Petzl Summit 2
Historic Range: $149.95-$150.00
Best in class ice axe for all around mountaineering use. Pick up a Quark Trigger Rest to make the perfect all round axe.
- Hand grip "a piolet"
- Probing ability
- Moderately expensive
The Summit 2 took the comfortable stainless steel head from its predecessor but removed all the superfluous rubber, shedding half its weight. At a impressive 400g for the 66cm it works tremendously well.
Self arrests feel natural compared to the BD Raven as you don't have to alter your grip on the head, and I find when holding a fall feels more stable than with the Raven.
For climbing it has a solid swing thanks to the weight being all in the head. The pick bites ice well, and doesn't pop out as easily as similar ice aces (I'm looking at you, Ravens). The grip is not quite as good as models with rubber handles, but curiously enough the trigger rest from the Quark, which you can buy on its own, is a perfect fit on the shaft.
I find with the grip on the base it climbs way better than rubber handles, and I can move it out of the way when I want to probe for crevasses. My old DMM Cirque's rubber handle used to probe poorly, and get snow stuck on the rubber handle in comparison.
I have used it with the Linkin Leash, which I really like for its simplicity, and its knack for staying out of the way when you don't want it. It's comfy to climb ice with too, though impractical compared to the trig rest for rocky terrain.
This is an awesome ice axe and I recommend it highly.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"