The Petzl Sum'Tec ice axe is a versatile mountaineering axe able to tackle any mountaineering from classic to technical. The pick and the adze and hammer are completely modular allowing you to completely customize the axe depending on your objective. It comes with an ice pick, the panne adze (adze version) and the marteau hammer (hammer version).
The trigrest is easily adjustable so you can quickly change the axe into climbing mode without having to use additional tools. The shaft curves to offer efficient anchoring and hand protection but not so much to stop effective planting. It has a steel spike for excellent support and both the shaft and the pick are type 2 (T rated).
Petzl Sum'Tec Features
- Tapered ice pick
- Adjustable trigrest
- Curved shaft
- Modular axe: Interchangeable picks, adze and hammer
- Compatible with Petzl accessories for QUARK, NOMIC and ERGO ice axes
Of the few axes which span the divide between classic mountaineering and technical climbing, the Sum'Tec is the best that I've used. An interchangeable technical pick allows comfortable climbing to grade IV (WI4) level. The trigger grip-rest can be adjusted and will slide up the shaft to enable more traditional plunging. After a year of regular use the grip-rest adjustment is still working fine. The axe is perfect for mid-grade alpinism where the odd ice wall may be encountered and is nice and light to use in the Himalaya. With a matching hammer you have a set of tools to perform at any level from PD to TD in the Alps and from winter ridges to grade IV climbs in Scotland. The only drawback is that in order for the trigger grip to slide there is no insulating grip tape on the shaft. This could make for really cold climbs on occasions! If you do add grip tape (plumbers amalgy tape works best) you'll have to accept that the grip rest won't adjust.
Click to see more about Martin.
Martin Moran is one of Britain's most experienced Mountain Guides. He was brought up on Tyneside, and developed a boyhood love of mountains into his professional career.