Buying guide ice axe ski touring :
What are the different parts of an mountaineering ice axe?
Before buying an ice axe, do you know the different parts? The head is made up of a blade and a bit or hammer at the end. The blade, mainly made of steel, is used to hold on to snow or ice. The teeth are bevelled to penetrate the ice while facilitating de-inking. On the other side, there are ice axes with either a bit or a hammer. The bit is mainly used to carve steps, to clear snow before putting an ice pick or to make a trench to prepare a dead body. The hammer is used to drive in pitons or to redo inks. Historically made of wood, the handle is now made of aluminum. The handle can be longer or shorter depending on your type of activity. For example, when hiking in the glaciers, we prefer a handle long enough to use the ice axe as a cane while leaning on it. In fact, the pick found on the end of some ice axes reinforces the grip. Another advantage is that it helps the ice axe penetrate snow more easily when used to make a dead body.
How do you choose the right ice axe for your activity?
Depending on your practice, the choice of your ice axe will be different. Characteristics will change, such as the size of the shaft, the shape of the head or the shape of the ice axe. For ski mountaineering, most ice axes are used to reach snowy summits. This type of ice axe has a shorter length so it doesn't clutter up the backpack, a straight or slightly curved shaft, a comfortable grip, a steel head and a light weight. In glacier hiking, ice axes are used in situations where you can move on glaciers in the middle of snow-covered crevasses. They can be used as a cane and possibly to carve some steps. They have a straight or slightly curved handle with rounded teeth. The size of the ice axe depends on the size of your ice axe, arm stretched out it should reach your ankle. As for the very curved ice axes, they are dedicated to ice climbing or very technical mountaineering.