A wrist leash from you to each ice tool serves several purposes. The leash secures a dropped tool, helps in the work of swinging the tool, and lets you rest your grip by hanging your weight from it.

A wrist leash is an energy-saving necessity on extremely steep or vertical ice. The leash attached through the carabiner hole at the head of the tool should be just long enough to let you grasp the shaft near the spike. The leash needs an end loop to slip your hand through. You may tie or tape the loop to the shaft at the desired hand position, to help hold your hand in the right spot at all times and direct the downward pull straight along the shaft (fig. 14-8). Used like this, the leash shares in the work of holding and swinging the axe.

The wrist leash also makes it possible to hang from an ice tool without maintaining a forearm-killing grip. To do this, let your arm hang straight, with hand and arm relaxed and body weight on your skeleton.

You can also rest by hanging from a tether that runs from the carabiner hole in the spike to your harness or gear sling. Make the tether long enough that it won't hinder your swing but short enough

Fig. 14-8. Wrist leash for ice tools

that it doesn't get in the way (perhaps catching on a crampon). Put an ice tool in a holster or tool loop when it's not needed.

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  • benilde
    How do you put the ice tool leash on your wrist?
    8 years ago
  • valentina
    What are mountaineering leash?
    8 years ago

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