Simond, a Chamonix-based climbing hardware company, is introducing its updated line to the U.S. market. Included is a lighweight ice axe with a forged titanium head, weighing in at 300 grams (10.6 ounces) for the 54 cm length.
The ice axe is of a minimalist design: the head has a serrated pick and simple spade-shaped adze, and the spike is simply a sliced-off hollow aluminum shaft with a bushing. The axe has a CE B rating.
Also of note: a T rated, bent-shaft model with a more traditional spike and rubberized coating on the lower half of the shaft, weighing in at a scant 420 grams (14.8 ounces). Both models are shown in the first picture at right.
As an interesting aside, Simond is leveraging the abilities of its parent company Wichard, which creates high-quality medical forgings.
I found both axes well-balanced and solid feeling – they exude quality. The lighter model should be an interesting option for climbers and hikers looking for a non-technical ice axe that’s stronger than the other minimalist versions currently available. The other is the first T rated titanium ice axe on the market, and provides an intriguing new choice for climbers who need the bent shaft style.
Specifications and Features
- Manufacturer: Simond
- Sizes available: 54, 60, 68, 75 centimeter straight shafts
- Materials: Forged titanium, aluminum alloy
- Weight: 10.6 ounces (300 grams) for 54 centimeter model
- MSRP: $259
- Available: Late Spring, 2007