/ I broke my new Nomics

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
DRose674 - on 12 Feb 2019

I took a lead fall on my new Nomics on Sunday in Rjukan and had my leashes tethered to the pommel which isn’t rated apparently. Any advice on the best course of action ? Do I go back to the seller or straight to Lyon ? 

Report
richlan - on 12 Feb 2019
DRose674 - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to richlan:

I have seen the thread it’s quite useful as to explaining the ins and outs of the ratings. But alas it doesn’t repair my broken tool 😂

Report
Rick Graham on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

Your contract is with the shop so take them back there first ideally.

Look at the instructions , is there any advice there about using tethers, it may help your "case".

Report
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

I think if you go to any retailer and say you’ve broken your axe by taking a lead fall on to it they’re going to say that’s not what axes are designed for or guaranteed for.

Report
ianstevens - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

This. You used your axe incorrectly, outside the scope of its design. Hardly the designers fault it broke doing something it was not designed to do.

Report
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

Exactly.

True; not even harsh but true.

Sorry, OP.

Report
DaveHK - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

> This. You used your axe incorrectly, outside the scope of its design. Hardly the designers fault it broke doing something it was not designed to do.

I think there's a little more to it than that. 

Report
DRose674 - on 12 Feb 2019

Sorry, I think there’s been some confusion here. The axe was not placed as a piece of gear in a belay. 

Report
DaveHK - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to nickinscottishmountains and ianstevens:

I take it you guys haven't read the other recent Nomic thread? Seems to be a pretty strong consensus on there that this is bad design rather than anything else.

Post edited at 22:23
Report
Misha - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

It’s not like the OP placed an axe, clipped it to the rope via the pommel, kept climbing up somehow and then fell onto the axe. Falling off ice climbing is not advisable but not exactly unusual. Climbing with lanyards is pretty standard. So I’d argue that falling off, inadvertently leaving one or both axes in situ and ending up falling onto the lanyards is not that uncommon. So it’s reasonable to expect the axe to be strong enough for the lanyards to break, not the other way round (assuming the lanyards are the standard springy things rated to about 2kn, not say 6mm cord).

It seems that Petzl may have sorted one issue (the wobbly head - though we won’t really know for another year or two) but created another one. Pretty poor design for a large company. 

Report
coldwill - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

Bit confused as you posted this on the 23 Jan "I apologise in advance for my naivety having never owned a pair of the 2nd gen nomics, but the full strength clip in point is in the handle so why would you assume they’ve moved it? " in the Nomic design error? thread.

Report
innes - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

Out of interest, if you were to buy a new pommel, would it be a simple repair? i.e. is the toothed plate on the bottom of the axe still ok?

I too have the new Nomics and I'm thinking that a new pommel is cheaper than a new set of leashes in the event of a fall...

Post edited at 22:54
Report
Eric9Points - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

If the op of this thread had been killed as a result if this failure would the tine of this thread been different?

As a mechanics design engineer of almost 40 years experience I regard the Nomics as having a potentially lethal design flaw. It should be impossible to set up a piece of equipment in a manner that could lead to a fatal accident. Why is it that climbers are always tolerant of dangerous designs?

Report
coldwill - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

I wouldn't call it lethal. The teather will break as mine did with the same result. The solution is the same as it always has been, put some cord through the handle and tape it down. 

Post edited at 23:32
Report
TobyA on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

If the clip point didn't break, what else should? The bungy leash? Ice tools + teathers don't equal fall protection. That's what you put screws in for. If the pommel nor the teather broke, and the tool comes pinging out the ice the result could be equally messy. Leashes are not set up like via ferrata kits, may it's better the pommel or the leash snaps than you harness loop for example. 

I don't get the cult status on Nomics either, when they've always seemed to have had problems, but falling off your tools and expecting your leash to catch you is a bit of a punter move surely?

Report
climber34neil - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Who knows, and thank goodness that didn't happen, however if the manifacturer has specified in its instructions that the full strength clipping point is the handle and not the pommel spike then surely the user has to take responsibility for that and to use it in the way it is suggested. I agree it's a flawed design but is it any different to someone clipping into a gear loop rather that belay loop on a harness if they haven't read the instructions , in which case it's more than possible to set up that piece of equipment which could lead to a fatal accident through improper use. I would think the manifacturer would say operator error

Report
Tom F Harding on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

Needlesports conveniently sell replacement pommels on the same page as the tools themselves... 

https://www.needlesports.com/84100/products/petzl-nomic-pair.aspx

Report
DaveHK - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to climber34neil:

> however if the manifacturer has specified in its instructions that the full strength clipping point is the handle and not the pommel spike 

I haven't seen the instructions that come with the axe but the ones on the website show the pommel being clipped.

Report
DaveHK - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to climber34neil:

> is it any different to someone clipping into a gear loop rather that belay loop on a harness if they haven't read the instructions

Yes, it's very different because no harnesses have gear loop tie in whereas many many ice axes feature a clipable pommel.

Report
HeMa on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> I don't get the cult status on Nomics either, when they've always seemed to have had problems, but falling off your tools and expecting your leash to catch you is a bit of a punter move surely?

They climb nicely (albeit X-Dream and the likes climb nicer nowadays) and are readily available.

That said, it is a design flaw... all possible connection points on the tool should be stronger than the tether (which generally seem to be rated fo 2kN). After all, breaking a tool mid climb sort of puts an end to all of it, where as breaking a tether is a nuisance, but hardly a deal breaker.

And that is pretty much what I wrote in the other thread.

On top of it, it seems the instruction booklet is a bit misguiding as the spike cliphole looks exactly like the one on Quarks, and in the instructions there is a picture of attaching the tether there (granted it is only for the quark, but easily misunderstood).
 

Report
HeMa on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to climber34neil:

There are 2 instructions coming with the Nomic, you can have a look at them here:
https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/Ice-axes/technical-content-product/NOMIC (under Technical information and Technical Notice).

Kindly see the technical-notice-COMM_PIOLETS_TECH-1.pdf and especially look at the Resting Position diagram on page 2.

And have a look at the Nomic specific instruction technical-notice-NOMIC-4.pdf, see anything contradicting the Resting Position instruction that is a Generic tool for all Petzl technical icetools.

Report
Ben Sharp - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

> This. You used your axe incorrectly, outside the scope of its design. Hardly the designers fault it broke doing something it was not designed to do.

It's a case of what it's advertised to do as much as what it's designed to do. If a car manufacturer built a weakness into their cars which meant that drivers couldn't use it the way they typically use other cars and then didn't make customers aware of it then that would be quite rightly deemed underhand. I would have no problem with petzl if the axes came with a big sticker on the pommel explaining that its been designed to fail at <2Kn loads and must therefore either not be used on serious terrain (where you can't lower off with a broken axe) or must be used with a weaker tether so the tether breaks instead of ripping your axe in two.

Post edited at 07:17
Report
Luke90 on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> It should be impossible to set up a piece of equipment in a manner that could lead to a fatal accident.

I don't think that's possible for most climbing gear. I think it would be fairer to say that if a piece of kit resembles other items on the market but functions differently then it either needs changing or VERY clearly signposting to customers.

If all axes on the market worked like the Nomic then people would cope just fine. The problem is that they look the same as other axes so people naturally assume they can use them the same way.

Report
brunoschull - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

This issue just keeps coming up, in post after post, incident after incident.  Perhaps the industry will change something, if only because of what seems to be a difference between how people use, or want to use, ice tools, and how tools are currently designed to be used. 

I don't want to preach.  These are just my own views.  I've made all the mistakes multiple times.  There are as many opinions about all this as there are ice climbers. 

1) Petzl does not need to warranty this tool.  The damage occurred as a result of an accident.  If they feel like being nice, this could replace the pommel, if that's the only damage, or offer a new set of tools at a lower cost, but they don't need to. 

2) Despite the repeated use of language such as, "ice tools or tethers should should be designed in a particular way," or, "this is a design flaw," what we have now is not a design flaw, but rather a snapshot of the current state of ice climbing and ice tools.  These designs (Nomic, others) represent one compromise between all the different design factors.  The market and use might change. 

3) Tethers are to prevent you from dropping a tool, not to hold you in case of a slip/fall.  Tethers, and tether attachment points are designed with only this purpose in mind.  They are not designed to be strong enough to hold a slip/fall, and, if they were designed with this purpose in mind, it would immediately set in motion a chain or additional design choices and questions; should tethers be strong enough to hold a slip or fall?  Would an ice tool hold in ice/turf/rock in case of a slip/fall?  What would happen if the tool came flying out attached to a tether?  Assuming a fall with tools at chest height, if the tool/s did not come out, and the tethers and clip in points did not break, what would the forces look like on the climber?  And so on.  The possible answers to these questions guide ice tool design.

4) Tethers and tether clip in points may be used as a point of rest, with body weight (and only body weight) gradually eased onto them, like standing in a delicate aid placement.  I've never done this--the extension would be crazy--but I think tethers/points would (just) hold for this purpose.  In the Petzl materials liked above, the (in)famous pommel is rated to about 150 kg, ie a body weight placement, no more.  The materials show a tether clipped to the spike, not as a fall/slip protection, but to prevent a dropped tool, information which has been widely discussed and disseminated in many forms.  Climbers have had every chance to know and understand this. 

5) Some people use ice tools as pieces of protection in anchors, on ice or mixed ground, as a back-up for anchors, and so on.  This is generally a last-resort method, and is not, or should not be, too common (see point 3).  If you use ice tools this way, be sure to clip a hard-point, such as a solid hole through the handle or the head, and understand the limitations. 

6) Is an ice tool a piece of safety equipment that should be designed to protect the user in all ways including miss-use or possible alternative uses?  I'm open to different views, but I would say an ice tool is a specialized piece of equipment, to be used in one way.  Asking that an ice tool acomodate all users and uses is like asking a rock shoe to be designed so that it...somehow does not "let the user fall." 

7) There are Nomic-like ice tools on the market with full strength clip in points (DMM Switch).  With a home-made full-strength tether and appropriate locking carabiner, this tool would provide the full-strength chain that some climbers seem to be looking for.  Would such a system be valuable for most/all climbers?  Maybe.  Some people will obviously prefer lighter more limited set-ups.  And some people of course will climb with no tethers at all. 

8) Despite the common saying, "Don't fall on ice," people do fall leading ice.  But ice climbing is not sport climbing.  Falling on ice and walking away with no or minor injuries is a serious accident, like getting caught and partially buried in an avalanche, getting hit by rock fall that only grazed you but could have killed you, punching partly into a crevasse on a glacier, or taking a lead fall on rock and hitting your head.  It suggests a total re-think of one's approach, technique, preparation, and so on.  This is extremely difficult.  It's a hard road that takes years, and the learning process never ends. 

It's a wild world out there.  Try to stay safe. 

Post edited at 07:46
Report
ianstevens - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Misha:

I’m aware of how things work, and have read the other thread. According to that, it states on the instructions that the pommels are not a point to clip in to, even though I appreciate they are on other axes. You wouldn’t return a harness because you’d clipped into a gear loop and broken it? (And probably yourself, in that example).

Report
ianstevens - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Ben Sharp:

They don’t need a sticker - they come with a set of instructions that people may or may not choose to read. If the indicator stalk is on the opposite side of the steering column (rare, but does happen), I can’t blame my car manufacturer that I crashed at a roundabout because i turned on my wipers rather than signalled right. Your kit, your responsibility to learn how it works. Shit for the OP of course, but not the manufacturers fault. 

Report
Deadeye - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

Yes, pommel not rated - and I think form the other thread that that is stated in the safety leaflet.

I don't think anyone owes you a new set I'm afraid.

Report
Sir Chasm - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

> You wouldn’t return a harness because you’d clipped into a gear loop and broken it?

Would you design a harness with a gear loop that looks like a belay loop and is in the position you would normally expect to see a belay loop?

Report
Deadeye - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to coldwill:

> Bit confused as you posted this on the 23 Jan "I apologise in advance for my naivety having never owned a pair of the 2nd gen nomics, but the full strength clip in point is in the handle so why would you assume they’ve moved it? " in the Nomic design error? thread.


Well that seems to have shut OP up

Report
DaveHK - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

>  it states on the instructions that the pommels are not a point to clip in to.

It is clear in the instructions that it is not a full strength attachment but the instructions also show the pommel being used to clip a leash. I'd say it's pretty reasonable to then assume that they are strong enough such that a leash will snap before the pommel. This is how most other axes are designed.

> You wouldn’t return a harness because you’d clipped into a gear loop and broken it? (And probably yourself, in that example).

This is a very poor analogy as others have pointed out above. If you want to use a gear loop analogy, this is more like a gear loop snapping under the weight/load of gear in a fall.

Post edited at 08:51
Report
galpinos on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

I agree with your general sentiment but.....

1) The instructions are not that clear

2) I still think the pommel should be rated higher than a standard leash. If anything should break it is the leash. A broken leash means the axe is intact. A broken pommel renders the axe near useless and in an alpine situation, where Nomics are now the norm, this could put the climber in a compromising position.

I believe the 2nd Gen wobbly head issue has made people more prone to jump on this as this is the second iteration of an axe that has issues. 

Report
richgac - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to brunoschull:

Amen to that.  There's more real world wisdom in your post than in the ice tool manufacturer's booklets!

Anyone who climbs ice, or rock, without understanding the limitations of their gear is asking for trouble.  Take responsibility people, it's your life. 

Report
climber34neil - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to HeMa:

Yep, agree it's quite misleading information really, I hadn't seen the instructions before , you would really have to scrutinize them in detail to find out the strength rating of the pommel . Maybe petzl need to be clearer about the limitation and difference in resting on and falling on the pommel. Interesting that in the resting position it shows being tied in with a rope and on the nomic 4 pdf it shows the v link loss prevention teather ( their description ) being used . I suppose the question now really is what if anything are they going to do about it?

Report
DaveHK - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to richgac:

> Take responsibility people, it's your life. 

Yes, the end user has a responsibility but that does not absolve the manufacturer of responsibility for poor design.

I'm amazed by the number of people on this thread who seem to think this is an end user problem. It quite clearly isn't. The instructions show leashes being clipped to the pommel and the pommel fails when someone falls off with leashes clipped through it. The pommel should be strong enough that it is the leash which fails.

Failure of a piece of equipment in normal usage when used as instructed by manufacturer = bad design.

Post edited at 10:20
Report
wercat on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to brunoschull:

Excellent thinking - I am leaning towards the shoddy design feeling, but as you say ice climbing is full of imponderables.  If not the axe then perhaps the leash fails.  If neither then as you say the axe might do some mischief or the climbers wrist might break or shoulder dislocate.

I should say that my axes are so old (Pulsars and sometimes Camp Golden Eagle, still used by choice sometimes) that the question for me simply does not arise   Just the overall risk.

The other point though, is that even if there is an attachment point not intended to be strong, sooner or later it will be put to use in a belay situation, either because of tiredness, expedience or inexperience or unfamiliarity with the tool under pressure, so in that way it is a point of failure waiting to happen.   It looks very obviously weak to me in the pictures but who knows what I would do if faced with the need to do something with something unfamiliar under pressure?

Post edited at 10:09
Report
HeMa on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to climber34neil:

Nothing...

To be honest, if you look at the Nomic specific instruction, there is a small pic dictating that the lower pommel (and higher one as well) are only rated for 1.5 kN. But it does not state that it should not be used for resting (like the other instruction clearly states)... So the material provided with the tools is *BAD*, unless you happen to be a nit picking enginerd. Most people will browse though the leaflet and see that you attach the leashes to the pommel spike and be good with it.


I'll state this once again, it is a DESIGN FLAW, as the tool should not be the weakest link, but the tether (which I believe are rated for 2 kN generally). And the instruction *SHOULD* make it clear that if you're using stronger tethers (e.g. I have my DIY ones made from dyneema sling, with some shock cord for elasticity and a few knot -> considerably stronger than 2 kN), you risk breaking to tool. 

After all, tethers can be replaces & jury-rigged from stuff mid route. Where as the pommel, well not so much (as the pommel coming off might also break the connection-points so that even a spare pommel will not make it usable). Not all that handy on a big alpine north face.

Report
Luke90 on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to brunoschull:

You seem to be slightly misrepresenting most people's opinions on this. I haven't seen many people say that the pommel should be guaranteed to hold a fall. Most seem to be arguing that it only needs to be strong enough for the cheaper lanyard to break instead of the much more expensive axe. Though I guess a suitable alternative would be to make the pommel itself cheap and easy to replace (and ensuring that it fails in a way that doesn't damage the connection point or the rest of the axe).

Report
Rick Graham on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Luke90:

Seems to me that there is a golden design opportunity here .

Build a tether that has a built in shock absorber or screamer limiting the max load to say 2 kN.

Make an ice axe that can take it.

Post edited at 10:29
Report
HeMa on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Seems to me that there is a golden design opportunity here .

> Make an ice axe that can take it.

Pretty much all other tools on the market already have this... 'cept Petzl. Some are even considerably stronger than the 2 kN definition.

Report
gethin_allen on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Tom F Harding:

> Needlesports conveniently sell replacement pommels on the same page as the tools themselves... 

considering how the production model is obviously about as robust as damp tissue paper I'd consider making my own from the remains of the broken one rather than pay £34 for another breakable part.

Report
matejn - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to HeMa:

I am sure you are well aware that Nomic can " take it ", just put a piece of cord through a handle. That is all it takes. However I am much more concerned about new Ergonomic. There you don´t have an option of threading a cord  trough a handle. 

Report
ianstevens - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Would you design a harness with a gear loop that looks like a belay loop and is in the position you would normally expect to see a belay loop?

No, but that’s primarily because it would be a shit design...

Report
ianstevens - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to galpinos:

> I agree with your general sentiment but.....

> 1) The instructions are not that clear

Is that because Petzl still supply generic “ice axe” instructions in addition to the model specific ones? Bit silly if so.

> 2) I still think the pommel should be rated higher than a standard leash. If anything should break it is the leash. A broken leash means the axe is intact. A broken pommel renders the axe near useless and in an alpine situation, where Nomics are now the norm, this could put the climber in a compromising position.

I agree with you entirely on this - it’s not good design, but it is how they are designed which is the important thing here when considering  return. 

> I believe the 2nd Gen wobbly head issue has made people more prone to jump on this as this is the second iteration of an axe that has issues. 

Report
HeMa on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to matejn:

I know, but the instruction do not show this...

Report
richgac - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

> Failure of a piece of equipment in normal usage when used as instructed by manufacturer...

Normal usage for the pommel clip-in point is to catch the tool via it's leash if it's dropped - all manufacturers say this and the Petzl design clearly doesn't fail in this task.  Falling onto your leashes is not normal usage.

The Petzl info booklet may be poor but it doesn't have any suggestion that the pommel holes can be used for resting bodyweight or falling on.  

Report
HeMa on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

Yes they do... see:
https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/Ice-axes/NOMIC


And to add, none of the instructions descibe the "full strenght" clip point for leashes (ie. the holes on the handle). The only proper mention of resting is on the generic one showing the leashes slipped to the spike on Quarks... and the spike looks exactly like the one on Nomic. 

Report
HeMa on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to richgac:

> The Petzl info booklet may be poor but it doesn't have any suggestion that the pommel holes can be used for resting bodyweight or falling on.  

Actually it does. The only reference on it is to clip the tether/rope to the spike on Quark. There is no mention that this is *only* for the Quark.

And while the Nomic instruction shows the rated strenght in a small picture, for most it is meaningless (other than it is not full strenght, as in clip here and use it as an ice screw). 

Report
brunoschull - on 13 Feb 2019

Just to be clear, I actually agree with many people on this thread that those pommels/spikes should/could be stronger. 

To simplify, for any kind of alpine climbing gear, I would expect that the spike could withstand some abuse, be used as a point of balance for at least a couple of years, be bashed repeatedly into ice and/or rock, and so on.  I mean, before we talk about this spike as an attachment point for tethers, let's just consider it as a spike!  From what I have seen, I have little confidence that this spike would last very long on regular alpine climbs.

The fact that Petzl apparently made such a light/weak spike is particularly frustrating and confounding because of their history.  Some years ago, before the wobbly head, there was the wobbly pommel/spike, fixed temporarily with a pin drilled through the tool and pommel, and then with a machined incut and an additional metal plate in later tools, a design which always seemed like a compromise.  I was looking forward to a more robust design on this generation, but I was disappointed. 

Of course, if we say, "Make it stronger" the logical question is, "How strong?"  As far as I know, there are no or limited testing requirements for the pommel/spike strength on ice axes and ice tools.  I understand that BD has an internal pull strength test that is more than 2 kN but certainly not full strength.  It would be interesting to see destructive testing of a variety of tools.  If it's true that people really are using tools regularly as points or protection or in anchors, the results could be sobering.  

I guess we can just say that it would be nice if the pommel/spike was stronger, at least strong enough that we could 1) confidently use it as a spike, and then 2) strong enough that we could expect a tether to break before the tool, and finally 3) maybe catch a slip or very short fall. 

However, to return to the original post, in the very limited framework of whether a spike/pommel failure during a fall represents something that should be covered under warranty," I think the clear answer is "No."  For better or worse, that is simply not how these tools were designed. 

The debate about whether the Petzl materials have adequately communicated the limited uses of these tools, the different instructions sets, what they say and don't say, what can reasonably be assumed as common knowledge in the community or not, how ice tools are used as opposed to how they are intended to be used, and so on, would appear to be questions for the lawyers.

Report
coldwill - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

It's a wobbly piece of plastic, it's never going to hold a fall. The design error is that Petzl have made it clipable, they need to change it to avoid confusing people like the op.

The result is a  broken £200 ice axe instead of a broken tether, which is not good and is the real problem. 

Report
HeMa on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to brunoschull:

> However, to return to the original post, in the very limited framework of whether a spike/pommel failure during a fall represents something that should be covered under warranty," I think the clear answer is "No."  For better or worse, that is simply not how these tools were designed. 

> The debate about whether the Petzl materials have adequately communicated the limited uses of these tools, the different instructions sets, what they say and don't say, what can reasonably be assumed as common knowledge in the community or not, how ice tools are used as opposed to how they are intended to be used, and so on, would appear to be questions for the lawyers.

Actually I agree with you... partly, as in you should not get them replaces under warranty. But you can claim that they are not fit for intented purposes and under EC trade stuff, claim a full refund. And for the latter, the ambiguitous instructions are a valid point.

For the record, I can state that in good ice BD tools do hold slips. I have done that once sans problems (with the DIY 'full strenght' tethers).

Report
Rick Graham on 13 Feb 2019

> For the record, I can state that in good ice BD tools do hold slips. I have done that once sans problems (with the DIY 'full strenght' tethers).

I have also seen examples of tethers holding falls to the point of almost breaking the tether( just a few strands of tape fibre remaining)

This is hardly a new situation . I  recall over 48 years ago, Chris Woodall giving a lecture on a new route in the caucases. He was marvelling how good the prototype terrors were that he was using, how good they were to belay with. He was climbing with Hamish McInnes !

Post edited at 13:52
Report
matejn - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to coldwill:

Couldn't agree more. Why do you need a spike on a tool like Nomic is beyond me. For 10 years I have used 1st gen. and not once wished I had a spike on a pommel. Same goes for a hammer.

Report
Rick Graham on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to matejn:

> Couldn't agree more. Why do you need a spike on a tool like Nomic is beyond me. For 10 years I have used 1st gen. and not once wished I had a spike on a pommel. Same goes for a hammer.

I hate not having a good spike and plungable shaft on modern tools.

I could be dead now if unable to climb up overhanging slush that was too soft for picks.

Report
matejn - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Rick Graham:

It was a slush climbing insted of ice climbing than (-:

Report
Michael Gordon - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

I'm as mystified as most on this thread that Petzl would make something clippable on an axe, yet have it so weak that it would fail before the lanyard does! If not a manufacturing fault as such, it is certainly a design flaw and a rather stupid one at that.

Report
DaveHK - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to richgac:

> Falling onto your leashes is not normal usage.

Yes it is*, it happens all the time and is often unavoidable. Therefore the axe should be designed such that the leash breaks not the axe.

But I think we're arguing at cross purposes given that you seem to agree it's a shit design.

*what isn't normal usage is relying on the leashes for fall arrest or expecting them to hold you.

Report
matejn - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

One can easily create a force that exceeds 1.5 Kn if stumbling and catching on a spike. I am wondering if a Nomic pommel can handle such a force that is applied other way around.

Report
Presley Whippet on 13 Feb 2019

In reply to

I can't see me trusting petzl axes again, every generation of the nomic has had serious flaws. 

Somehow fashion overcomes function and nomics are seen as the must have cool tool. 

I fail to understand why they remain so popular given this history. Lycra may have looked awful but it was at least functional. 

Report
DaveHK - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Somehow fashion overcomes function and nomics are seen as the must have cool tool.

They function incredibly well in terms of how nice they are to climb with. The problem is not function but durability.

Report
Presley Whippet on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

I agree they do climb well, and OK, durability is probably the better term to use. 

To have had three generations of this tool, each with its own unique and easily avoidable flaw really makes me question petzls engineering. Couple that with the frankly outrageous customer service and I fail to understand how they still sell. 

Report
DaveHK - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I agree they do climb well, and OK, durability is probably the better term to use.  I fail to understand how they still sell. 

I agree with all that. If they were a total hog to climb with or from a small manufacturer they would have disappeared by now. 

I bought Switches in preference to them for the obvious reasons but tried a mate's Nomics and much preferred the feel. There was no way I was going to buy them with the head issue but another mate gave me a 1st gen one he had found (no wobbly head issues with them) and I got a second one with a wobbly head and repaired it.

Report
Presley Whippet on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

Having "misused" a pair of nomics by daring to actually climb with them, I resorted to x dreams. Very impressed with them. 

Report
DaveHK - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

You're not the first to say they're really good. Might check them out when my bodged Nomics pack in!

Report
Misha - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I think it's reasonable to expect the pommel to be stronger than the leashes. Although you might have a point about the axes springing out into your face. I don't know if that would be a risk if the pommel were stronger than the leashes (i.e. would the leashes just break, with no pinging out involved).

If the full strength clip in point is in the handle, there shouldn't be the option of clipping the spike. Having that option is just asking for trouble. I guess it was a way to save weight.

Report
Presley Whippet on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

> You're not the first to say they're really good. Might check them out when my bodged Nomics pack in!

Not much chance of wearing the out at the moment. You will be just in time for the Swiss engineered gen 4 nomic, with picks made from chocolate. 

Report
Misha - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

It seems there is confusing info in different sets of instructions. Anyway, I would argue that having a spike which is capable of being clipped, which you can do on many other axes and which feels like a logical thing to do, means the spike should be strong enough because people will clip it. Not everyone reads or remembers instructions. In fact, is it even reasonable to expect a climber to read instructions for an ice axe? Ice axes aren't complicated pieces of kit, they shouldn't really need instructions.

Of course it's not reasonable to expect a springy lanyard to hold a fall, though they sometimes do. If I fall off and let go of my axes, I don't expect to be saved by the lanyards. But I don't expect the ice axe to be the weakest link!

Here's an interesting story. I once fell off on a steepish mixed route. My lanyards were clipped to a gear loop as I was climbing fully leashless. As I fell (axes in hands), one of the lanyards got caught on a spike of rock and that held me. The lanyard got torn or cut half way across where it had caught on the rock. The gear loop was fine. It was a small fall and I'm not sure if the lanyard took the full force of it as around the same time one of the ropes came tight(ish) on a piece of gear. But it definitely took some of the force as it got torn or cut and I felt a pull on the gear loop.

Not immediately relevant for this discussion but thought I'd share this.

Report
Michael Gordon - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Misha:

> In fact, is it even reasonable to expect a climber to read instructions for an ice axe? Ice axes aren't complicated pieces of kit, they shouldn't really need instructions.>

A bit like needing instructions for a hammer. "Hold the nail with one hand..."

Report
Misha - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Hammers are complex, highly tuned pieces of equipment, perfected over millennia. You need to know which end to hold or indeed whether to hold it in the middle. 

Come to think of it, the same applies to ice axes. Shame I chucked the instructions which came with my Nomics in the recycling bin.

By the way, you say hold the nail with one hand but wouldn’t it be more effective if you grab hold of it with both hands before tapping it on the hammer?

Report
rachcrewe - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

Forgive me if I've missed this amongst the 60+ posts. Isn't the point of a spike to use as a tool for self-belay, to prevent the need for self arrest (potentially 80% unsuccessful in the even of an actual slide)? The New Nomic was talked of as featuring a "much called for spike". Not for clipping into, but as a key anatomic part of the safety system that an axe provides. Whilst yes, these tools are designed for ice climbing, the approach to the climb is as important and the need to prevent a slip from becoming a slide absolutely paramount. Do we now need to bring a separate 'piolet' or mountaineering axe to safely reach the climb? This seems absurd to me and if the pommel, featuring the spike, is breaking on the impact of a slip on ice (as I have seen at least once on a post), this is certainly a manufacturing fault as it does not perform in the manner for which it is reasonably expected to. 

Report
HeMa on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to rachcrewe:

You didn't really miss it, as I beleive it was only mentioned once.

Most of the discussions have been rightly focused on the steep stuff, as lets face it no ergo-tool is a good one for snow plods.

That said, you do make a valid point that unless we're talkin' about a roadside mixed crag, most of the *real* terrain will require an approach and possibly exit slopes plus the descent. For gentle and hard snow slopes, high dagger is not really useful and the bottom spike of a axe or tool will come to it's own. As per Petzl documentation, the pommel + spike is rated for 1.5 kN (so ~150kg static weight directly down). So if no twisting action is done, it should hold. That said, get it cuaght between some rocks and it might break rather easily (Petzl did not provide any information on rated strenght for other than direct downwards force).

But to be honest, I do find that most of the time the best thing is to use collapsible poles (the ones like avalance probes). Unless considerable crevasse danger, they'll get you up to the terrain where high dagger or rappel are the best way of moving. But I do have a strong background in moving on snow, so those more used to climbing might feel differently. And obviously I don't switch mid exit pitch from tools to poles...

Report
ianstevens - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to HeMa:

> And to add, none of the instructions descibe the "full strenght" clip point for leashes (ie. the holes on the handle). The only proper mention of resting is on the generic one showing the leashes slipped to the spike on Quarks... and the spike looks exactly like the one on Nomic. 

Resting vs falling  - I'd expect a pommel rated at 150kg to be able to take a static rest, if gently lowered onto, like an aid placement. Not lobbing off onto, which of course is a different kettle of fish.

Report
HeMa on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

Yes, but like I said, that is the only portion even remotely mentioning where to fasten the tethers...

Or could you kindly remind me, where in the instructions does it state that you should thread a cord through any of the "proper" holes in the handle and then use that to attach the leash. Because, if we're criticizing people on not reading the instructiuon/using the product as it is should, the correct way should blody darn well be in the actual material (it isn't). The only instruction is to use the hole on the spike... 

Report
muppetfilter - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

Absolutely Petzls design fault, one of many in recent years where design has missed crucial material or design limitations. (The zigzag, asap Lock and Navaho buckles to name a few)

You have to ask why every other axe on the market has a solid metal  or bolted metal attachment point on the bottom ? even the Kronos wooden axe has a metal plate insert ?

Report
matejn - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to muppetfilter:

But you have to give a credit where credit is due, they have always stood by their products, from Sarken recall onward. Unlike some other company a while ago, with a well known problem of crampons breaking.

Report
HeMa on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to matejn:

Not really true.... track record with the Nomics hasn't been as good... especially with the loose head.

I seem to recall people complaning here that they did not play ball, when a tool was sent to them.. I recall the reason being improper use (mixed terrain)... oddly enough, at the time Petzls own promo-material showed the late mr. Steck doing some impressive overhanging drytooling/mixed...

Post edited at 11:31
Report
simon kimber - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

> Yes, it's very different because no harnesses have gear loop tie in whereas many many ice axes feature a clipable pommel.

Now that's not true is it? Metolius have made harnesses with full strength gear-loops for many years now!

Report
matejn - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to HeMa:

I´m really confused with all this loose head thing. It seems that this is more or less an UK issue ( dealer refusing to exchange tool ). As far as I know, there has been only one such case in my country but the tool was beaten to death.

Report
Big Lee - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to matejn:

Yeah you're right. Varri in Scandinavia replaced axes with loose heads, Lyon in the UK didn't. What baffles me most is why people are still buying Nomics when there are so many other good axes on the market. 

Report
matejn - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to Big Lee:

I was looking for a pair of new tools for quite some time. I really wanted to like X dreams or Tech machines but the handle design on both tools put me on off buying either one of them. It just did not feel right. On the other hand it was a love at first, can I say touch; with the newest Nomics. They climb ice fenomenaly. I didn´t climbed anything harder than WI 5+ this season yet, but the difference to 1st gen. is obvious.

Report
Big Lee - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to Big Lee:

I was a little unsure about the X-dream handle as well as I was used to the less offset nomic. After a little use though I quickly grew favour the X-dream handle actually. It's like holding onto an even bigger pair of jugs compared to Nomics and the swing and precision feels the same. 

Report
matejn - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to Big Lee:

In my case, it was not an offset that I did not like, as a mater of facts   offset on a new Nomic is very similar to that on a X Dream. It was a complete shape of the handle. I really did not like trigger inserts and the bulge around that area. There was also one matter that I took into consideration and that was pick durability.

Report
nufkin - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to Big Lee:

>  What baffles me most is why people are still buying Nomics when there are so many other good axes on the market.

Quality issues aside, they do seem to be 'just right' compared to lots of other tools.

I was vaguely intending to get some e-climb Cryos, partly to be different to all the Nomic users and partly because they seem to be well spoken of by their (relatively rare) users - but e-climb seem not to be making them any more. So it might just have to be Nomics after all

Report
Misha - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to matejn:

Probably because Scottish winter climbing means Nomics here have a much harder life than in the Alps or even in the Tatras.

Report
DRose674 - on 14 Feb 2019
In reply to DRose674:

Well what an interesting and varied thread 😅. Thanks to all for advice whether it be good or bad ! 

Report
rachcrewe - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to HeMa:

Ever tried to self-belay/arrest using a trekking pole? Definitely not what they are designed for (and they don't even claim to be). There's no crevasses in Scottish winter, just monster runouts into boulder fields. #notforscotland 

Report
Tom F Harding on 15 Feb 2019

Anyone have a CNC machine knocking around and fancy making nice titanium versions of the grip rests?

Report
HeMa on 16:04 Fri
In reply to rachcrewe:

The idea with poles is not fall and need to self arrest at all. And to be honest, all ergo tools suck for self arrest. 

Report

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.