Ice Tool and Ice Axe
An ice tool evolved from the ice axe, however it is more specialized for use in ice climbing. It is sometimes referred to as a technical axe to distinguish it from a mountaineering ice axe. For ice climbing, The climber ascends an ice fall wearing crampons attached to ice climbing boots, with two ice tools, one in each hand. The ice climber keeps his weight balanced over the point where the crampons touch the ice. Each tool is then positioned, one over the other as he ascends the ice. The ice tool penetrates the ice and provides a grip for balance.The weight of an ice tool is important. The heavier tool will penetrate ice an packed snow easier. However, heavier is not necessarily better. The weight of an ice tool must be balanced by the ability of the climber to carry and swing it for hours at a time. Large climbers may choose a larger heavier tool, while a smaller climber may pick an ice tool that is somewhat smaller.
Ice Climbing Tools
Black Diamond Reactor Ice Tool
More...Black Diamond brings incredible leashless performance to pure ice routes with the Reactor Ice Tool. Its curved upper shaft clears ice bulges and cauliflowers with ease while the Black Diamond Laser pick provides excellent penetration in bullet-hard blue. The Reactor Ice Tool's TPU-coated, staggered bottom grip allows easy matching on both ice and mixed routes with minimal pick shift, and the mini-hammer is just big enough for pounding the occasional pin in a gear-protected line.
Grivel X Monster Ice Tool
More...The Grivel X Monster is new-wave ice tool for climbers who want the advantages of leashless climbing without dropping their whole bank roll on gear. In contrast to the original Monster, which is a mixed-specific tool, the X Monster is designed primarily for ice climbing. Its multiple handle positions allow easy swinging, matching, and hooking on both ice and rock. The X Monster also has a hole in the shaft where you can clip a Grivel Liberty Leash if you'd rather be tethered to your tools than swing sans dragonnes. *Assorted colors.
Petzl Aztarex Ice Tool
More...You have been looking everywhere for a tool that climbs ice well, has a usable shaft for mountaineering and is light enough that you won't notice on your pack during a ski tour. You have been looking for the Petzl Aztarex Ice Tool. At a scant 500g you will hardly notice it on your pack. A removable GripSwitch allows leashless use or can be stored in the shaft for a cleaner profile when plunging. The weight of the Aztarex is concentrated on the head to allow better penetration and the curved shaft makes hooking easy.
Grivel Alp Monster Ice Tool
More...Building on the immense popularity of the Monster ice tools, Grivel took their design to the mountains with the Alp Monster Ice Tool. Using the same combination of a CrMo steel shaft and permanently attached hot-forged pick as the other Monster tools, this new Grivel creation is incredibly strong, weighs only 19.4oz, and is available in both 38cm and 44cm lengths. It can be used with a leash or leashless to meet your needs, whether you're using it as a third tool, as a tool for beginning ice climbers, or as a hammer to accompany your piolet up a cascade volcano. There are no rules for the Alp Monster, so make up your own.
Black Diamond Viper Ice Tool
More...The Black Diamond Viper Ice Tool delivers cutting-edge performance for ice, mixed, and alpine climbing thanks to an extremely versatile design that works with or without leashes. In addition to a detachable Fang for leashless security, the Viper includes a Strike pommel that screws into one of two shaft positions and allows easy matching for a variety of hand and glove sizes. Black Diamond built this ice tool with a hydroform shaft to increase stiffness and clearance while reducing overall weight. The Viper Ice Tool comes with either a micro-hammer or micro-adze to give you alpine-ready performance while maintaining a low profile for ultra-technical climbing.
An ice axe is used during alpine and mountaineering, or while traveling across ice, glacier or snowfields. An ice axe is often referred to as a mountaineering axe to separate and distinguish it from an ice tool. An ice axe is used to assist with the assent, to grab rock edges, cracks, and ledges. It is an invaluable device for stopping a slide or fall.
The different types of ice climbing require a different tool design. For waterfall ice climbing the most popular length is 50 centimeters. Larger climbers may be able to use a slightly larger ice tool, around 55 centimeters. Smaller climbers may use a 45 centimeter tool. Waterfall and mixed ice climbing tool should have a modular design. The modular design allows you to change the pick, hammer, and adzes when they wear out. Some tools give you the option to use either a hammer or adze attachment. For alpine climbing, the tool has a straight shaft with a leash attached to the head. The purpose of a straight shaft is to allow the tool to be pounded down into snow as a secondary anchor. Never use an ice tool as the only anchor source.