The Grivel Nepal SA is a beautifully constructed traditional-style walking ice axe with a slightly bent shaft. The cast head is a work of art and is armed with a decent-sized welded adze that will cut steps with ease, and a pick with a full set of aggressive teeth. The shaft is gently curved with a recessed rubber grip and is tipped by a well-shaped ferrule. In action the balance is nice, giving a positive kick when swung, and the shaft plunges easily into snow. This set-up is great for walking but the token bend in the shaft does not give enough clearance to offer any real protection to your knuckles when front pointing. It comes supplied with a well-thought-out leash, with a slider and a rubber loop expander, which aids getting your hand in and out of the loop. The leash is also tipped with a built-in ferrule protector. The Grivel Nepal SA is a beautifully made axe that will give many years’ service and is most suited to walking, trekking or easier glacier tours.
Materials hot forged head, carbon steel
Sizes 58, 66, 74cm
Weight 506g (66cm)
The Grivel Nepal SA is the best traditional axe we looked at.
Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2012