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How to Choose the Right Ice Tool this Winter

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Finding the right ice tool is like finding the perfect climbing partner. If you don’t jive or have the same climbing interests, you won’t climb your best or have the most fun. But with so many models of ice tools out there, where do you begin?

The choice boils down to what you want to climb, whether it be technical alpine, ice, mixed or dry routes, and personal preference—a tool that just feels right. Shaft angle, picks, head accessories (adze or hammer), handle, leash compatibility, spike, and the all-important swing are features to consider. Here’s a rundown on ice tools, from pick to spike, to help your perfect partner.