Who invented modern reverse-curve pick Ice tools?

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Messages 41 - 60 of total 69 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 21, 2013 - 09:14am 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 - 10:39am 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 - 11:18am 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.
jopay

climber
so.il
Feb 21, 2013 - 12:16pm 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 - 12:22pm 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
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 21, 2013 - 04:08pm 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 :)



Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Feb 21, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Bruce, bring back pics!!!
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 21, 2013 - 08:58pm 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 - 10:57pm 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 - 11:41pm 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 - 11:43pm PT
That's a relief, unless you are the devil.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Feb 22, 2013 - 12:17am 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 - 06:51am 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 - 01:13pm 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 - 11:32pm 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 - 04:37pm 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.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 23, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
This looks to be an early model Chacal.

Edit:RDB thinks early 80s.












The classic Simond markings. Did these picks have so little to sharpen when new or has this one been filed down?

RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 23, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
Black pick is late '80s Steve. Chrome plated ones were earlier, The one you have has been filed a lot in comparison to how hard they are and hpw long would last. The red one below is a second gen. Dbl spike was not common. I never saw one imported into the NA. Climb high in the US and MEC in Canada were th importers.


early Chacal

New picks and different Simond tools. I think the axe was called a Mustang but I'd need to look it up. When you have a spare pick in your hand it is clear what Gordon Smith was saying about flipping a standard curved pick oevr and drilling it as a reverse curve pick. Easy if you had the tools and the blanks sitting there. Some one was thinking :) Instant, giant size, Terrodactyl. Brilliant! That the new picked worked so well had to be a surprise to everyone.







Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 23, 2013 - 09:12pm PT
Thanks for the clarifications.
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 24, 2013 - 12:26am PT
Barracuda (with a Chacal) soloing on the approach slopes of Polar Circus in '84. Right about the time the Barracuda was first imported to the US. But they were available by '81 or '82 in France and the UK.

Notably used on Taulliraju (Peru ), South Face, by Mick Fowler and Chris Watts in '82. Check out the 2nd ascent in in 2003 AAJ. Impressive climb!

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