Fred Spicker wrote:The down side to having your ax secured to your body is that if you lose control of the ax and start to tumble you have a fair chance of being cut, stabbed,.....
Well that may be true but you still have a chance to grab it and self-arrest (that's my experience), but if not, you are dead anyway; unless, lucky, but then I would not mind to have a few cuts from my ax. However, this philosophy is based on individual's perception and preference combined with (a specific) experience. You never know till something happens.
Ben B. wrote:All this is pretty off-topic, though- this guy didn't have an ax with him to begin with... just a trekking pole.
I knew a person who climbed with the ski pole with a small ax on a top (not sure how it's called). Unfortunately, he slipped on ice and self arrest with that toy did not work. And that happened not too long after we were having similar discussion.
My philosophy is "expect the worst..." but still mountains teach me new lessons. Sometimes I think such discussions are pointless or even "dangerous" and I'm not superstitious.