Chicks Gear Review: Petzl Nomic

Petzl NomicRock climbing is my first love, but now that I’m a Chicks owner, I’m doing my damnedest to transform myself into a bad ass ice climber. What I’ve learned is that gear really matters. It’s an investment in my personal security and I want the best gear I can get my hands on. After doing a quick poll of my peers, male and female alike, what tool came out on top? The Petzl Nomic was the hands down winner.

Why is this the first tool of choice of so many ice climbers? It’s the one tool that can climb ice, rock and hard packed snow, so no matter what your  medium of choice is, this tool will be able to handle the job. If you’re new to the whole ice climbing thing like me and you’re not sure, then you can’t go wrong with the Nomic.

The Nomics are thoughtfully designed and it’s the details that set it apart from other ice tools on the market. First you’ll notice the aggressively curved shaft. This allows the tool to clear bulges in vertical ice/rock easily and puts your body into a restful stance so you can conserve energy and hold on all the way to the top.

Speaking of holding on, this tool rests in the palm of your hand with the ergonomically molded handles. This allows you to grab the handle in a variety of positions, so you can match hands, swap tools from one hand to the other, and never worry about dropping the tool. You’ll look like a pro when you shoulder it, match hands on the second position and reach again for your next placement.

The picks are tapered down to perfection, so they penetrate the ice easier and hook on the smallest dime edges with security. The weight of the Nomic is light enough for dry tooling and mixed climbing, but if you need to add a little heft to your swing, you can add weights to the heads to take your dainty swing into burl-mode without expending any extra energy.

There are so many ice climbing tools on the market and deciding on which one to buy is about as tough as choosing what dress to wear on Saturday night. The Nomic is the equivalent of that little black dress that is perfect for every occasion. Do yourself a favor and choose the one tool that does it all. I have a personal philosophy that if you’re going to buy something, buy the top of line and you won’t regret it. One swing of the Nomic and I promise you will have no regrets and that’s what life is all about.

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