Cassin/CAMP took all the features of their Alpax ice axe and dropped 50 grams to create the X-Light. The hammer version weighs 506 grams (17.8oz) and the adze is a touch lighter at 500 grams (17.6oz).

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The X-Light will be available next fall. This light-weight tool has an aluminum shaft to reduce weight, and a steel head to keep the axe durable. The steel head (hammer version) allows you to pound pickets with ease and will also get you through unforeseen ice challenges up to WI3. Thanks to the slightly bent shaft, your knuckles will be saved on the near-vertical ice pitches.

The adze will happily chop steps for those times that it seemed like a good idea to save weight by leaving the crampons at home.

Cassin CAMP X-Light Technical Ice Axe

The movable pommel allows the X-Light to plunge during the long slog up a glacier and then quickly slide down the shaft to create a secure handle for ice climbing. Moving the pommel is tool-free, simply rotate the folding handle to loosen, adjust the pommel up or down the shaft, then tighten the handle to secure the pommel in place.

The X-Light is super versatile, due to the movable pommel, making it an ideal companion for someone who spends time on glaciers and occasionally climbs moderate ice. A mountaineer in the Cascades will find this tool handy to climb all the intermediate volcano routes.

Does this tool seem too versatile for you? Do you want to have a tool that does ONE job? Check out these other tools from CAMP/Cassin:

If you avoid ice at all costs, but do a lot of plunging in your glacier travel, the Neve or Alpina would be better choices for a traditional mountaineering axe while still being light-weight.

The Corsa / Corsa Nanotech would be better for a light-weight ski mountaineering tool, assuming you won’t be looking to climbing any ice pitches.

If you crave vertical ice and cringe at the thought of snow slogs, the X-Alp is their purely ice climbing tool.

If you want to see more new Cassin/CAMP gear check out their 2014 big wall harness, the Warden, or their innovative take on a daisy chain, the Daisy Twist. Otherwise, if you’re craving more new climbing gear from all the brands, check out our large post about all the new gear coming out in fall 2014 debuted at the Winter Outdoor Retailer show.

Until the X-Light is available, we’ll leave you with options of currently on-sale ice axes: 

Questions about the X-Light? Write them in the comments! We’re happy to get you answers. 

Alison Dennis

Alison Dennis

Alison (she/her) runs WeighMyRack from her 17' travel trailer. She is currently touring the US and would love if you contacted her to meet up to talk about climbing, climbing gear, or if you have any fun and/or ridiculous adventure in mind.

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