ice ax


Definition of ice ax

: a combination pick and adze with a spiked handle that is used in mountain climbing

Illustration of ice ax

Illustration of ice ax

Examples of ice ax in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps his most famous invention was the first all-steel ice ax. New York Times, "“Final Ascent: The Legend of Hamish MacInnes.”," 3 Dec. 2020 One member of our team dived onto the picket that was holding the near end of their rope and hammered in his ice ax to back it up, while others used a second line to pull the climbers back to safety. Mark Synnott, National Geographic, "Our team climbed Everest to try to solve its greatest mystery," 16 June 2020 Today’s Ryan McCarty construction was like clinging to the side of a mountain with an ice ax for me, or at least the southwest corner was. Caitlin Lovinger, New York Times, "Best in Class," 17 Apr. 2020 The test involved various traverses on steep ice that gauged candidates’ skills with crampons and ice axes. Simon Akam, Outside Online, "You Won’t Pass Chamonix’s Mountain Guiding Test," 27 Nov. 2019 Her social-media presence bears this out: there’s Lulu doing a handstand on a beach, and hoisting an ice ax in the air, and pumping out push-ups, and whitewater kayaking, and diving off a rock into a blue pool of water. Rachel Monroe, Outside Online, "Last winter, Moroccan officials found two hikers dead on the trail to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. The international investigation that followed revealed the fragility of the adventure travel economy, as well as what happens when a small tourist hub is suddenly made strange by violence.," 29 July 2019 On Everest, the more experienced Sherpas showed Kanchha how to walk with crampons and use an ice ax. Freddie Wilkinson, National Geographic, "He’s the last surviving member of the first expedition to summit Everest," 17 June 2019 Boots, crampons and an ice ax rent for $35 for three days. Tom Stienstra,, "Everything you need to know to climb Mount Shasta ahead of a sensational summer season," 7 June 2019 Her recreational ice-climbing gear includes Grivel Tech Machine ice axes ($380 a pair), Black Diamond Cyborg crampons ($150), Salomon boots ($40 on eBay). Jen Murphy, WSJ, "An Elite Ice Climber’s Year-Round Workout," 23 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ice ax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ice ax

circa 1800, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ice ax

Time Traveler

The first known use of ice ax was circa 1800

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Statistics for ice ax

Cite this Entry

“Ice ax.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for ice ax

ice ax


English Language Learners Definition of ice ax

: a cutting tool that is used in mountain climbing

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