Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ouray Ice Tests:
Petzl Quark Ice Tools

Petzl Quark Ice ToolI actually got myself a pair of the Petzl Quark Ice Tools at the beginning of this season, and so far I have been very impressed. Their massive clearance makes them great for highly featured pitches with strange formations like bulges and cauliflowers. I have to admit that the first thing I did with these tools was to take the leash off and replace them with Black Diamond Android Leashes. After a few days, the second thing I did was take the BD leashes off and leave them leashless.

I eventually added Grivel Triggers. (The yellow ones fit great without the plastic part, but you have to use the black ones if you want to keep the plastic.) This system worked great except the piano matching was a bit tricky. It worked on ice, but was a pain on mixed ground. The (hopefully) last stage of changes was to turn the Triggers around, cut off the finger part, and leave the plastic hook in front. This eliminated the finger hook but allowed easier matching. The only draw back is that a bit more pick shift occurs.

My only real complaint for these tools is that the picks tend to wear our relatively fast. They are super thin and shatter little ice, but they also take a beating on thin ice. Be vigilant, and swing with your wrists only on the thin stuff.

Benefits:
  • High clearance
  • Lightweight
  • Good for leashless climbing
Drawbacks:
  • Leashes (leave your leashes in the bedroom)

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