Petzl Charlet Cosmique

This ice axe This is a really tough workhorse that a regular mountaineer could rely on for many years. It has a technical grading, so it is strong enough to be used for belays. The balance is excellent and the head is well-designed for hacking steps or ice axe braking. You also get a far more serious spike for crossing glaciers. Then there is the rubber grip that is contoured into the spike to allow the shaft to easily be driven into the snow pack. If you are planning on hitting the UK’s winter hills regularly or perhaps do extensive glacier trekking or easier mountaineering, this is the perfect tool in many ways as it appears built to last while the weight provides extra power for every swing at the ice. But you do not get a leash, so you may want to add that to the price. It is relatively heavy too, so if you don’t need the extra performance then you are not going to benefit from carrying that extra weight. Like all technical-rated axes, the price tag is higher than basic axes, but as it also does not get a leash either, the price is a slight turn-off.

Verdict: Buy it if you are planning on hitting the snow and ice slopes regularly as this is an ideal axe for glacier travel and easier general mountaineering.

Classification: technical

Materials: alloy shaft, forged steel head

Sizes: 52, 59, 66, 73cm

Weight: 615g (size 59cm without leash)

Made in France

Stores in UK: England 5; Wales 0; Scotland 0; Ireland 1