Lighter, faster, better.
- Adjustable upper pommel lets you match on steep terrain
- Removable pick weight for extra penetration on hard ice
- Curved upper shaft provides extra clearance on technical ground
- Low-profile head accepts either a hammer or an adze
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Share your thoughts
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have used these tools on steep water ice, mixed cragging, dry tooling, and long mountain routes. They perform well everywhere, and the modular options are always interesting as you can suit the tool to any task. They are light yet very durable, despite many scratches, i never fear to torque them at strange angles. I have borrowed friends' tools only to take mine back for their perfect swing. They excel at classical alpine climbing with a healthy mix of snow plunging, moderate ice, and scrappy mixed.
-a few drawbacks: They are not well suited to steep water ice, there is not enough curve in the shaft and not enough weight in the head. the 'massolettes' improved this department slightly but in the future I will consider a more adapted tool.
-The attatchments are not particularly functional. I have not had to chop a ledge with my adze, but I imagine it would be ridiculous. I always dread pounding a pin with the petite hammer, it it not very effective.
-The trigrest seems like a good idea, but as a matter of personal preference I hate having a trigger on a tool. It is uncomfortable and as it wears out it will begin to slip. I have no need to adjust the position of my grip during a climb. I removed mine in favor of standard secondary griprest.
*for matching, cheap athletic tape improves the feel alot, twist the tape to make ergonomic finger ridges underneath the main layer.
-Poor fist/knuckle protection when swinging over bulges, again a steep ice problem.
But all in all these have been perfect alpine tools and I could not be more happy with them.
Used these on glacier ice and waterfall ice and found them super versatile. Great weight to size ratio and they last well season after season. Great deal.
Great as a one tool fits all solution; from vertical ice to long alpine climbs.
Only thing that will most likely eventually break on you are the adjustable-height grip rests. These need a re-design. If you hit them on a bulge of ice, they lever and crack at the bolt. This doesn't affect the integrity of the tool, just the grip rest.
Retrofit an older Cascade pick, run Masselottes, and you will put other tools to shame. The ICE pick works well if you are mixed climbing, but these new tools with the older Cascades and weights climb water ice effortlessly.
Is it comfortable to hold when used as piolet cane? Is it easy to plunge into snow? I know my Aztarex's aren't.
This is more of a technical ice tool. A straight-shaft, mountaineering axe works better for piolet cannes. You get a better grip on the head and the shaft pierces snow and ice more easily.
I think it does alright. You can take off the pommel on the bottom, and then it works just as well as my Black Diamond Raven Pro.
Can anyone comment on the differences between the newest Quark and the last iteration, circa 2010.
Not often is there such a drastic change in equipment that the same product name is kept. The older Quarks are about 100g heavier w/ hammers and approximately 150g heavier when you remove the hammers from the new model. Additionally, you can remove the adze/hammer on the newer models. The newer Quarks also have a secondary pinky rest that allow for multiple grip positions which allow the tool to perform significantly better on technical ice/mixed lines and on alpine snow couloirs (the larger spike hole also facilitates easier clipping of a stretch leash system, such as the Black Diamond Spinner Leash). Lastly, the new pick is slightly more downturned (about 2 degrees) allowing easier swings in steeper terrain and more purchase on mixed lines.
Is it possible to order with a hammer, instead of getting two adze and then needing to order a hammer separately?
Does any kind of leash come with?
There is no leash sold with it. You can order it with a hammer instead of adze, this site is just currently out of stock.
Just recently purchased an older version of the quark and am wondering if the newer replacement parts will work with the older one I have now. It looks as though yes, but I'm not sure.
I would say yes. As a byproduct of backordering, I have one 2011 Quark and one 2012 Quark, and while the pick angle is slightly different, the parts are basically the same, and fit in both heads fine.
I love these tools! I used Quarks on hundreds of routes over the years...vertical ice, alpine ice and mixed routes (new route on Denali Light Traveler and first free ascent of the Moonflower Buttress done with Quarks), snowboard descents and mixed (before the Ergo and Nomics). When mixed climbing I add a "ball" to match onto, just above the rubber grip. I do this by taking duct tape, give er' a couple full raps then unroll 2' of tape and while it is still on the roll, twist the sh#t out of it so it is tightly twisted and stuck to itself, then keep wrapping around and repeat as necessary to get the size "ball or match grip rest" you desire then finish it off with a stickier tape and throw some strips of skateboard deck grip tape on there for ultimate holding power! That, along with the stock grip-rest will have you matching your way to the top, whether mixed terrain, steep ice or traversing on easier ground...
The Quark swings better than any ice tool out there. Try to demo all the tools you can and you will see for yourself. The picks penetrate well without shattering the ice. I go with two hammers so as to not risk opening up my face (not that a hammer back into my face if the tool pops, won't open me up, just less so than an adze!) I can use the pick (maybe not quite as efficiently, but worth it for safety) to cut through crap ice or dig a ledge out of the ice. I recommend going leashless, even with the Quarks. Free yourself up. It is the now. You may get more pumped, but that is because you are most likely over-gripping. Relax that grip to just before you slip off and that is how much you need to hold on, not any more! Also, going leashless lets you have less of a cluster fuck by not needing to unclip your clipper leash or pull your hand out of a traditional leash, or worse still, having your tool dangle from your wrist as you are throwing in a screw, clip a draw and get that rope in (all while your heart rate is going through the roof as your leg is doing a sweet Elvis impersonation - yes your leg and not you because you don't control it at this exact moment - maybe you will regain control as soon as you clip in to a good screw)! These tools plunge well, both with and without the grip-rest. The spike is the bomb and bites very well. There are two types of picks to choose from and they are both great!
Bottom line: the best all around (steep ice/mixed/alpine ice etc.) ice ax on the market! If you are going to get one tool that does it all, the Quark is the one.
For more in depth reviews check out my website: www.stephenkoch.com
Photo Copyright: Stephen Koch Collection
I prefer the more curved tools like the Ergo and Nomic for pure ice, but others have used this a lot on vertical ice without any problems. These are great for alpine climbs where you may encounter some ice pitches. Petzl has the best ice picks and this is a solid tool that has seen plenty of ice over the years.
Mixed and water ice tools available that is still easy to use in the Mtns. Nomic head with a spike on the shaft. Hard not to like. Only the hammer and adze are lackinmg. But there are options there as well. Cold Thistle hammer is a nice option.
Jack on some fun French M8.
I've held the Petzl Nomics, BD Cobras, Reactors, and Fusions. In my opinion the Quark is weighted better and has a better feel in my hand then any of these tools. Granted I am not a pro nor do I climb mixed, but for steep ice the Quark delivers! It was my first full season on ice this year and I would say that this is an excellent stater tool that will carry you far into your climbing, whatever the mix. Next year I'm looking forward to using this full time out West!
Hi, The Quark I is not only a tool, Is a piece of art. The anchorage is very strong very reliable even in decomposed rock. Aqui estoy en la entrada a la canaleta, Condoriri Bolivia 2011 using for the first time the Quark.
Great climbing video featuring Petzl's new line of ice tools.
Just bought them after demoing and used them in an intermediate WI course. They are very light... some may want to add massolettes for pure WI, esp if the ice is brittle/hard. For alpine, they are wonderful in Piolet Panne, Canne, and Manche; particularly on moderate alpine slopes (30-60 degrees). On WI 5, or getting over bulges, I found the Nomic's to be slightly better. Given that I wanted an all around tool for vertical and lower angle ice... the Quark's were a better fit. I found that for Alpine or WI, the trigger rest is best raised up about 1-2 inches above the orange plastic. You don't need the trigger finger if you're in pure ice. For mixed, the trigger is helpful to place delicately and to rotate. The moveable Trigger Rest is lovely... very flexible and comfortable. Hopefully it will hold up and not break if/when it impacts Ice. I'm a bit worries about how much material there is below the holes at the bolt... seems thin and apt to cracking in cold conditions if impacted. We will see in time if this becomes and issue. I used the tools leashless most of the time, and with a Grivel elastic leash system (worked well). I'd recommend these tools to anyone looking at alpine and WI/M 2-4 as their principal interests. For WI/M 5+, I think there are better choices.
Hi, the Quark includes the: Cascade pick, hammer, Clipper leash and tools? what brings?
The new quarks have a new pick, the T rated Ice pick.