Bugaboos and Knifeblades are great tools for thin cracks. Knifeblades are stamped, bent and precision ground for the sole purpose of fitting into thin cracks. Bugaboos are just slightly thicker, beefier versions of blades for more abuse in thicker cracks.
- Q & A
Well Made, Reliable
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Well Made, Reliable.
Bought a copy knife blades and an angle for an upcoming trip to Chamonix. Hoping to get on some new routes this year, having a small rack of pins always adds a bit of extra mental security, especially with onsight ski descents, as you're never quite sure whats in store. Perhaps a few rappels? Well...having bought these guys just for that added security, I ended up using all of them before even half-way through the trip and ended up buying a couple more. Not sure what that says about my route choices, but I have to say, I'm glad I did have these guys in the bag. Forget the extra weight on the uphill, because when a stopper or cam won't do the trick, when there isn't a horn to sling...or good ice for making an abalakov, you'll be happy you have these solid steal babies to hammer home.
I highly recommend this for anyone getting into more puzzle like ski descents, you won't find me leaving home without a couple in the kit. With close inspection, you'll notice they are well crafted, with nice round edges and beautiful steel. No need to worry about stress fractures with these puppies.
Go where no other pro will go!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Having relied on the smaller of these pins, hand placed, in a pod, at the crux of a forgotten route and inspiring the confidence in me to free climb on - i'd say they deserve the hype.
Not only for aid routes, but for putting up free route where seams can take these puppies allows you to slam them to the hilt and not have to drill a bolt and save your forearms for the climbing.
Given, discretion is always advised while nailing, I always carry a small quiver of these when going up on new routes.
or at least half the standard pin rack for the Rockies choss. Light enough and required on mank limestone. Reusable thnakfully 'cus thaey aint cheap! Long thin and knife blades are the handy ones.
Doubles as a can opener!
O.K. If you are heading up on the gnar in Yosemite, Pakistan, Baffin or beyond you need these....period. But when you get there... you realize you forgot the can opener!!! Dope!!! Well have no fear get out the wall hammer and beat that can of mystery meat into submission. They really ought to mention this in the product description.
My favorite pitons
Angles are lovely, Lost Arrows are fine, but for thin crack protection, Knifeblades are divine. ;)
I like Bugs & Blades as they will often give you bomber protection where nothing else will fit, like in a super-thin crack. For some of the fatter cracks, you can use cams, hexes or stoppers, but when it comes to thin little seams, nothing inspires confidence like a Bug driven to the hilt.
Because of the 4130 ChroMo and the ground taper blade, both of these pitons go in very smoothly and get tighter with each hammer stroke. If you can sink a Bug to the hilt in a horizontal granite crack, you are golden!
I carry a small selection (4-6) of these on a biner for alpine climbing in places like the Tetons, or when I think I might have to set an anchor while Ski Mountaineering. They are lightweight, stack well against each other and can be bomber in the right place.
For wall climbing, they can take the abuse of being hammered in and out many times, yet still stay usable. If the blade gets bent, it can be pounded flat again and reused until its time has come to be welded into a high mountain crack, which is how all Bugs & Blades would like to spend eternity.
The Knifeblades are smaller and thinner than the Bugaboos. If in doubt, try some Bugs first as the Blades are for reeeeally skinny little cracks.
I have used european pins and they are crap when compaired to these. I never head out on an alipine climb without a few of these, and just when you are really puckered they get really handy. Very tough, not brittle, a staple piece of gear.
Are there any other choices?
Well, by default, these things have to be good, it is one of your only choices for hardware in this country! Everything else will be imported from Europe. That being said, BD, with its roots in Chouinard equipment has been at this game for a long, long time, and knifeblades and bugaboos are big wall, alpine, and mixed climbing rack standards. Always good to have a selection of 3 of each for the above mentioned endeavors, and the BD pins have never ever failed me.