This is a serious issue, because I see a lot of people do this improperly, opening themselves to a potentially serious injury.
To remedy that, I'm going to demonstrate how you should do this safely, in a way that prevents the axe pick from puncturing your hip if (when) you fall.
To start, hold your ice axe with the pick and adze upright, at the top. Next, slide them through an ice axe loop on the back of your pack. Twirl the axe, so that the pick is facing inwards, and now flip the shaft up, securing it to the back of your pack. That's all there is to it. If you fall, the blunt adze will connect with your hip and not the pick, potentially saving you the expense of a rescue.
South Hancock Summit
An ice axe is one of the most important safety items you can carry in winter, but there is a danger of self-inflected injury if you don't know how to use it and take care of it. Become an expert.
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