Goto Chockstone Home

  Tech Tips

      Sponsored By

Chockstone Photography
Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints

Chockstone Forum - Gear Lust / Lost & Found

Rave About Your Rack Please do not post retail SPAM.

Ice Climbing
3:00:08 PM
Hey Guys,

I'm having a bit of a problem, i dont know whether to fly over 2 or 3 ice axes for ice climbing.

When u guys go ice climbing, do you usually carry 2 technical ice axe's and then a longer less aggressive general mountaineering axe for self arrest purposes, or just 2 technical and use one of then as a general axe,

Thanks heaps
3:25:48 PM
2 will do (3 only if you wish to go leashless and it's a hard route that you think dropping a tool could mean your life)

Learn to trust your footwork (crampons) and take a ski pole which is more useful for walking. I'll have ski pole in downhill hand, axe in uphill hand, hammer on pack.

I'll almost always carry a ski pole in the hills if not a pair.

3:36:09 PM
2 axes with spring leashes so you can climb leashless (sounds weird i guess. ) and a trekking pole
6:05:12 PM
thanks guys!
Yeah that sounds like an easier and lighter option. I'll take 2 technical axes then one with hammer, and a foldable snow walking pole. A just keep an ice axe in hand in case of a slip on the approach

12:10:50 PM
Where are you going?
5:18:24 PM
are you ice climbing/alpine climbing or soloing, if your ice climbing take two (you only have two hands) if your alpine climbing take two also, your partner can always jumar the pitch if you decide to unclip your tethers/leashes and drop a tool, if your soloing you may carry three but if your soloing you perhaps wouldnt be asking the question on chockie
6:08:52 PM
If you alpine climbing, solo or otherwise, you would carry a short ice tool with adze, and a longer general ice-axe with a hammer. That is what local guides told me they use when doing Mt Cook. No third tool, no stock/ski pole. YMMV.
7:42:59 PM
hmmmm 3rd tools are a pain - too heavy, too pointy, too dangly.

2 tools is the way forward - even if soloing - using leashes or tethers will be less annoying than having a 3rd tool hanging from your waist - but I dont think this is what you are asking.

If you are talking about taking a general axe for the approach to the ice, I would just say use a techy tool, sure, not perfect for arrest and moderate slopes, but still fine, if your getting on vertical ice then you should be comfortable on snow slopes anyway.....

As for the guides combo of one tech and one axe - sorry wollemi - but this is perhaps not the best option for a newish climber. If you are doing lots of easy snow slopes, say up to grade 3 NZ then yeah, this is perfect, but once you are on mildly hard ground 3+ and more , the axe will be MUCH less user friendly. Guides are not climbers, they are trying to stop non-climbers from killing everyone when they bugger up. A long axe is the perfect weapon for this - quick boot axe belays, chopping steps, quick anchor etc. There is LOTS of this on Mt Cook. However, the typical pick and straight shaft will make things harder for the average newbie. Knuckles will be bashed, picks will get stuck, leashes will be hard to get out of quickly and overall it will be annoying. Yes, amazing things were climbed with those axes, but good modern gear really is a substitue for skill. Guides dont climb with this combo when they are not guiding.

However, having said all of that, a really handy combo is a technical tool, paired with a hybrid tool, like the BD venom, or camp makes one too. This is the best of both worlds, long handle, but curved, and a reverse curved pick instead of the old school picks.
Damien Gildea
11:04:58 PM
On 9/06/2010 Wollemi wrote:
>If you alpine climbing, solo or otherwise, you would carry a short ice
>tool with adze, and a longer general ice-axe with a hammer.

Actually it's the other way around. You'd be hard-pressed to find a long-ish 'general' axe with a hammer head. The traditional combo for general mountaineering is a longer axe and a shorter hammer.

But if the OP is really going 'ice climbing' then certainly two tools are best for anything remotely like water ice or NZ3+ and above. Tools like the Venom can be a good compromise and are better for self-arrest, with their classic curve pick. Taller climbers will find modern tech tools way too short for using like a trad general axe on easier ground, and many of them are crap for plunging. They're not designed for that.

It depends what the OP is really doing. If you are flying up to Pioneer in winter/spring, you could take a pair of tech tools and a longer general axe. For the steeper mixed routes on Mallory, Barnicoat, Douglas etc use the two tech tools. If you are going for the N shoulder route on Tasman most of it will only need the longer axe but take the tech hammer as well. For Lendenfeld you'd just want the longer axe.

But if the OP is walking/skiing up to Empress, for Hicks etc, then just take the two tech tools. Ditto if they are going in to Wye Creek, Bush Stream etc for water ice.

There are 9 messages in this topic.


Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Landscape Photos Australia

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.

Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | High Country Mountain Huts | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints