Skimo Co

Petzl Sum'Tec Ice Axe


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Sum’Tec is Petzl’s abbreviation for “somewhat technical.” Ok, not likely, but we are going to make the claim anyway and we’ll explain why. Light, and easily employed for daily use, its incredibly versatile design may be the ultimate axe for ski mountaineers.

The 55cm length is perfectly suited for walking in the piolet-canne (cane) position or plunging the shaft up steep, firm snow. As the angle steepens and your line becomes more technical, the adjustable “Trigrest” pommel can be repositioned anywhere along the shaft to quickly fine tune the grip. When things make the jump from steep mountaineering to technical climbing, the Sum’Tec again transitions flawlessly. A nicely curved shaft aids in clearance for swinging and hooking and the dropped “Ice” pick sinks easily into firm neve or water ice. Paired off with the matching hammer, Petzl Sum'Tec are the perfect tools to get you across a bergschrund or over an ice gully in routes such as the Ford-Stettner on the Grand Teton, the Kautz Glacier on Mt. Rainier, or any “somewhat technical” route of your choice.

  • Trigrest handrest allows quick changes of handsets position along the shaft.
  • Modular head allows for replacement or fine tuning of pick selection.
  • Steel spike provides solid purchase for cane position or plunging.
  • Adze and hammer are interchangeable as well as accessories for Nomic, Quark and Ergonomic axes.
Lengths (cm) 55
convert to ounces
460g [Hammer]
470g [Adze]
Specs Verified Yes
Materials   Steel, Aluminum, Nylon
Skimo Co Says
Usage Ski Mountaineering, Alpinism
Notes Picks are interchangeable with Petzl's complete line for ultimate versatility
Bottom Line Best tool for when things get "somewhat technical."
Compare to other Ice Axes

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Questions & Reviews

Zak M (used product regularly)
Best tool for when things get “somewhat technical” is a great way to describe the Petzl Sum ‘Tec. When encountering short ice bulges, longer moderate WI3, or extended sections of plunging the shaft this is where the tool excels. While for most ski mountaineering objectives I would still choose the Petzl Gully for its lightweight nature and being an excellent capable tool as well, for the times when I want a little more oomph in the swing and when having a longer shaft and a full-on steel spike is more ideal is where the Sum ‘Tec really shines. Routes like the Ford-Stettner on the Grand Teton, the North Ridge of Mount Baker, or if you are a scared cat on Ciochetti’s Ribbon and plunging the tool for dear life I found the Sum’ Tec gave me just the right amount of added confidence to continue on. Petzl’s adjustable trigrest really outperforms similar adjustable pommels used on other tools in the same class i.e. Blue ice Akila, Black Diamond Venom or Swift, and adds great security when switching from plunging the tool to going from low to mid-dagger positions. Replaceable picks or just swapping out different picks from Petzl’s line is just another great feature for adding longevity to the tool as long as the shaft of the axe isn’t completely trashed. So, for those who are getting into the mega gnar with skis on there backs the Sum ‘Tec is an excellent hybrid tool for when added security on technical terrain matters a bit more than overall weight savings.
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Model: Sum'tec

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