UKH

Tools , ice axe ?s

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 AndyE9 24 Nov 2019

hi all ..  

Been looking at getting my own axes this year , my daughter has the newer version of the quarks , I didnt really want to spend out as much as that , but will at a push ..  

A few axes I have seen , simond anaconda seemed like a good cheap option ...  

But then I have also seen Grivel light machine's  , these look reasonable ,not too aggressive prob much like the quarks .. I havnt been able to find any reviews on them , was wondering if any of you guys have used them?  

And if you have any other suggestions , for moderate Scottish mixed ..  

Cheers  .  .

Post edited at 16:09
 Basemetal 24 Nov 2019
In reply to AndyE9:

Singing Rock Bandits are worth a look, and replacement picks are ~£10 each. Cheaper still, but more in Sum'tec territory, are their Edge axes. Both are fully T rated.

Post edited at 16:36
 Pay Attention 24 Nov 2019
In reply to AndyE9:

Both the light machine and the anaconda would be useful and economic entry level axes with all the features you'd need for moderate winter climbing.  You'd be able to climb packed snow gullies and some steeper ice before feeling the need for more technical tools.

In reply to Pay Attention:

> You'd be able to climb packed snow gullies and some steeper ice before feeling the need for more technical tools.

I've seen people climb WI6 with Najas, the tool that the Anacondas evolved from (the handle is much improved on the newer ones). But then people climbed WI6 and VIII with Chacals and Barracudas, so saying Anacondas are "entry level" seems a bit odd.

There does seem to be some rather large "need-inflation" when it comes to ice tools these days though!

 Pay Attention 24 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> .... saying Anacondas are "entry level" seems a bit odd.

> There does seem to be some rather large "need-inflation" when it comes to ice tools these days though!

your write!

 DaveHK 24 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> There does seem to be some rather large "need-inflation" when it comes to ice tools these days though!

I think this is something that has crept into climbing over maybe the last 15 years.  All marketing driven of course, convincing people that they need certain equipment for specific activities and / or a whole different set of stuff for another activity that isn't even that different.

It's even worse in skiing and cycling.

In reply to Basemetal:

The Bandits are the ice tool equivalent of the Skoda Octavia or the Simond softshell trousers: they are really good for the money.

Mine have been used on steep ice in Norway, mixed stuff in Wales and Scotland and don't look out of place pootling up snowy gullies.

I have a set of ice picks for continental ice and batter a pair of mixed picks for everything else.

They climb very like Quarks.

 Basemetal 24 Nov 2019
In reply to angry pirate:

I've heard only good things about them and met somebody in Sneachda last Saturday who rated his partners Bandits above the Cassins he was using.

I have a pair of Edges that I rate for general mountain axes and was going to buy Bandits when  I got an irresistible offer on new Apexes (cheaper than Bandits!)

In reply to Basemetal:

Yeah, they have crept up a lot since I bought mine (used to be £150 a pair).

I played with Apexes in Joe Brown but the grips are far too big for my little hands tbh. They do feel like they'd survive the apocalypse though!

 Davey_HB 25 Nov 2019
In reply to AndyE9:

Hello - See here for a review on the Bandits I did a few years back: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/gear/review_-_singing_rock_bandit_ice_axe-609720?v=1#x7991794

I have found them to be great so far - This year however I got a deal on some Petzl Nomics which was too good to pass up so will be climbing with those this season.

DB

 AndyE9 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Davey_HB:

the Nomics look good , ..   I did think about getting a more aggressive climbing tool , but then I prob would need to take an additional walking / mountaineering axe for selected days ..  

Do you ever carry both ? 

 DaveHK 27 Nov 2019
In reply to AndyE9:

> the Nomics look good , ..  

They're absolutely lovely to climb with but just too many reliability issues. First the head and now the pommels. There are work arounds for both but but it's a pain and it's not clear as yet whether the new head fixing has sorted the wobbling issue.

 spenser 27 Nov 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

The pommel's not a reliability issue, the design just doesn't consider the use case very well.

 ColdWill 27 Nov 2019
In reply to AndyE9:

Climbed VI6 with the anacondas. Picks were a bit soft and there was a bit of bounce on hard (cold) ice.

Grivel light machines look good, a gut had them out last weekend and didn't seem to be suffering. 

In reply to TobyA:

In their day, the Naja's were one of the lightest tools around. I remember watching an aspirant guide absoloutely romp up "La Dame du Lac" near Morzine with a pair in about 2000-2001-ish.. with advice being shouted up by one of the ENSA guides. I had never seen ice like that before so it was a very vivid memory for me. 

So I agree with Toby and others, Anacondas - and possibly most of the other things being suggested - wont stop you climbing most things. And that price is really impressive. 

 DaveHK 27 Nov 2019
In reply to spenser:

> The pommel's not a reliability issue, the design just doesn't consider the use case very well.

You know what I meant just too many issues in general, either design or reliability.

 AndyE9 27 Nov 2019
In reply to AndyE9:

After getting my daughter to search the net for the best deals , I decided to get the Grivel light machines , not a bad price , comes with some leashes not sure if I will keep them on , T rated pick T rated shafts ..  and the parts seem very easy to get ..    

 Davey_HB 06 Dec 2019
In reply to AndyE9:

This will be my first year carrying both sets of axes (Bandits and Nomics) assuming space allows

DB


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