A tool that allows climbers to scale icy slopes, snowy peaks and save themselves from falling off the side of a slick mountain.
The ice axe is a vital tool for winter mountaineers. It lets them climb new heights and explore areas that would otherwise be unexplored in summer. Whether you’re just starting out on your first winter hike, or an experienced professional using an ice axe correctly opens up an entirely new world of mountaineering and hiking.
How to Choose an Ice Axe
There are many types of Buying Your First Ice Axe that can be used for different activities and conditions. It is important to know what you need to look for prior to purchasing. Take note of the shape of your shaft, the curvature of your choice and the weight of the adze and if it’s got an end-cap with a spike.
Straight ice axes are designed for a variety of outdoor applications, including winter hiking and ski touring, but may also be an effective climbing tool if you want to take a different route into more difficult winter mountaineering routes. They tend to be lighter than a technical ice axe , and are more comfortable to hold because of the curved design of their shafts. This helps you hold it in your hands.
An ice axe may come with many accessories based on its design. These accessories include straps, helmet hooks and belay devices. They’re usually made of top-quality materials, which makes them light and capable of enduring many years of wear and tear.
Certain axes have an adjustable grip, while others have adjustable handles and grips that can be replaced. Some have heads that have either a hammer or adze. This lets you adjust the ice-axe to your body and makes it more comfortable to use in various positions.
The pick’s curve is important for allowing you to self-arrest. However, it also can reduce the amount of ice penetration and increase grip on steep sections. The majority of ice axes feature the classic curve pick but there are also tools that have neutral and reverse curves.
If you slip or fall down the slope, place your ice axe’s tip into the snow and try to stop the slide with your legs. Try this out yourself at a safe distance to get used to the feeling of pushing up off the snow when you stop sliding down the slope.
After you’ve practiced this a few times, the self-arrest technique should become instinctive and natural. It’s essential to practice it regularly so that you can master it as quickly as is possible in the case of an emergency.
There are many methods to accomplish this however the most efficient method is to place the adze at the base of the slope. Then, pull up with your shaft looking downwards to stop sliding. Once you’ve learned this method, you can safely self-arrest without the use of ropes or a belay device.
Self-arresting is a vital ability that mountaineers must master as part of their safety education. It is essential to practice the technique to ensure that it becomes an automatic process and will help you avoid an unplanned fall if you’re on a mountain.