November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe
Display Avatars Sort By:
Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/19/2013 11:48:39 MDT Print View

Last week up in the John Muir Wilderness, I came across this Titanium and Carbon Fiber ice axe leaning tidily against a rock:

Found ice axe

It looked lost (and there was little use for an ice axe in that season) so I packed it out. It reminds me quite a bit of the MYOG ice axe posted here so I thought someone in this forum might have left it. though the shape of the beak is a bit different from anything I see there.

It's marked "S.E.", and "#20", and "40 cm" I think. It weighs about 4 oz. There was duct tape around the base of it, the outer layer of which flaked off easily, leading me to suppose it's been there awhile. I found it off-piste up above Fourth Recess Lake, near the little lakes between that and Snow Lakes.

Anyone recognize this lost lamb?

Edited by efredricksen on 09/19/2013 11:52:33 MDT.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
High Sierra Topix on 09/19/2013 12:07:41 MDT Print View

Post at I have an idea whose that could be! Most of the people on that forum do a lot of x-country travel.

Lee Oz
(LeeOz) - F

Locale: NY
I could be wrong but.. on 09/19/2013 12:51:43 MDT Print View

Maybe you should hold off on giving away too many details about what is inscribed as to 'quizz' whoever will say it is theirs. The image and the materials used are enough for the rightful owner to recognize it and come forward.
Seeing how people tear each other apart over a wool tshirt, I'm afraid to think what they would do for this nice piece of gear. The universe could be in peril.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
bootay on 09/19/2013 13:15:40 MDT Print View

whether you "return" it or not is your call

but let me introduce to you the time honored rules of climbing BOOTY !!!

Booty, and not the junk in the trunk kind.

I spent a lot of my early climbing years on a continual quest for “booty” of all kinds (both the climbing and not climbing kind, but focusing on the climbing here). Most of my early racks were made up of carabiners, nuts, cams and other stuff that I’d found or worked for up to a day to extract. I learned from two master booty retrievers (Fitz and Dave)–Fitz in particular had mad skills including special little socket wrenches and shims for popping stuck cams out. To this day I get a thrill out of extracting some perma-fixed piece off a crack, even though I likely already have ten of the exact same sized piece in various stages of rusting decay. It’s just the idea of getting something for free…
This all came to mind as I read this post on Supertopo from Tradmanclimbs:
When I first started climbing back in the early eightys I was taught the booty game. It was supposed to be fun and honorable. the rules went something like this.
#1 Any gear that you lose due to incompetence, getting spanked, fear, lack of skill , retrete, etc. becomes booty the moment that you give up attempts to recover said gear. The exception would be if you let it be known that were returning the next day at first light to resume recovery attempt. Once you give up on recovery attempts it is in fact BOOTY;)

#2 Gear left in the parking lot is lost and found, NOT booty.

3# Any gear left in the process of a rescue is NOT booty and shall be returned to the rightfull owners or next of kin.

#4 Finders of booty may offer to return booty to the spanked party but you will lose face if you accept the offer.

#5 it is extremly poor form to ask for lost booty to be returned to you. If the finders offer and you refuse the offer and they offer again then you may acept the return of the booty but you will still lose face and owe them a debt of honor. This debt may be eased but not completly erased by a gift of beer. (You and they will know that you are their bitch) It is best to suck it up and just say, hey, thanks for offering but you guys earned it.

The booty game is supposed to be fun and a way for strong poor climbers to build their rack at the expense of rich weak climbers. As soon as someone gets hurt it is not fun anymore so everyone should pitch in, help out and try to get everyones gear back at the end of the day.

The best form is to solo up to snag the booty gear or lead up but rapping in is acceptable provideing that all recovery attemts by the loseing party have been exausted.
I am sure that its different by region but that is how we felt about booty in the north east.


John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Suluk 46 on 09/19/2013 14:24:32 MDT Print View

Could it be on ice ax sold on

Erik G

Locale: THE Bay Area :)
Suluk 46 on 09/19/2013 16:08:57 MDT Print View

Yep, looks like V1 of the Suluk46 TICA ice tool. I'm pretty sure V2 and on had spikes attached over the outside of the shaft (the one in the pic has the spike inside the CF shaft). Wonder how many of those Steve sold back in the day?

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
See thread here on 09/20/2013 05:11:08 MDT Print View

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Suluk on 09/21/2013 10:39:48 MDT Print View

Yes, "S.E." is Steve Evans. Contact him and he'll know who purchased the #20 that you found.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Suluk on 09/21/2013 11:01:48 MDT Print View

Yep that's a Suluk. They are not cheap, so I'm sure it's owner will be very greatfull.
Pretty awesome that you're honest enough to try to return it.

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: all this on 09/22/2013 09:53:32 MDT Print View

Thanks, all. PM sent to Steve Evans.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/22/2013 14:10:10 MDT Print View

Hi Eric,
Got your PM and yes, that is one of my initial TICA axes I built about 5 years ago. Looks like they cut and reground the pick to be shorter. I wish I had kept track of who actually got which number, but unfortunately I did not, so I wont be able to verify who owns/owned #20. I am able to look through the lengths I have sold using my paypal account.

You said that it measured 40cm? Is that the overall length measuring from the bottom of the spike to the top of the head along the carbon shaft? I don't think I ever made one that short but if the person modified the pick, then they may have cut the shaft and re-bonded the spike to make it shorter. Now, who is so obsessed with weight that they would do that? I would wildly guess it would be Aaron Sorenson or Christoher Plesko - are they still around on this site? I rarely post anymore.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 09/22/2013 14:10:50 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/22/2013 14:15:20 MDT Print View

Aaron is, Christopher is not around.

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/22/2013 20:57:13 MDT Print View

No, it looks like it says 40cm but the writing is worn off pretty badly so it's hard to read. The length i measure is actually even shorter than that - 36.35 cm from tip to top.

Well, thanks for looking into it. Maybe the rightful owner will poke his head up eventually. Looks like a real nice bit of workmanship and I enjoyed looking extra technical while packing out.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/23/2013 12:35:15 MDT Print View

OK, I admit, I have become slightly infatuated with finding the one who dares abondon a piece of gear I built behind ;)

I checked and I definitely did not make a 40cm axe. The numbered/signed (original) version that you found only had 12 shipped to the USA. I know who number #18 and #25 went to, and of the remaining 10 axes, 2 of them went to a single person. That leaves 9 people who this could belong to.

I have their names and contact info. Maybe I'll shoot a few emails out to them.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/23/2013 13:40:23 MDT Print View

Just so the story keeps going my reply to Steve:

Cool. But no, I have mine, value it greatly and bring it along for glacier travel. It's done Shasta, Lyell/Ritter/Banner and been there for security when I did not use it. I'm hoping for a winter so snowy that I actually need to bring it for general backpacking well into August!

It has also dug one or two crap holes but I generally avoid that.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/23/2013 16:09:15 MDT Print View

Steve just sent out the email to everyone who had received one of the Ice axes and I was VERY surprised to read the email and see the link to the story. Life has been so hectic the past year or so that I just don't get to spend any more time reading this great forum and never knew the Ice Axe was found. So here is the story .....

I actually designed all the carbon tubes for Steven for the Ice Axes. He was kind enough to send me a free one to demo after I sent him all his production parts. Living in Southern California I usually only make it up into the Sierra's once a year in Sept for a great week long hike with 4 other great hiking friends. One of the guys in the group is a ex Marine who at one time was in charge of the Latrine training. Needless to say he is very diligent in making sure that our group followed certain protocol for digging the proper width and depth hole suitable for bathroom activities. We usually take a little orange potty trowel with us but year after year we always manage to break them do to the often hard and rocky soil. Since I never get to hike in the snow/ice I figured I could convert Steven's work of art into the "Perfect" light weight indestructible potty trowel !!! I can tell you that it worked great .... all up until one person in our group somehow manages to forget to come back with it and you don't realize it is missing until the next day and you are 20 miles away!


Edited by kegelhoff on 09/23/2013 16:15:12 MDT.

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/23/2013 17:35:26 MDT Print View

Ha ha! The mystery is solved! Was that this year or some time in the past? Hopefully long ago since I was probably walking around on someone's cat hole.

Well, if you'd like your heavily over-engineered potty trowel back, PM me your address.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/23/2013 18:04:03 MDT Print View

I love this thread and its ending!

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/23/2013 18:16:21 MDT Print View

LOL, you couldn't make that up. Thanks for the laugh! ;D

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Found item: Ultralight Ice Axe on 09/23/2013 18:29:00 MDT Print View

Aaron Sorensen here

I received one of the TICA's but it had normal teeth in it.
Funny, since I was just in the area last week hiking the JMT.

Now you're down to 8...if it's not Kevin's

Edited by awsorensen on 09/23/2013 18:36:39 MDT.