/ Best first ice axe to get to use in uk.
A popular versatile pair of axes for general climbing/walking/mountaineering in the UK is the DMM Fly.
Depends what you want them for - mostly walking/easy climbing? Harder climbing?
What's your budget?
Depends what you want to use them for. What you thinking of doin with them. Easy gullies, ice, mixed?
If your looking to get 2nd hand, which some do as a starter, let me know as I have a set of DMM flys that im putting on ukc later for sale.
And a bit of ice
Personally I'd go for leashless axes (ie curved axes with a clip in point for lanyards on the pommel, a lower grip rest and possibly an upper grip rest), ideally you want something like the new Vipers or quarks, however previous gen axes that have been modded for leashless will also be fine.
I think the new Vipers are more robust than the new quarks, specifically there are durability issues with the upper grip rest on the new quarks.
Buying second hand has advantages that the axes are more likely to retain value than buying new in case you don't really get in to winter climbing.
I started winter climbing last year on borrowed axes and purchased a set of Grivel Matrix Light from Go Outdoors for £160 recently. They still have them at £90 each and I'm sure you could find a 10% off flyer somewhere.
They're similar to the DMM Fly, so ideal for up to at least grade V I reckon. Not as technical as Vipers or Quarks, but would be better for use when walking/traversing.
IMO the axes recommended so far are a bit over the top for what you seem to be thinking of, with perhaps the exception of the Flys.
For low grade gullies the DMM Raptors might be more suited (you can always switch to the Fly picks if you plan on anything steeper).
I disagree - If the OP wants to climb ice not just grade 1 gullies. I don't see the point in buying a DMM Raptor to just need more axes yet again in a year or so. Personally I wouldn't buy a walking or Alpine axe unless either I intended to go to the Alps in summer OR I was intending to do a lot of winter walking.
When I started out I went straight for quarks, didn't buy any more axes for many years, never regretted it!
Personally I would advise the OP only buy axes with geometry similar to the grivel matrix light or DMM fly second hand, as he will probably want to sell them in a few years anyway and upgrade to something better suited to leashless climbing.
The OP needs axes that are suitable for what he'll be doing now, not what he might progress to later; out and out technical axes are fantastic for steep ice/mixed but are not ideal for easier stuff.
Personally if I were doing a lot of winter stuff these days I'd want both.
If he can get 2nd hand great,
I don't think easy climbs are really any harder with tech axes. Better to future proof your self and get axes that will last for the long haul than keep spending money upgrading axes.
I'm a firm believer in making the hard ground easier rather than making the already easy ground easier (at the expense of making the harder ground even harder)
I have a pair of DMM Flys that I am going to sell - never used and bought from brand new. I am selling them for £150 for the pair - let me know if you're interested?
PS Am getting rid of them because I didn't know that a trapped nerve in my back would develop into Raynauds' Syndrome!! :-(
I agree. I've got a collection of about 20 axes accumulated over the years from Stubai Aschenbrener (spelling might be off) to Terry's to Dmm Flys. But I recently bought the new Fly to replace my old ones and then realised that if I'd bought Raptors and Fly picks I would effectively have both for the price of the Fly (if you see where I'm coming from). So I think your idea gives scope for progression and Raptor is a good axe if you end up in the alps or for general mountaineering.
To be honest, I found that the more technical quarks were better at doing easier climbing, alpine stuff, walking stuff than the less technical flys, which is why i sold the flys.
However the quarks are on the expensive side, the grivel matrix lights are excellent all round axes though and probably on the cheaper side.
There is one substantial flaw that makes the DMM flys poor for easier angled routes.
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