This versatile mountaineering axe is ideal for glacier crossings and for snow travel on big peaks, and it will get you up vertical ice if the need arises. The pronounced shaft curve let our tester reliably sink the pick above a tricky bulge while ascending, and the slip-free rubber coating provided extra insulation for her fingers.
An ergonomic dip in the axe head makes it comfortable to hold in walking mode. It’s friendly for first timers, but you won’t grow out of it when you progress to more technical routes. Three sizes: 52, 59, and 66cm; $159; 1 lb. 10 oz. (52); petzl.com