Top tips #2 (ice axe leashes)

5th Feb 2013

I don't routinely use a wrist leash on general purpose mountaineering ice axes, but for some tasks such as cutting steps or climbing very steep ground they can be useful.  My solution is to have a simple leash that can be fitted or removed very quickly.
 
The leashes are homemade from thin tape (such as Troll 10mm tape) tied with a wrist size loop at one end and a smaller loop at the other.  I keep the leash in the chest pocket of my shell jacket which ensures it is always ready for quick deployment.
 
To fit the leash I simply have to slide the tape loop through the top hole on the head of my ice axe then thread the tape back through to create a larks foot knot (larks foot knots have well documented limitations but are strong enough to use in this context).  It only takes a minute and you are ready to go.
 
Removing it is a simple 30 second reversal of the above.  Perfect.