New and Notable: Black Diamond Equipment Fusion - 2010 Gear Guide


 

In ice and mixed climbing, gear is your primary point of contact with the vertical world. As such, the design of this gear is critical for more than just safety, but for upward progress itself. With their new Fusion, Black Diamond offers mixed climbers a sweet new tool for going higher on longer, harder, and steeper lines. The sleek shape of the Fusion comes via hydroforming technology, which allowed Black Diamond to make the entire curved, dogleg shaft out of a single piece of aluminum (other mixed tools have two pieces: a grip and an overlapping shaft), upping rigidity, reducing weight, and making for a high-performance piece of gear.

 

  1. SHAPE UP
    Hydroforming, a process by which intense hydraulic pressure is brought to bear on a piece of aluminum, gives the Fusion its smooth, complex form. The benefits of hydroforming here include weight savings (one 50cm tool weighs 1lb 6oz), as well as high rigidity, both of which add up to performance and control.
  2. GET A GRIP
    The Fusion’s ergonomic, overmolded grip can be adjusted to fit hands big and small, with gloves or without. Meanwhile, the included spike at the base of the tool is removable and clippable.
  3. HARD HEADED
    The Fusion’s one-piece stainless steel head comes equipped with a chromoly steel Fusion pick, ideal for steep ice and dry-tooling. Unscrew the single bolt, and you can swap in your favorite Black Diamond pick.

$279.95, blackdiamondequipment.com
Weight: 1lb 6oz
Length: 50cm
Pick width: 3.5mm

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