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#12581 - 04/08/11 04:10 PM Ice Axe Needed! (wanted)
monkie onmy back Offline


Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 16
Loc: venice, ca
Looking to purchase an ice axe. Im about 6'0" with long legs so I believe I am looking for a 70cm.

I am starting on this cold weather hiking thing and I am sadly lacking equipment. I welcome opinions on things I should buy new and things I can buy used.

Anyone?

Cbeers!
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#12600 - 04/08/11 09:48 PM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: monkie onmy back]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 246
Loc: SoCal
I tend to try to not buy used gear that my life may depend on. Crampons and ice axes are included in that. Also, things like carabiners, ropes, and anything else that could have been screwed with by a previous owner. But that's just me. Sitting here thinking about it, there isn't much you can do to screw with an ice axe that wouldn't be readily apparent by just inspecting it, so maybe just avoid buying a used one on eBay, or anywhere that you can't visually inspect it first.

Other than that, expect to buy crampons that will work with your boots, or boots that will work with your crampons. Find an ice axe that fits what you'll be using it for (they're all pretty similar) and that feels good in your hands. It isn't really rocket science.
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#12606 - 04/09/11 08:15 AM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: GandC]
monkie onmy back Offline


Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 16
Loc: venice, ca
Excellent points. I did think that an ice axe is particularly hard to modify and thought maybe someone out there wanted to buy a new and shiny one. I own my own boots and clothing- those are things you really can't buy sight unseen and I agree that buying something my life depends on is worth doing a little research and buying new.

Cheers!


Edited by monkie onmy back (04/09/11 08:16 AM)
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#13486 - 05/02/11 06:57 AM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: monkie onmy back]
John P. Offline


Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 52
Loc: Palmdale
I'm 6'0" also and my axe is a 70cm Petzl Snow Walker and I'm happy with it. My buddy's happy with his BD Raven (a bit cheaper I believe. Either way I don't think you could go wrong and I do agree with buying new (or used sight unseen).
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#13487 - 05/02/11 07:58 AM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: monkie onmy back]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 587
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: monkie onmy back
Looking to purchase an ice axe. Im about 6'0" with long legs so I believe I am looking for a 70cm.


Don't guess when it comes to the length. It's tough to use height as a criteria for length, as arm length is a factor.

Go to a store and cup the head of an ice axe in your hand, letting the point dangle to the floor. Wear gloves or mittens as you'll be wearing them when actually using it. The current length is an axe with about an 1" of clearance from the floor.

The length is less critical if you're only using it for self-arrest. But, if you're doing glacier travel and using it as a probe for possible crevasses, the correct length is important.

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#14206 - 05/18/11 02:28 PM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: monkie onmy back]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 246
Loc: SoCal
Several places have their ice axes and crampons on sale right now. REI has the BD Raven for $60 I believe. The same deal can be found at Moosejaw. BD Contact crampons for down around $100 at both of those places right now, too. Lots of good deals to be had now that summer approaches.
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One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#14209 - 05/18/11 03:32 PM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: GandC]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
REI's anniversary sale is on in a few days - the flyer in the mail came with a 20% off coupon for anything in the store/catalog that isn't on sale.
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#14223 - 05/18/11 08:51 PM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: Fishmonger]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 246
Loc: SoCal
Heh, yep, that's actually the sale that I meant. I keep forgetting that just because I've already received the catalog for the sale, does NOT mean that the sale is already on. Starts the 20th, goes until the 30th.
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One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#14961 - 06/09/11 03:01 PM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: KevinR]
Burchey
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: KevinR
But, if you're doing glacier travel and using it as a probe for possible crevasses, the correct length is important.


If you're probing for crevasses, it'd be nice to have a 4 foot long axe. There is really no magic length for all applications, and dudes will argue to the death about what the proper length is. I picked up a 75cm basic axe ( I'm 6'2" ) and was happy, unless I'm trying to use the pick in steep conditions. Then I'd rather be swinging my 57cm hammer. It'd be sweet to have an even longer one for crevasse probe action, easier on your back and more reach = smiles.

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#14962 - 06/09/11 03:20 PM Re: Ice Axe Needed! (wanted) [Re: ]
skicoach Offline


Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 4
Loc: So CA
I've climbed on plenty of glaciers in the alps and I never saw anyone use an ax longer than probably 75cm. The longer the heavier. Usually the snow bridges are fairly firm and if you can easily plunge a 60cm ax in, I would be pretty suspect.

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