2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Relationship Between Height and Ice Axe Shaft Length and Lateral Stability
Dawson A. Foster
Dr. James A. Padfield, Faculty Mentor

Travelers on glaciers and snow fields use an ice axe to self-arrest if they lose their footing. The walking motion uses the ice axe like a cane, but no studies have been done to see if the axe adds lateral stability. We tested 12 men and 18 women using a stability platform and 4 ice axes of lengths 60, 70, 80 and 90. These 4 trials, and a no ice axe trial, were completed in random order and the amount of time that the subject could maintain balance within a 60 second period was recorded. We also measured height and weight. With the exception of the tallest men having difficulty with the shortest ice axe length there did not appear to be a meaningful relationship between ice axe length and balance, suggesting that the ice axe's primary function is for self-arrest.

Keywords: ice axe, stabillity

Topic(s):Exercise Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 301-4
Location: MG 1000
Time: 1:45

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