Ice Axe Restoration


I've had three Stubai ice axes lying around for many years. Two are the longer Aschenbrenner models from the late 1970s (75cm and 80cm, steel, hickory). The tool's designer, Peter Aschenbrenner (1902-1998, Innsbruk, Austria), developed this axe in the 1930s and had Stubai manufacture it. He is perhaps best known for bold, asthetic routes in the Alps and his leadership on the first ascent of Nanga Parbat in 1953.

The Aschenbrenner model was a very popular general mountaineering axe for several decades. Many thousands still exist, tucked away in the back of closets and gear lockers the world over. You can find nice ones on Ebay for about $100 US.

The other tool is a piolet. It is shorter (60cm), at least a decade older, and has no teeth on the pick. I've climbed a few steep snow routes with it. Verdict: Looks great, but it's not the best tool for mountaineering; the pick slips out of the snow readily.

See my restoration of a Stubai Aschenbrenner axe on my YouTube Channel here:

Video will be posted soon. In the meantime, check out the photos below.

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