Petzl Sum’Tec (2014)

When tackling more challenging mountaineering terrain, it’s important to have an ice axe that can be used with a rope to create a belay, while the ability to use the axe as a pair with a matching hammer is essential for climbing even steeper snow and ice. The Petzl Sum’Tec is a great example of this style of axe. It is lightweight at 500g (size 52cm) and the shaft is pre-curved to allow easier placement of the pick on steeper slopes, but this is also useful when driving the shaft into less steep snow slopes. The head is beautifully finished and the pick can be replaced with a different style if required, but it comes supplied with a ‘banana’ shape for more positive use on steep snow and ice. On the shaft you get an adjustable grip, which is ideal for climbing, and useful when hacking steps without the need for a leash, which isn’t supplied with this axe. While the Petzl Sum’Tec is at home on steeper snow and ice, it can also perform well on easier snow slopes and glaciers, making it ideal for those who mix walking with mountaineering and more challenging climbs. But walkers should note this is a shorter axe, and you’re paying for the more climbing-orientated design.

Classification technical (T)
Materials forged steel pick and spike, alloy shaft
Sizes 43, 52, 59cm
Weight 500g (52cm)



The Petzl Sum’Tec was voted best for climbing and mountaineering in this test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2014