Developing a technical, high performance ice axe has been a long term project of mine, starting with my University Masters project. Wanting to develop a tool for my own climbing - which ranges from days cragging on pure ice, to multi-day alpine trips - I redesigned my honours-project tool to be more general purpose, and switched materials to CNC aircraft-grade 7075 T675 aluminium.
V2 was designed with general purpose mountaineering in mind, with grip taped handles and no secondary grip to enable plunging. After a season climbing with them I realised that
A) I much prefer climbing leashless
B) the secondary grip is mandatory
C) the primary grip needs much work regarding design, materials and protection from the ice.
The V3 design features a lighter version of the skeletal shaft design, with molded urethane shells clad around the one piece frame to form the grip. Weighing in at 450g including the Petzl T-rated pick it is one of, if not the lightest tool on the market, while still retaining plenty of punch into hard ice. On a recent ascent of Mt Tasman, New Zealands second highest peak they performed flawlessly as leashless tools in a range of conditions, from hard ice to soft powder.