Questions tagged [ice-axes]

An ice axe is a specialist piece of mountaineering equipment used in winter conditions. It is roughly axe shaped but can come in many forms from long handled walking axes to specialist ice climbing axes. Use this tag for all questions regarding the use, maintenance, etc. of ice axes.

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Making a (retrievable) base in soft snow using a pair of ice-axes

When an ice ax is used to make a T slot base in soft snow, it cannot be retrieved after the last climber gets down and has to be left behind. We were taught and shown (and I have forgotten, hence the ...
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3 votes
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Does anybody know or know where to find the requirements for Russian ice axe tests?

As I bought an ice axe from Russia some 10-15 years ago and cannot remember their ratings, I just wondered if somebody knew (or knew where to find) descriptions of the Russian ice axe test ...
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4 votes
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What is this knot that is used on ice axe leashes?

I recently purchased a Petzl ice axe and it came with a leash tired to it using a simple knot that allows the length of the leash to be adjusted. I am interested in this knot because I had ...
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6 votes
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What combination of tools is ideal for 40-60 degree snow and ice slopes? (Piolet(s), Whippets, ice tools)

Excited for an upcoming ski mountaineering trip to the Fuhrer Finger in May. I've seen many guided groups (e.g. IMG) recommend two ice-axes. This left me wondering, what is the ideal tool combo for ...
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When ski mountaineering should I bring a whippet or ice axe?

I've seen whippets while skiing and am thinking of taking one (or two?) on a 4 day tour in glacier terrain, but am confused as to their purpose. Do they replace ice axes or are used in conjunction ...
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3 answers
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What is the correct technique for self arrest, with an ice axe, on a snow or ice slope?

When on an icy/snow slope if I loose my footing, what is the correct technique to self arrest and control my slide? To re-iterate, this question: What is the proper technique for self-arrest when ...
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17 votes
4 answers
11k views

What are the pros and cons of ice axe leashes?

My ice ax came with a leash already on it and I have never had any problems with it, but almost all of the other ice axes that I have seen in use lacked one. One obvious pro is in case of dropping ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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What is the correct ice axe grip when descending?

It is a common advice to handle your ice axe with the pick facing to the rear. Furthermore, having a single technique of self-arrest aids in training and being prepared for an emergency situation. ...
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17 votes
3 answers
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Any reasons not to use 30-year-old ice axe?

I'll be doing a guided tour which includes going up a steep slope on a glacier, therefore I need an ice axe. I could rent one for a couple of bucks from the tour organizers, but I was wondering if ...
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8 votes
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Opening a beer bottle using a mountaineering ice ax

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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Ice axe and crampon post winter cleaning/preparation [duplicate]

So winter is well and truly over in Wales. Pretty much all the snow has melted and the weather is improving. So it's time to retire my winter gear until next winter. What should I do with my Ice Axe ...
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2 answers
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Ice Axes - Ice blade or Mix blade?

I have just got Grivel The Tech Machine Ice Axe. It comes with Ice blade by default. Mostly I am going to do Mix climbing on granite in Norway with Ice climbing occasionally. Do you recommend to get ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Can anybody recommend a good mid-week winter mountaineering course or a good mountain guide in the Lake District, UK? [duplicate]

Me and my partner will be spending a week in February in the Lake District, UK (Monday to Friday). We want to get as much walking in as possible and attempt a number of the peaks / ridges. We are ...
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20 votes
6 answers
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How to make DIY ice axe protectors?

How to make ice axe protectors yourself? I have few ideas from using duck tape to 3D printing, but it would be nice to hear about methods proven to work. The reason I want to add protectors is a lot ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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What to look for in an ice axe for use in classic alpine terrain?

I'm currently in the process of getting together a winter walking kit. I've got B2 boots and I'm buying suitable crampons. Ice Axes though seems more...confusing. What kind of features should I be ...
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2 answers
2k views

What is the proper technique for self-arrest when wearing crampons?

What is the proper technique to self-arrest and brake a fall, given steep icy (frozen snow) slope, when wearing crampons and wielding an ice axe? Should the crampons be used for stopping or held high ...
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What’s the difference between a B and a T ice axe?

Some ice axes are labeled as “B”, others as “T”. What’s the meaning of these letters and what are their practical implications?
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23 votes
6 answers
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How do I know what size ice axe I should get?

I'm going to start mountaineering. Is there a recommended size per height/weight for ice axes for general mountaineering?
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