Petzl - Ride Axe

The Petzl Ride Axe on test in the Swiss Alps (© Gregory Trottet)
Star Rating: **** (4 Stars)

Recommended Retail Price: £80 from Petzl.

At 240g, the Petzl Ride is light, it weighs less than half as much as some of our other ice axes! This short and light axe is an ideal addition to the axe arsenal for routes that involve mostly rock with only some ice/snow (i.e. descents/approaches from alpine rock routes) or for carrying on a ski tour where its use is unlikely.

We like short ice tools and really believe that the places where a long ice tool would come in handy, often do not require an ice tool. At 45 cm, the Petzl Ride is on the short side of short. Short enough to fit in a pack, and just long enough to be used as a walking-axe on steep sections.

The steel pick and adze have been lightened by removal of material wherever possible, the fact that they are steel means they still work fine but we wouldn't be tempted to start torquing with them. Petzl has included a useful plastic insert under the spike of the Ride to avoid any snow-intrusion up the shaft. The shaft has a slight kink which we found particularly useful for steeper snow/ice. We found the shaft to be a bit slippery so added a Trigrest on the for better grip on steep terrain.
The Petzl Ride suffers slightly in terms of durability as a consequence of its lightness, notably at the spike which is just aluminium, it would be nice to see a steel insert here. Ergonomy when walking was not the best we have seen for non-technical ice axes (the Petzl Sum’tec does much better in this respect).

The bottom spike with the plastic insert, already showing damage after only a couple of days out. 
Overall, this is a great axe for winter mountaineering and summer routes that involve only secondary snow and ice. We would recommend it as part of a quiver, in addition to a burlier summer tool like the Petzl Sum’tec of Quark.

Things we like: Weight, short length.
Things we don't like: Ergonomy, durability.