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ice axe choice

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ice axe choice

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:08 pm

Might be a little late for this, but how does one choose an ice axe? I have an old wooden handled one. Yes outdated.

What are good Ice axes to consider?



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Re: ice axe choice

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:33 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:35 pm

but which one and why?
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby markskor » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:38 pm

Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:50 pm

Sorry Russ, thought you just needed reviews, Markskor already posted my next post.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:51 pm

np.. just wondered who here had what and why? I know it's different for different folks based on what they're attempting..
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby Ikan Mas » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:59 pm

I have the same question. Say you are heading over a 12-13,000 foot pass this summer (say second week of August) and there's lots of snow. Lots more than encountered same time last year on the same sorts of passes. As of August, the herd will be passing through,but the trail probably be refreezes overnight. You could wait till the afternoon and the snow softens up, depending on the day. Say you want some back up. Straight axe? Crampons? Its a mighty funny year out there. Your sage opinions are appreciated.
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby DAVELA » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:01 pm

Im trying out a grivel g1-74cm.Its one of the longer sizes but it feels comfortable-im 5 11.Using it for hiking use-not mountaineering.
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby Shawn » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:02 pm

I've carried an ice axe for safety when combined with crampons for hard packed snow or glacier ascents. The old adage, as I was informed, was to buy an axe based on holding the head loosely in your hand, with your arm at your side...and in this position the tip of the axe handle should be about at your ankle. That would be the first axe I bought (a Black Diamond).

Then, after a few outings I realized that I rarely used the thing as a sort of walking stick going up glaciers (thus the length described above), so I bought another axe which is somewhat shorter and lighter. The short and light axe provides the same safety (given of course one actually knows how to use it and has practiced self arrests, etc.).
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby Shawn » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:03 pm

Wow, looks like three of us replied at about the same time.
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby DAVELA » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:24 pm

I have 0 experience with ice axes.I bought it for safety going over glaciers and up hard snow.With a heavy pack i use it as a hiking pole.I dont know how a shorter axe would be effective for me?Also in self arrest it seems like the adze of shorter axe would be close to jamming into my face?
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Re: ice axe choice

Postby Shawn » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:19 pm

The placement of the axe should be irrelevant to the length of the handle. I suppose one could be especially tall with an unusually short handle which could create a bad situation? I'm 5'11" and while I don't have the length of the axe in front of me, it's not a whole lot shorter and it works well in practice (actually saved my arse on one occasion). YMMV.
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