New this year, the Petzl Sum ’Tec is a welcome development, particularly if you fancy some winter climbing. The shaft shares the same bend profile as the well-proven Petzl Summit, but instead of a fixed pick it has a reverse bend modular pick. This combination, while making placements in steep ice and snow more positive, still has enough length to allow an uncompromised self arrest. The neat bit though is the addition of an adjustable trigger grip. Just like on the Edelrid Raid, this owes its origins to developments in leashless technical tools. It means that if you are confident enough you can dispense with leashes on steep ground, which massively reduces faff and makes the whole process of climbing more efficient. In action the axe is perfectly balanced both for plunging and swinging, and the trigger can be put in the perfect position depending on what technique you are employing. The Petzl Sum ’Tec is a flexible axe that will take on everything from winter Munros to fairly technical climbs.
Materials aluminium shaft, forged steel pick
Sizes 43, 52, 59cm
Weight 500g (52cm)
The Petzl Sum ’Tec is best for climbing.
Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2012