/ Ice Axes on trains
In my view having anything resembling an ice axe ANYWHERE in public is just asking for trouble. Cover it up.
either cover them up or hide them away , dont risk the potential agro of been asked to leave . i know of numerous episodes whe people have had bad luck stories , i also know that some people have got away with it ,
Tend to always get away with it, but get a cheap rucksack waterproof cover to chuck over just incase anyone moans
I've carried a metre long ice axe on a train, completely uncovered, on many occasions without any trouble whatsoever.
I usually take the train to the hills as I don't drive and have never had any issues. Ice axe is always on the outside of my pack but the blade and spike are usually covered with one of those Grivel rubber thingys, except when I lose them.
If you take the train north from Edinburgh or Glasgow in winter you almost always see people with ice axes on their bags - never even thought of it as being an 'issue'.
Carried them on trains many time. On the outside of my bag, unshielded and on show. Both on services to/from the highlands (where maybe it seems legit) and also on Glasgow suburban services to a meet-up point for a lift up north (where perhaps the reasons are less obvious). No-one has ever batted an eyelid (well except for an absolutely steaming falkirk fan on the 0640 Queen St to Inverness one saturday morn who started screeming attack, attack, attack...)
I've also carried them around the streets to/from stations, and for that matter to the pub to lend to a mate. Again no problems. I assume they are covered by the same laws as knives- i.e. it is legal to carry them with good reason, which you have.
I often travel on the tube with them on the back of my rucksack - no complaints yet!
I'm soooooooo confused.
Never had a problem carrying ice axes on the outside of my pack on the train in Scotland during winter.
Never had any problem walking to and from the station either.
I have never had any big problems with axes*, but I more or less stopped using the trains just before privatisation when the fares started to take off. I would now make sure all sharps were covered, only to reassure other passengers that their luggage is safe.
There are occasionally airport style metal searches at Glasgow stations, presumably ned oriented. I would be a bit worried if I encountered one of those with winter gear, but I expect being Scotland, a polite talking myself out of it would be easy.
* just lectures on what would happen to me "if the mist came down".
I did what the OP should have done.
I asked BTP.
- regularly have people travelling on trains with Ice Axes
- never been any complaints or issues
- it is NOT an offence
- should NOT be refused travel
- an offensive weapon is something that is made, intended or adapted for causing injury to another so unless he 'intends' to use it as such there is no problem
I have wandered in and around Birmingham New Street - hardly an outdoor mecca - with iceaxe stowed outside many times with no interest whatsoever from BTP. The only thing I would advise is to get a protector for the tips to avoid damaging seatbacks, escalators, etc.
First off, you have quoted a law that does not define what an offensive weapon is.
Secondly, Jim was talking about Scotland. Here in the People's Republic of Scotland the relevant law is the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995. This defines an offensive weapon thus:
“offensive weapon” means any article—
(a)made or adapted for use for causing injury to a person, or
(b)intended, by the person having the article, for use for causing injury to a person
However, In Scotland there is a separate offence of having an article with a blade or point in a public place. An ice axe is an article with a point (and so is a knitting needle or a tent peg). Here the law says "It shall be a defence for a person ... to show that the person had a reasonable excuse or lawful authority for having the article with him in the public place.
Going mountaineering in the winter is a reasonable excuse for having pointy things.
Finally, of course, any number of items can cause damage or harm through neglect: a lit candle, a broken bottle that was not cleared away, a tack on the floor round a swimming pool... If you caused harm or injury through neglect you would face the law, but the law you would face would not by default be the law pertaining to offensive weapons.
The only thing I'd say is-- on the train, don't carry them strapped to the outside of your rucksack. You don't need to, and when you turn around if you're standing in the aisle, the picks are going to be alarmingly close to sitting passengers' eyes.
I used to make people flinch on trains this way, then I cottoned on, apologised, and stopped doing it.
Absolutely, at the very least wrap the picks, adze and ferrule in something padded (or get the rubber pick covers) and make sure they are properly strapped down on your sack. There's precious little space on luggage racks on trains, and whilst you know there's a sharp axe on the back of your sack, the other passengers won't when they are shoving their luggage onto the rack. Its just good manners.
The only train I have experience of that they 'officially' won't let you on with them is the one up Cairngorm.
When stopped I said I would put it in my bag and they still refused...........can you imagine that happening in Chamonix?
So did anyone read the original post and the ordinary protective measures that the OP intends to take to prevent accidental damage or harm?
It doesn't sound like it.
This is a 'mens rea' issue. A sauce pan can be an offensive weapon and a knife can be a simple inoffensive tool. Get a grip.
If your sack has side compression straps, I would stick the axe behind them, right way up. Using the axe holding loop on the back of the sack usually results in a long axe axe flailing around at other passengers and vulnerable upholstery, completely out of your sight, as you negotiate the carriage. Even if wrapped, it could give someone a nasty clunk or catch on other bags or seating.
No legal problem with an axe carried by train, but use your common sense to avoid potential aggro/accidental damage or injury.
Elsewhere on the site
This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are... Read more
With four photos in this week's top ten, and a UKC gallery of stunning images we thought it was time we had a chat with... Read more
Steve Dunning has made what is likely the tenth ascent of The New Statesman, the classic and bold gritstone arete at the Cow... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
This years ROCfest will be slightly different. We've decided to run a Climbing Festival, not just a competition! Over... Read more
Climbing Technology’s range of winter hardware continues to grow and for winter 2014 they have a crampon in the range to... Read more