The Petzl NOMIC is a dry-tooling and ice climbing tool that offers multiple grip modes and limits the risk of snagging when switching hands thanks to its ergonomic handle. The ice pick easily penetrates in any type of ice and also pulls out easily. There are two removable pick weights in the modular head to balance the axe so you can drive it into the ice with a remarkable swift swing.
The NOMIC has many features that make it the ideal dry-tooling and ice climbing tool. The multiple grip options that the ergonomic over-molded handle helps provide better efficiency when striking the axe into the ice. The length of the handle can be adjusted to fit the size of the hand and glove. The fully modular head allows adaptability to the ice axe depending on the activity and context. When equipped with Masselotte pick weights, the NOMIC ensures precise and efficient purchase in the ice. The NOMIC becomes considerably lighter for dry tooling without the Masselotte pick weights. When equipped with a hammer (optional), the NOMIC can be used to place pitons.
The interchangeable ice pick is tapered at the tip (3mm) for easy penetration. The shape allows stable hooking on both ice and rock. Better grip and thermal insulation on the upper handle is due to GRIPTAPE, and the serrated blade under the GRIPREST is for better hold when coming out of steep sections in hard snow or ice.
The NOMIC tools were tested on several different routes both ice and mixed. One of the features I immediately loved about the NOMIC was the ergonomic handle and the fact that the length could be adjusted. The difference of the ergonomic handle compared to an ice tool without was pretty amazing. I felt that I had more control over the ice tool. Now whether the handle had anything to do with more control is subjective, but it did make a difference for me.
The performance of the NOMIC tools was phenomenal. The Masselottes pick weights definitely helped with the swing and efficiency of striking the ice and driving the tool into it. The balance of the NOMIC tools was excellent. I felt that my swing was better with the way the weights were set, and once the tools were in the ice, they stayed put. They weren’t difficult to get out of the ice as some ice tools can be. On the vertical ice and steep routes, the serrated blade under the GRIPREST served as an additional hold which was great coming out of those harder sections.
The routes I climbed were either all ice or mixed, so I didn’t get a chance to test the tools without the pick weights. Each time I was dry-tooling, the tools were sturdy and very durable with each placement. I had to adjust and get used to placing the tools on the rock or in cracks rather than ice as it was really the first time I had done mixed climbing, but I felt more confident with placement the more I climbed and I know the NOMIC tools had a hand in that confidence.
The NOMIC tools were some of the top favorites on the ice climbing trip as a few of my friends tried them out as well. One friend had considered buying a pair of the NOMIC tools at one point but opted for a different set. After he climbed with the NOMIC tools, he regretted that he went with a different brand.
The Petzl NOMIC tools are an absolute recommendation for steep, vertical ice, mixed, and dry-tool climbing. I know I have some work to do when it comes to ice axe technique, but the NOMIC tools definitely performed how I needed them to and got the job done. Although I used a few different types of tools, I always went back to the NOMIC tools as the versatility and reliability felt more comfortable for the ice and mixed climbs. Everyone has their preference in tools and climbing abilities definitely differ, but I’d highly recommend the Petzl NOMIC tools.