The lightest ice axe in the world with a steel pick.

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

The second lightest ice axe in the world, according to CAMP, the Corsa Nanotech is also the lightest ice axe with a steel pick. It’s basically a modified version of the Corsa (see page 84) and weighs only 35 grams more in the 60cm length. The extra weight comes from the additions of a pick and spike made from Sandvik steel that’s said to be 70% stronger and 30% harder than normal steel and which make the Nanotech far more usable than thebasicCorsa.Thesharppickisriveted to the aluminium head. Unlike the Corsa pick it will penetrate hard snow and ice, though you have to apply a lot of force as the axe is so light. Similarly the steel spike penetrates hard snow much more easily than the aluminium Corsa one. The adze is the same narrow rounded one as the Corsa and so again is fairly useless for step cutting. The shaft is slightly curved, which doesn’t make any noticeable difference I can see, and has some grippy patches at the lower end for security when holding it here.

Whilst I’d still recommend a heavier axe for most hillwalking and backpacking, for long-distance walks, ski touring and trips where weight is important the Nanotech is a good ultralight choice.