Matt Shove, AMGA Certified Rock Instructor, SPI Provider, and CWI Provider
I have seen the KRONOS tools around for 2 or 3 winters now. Someone always seem to have a pair at the ice fest clinics. At first glance, I wanted a pair to hang above my fireplace. They are just beautifully designed. Elegant even. I hated the idea of taking them climbing. I wouldn’t want to ding them up or even scratch them. However, they are T rated!
During this past winter, I was teaching a clinic at New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest called Ice Climbing for Rock Climbers. We had done some top roping to get the excitement out of our system. Everyone climbed a few times. I was collecting tools to do some drills. I like to do that so when we get to the point where we can coach climbing movement, everyone has some context to draw from. My colleague Karsten Delap gave me a belay. I started up a 50 foot WI 3+ practice flow with 4 Petzl Nomics, 2 Grivel North Machines, a pair of Quarks, and a pair of Furnace Industries Kronos. My goal was to set up an offset ladder of staggered tools so our guests could practice working their feet with out exhausting themselves swinging.
I knew what the Nomics were going to do. The North Machines were pretty good. The Quarks are always too light for pure waterfall ice. By now, from swinging tools overhead on a cold day, my hands were getting cold. I unclipped the Kronos from my clipper, gave it a swing, and sunk it first try. I had a similar experience with the second Kronos. I can only compare it to hitting a baseball with a Louisville Slugger. It has a very distinct swing, but it was good and solid. When you hit the first swing stick, it was as if David Ortiz himself hit your home run.
I continued to use the Kronos for the remainder of the day, my hands stayed warm due to the wood shafts, and most of all, I preferred the damp vibration-less report that is too common with aluminum shaft tools. Plus, they have something the Nomic doesn’t: a real spike for lower-angled terrain.
Furnace Industries Co-Owner Ben Carlson loaned me a pair to use for the remainder of the winter after Rock Climb Fairfield’s Ice Fest and dry tool comp. My clients and guests loved them, and in fact they gravitated towards these beautiful tools over the gear they used in the past. We used them in Huntington Ravine, on the steeps at Frankenstein, at Champney Falls, Cathedral Ledge, and other local spots. They were a hit.
- · Functional design and shape
- · Thin pick for limited ice displacement (a mixed pick is available tho)
- · Pick shape is optimized for ice climbing or dry tooling on rock
- · Wood shaft is elegant and keeps your hands warm, hard to beat this
- · Elegant appearance—a work of art
- · Good, functional spike
- · Shaft doesn’t flex even when full size dudes yard/stein pull hard
- · Narrow grip allows smaller hands to fight the pump
- · Tool does not shift when matching on the upper grip
- · Fine tuned picks that wear well and are replaceable
- · Strong T rated shafts, strong enough for use as a deadman anchor in snow
Bottom Line: If you prefer an elegant and functional piece of kit, this tool is for you.
AMGA Certified Rock Instructor
AMGA SPI Provider and CWI Provider
NY State Guide Lic# 4218
(203) 228-2311 HQ
Photos Courtesy Ragged Mountain Guides