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 Post subject: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:43 am
Posts: 49
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Well after recently doing a summer recon mission to an Australian Peak called Mt Feathertop and looking at the climb back out of some of the chutes i think it time for an Ice Axe and crampons. Being Australian I know very little about climbing ice. Any tips would be great.

A few questions:

What Length?
Curved Handle or straight?
Do you use a leash?


Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 262
Location: Salzburg / Austria
(I assume, we are only talking about climbing up chutes, but not about vertical ice climbing, right?)

I prefer a curved shaft, as I then don't crash my fingers against the ice every time, when holding the axe on the shaft below the axe's head.
My choice was a Petzl Summit axe.

I also use a Grivel Single Spring Leash, attached to my harness or backback's hipbelt. This way I avoid losing the axe when climbing on a rocky ridge using both hands, the axe briefly stored between back and backpack.

Length: if you only go steeps, you can go for a short axe. (eg. 50cm for a 190cm person)
If you also want to have it suitable for low-angle glacier travel, choose a longer one. (approx long enough to reach your ankles, when holding the axe at the head)
Mine is 60cm, I'm 191cm tall.


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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:59 pm
Posts: 200
Location: SLC, Wasatch front.
Hard to beat black diamond contact strap/clips for crampons, fit most boots and are extremely veritable. Raven ice axes are pretty great as well

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Burton Freebird/spark blazes/ burton ruler boots


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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 278
Location: Altadena SoCal
RE Crampons: I recommend C.A.M.P. Stalkers over BD Contacts. They're cheaper, fit longer boots without an aftermarket long linking bar and come with a carrying case.

RE Ice Axe: x2 for FloImSchnee :thumbsup:
I use my poles for low angle travel and bring the shortest, lightest axe I can afford using it only in the steeps; under the theory, "if it's heavy I won't bring it."
I strongly recommend two Whippets. Others don't. Here are all the discussions on Whippet use and mods.


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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:43 am
Posts: 49
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the replies gents.

Yep the tools are for climbing back up the chutes. Not vertical ice.

Some good tips there

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:08 pm
Posts: 241
Location: 109-blocks-of-watch-yo-f'n-back, CA
Unless you are going extremely vertical (like, Chamonix extreme vertical), you should do fine with aluminum crampons. Good enough for firm snow and low angle ice.
I use Stubai Ultralights.
Get a steel head lightweight axe with a straight shaft. Don't bother with a recurve - if you're asking advice here, you don't need it yet.
When things are really hairy, I carry one whippet and use voile straps to splint my ice axe to my other pole for sort-of a whippet-plus. My thinking is that if I need two whippets, what I really need is an ice axe.
Great reviews and advice here:
http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Ice-Axe-R ... re#compare

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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:37 am
Posts: 8
i have a bd venom axe. its a hybrid so you can use it in walking stick mode which i do 95% of the time even in steep couloirs. its also slghtly curved so you can use it overhand when necessary. for normal glacier travel you want it hanging straight down close to the ground however if you are using it in steeps in cane mode you can go quite a bit shorter since you will always be placing it uphill. make sure you practice self arrest from a variety of fall positions and always hold the axe correctly. i dont use a leash but have been thinking about trying it this winter but i would never use a leash when riding down with axe in hand.


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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:00 am
Posts: 17
Have you seen K2s rescue shovel this year? Looks pretty sweet for someone who doesn't use an ax much. Ax head attaches to your shovel handle so if you don't use it often you don't feel stupid packing it around.

http://www.mountaingear.com/webstore/Ge ... 238298.htm


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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:18 am
Posts: 301
Camp Nano, Ice axe sits on the back of your pack almost 90% of the time. Camp nano is light weight its defiantly worth it and at 250grams its perfect. Finding one in Australia might be difficult.

http://www.camp-usa.com/products/ice-ax ... notech.asp


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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:38 pm
Posts: 314
Location: Fairhaven
I have a pair of BD Venoms, one with the adze and one with the hammer. I usually carry the adze for general unknown stuff but if I intend to get into something more serious then I'll carry both. That really doesn't happen very often as I've found that one axe plus one Whippet gets me up most anything that I'm comfortable on.

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 Post subject: Re: ICE AXES what to look for?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:15 pm
Posts: 673
Location: mountains of portland, oregon
The camp stalker or magic crampons would be a better choice.

They come with a flexible bar that will work better with soft boots.

I like the camp nanotech for a curved shaft, it the corsa for a longer mountaineering style axe.

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