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Grivel - North Machine Carbon Ice Tool

Grivel North Machine Carbon Ice Tool

25% Off
$224.96 Original price:$299.95
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    • One Color, Hammer
      sale $224.96
    • One Color, Shovel
      sale $224.96

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    California Proposition 65

    Warning:

    Cancer and Reproductive Harm - P65Warnings.ca.gov

    Tech Specs

    Material:
    [shaft] carbon composite, [blade, shovel, hammer] chromolly steel (forged)
    Length:
    18.5 in
    Rating:
    CE certified, T-rated
    Claimed Weight:
    1 lb 3.4 oz
    Recommended Use:
    climbing
    Manufacturer Warranty:
    lifetime

    Made for north aspects.

    Grivel designed the North Machine Ice Tool for all those odd ice and mixed routes on nearly every north-facing wall, but that doesn't mean it won't also work on other directions. Aerospace carbon gives this tool the superlight convenience that alpinists want and the reliable power that strong ice climbers need. Grivel gave the shaft an ergonomic, easy-to-handle feel and fine-tuned the Ice Plus blade for mixed or ice terrain. The blade comes with either a hammer or shovel for extra convenience.

    • Aerospace carbon composite construction
    • Ice and mixed Ice Plus blade
    • Hammer or shovel option

    Amazingly light tools

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    I purchased these at the end of ice season after climbing on friends' Quantum Carbons. Compared to my 2nd gen Cobras the Grivel tools felt very light, yet seemed to get one-swing sticks most of the time. One of my reasons for wanting to move on from Cobras is that I didn't seem to be getting those one-swing placements with them. Also, I got tired of the subtle weight shift when I move up the shaft of the Cobras; except for blasted-in placements, moving from lower to upper position would cause the pick to rock. Usually the placement would hold, but spooky nonetheless.. The double-bend shafts of the North Machines are a good compromise between the security of 2-grip tools like Nomics (which I came to love on this last trip) and the clean lines of Cobras. The second position on the North Machines is just a nubbin at the bottom of the upper curve, but based on my experience with the Quantum Carbons it will be enough. Finally, I love the picks on the Quantums, and the North Machine picks look like more of the same hot-forged goodness.

    Carbon shafts; tape will be required. Also, I will wrap the upper shafts, just below the heads, with old bike tube to protect the carbon shafts. I don't expect any of this to affect the swing or the overall lightness.

    I've climbed on a succession of Black Diamond tools for more than 20 years. I still love the sleek lines of my Cobras. If I did more true alpine climbing I might appreciate the Cobras more. However, based on my recent experiences I'm ready to shake it up a bit. Looking forward to getting some ice time on the North Machines. Hoping with more use I can move this to 5 stars..

    2020 addition: after the 2019/2020 ice season I can indeed move to 5 stars. These tools are remarkable - light and slim, yet the picks sink even in hard ice with just a flick of the wrist. I taped the shafts with hockey tape for grip, which helps a lot. A mate brought me one of the Ice Vario picks from the UK; these are significantly better (IMO) than the supplied picks, solid sticks from even the lowest energy swing. The tools don't shift when transferring from the pommel to the mid-shaft grip position. The tools are easy, confidence-inspiring, to climb on. Now to find a second Ice Vario pick, and get some ice this winter.

    Thanks so much for posting this amazing review, we really appreciate it!

    These are Epic

      These are Epic

      Pretty Dang Awesome

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I picked these up last summer for a trip and bad weather kept us off our objective. The reason I went for these was I was after a tool that climbed water fall ice real well and allows you to cane with ease while in the alpine.

      This past weekend I ventured down to Ouray for the ice fest and brought my North Machines with me to try out on some harder ice and I'll confirm what everyone else below is stating: These things are awesome.

      Tools I've Used:
      X-Dreams (my favorites)
      Nomics
      X-All Mountains
      Quarks
      Tech Machines
      North Machines
      X-Monsters
      Cobras (my least favorite)
      And a few others I can't remember at the moment.

      Other Tools:
      My main set of tools is a set of X-Dreams which require more wrist flick than shoulder swinging and I'm a big fan of these tools. I take them every where....but now the North Machines have earned a spot for certain climbs.

      North Machines:
      These are my second favorites on harder ice climbs and climb real well. I found that I needed to ease up on the wrist flick and swing more from my shoulder to change the geometry of how I got the pick to drive into the ice. It wasn't a huge issue, just took a little getting used to. These climbed so well that I'd definitely use them on hard ice climbs.

      Vertical Ice:
      On one of the climbs I did with these there was a section of ice that was vertical for about 25 feet and I never felt any issues while climbing that. And i didn't feel like I was getting pumped out or any wrist pain. I think the worst part was the poor quality of the ice but the tools climbed it real well.

      Delicate Ice:
      On another climb i did there was a real delicate ice pillar that if you kicked a crampon in or swung a tool it'd have broken off. So with the lightest taps possible, I gently placed my picks and was able to climb through without breaking the pillar before i was able to get to more solid ice and then I sunk my picks and pulled through that section of ice.

      Weight:
      The one thing I might do is pick up a set of picks that don't have the mounts for the Hammer/Shovel for when I'd like to cruise some routes when I know that I won't really need a shovel/hammer and want to drop some grams from these. This isn't at the top of my priority list since these tools are already so light weight, but something I'm considering.

      Cons:
      The second hand grip doesn't really have a trigger/trig rest feature and I'd probably need to tape that area for added grip.

      Pros:
      Easy to get some solid hold in ice.
      Easy to clean
      The shovel (adze) works insanely well and can chop ice real easily.

      Big Hands:
      So I've gotten messages from folks with XL - XXL hands that are struggling to find an ice tool that fit their mitts. I'd say that the North Machine should be one of your first considerations since the handle isn't enclosed at the top.

      Alpine:
      Given I've only used these at the Ouray ice park and not in the alpine yet I can't really go into great detail about how they cane or perform in the alpine. But I'm pretty confident they'll be the perfect tool for the alpine.

      Pretty Dang Awesome

      The Ferrari of Pure ice tools

        The best swinging pure ice tool I have ever used and I have tried most of them, they also mix climb surprisingly well. The hammer and adze on this tool are very usable when compared to its competitors. I was suspicious of the diminutive spike at first but have had no problems and the tools plunge very well. My only quip with this tool is that the pinky rest is so small, it is not a problem on longer moderate alpine routes but I find it a little off putting on things over WI4 especially if wearing thick gloves. I have also hit my pinky a few times while using these tools which I have not had happen in years. It would be great to see a version of this tool with the same pinky rest as the quantum techs since I can't imagine it affecting the tools ability to plunge at all. However I also wear an XL glove which might be why this is an issue for me. Overall one of the most versatile tools I have ever used and I would highly recommend.

        Best all-around tool I've ever used

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I am a huge fan of the new carbon fiber Grivel tech and north machine tools. I think they are leagues ahead of other CF tools like the cobra. The grips are excellent, they're very light, I love the swing, and the picks are outstanding. Also the CF shaft has the added benefit of not feeling cold.

        I went with the north machine over the tech machine because I do more alpine and skimo than hard, technical ice and mixed climbing. The tech machine handle was a bit large for plunging into snow on alpine climbs (still worked fine though) but the north machine was great. I also didn't need as agressive of a tool.

        Great tool for moderate Ice

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I have put 10+ days on these tools this season on WI3-WI4+ ice and I must say, I really love these tools. The hammer is much better than any other tool i've used for setting bulldogs or pins (only set 2-3 but like it much more than my cobra's mini-hammers). I have tapped the uppers since the shaft isn't great for gripping in thick gloves but then again, most shafts are not. As for the tool--the top is very heavy which unbalances the tool (unlike cobras and nomics which seem very weight balanced through). I find this is great for wrist flick in the swing since the weight does most of the work--my girlfriend loves this a lot and has been hording the tools when we get out together. The shaft is modeled like the quantum techs which I have tried a few times but those tools have a much lighter head and are far more balanced. I think what you want in a tool has to be determined on ice--go demo these tools if you are interested and compare them to a tool that has an equal weight distribution. I am a firm believer grivel makes the most functional spikes for approaches but they aren't great for breaking off brittle ice. Grivel's picks are also some of the best on the market.