Fusion Ice Axe
Black Diamond Fusion (Courtesy of Black Diamond)

What’s the best women’s ice axe?

What's the best women's ice axe? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

Fusion Ice Axe

Women-specific ice axes are a tool of the future. But Black Diamond’s top-of-the-line Fusion ($280; blackdiamondequipment.com), however, still works well for smaller hands. A mixed alpine and ice climbing tool, the Fusion has an adjustable over-molded grip with three 5 mm spacers that can accommodate most hand sizes, including small ones that require heavy gloves to keep them warm. Weighing in at a mere 1 lb, 6 oz, the aluminum and stainless steel Fusion also has an extended hydroform shaft that allows for a more sensitive feel on the ice. Black Diamond’s carbon-fiber Cobra ($336), for leashless mixed ice and alpine climbing, also works well for women. Its super lightweight carbon-fiber shaft (1 lb., 6 oz.) absorbs more shock, which lessons issues like tendonitis.

Fusion Ice Axe

Fusion Ice Axe Black Diamond Fusion

Weighing in at 460 grams (minus accessories), the Quark ($245; petzl.com) is Petzl’s lightest ice tool. It also has a comfortable ergonomic, molded handle that fits small hands.

Before you head to Ouray, check out “Chicks With Picks” (chicksclimbing.com), the all-women’s ice-climbing school that offers four clinics in Ouray throughout January. Whether you’re a newbie and have never put axe to ice or need to brush up on your technical skills, Chicks With Picks has a clinic custom-designed for you.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021 Lead Photo: Courtesy of Black Diamond
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