Long, remote mixed routes on big peaks? The X-Alp is the tool for the job.
- Item #CSN0006
- Q & A
Great all around tool
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
First, a bit about me: I live in argentina (Yes, Patagonia, Cerro Torre, huge spires and giant walls) I'm mostly into alpine routes, but I also go for some ice falls during the winter. I'm studying to become a mountain guide, so I'm out in the mountains for a long time every year. Since I put a lot of abuse in my equipment, I need it to be strong, but also to be not so expensive because I need to replace it very often.
I've been using this tool for almost a year now and it became my go to tool for almost every expedition. I remove the leashes because I don't like them, but I use a spinner for my alpine works. The featherweight and versatility of this product is outstanding; self arrest, ice climbing, glacier crossing, mixed sections, everything is possible. The first thing I noticed when I first held the tool was that the shaft is not so short as I would expect from a technical tool, it's a few inches longer than the cobra or the quark shaft. Because of this I was a bit scared that it might not perform wery well on vertical ice; I was wrong, I used this tool for ice climbing in an ice fall and the performance was great, it's a bit long, yes, but anyway it's really easy and comfortable to swing; I climbed vertical ice up to WI5 and WI5+ (not sustained) and I felt great with this thing. The only thing that's not so great when it gets steep in the ice fall, might be the handle, it should have a trigger or something to hold from (I attached and old Grivel Trigger), but at the same time it makes it a great tool for glaciers. The big shaft is great for anchoring in the snow. The blade works great in snow and glacier ice and has a pretty decent performance in water ice; it handles mixed terrain really good but I wouldn't put too much torque into it. I'm really happy with the product and I would probably buy it again.
Weight: Like a feather!
Lenght: A bit long, which makes it great for walking and in moderate slopes, very comfortable for ice falls and steep ice if you've a good technique. Very good for anchoring in the snow.
Blade: The best for snow and glacier ice, really good for hard water ice (Make sure it's sharp), good for mixed terrain; as I said I wouldn't put so much torque onto it.
Handle: Really good for walking and moving in moderate terrain, not so comfortable for very steep ice (85Â°<) since it hasn't got a good resting position.
Quality: It has a few scratches here and there but the product stills as good as new.
Please feel free to ask anything you want.
Sorry if my english wasn't the best, my main language is spanish.
Hope to see you out in the mountains!
Solid alipine tool
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
After taking these out for a couple mixed sessions I really enjoy this tool for alpine climbs. Reasonably light and they have a good balance (for my taste.) I haven't gotten them on vertical ice, and I don't expect them to preform like a dream there, but for an alpine set you can't go wrong.
How does it compare with Petzl Quark, BD...
How does it compare with Petzl Quark, BD Viper and X-Allmountain for ice climbing