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Thread: ice axe

  1. #1
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    Default ice axe

    All right I have to admit I never thought about using an ice axe for sheep/goat hunting. It sounds perfect, I use trekking poles but an ice axe gives you so many more options.
    I have a few questions though. How tall of ones are people using. I know it depends on height but I am sure people have their own preference too. Any one out there 6'3" that uses on one any opinions.
    Is there any difference in quality between the major brands?
    Are the collapsible ones any good?
    Are the ones Barneys sells the only ones to get?
    I like to do as much research as possible so you will not overwhelm me with info. I also learn from others mistakes, so if there is something you didnt like about them or a particular brand please let me know. The side of a mountain 20 miles in is not the place to find a defect in item I carry.
    Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.

  2. #2
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    i've got the 100cm one from barneys they have a 110 cm which would probably fit you fine, i'm five eight so that would be too long for me. it was the best 90 bucks i ever spent, great tool, its a walking axe, not an ice axe, the head and pick are not steel and they'll bend if you treat them like steel, ie..hammering on ice...dirt and stuff they are great. I had a really hard time finding longer ones, but the barney one has been a great investment over the last three years.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Do you know what the head is made out of? Aluminum?
    I am not into ice climbing so it should not be a big deal. Do they come with a wrist strap and are they useful?

  4. #4
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Thumbs up get one!

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    i've got the 100cm one from barneys they have a 110 cm which would probably fit you fine, i'm five eight so that would be too long for me. it was the best 90 bucks i ever spent, great tool, its a walking axe, not an ice axe, the head and pick are not steel and they'll bend if you treat them like steel, ie..hammering on ice...dirt and stuff they are great. I had a really hard time finding longer ones, but the barney one has been a great investment over the last three years.
    Ditto what BRWNBR says. I am 6'6" and use the longest one Barneys sells. I feel naked without it in the hills. I have used it to prop my pack up, as a shooting rest, stake the tent out, clear a tent space, knock devils club down... I have used a treking pole, but the axe fits MY needs better. The handle is aluminum but not either of the ends. I am not sure what metal they are composed of .
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  5. #5

    Default Petzl

    I just recently purchased the Petzl Snowscopic from Barney's. Have used it three times so far climbing up a nearby mountain. It's lightweight and comfortable. I wish it was a little longer. I am used to my trekking pole that is a little longer, but maybe it will just take some getting used to. Overall so far I am impressed.

  6. #6
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Question walking axe

    Barney's list a 90 cm and a 100 cm, do you know if they used to have a 110?

  7. #7
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    Default barneys

    The snowscopic is up to 105 cm, the sheep hunters axe is available up to 100 cm.
    Does any one know who sells any longer ones?

  8. #8

    Default Ice axe or walking stick?

    If you will be traveling on steep snow fields and using it like an ice axe, you should get a 70cm length. Anything longer than that is too unwieldy when doing ice axe arrest or self belaying on steep snow. If you will not be on steep terrain then the 90cm+ would be fine, but then why would you need an ice axe?

  9. #9
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    Default AKclimber

    Your right I will be using it more as a walking stick but would also like the benefits of an axe.
    I played around with a 100cm stick today and it looks like that length will work great.
    Akclimber: I would love to get into mountaineering. I dont think I would do much rock climbing but would really enjoy some more techincal climbing. I dont get into Anchorage much would maybe PM me with groups or training I might look into. Thanks
    Anyone else with ideas on ice axe's. Good and bad. Still researching.

  10. #10
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    A whippet comes to mind
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default SMC Ice Axe for Mountain Hunting

    Mine is made by SMC (Seattle Manufacturing Corporation), and it has served well for many years. The head and the point are both made of hard chrome-moly steel and are very rugged. I've used the axe end to chop steps in packed scree slopes, and the pick end as an overhead assist in steep terrain. It's a great tool.

    I'm not a technical climber, but I believe you want the longer shaft; this is not something you'd normally use for ice climbing. It's more of a walking stick, and provides excellent stability when crossing streams and such.

    I would recommend taking it to a climbing store like Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking in Anchorage and having them rig it up with a webbing loop / wrist leash. Kinda hard to explain, but properly rigged it allows you to swing the thing overhead and pull yourself up without your hand slipping off the end of the thing. HERE'S A PICTURE of what I'm describing (scroll down to the image labeled, "Black Diamond Ice Axe Slider Leash", except in the image you want the lower loop around the shaft of the ice axe. This keeps your hand from sliding off. AMH can rig you one out of tubular webbing.

    You should have no problem finding one that matches your fuselage size and wingspan. I've seen them up to 75cm (almost 30 inches). Ideally if you have ahold of the base of the head, the point should be just off the floor on level ground. Otherwise you're reaching way up on an incline.

    Best of luck!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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  12. #12

    Default choosing the right tool ...

    I have been trying to research the ice axe and axe/trekking pole concept for a few weeks now ... but I am having some trouble finding safety ratings for some of the tools ... does anyone know a source???

    I am interested in the BD Raven Ice Axe Pro, Petzyl Snowscopic and the BD Whippet ...

    I just want to make sure there is enough margin for error should I have a real self arrest situation ... I dont want my big carcass sliding down a hill looking at a broken off top of a wanna be multi use tool when I should have bought the specialized tool instead ...

  13. #13

    Default Anchorage climbing links

    fishlakehome: here are some places in Anchorage for finding partners, learning about classes, etc in Anchorage:
    alaskamountainforum.com
    or the mountaineering club of alaska:http://www.mcak.org/

    HMT: All the ice axes you describe are CE certified, so the safety rating is going to depend on your ability to self arrest with them.

    The best ice axe for self arrest is a 60cm mountaineering axe. The whippet that powder_monkey showed is made for skiers and a very poor substitute for an ice axe.
    Having said that if you find yourself crossing a steep snowfield use a self belay technique where you plunge the ice axe shaft in the snow, make a couple of steps and then move the axe. Do not try to move with your axe out of the snow as if you slip, you won't just stop. Once you start sliding, especially on neve snow, you will reach "terminal" velocity fast and then self arrest is difficult at best.
    Once you buy an ice axe, find a steep snow slope with a nice, safe runout and practice stopping yourself. You can either have someone show you how, or just get the basics from Mountaineering, freedom of the hills, or the web.

  14. #14

    Default ...

    thanks akclimber ... I suspected this is one of those times where trying to combine too much into one tool does not equate to the specialized tools combined ...

    appreciate the input ...

    I already have good trekking poles ... might as well get a good dedicated Ice Axe ... I've had good success with BD equipment in the past so I think I'll get the Raven Pro ... usually can find one for about $75 w/ free shipping ...

  15. #15
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    Default go long

    It's been my experience that a longer ice axe for sheep hunting is better then one that is too short. You should personally try out the 100cm and the 110cm on level ground (in the store) and purchase the one that feels more comfortable for a walking stick. If it's too short you'll either be slightly bent over while using it for a walking stick, or you just won't use it much, and there's no sence in packing extra weight! Buy one, they are more versitile then treking poles. It's money well spent once you get used to it.

  16. #16
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    Default Thanks everyone

    Thank you to all for the great info. I've decided the 100 cm will probably work the best for my needs.
    AKclimber thanks for the link, looks like a great place to start.
    Thanks again.

  17. #17
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    good choice you won't regret it! if you do, sell it in the classifieds on here, someone will pick it up...or i will just email me. lol
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  18. #18
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    Question

    i think a 3 section walking stick would work best. anyone have one with 3 sections?

  19. #19
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    Default I picked up

    I just picked up a 100cm Capra Ice Axe from SMC. I ordered it factory direct. It was only $80+8 for shipping to Alaska. I borrowed one similiar to it a few years ago and loved its usefullness. I finally traded in the trekking poles!

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