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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Petzl ICE pick issue

The quotes listed below were found from a quick Internet search on the current Petzl ICE pick. It seems silly to me that Petzl had a amazinglyly well recieved pick, the Cascade, that they have now discontinued for the Nomic.  Even more so now that the Cascade pick would fit all three tools, Nomic, Quark and Ergo. When your customers start using another brand's picks I suspect you have an issue that needs to be resolved, sooner rather than later.

None of this is to argue the newest picks are bad, just that some prefer the previous design.

Here is a short discussion on how to modify the newest picks for better ice performance by duplicating the  older Cascade pick.

Quotes by various Internet authors on the same subject:
"I've heard rumors that Cassin's X-All picks can be modified to fit onto Nomic or Quark. Any truth to this? I'm a little frustrated with the new Petzl Ice picks (detuning isn't working out that great)."

"The new Nomic Ice pick is hard to clean, but filing it down to closely match the profile of the old Cascade pick worked great for me."

"there are a few things I noticed with the new Ice picks. Durability, cleaning, and ice displacement. Maybe this season is a bad example because how thinner the routes are, but I noticed my Ice picks getting chewed up and worn down significantly faster. I've filed the picks three times already, when I normally do three filings for the entire season on my old Cascade picks. Cleaning on the new Ice picks is harder than before, this is well know."

"When I compare the picks to old style, they are completely different.  It has been pointed out that I can modify the new Ice picks, but I haven't had the chance to test that out."

"I have a big potential issue with the new Nomic Ice pick though. At the gym where I train, it is literally impossible to get a stick in the Iceholdz(TM) on the mildly overhung system board. With adjustments to swing and hand position, I have been able to get good sticks with both Cobras and the old style Vipers. I'm guessing the first tooth is too steep (which is one of the things causing the cleaning problem with Laser picks) so I worry what they'll be like on real ice."

"The new Ice picks, while better than the old Astros, are definitely not as good as the old cascades from my experience using both of them last season on a pair of new Quarks and old Nomics. I'm pretty sure the reason is the same already mentioned: the angle of the first tooth."

In North America if you have a similar thought you can direct an email to Petzl America at
It is a topic Petzl wants to hear from you on.  So the emails aren't going to a round file as some might expect.

I don't have a Petzl France email but if you are outside North America I suspect your concerns will be relayed to Petzl France as well.

1 comment:

joninthetarpatch said...

I have used the astro picks on old nomics, and now I just started using the cascade pick on old nomics.
I find that the cascades 'pop' out way more, and rather suddenly compared to the astros. It's a bit scary.
That's why I'm online tonight; to figure out what's the deal with them coming out so easily, because that isn't very cool.
They slip out, it seems, when I pull outward by accident (usually on a high reach with the hand on the top grip), and on 'overhanging' ice. They also pull out when the grip levers the head back in funky ice and mushrooms (hard to explain this). Luckily my surprises have all been on TR. (the routes on TR are also much sportier than what I am able to lead)
It's too bad because the cascades climb and clean really well.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? please be nice with your answers but if you think I'm making a technical mistake, I'd like to hear it