/ Ice Axes - a rule of desire
Cyclists have Velominati Rule #12 - "The correct number of bikes to own is n+1", where "where n is the number of bikes currently owned".
Should a similar rule apply to mountaineers for ice axes?
Or to any climbers or walkers for any other piece of kit?
As winter approaches I'm thinking that my 5 axes aren't enough!
nope, it's the number of new picks and so the formula goes n= pair, n+2! ;)
I love my nomics (old generation) and do not wish for anything else!
what have you got?
what do you find best about each of the 5 pairs?
The correct number is 5: your snazzy newest ones, a 55cm mountaineering/walking axe, a pair of chacal/barracudas that should NEVER be given/sold.
Aside from a problem with compusive puchasing of outdoor gear
2x Grivel North machine Carbon (Ice picks) and petzl trigrest's added used for pure water Ice
2x Grivel North machine Carbon (Mix picks) used for harder mixed climbing
2x Grivel Light machine (Mix picks) used for generally mixed and bashing up easy stuff
2x Petzl Sumtec for random wandering and gully bashing
1x Petzl snowracer for those days wandering when its useful to have a lightweight axe
G20 / G22 / G14 / Air tech lite crampons and Kahtoola KTS's to match the above.
How many days winter climbing do you get to do a year?! I'm well impressed you can use all of them!
Still got my barracuda and charcoal and you are correct I intend to hang on to them forever
Walking axe, my straight shafted 90s knuckle busting technical axes, my dmm Flys, yes a pair of nomics would be good and yes not going to give up my old axes
Not climbing so much these days so no leashless supertools in my cupboard- got a pair of bent shaft pyranhas and my original technical pair of straight shaft pyranhas ( and so plenty of spare picks) - Also my 1980s Mountain Technology Glencoe walking axe which I often nowadays forsake for an amazingly light Camp Corsa lightweight ski touring axe (though this is a dead loss for step cutting or the like).
I think I climbed my first route with an actual mcinnes pterodactyl from my uni club gear collection and certainly "bouldered around"with one - they are ugly and unsatisfactory in equal measure so I wouldn't collect one of those. Also used salewa golden eagles in the early days which were good: I preferred them to my mates barracudas or hypercouloirs . Also tried dmm predators which I found a wee bit unwieldy
I have a secret hankering for a classic alpine Mountain Technology axe and hammer pair ( which I'd probably never use) and also some leashless supertools...but that would be plenty.
I could satisfy that craving if it ever gets really strong, because my MT pair are largely superseded by a pair of Sum'tecs. The even more classic tool in my gear cupboard is a mid-1970s Charlet Gabarrou curved-pick axe, though it's a bit heavy by modern standards. I was very happy at various times to get rid of a McInnes-Massey metal monster, a MSR Eagle, a Stubai northwall (pick broke at 4200m...), and a pair of knuckle-bruising Terrors. But I now regret having lost my hickory Chouinard hammer and given away my cut-down 1960s wooden Stubai.
I’ve got 5. A pair of Alp Wings, a pair of X-Monsters and an old wooden shafted walking axe that someone gave me. I’m not doing as much as I used to so over the last few years I have sold a pair of Alp-Monsters and an early 90s Camp Chouinard axe, which was my first axe. I wish I still had that. I also had a pair of MT Technical Axes for a few years as well.
I managed to get a very little used Camp Golden Eagle hammer a year or two back. It's proved as good as I remember. Just need the axe now to recreate the adventures of yesteryear.
At the moment it is paired with a Cassin Extrem intermediate mountaineering axe from Oxfam in Keswick. If only I had bought its partner at the same time, sigh ....
I, too, am an ice axe addict:
Have recently been considering getting a pair of DMM Apex as an all-round Scottish workhorse axe.
> Still got my barracuda and charcoal and you are correct I intend to hang on to them forever
Still got my Terrordactyl and Vulture from the seventies. I'll never get rid of 'em - not because I'm fond of 'em but you can't GIVE 'em away!
Incidentally I still also have my two timber shafted axes (Charlet Moser and Stubai) from the sixties. Originally with straight picks both were later modified to give the seventies Chouinard style curve. Whilst being things of beauty they are also crap for climbing with. How did we manage?
I still have a pair of Terrodactyls, plus the Chacal & Barracuda that replaced them. I always envied the Chouinard classic wooden shafted ice axes but could never justify buying one at the time & now it would just be an ornament (as most of my generation, my 'all round' axe was a Snowdon mouldings 'curver', still used from time to time). And if I am allowed an ice axe to decorate the seating room wall when we move from our small Paris flat I guess it'll be the long wooden Stubai Aschenbrener that I inherited.
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