To climb the tallest peaks in the world like Shasta, Raineir or Olympus or to get an early season hike on the Pacific Crest trail, you might want to consider adding an ice axe to your list of things to bring. The ice axe is a such a cool looking instrument but it also helps you to anchor you on steep slopes, arrest your fall if need be or carve your steps. The ice ax is vital for your safety if you plan on climbing or hiking during the winter months and is easy to learn how to use with proper instruction. Getting this skill is really important if you plan stay safe.
There are different ice axes out there for purchase and if you are new to climbing or hiking, you should understand the difference. A technical ice axe is used primarily for climbing ice at high angles. They are shorter than a regular ice axe and usually have picks that are at more of an angle. You should always have a leash for these so you don’t lose them.
In this case, we are going to be reviewing some of the more basic ice axes and what makes them more basic is that they are longer and more geared toward being a tool for safety and balance while descending or walking up steep slopes. Now you just have to determine which one is best for you.
Below is a list of some of the best and highest rated ice axes for 2019 so we hope this gets you heading in the right direction if you are going to make the purchase soon.
Grivel G Zero Ice Axe
To start us off here, lets talk about the Grivel G Zero Ice Axe. This ice axe comes in a 74cm length and runs around $65 dollars. This is a more of a budget ice axe but works great and is rated highly for a reason. For the beginner that is looking for something that is affordable and does the job, give the Grivel G Zero Ice Axe a shot. It is extremely durable and can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you need to get a grip or catch your balance, this ice axe is a great option for you.
– One piece head that offers all-out strength and is lightweight
– Classical neutral with ergonomic design
– Blade cover is ergonomic, insulated and removeable.
Camp Neve Ice Axe – 73 cm
The Camp Neve Ice Axe is next on our list at around $67. This is a great all-around ice axe that will do the job whether you are climbing up a steep hill or just want a companion while you are hiking. This ice axe is elegant and sleek and has a forged steel pick that has been built to give you aggressive and quick self-arrests while offering solid placements in the hard snow.
– Great for general mountaineering
– Has adze and forged chromoly steel pick
– Carabiner holes at spike and head
– Plunge smoothly with symmetric steel spike
– Comes with sliding leash
Omega Pacific Mountain Axe
As we move down the list of highly rated ice axes, we come onto the Omega Pacific Mountain Axe. This is the old style ice axe without any of the bell and whistles but does a fantastic job. The pick is nicely designed and strong, while the adze is sharp. If you aren’t doing any K2’s, you will be fine with this ice axe. It is easy to cane with, stops slides, holds up well and penetrates frozen surfaces with no problems. Some say the handle is a little smooth but it is nothing that a little anti-slip tape can’t take care of.
– Handle is made of Aluminum
– Head is made of 4130 CrMo
– The weight is 22 ounces
– 60 cm long
Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe with Grip
Now we get into the higher grade ice axes and we will start with the Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe with Grip. This ice axe comes in at around $100 and it is worth every penny. This ice axe has been tested all over the world and for general mountaineering, it is fantastic. It is also great for self-arresting. The grip holds up well and if you are in the beginning stages of your hiking and climbing career, you can’t go wrong with Black Diamond products. We’ve talked to may people that say this ice axe holds up so do yourself a favor and go with this ice axe if you want an affordable option that could potentially save your life.
– One-piece stainless steel head that has a big hole for a biner – Investment-cast
– Pick’s teeth and curve made for a solid self-arrest
– Sturdy, aircraft grade aluminum shaft
– Dual-density molded grip that is very comfortable
– Cen-b Certified
Petzl – GLACIER, Lightweight Performance Ice Axe
Petzl is known for their high quality products and they didn’t miss with the Glacier, Lightweight Performance Ice Axe. The key is that this ice axe is really light and durable which is what you are looking for when shopping for an ice axe. It is great for self-arrest and it is long enough for self-belay. For around $100 dollars you are getting an ice axe that is an all around great piece of equipment that is great for hiking the trail or traversing snowy and steep terrain
– Great anchoring qualities in both ice and hard snow. High-quality steel adze and pick.
– Spike and head are both equipped with holes for clipping a sling or biner.
– Rugged, sturdy, anodized 7075 aluminum shaft.
– The handle is cut into shaft for improved performance when you are using it on technical ice.
– You also get a leash with this ice axe
We hope you enjoyed our list of highly rated ice axes for 2019. Good luck in your travels!