The finer points of Ice Axes...

3:29 p.m. on September 12, 2014 (EDT)
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I'm gonna get into ice climbing this winter...done a bit of general mountaineering in the past, and now that I'll be in the UP for the foreseeable future, I know the ice routes at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Grand Island will be calling my name...as will the Eben Ice Caves.

So I'm looking for a set of axes good for both vertical water ice climbing and overhanging mixed route stuff. I'm leaning towards the CAMP/Cassin X-All Mountain mostly because of reviews I read and the things I like about my CAMP X-Class axe.

I've been rock climbing/bouldering overhanging sandstone for years now, so I have the strength and motivation to do stupid things while hanging upside-down with sharp things in my hands...so should I be looking at a Petzl Ergo or Grivel X Monster?

I mention the Ergo specifically because I've used them a few times for indoor, 45-degree, dry-tooling-type stuff, and I can't imagine anything better for that...but will Ergos or the like be suitable for vertical ice? I tend to think not...

Which brings me back to the X-all Mountain...I welcome your complete destruction of my thought process; any input you have is welcomed.

5:46 p.m. on September 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Ended up going with the CAMP X-All Mountain...we'll see...

10:20 a.m. on September 28, 2014 (EDT)
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I've used a couple different kinds of ice picks and ice tools. I ended up with black diamond reactor leash less tools. They are a bit heavier than some but it gives you good weight for your sticks. I honestly think other than weight, most tools are so darn similar to others, that no one other than an expert can tell the difference. There are some specialty tools that are thinner and weigh less that are meant for mixed climbing where they would be used for dry tooling a lot, but other than those, most are so similar in terms of ergonomics, weight, etc.

Good luck this winter! I love it, and I'm actually building an ice climbing wall in my backyard for quick easy practice.

10:25 a.m. on September 28, 2014 (EDT)
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Practice, practice.

8:44 p.m. on September 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Thanks guys...I'm gonna get a wall set up soon...Let's hope for a good ol' yooper winter!!

October 23, 2019
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