Pushing the bar in the vertical ice realm, the XMonster Leashless Tool from Grivel allows the climber’s imagination to run wild thanks to its versatile multi-grip design, flexible shaft and thin pick for fragile ice.
This is an excellent tool. It's light, compact and sticks with hardly a swing and fits into existing holes. Also fits into thin grooves and grabs and hooks features well. The handle nicely protects my hand and the bottom of the handle rests wonderfully on the ice without any effort.
This is my first leashless tool and I have found that it doesn't burn my wrist or arm muscles. It actually seems to require less effort than the leashed tools I have used, although routes have been less than 60' so far. Only adjustment is swinging more lightly.
Only drawback is that it is a little tricky getting it in when climbing over the top of the fall onto horizontal ice.
The X-Monster performs extremely well on technical ice & mixed climbs. This tool is very lightweight, well balanced, and easy to swing. The handle is sized small enough for a comfortable grip and the shaft provides for easy matching or choking up to hang with a straight arm on placements made below full extension. The only drawback to this tool: Grivel needs to design interchangeable picks to aid in pick replacement instead of having to replace the entire tool.
Absolutely the cheapest way to go leashless! and once you go, you never turn back. the handels are very comfortable and really prevent over gripping. Funny swing..not as balanced as a tubular shaft...you don't get that sinker "ahh" feeling when it really sticks....I do miss that...the snake helps comfort on the shaft.......they should give you two! not as stable on the spike...wiggles and wobbles slightly on less than vert ice....great for total dry tool climbing!