Functionality It looks like a normal shovel, but the BCA Shaxe's shaft is curved, like a banana—or an ice tool. Remove the shovel head and T-handle from the shaft, then attach the steel pick and, boom, ice axe. Yes, it’s gimmicky, but for our testers who travel above treeline, the Shaxe was helpful on short, technical ascents. “Also: One Shaxe is lighter and less cumbersome than one ice axe and one shovel,” a tester says. The large blade (9.4 by 11.2 inches) moves snow easily, but since the shaft (27 inches) doesn’t telescope, we had some packing issues.
Bonus It comes with hardware and instructions to turn your skis into a rescue sled with the Shaxe. Peace of mind never hurt anyone.