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Thread: Black Diamond "Whippet" or Life Link "Claw" users

  1. #1
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    Black Diamond "Whippet" or Life Link "Claw" users

    Anyone ever used one of those ice axe attachments for trekking poles? Last time up Washington crawling up deep drifts on Lions Head I felt like I understood the benefit. Anyone have any experience with one?

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    On TeleTips they've had several discussions about Whippets. Several folks who I consider knowledgable were of the opinion that it would be OK as a last ditch effort, but it really doesn't allow you to apply the pressure needed for a self-arrest on anything tricky.

    -dave-

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    It came up a couple of years ago in this forum and the consensus was that this piece of gear was best suited to skiers who would not have an ice axe in their hands for self-arrest.

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    Senior Member paul ron's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm missing something here?

    Dave I don't see anything on that link you gave about these devices. Maybe this site has a better display of it...

    http://www.offpiste.com/Pages/poles.html

    and an interesting discussion about em...
    http://www.turns-all-year.com/cgi-bi...num=1079507789
    Last edited by paul ron; 01-04-2006 at 09:25 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    I didn't attempt to link to any of the discussions on TeleTips. They might have been lost in the great Hack during the summer, just pointing to the message board where the discussions took place.

    If you are skiing, I think they make sense since you can't really use an axe. If the OP is asking about hiking and using these instead of an ice axe I would question that approach. I think with the very hard snow we often get on Washington that an axe is much more likely to stop you than a Whippet.

    Having never used Whippets or Claws, I'll defer to people who have experience with them. It seems to me that it would be much more difficult to get into good self-arrest position with a ski pole than an axe. Is that an unwarrented assumption?

    -dave-

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jkrew81
    Anyone ever used one of those ice axe attachments for trekking poles? Last time up Washington crawling up deep drifts on Lions Head I felt like I understood the benefit. Anyone have any experience with one?
    I haven't ever used one, but I can understand how it would be useful for self-belaying when climbing steep snow (not for self-arresting).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    How about the reverse? an ice axe that telescopes into a trekking pole:

    I saw one of these things at Summit Haus in Ashford, WA before, thought it was an interesting concept at least:

    http://www.outdoorsportz.com/SGITOOOO1005.html

    This would allow you to compress the spike/point into proper length for a good self-arrest in conditions that warrent it, while still being able to provide assistance hiking steep ice - you can use the pick when used as a trekking pole.

    Jay
    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

  8. #8
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay H
    How about the reverse? an ice axe that telescopes into a trekking pole:

    I saw one of these things at Summit Haus in Ashford, WA before, thought it was an interesting concept at least:

    http://www.outdoorsportz.com/SGITOOOO1005.html

    This would allow you to compress the spike/point into proper length for a good self-arrest in conditions that warrent it, while still being able to provide assistance hiking steep ice - you can use the pick when used as a trekking pole.
    This has also been discussed before on this forum.

    My opinion then and now is that it is inferior as either an ice axe or as a ski pole.

    Doug

  9. #9
    Junior Member nancy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up love my whippet

    I love my whippet and use it all the time in winter but not in the way you might think. It's great for going up or down steep sections. I just hook it around a tree or dig it into hard packed snow above me and pull myself up. Going down a steep icy section I do the same by hooking it around a tree and stepping back. I've never used it to self arrest.

  10. #10
    Senior Member paul ron's Avatar
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    I was thinking the same thing about hooking onto trees and into the snow whne going uphill on my snowshoes. I once saw an old fellow using his cane to do exactly that but never gave it any thought as a usefull tool for us aging kids. Ummm.... sounds like we are getting there?

  11. #11
    Senior Member MattC's Avatar
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    Hike the 115 has one of these things and I believe she mostly uses it the way Nancy describes. ERD and myself hiked w/ her in the Catskills a few weeks ago and we used it to help get up one little icy ledge. It worked quite well. I can't recall the brand (Black Diamond?), but I don't think it was an attachment-I think hers is just a trekking pole that comes with the "whippet" already attached.

    Matt
    "...a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." - Henry David Thoreau

  12. #12
    Senior Member spencer's Avatar
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    mcorsar,

    the whippet comes permanently attached to the top section of a hiking pole (Black Diamond) which you put over the bottom section of an existing pole. So, when you are using it, it looks like a permanent, self-contained pole (which it essentially is).

    I've never used one.

    spencer

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