Gear Review: Grivel G1 Ice Axe - Backpacker

Gear Review: Grivel G1 Ice Axe

Light enough to carry comfortably, hefty enough to be a lifesaver.

At only one pound (58 cm), the G1 is light enough to be comfortable on the pack and in the hand, but it still has plenty of heft for plunging into firm snow or confidently self-arresting.

After an early-season recon up a hard-packed couloir on the Grand Teton, one tester commented, “My arms were feeling like jelly, but I barely had to swing this axe to get solid placements.” Compared with other axes we tested, the G1’s curved adze didn’t cut steps as efficiently, but its 5-inch long, straight steel pick dug in quickly with no bouncing or chatter during self-arrests—which, after all, is the main purpose of a mountaineering axe.


15.8 oz. (58 cm); 58 cm, 66 cm, 74 cm