It’s nice that the Poles have created a world-class product that really has no competition.
Adam Bielecki Poland, one of the leading himalaist in the world
I’m using Salamandra ice axe for few seasons. It’s an outstanding tool in mixt terrain- rock,ice, iced grass. Because of the lightness of Salamandra I’m able to conqer harder routes. Surprisingly if you jam the blade on different angles everything works perfectly!
I’m really grateful for Eliteclimb, for developing such a superb tool!
Jarek Caban,Poland, instructor of alpinism, mountain rescuer in TOPR
Four seasons have passed since I got the Salamandra climbing axes. At the begging I wasn’t sure about them- as the ultralighness is a feature that you need to get use to. You need some time to get the swing and felling of the tools.After some time when I took my former axes for a climb I was astonished that I’ve been climbing with such a heavy and clunky tools. And that was the last time climbing without Salamandras.
Furthermore Eliteclimb tools have started serious conflict in my marriage. My wife also climbs. At the begging we had one set for both of us, and we were changing with it. So each time we had a quarell who was using them last time, and whose turn for climb with Salamandra is now. Sentence- “I’m a woman and I have a right for lighter tools” mostly ended our discussion. There was no other choice than to buy a second pair. And from that time we live in peace and harmony…
Artur Paszczak Poland,one of the most experienced polish mountain climbers, ( with wife 🙂 )
On the south face of Pumori (7161m) we knew we had to take just the necessary things. Up there , weight is multiplied by the altitude.For us, was vital to weigh every piece of equipment and look at every gram. I knew a light, well-balance ice tool can match the success of climb.I had an incredible experience with Eliteclimb Salamandra – in the previous expeditions in Himalaya, now was time for a new level – the Raptor.
Raptor is the ultimate kevlar & carbon fiber tool for leashless mixed, ice and alpine climbing, the Eliteclimb – Raptor provides unparalleled performance at high altitude. It swings like a dream, and it’s so positive that steep ice has become a joy to climb. And it’s a tough cookie too, so mixed terrain won’t slow it down.
The aggressive shape blends technicality with mountain functionality so it’s a real all terrain vehicle.For steep tooling i’ll loved the twisted handles since they work with your natural motion , especially in vertical mixt climb. In our ascent we had both portion of steep ice and rock cracks, so the Raptor had to cope with a variety of climbing.It was excellent, especially because of its weight.The pick penetrated the hardest ice and cleans easily.
The Raptor is a true game changer. Top of the class!
Vlad Capusan, Romania, professional climber and himalaist.
I have a pleasure to climb from time to time with Salamandras, in my opinion perfect ice axes for various difficulty mixed or pure ice long routes in remote locations. This light ice axes will safe your calories on approach, and will give you satisfaction due to stiffens and great balance.
I unwrapped the package and was taken aback to see there was a pair of ice axes inside. Waving them about with little to no effort from my wrist, I was instantly pessimistic – these things are just toys, no way could they stand up to a Scottish winter season?
There were three main concerns for me; How strong are the shafts (could they take being torqued into a crack and hung off without snapping?!), what was the strength of the attachment of the pick to the shaft, and would the lack of weight cause difficulty with swinging into ice and frozen turf?
The first test was in Snowdonia (North Wales) when the first winter conditions came to the UK mountains. Myself and a friend headed to Clogwyn Ddu (a very reliable winter climbing venue). I had forgotten to pre-tying clip in loops to the base of handles so it was fully leash-less for me that day! Surprisingly I found no problems with the swing – they went in well to both ice and frozen turf. I think as they are so light, the effort to swing is so easy. One problem I did find was on the approach to the climb and the descent, when using the axe as a walking aid (holding the top of the pick on the palm of your hand and the spike on the ground) the pick is too wide to grip easily. After discussing this with Jaroslaw, I hacksawed off the piece of metal that sat in front of the shaft and solved this problem. I also added clip in loops (for bungee cords) to the bottom of the handles with 6mm cord, but before doing so, filed down the edges of the holes to a curve rather than the sharp edges they came with – easily done.
I headed up to Scotland towards the end of January for six weeks of guiding work and some personal climbing with friends. The first week was for getting fit in the granite Cairngorm Mountains with friend Dave. The Raptors stood up to the test of being hung on and bounced off while being torqued into a horizontal crack, much to the amusement of friends watching in suspense! They were working well day after day of winter climbing until disaster struck – one of the picks badly bent and the other started to curve over… I contacted Jaroslaw and told him that I was unable to use them further. A week or so later a new set of harder steel picks was sent through (apparently I was sent the original slightly softer steel picks). The picks were changed and action with the Raptors continued.
I spent just under three weeks staying at a Climber’s Club hut in Roy Bridge and everyone I showed the axes to couldn’t believe how light they were. Most people seemed sceptical at first, like I’d been but two people in particular seemed very interested and both of them came from a professional engineering background. They both had experience with Carbon Kevlar and both elevated my concerns about the bolt holes failing where the picks joined the shaft – they explained because of the cross weave of the fibres, fracturing was very unlikely. Good to know! It stopped crossing my mind when climbing and I found my trust was growing and growing in them and by default climbing with them was getting easier. I also found while I using the axes didn’t get the dreaded “Hot Aches” (something I regally suffer hard from). I can only put this down to the shafts not conducting the cold – they feel neutral to the environmental temperature, which is a definite advantage for the winter climber who dislikes the feeling of dipping your hands in boiling water….
As so often referred to in the outdoors “Trust is earned”. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
Henry Castle ,UK MIC www.climbpembroke.com