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[pct-l] What to look for in an ice axe?

What exactly should I look for when I decide to buy an ice axe?  I've heard 
that this is one area where a novice wouldn't really want the lightest thing 
available.  Most of my hiking has been done on the "Wussy Appalachian Trail" 
and I'm really looking forward to finally utilizing those loops on my pack.

Many thanks,
* From the PCT-L |  Need help? http://www.backcountry.net/faq.html  *