/ Buying ice axes at Go Outdoors

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Flash - on 22 Aug 2012
I nipped into Go Outdoors at lunchtime today, and had a quick browse of their collection of ice axes. While I was idly browsing, the guy stacking the shelves pottered over and warned me that if I wanted a 'serious' ice axe I would need to buy a pair, as he wasn't allowed to sell me just one.
He said I could buy a single walking axe - I think this rule only came into effect if there was the option of adze or hammer (so you had to buy one of each).

I pointed out that this was a crazy rule, but he was insistent - has anyone else come across this before?
Richard Alderton - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Flash:

It's up to them to make up whichever silly rules they like. Possibly, turnover of axes at GO is not fast enough for them to risk being stuck with just a hammer.

Probably a very good reason to buy from a proper climbing shop.
David G White - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Flash: Sheffield GO Outdoors have sold them as singles in the past.
Darkskys - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Flash: The Stockport branch sell them seperately too, which one did you go through?
Fraser on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Flash:
> .... the option of adze or hammer (so you had to buy one of each).
>
As someone who's never done winter climbing, can I ask what the difference is? I had always assumed that the axe in each hand would be the same or maybe handed I suppose. Is the "non-pointy side" (technical term, I know) where the variety is?
almost sane - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Fraser:
Yes, the non-pointy side is where the difference is. Unless you are doing pure ice climbing, in which case there may be only the pointy side, for example the Grivel Quantum Race http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-U3nBIXcd-c4/TzoNmXr0AbI/AAAAAAAAAoQ/4jDvKgvPiC8/s1600/P1010069.jpg

But for most climbing, you have an adze on one tool and a hammer on the other.
Both of these can be used for mixed climbing where you place them into a crack, often torquing the tool to provide secure grip. The different head shapes give you more options for placements.
But the main difference is you can use the hammer as a hammer, usually for bashing gear in. This may be the pick of your other tool (or a warthog or a bulldog) into frozen turf, or a nut into a crack and you want to make sure there is no ice, or perhaps you are hammering a peg in.
You use the adze as an adze primarily for digging. This may be to dig a trench for planting an axe for a belay anchor, or to clear snow off the rock to use rock pro, or to dig a bucket seat belay, or to dig a wee shelter into the side of a snowbank so you can eat your lunch out of the wind. You can sometimes use the adze as a climbing tool when you are ascending snow that is too soft to take a pick, but this can be scary (because the snow is often dodgy when you need to do this...)

Hope this helps.

Oh, and http://www.needlesports.com/imagecache/d5a5042f-3477-429d-8228-9f9900e76501_720x720.jpg shows a pair of ice tools with the adze tool above the hammer.
Fraser on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to almost sane:

Aaaah! That's the sound of the penny dropping, thank you. The things one learns on this site!

Not sure what it is that Spock's holding in the first photo, but it looks pretty gnarly!
hokkyokusei - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Flash:

If they're priced as a pair, fair enough. If they're priced individually, he's talking out of his arse. At my local GoOutdoors, Pudsey, they're priced individually. Last time I was there anyway!
andic - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Flash:

Don't worry they dont carry serious axes anyway pop in tomorrow and tell him that :-)
hokkyokusei - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to hokkyokusei:

P.S. They sell them singly on the web site too.
Blue Straggler - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Flash:

He was wrong. I bought THREE in Go Outdoors once. I am not joking.
They price them individually so they have to let you buy individually.
andic - on 22 Aug 2012
Blue Straggler - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to andic:

Very good, but I already had one, so I was in fact bringing the total up to four.

I am amazed that he held it together until the end!
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Flash - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Flash:

@Richard Alderton, For one axe, they had about 4 with an adze and one with a hammer - so not much risk of them being left with just a hammer.

*Wait, they must have had 5 adze to 1 hammer - otherwise they've got an odd number and the universe ends*

@Darkskys, Basingstoke - I know, my own fault for living so far South...

Sounds like he's talking out of his bum then.
I did kind of fancy a (single) Grivel Airtec, but as that's a serious axe I might have to go buy a punter axe from somewhere else :)



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