• Cassin X-Dream

    Dry-tooling out sick caves grabs headlines, but the cold fact is that most climbers still only climb ice and still need ice tools. The Cassin X-Dream, which I used all last winter, hasn’t forgotten the ice … Continue reading "Cassin X-Dream"
  • Grivel Tech Machine

      The Italian company Grivel began forging farm tools in 1818. By the mid-1880s, knickered alpinists leading their hounds and bent on having a go at the surrounding Alps, including the nearby white monster of Monte … Continue reading "Grivel Tech Machine"
  • Petzl Ergo

    Petzl Ergo | $340  petzl.com  ★★★★★ The Petzl Ergo looks as if it has been left on a hot dash for too long—the shaft is bent so crazily the grip is nearly parallel to the … Continue reading "Petzl Ergo"
  • Cassin X-All Mountain

    Cassin X-All Mountain | $219.95  camp-usa.com  ★★★★ Whoever said that a “poor craftsman blames his tools” must have tried Silver Surfer (M9), a thin ice route Jefe and I got spanked on last winter, only eventually … Continue reading "Cassin X-All Mountain"
  • Petzl Nomic

    Petzl Nomic | $339.95 | petzl.com ★★★★   Since their introduction to the market roughly 10 years ago, leashless tools have revolutionized mixed climbing. “Matching” used to mean placing both picks on the same rock … Continue reading "Petzl Nomic"
  • E-Climb Cryo

    $190 per tool $50 per hand-clip leash www.e-climb.com 2Œ- Stars New to the market as of last season is the Spanish company e-Climb. The centerpiece of their line, the Cryo, is a water-ice and alpine … Continue reading "E-Climb Cryo"
  • Black Diamond Venom

    Black Diamond Venom | $149.95 bdel.com  ★★★★★ Black Diamond’s Venom ice axes are hybrid piolets that combine design elements of technical ice tools with the proven design of a mountaineering axe. Unlike most axes, the … Continue reading "Black Diamond Venom"
  • Black Diamond Cobra

    Black Diamond Cobra | $339.95 | bdel.com ★★★★★ The carbon-fiber Cobra has the rigidity of a steel pipe with virtually none of the weight, and what heft there is, is mostly in the head, right … Continue reading "Black Diamond Cobra"
  • Black Diamond Reactor

    Black Diamond Reactor | $189.95 bdel.com  ★★★★★ Clean, simple, elegant – a couple of years ago, I would never have used those words to describe a leashless ice tool with an offset grip. But that … Continue reading "Black Diamond Reactor"
  • Black Diamond Viper

    Black Diamond Viper| $239.95 bdel.com  ★★★★★ It’s easy in this new world order of knobby-handled, leashless mixed tools to lose sight of reality. While we all might fantasize about sending M11 or kicking that little … Continue reading "Black Diamond Viper"
  • Petzl Summit

    Petzl Summit| $169.95 petzl.com  ★★★★★ It’s easy in this era of leashless tools to forget our roots, that the very thing that for over 100 years has anchored us to the mountains themselves is the … Continue reading "Petzl Summit"
  • CAMP Corsa Nanotech Superlight

    CAMP Corsa | $159.95 | camp-usa.com ★★★★ The all-aluminum Corsa (7 ounces) is the lightest ice axe made. Now, for a few ounces more, you can get the Corsa with Sandvik Nanoflex stainless-steel reinforcements on … Continue reading "CAMP Corsa Nanotech Superlight"