/ Ice Axe Question
About to embark on my first proper winter season and all hyped up about buying new shiney gear. I have bought a Climbing Technology alpine axe (with adze) and was hoping to use this on grade I/II stuff.
Is it a bit ambitious to try that kind of grade with one axe or should I look at buying a pair (was thinking DMM Flys)?
If this has been asked before forgive me!
Don't worry - it's a fair enough question to ask.
I have been up Scottish Grade III with some very basic and quite long shafted straight walking axes.
Ultimately it depends on the route, but the majority of grade I and IIs simply don't demand any particularly technical axes.
if you want a pair of axes i have like new mountain tech bent shaft vertiges with leashes £120 for the pair :-)
You could always get a fly hammer to complement your axe on the steeper end of grade II and then get the fly axe at a later date if you progress onto harder climbs.
I think to a certain extent it depends on whether the route is ice or mixed. Plenty of people happily do Tower Ridge with a walking axe, for example (whereas Grade III ice can have steep sections where you'll really want twin axes).
Not ambitious at all, scroll down to the axe review: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3300 That's my missus climbing a I/II on Snowdon with that axe. Having a second tool is nice though - I'll sell you the green hammer she has in the other hand for £15 plus p&p if you want - then you are good to go! :-)
(If you are genuinely interested in the hammer - more pics here: http://bitsandbobsandoddsandsods.blogspot.fi/2011/01/simond-piranha.html Will come with a hammer and adze - you can choose which to use and near new wrist loop)
And seriously, a mountaineering axe plus a hammer for the steepest bit is probably the best solution for starting out. I've climbed III/IV with that set up, and the classic axe is better for just hill walks or the walk-in/off part of the day.
All the older climbers on here, which includes me, did all there winter climbing with one axe. Later on with a bit more skill, ambition and money bought a second one in the late 70's.
So get some experience in with one axe first.
Sent you mail bout the axe
'You could always get a fly hammer to complement your axe on the steeper end of grade II and then get the fly axe at a later date if you progress onto harder climbs'
This was what I did, (although in my day the hammer was a Simond Piranha.) If you get into it you'll soon be on routes that need two tools, and two technical tools will be nicer to use, so go for a fly, (the new one that can be used leashless would be best,) as this will future proof you.
I would just get a 2nd hand one so you can get usage from now/new year.
Ive done various routes with 1 but longer term 2 is a must. Even this year I lent a spare axe to a novice friend to do Parsley Fern Gulley. Much more control and confidence overall.
See pics https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150598541998750.413239.709193749&type=1&l=b9aa8c...
One axe can be fine a lot of the time but there are also times when two will be very welcome - such as for when the snow turns to shit near the top and you still have the cornice to negotiate!
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