Author Topic: Ice tool selection  (Read 1021 times)

Offline iclimb

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Ice tool selection
« on: September 10, 2017, 02:01:21 pm »
So I've read online reviews, read side by side comparisons, and still feel completely overwhelmed by information.

I've got an older pair of BD reactors which have been super effective for ice up to 4 and for a little mixed action. I'm looking for a similarly effective pair that I can use when I take friends out, but that can maybe climb a bit harder in case I get into harder stuff like grade 5 or 6.

I can't afford $250-$300 per tool. I'm thinking like $100-$115 per tool would be glorious.

Any recommendations? Would the x-monster be good for this! I see those for fairly cheap.

Offline nuts

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 09:50:04 pm »
You found a good deal on the Reactor because they're an older tool.

You can find something lighter, but the only thing that'll bump you up in grades is your climbing ability.

The Cassin tools climb well, but the picks suck if you're going to be cranking mixed moves.  Look for a used pair of Nomics or Fuels.  The Monster series of tools is too single-purposed.

Chris Magness

Offline iclimb

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 08:45:01 am »
I've had the reactors for a long time. They weren't that cheap when I got them new. Now I want to graduate but can't justify $300 per tool.

How are the monsters single purposed? Care to elaborate?

Offline nuts

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 11:01:19 am »
They're intended primarily for dry tooling.  If they climbed ice well, for $130, everyone would be swinging them.

Unless you buy used, you're not going to get a steep ice/ mixed tool worth buying in the price point you're looking for.

It'd be best if you demo/ borrow several sets of tools this winter and find what works best for you, you may even discover that it's your Reactors.
Chris Magness

Offline iclimb

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 10:38:46 pm »
Thanks man I'll have to demo some

Offline iclimb

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 04:27:02 pm »
I went with trango raptors 2nd gen. They're like nomics  but improved in some subtle ways according to reviews, and a brand new pair set me back for less than a pair of used nomics

Offline nuts

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2017, 01:26:08 am »
The Raptors climb reasonably well, but there are differences that separate them from higher end tools.

Really, if you're looking for an improvement at your level, you need to climb on tools before you buy them.  The subtleties in a swing are where you'll see differences that improve your climbing.  Some tools might make a profound difference for you while they never leave someone else's gear closet.  My suggestion would be to return the ones you've ordered and demo them at Icefest, also a pair of Nomics, Fuels, and a Grivel tool.  DMM is also making a play at the market again.  Consider the cost, availability, and durability of picks. 

And again, you may compare all of these tools to your Reactors and decide that they're the best for you.  They're still a good, viable tool.

Chris Magness
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Offline iclimb

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2017, 10:46:50 pm »
Thanks man - the problem would still be there with nomics or any other advanced tool - price is too high for me.

Offline z.st.jules

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 08:21:36 pm »
Nuts makes some good points, alot of it is about the person and their preferences. That being said, the raptors are a good choice. I would choose raptors over nomics all day long. Regarding the monsters, im not sure how they are one purposed. The reason folks dont climb on them is not because they are for drytooling, but because its a weird design and has shitty grips.
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Offline iclimb

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 08:43:22 am »
Ya the grips seemed....unique - needless to say I skipped over them

Offline Mike_R

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 12:27:17 pm »
Raptors have been my go-to tools for 3 years now. They excel on any mixed that I could ever possibly hope to climb (M8+) and are a far better tool than the Nomics IME for thin ice, which I spend more time on than difficult mixed. The only difference I've noticed is that the Raptor shafts have noticeable flex in them. It's never affected their effectiveness and may in fact help them penetrate the ice (comparing again to the Nomic which I find to be an overly rigid, "dead feeling" tool upon impact).  If Trango had a presence at the majot ice fests I believe we'd see a lot more people buying Raptors.

Offline pappy

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2017, 02:12:21 pm »
It's whatever you are comfortable with, because the dirty little secret is that pure ice is not that hard physically, it's almost all mental. I'm still climbing with my 20 year old Prophets because I am totally at ease with them and have led most of the stuff at the Lake and most other classic 5-5+s in the Northeast with them after the age of 50. I never get pumped. Might the new tools offer some incremental improvement? Probably, but no where near as important as the fact that I've got these dialed, the swing, the sound, the feel of a good stick. No reason to screw with it. If you're comfortable with your reactors I would suggest that you are more likely to step up your game with them, because the tools are not the difference.
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Offline Admin Al

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 05:03:56 pm »
I've been climbing on a pair of original Petal Ergo's for 15 years, since they came out. I've tried other tools, but these just fit my hands and they swing like I feel an ice tool should. I have had carbon fibre Cobras and I also own a pair of X-Dreams. the former are possibly the best all around mountaineering tool I've ever used. the latter are close to the Ergo's, but are harder on my wrists. it's all a matter of personal taste. I don't see how you could spend that kind of $$ without actually using them on a climb. Ice Fest is perfect for that.

the only downside of ethics's Ergo's is that I'm down to the last 2 sets of new picks! once those go I'm in trouble...   :P  :-[
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Offline Mike_R

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2017, 10:49:46 am »
FYI Cassin X-All Mountains are on sale at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley currently. $175

Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Ice tool selection
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2017, 08:04:07 pm »
X Dreams seem to be $209.00 most places