Buying an Ice Axe
An ice axe is a must-have piece of gear for any mountaineer, ice climber, or high altitude winter hiker. It can be hard to choose the right one. There are so many features, types, and materials to consider.
Purchase an Ice Axe
There are many differents of Ice Axe vs Crampons, but they all come in three main categories: general-mountaineering, technical, and hybrid. They all have a unique shape and features that can make them best for certain activities.
Hybrid models combine the best of general-mountaineering and technical ice-climbing axes, often with a curved shaft for better clearance and ergonomics. These axes are typically slightly heavier than general-mountaineering ice axes and may be more appropriate for steeper, more technical terrain.
They are also typically available in both steel and aluminum and can be made from various shapes and materials. When choosing an Ice Axe, it is important that you consider the material for the head and shaft.
A head made from chromoly is stronger than a head made from carbon fiber. In fact, a UIAA-rated CEN-B ice axe must be able to handle 2.5KN when weighted mid-shaft and pulled perpendicularly.
The adze can also play a significant role in the selection of an Ice Axe. The adze can strike and break pitons. These small holes in the rock allow you to climb the mountain. This is useful when you need a ramp made of ice or if you want to set up a belay point for another climber.
A pick is often included with the adze. This can be used for driving into the snow. To provide extra support while ascending or descending, a spike can be attached to the top of your axe.
A spike can also be inserted in the head of an ice axe for use as a snow anchor when you are climbing or descending. This can be done in one of two ways: either driving the spike into snow (as described above), or inserting the spike into the head of an ice axe and attaching it to a point on the body with a sling.
To be safe and effective, the adze and pick should be in place before you start climbing or descending. This will prevent you from falling and protect you from injuries if you fall on a ledge or slick area of the slope.
During the climb, hold your pick by the head in your upward hand. You should point your pick backwards to ensure it primes when you perform an ice-axe arrest.
Once you have your axe, you must learn how it can be safely used. To do this, you will need to learn about its many uses and how to hold it. Also, what to do if you fall.