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Yes, this is perhaps the most important question ever to be asked in this forum, touching as it does not merely upon matters of life and death but on questions of ...

beer ...

itself!

I have heard that it's possible to use an ice ax to open a bottle of beer, but when I tried it with my Black Diamond mountain ax, I couldn't get it to work. The adze hole didn't seem to fit in any useful way over the bottle cap.

Is there in fact a way to do this?

I did notice, by the way, that a copy of Freedom of the Hills works. I support the edge of the cap on the edge of the cover, and then I hit the cap with my fist. This doesn't work with ordinary paperback books because the cardboard cover isn't strong enough, so you just chew a bite out of the book. But because FotH has a laminated cover, it's strong enough to hold under the impact and pop off the cap.

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    I see too many beer bottles in the back country as it is. Leave your booze at the bottom, drinking on the mountain is not drinking responsibly. – ShemSeger Jun 28 '15 at 16:59
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    Yes. Leave your ice axe in the closet, go to the kitchen, and take a bottle opener out of the drawer. – jamesqf Jun 28 '15 at 17:52
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    @ShemSeger: I didn't say anything about drinking on the mountain, which I wouldn't do simply because a beer bottle is obviously too heavy and bulky to carry. It just often happens that immediately before or after a trip I find myself without a bottle opener. – Ben Crowell Jun 29 '15 at 12:03
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    @ShemSeger This seems to be also a matter of culture. From my European perspective it looks like in a wast part of Nothern America (caution, my knowledge in this point is mainly from movies) it is considered macho to get out into the woods with some pals, some guns and lots of beer, get drunk, shoot at everything that moves, leave all your waste, and call it "go hunting". I don't know such behaviour to such extent in European countries and people that really get outdoors (i.e. not just some 100 meters into the forrest at the city border) have quite a sense of responsibility concerning... – Benedikt Bauer Jun 29 '15 at 12:30
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    ... the environment. I know lots of people who like to take a beer or two on easier hikes (nothing that involves climbing or serious risk) who cary out their empty bottles and dispose them at home. – Benedikt Bauer Jun 29 '15 at 12:33
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The same way you would with the spine of a knife or other flat piece of metal with enough thickness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NYyRLGUMCY

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    The video made me thirsty. I'm going to have to do some extensive testing of this technique. – Ben Crowell Jun 28 '15 at 12:06
  • Or just get the proper ice axe... – Wills Jun 28 '15 at 19:15

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