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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nomic Hammers?

Blatant commercial spiel be warned.

This is something I have been doing commercially but generally under the radar for the last 3 years all the while trying to get Petzl to do it themselves. The new Nomic will offer a hammer as an option.

I'll also be making this hammer as a retro fit for all the newest tools and the new picks this coming winter. But no reason to sell your old Nomic. Most of the newest features can be upgraded into your current Nomic including the better umbilical attachment point and hammer.

First experience with the new lower grip pommel is it will also retro fit with a little effort.

This hammer is lighter and better balanced than Petzl's new hammer for the Nomic. I cut new factory picks to fit my hammer. Spare picks for these hammers can also be easily made from the older style (pre winter of '10/'11) Quark picks and a few minutes on a grinder. Nomic pick weights are 62grams. The CT hammer is 34grams. The Petzl Nomic hammer is 65g.


Anonymous said...

Hello . sorry , i didn't catch where exactly did you get the hammer part itself . thanks in advance

Dane said...

Originally we made the first Nomic hammers from a Quark part. Now I cut and heat treat the hammers from a block of tool steel in my shop. We also designed the interface and cut Nomic picks to match.

Anonymous said...

Ok . is it possible to order such a hammer from your shop ?

Jon Rhoderick said...

Hey Dane

Are you a Hammer + Adze guy, or all hammers? Do you think people getting into alpine climbing should be looking into adzes at all?

Dane said...

Funny you should ask. I always thought you had to have an adze and until just the last few years always climbed with both. Never figured the dbl hammer system would work very well on hard alpine stuff past just water falls. So I have never used just hammers.

But then I though anything but a straight shafted tool with leashes were mandatory 10 yers ago as well. Boy was I wrong on that one!

The Nomics have totally changed my mind on what is required for alpine tools. I still don't like being with out an adze to chop platforms...for feet or bivy. But I am able to climb faster using less energy with them and have just avoided routes I have to pound pins on generally. But I have made hammers and adzes for the Nomic, sold a bunch of them, just haven't used anything but the hammer myself. And only a little bit at that.

Bjorn-Eivind Artun used my hammers on his Nomics for their new route, Dracula, on Foraker with Colin Haley this spring. I think Colin had 2 hammers on his Cobras. Seems the most common set up these days.

My suggestion for anyone just getting into alpine climbing is still do a hammer and an adze. But I suspect most can look farther and adopt a more radical and more efficient tool faster than I did.

Not the best answer I know but I have been using Nomics on all sorts of alpine climbing where I would have never thought they would work previously. Let alone work so well.

But I have been avoiding chopping a platform for a tent at all costs. I can do some chopping with a pick but not enough if really pressed. Black Diamond Cobras or the newest Quarks (available winter 2010/2011) with a hammer and an adze would be my go to tools after the Nomic for alpine.

But the Nomics have been going everywhere with me since I first bought hammer or adze! I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Max said...


I'm getting into alpine climbing, and I'm looking for an ice tool that will 'do it all'. Basically moderate ice to moderate mixed, in an alpine tool. So far it looks like the Petzl Quark is that tool, but there's a new version coming out this fall. Do you think I should capitalize on whats already proven in the current tool, or wait for the modular (and possibly worse?) new one? Also, what's your opinion on BD Vipers vs. the Quarks?

Dane said...

Hey Max,

Hard to believe but both the BD and Petzl tools are very squared away. You can't really go wrong with Vibers, Cobras or the Quark, old or new version.

That said I am still a big Petzl fan. Picks are exceptional and I think the newest Quark (I have climbed on protoypes) is another home run for Petzl.

If I was just getting started, knowing what I know now, I buy a set of the newest Nomics.

Radical statement I know, and you won't find a lot that will agree, but that really is what I would do. I don't climb very hard ice or mixed by today's standards and I still have dang near evey tool made in the last 20 years including the newest BD and Petzl stuff.

My single, go to pair, for technical climbing in almost any condition, on any hill, is the Nomic.

But I could live with a Quark or a Viper just as easily, but then I just couldn't climb as easily :)

You'll learn to deal with any down side on the current generation of tools and all have some thing that could be done better.

Cobra, Viper, Quark or Nomic are all winners. Obviously the Nomic the most specialised of the bunch. And I left the Fusion out of that group for a reason.

Dane said...

You can now buy our hammer on line through pay pal. More here.