How I kicked the third tool habbit.

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tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 26, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
Way back in the days of grade 3 gullys on mt washington when I was a freshly hatched ice climber with egshells still stuck to my butt I always dragged a 3rd tool arround simply because that is what real mountaineres did.
nkgphoto.com&#40;C&#41;1983 Jud Thurston and Nick Goldsmith, Top of Pi...
nkgphoto.com(C)1983 Jud Thurston and Nick Goldsmith, Top of Pinnacle 1983 Jud has his dad,s WW11 10th Mtn ax as a 3rd tool
Credit: tradmanclimbs
Eventually I progressed to leaveing the rope, rack, harness and 3rd tool at home.
Nick Goldsmith 3rd classing Pinnacle Gully. Feb 1986 photo by Jud Thur...
Nick Goldsmith 3rd classing Pinnacle Gully. Feb 1986 photo by Jud Thurston
Credit: tradmanclimbs
Odels Gully 1986 Photo by Jud Thurston.
Odels Gully 1986 Photo by Jud Thurston.
Credit: tradmanclimbs
Even on steeper stuff I am pretty sure I wittled it down to two Simond Chakal hammers or a chakal and a hummingbird.
Bristol VT left 1985 photo by jud thurston
Bristol VT left 1985 photo by jud thurston
Credit: tradmanclimbs
I took a bit of a break and started climbing ice again in 1998. Still had the old tools and screws, Even fit into my old IMS bibs.. brand new light weight helmet though and skinny Euro ropes to go with the Euro girl friend;) Got my old hummingbird hammer for starting screws as I am climbing with a 60cm adze in the right hand.
Bristol Vt center. 1999 Photo by isa oehry
Bristol Vt center. 1999 Photo by isa oehry
Credit: tradmanclimbs
graduated to Grivel Machines, new screws and single boots around 2000ish but out of the 3rd tool habbit. About 2003/4ish? I hooked up with BD Vipers
Nick Goldsmith on The Last Gentleman. Photo by Isa Oehry
Nick Goldsmith on The Last Gentleman. Photo by Isa Oehry
Credit: tradmanclimbs
Credit: tradmanclimbs
A day at the beach.
A day at the beach.
Credit: tradmanclimbs
and shortly thereafter broke my 2nd pick in 20+ years of ice climbing. Suddenly a 3rd tool seemed like a good idea again.. Three more broken BD picks in the next 5 or so years kept me convinced that old straight tool hanging off my butt was a critical piece of equiptment. Twice I broke picks on the sharp end and finished up with the old Omega Venom. once leading 2nd pitch of Float like A butterfly land like a Tomato and again soloing the 2nd pitch of Standard route @ frankenstine. Annother time I simply stole Isa's machine to lead dracula as my BD pick broke in the first 10ft.. Also broke one just before the cave on standard and switched out with a spare in the cave.. Finally I made the switch to petzle Quarks. the whole leashless thing made me think the 3rd tool was still a good idea even though I no longer had to worry about broken picks but now I had a Viper hanging off my butt with the hooked handle catching on everything and the extra weight pulling my pants and harness down arround my effin ankles
Nick Goldsmith P2 Black Dike 12-26-11 <br/>
Photo by Isa Oehry
Nick Goldsmith P2 Black Dike 12-26-11
Photo by Isa Oehry
Credit: tradmanclimbs
:-[ No longer worried about broken picks w/ the Quarks so the only real reason for the 3rd tool was in case of a dropped tool. I made teathers for the quarks last season and presto. No more 3rd tool anchor hanging off my butt 8)
Hobbit Coular 4+
Hobbit Coular 4+
Credit: tradmanclimbs
photo by Isa Oehry
photo by Isa Oehry
Credit: tradmanclimbs
photo by Isa Ohery
photo by Isa Ohery
Credit: tradmanclimbs
crankin the last 30m to the trees in gale force winds..
crankin the last 30m to the trees in gale force winds..
Credit: tradmanclimbs
20 BELOW ZERO GULLY  WI4+ The lake Photo by Isa oehry
20 BELOW ZERO GULLY WI4+ The lake Photo by Isa oehry
Credit: tradmanclimbs
I feel liberated :P
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Jan 26, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
That's not the Squamish black dyke is it?
Bargainhunter

climber
Jan 26, 2013 - 09:28pm PT
Nice post and nice description of your equipment progression and philosophy. Thanks for validating my recent purchase of a pair of Quarks. I was upgrading from a pair of Stubai FKWs btw. I wonder if you will go back to a third tool eventually, esp if you are soloing in a alpine environment. I got some BD slinger leashes but haven't used them yet; I just can't imagine being leashless where a dropped tool means trouble, but then again I am weak on experience here.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 26, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
I feel liberated having read your post.

I would like to ice climb again but years of outdoor construction and ice climbing have left my fingers kind of a wreck with cold squishy Renaud syndrome tips.

Obviously your footfangs set a timeline. How are you able to have good fingers presently ?
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2013 - 09:36pm PT
The black Dike pictured is Canon NH. No fear of dropping a tool as even though I am leashless I am useing teathers now so the tools are clipped to my harness. as for fingers. the new tools you very rarely hit a knuckel.. almost never..
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jan 26, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
I haven't done a lot of leading on steep ice, so my opinion on 3rd tools is still in formation. but damn, you sure would be screwed if you drop a tool, or break a tool on a steep run-out lead.

One time (following fortunately) my leashed tools got into a cluster-f*#k as I did a traverse and the leash was all twisted up; so I deliberately dangled the tool down to let it unwind so to speak. But the f-ing leash un-clipped itself and my tool went bouncing down 300' of steep ice. Fortunately by belayer was close enough he could lower himself down a ways, then clipped one of his tools to the rope and let it zing down to me. Otherwise I'd still be hanging there. ha

I wonder what the hardcore ice soloists do regarding third tools? I don't know. I do have an old Mjolnir hammer which goes with me sometimes. Its short, so not in the way too much. And the stick is good enough to finish a pitch. But its way heavy. Maybe a new school lightweight shorty would be a good alternative.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 26, 2013 - 11:05pm PT
3rd tool is a nice option to have...

But WTF is up with no leashes these dayz???

I'd take leashes over screws anyday.

Guess it don't matter if your climbing modernlike where there isn't actually any ice

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 26, 2013 - 11:36pm PT
Nice progression both with equipment, technique and personally.....with pictures to document. What ST is (should be) about.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 27, 2013 - 12:39am PT
I always carried a Forrest Moljinor hammer as my 3rd tool. It is pretty small so doesn't have the weight penalty of a 'normal' tool. The only disadvantage is that it's one more sharp pick to poke you if something happens.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 27, 2013 - 07:08am PT
I will add a few more photos as i find them so check back. need to scan a grivel photo.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 27, 2013 - 07:12am PT
I feel good soloing with the petzle tools on teathers leashless. If i was on BD tools i would have to drag along a 3rd tool again. 30 years of climbing ice and 5 proken picks. 4 of them were modern era BD picks the 5th was a skinny little hummingbird pick WBINTD.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Pollock Pines, California
Jan 27, 2013 - 07:18am PT
good now you just
need to kick that aweful
hobbit
of copyrighted every single
photo that you post up?

why not let some
useless stranger
capitalize upon the
gorgeous record of
your's valiant travels?
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jan 27, 2013 - 10:05am PT
Great post! much appreciated. Love the old and newer photos, and all the comments. The photo of the top of Pinnacle sure takes me back (to 1972 or so) when we topped out in the much more typical Alpine Garden conditions of below zero temps and screaming 70+ mph winds and had to climb our way horizontally over to South Gully in order to get down. Love your ice posts, keep them coming!
Mark Force

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Jan 27, 2013 - 10:44am PT
You've just gotta have the perfect third tool for the job. Works great and doesn't pull your pants down.

Chouinard Ice Hammer
Chouinard Ice Hammer
Credit: Mark Force
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jan 27, 2013 - 01:14pm PT
Yep, 1972 all right!
Mark Force

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Jan 27, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
The master blacksmith himself carrying that third tool with definitive...
The master blacksmith himself carrying that third tool with definitive Úlan.
Credit: "Climbing Ice"
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Jan 27, 2013 - 02:43pm PT
I'm an ice ignoramus so the techie talk flew over me, but the pics are nice!
fosburg

climber
Jan 27, 2013 - 02:47pm PT
My favorite 3rd tool ever was the 38cm Hummingbird hammer, that thing climbed way good and I'm bummed I lost it. Now I have a Grivel mini-monster which is like a children's tool and doesn't work very well but would certainly save the day in a pinch.
Picks can break. I'm amazed so many people don't carry an extra tool, especially with leashlessness so common.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jan 27, 2013 - 04:33pm PT
Nicely arranged presentation Tradman! Yes, keep scanning and posting please.
Not at all to be critical, but let me get this straight: essentially this is a glowing endorsement for Petzl picks, based on your experience of zero failure rate?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 27, 2013 - 05:21pm PT
Being able to choose your weapons prior to the duel is one of the distinctive joys of ice climbing.


To the great Jimmy Marshall, seen here on Parallel B Gully on the Ben, it just wasn't sporting with more than a single long axe. Photo from Climbing Ice.
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