Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tools that Inspire Confidence

Late last season I purchased a pair of Black Diamond Fusion ice tools. I had the chance to use them for about a month before the season ended. This was just enough time to get comfortable using them. I used them again yesterday, with the Fusion picks, while climbing the Black Dike. It's the first time I've used these tools for traditional mixed climbing that has more of an alpine feel. I can honestly say, after using the Fusions yesterday, that they were the best tool I could have brought along. The fatter Fusion picks still look pretty good; Cannon mixed routes have a tendency to destroy picks. Even more importantly, the tools are stiff, which makes them very responsive to feedback. Feeling around on snow-covered rock for hook placements demands a responsive tool. The hammer is another nice addition. I was able to pound a tool into deeper, pick-width cracks, using the head of the other tool. The solid steel head is good for pounding, and doesn't deform at all when it gets pounded on. I used to pound in my Nomics too, and this worked fine, but the head had a tendency to get very dinged up.

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Here's my original review from last season. I'm looking forward to using the tool more this season.