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Gear Review

5 5

The Right Tools for Me

I've had these out on the glacier one night, and it was a blast. I've climbed a fair amount with leashed tools, and the X Monsters lend an entirely different degree of confidence during an ascent or traverse of near vertical to overhanging ice. I've handled Nomics and Cobras, and while these tools are probably not in the same league in terms of absolute precision and certainly not in terms of weight, they compare very favorably considering the price. The price proved even more valuable to me when I dropped one tool down a crevasse too narrow to execute a rescue (or even see the tool). I didn't drop it during a climb, and wasn't holding it when it fell (the tools are very secure in the hand). Replacing an X Monster (while it's difficult to find the tool with an adze) is way less devastating than replacing tools priced upwards of three hundred dollars. Obviously I would be remiss not to recommend investing in a spring leash if you're not climbing on a rope or if dropped tools wouldn't be retrievable.