Who invented modern reverse-curve pick Ice tools?

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Messages 41 - 60 of total 71 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 21, 2013 - 06:14am PT
I had a Forrest Mjollnir and never got a drooped pick, nor ever saw one. They were straight down angled. These pictures are the first ones I have ever seen of a Forrest reverse curved pick.

I never used it for ice climbing. It was basically a short rock hammer with an ice or weird rock pick. I did use one for nailing for a while. The chacal was longer and what I would consider a "real" ice tool.

That, and I never saw anyone ever using a Mjollnir for ice climbing. Period. The Chacal was a real ice tool and had a long enough shaft for some serious whacking. That sounds kind of obscene, but you get my drift.

A Mjollnir was lighter than a chounaird Yo hammer, but perfectly good for nailing. I know several guys who did many walls with them. I still have mine and the head is all rounded off at the corners now.

I then got a Forrest Wall hammer to replace it and I really liked it, although the west coast climbers thought they were weird.

Here is a mjollnir with the rock pick:

Credit: BASE104

wivanoff

Trad climber
CT
Feb 21, 2013 - 07:39am PT
I guess memory served me incorrectly. Here's a scan from the 1980 Forrest catalog that list 4 picks available for the Mjollnir Hammer. There is no reverse curve pick listed but the hatchet handle is clearly shown.

The steeply drooped pick was called a "Skye" pick and was described as a "Terrordactyl-style"

Credit: wivanoff

EDIT: I'm not saying there wasn't a reverse curve pick on the Mjollnir. Clearly there was. Seems it was after 1980, though.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 21, 2013 - 08:18am PT
Hmm. I guess I only bought the straight ice pick and the rock pick. I put that drooped ice pick on a bench grinder and took it down to 1/2" long and it was perfect for placing copperheads.

Lowe had the hummingbird hammer and the Big Bird axe. Back then we would use a long tool and a short tool. I never liked the tube picks, but the Big Bird had a really solid, kind of round and tapered pick. Well machined. It had a whole bunch of small teeth for the first couple of inches before they got big.

Since you don't get a deep placement very often anyway, those big teeth are kind of a non issue. It is the first inch of a pick that wore out.

Anyway, that Big Bird Lowe solid pick took almost zero energy to remove. Don't ya hate it when you spend half your energy removing your tools?

I was never much of an ice climber anyway.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 21, 2013 - 08:40am PT
One more thumbs up for the big bird straight pick. Great weight balance, swing and stick. The steel seemed pretty brittle though.
jopay

climber
so.il
Feb 21, 2013 - 09:16am PT
Chacal and Barraucda did indeed get widespread use even made it to the mid west, still have mine, those tools have been up some ice.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 21, 2013 - 09:22am PT
speaking of Mjollners; I still have mine with all four picks as in photo above. I tried but didn't succeed in climbing much ice with it back in the '70s. Then it was my wall hammer for awhile. Now its my third tool at times when ice climbing. I wish it was lighter myself. It weighs at 1 lb 10 oz; more than my full size BD ice tools. But it doesn't get in the way if you're just carrying it for an emergency. The sticks in ice are surprisingly good, but the steep straight ice pick is so short it really takes a fine touch to avoid smashing your knuckles. I actually prefer using the old school dropped (regular curve, not reverse) pick because it is a bit longer. Sticks are good, removing, well removing is always a bitch no? Especially when you are scared and swinging too hard. ha
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 21, 2013 - 12:23pm PT
One of the things that pisses me off about the new ice tools - and was really nice about the older ones - is the shorter length (sub 60 cm) and the now ubiquitous " pinky hooks" and misc. other knobby gack on the shaft. All greta for the new wave sporty stuff but a pain in the ass for anything that involves steep snow where a clean smooth shaft comes in handy.

One of the nicest " all mountain " tools I've come across is this Petzel unit with the slight curve and moveable pinky hook. The only real problem was the light head weight. I fixed that with a length of pencil lead pounded flat and wrapped around the shaft under the head and finnished with duct Tape.

Add an Android wrist sling and the thing totally rocks for both general mountaineering and steep ice. I tried it out yesterday on a "scottish style" route and the thing performed for piolet everything plus shaft plants. This was particularly useful while soloing around on moderate (but fully exposed) terrain, not to mention the odd vertical mushroom or cornice.

For piolet traction
For piolet traction
Credit: Bruce Kay

slide the pinky hook up for shaft plants and daggering.
slide the pinky hook up for shaft plants and daggering.
Credit: Bruce Kay

Pair it up with a regular technical hammer and you're good to go for everything except those overhanging M 15's...... and maybe the extra length might work there too!

RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 21, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
"One of the things that pisses me off about the new ice tools - and was really nice about the older ones - is the shorter length (sub 60 cm) and the now ubiquitous " pinky hooks" and misc. other knobby gack on the shaft. All great for the new wave sporty stuff but a pain in the ass for anything that involves steep snow where a clean smooth shaft comes in handy."

Funny I find just the opposite. All that "knobby gack" stuff looks weird but works on moderate snow terrain just fine. And the advantages on anything even remotely technical worth any small disadvantage they might have.





Short of a standing snow plod, certainly my tool of choice. Nomic or treking/Whippet poles seem to a reasonable option these days. And I still have plenty of other choices at hand. There is still a place for a classic axe imo. I just hate tools that do nothing well.



Nomics or Quarks or Cobras do everything well. Including plunging in moderate snow. If you know how to use them.

But then I also climb in lycra and ski boots on occasion :)



Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 21, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
Nomics or Quarks or Cobras do everything well. Including plunging in moderate snow. If you know how to use them.


???????? I guess I missed that credit course in beginner alpinism! Well to each his own I guess but i have yet to see anyone doing anything other than splat the things against the snow surface or claw away uselessly with the picks. All I know is I'm a lot happier and quicker moving around with security. It was the same problem with the old curved shafts, like the old grivels or even with the corrugated rubber grips. I actually smoothed off the bumps on my old Stubai's and big Bird or carved the rubber off all together on some mountaineering axes.

Anyway I'm off to cham mid March and I'll not be taking a quiver of 5 through 10 irons - just one axe and one hammer. So far that Petzel with the sliding grip is the cats ass.

Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Feb 21, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
Bruce, bring back pics!!!
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 21, 2013 - 05:38pm PT
nosh#t? I'll give you a shout. I've never been there. Whats the Elevation? A Bistro on top of the Midi or something?
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 21, 2013 - 05:58pm PT
Sorry, I fooked that up. That would be great! Send me a PM when you have time. The Elevation is a great place for breakfast or food any time. It is just in front of the main train station in Cham. Right hand side of the street corner looking north into town. Good place to hang for a coffee or a beer as well. Short 2 min walk to the Midi tram.

Be sure to bring your BC skiis and the climbing gear!
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 21, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
The absolute worst thing that ever happened to me was soloing an ice route and then it went from vertical to flat instantly. All there was was soft snow and some frozen weeds. I had to crawl up that while below me my feet were still in vertical ice..I knew my feet were gonna pop with me bent over at the waist.

It either ended well or I died and this is hell.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
Yes, we don't want to assume too sternly where we actually are. We're on the ice tonight though.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 21, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
That's a relief, unless you are the devil.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Feb 21, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
picked up a used pair of Nomics today and am excited to get out and use them this weekend.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Feb 22, 2013 - 03:51am PT
Quarks with the pinky hook knuckel guard thingy are the perfect alpine tool inmop. they climb everything from snow to WI5+ and harder. they have a good sharp spike for caneing and that hook on the bottom plunges just fine on softer snow. If it's too hard to plunge then it's good cramponing anyways so just boogie and git er done.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Feb 22, 2013 - 10:13am PT
So did any of the old blokes ever use these.......

An add in Mountain 64, Nov 78

 <br/>
Looks like they came close to a curved shaft and pinky hook, But no...

Looks like they came close to a curved shaft and pinky hook, But no cigar! A bit like a triangular wheel....
Credit: Blakey

Steve
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Feb 22, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
Used the Nomics tonight and was very happy. They are very light, easy to remove and have a super small head that hooks like nothing I have been using.
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 23, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
"Used the Nomics tonight and was very happy"

They look weird but life will just get better from now on, trust me :)

"From the posts in this thread an observation one might make is that it was Hamish McInnes and his Terro that made the biggest impression on modern ice and mixed climbing."

"I'm looking for the missing link between Terro and Simond - could have been Forrest without him knowing it."

I have no doubt the Terro did have the biggest influence on ice tools. And still does. We hook on ice now not swing. That is directly from the Terro straight through to the Nomic.

If you look at a Chacal and a Terro they are very close really. There were some bigger Terros made as well with longer handles and required less knuckle bashing. It was a really easy shift from Terro to Chacal metally, physically and technically. The Chacal was a bitch to get out until you modified the pick BTW. Much harder to remove from water ice that a Terro ever was. But the longer shaft and longer pick of the Chacal made the tool more user friendly straight away. The rest (picks) we learned to modify as time went by.

The Forrest Life Time tools were may be even a little better in some ways than the Chacal. Picks were easier to change for one. And easier to hook up umbilicals to. But they were late to the party by a full year if not more on reverse curved picks. I climbed my first WI6 on Lifetimes and a lot of WI5 with the short little reverse curved picks and used them for two seasons. They were a very good tool.
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