Grivel Racing Wing, $275, 1 pound, 8 ounces
Overall grade: A-
While Grivel, which has been manufacturing ice-climbing equipment for much of the past century, was one of the first companies to offer leashless capability on its traditional tools, it was one of the last ice-tool makers to bring a “full-on” leashless tool to the market. The wait was worth it, however, as the Racing Wing was a standout in both
and dry tooling. The heart of this versatility lies in the lower grip, which offers two distinct hand positions: an upper position for swinging on ice, and a lower position for gripping while dry-tooling. The lower grip is even large enough to accommodate two overlapping hands and was great for hooking your forearm around while stein-pull resting.
While the lower grip is the key to the Racing Wing’s success, however, it can’t escape criticism: Many testers felt just a hair more in width would have enhanced grippability, saying that the grip was narrow in proportion to its length. Another interesting note on the Racing Wing was how well it did torquing in cracks. Its pick has a fair amount of stylistic detailing that others lack; that detailing provides a rough surface that performs admirably at catching on the sides of cracks for extra purchase.
Grivel North America: