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 Post subject: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:51 am 
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Has any one used the Camp Corsa Nanotech Ice Axe http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10x/ms-k ... ch-ice-axe 250grams sounds too light!.

And what size should i get? the smallest for riding? im about 5'11


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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:52 am 
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Location: Altadena SoCal
REI has a pretty decent article on choosing an ice axe.

Measure your "ape index" (the distance your hand is from the ground when standing up right) and go from there.

RE: construction material/durability - As long as you are A) using the axe properly (i.e. not pounding in tent stakes) and B) you have no chance of using the axe on rock and/or only limited use on solid ice, then you are golden.

I live in Southern California where the snow cover can be pretty thin. I frequently hike/climb over lightly covered rocks where it's really easy to punch through the ice and snow to solid rock. As nice as it is to save weight with aluminum crampons and an axe, they are not durable enough for my needs; I have to use steel equipment.
OTOH, if I were a gram counter and were willing to file my axe after every trip, it wouldn't be a problem.
You have to look at the terrain and uses you would rely on the axe for, then weigh the costs vs benefits.

FWIW, it sounds like a perfect axe for most BC snowboarding. If you plan on doing some serious kiwi-billygoat stuff, you probably should think about a more sturdy piece of equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:17 am 
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Location: mountains of portland, oregon
Image

there is the nanotech in action. its sick. highly reccommended. i also rock their other ski mountaineering axe and its super legit too. many a mt. hood summit with those.

i would buy this one- http://www.camp-usa.com/products/ice-axes/corsa.asp

the nanotech is a bit more agressive of an axe and you'll mostly be using an axe in cane position for ski mountaineering.

good rule of thumb for sizing is walk up a set of stairs with the axe, planting it on stair in front of you. should be at a comfortable height to hold on to.

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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:08 pm 
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That's good info but consider the type of terrain you're planning on using it for. An axe that you buy because it's a comfortable height when walking up the stairs will probably feel cumbersome when using it in a 45 degree or steeper couloir. What is the typical staircase angle anyway? 30-35 deg?
Also consider if you're planning on shredding with it in hand, in which case a shorter length will be desirable as well. My main alpine axe is 60cm and I've never owned anything longer FWIW.

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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Location: mountains of portland, oregon
definatley depends on terrain. here on cascade volcanoes you see mountaineers with giant tall axes that they use in cane on slopes up to 45 ish degrees. longer shaft will yield better, safer placements when doing self belay type climbing, plunging the shaft deeper into the snowpack.

i personally rock a 70 cm for corsa for most mountaineering trips, im 6' 1". the nano tech is for more rugged adventures, and it has a steel pick so it can be used in mixed terrain also...

i dont think i would want to climb anything much steeper than you average staircase in sb boots unless snow is good enough for kicking steps, and when your at that point that shaft needs to be deep in the snowpack to do any real good.

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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:39 pm 
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christoph benells wrote:
longer shaft will yield better, safer placements when doing self belay type climbing, plunging the shaft deeper into the snowpack.

I disagree. I think the difference is 10cm is negligible. The 60cm of my axe is more than long enough to provide adequate self-belay strength. Have you ever seen or used a picket? 2' (~60cm) is the most common length.

christoph benells wrote:
i dont think i would want to climb anything much steeper than you average staircase in sb boots unless snow is good enough for kicking steps

I don't think I understand your point here... I assume you're talking sans crampon?

To the OP, I think the bottom line is personal preference and also that it probably doesn't matter too much. If any of your pals have anything for you to use, take it out and get a feel for that particular length.

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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Here is an intresting study on snow anchors/pickets. Quite scary really http://www.sunrockice.com/docs/Snow%20Anchors.pdf. i think this was conducted after 4 deaths in 2003 climbing New Zealand's Highest mountain Mt Cook.


Thanks for the advice so far.

christoph do you notice the open end shaft? is it always packing with snow?


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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:51 pm 
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Location: mountains of portland, oregon
yes i have seen and used pickets, and yes 10cm is probably negligible difference. i like a taller ice ax...so what.

im talkin with crampons, above exposure. if you want to climb frozen snow or ice steeper than 40 degrees in snowboard boots go for it, just leave me out of it.

and it doesnt pack with much snow since there is a little stopper about an inch and a half up in there. havent noticed any snow sticking in there.

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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:19 pm 
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I prefer a shorter axe, and always a steel tool and crampons. I find a 50 cm axe is totally adequate, and more useful when the axe is really needed for climbing, as well as an easier carry when riding really steep, exposed terrain where a self arrest, or self belay might be necessary.
I use steel crampons, and an axe (BD Raven Ultra, still very light) because often I end up using the tools on rock, and sometimes actual ice-I can never be sure I will only encounter frozen snow/neve.
I understand that some may prefer a longer axe for glacier travel, but I still use the shorter tool, and poles. If I am worried about a roped partner falling in a slot on a glacier, and having to self arrest to stop the fall, I will typically attach the short axe to the top of the pole in my right hand (voile straps work well for this). Just my preferences, other approaches will work as well.

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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:32 pm 
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barrows wrote:
I will typically attach the short axe to the top of the pole in my right hand (voile straps work well for this)

And people say dual whippets is sketchy. JK!


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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:43 pm 
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Hansy; not sure what you mean? This approach is not sketchy in any way. It is only used for skinning on glacier where a crevasse fall is a real possibility-and the only the reason the axe gets attached to the pole is to have it available for immediate self arrest if one is pulled of their feet by a partner's crevasse fall. You do not use the pole to try and control the axe, you just have the axe attached to the pole so it is easily at hand if necessary.
I would/do not use this approach for any actual climbing, just for flatter glacier travel, when it is nice to have poles for skinning, but one needs the axe at hand, just in case... I am not really a fan of Whippets, they have their place, but if I need something with an actual pick, I would rather have a full fledged axe, and then whippets become redundant.

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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Hey Chris I got one of those axes too and love it

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 Post subject: Re: ice axes and sizing
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:22 pm 
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IrishGav wrote:
Hey Chris I got one of those axes too and love it


i noticed that in your epic video

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