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Topic - Ice Axes; self arrest implications of pick & shaft shapes

John Doe-Smith - on 15 May 2013
Okay. I'm new & reading "Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills", among other things, and have some questions about ice axes/tools and how the shapes of picks & handles may complicate self arrest.

"Mountaineering..." says a problem with "reverse curved" ice axe picks is that "During self-arrest, this pick grabs so well that climbers may not be able to hold on to the tool." So, my first question is:

How likely to be useless is an ice axe with a "reverse curved" pick due to it being impossible to hang on to?

Secondly, on the ice axes/tools with the really curved handles, how likely is the bottom of the really curved shaft to dig into the ice in reaction to a self arrest attempt, causing it to flip/roll up & out from under the climber, say compared to a straight handled ice axe/tool handle?
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