What axe's do people use for winter climbing? particularly mixed and difficult scrambles
This may help: http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Winter-Climbing-Equipment/Ice-Axes
I bought one of the Alpine Tour axes last year - the spike fell out on the first use!
It was replaced immediately and I was promised that it has never happened before, but I have yet to use the replacement in anger...
> It was replaced immediately and I was promised that it has never happened before, but I have yet to use the replacement in anger...
Things like that are a real bugger but do happen occasionally. If it makes you feel any better, I reviewed one for UKC and had no problems with it at all: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3300 (scroll down).
I'm not sure what you mean by this, but easy mixed/difficult scrambles might be grade I and II or II/III mixed routes? In which case you will probably find a mountaineering/walking axe paired with any type of ice tool with a hammer will do you fine, as opposed to two matched tools. You'll spend a lot of the day just using the walking axe on it own on easier ground, hence a mountaineering axe does this better than half a pair of ice tools.
Get yourself a nice axe with a decent head and then whatever second tool you can find for a bargain.
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