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any benefit to straight axes like the BD raven vs petzl summit


Original Post
wisam · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 60

I have two general mountaineering axes, a  BD raven and a Petzl Sum Tec (65 cm)  The sum tec is obviously better on steeper ground but I really haven't found there to be any benefit to the raven on more moderate ground as the sum tec seems to plunge just as well as long as the trig rest is moved upward. 

Was considering selling the raven and getting a petzl summit instead for weight savings but was wondering if I would miss the raven for any reason or if it would be too similar to my 65 cm sum tec?

Kevin Mcbride · · Nelson · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 160

I've been in the same situation a few times but I keep hanging on to my raven. I find it better for plunging through spooky snow, and Deadman and boot axe belays are a bit easier with a straight axe. I find the raven is a great workhorse axe due to its heavyweight, big adze, and bomber spike, but if you only need it for self arrest than maybe something lighter might be nice.

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

The theory is that if you are on steep terrain it may be easier to plug the axe into snow if holding it by the curved shaft, over straight.  I do not think this is a big deal in non-super technical snow terrain.  The bend in axe shaft makes more sense in the verticle climbing of ice. 

Some people find holding a self arrest to be easier with a straight axe like the raven.  I never owned a mountaineering axe like the sum tec so Im not sure if there is any truth to that. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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