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  1. #1
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    Default Is there a UL ice axe?

    Recommendations? Sorry if this has been covered recently, the search function isn't working for some reason.

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    Not a true ice axe but it works for self arrest & most hikers use poles anyway. http://www.campsaver.com/whippet-sel...32_a_7cbld0147

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    C A M P Corsa ultra lite ice ax weighs about 10 ounces. I'd go a few ounces heavier and get the Black Diamond Raven. It is more heftier feeling. I want something behind the ax if I have to swing it into ice. The BD weighs 17 point something ounces and it hits good for a lite ax. The corsa is fine for light duty and self arrest. I have held both and that's just my opinion.

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    I saw that but don't think you can use it if you also use your poles as tent stakes.

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    The Camp Corsa is the lightest that I know of. Steven Evans was making a carbon fiber & titanium ice axe for a while, and he may make another, but expect to pay several hundred for it...not just a couple hundred. I have the 1st generation version.

    Don't bother with the ULA potty trowel.

    The Whippet is a good solution too. While it's heavy, it does double as a trekking pole. I think its biggest advantage is that it's already in your hand instead of attached to your pack waiting for you to finally decide to use it. It's biggest disadvantage is the lack of an adze, although it has some sort of flap that looks like it'd work like an adze with a fuller swing.

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    I'm 6' and about 150 lbs., does that impact which ice axe I should buy?

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    Probably the lightest will be the ULA Helix Potty Trowel weighing in at about 5oz. It is made of titanium and carbon fiber. I believe this is ideal for say a PCT thru hike but not for super hardcore climbing. They are not sold new anymore but I was able to get mine used on backpackinglight.com. It saved my bacon a couple of times on the PCT.

  8. #8
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    That's sound wisdom on the 'already in your hand' comment with the Whippet. I'm not real sure what application you are looking to fit for. As far your size goes I know that the BD raven comes in sizes from 50-55cm to 100cm (I think)so you should be able to fit it to the optimum size you need.

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    Not climbing, just self-arrest.

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    Whippet is removable from trecking pole when not needed. I has a steel shank that fits in it place to make regular trecking pole. It has no adz, only good for self arrest. Although I did own a set I, depending on conditions, often preferred ice axe. Chopping a few steps in frozen snow when I chose not to carry crampons or spikes offset the weight. Just depends where you are going & when.

  11. #11

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    The Suluk 46 TICA ICE TOOL R4 starts at 4.9oz

    http://www.suluk46.com/products%20%20-%20P1%20TiCa.html
    Backpacking light, feels so right.

  12. #12
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    Here's the one I bought for the PCT: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/cassin/ghost/

    I
    t's no longer made, but maybe they're available used.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    I own a whippet and a ULA Helix. For situations where I don't expect to need to self-belay or (really rare) chop steps or the like, I really like the whippet now. It saved my butt on Piegan Pass in Glacier National Park in June, and just in general I appreciated carrying it in June and into July so I never had to question which tool I should have in my hand at a given point. Downsides: Not too useful in digging a cathole. Doesn't collapse very small, it's a two-section design rather than three, which is likely stronger (good), but I found it a bit of a PITA to mail back and forth on trail this year (had to build a special box each time).

    The ULA Helix isn't worth talking about much now as I don't think anyone sells it; ULA doesn't anymore. I can self arrest with it, and carried it in the Sierras on the PCT. It's a nice choice perhaps for situations where you think it unlikely you'll need an axe, but aren't positive (and it does dig a decent cathole!).

    I also own a black diamond raven 75 cm traditional axe. Wow. In context, heavy, but I'll bring that for anticipated serious conditions (it certainly is bullet-proof), or if someone flat out makes me do so on their trip. If I were starting over, however, I'd not own this but would have a 60 cm Camp Corsa instead. I might still get one if I end up doing much with groups that require an axe and allow that one (it is a B-rated axe).
    To put that comment in context, however, I'm not much of a mountain climber, but more of a scrambler/hiker.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

  14. #14

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    Here's what I wrote on Backpackinglight: I bought one [ULA Potty Trowel "Ice Axe"] at the "kick-off" to use on the PCT. It broke when I was chopping snow to melt for drinking water. I was appalled when I looked at the broken pieces to see how weak this "ice axe" truly is. This tool makes no sense as either an ice axe or a potty trowel. I replaced it with a Camp Corsa, which, at 7.2 oz., is a REAL ice axe, not a dangerous toy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by couscous View Post
    The Suluk 46 TICA ICE TOOL R4 starts at 4.9oz

    http://www.suluk46.com/products- P1 TiCa.html
    This is the one I mentioned. I have the first version of it. I've used it extensively in just about every way I can think of except belaying with it. Some people assume that it's not as good for chopping steps because it isn't heavy enough, but I find that it's so light that the frequency of chops can be dramatically increased such that I have chopped steps at the same rate as those I've hiked with.

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    "[The TICA ICE TOOL R4] is to be used specifically in situations where ones life or safety will not be at risk." Doesn't that mean you shouldn't rely on it for self-arrest?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echraide View Post
    "[The TICA ICE TOOL R4] is to be used specifically in situations where ones life or safety will not be at risk." Doesn't that mean you shouldn't rely on it for self-arrest?
    You can read here why it is not certified and how it was designed and tested.
    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...r_ice_axe.html

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