padding material Grivel calls the 'snake' which can be used to make the steel shaft a little more comfortable for matching, etc. Tape not included, but some rubber electrician's splicing tape from Ace Hardware seemed to do the trick.

Last year's model does not have replaceable picks (same story as for the regular Monster). Grivel Italy's website says that the new models have replaceable picks. Probably one would simply have to file down the mushrooming on the mounting bolts of the older models to replace the picks. In any case, I read that the replacement picks cost about $80, which is a little stiff if you originally paid $125 for the tool (and I sure didn't :)

anita - Jan 23, 2011 5:57 pm - Voted 4/5

got these as a leashless alternative to my BD Rage tools.

I'm still on the fence - the grip feels a bit tight when wearing my climbing gloves (Marmot Work glove); I feel there isn't enough weight in the head when I swing; I needed alot of Xtreme tape to make the shafts more comfortable. The curve of the shaft is great for clearing bulges (even though I'm not!) and they are good for hanging which I tend to do on steep stuff, but find the grip uncomfortable if I'm hanging for too long (big hands).

They are fun to climb with, but I often get better results when I switch back to my Rages or a friend's Nomics, meaning I get a good stick on the first swing, instead of whacking around.

I haven't tried sharpening the pick yet, but I am definitely due. I do find they work really well on a bit softer ice, like butter knives. On the really hard, brittle stuff, I have harder time getting a good placement - not sure if it's my crappy technique or the tool itself.

Either way, I am thinking of maybe picking up some used Nomics at some point, or the BD Cobras which feel great, just the right size/weight for me.

I'd recommend the X-Monsters to anyone looking for a leashless tool that won't break the bank.

Viewing: 1-2 of 2