Recent Ice Tool Reviews
Great ice tool for waterfall ice and mixed climbing! Taken me from Rjukan to the Alps and back again! Great ice tool! I bought mine used though a friend (so I do not own the newest generation). It's been perfect for me, climbing WI 3-5 and mixed alpine routes. I can't think of much more to wish for in an ice tool. I was so lucky as to get different blades with the tool, so one for training, one for mixed, one for alpine, and one for water ice. Great swing, even without weights. The only thing I… Full review
With skye pick, compares favorably with modern ice tools - best third tool ever While tube picks were a fad that was justifiably short-lived, and the "alpine" classic curve pick was nothing to write home about, the skye pick (pterrordactyl knock-off) is a gem of engineering that still compares favorably with modern ice tools (in my opinion). In the 2015 season, I'm still carrying one as a third tool, although the picks are becoming impossible to find. Anybody out there who has old mjolnir skye picks… Full review
Chouinard Equipment Blue Composite Shaft Ice Axe w/Curved Pick
This ice axe is ergonomic and balanced. This ice axe is well balanced and has an ergonomic curve to ease its use. Chouinard is an old and well known company which stays on top in tune with the times. I had a Chouinard/Frost bamboo handle technical axe since 1972; and I recently parted with it. Full review
Ice climbing dream. For pure WI these are my favorite ice tool to date. The slim pick usually is a one swing wonder, which makes steep climbs less tiring. With my Nomics I feel like I have to battle-axing in to the ice, but not the X-dream even with the "mixed" pick. The handle has two positions ice and Mixed, I keep mine on the ice setting. The difference is that the mixed sets the handle angle a bit more aggressive. My only gripe is the little adjustable plastic grip rest on the upper shaft,… Full review
Black Diamond Reactor
A great overall ice tool. A bit on the heavy side. Very versatile, leashless tool. Ease of Use: These tools are angled well and ergonomically help you with overhanging ice and help even the novice climber (like myself) get over ice bulges on vertical ice. They are well constructed and the tips are replaceable. There is a small eye near the top of the shaft that would allow a carabiner or leash to be used if you had to do something different with them. They are slightly heavy — go with the Grivel… Full review
Grivel X Monster
I've used these axes in mixed conditions and on ice and found they perform very differently. On ice they are the perfect level of aggressive and terrific for beginners as the price makes the sport a bit more accessible, and they are simple to use. Though a bit heavy, they have a good swing, and are very comfortable to hold. Grip tape on the upper handle is essential, but easily added. The picks are very durable, and can take a great deal of abuse. On mixed and rock these perform rather poorly. The… Full review
Black Diamond Fusion
This is going to be a bit of a comparison between the Petzl Nomic and the Fusion. I have been using both now for the last three years, these are my conclusions. For pure steep ice I prefer the Nomic. It swings less like a battle ax (Fusion being the battle ax) and the pick sticks more securely but yet is easy to remove. BD has some catching up on with their pick tech. The Fusion alway seem to take more effort to get a solid stick, and when it's in it takes a bit to get the pick dislodged. For mixed… Full review
New design works even better. Fully adjustable modular construction allows for a tool that works great in alpine, ice falls, snow. The 3mm tapered pick head seems to always find its place in the ice with often the first strike. Grips can be removed to plunge the snow better, if so desired. (550g) Has good clearance on steep ice to save you knuckles. Best ice tool I have ever used. Full review
I've bought my new Cassin X-Alp 6 mounts ago and they are great. I've tried them on WI 4-5 even on WI 6 and they were fabulous. I would put them on the same line with Petzl Quarks, just find the handle with finger guard and they would be just perfect for any type of climbing. Previously i had DMM Fly, Simond Naja, also used Quark and Nomic... but i can't compare it with X-Alp. For the money they give the most universal of these ice axes and i just love them a because of that. Although their usage… Full review
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