Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ice-Axe Length

Dijukno the optimal length for an ice axe depends more on how the climber wishes to use it rather than their height?

Ice axes are sized in metric units ranging in length from 40 to
90 centimeters.  The shortest axes are used for technical ice climbing.  A 60-70 cm axe used for general mountaineering is the best choice for the majority of climbers. This length offers the best compromise of balance and length for use on steep snow slopes.

Technical ice climbing axes less than 60 cm long are excellent for placements of very steep slopes; however, they are not as effective for self-arrest.  These axes with shorter shafts and specific designs offer less leverage needed for an effective self-arrest technique.  A 70 cm axe is the longest useful general purpose for ice climbing; thus,  60-70 cm axes work well in most alpine situations where climbing is on moderately steep snow slopes, and the axe is used for self-belay or self-arrest.  Longer axes are better for cross-country, scrambling, snow anchors, and for probing for cornices and crevasses.

I have this one from REI that you can currently save a great deal of money during one of their discount opportunities.

http://www.rei.com/product/782956/black-diamond-raven-pro-ice-axe


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