Climbing and walking ice axes provide crucial protection when moving up and across winter or alpine terain, allowing you to progress sately on tricky ground or stop slips before they turn into something more dangerous. There are different styles of axes for different types of terrain:
Walking Ice Axes
Primarily, walking ice axes are designed to allow you to arrest a fall; they have additional benefit as a walking stick on steep and difficult ground. The pick of a walking ice axe will be slightly curved with a small number of teeth at the end to facilitate a smooth arrest in the event of a fall. The adze is designed for cutting steps in snow when ascending or descending. The length of an ice axe is measured from the top of the axe head to the tip of the spike. To choose the correct length, stand upright with the axe gripped in the hand and hanging vertically. The axe point should then be at the ankle bone. Examples of walking ice axes are the Grivel Munro and Camp XLA 210.
Mountaineering / Climbing /Technical Ice Axes
For steeper ground and more technical use, mountaineering ice axes are shorter for easier mobility with forged heads for enhanced strength. The pick has a pronounced downward curve with aggressive teeth. The curve of the pick will steepen for use on more technical terrain and the shaft will be profiled to ease placementand protect knuckles. Examples of technical ice axes include the DMM Venom and Grivel Alp Wing.