An ice ax (also: Eisbeil, ice ax, formerly Steileispickel ) is a special short ice ax for climbing on frozen waterfalls, the so-called ball or waterfall ice climbing.
Compared to a traditional ice ax, ice ax with the 50 cm shaft length is much shorter, has a steeply inclined and much sharper pick are usually a special wrist strap. An ice ax is so constructed that an ice climbers can hang on the the ice whipped ice ax. The shape of the ice ax pick does not slip, but penetrates through the pressurized melt even further into an ice.
Ice Axes can be equipped with rear blade or hammer head. The hammer head was used ( called Pitons or Snargs ) in the past for wrapping Eisnägeln. However, these were replaced in the meantime by the much safer ice screws. The shovel head is used in traditional ice axes, among other steps to hitting, the ice ax can be used for knocking loose Eispartien or for preparation of the stand.
On the ice ax is often a hand strap attached, from which the hand can not slip out. This gives the extra grip on ice climbers ice ax.