View Full Version : The Cassin X-All Mountain Tool

01-21-2012, 01:54 PM
I tried this tool at the ADK Mountainfest and really liked it. The description in this link (http://www.mountaineer.com/store/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=MTR&Product_Code=CassinAllMt&Category_Code=41) says it all. However, I would like to add a few things.


I liked the large clip opening at the top of the head. For when one is in "all mountain" terrain getting a tool on and off the ice clipper or whatever you use is important. Though the tool is light, with it's aggressive pick design requires a gentle touch/swing, ie; the Frisbee technique... once in this mode, it climbed like a champ. The Bottom spike is well designed, aggressive and easy to keep sharp, unlike other like tools.

If you get a chance at one of the next icefests, give these a test run for a day. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

01-21-2012, 03:58 PM
super tool!

also FWIW, the least expensive replacement pick on the market now...
this is the first tool in over a dozen years that i liked enough to buy'em, & no regrets!

01-23-2012, 11:25 AM
How do they compare to competitors? Say, Petzl Quarks and Nomic, BD Viper and Cobra, Grivel Techs? Do they swing better? Are the picks easy to clean?

Cassin definitely has a good price point for its tools.

01-23-2012, 02:39 PM
good questions;
i'd say better all around!
these work for me on nei 2 thru 5 and i havnt really pushed mixed.
the swing is really light and, yes, you can over drive until you get used to it!
i have climbed with all the above mentioned tools and again, decided to buy the cassin on the first day out with them!!!

all tools are good you need to try'em all to see what works for your style/swing hand etc.....


01-23-2012, 07:00 PM
One day with the new tools, cold ice tr 3-5, swing lighter but similar to cobras, clean easier than newest quark. Only complaint is the bottom hand guard/grip could one up a little higher above the pinkie. Solved the awax problem of little /no grip and cold hands.

01-26-2012, 06:26 PM
The only thing I do not like about those tools is no pinkie knuckle gaurd/hook thingie.

01-26-2012, 07:06 PM
I've been playing around with these tools as well this season, mostly as a means of saving my picks on my Nomics (cascade picks are hard to find these days!).

Overall, I think the swing is pretty comparable to the Nomic's swing. As people have mentioned, it's more of a wrist flick than a full swing. The spike is good and the clip-in point on the head of the tool is fantastic. I've had to aggressively file down the teeth because I've found that the tools are easy to over-drive and that the picks are just too biting for my taste.

In comparison to my Nomics, the one other major difference is in the secondary (upper) grip. On my Nomics I can switch to the upper grip without feeling any real shift in the picks when in ice. This is because the direction of pull on the shaft is more or less straight up and down. On the Cassins I've found that there is a little bit more of an outward pull on the tool. It shouldn't be an issue when climbing on ice (as opposed to mixed), but it is a little unnerving at first.

So far I've also noticed my hands get colder using the Cassins, but this is probably because of over-gripping, though it may be partly a product of the traditional vs. offset handle. Nevertheless, I've been very happy with the Cassins on stuff up to 4+ so far and hope to get some more mileage on them on harder stuff in the coming weeks. As for Tradman's point about the pinky grip not really coming up far enough, I've heard that there is work in the pipeline to improve this.

02-01-2012, 12:21 PM

Could you upload a picture or two of the pick tuning you did? I'm just wondering how aggressive you got.

My wife borrowed a set from a friend this weekend to try and it was love at first swing. She found them just a little hard to clean, but that can be fixed. They fit her swing style perfectly (she prefers just a wrist flick). In fact, she liked them so much that she bought them from said friend on the spot. I took a few swings with them and felt that the swing was extremely similar to my cobras - perhaps even giving a little more bang for the buck, though I think most of that was the pick geometry leading to awesome penetration.

Our first experience with them was Sunday on the Trap Dike. I'll be excited to see how they do in the coming weeks on steeper ice and mixed routes. I'm thinking they're going to be awesome.

02-01-2012, 01:42 PM
I'll see if I can get you some pictures this weekend (they're up at my place in NH so I don't have them on hand right now).

02-02-2012, 12:45 PM
I had the opportunity to demo a pair of these last night at the north end and was very much impressed with their balance and perfomance on both steep ice and low angle. One thing I noticed as well was that my pinkies on both hands were a bit cold after the session...and I had a hard time fitting my glove in the handles provided. I would say that the X-All mountain dry handle is a Medium in the Nomic setting...I wish it was a bit larger for meaty hands. These tools have a very intuitive swing and took little to no time to get used to them...it was a very natural progression. they are relatively lightweight and I think have the best NE ice pick on the market (going out on a limb there, but I stand by it). The picks were great in wet ice, brittle and thin ice and the tools hooked much better than I thought they would. Definitely worth a look if you haven't had a chance to swing them.

02-02-2012, 03:55 PM
essentially file off the slightlly down turned "beak" tip of the all mt pick,
and again w/ some more use you will learn the tools light swing.
i'm really liking these tools!!!

02-02-2012, 07:10 PM
I am not sure I liked the all mountain as much as my quantum techs, but it was pretty close. I do like how beefy the construction is and have to admit that I get a bit nervous whenever I have to dry tool or torque my techs (even slightly). I feel like these x all mountains are going to take a beating and ask for more when the day is done.

02-15-2012, 12:38 PM
So we de-tuned the picks just a little. Man, what a difference! They still get amazing one-swing sticks, but clean a lot easier. Saturday, we went up Pharaoh and I was having to be extremely careful not to break off big plates with my Cobras. My bride barely dropped a piece with her Cassin tools and stuck to some very steep, thin lines. Sunday my wife led Buster and Bowser (welcome to the sharp end, baby!) and after watching her climb, I just had to try her tools. I took them for a quick solo run up Buster. They were absolutely incredible! I think the temperature was a balmy 4 degrees and the ice was garbage. I stuck to the steeper line, which had thin ice and was quite brittle. Those tools got amazing sticks and plated off almost no ice. I definitely did not get the same performance out of my Cobras that day - even with very sharp laser picks.

Bottom line, I came home and on Monday sold my Cobras and bought a set the Cassin tools. My bride is pissed that she's not the only one with the "cool orange tools now". Oh well - she rode a Harley before I did, too.

02-17-2012, 11:37 AM
Climbed repentance last night with the new Cassins and couldn't be happier with their performance. I have definitely found my new tool. Saving my pennies for the X-Dreams for their release date in Sept!

02-17-2012, 12:34 PM
the new grips for the X-all mountain are on the tools @ the mountaineer...
just say'n

10-24-2012, 11:36 AM
I spent a while comparing tools, and had access to everything pretty cheap and I have to say the X-All Mountains are the tool for the NE. The picks and swing are perfect for brittle and thin ice. I feel like when it comes down to top tool awards the choice is between these Cassins and the Nomics with the price point edge going to the Cassins. Especially with the cheap picks and replaceable handles ($15) these are a great do everything tool. Can't stop recommending them to everyone I know.