Hugh Banner Spitfire

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Hugh Banner Spitfire’s pick stuck well in both the bulletproof ice of Quebec and the froth of Vail.

Hugh Banner Spitfire

Hugh Banner Spitfire, $195

Summary: Here’s another potentially excellent tool that needs some work on the details. The Spitfire has a radical curve that offers great clearance. The pick penetrated well and bit securely in both Pont Rouge’s deep-freeze ice and Vail’s frothy slush, though its protective coating began wearing off with a little abuse. The plain-Jane grip and inadequate leash could be improved to bring this tool in line with the top performers.

Pros: Shaft gives excellent clearance. Solid pick penetration.

Cons: Lacks ergonomic grip. Minimalist leash.

Overall grade: B

Hugh Banner/Climb High: (802) 985-5055, www.climbhigh.com