/ Ice Axe Question

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Whitters - on 12 Nov 2012
Hi All,

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!
Rampikino - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters:

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.

Enjoy!
koolkat - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters: grade 1 with 1 axe no problems , some people will do grade2 with 1 axe some wont ,
if you want a pair of axes i have like new mountain tech bent shaft vertiges with leashes 120 for the pair :-)
mrchewy - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters: You can get a long way with just one axe and back down again but vertical ice might just be an issue. Just learn to use the thing properly and you'll know when it's time to buy a pair.
nickcj - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters:

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.
Only a hill - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters:
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).
In reply to Whitters:
> 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

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.
Dave Perry - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters:
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.
stuart58 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:
Sent you mail bout the axe
MFB - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters: there has been some really hard stuff climbed with a single axe however it is generally safer to have 2 axes so that you have one axe planted at all times. Pair of flys would be great and not too expensive
rossn - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters: Actually it wont do you any harm to do a few I and II s with a single axe. It will help you acquire good technique. For the slightly harder routes the DMM Fly is a very good all round technical tool. Or the vertige axes someone else is offering is a good choice as well.

RN
rossn - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Perry: Yes I agree totally. I still enjoy going out occasionally with a stripped down kit and one axe on classic mountaineering routes.

RN
Exile - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters:

'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!

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.
Whitters - on 13 Nov 2012
Thanks everyone, I'll gut it out with one for the time being and pick up a pair of flys in the new year!
sdawson1 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters:
> Thanks everyone, I'll gut it out with one for the time being and pick up a pair of flys in the new year!

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...
blackcat on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to sdawson1:Hi im selling a stubai axe next week on ebay cheap,tune in,but definatly take a second axe because grade 2s can give dificultys in lean conditions and you feel much safer with 2,I sometimes carry a third on climbs in the alps in case i lose one.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Michael Gordon - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Whitters:

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!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.