The Camp Alpax is classed as a technical ice axe, so it can be used for belaying when climbing steep slopes with a rope. The head can be changed if needed too, and a matching hammer version is available. The shaft is precurved, which helps with placements of the pick when climbing; but this is also useful when placing the shaft while walking. The head is shaped to create an ergonomic hand grip that is very positive in use, and the shaft has shaped hand grips which are particularly useful when front pointing and chopping steps. You get an adjustable leash as standard too. This is a good all-rounder that is ideal for mountaineering when a variety of techniques will be used. But the Camp Alpax’s high price tag is the main drawback. The axe is quite heavy compared to others here, so you need to make sure you need the extra features. Unless you need the ability to change heads, then you can save cash and weight by choosing a simpler design.
Materials aluminium alloy shaft; NiCrMo steel pick and adze
Sizes 50, 57, 65cm
Weight 640g (size 57cm with leash)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 38
Stockist details tel. (0191) 284 8444; www.camp.it
Ideal if you want an excellent general-purpose mountaineering axe and fancy tackling steeper ground.
Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2009