Modern ice tools come equipped with a plethora of horns, triggers, rests, twiddly bits etc etc. However, one common question seems to be “Can I fit twiddly-bit-from-manufacturer-X onto tool-from-manufacturer-Y?”. There are tools in existence with some very limited adjustability in the grip, but in practice this doesn’t adjust far enough for those of use with small hands. Furthermore, different grip shapes are appropriate for different uses – a very exaggerated horn/rest/trigger arrangement is good for steep leashless, but a pain when using the shaft of the tool on low-angle snow.
There are thermoplastics in existence which become soft enough to mould easily in the hand at temperatures low enough not to burn the skin. If these are used to make grips for ice tools, the result is a tool with a grip which can be repeatedly re-moulded to suit the user’s wishes. Instructions for doing this (essentially, stand in hot water until soft, then squeeze) could be included with the tools, or climbing shops could offer a moulding service.
“And how would Sir like Sir’s tools? One trigger? Two triggers? Big curvy handle?”
(NB: Ideally this option should be offered on a reasonably up-to-date axe, but as I don’t own such a beast an elderly Vertige will have to do for experimental purposes!)
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coLAB08 will be a showcase event at The Outdoors Show 2008 where you will get the chance to show your vision of outdoor products.