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Dual Hammer or Hammer and Adze
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By RForbus
From Hotlanta
May 13, 2014
About to pick up my second ice tool. Decided to go with the BD Cobras. I already have one axe with a hammer and im trying to decide if I want to get another hammer or one with a adze. I'll mostly be climbing ice and alpine climbs and the ocassional mixed route. Have you guys found having the adze has been helpful or would you just recommend running dual hammers?

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
May 13, 2014
If only ice, two hammers. It's safer for your face, and you can tap in a bomber placement with the back of the other tool.

For alpine, or anything with snow get an adze.

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By Luc
Administrator
From Montreal
May 13, 2014
The El
Hammers, the only adze I've used on vertical ice is the one I had on my old Grivel Rambos, a triangular wedge which was amazing for holding in slush.

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By N Nelsen
From Lincoln, NH
May 13, 2014
The adze is slowly becoming an antiquated piece of hardware. It has its moments of necessity, but more often than not two hammers will be the best option. Are you cutting steps, chopping bivy ledges, often find yourself climbing south-facing or late season ice requiring generous cleaning of the outer layers for solid screws? If you're saying yes to all of these questions than definitely get an adze!

If all you'll be needing it for is to clear away funky surface ice to flatten out a spot for a screw, a hammer will do the job arguably as well. In the end, the pro's of an adze rarely outweigh staring straight at the damn thing when the tool rips, YMMV.

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By iceman777
From Colorado Springs
May 14, 2014
0
I personally run two hammers because I prefer a heavy head weight esp when the ice is bullet proof and blue , you mentioned ice , alpine and mixed , an adze is ok for alpine and comes in handy for mixed as well . Ether way if you go with two hammers and decide later you really need an adze then it's not a big deal to purchase one and mount it when needed esp with the cobra and the single screw mounting system that can be loosened or tightened with the pick from the other tool .


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By J. Serpico
From Saratoga County, NY
Jun 5, 2014
I actually climbed on 2 adzes this year. Good deal on the tools. However, the whole second half of the season I wondered when with my double chance of getting hit with an adze would it finally happen.

Never did, but only because I climbed scared.

FWIW, I've been climbing on 2 hammers since the early 2000s, when people still thought adzes were good.

I also should note that I did find the adze useful, especially late in the season when I chopped away layers and layers of bad ice.

However, I hammer can do the same thing.

I'm cutting the adzes off for early season mixed/dry, then I'll replace them later in the year with two hammers.

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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Jun 7, 2014
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater
J. Serpico wrote:
I also should note that I did find the adze useful, especially late in the season when I chopped away layers and layers of bad ice. .


Good idea! I place 17s and 19s when everything turns slushy.

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By Chris Clarke
From La Paz, BO
Jun 7, 2014
J. Serpico wrote:
I'm cutting the adzes off for early season mixed/dry, then I'll replace them later in the year with two hammers.


This might change the way the tools swing in a bad way.

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Jun 7, 2014
I run two hammers and have an adze I can bolt on when I need it. I bought the tools in 2006, they've probably seen 200 days, the adze has a week of use.

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By Karl Henize
From Roaming
Jun 8, 2014
Assuming that your crampons have front points, go for 2 hammers, unless you expect to be chopping ledges for sleeping on big, sustained routes.

Adzes are especially worrisome when dry tooling!

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By Buff Johnson
Jun 8, 2014
smiley face
just buy the other component and get a bd wrench. If you go into alpine (or mixed terrain), then you can switch out, if you remember that you brought the option in your pack.

One thing that might be helpful is getting an older hammer, they put in pins a hell of a lot better.

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By J. Serpico
From Saratoga County, NY
Jun 9, 2014
Chris Clarke wrote:
This might change the way the tools swing in a bad way.


Not at all. Especially for dry tooling and thin mixed. In fact, Grivel sells a adze/hammerless pick just like my modified picks.

Like I said, when ice season is in full swing (no pun intended) January to April, I'll be swinging two hammers, but November and December I'm going to create my own adze/pickless dry tools.

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By Schaps
From Bishop, Ca
Aug 1, 2014
Sierra East side ( South Lake )
You need the correct tool for the job. There is no single all-purpose ice tool. You need to have a general understanding of the anticipated conditions ( weather, time of day, terrain, route description ) and plan accordingly. If you're stuck with a poor choice of equipment for the job then you may be stuck there forever.

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By Andy Nelson
From Fort Collins, Colorado
Aug 5, 2014
another day in the park
Buff Johnson wrote:
One thing that might be helpful is getting an older hammer, they put in pins a hell of a lot better.


I second Buff's suggestion. Although I have gotten in a few pins with the standard hammers on the Cobras, it's much easier with a beefy hammer. Same with pickets.

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By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Aug 5, 2014
old 1/4" bolt.
Get two hammers. Save yourself the anxiety and fear of wondering when and where that scar will be, because it WILL happen with an adze.

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