I've used these axes in mixed conditions and on ice…
Source: borrowed it
I've used these axes in mixed conditions and on ice and found they perform very differently.
- Decent on ice
- Good aggressive bend
- Very cheap
- Don't plunge
- Uncomfortable handles
On ice they are the perfect level of aggressive and terrific for beginners as the price makes the sport a bit more accessible, and they are simple to use. Though a bit heavy, they have a good swing, and are very comfortable to hold. Grip tape on the upper handle is essential, but easily added.
The picks are very durable, and can take a great deal of abuse.
On mixed and rock these perform rather poorly. The sheet metal shaft has a habit of bending severely when attempting to torque, and stein pulls feel risky. I almost bent mine while attempting a torque move. While this is really only a problem when dry tooling it should be considered. I also felt that while they had a great swing straight into ice and snow, they were rather clumsy for placement on rock, or anything that didn't involve plunging them down. As
The heavy head, with the thin shaft felt a bit off balance compared to a quark, or a viper.
All that being said if you aren't intending to use them very much for mixed, and intend to mostly ice climb on straight forward routes they are perfect and brilliant value.