The Petzl Charlet Snowalker is a beautifully made axe, and as the name suggests it is ideal for the walker heading to the snow and therefore great for most British hill-walkers. The shaft is a straight design and the head offers a gentle curve to make it ideal for walking in snow, where it can be used as a walking stick. The balance is fairly light to the head, which makes step cutting and swinging into ice slightly harder. The head has a reasonably wide adze for chopping steps and a good pick for ice axe braking. The weight is reasonable too, and less than some axes here of similar design. While it has no rubber grip its shaft has a rough surface that aids grip. The price makes this an exceptionally good-value axe for those who just need basic features for tackling gentler winter terrain. But no leash is supplied with the Petzl Charlet Snowalker, and the head is not as aggressive as some others. Some axes have a pre-curved shaft for easier placement in snow slopes, while others are rated as technical and can be used for roped belays.
Materials 7075 alloy shaft, steel head
Sizes 60, 68, 75cm
Weight 436g (size 60cm without leash)
Made in France
Stores in the UK 50
The Petzl Charlet Snowalker is a well-made axe that’s ideal for general winter hill walking in the UK, glacier travel and high-altitude trekking.
Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2011