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Ice Tool and Ice Axe

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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 Axe compared to an Ice Tool

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.

Ice Tool Size and Shape

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.

Sections of an Ice Tool

Petzl Pick and Spike Protection
CAMP USA - Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Tool
Trucker's Friend All Purpose Survival Tool-Made in the USA
Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe with Grip - Anodized Light Gray
Tactical Steel Multi-function Survival Shovel and Pick Axe, Collapses Down to Just 6.5" by...
Black Diamond Viper
Survival Shovel - Folding Shovel with Pick Axe, Saw, and Fire Starter for Hiking, Camping,...
Cobra Ice Tool by Black Diamond
GRIVEL X Monster Ice Axe
Petzl Quark Ice Tool
Black Diamond Axe Protector
FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool (C1) - Tactical Entrenching Tool w/ Case for Camping...
Pagreberya Survival Shovel Kit with Multi Tools Compass Knife Saw Firestarter Screwdriver Attack...
Petzl Trigrest for Quark Nomic Ergo Ice Tool
Grivel Carbon Tech Machine Ice Tool
Petzl Linkin Leash
Adventure Mate 5 in 1 Multi Purpose Tool Includes Campers Axe, Hammer, Shovel, Saw and Peg/Pot Hook
Stubai Hornet Ice Axe - Adze
Black Diamond Slider Leash
Black Diamond Raven Ultra Ice Axe - BD Orange
Climbing Carabiner Hook Gear Multi-functional Tool Buckle Rock Lock Keychain, Multi Tool Carabiners...
Black Diamond Venom Hammer Ice Axe
Camp USA Ice Axe Head Protector
Pinty 27.6" Mountain Climbing Axe Ice Pick for Mountaineering Climbing Carving
Black Diamond Slinger Leash
Military Multifunction Folding Utility Shovel Ice Axe Hammer Handle Self-Driving Tool
Petzl Glacier Axe
GRIVEL Nepal Self-Arrest Axe with Leash
Trango Raptor Ice Tool
Ice Axe Climbing Outdoor Gear with Free Protector/Cover and Slider Leash
FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool (RS) - Tactical Entrenching Tool w/ Case for Camping...
Cassin X-Dream Ice Axe
Petzl SUM-TEC Ice Climbing Axe
Stubai Hornet Ice Tool
Grivel Light Machine Ice Axe
Petzl SUMMIT EVO ice axe 59 cm
ML TOOLS Multi-purpose Survival Tool - Made in USA - AX342
Grivel X Monster Ice Axe w/ ADZE
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