Petzl Charlet Cosmi’ Tec

This ice axe is a relatively lightweight option. It benefits from a pre-curved shaft to allow easier placement of the shaft on snow slopes, and this is a major advantage over the straight-shafted axes – even for walkers. The head is quite aggressive in its shape, with a reverse curve pick to prevent the pick from snatching during ice axe braking. The adze is also reasonably wide, which is ideal for hacking out steps. You get a spike on the end of the shaft for walking too. The shaft has a special coating for improved grip and insulation. The balance is good, ensuring that this is a good all-rounder for walking and easier snow slopes. But you do not get a leash, so you may want to add that to the price. Also there is no shaft grip included, so this is not a dedicated tool for cutting steps or climbing steeper slopes. The axe only gets a basic classification, so it is not suitable for roped belays.  It has quite a high price tag for what you are getting.

Vital stats

Classification basic

Materials 7075 alloy shaft, steel head

Sizes 55, 62cm

Weight 496g (size 62cm without leash)

Made in France

Stores in UK 15


Verdict Ideal if you are planning on walking up easier snow-covered hills and don’t require a stronger shaft for roped belays.