P. Edronkin

The Piolet and its Applications (Part I).

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"Slippery ground over ice or snow, and hidden crevasses are some of the most dangerous obstacles that mountaineers can find.

In order to help trespass such dangerous areas, it is necessary to resort to tools like piolets, crampons, ropes, etc. A piolet is a tool designed - among other things - to carve steps in ice or snow in order to provide its user with a safer place where to step on.

Carving such steps is a tiresome job, but necessary in order to prevent serious accidents. Just think that slipping over ice or snow can lead to uncontrolled falls into ravines, crevasses, etc.

On the head of the piolet there are two points with sharpened edges. These are used to carve on ice or snow.

A piolet.
This picture shows a regular 80 cm.
long piolet with plastic handle.

Sometimes, the point located at the rear is replaced by a shovel-like form used for digging. However, there is no real rear part on a piolet; this is just a convention.

In most smaller models, there is a hammerhead used to assist in ice-climbing tasks."

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