Ice axe usage for skiing - Petzl Sweden

Ice axe usage for skiing


  • Carefully read the Instructions for Use used in this technical advice before consulting the advice itself. You must have already read and understood the information in the Instructions for Use to be able to understand this supplementary information.
  • Mastering these techniques requires specific training. Work with a professional to confirm your ability to perform these techniques safely and independently before attempting them unsupervised.
  • We provide examples of techniques related to your activity. There may be others that we do not describe here.

Climbing a snow slope

Climbing a steep section or hard/icy snow slope

On the descent, keep your ice axe within reach:

Ice axe under a pack shoulder strap

Accessibility in case of emergency

Comfortable and reliable

Holding the ice axe and a pole

Risk of losing the ice axe

Ice axe effectiveness is weak

Ice axe on the pack

Inaccessible in case of emergency

Comfortable when the slope presents no difficulty

Descending a difficult steep section by skidding or climbing

Snowboard descent

WARNING: in these situations the ice axe is used as an additional balance point. It would not be effective for stopping a fall in progress.