Choosing an Ice Axe
Ice axes for mountaineering are a vital tool that cannot be overlooked. They are used for self-arrests, as walking sticks, and also as probes when looking for crevaces. Choosing the right one is important and some questions you must think about are:
- How steep is the terrain I am going to be on?
- Will I be using it often or only sporadically?
- How strong does it need to be?
If you're climbing steep terrain, a shorter axe will work better because it is easier to plunge it into the snow/ice if you are on steep angles. A longer axe is more suited for use as a walking stick when crossing glaciers. For sporadic use, such as ski
mountaineering (where you may only need to bring out your axe for short periods), you may want to look at lighter weight axes since you will be carrying it on your backpack