Caring For Your Ice Ax

By Don Graydon.

Modern ice axes require little special care, beyond keeping them clean and sharp.
Routine Care.
  1. Inspect the shaft before each use for deep dents that might weaken it to the point of failure under load (but don't worry about minor nicks and scratches).
  2. Clean mud and dirt off the ax after each climb, and remove any rust.
  3. Check the pick, adze, and spike regularly.
    • To sharpen, use a hand file, not a power-driven grinding wheel. High-speed grinding can overheat the metal and change the temper, diminishing the strength of the metal.

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