Ice axes are an important part of your alpine mountain sports equipment and are used for multiple different purposes. They offer support when crossing snow, ice, firm, and rock, help decelerate falls, act as an anchor during crevasse rescue operations, and make it possible to cut steps. A wide range of shaft lengths, geometries, pick designs, and pick lengths is available.
The best choice for ski and glacier tours is a light, compact ice axe that is easy to hold for all necessary techniques and takes up little room in a backpack. Technical mountaineering requires ice axes with a slight curve in the shaft so as to overcome more demanding and steeper passages. The steeper and more technical the terrain becomes, the more curved and shorter the ice axe should be. This improves the force transmission and sometimes enables the ice axe to be used for technical climbing.