The lightest ice axe in the world.

This review is part of our ice axes gear guide, and was first published in the February 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.

This is the ice axe for when you don’t need an ice axe! Or at least for when you are unlikely to need an ice axe. It really is ultralight – CAMP says it’s the lightest ice axe in the world – so ideal for carrying in or on your pack. I think it’s great for long-distance walks where an axe just might be needed but never for very long or on really steep terrain. I took it on the Southern Upland Way one February and it never left my pack as there was no snow. There could have been though and it would have been unwise to do the walk without an axe.

Being aluminium the pick doesn’t stay sharp very long. It’s okay for hooking into the snow for surmounting the occasional high step up but that’s about it. For self-arrest it works in fairly hard snow but doesn’t really penetrate rock hard snow or ice. The narrow curved adze is even less useful. It’ll only cut steps in snow soft enough to kick steps in so it isn’t needed. Really it’s just there to rest your hand on. The other end of the shaft matters more as thrusting the shaft into snow is the most likely use of the Corsa. There isn’t a separate solid spike however. Instead the end of the shaft is just sliced off at an angle. Again, this works okay on most snow but won’t penetrate really hard icy stuff.

For regular use winter hillwalking a heavier axe with a steel head would be much better than the Corsa. However for occasional use and long-distance walking the low weight is very appealing.