Grivel invented the modern ice axe and still makes some of the best ones available. The Brenva is a top-quality general mountaineering axe suitable for easy climbing routes as well as hillwalking. It is heavier and more expensive than alternatives however. For hillwalking I’d prefer the Grivel Nepal which weighs and costs less (£75) and comes in a longer length. I like the leash, which has a rubber spike protector attached and the slightly curved shaft for ease of place.

First published: December 2014