The Grivel Air Tech Evolution is a beautifully constructed general ice axe. The cast head is a work of art and is armed with a sculpted adze that will cut steps with ease, and a pick that has a full set of aggressive teeth. The shaft has a clearance bend, a recessed rubber grip and is tipped by a well-shaped ferrule. In action this axe is a slight let-down as the balance is a tad head-heavy and the pick is on the short side. This set-up is ideal on the harder snow and ice found in the Alps, but can be something of a drawback in British hills. Apart from these minor niggles this axe is so well-made it will give many years of service. But the balance is a bit off-putting and so the Grivel Air Tech Evolution is more suited to snow conditions in the Alps rather than the UK.
Materials Chromolly steel
Sizes 48, 53, 58 and 66cm
Weight 560g (58cm with leash and spike protector)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK no info provided
Stockist details tel. (0191) 296 0212, www.mountainboot.co.ukVerdict
For general mountaineering and walking service at higher altitude this is a great axe.
Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2009