In for test is a another take on the lightweight ice axe, the Haute Route from Grivel.
It’s billed as ski-touring axe, and normally I’d take that labelling as manufacturer arse-covering, hoping folk won’t take their lightweight axe mountaineering. But the features on the Haute Route do make sense of the designation, the pick is a little shorter that we’re used to for a steel blade, keeping it lower-profile on a skiers pack.
The blade has an easy curve fro self-arrest and some nice teeth cut into it, so it’ll be wield-able if needs be, the adze is welded onto the blade and again a little smaller in scale, keeping sharp edge in a little further.
The shaft is light, with a nice matt finish and a good spike (with clipping hole) for easy plunging, and it’s B-rated noting its lighter construction. This 58cm sample comes in at 412g with the leash, and the 53cm is billed as 320g. The leash is fine, thin webbing with wrist and head adjustment, there’s also a spike protector threaded on there too.
It’s nice enough, and fits well in the hand. I wonder how well it’s brake with that short pick? I’ll try when I’m out see.
I’ve always felt confident in Grivel kit when I’ve used it over the years, and I’m not expecting any surprises from a more basic model. A swing tag proclaims “Hot Forged in Italy”, so they never cut any corners, just shrunk them a little…
Another interesting thing was on another swing tag, and that’s Grivel’s use of solar power. One claim being that Grivel will save 687kg of CO² every day. Good lads.