The Grivel Nepal SA has been popular for some years now and it remains a great option for general hillwalking. There is a slight curve to the shaft, which makes it a little easier to plant when walking up slopes. There is a rubber grip on the shaft for better handling when cutting steps, and there is a good leash that comes supplied and is included in the weight. The head has a gentle curve with a good adze for clearing ice and a good pick for biting into it, thanks to its good set of teeth. In the hand the head is comfortable to hold too. In use the balance of this axe is great and it’s easy to use for walking and easier mountaineering. Nice touches include the leash, which features a rubber protector to slip over the point. The axe comes in three good lengths for walkers too and the shorter length would be okay for easier mountaineering. But it is not the lightest option if weight is your priority, and you can spend less too if cash is short. But if you choose it the Grivel Nepal SA will provide long and reliable service to the hillwalker.
Materials hot forged head, carbon steel shaft
Sizes 58, 66, 74cm
Weight 558g (66cm)
The Grivel Nepal SA was the best general hillwalking ice axe in our test.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2013