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[pct-l] Re: pct-l-digest V1 #298

Ken and others are starting a good thread, so as long as we're talking tech
about axes, just thought I'd note --

for all you Eastern PCT-ers, EMS is having a sale on the Stubia Tour Lite
axe, for $50.  I checked it out, and for an aluminum-headed axe, it is very
nice (and very light).  I work at a local mountain shop that is a direct
competitor of EMS, but hey, a deal is a deal.  

I plan to bring my Grivel Air Tech Racing axe on my PCT thru-hike next year.
It has served me very well for general mountaineering, snow climbs, and even
low angle ice.  It has a positive pick, a pretty droopy pick for a
mountaineering axe, and a 58cm shaft, which I find *just* long enough to be
useful when the snow gets *just* steep enough that I need it (I am 5'9")
What I like most is that it has a steel head (which I trust more than
aluminum) and it weighs 14 oz. on my scale (as opposed to the manufacturer's
scale :-)  

At $115 retail, it is pricey.  With any good axe, though, the first time you
arrest a bad fall with it, it becomes worth *every single penny*.  

What is everybody's take on aluminum-headed axes?  They sure seem to be
popular on this list, and to a PCT hiker looking for their first axe, they
certainly seem attractive -- light and cheap.


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