The is a repost from early April 2011. But as we roll into the fall ice season and the winter of 2011/2012 I thought it worth revisting for those looking to buying new tools. I'll have a new Nomic/Fusion comparison up soon as well. And a new Cobra/Quark comparison. And finally, since so few have gotten to use the newest Ergo another set of comments on that tool as well from some recent alpine climbing with it.
New Quark buried in Neve with a lwt C-T adze.
Hardly new now as the first tools showed up here in the States back in Oct/Nov. of 2010. The issues with the new Nomic and Ergo appeared and for one reason or another even the unaffected Quarks weren't available in large numbers again until mid Feb. 2011. I played with a pair at the Bozeman Icefest. But wasn't able to get my own pair until the week before I left for Chamonix in late March. For may folks in the warmer parts of the US the ice season was winding down by that time.the tools were available again. Hard to justify new tools at full price at the tail end of your season not knowing what will be available next year.
(I don't know of anything new coming along for 2011-2012)
More than a few waiting for the new Nomic. The Nomic may be worth the wait for some but easy to over look the more durable and likely a better all around tool, the Quark. Many will have a the option of even more/better choices for their own use by having the new all around Quark and the even more technical (than the Nomic) new Ergo available.
The new Quark is certainly built in the Nomic's image. The handle contours are very close and most importantly the aluminum heads are exactly the same profiles.
You have to look back at the original Quark to make a good comparison. Petzl has changed more than just the head of the tool. But changing the head made a new hammer and a new adze required on the newest tool. Even the picks were changed. Making them now T rated instead of B rated in both versions, the new ICE and New DRY. Add to that you get a slightly deeper pick angle on the newest Quark.
Below: pictured is the new pick angle on the top over lay. The new pick is slightly steeper, may be 2 degrees.. Middle is the newest ICE pick tip profile. The DRY version is the same tip profile. The bottom picture is the older Cascade Nomic pick profile.
So as you can see, it aint your old Quark. The new Quark with a hammer weights in at 588g or 528g with no hammmer. The old Quark with a hammer installed is 682g.
With the new Quark that includes a second higher grip in both over all weights. With after market hammers and adzes available for the new Quark and the additional factory movable second grip the new Quark has a lot of options.
The newest Petzl factory hammer on the left on a new Quark. The C-T hammer on a original style Nomic right. Weights vary from 30g for the low profile C-T hamemr to 60g for the Petzl hammer.
The other improvement that Petzl made on the new tool is a full size carabiner hole in the spike to clip umbilicals into. Big improvement.
This one of my personal Quarks, with fixed trigger for high daggering, a rubber grip wrap and a C-T hammer installed. Lots of options on how you set this tool up. And an incredibly versatile tool on any terrain. The Adze in the opening photo is its mate.
Used here to good effect on hard technical dry tooling. Jack Roberts on a bolted M7+ @ a dry tooling area in France.
I have climbed with the Nomic almost exclusively since it became available. The Quark before that. Abandoning every other tool in my quiver sometimes to my detriment. Only the new Ergo has swayed me until now. The new Quark has taken the majority of technical advantages of the Nomic and added them to a more vestal shaft of the older Quark. All the while giving you a majority of the Nomic's advantages in one form or another (the moving slider grip) while offering some additional advantages on less technical ground. The new Quark is one of the few tools imo that rivals and generally betters the original Nomic as a truly all around tool. Seems I am not the only one who thinks so. I suspect this guy at any given moment has a choice of ANY tool that Petzl makes. You think?
Hard not to be pleased with the newest Quark. For many the Quark will be a better (and more appreciated) all around tool.