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Karl Henize

Karl Henize

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Karl Henize

Karl Henizewrote a review of on August 23, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It works as advertised, and is probably one of the better tools currently available for overhanging mixed routes.

The angle of the lower handle is great for allowing a neutral wrist position, when pulling around bulges / roofs or when cutting feet. While the angle of the handle makes the wrist position comfortable, the rectangular shape of the lower handle is not comfortable for the fingers (when using thin gloves) . The secondary grip is more comfortable than the secondary grip on the X-Dream or Reactor, as the lower handle doesn't interfere, as much.

The standout feature is stability, when hooking insecure edges. Pick shift between the first and second grip position is relatively small, when hooking. The tool also swings into ice well enough. I also really like the wedge shaped pick weights for climbing cracks and unconsolidated / chandelier ice, which is a feature that is not available on stock Black Diamond or Grivel tools.

There are only two issues that stop me from giving this a 5th star:

(1) The relatively sharp edges of the lower handle create pressure points that cause pain and occasionally cut off blood flow to my finger tips, when wearing thinner gloves. I have not experienced this problem when wearing thicker gloves or when using other tools that have a more rounded handle. This is probably not an issue that will affect everyone, but I am not the only one that has experienced this problem. I have somewhat mitigated this issue by modifying the shape of the grip with foam tape and an overwrap, but it is not ideal.

(2) There are no great options for attaching tethers to this tool. Attaching tethers to the pommel could break the pommel, if you take a tether fall directly on the pommel. There are no other locations where you could conveniently attach a tether.

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Karl Henize

Karl Henizewrote a review of on August 23, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The quark provides the best compromise between snow, ice, and drytooling performance that I have found.

There are other tools that are better optimized for: snow climbing, ice climbing, and drytooling. However, the Quark does all of these well in the stock configuration and the modularity allows you to optimize the tool configuration for whatever combination of snow, ice, and rock you expect to find on your chosen route.

The only time I really find myself wishing for another tool is on routes with big roofs, where I cannot get much (if any) weight on my feet, while pulling over the lip of a roof.

For what it is worth, I don't really like the stock "ICE" pick for ice climbing. If you plan on using your tools primarily for ice climbing, I would suggest either buying the Petzl "PUR'ICE" picks or buying another ice tool that has a more open pick angle (X-All Mountain, Viper, North Machine, etc.).

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Karl Henize

Karl Henizewrote a review of on August 23, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This pick works really well for dry tooling (as you would expect). Despite the fact that Petzl doesn't advise using it for ice climbing and mixed climbing, it works well enough on ice. It doesn't penetrate or clean as easily as the other Petzl picks, but for a strong and experienced ice climber, this is not a big deal. If you do not overdrive your picks, the additional difficulty in cleaning the picks is not significant.

The biggest advantage is that front point is much longer and more pronounced, giving you many more resharpening, before you need to retire the pick.

Third party picks made from harder materials might be better, but I haven't used them enough to form an opinion.

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Karl Henize

Karl Henizewrote a review of on April 21, 2019

5 5

This is a great option for backcountry skiing and mountaineering, where you want protection from intense radiation and wind, but also need to manage fogging effectively.

While there is more light leakage around the frame that reaches my eye than you would get with traditional closer fitting glacier glasses with side shields), they don't tend to fog up, as much.

I really appreciate the increased contrast on snow of the snow prizm lenses, better face coverage, and the elastic retention strap. Better color contrast than Julbo lenses and the retention strap is snag free.

The fit is a bit wide for my narrow face, without the strap. However, with the elastic strap, I can get a comfortable and secure fit.

It could be improved if Oakley were to offer a low-light contrast lens option for whiteout conditions.

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Karl Henize

Karl Henizewrote a review of on March 27, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is really best suited for applications where you might be climbing above an anchor and taking a factor 2 fall on the anchor. The rope stretch / cam slippage reduces the maximum force on your body / anchor.

Could be improved by using a skinnier rope to reduce weight and bulk. As for most applications, a 120cm sewn sling works well enough and is considerably less weight / bulk.

I prefer to carry it over the shoulder (aka bandolier style) or coiled up on the back of my harness, like a cordalette. I find it somewhat irritating to carry girth hitched to my harness and wrapped around my waist, as most people like to carry their PAS.

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Karl Henize

Karl Henizewrote a review of on April 8, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These tools have the stiffest shaft and most comfortable handles of all the tools that I have tried, which makes them well suited to dry tooling and hooking. They also appear to be stiffer and more durable than most of the competition, especially for heavier and more abusive climbers.

I think the Fuel has the best bottom spike / attachment point design on the market. It provides good purchase in soft ice and neve, without being sharp enough to puncture humans. It is also easily removable, and stronger than any tethers that you might attach to it.

Since they are not as light and efficient to swing as some other tools, I would recommend them primarily for people looking to do vertical-to-overhanging climbing on rock, thin ice, or hooked out ice.

The main issues with this tool are:

(1) The soft rubber grips are easily torn / damaged.

(2) The swing isn't as efficient as competing tools.

(3) Taping / wrapping the shaft is problematic. Tape and wraps do not adhere well to the concave parts of the shaft, and the shaft already has such a large diameter than adding a wrap for better friction or insulation makes increases the diameter too much.

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Karl Henize

Karl Henizewrote a review of on March 15, 2017

Good for Steep Mountaineering
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

1/18/2018 Update: I changed my rating to five stars, after confirming that the new Petzl Trigrest does fit the shaft between the bottom ferrule and the top of the rubberized grip.

Bring a Trigrest and an appropriately sized allen key, and this axe will also be great for sustained 90 degree steps.

*****

I recently purchased the 52cm version and have used it a few times. I am 5'10". I bought this with the intention of using it with a second "50cm" ice tool on steeper terrain.

My first impressions are that this axe appears to do everything (self arrest, self belay, plunging, daggering, chopping, building T-slot anchors, piolet traction on less than vertical terrain) well and is comfortable to hold in all normally used positions. The pick, adze, shaft, and spike all are well-designed and work well. However, it should be noted that the shaft and pick are not "T-rated", so it would be prudent to avoid really aggressive torquing.

The spike sacrifices a little bit of functionality in firm snow conditions for weight reduction, relative to other fully tapered steel spike designs on the market. However, most people will not notice or care about this particular compromise.

I was told by a Petzl rep that the Summit Evo is "not compatible: removable trig rest made by Petzl. In my opinion, adding a removable sliding hand-rest (see Sum'tec and recently revised Venom for examples) would have made this axe more functional for leashless, sustained vertical climbing. If this feature is added (at least for the lower part of the shaft), I would revise my rating to 5 stars. That being said, you can add a leash for wrist support while climbing vertical terrain.

In summary, this axe excels on terrain from about 40 degrees to about 70 degrees. It is adequate for short steps of more vertical climbing, when paired with another tool. It is outclassed by axes with removable/ sliding hand rests for sustained vertical and overhanging terrain. It is adequate as a standalone axe for terrain less than 40 degrees, but there are cheaper alternatives that are just as good or better for lower angle terrain.

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Karl Henize

Karl Henizewrote a question about on February 9, 2017

Sizing & fit advice for multi-pitch trad climbing?

For reference, here is a list of the other shoes that I have worn:
- Scarpa Techno, Size 42.5 (Good fit lengthwise and in forefoot, toe box width and height feels a bit too tight)
- TC Pro, Size 42.5 (Good overall fit, leaving laces in forefoot relatively loose)
- Tenaya Masai, Size 42.5 (Good fit lengthwise and in toe box, too narrow at forefoot, heel slightly baggy).
- La Sportiva Futura, Size 42.5 (Tight, performance fit, except for slightly baggy heel. Not wide enough for comfortable toe splay on slab and less than vertical climbs).

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