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Coldfinger

Axe Length

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Howdy, have a pair of Grivel Matrix tools, looking for a good axe for snow, glacier, etc. and am abandoning the old straight shaft designs. According to the old logic, I have used a 65cm axe, wondering what length would be best in a modern curved shaft ice axe, looking at either the Petzl Summit, or the Grivel Racing or Evolution. Thanks!

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wouldn't the logic of length be the same for either straight or slightly curved shaft? (as far as length goes) I would think that the terrain and personal height dictates the "right" length of mountain axes. But I don't own a slightly curved mtn axe so I may be missing something.

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My thoughts -

 

Get a short axe, like 55 cm or shorter. Stay in balance while you are on low angle terrain. You don't need to plunge the shaft with every step. It's only wasting energy. When it gets steep enough (you will know) plunge the shaft in for balance.

 

BTW - I'm 6'3"

Edited by fenderfour

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Thant's what I'm thinking, poles better for most easy slopes, especially at altitude, just want the thing for plunging in steep snow (doing that saved my life two years ago!), self arrest, steeper climbing and anchors.

 

Got two short alpine tools but have been told they tend to rotate when used in snow and loaded.

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My thoughts -

 

Get a short axe, like 55 cm or shorter. Stay in balance while you are on low angle terrain. You don't need to plunge the shaft with every step. It's only wasting energy. When it gets steep enough (you will know) plunge the shaft in for balance.

 

BTW - I'm 6'3"

 

+1

 

I like the Petzl Sum'tec for this sort of stuff. Nice and light, and you can do a lot with it.

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I mess with a wide variation of skill levels. Here's what I find find from helpin dem.

1)Use the conventional wisdom for fitting length.

2)If your fairly new or exploring new terrain a little longer add confidence.

3)If you actually have some skills and can walk off angle and maintain balance shorter is more versatile.

4)Curved ahaft works quite well at the same length. Although you need to use a different arm motion to plunge, wobbling out the hole by awkward motion does nobody any good.

 

Bottom line is you need to be real about your own skills and where you are going to be going.

 

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