The Alpin Tour is a ‘technical’-rated ice axe, so its shaft is strong enough to withstand belaying – and that makes it suitable for mountaineering. But it’s also ideally designed for more general use if you wish to take advantage of its great price tag. The axe has a precurved shaft, which makes it far easier to plant the shaft into a snow slope when heading up steep ground. The head is not quite as nice to handle as some higher-priced axes as it is a plain steel pick rather than a shapely forged option, but again for general walking and easier mountaineering this will still perform well. The Climbing Technology Alpin Tour comes in shorter lengths than some options and 50cm would be great for mountaineering while the longer options are adequate for general walking. The pick is slightly more aggressive than pure walking axes though and it is this feature that makes it more useful for those stepping up to easier winter gullies for example. You also get a leash, and while this is not the best example you could get it is again more than good enough. All that for £60 makes the Mountain Technology Alpin Tour a superb budget option for walking and easier mountaineering.
Classification technical (T)
Materials hardened steel pick with alloy shaft
Sizes 50, 60, 70cm
Weight 590g (50cm)
The Mountain Technology Alpin Tour was the best-value mountaineering ice axe in our test.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2013