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Ice axe size

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Ice axe size

Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:50 pm

What ice axe size would you choose for 169 cm / 5ft 6.5in :?: It's going to be used for F to PD+ alpine routes. I'm thinking on a wrought blade's Charlet Moser...
Last edited by Diego Sahagún on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Autoxfil » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:17 am

Depending who you ask, 55cm to 70cm.

If I was 5' 6", I'd get a 65cm.
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:28 am

I'm 5ft 11.75in and use a 65 cm. I'd bet that a 5ft 6.5in climber should use a 60 cm or less.

What do you all think :?:
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:55 am

I'm 5' 6" and have a 65 cm, and a 68 cm. If the potential user is planning on 40 degree slopes, those heights are fairly good. If s/he is doing lots of low-angle glacier travel, the shorter axes will seem obnoxious. Really steep, shorter is desirable.

In "the old days" taller axes were more common. Nowadays, my main uses of an axe are self-belays (which favor a right-sized axe), and the potential for self-arrests, in which a short axe is likely better. I also use my axe to smack snow off my crampons and occasionally dig steps, when a longer axe seems more useful.

If you are taking both trekking poles and an axe, a shorter axe is OK.
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:01 am

Yep, we'll take trekking pole and ice axe each. Either I'm thinking that she'll use it for AT skiing when she knows how to skis. I'm thinking on Charlet Moser Snowalker, wich is available in 60 or 68 cm. I'd go for the short one. Wouldn't you :?:

I'm also considering Grivel Air Tech Racing SA, wich is made in 58 and 66 cm. The last is the one I have and probably would be the best choice...

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Postby Brad Marshall » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:27 am

If you're taking trekking poles how about screwing a Condor on one of them?

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Postby Diego Sahagún » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:36 am

I prefer an ice axe Brad
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:51 am

Brad Marshall wrote:If you're taking trekking poles how about screwing a Condor on one of them?

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Maybe it is still possible to get a Condor in Europe, but a year ago, I couldn't find a vendor that actually had the devices in supply.

I use a BD whippet a lot, but I'm guessing that Diego is intending on more serious stuff. The whippet is fine if you unscrew the basket for steep slopes, and shorten it, but you can't get it below about 98cm length.
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:07 am

A friend who is 5' 0" just told me she prefers a 65 cm axe. She climbed many of the high peaks in the Asian parts of the former USSR.
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Postby Sleighty » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:17 am

I've got the snowalker. Crazy light. Got the short one. Annoying as all hell on easy stuff, but bring a trekking pole for that. On anything steeper, the 60 is the way to go.
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Postby Zzyzx » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:04 am

I prefer a shorter axe. I'm 5'11'' (180 cm) and have been using using a 65 cm axe. but the new one I got is 60cm. Easier to use on steep slopes. On slopes that are not very steep I use trekking poles or a pole and an axe.
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Postby Hotoven » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:33 pm

I don't think it matters to much. As long as your not busting your back out, and using tons of energy on lifting to large of an axe up a hill. I'm 5 ft. 11.5 in. and I use a 68. I know guys with my same height who use a 65,70,75. its all personal preference.
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:24 am

Today I've given her a Charlet Moser Snowalker 60 cm. Firstly she liked it but I think she has some doubts because she hasn't had any ice axe till now:

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Last edited by Diego Sahagún on Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:41 am

Coincidences... Anyway, you seem to like short ice axes, 2.25 inches of difference to me and I use a 66 cm Grivel Air Tech. The fact is that an ice axe size depends on the climbers height and the lenght of his/her arms
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