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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wrapping tool shafts?

The reason I wrap my tools almost full shaft (2" shy of the head) is I like to do a lot of high dagger position on easier alpine terrain. And I actually like climbing easier terrain with radically curved tools. I'll run my hand from the upper grip to the head of the tool to avoid as many placements as possible. Just to save strength and climb faster. A good tape job keeps the hands warmer on aluminum when it is really cold out. And I like the rubber texture over bare aluminum or carbon fiber. On steep ice I like to match on the second grip so I wrap there with better tape than Petzl supplies and wrap over the the BD Fusion/Cobra upper grip and higher on the shaft just for consistancy. While you are at it, easy enough to wrap farther up the tool and can't see that it hurts anything besides adding a bit of weight. If for no other reason, it helps me at least feel more secure.

Climbing Shooting Gallery on Andromeda a couple of winters ago in -30 temps and some deep snow was the first time I needed more insulation on the shaft for the high dagger position. Freaking cold tools that bite back and then cold hands through the powder snow to get a good stick. Not on my long list of "fun".

A quick look at several of the pictures in the blog will show a high dagger position (anyone climbing on Nomics) where a wrapped shaft will be warmer.

> What is the name of the tape that you use on your tools? I
> have been using electrical friction tape but I think there is
> something better out there more similar to the tape on the >Nomic.

You can generally buy this stuff at Lowe's, Home Depot or any big hardware store and on line.
There is a link in the comments after the post. Depending on how you wrap your tools one role of tape can do two tools. I use the tape for insulation so I use one roll per tool and throw the extra away. Stuff is fairly cheap....under $10 per roll.

Petzl Nomic tape is a little thin for my taste and not that durable but it is light in weight and sticky enough. I suspect it is the 3M Temflex.

3M Temflex #2155 Rubber splicing Tape

What I like better is similar but thicker, way stickier and offers better insulation.

Scotch brand 2228 Moisture sealing Electrical tape

3M Temflex 2155, "rubber splicing tape" is the same stuff Petzl uses but a lot cheaper in this form. One role will easily do two tools.

The better choice imo is Scotch brand 2228 Moisture sealing electrical tape. One role of 1" x 4" does one tool for me. It is heavier/thicker/way stickier than 3M and has lasted me 4 seasons so far (with no end in sight, on ice and alpine) and is always sticky, wet or dry. I use one role per tool with a tiny bit to spare on a Nomic (1" X 4') . You just need to watch what you lay the tools against 'cuz the stuff is so sticky it will wrap around anything, clothing, your other tool, get the idea. Kinda like the climbing version of silly putty.

You don't need to tape the ends on either as it is self sealing and is easy to apply.

Nothing else even close that I have seen. 3M is cheaper and works fine. The thicker Scotch brand stuff is what I use to wrap the tools I climb with.


Sam said...

Where does one get this magical tape? I wasn't able to find online. this sounds dope

Dane said...


Although on line it seems a lot more expensive than our local hardware stores.

brian said...

Dane let me in on this magic tape last year. I found it in SLC while passing thru at Lowes for under 9 bucks. I was able to wrap my two quarks and still have some left. The insulation properties and tackiness are supreme.

Ian said...

I found the 2228 at Lowes for $4.50/roll.

Clyde said...

Check out 3M Greptile tape. Pearl Izumi sold it for a while as handlebar tape and the grip combined with a special palm material on gloves was amazing. Alas it's discontinued now. The ice world missed out. But they appear to be selling it for baseball bats (XLR8 tape) that sounds the same without the foam padding.

Unknown said...

Hmmm - I used hockey stick tape.

Dane said...

Hockey tape? Ya it sucks by comparison. As does bike bar tape.

Unknown said...

Grrrr! I can't win! LOL.

Dane said...


Try a google search prior to buying your next piece of kit.
The pay attention to those writing :)

Trust no one!

Unknown said...

OK Dane I will!

Prob IS bro - you ask 10 people the same question and get 10 diff answers in this sport!

Fox Mulder
"Trust No One"

Dane said...

Yep, welcome to the Internet. It is a crazy place. One of the reasons I started CT. You don't have to trust me. But at least you know I walk the walk. No tasty talk here. I have no ego invested in the advice, it is free and past some tid bids (like Nomic hammers I make as a hobby) nothing I am trying to sell ya. Past a little "insurance" to keep you alive.

Dane said...

Answers? And most of those answers come from guys... that my Nomics have been climbing longer than the writer.