Chouinard Equipment Blue Composite Shaft Ice Axe w/Curved Pick
Price Paid: $90 USD approx.
Last of a series of 4 ice tools, on a "30+ year test".
This one lasted longer then the Co did! Sorry Yvon, me without a "smart remark somewhere in the short series" would scare others... (besides, the incident was nothing to do with you or your co anyway... legalese word games.... my opinion anyway...)
In this 30+ year test drive, touched on the Simond Chacal, MacInnes-Peck Terrordactyl, and the Forest Moljner. This leaves the High Quality Pretty Blue Chouinard Ice Axe (did it make up for the "smart remark?").
Mine is a "medium length" so it could cross over between Alpine Axe and Ice Tool. The curved tip holds an edge well and is easy to use for any level of climber. Makes a great glissading axe! Right length to have the pick clear one's chest/torso/pain infliction points and the curved pick is better than the Stubai Aschenbrenner Axe for stopping.
Aschenbrenner, if you built up enough speed (not that you are supposed to build up a lot of speed before trying to stop...) would start to slow you then, pop a bit slowing the deceleration process (distance is important when the rocks/point things are getting closer quickly). Slower speeds were not a problem for the Aschenbrenner but in a different league than the Blue Chouinard Axe.
Have run glissading classes with both though, and passed them around. Newer tools don't seem to behave any different.
Adze is reasonable to work if you choose to chop steps, not that I would want to do such a thing. Have done for a few classes folks to get them the "hang of it" then review Frech Technique an Front Point. Alternating to not to be worn out with one or the other, and steps if one is up for tedium.
Quality and durability, another "helmet off" for such a piece of work. Tried and tested for 30+
Last few years, have been "light use" but all will be put to the test as my son wants to give it a go this winter. Back to the gym for me and another seasonal prep for the tools... that is another plus for each of the "magic 4" - not much prep needed. If properly stowed, is a grab'n go.
Reliability - simple and always there... at the ready (a touch of the "KISS" principle)
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