However, just buying an ice axe doesn't solve the problem, either. Ice axes themselves are pretty hazardous gadgets, with three pointy ends that can impale a foot, calf, or chest wall. So while I recommend you get one, I also recommend you find a way to get proper training in ice axe and self-belay techniques. Otherwise, you'll be carrying this thing, will actually NEED it, and will be thumbing through the instructions while speeding down a snowy slope.
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