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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boa Leash by Blue Ice

I've been using leashes long before there were leashless tools.  I also carried a third tool bitd.  Broken picks and dropped tools are never a good thing.

Grivel and BD both offer a decent leash system.  My problem is that they are "systems".   I have been using a old style Grivel leash that I've had for 5 plus years now.  On occasion I've ventured out with the newest BD Spinner leash, till it proved itself unreliable. But I own them all, Grivel and BD versions and have used prototypes that still aren't available.

I'm not much into fancy stuff when simple will work, as well or better. 

Do a search for umbilicals on the blog here and see what is currently available.  I'll do another comparison soon.

I bought and had a chance to use a pair of the Blue Ice Boa leashes while I was here in Chamonix.   Liked them enough I have set my old Grivel's aside and am using the Boa now full time.
I like they pull test @ 550 daN or 1236 lbf.  No one else committing to over 800 lbs.   BD says 800# but the UIAA test is 450#  which is what the BD and Grivel is rated at,  so why bother? 

Because in climbing gear, more weight, "more better" (strength wise) generally.

More info here:

Now available in NA here:

Soloing on the Passarelle gully, N Face of the Midi with a Boa leash system hitched to my harness and tools.
I'll leave it to you imagination on where the ice really comes from for the start of this climb.  Fun climb in cold conditions, none the less.

I went right and avoided the ladder, the crux stick on that exit being a very old wood cement form.  But I did stop for a quick nap on the opposite viewing platform and  lunch before heading off to ski the rest of the day.  Colin on the same climb a few weeks later.  Only in Chamonix!
from Bjarne">">Bjarne Salén on Vimeo.">Vimeo.>

Boa leash and a Cold Thistle hammer on your Nomic...what more could you need?
Liked them enough that I bought a few extra pairs to bring back to friends in the States.  If you are in the USA and want a pair, send me an email.  26.00 € via Pal Pal will get them out to you on priority mail from Issaquah, WA.


Scott said...

Do you have any omments about their 30L Pack?

Viljar said...

This leaves me thinking, how do you hitch two tools and a harness to one peace of webbing with such small loops?

Dane said...

I have the 30l packs for sale as well. Nice stuff. Email me if you are interested. Reviews of all the Blue Ice Stuff coming soon.

Leashes are easy to hitch to Nomics, Ergo and Quarks.....and my harness.

Julian said...

Dane, I notice in one picture you have the Boa leash hitched directly to the spike on a Quark. Do you feel that there is any danger of the metal there cutting through the leash in the event that you fall on it?

Dane said...

Lots of different ways to hitch the handles including the Quark. Spike on the Quark is fairly sharp in comparison to a Cobra. But not something I worry about. May be I should.

a little lost said...

Hi Dane,

Re your picture of the leashes larksfooted thru the big hole in the nomic handle. I like the look of this arrangement cos the little hole in the pommel is piddly. But it makes for an uncomfotable grip. I was wondering if I could dremmel a slot in the black plastic so the sling could sit flush and not impede the grip. Is that feasible?



Dane said...

Hi Pete,
The way I loop through now with a Boa doesn't make an uncomforatble grip. Easier to explain with a picture so I'll add one in a few minutes. It is best used on a right and left hand tool for the most comforatble grip. Well sorta sorta hand side specific but not really. Better than it sounds. But wasn't the most intuitive way to lash them up. A complete newbie to ice (thanks Jim!) showed me this one and been using it since.

But easy enough to cut them up with a Dremel as well. New picture coming shortly.

James said...

Hey Dane, still have any of the Blue Ice leashes? I've realized I really need some leashes to keep climbing (dropped a tool twice in the past two weeks...) and it really seems like those Blue Ice ones are the best around. I can send you the money through paypal if you still have them. My email is Hoping to hear back from you with good news!