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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

Grivel Air Tech Racing Axe

Review by Heather Dawe
Friday 30th January 2009

 

This is an awesome light weight ice axe - great for adventure racing and other light weight snowy escapades.

The Air Tech Racing is the lightest forged steel ice axe in the world, weighing in at just over 400 grams. It has an aluminium shaft and steel pick and adze. We (Team Inov-8) were very pleased about this fact, and that we each got our hands on one of these for the Saab Salomon Mountain-X race (MXR) we competed in at the end of July in the fantastic Haute Savoie region of the French Alps.

One of the disciplines in the MXR was high-level mountaineering, up to the 3818m Aiguille des Glaciers on the Mont Blanc Massif. We needed an axe that could cope with our need to get a good purchase in neve and ice, but that didn’t weigh us down. Our packs had to be as light as possible so we could run fast!

We picked the Air Tech Racing for the MXR and were very pleased with the choice. There are other, slightly lighter axes on the market such as the Camp Corsa. We had a look at this and others but decided they wouldn’t be much cop if you actually had to use the axe. The steel pick of the Air Tech Racing adds to the weight but does mean that you can actually use it as an ice axe rather than as just a walking/running support. We did need to use our axes properly during the race so this was a good decision.  
In addition to any other adventure races that need such hardware, I’ll be using the Air Tech Racing for lots of adventures over the next few months – it’s a fantastic addition to my light weight winter Munro bagging kit.     

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