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Modifying ice axe loops?
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Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Modifying ice axe loops? on 09/06/2013 02:57:56 MDT Print View

I've got an Osprey Volt 60 that I'm in the process of cutting down for my needs.

It's got two ice axe loops that I will most certainly only rarely need which you can see in the following image:

What I'm looking for are suggestions from everyone on how I should modify the ice axe loops so as to minimize weight while still preserving the option of attaching ice axes in the future.

I have considered cutting most of the loops off, only leaving a small amount of webbing at the base that could be sewn back on to itself to make a small loop that I could attach a piece of cord to in the future to serve as the ice axe loop.

I've also considered cutting off half of the current loops, then taking the remaining half and cutting a narrow slip down the webbing face to form a long hole in the webbing that could be used as a future ice axe loop.

Basically I'm hoping to get some suggestions from people who have experience with this sort of modification before I start cutting anything off.

Also, for those of you with ice axe experience (I have none), would a simple tied loop of skinny cord work fine for an ice axe loop, or is there something substantially better about the thicker webbing ice axe loops that many packs seem to come with?

Thanks for your help!

Edit: I intended to post this in the MYOG section, but accidentally posted here instead. My bad.

Edited by dmusashe on 09/06/2013 03:11:45 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Modifying ice axe loops? on 09/06/2013 07:13:42 MDT Print View

Sometimes, depending on the manufacturor, you can get two axes in one loop. On the MiniPosa, I can. But looking at yours I am not sure. Anyway, I don't care for them sticking out the sides. But, I only ever used one, anyway. I never did any serious ice climbing, just little stuff in the ADK's...mostly packed snow, or some boulders covered in a few inches of ice...

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Modifying ice axe loops? on 09/06/2013 07:29:27 MDT Print View

The weight saved would be small. Many hikers never use an ice axe, so simply cutting them off is the solution. If you do climb and know you will eventually be using the loops, I would just leave them on.

I don't climb, but I use ice axe loops for trekking poles now and then. They are very handy for lashing your pack on a camel :)

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Modifying ice axe loops? on 09/06/2013 07:43:17 MDT Print View

unless you climb steep to vertical ice (you apparently don't) you will never use two ice axes together. so if you are only concerned with going over mountain passes at some point in the future you can cut one loop off entirely because you will never use it.

as for the second loop it only weighs maybe 2-3 grams, so if you ever can see yourself using an axe in a hiking situation I would leave it be.
also, if you are slightly creative this loop can be used to carry your two hiking poles if you ever get tired of having them in your hands.

Edited by asandh on 09/06/2013 07:45:28 MDT.

edvin mellergÄrd
(Edvin) - F

Locale: Gothenburg, Sweden
Re: Re: Modifying ice axe loops? on 09/06/2013 08:52:51 MDT Print View

I stopped using special ice axe holders some years ago. These days I just stick them down the side compression straps. I do however have a piece of bungee to keep them in place any to make sure they don't fall of when I'm rappelling with an empty pack.

Here is two pictures of my last pack. Looking at yours you could probably add a small piece of bunge to help keep them in place if you ever feel the need to carry a axe in the future.



Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Neat! on 09/06/2013 23:41:43 MDT Print View


Your picture gave me a sense of adrenaline, envy, inspiration, and motivation that I haven't felt in a while. I may have to buy an ice axe this winter..