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How to sharpen an ice axe

How to sharpen an ice axe or ice tool

26 January 2018

To sharpen, or not to sharpen an ice axe, that is the question. As climbers, we might spend a lot of cleaning our gear, drying it out after a day out in winter, neatly and orderly storing it.  But once the winter season is over, we sometimes store away our crampons and ice axes until the next season.


I see lots of people out in the mountains with ice axes, and crampons that could use a little TLC.  And it makes the experience so much more enjoyable.  Sharp picks penetrate ice with far less effort, making climbing waterfall ice much safer.  And defined edges, to use when mixed climbing, give more security, as these would be less likely to pop off a hold.  An ice climber/mixed climber with blunt tools is like a surgeon performing an operation with a spoon.


So please follow the link below and watch a video of how to sharpen your ice axes for ice climbing and mixed climbing.


Click here for video


Be aware that the picks are only a certain length, and will last only so long till having to buy new ones.  And when filing, make sure you know what you are going to do before hand, otherwise it may be an expensive mistake.

If you are keen to book onto one of our winter courses, please click here, and look at what we have available.  Otherwise get in touch.