The Ergo by Petzl is a aggressive ice tool for advanced ice, mixed climbing and drytooling. It is replaced with the Petzl Ergonomic.
I bought it mainly for summer training with ice tools and simple drytooling. But then I also used it a lot for actual ice climbing. It needed some time to get used to the curve of the shaft. More in the conclusion below.
Standards: Pick T, Shaft T
Pick: U19 DRY
This ice tool is modular. So you can use different picks and accessories. Petzl offers four different picks, different hammers, weights and adze. These are compatible with Nomic, Ergo, Quark und Ergonomic.
The lower grip rest is adjustable. That way you can adjust the grip to different hand sizes and gloves. The version I use is the one with spikes for extra grip on ice and rock. With these spikes I can use the tool as a “walking stick” on low angle ice.
The higher grip rest allows a comfortable high grip on the tool.
The Ergo is delivered with the U19 DRY Pick by Petzl and also the pick weights (Petzl Masselottes). You can also mount the hammer and adze. The hammer and adze are not easy to use, since the shaft has got the agressive curve.
The curve allows a quite safe placement of the tool on your shoulders.
With the hammer the center of weight is close to the pick. On this picture the dry pick is mounted. When ice climbing, I prefer using the Ice pick with additional weights. The pick comes with a “normal” tip. But for a better performance on ice, I changed it.
The new one – Ergonomic
Here the Ergo and Ergonomic in direct comparison. With the handles aligned. The aggressive curve of the shaft from the Ergo is easy to spot.
Here now are the picks aligned. The difference in the handle position, when hanging on the tools can be compared.
Area of use
For pure ice climbing I can not recommend this tool for beginners. The angle of the pick is realy aggressive. This does not make it easier to hit the ice in the correct angle. Because of the angle of the tool, the tip of the pick sometimes hits with the full surface of the “blade”. This does not result in a good penetration. So I filed down the tip to a more round and pointed tip. With some time you get used to the aggressive shaft.
With the pick weights and the hammer the tool will have good head weight. This makes it easier to get powerful swings in the ice. That way it is okay for climbing pure ice. A big benefit of the curve is, that hooking or hitting areas behind bumps, is easy.
But this tool performs best for drytooling and mixed climbing. I personally did not climb in a overhang yet… When doing training in summer, I actually hang on the tools. Here the curve is a big big benefit. Since the hand position is close to a “normal” pull-up position.
I personally bought these tools, since I was looking for aggressive tools for the training (mainly in summer). Then I found an amazing offer on eBay.
If you are looking for a tool for “normal” ice climbing, you should take a look at the Petzl Nomic or Quark. Especially for beginners a tool with less curve/aggression is easier to use.
What I really like about this tool is the compatibility with the other tools by Petzl.
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