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Tam McTavish | 02.10.2019

Petzl Gully Ice Axe specs

  • Ultra-light ice axe: 280 grams
  • Compact: only 45 cm
  • Pick type: 1
  • Shaft type: 1
  • Material(s): steel, aluminum, nylon
  • Certification(s): CE, UIAA

Where to buy

$149.99 • Petzl | Amazon | Moosejaw

Note: The Gully is offered with an adze or hammer. Both items are listed here.

The Bottom Line: As a mountaineering axe, the Gully is at its best. It's ultra lightweight, short, and very ski-centric. However, its light weight makes it tough to judge how much power to put into the swing, and as a result it’s hard to not over-drive the ice axe. Also, the pick is fixed, so if the axe gets heavy use, that’s it. No swapping parts. It will perform when you need it too, but it is a backup ice tool at best.

 


The head of the Gully, a steel alloy that can quickly lose its edge. Tam McTavish.

I don’t lack for ice axes. I have my very first, the DMM Cirque, a 66-centimeter Petzl Summit, and until recently a pair of the old Petzl Sum’Tecs. But I found I was really only ever using my Sum’tecs as spare tools for friends, and the alpine climbing I had envisaged wasn’t a reality.

Despite this, I didn’t have anything that was a great option for ski touring. My Summit was plenty light enough, but being 66 centimeters long it was just too big and awkward for many smaller trips. And booting up a couloir with a 66-centimeter ice axe requires a lot of hauling the axe up high.

In a quest for something lighter I looked through a few options. The Petzl Ride was the lightest and an appealing choice. However, I love having technical tools, so I settled for the Gully. It is basically the same as the Ride, except it has a steel alloy pick instead of stainless steel. It also has a adjustable grip rest and grooves for climbing more technical ice or steeper terrain. Having added grip rests to all my mountaineering axes in the past, it's a feature I really like to have. The new grip rest is very easy to use and unlock. It slides perfectly well, such that if unlocked and plunged into snow the rest rides up well.

As an ice tool it is crazy light and climbs ice better than expected. However, its light weight makes it tough to judge how much power to put into the swing, and as a result it’s hard to not over-drive the ice axe. When over-driven, like all Petzl tools, it’s a pain to get out. On lead, it is scary to aggressively yank it free.

Also, the pick is fixed, so if the axe gets heavy use, that’s it. No swapping parts. This definitely makes it poor choice for regular use. It will perform when you need it too, but it is a backup ice tool at best.

As a mountaineering axe, the Gully is at its best. It's ultralightweight, short, and very ski-centric. Even on 45-degree slopes, it might be a little short for people over 6 feet tall. For couloirs and most ski mountaineering terrain, you don't really need anything too long. A short shaft that stays below a pack when secured is much nicer.

The head is reinforced with a plastic piece, which sounds bad, but it's warmer and makes for a very comfortable grip when plunging over and over again. Petzl's latest series is so comfortable in hand.

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