Tag Archive for: ice

Petzl T-Rated ICE & DRY Picks

In any developing sport, the high end of the equipment spectrum is constantly changing. This is the case in the growing sport of ice climbing.

Today’s difficult mixed routes require a delicate touch, and a thin pick is a clear advantage. It enters the ice with greater ease, causes less fracturing, and helps ensure that each swing results in a solid placement. Petzl recognizes this and offers the highest performance picks for its top-level axes, the new 2010 Quark, Nomic, Ergo. Even with their radically tapered tips all of the picks on these Petzl tools are given a “T” rating according to EN 13089, the European standard for ice tools. This is true for both the “ICE” and “DRY” picks which are both only 3 mm wide at the tip. Originally the “T” and “B” designations stood for tools that were robust enough to pass the respective tests for “Technical” and the less demanding “Basic” ice axe use. Despite this you may find B rated picks on some manufacturers technical tools.

In order to receive a “T” rating, an ice axe pick must pass two tests: (1) a pick strength test – sometimes called a “bend test”, and (2) a fatigue test. In the strength test, the pick is clamped in a vise, a force is applied to it, and the amount of permanent pick deformation is measured. If this deformation exceeds the threshold, the pick receives a “B” rating; otherwise, it is rated “T”. In the fatigue test, the pick is clamped in a vise and a cyclic force is applied to both sides of the pick for a total of 50,000 load cycles, during which the pick must not break.

In years past Petzl had B-rated Cascade picks, these were used on the previous generation of waterfall tools (i.e., old Quark & Nomic Cascade Picks). All of these picks passed the “T” fatigue test, and in many cases they also passed the “T” strength test as well, but not always. To insure consistent quality and ratings Petzl labeled them “B”. It is important to remember that these B-rated picks on Petzl’s older tools still passed the “T” fatigue test with flying colors.

The picks on Petzl’s new Quark, Nomic, Ergo all pass “T” ratings which is quite remarkable! It is very rare to hear of someone breaking one of Petzl’s picks, they may bend in extreme circumstances but they rarely if ever break. “Charlet Steel” is indeed really incredible material. We are convinced that the excellent performance gained with a thinner pick is beneficial to all climbers and all types of ascents. It is very difficult with current technology to produce a 3 mm T-rated pick, that is why you may see some rather thick picks on some manufacturers T-rated tools, or perhaps even the use of B-rated picks on their technical tools. The picks on Petzl’s tools will allow users, novice and expert alike, to get to the top with fewer swings, better hooking, and less ice in the face.

U19 ICE ICE pick for Quark, Nomic, Ergo

U19 DRY DRY pick for Quark, Nomic, Ergo

Petzl – www.petzl.com

Source: Dave Karl Sky Ambitions, LLC

December 7, 2010

Winter! Here it comes…

Mike Garity on an icy Pinnacle Gully, Huntington Ravine, Mt. Washington NH - Alan Cattabriga

Mike Garity topping out on Pinnacle Gully, Huntington Ravine, Mt. Washington NH 12-05-10 - Alan Cattabriga

After the last thaw, most of the good climbing has been up high. That is about to change. After torrential rains last week the cold is back with  a vengeance. A temperature of -4 is forecast for Lake Willoughby VT Thursday night. Look for perfect ice making conditions over the next week.


Erik Weihenmayer Climbs Moose's Tooth

Jay Abbey and Erik Weihenmayer heading up Ham & Eggs Couloir on the Moose's Tooth in Alaska. Photo by Ian Osteyee.

Erik Weihenmayer, left, and Jay Abbey, right, heading up Ham & Eggs Couloir on the Moose's Tooth in Alaska. Photo by Ian Osteyee.


On The Moose’s Tooth

By Ian Osteyee, Adirondack Mountain Guides.

At the time Erik Weihenmayer had floated the idea of going to Alaska’s Ruth Glacier to climb the routes “Ham and Eggs” and “Shaken not Stirred” on the Moose’s Tooth, we had just barely finished climbing “.5 Gully” on Ben Nevis in Scotland. We still had a few climbing days left and already he was thinking about the next trip. That’s Erik though; he is really motivated to climb, more than many climbers I know.

So a few days later Erik and I, joined by Jay Abbey, flew up to Anchorage. Weather reports didn‘t look good but we already had the time set aside and the tickets had been purchased…..

Read more

NEIce Season Round-up

NEIce 2009-2010 Round-up


Most of the Tablets at Lake Willoughby lying at the base a week ago. Photo by RAH.

NEIce opened the season with a new website as it reached the 10-year anniversary milestone, a fact which stands as a tribute to the region’s wonderful ice climbing community.  Temperatures this weekend hit an unusual mark for April reaching above 80 degrees Fahrenheit in New England. While there are still pockets of solid ice to be found on Mt. Washington, we take a look back at the highs and lows of the past season.

This past winter got off the an early start in mid-October but was slow to kick off as most routes didn’t form until early December.

Photo of the Week 3/10/2010


Climbing the wild ice on 'Medusa', Wi4, on the Gaspe' Peninsula, Canada. (Photo by MtnRkr) Climbing the wild ice on ‘Medusa’, Wi4, on the Gaspe’ Peninsula, Canada. (Photo by MtnRkr)

Lots of NEIce members were out there getting after it this past week.  Travelling to the Gaspe’, Canadian Rockies, and also nearer to home on Mt. Webster in N.H.

Alfonzo gives a great Trip Report of a posse of NEicer’s sending on Mt. Webster: Mt. Webster’s new Kick My Pick Hole route

Chance meeting in the Canadian Rockies: RaginTurk and Spectre run into Ridgerunner and LarryB

Photo of the Week 2/25/10

Matt McCormick on the first ascent of "Hydropower", M9-, Wi5 in the Black Chasm, Catskills, NY.

Matt McCormick on the first ascent of "Hydropower", M9, Wi5- in the Black Chasm, Catskills, NY. Photo by Ryan Stefiuk

StandardLineNews & Information

Hydropower M9 WI5-

Erik Weihenmayer Climbs Ben Nevis

Home Made Tools

Hydrophobia at “The Lake”

Mahoosic Notch, Maine – eguide

Mt.Webster, more than easy Gully's

Trip Report

Crawford Notch,  NH – North Conway Ice Fest Weekend

By Alan Cattabriga

I spent four days in the Saco River Valley last wk. and climbed on Mt. Webster everyday, it’s an awesome, complex climbing area with ton’s of fun options and hidden walls of ice.

After getting shut down by “considerable” avy conditions Thurs. morning at the Harvard cabin board I booked it down to Webster. The hike up to Shoestring, the climbing and the trail down were in some of the best conditions I had ever had there. While on top I notice I had a good time going so I totally ran the trail down and logged in my best car to car time yet.

approachingI hung out with with Doug, who just happened to be driving by as I ran the road and hydrated while I waited for Brady Libby to show up for my afternoon session on Webster’s cliffs just north of Central Coulour. By early afternoon Brady & I were hiking up for a recon of a golden flow on the north end of the cliff band that forms Central’s left side. We climbed a long (~300′) slab of ice to get to this section and were totally psyched with the ice we found.

The cliff is overhanging with beautiful, yellow ice all over it and a huge curtain with a window in it coming over the biggest part. This has a super cool looking route that would start behind the curtain with a tough mixed move then tunneling up a hollow tube and out the window onto the sheet.

Many other climbs could be done here, after spending some time checking the place out we traversed over towards Central and passed another wide flow on our way. We finished the day on Central, with daylight waning, traversed off right and down.

cauliflowerFriday Emile Drinkwater, Doug Millen & I had a great time soloing up Cinema and the awesome Cauliflower Gully, Doug did not have much time so he headed to Frankenstine Cliff for a quick solo of Chia and Bobs and then to IME to get his delicious soup ready for the Ice Fest. Emilie and I headed off to do Central to the big ledge. It was fun climbing and the rock above with it’s big gashes was glowing orange in the setting sun.

brady-gallery-3Saturday Doug, Brady, Dave Rioux, Ted Hammond, Todd Shafer & Tim Gotwols  went back to that cliff Brady & I had checked out on Webster, we were exited to show it off to our crew. Brady did an excellent lead of the Gallery route we had looked at and Dave did a cool looking mixed line on the cliffs left side.

There is also a sweet soloing all over the left end and a unusual low angle chimney line that exits thru a curtain that Todd had chopped a hole thru to get out! It was sunny and somewhat free of wind there…. what a wonderful climbing spot.

todd-landslideSunday was a bit nasty out so we all, with the addition of Courtney Ley, who for some reason wanted to join this crew of misfit toys, did the conga up Landslide Gully… Like I found on Shoestring, every bit of it was excellent!

The gullys on Webster are great fun, Central’s finishes are totally classic but there is so much more there… wonder up to the north slabs and climb something… I’m sure others have visited the yellow wall, we could not have possibly been the first…. I mean holy crap, it’s a roadside crag!


Alan Cattabriga

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Mt. Webster NH

More than Easy Gully’s


Dave Rioux mixing it up on Mt. Webster, Crawford Notch, NH
Photo by Doug Millen

Trip report by Alfonzo



News 2/3/10

New Climb Smuggs 2010

Slinging icicles for gear, Alden Pellett persevered up a new route (Scotch and Water, WI5X, 300′) to right of Cloak and Dagger during the Alpinist Magazine sponsored 4th Annual Smuggs Ice Bash.
Photos by Jeremy “Rowdy” Dowdy

Smuggs Ice Bash Report 2010

Gadd and Emmett Suggest WI10

Will Gadd – The Endless Ascent – 25,414 feet of ice in 24 hrs. (video)

NEice Screen Savers – The first of many to come. Enjoy.


Gadd climbs vertical ice for 24 hours

A total of 25,414 feet

Arc’teryx Athlete Will Gadd climbs vertical ice for 24 hours at the Ouray Ice Festival to raise money and awareness for the dZi Foundation. Get a behind the scenes look at his physical preparation and the grueling 24 hour event.

More on Will’s blog of his Endless Ascent.