Ice Axe There are two main types of Ice Axe. A ‘Walking axe’ is all you will need on introductory trips. A 70 cm shaft means they can be used as a walking stick in your uphill hand and easily swung around to self arrest if you slip. The second type is the shorter handled ‘Climbing axe’, with a much more aggressively angled blade. These are really just for serious climbing with ropes, harnesses and ice screws for protection. Climbing axes are avaliable with either an ‘Adze‘ and a ‘Hammer‘ at the non-pointy end of the blade. If you are serious about moutaineering buy one of each.