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[pct-l] Source for Light Ice Axes
After searching for a month, I finally bought an all aluminium ice ax. It
is a KONG 80cm , weighs l7 ounces (including the wrist leash and 3 little
protectors for the adze, pick, and spike), and it is UIAA and CE approved
as a Basis Level ice ax ( the "B" that is on the Ice Ax). this means it is
safe to do a boot-ax belay, or put a sling on it and bury it in the snow as
an anchor. It was last years model and was on sale for almost half price
at $40. My trekking poles cost more apiece.
The sale is at Climb Axe, LTD. in Portland,Ore (phone is 503-236-9553). the
KONG in 80 and 85 cm. lengths is on sale. He also has Grivel Air tech, and
the Cassin Dragonfly ice axes, I believe he is now the only distributor in
the U> S> that carries the Dragonfly. Cassin was bought out by CAMP, and
although It was listed in the Marmot Mountain Works Catalog, they do not
actually carry it. The Grivel was not UIAA approved as a Basic ice ax, and
it came in lengths that were either too short or too long (I wanted an 80
cm ax), but the Grivel Air Tech Racing is lighter(listed as 12 ounces,
without anything like a leash, protector,or coating at the base to protect
the shaft from "rock injury").
I plan to use an Ice Ax and a trekking pole together on my thru hike. I
have used both separately, but not together. They require different body
mechnaics to use for walking support, and I am hoping that will be an
advantage because it will give me flexibility depending on the slope, and
some variability on how I use body mechanics. At any rate, I have found
that either one separately helps my knees, especially on the downhill.
Because the spike on the KONG is aluminium, I intend putting a small
hardened steel point over the spike so that it will last a while longer.
I have no affiliation to Climb Ax LTD. I just spent hours trying to find
sources for lightweight ice axes.
If you are interested, there are 2 other axes you might check out: The
Stubai Tourlite, and ;the Stubai Tourlite Telescoping (which has a trek
pole extension on the bottom that can increase the ax length from 60-90
cm.), and the Advanced Base Camp (ABC) Massif, which is comparable to the
KONG ax in that it is UIAA approved and weighs about the same. You might
find these at Adventure Gear ( http://www.ewalker.com/adgear/climb.htm )
and Northern Mountain Supply (1-800-878-358) and the Mountain Zone
Climb your own climb, hike your own hike, select your own ax. Be in charge
of your own saftey! No one can do an ice ax arrest for you. Having an Ice
Ax does not mean that you know how to use it. But if you have to do an ice
ax arrest, you have to have an ice ax........
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