Tool Extraction


Original Post
Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953

Ok, I need some help on my technique.
I'm often fumbling around trying to get my tool out, hook it on something to re-position my hand on it prior to swinging.
I normally rock back and forth a few times then grab the tool just under the head to pull up and out on it. Generally my lower tool's head is at shoulder height or lower prior to pulling it out, so the bottom handle is pretty low.
I'm afraid of hitting the bottom of the tool, all I can picture is it popping out sideways and heading down the cliff.
Is there an easier way to pull out the tool and not having to reset your hand to the bottom hold each time? Maybe a video would be helpful.

This wasn't an issue with the DMM Switch which were way too easy to pull out but the Fuels are a different and more nimble tool.

Jack C. · · Calgary, AB · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 325

Really study the geometry of your tool I suppose: for tools like the cobra, viper, apex, quark etc. a few torques up and down in line with the tool and then a firm push up with the butt of you hand on the back of the bottom pinky rest (ie still holding the grip loosely) usually works like expected. I'd mirror your technique from the switch as best you can but I can't say having never climbed with offset grips. With a tool like the x-all with it's continuous curve, doing the removal method I stated above usually just seats it further as it's being pulled back toward you, sort of, and further into the ice with their factory thin beak. That's my experience with all those shapes but you wouldn't probably see that problem in other tools (at least I haven't).

"This wasn't an issue for the DMM switch which were way too easy to pull out..."

I'm clearly not really able to answer your original question at all but I've got a pair of their Apex tools and similarly feel as if they come out super easily. Of course this can be nice but sometimes it's to the point where if I have a really deep stick and put even a smidge of outward pull on the tool the whole pick will slide up and out. Is this what you're talking about or were you just being hyperbolic about it's ease of removal? Just wondering if that's what you are describing experiencing with the DMM tools and perhaps thus the switch to the fuel?

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953

Jack,
Yes, the switch was only useable as a hooking tool, using both ice and mixed picks, just pulling outwards, the pick would smoothly slide out (unless it was buried to the head).
It took a while getting used to the switch and was technically a great advantage but the weight is what drove me to head to the Fuel (as well as the handle).

Working on bettering my form, I may also touch up the pick on the fuel to avoid some of the sticking.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

Hey Luc,

I've always heard the Fuels do everything good but nothing well. I tried them and dreamed for Cobras on ice and Fusions for mixed.

Have you tried the Tech Machines? They do everything well except for hard brittle ice. You have to swing hard if it's cold out :) I heard the Trango Raptors clean well. Never tried them though.

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953

Bill, I'll have to try the Tech Machine Carbon, I wasn't sold on the swing of the Tech Machine, and I'm not crazy of the handle or the price...
But I do love my Grivel G20 and G22s!

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740

What you're describing is what I've been calling "The Black Diamond shuffle" for years. Watch someone climb with BD tools - their hands are constantly moving up near/on the head to pull it out, then re-gripping back down. I can climb all day on my (1st Gen.) Quarks and Raptors without once taking my hand off the lower grip.

Now, there are a few folks who have managed to detune their BD picks to avoid this, but the common advice you read online about "tuning your picks" are, IME at least, absolutely and totally ineffective at getting those picks to stop sticking like that.

PS Cassin picks are second worst, at least until that honkin' beak wears down.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Gunkiemike wrote:PS Cassin picks are second worst, at least until that honkin' beak wears down.
Or until you take Cassie's advice and take two seconds to file off the bird beak when not climbing thin ice :)

The problem comes back after you bash your pick into rock and make yourself another beak.. then u b fu,ked
jgfox · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5
Luc-514 wrote:Ok, I need some help on my technique. I'm often fumbling around trying to get my tool out, hook it on something to re-position my hand on it prior to swinging. I normally rock back and forth a few times then grab the tool just under the head to pull up and out on it. Generally my lower tool's head is at shoulder height or lower prior to pulling it out, so the bottom handle is pretty low. I'm afraid of hitting the bottom of the tool, all I can picture is it popping out sideways and heading down the cliff. Is there an easier way to pull out the tool and not having to reset your hand to the bottom hold each time? Maybe a video would be helpful. This wasn't an issue with the DMM Switch which were way too easy to pull out but the Fuels are a different and more nimble tool.
This may be a dumb question but considering body positioning where are you pulling out at? Above your shoulder? At your shoulder? Below your shoulder?
shoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 75
Bill Kirby wrote: Or until you take Cassie's advice and take two seconds to file off the bird beak when not climbing thin ice :) The problem comes back after you bash your pick into rock and make yourself another beak.. then u b fu,ked
. . . which happens about 40 seconds into a route, since Cassin's pick steel is made of some kind of alloy of iron and play-doh.
GregMiller · · Louisville, CO · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 30

I'm a fan of filing off the bird beak, has worked well for me. Also, as part of triangle technique, once I get an upper tool in solid and weighted, I work on my lower tool so I know it's loose (but still 'hooked'). Then, after bringing feet up, as I stand up, I pull up and out on the lower tool, works most of the time. The pick ends up coming out along the concave edge on the top of the pick (which is why not having the bird beak and maybe filing off the 2nd/3rd points is helpful).

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
shoo wrote: . . . which happens about 40 seconds into a route, since Cassin's pick steel is made of some kind of alloy of iron and play-doh.
Haha.. yea I've had to remain calm, carry on and not swing harder and harder when doing thin or mixed routes. The picks work fantastic when climbing regular ol ice. Would you agree?
Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
GregMiller wrote:I'm a fan of filing off the bird beak, has worked well for me. Also, as part of triangle technique, once I get an upper tool in solid and weighted, I work on my lower tool so I know it's loose (but still 'hooked'). Then, after bringing feet up, as I stand up, I pull up and out on the lower tool, works most of the time. The pick ends up coming out along the concave edge on the top of the pick (which is why not having the bird beak and maybe filing off the 2nd/3rd points is helpful).
Another good technique is to not overdrive your picks. This takes a lot of days out to trust on lead though.
jgfox · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5
GregMiller wrote:I'm a fan of filing off the bird beak, has worked well for me. Also, as part of triangle technique, once I get an upper tool in solid and weighted, I work on my lower tool so I know it's loose (but still 'hooked'). Then, after bringing feet up, as I stand up, I pull up and out on the lower tool, works most of the time. The pick ends up coming out along the concave edge on the top of the pick (which is why not having the bird beak and maybe filing off the 2nd/3rd points is helpful).
This right here. Modern tools are designed for this technique. If you are struggle to remove your tools it is usually not following this technique.
Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953
jgfox wrote: This may be a dumb question but considering body positioning where are you pulling out at? Above your shoulder? At your shoulder? Below your shoulder?
Generally my lower tool's head is at shoulder height or lower prior to pulling it out.
I pull out my bottom tool once I'm standing up and properly weighing my feet.
jgfox · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5
Luc-514 wrote: Generally my lower tool's head is at shoulder height or lower prior to pulling it out. I pull out my bottom tool once I'm standing up and properly weighing my feet.
Yep dumb question. I guess your tool picks don't match your style then either that or you know how to drive a tool in.
shoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 75
Bill Kirby wrote: Haha.. yea I've had to remain calm, carry on and not swing harder and harder when doing thin or mixed routes. The picks work fantastic when climbing regular ol ice. Would you agree?
Sorry for the thread drift. . .

But yeah, picks are great in pure thick ice. But since that happens so rarely, at least on the stuff I climb, it's almost irrelevant. The picks are a real problem, and clearly the achilles heel in otherwise great tools.
Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25

Sometimes it's hard for me to pull out my tool too.

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953
shoo wrote: Sorry for the thread drift. . . But yeah, picks are great in pure thick ice. But since that happens so rarely, at least on the stuff I climb, it's almost irrelevant. The picks are a real problem, and clearly the achilles heel in otherwise great tools.
krukonogi
jgfox · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5
Luc-514 wrote: krukonogi
Finally a site that sells alternative BD picks. Cobras are a great tool but the picks are too soft when it comes to hitting rock or mixed climbing.
Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 958

Too bad krukonogi is sold out of almost everything.

Seth Jones wrote:Sometimes it's hard for me to pull out my tool too.
Ha. Not the King.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc9elDlWn6w
Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
shoo wrote: Sorry for the thread drift. . . But yeah, picks are great in pure thick ice. But since that happens so rarely, at least on the stuff I climb, it's almost irrelevant. The picks are a real problem, and clearly the achilles heel in otherwise great tools.
I know I don't need to tell you how to climb but if you take another look at the Dreams just don't swing hard into rock. Keeping calm has helped me from building another beak mid route :)

The Achilles Heel would be the picks bend.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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