Perhaps the Tech Specs need updating? e.g....
Perhaps the Tech Specs need updating? e.g. "Ice axe loops: 1, Gear loops: none, Ski Carry: No" I have one of these packs and there are 2 ice axe loops (as seen in the Backcountry.com photo). Also, I asked two experienced mountaineers what the two shallow pockets and bands were for (white and gray in the photo), one on either side of the back of the pack. The answer: Carrying skis, A frame style, or pickets, or tent poles or wands or crevasse probe poles. Besides the gear loops for the two ice axes there is a loop at the end of the yellow orange stout webbing going down the back. What is that for? One guess is that it is a gear loop for an additional tool, such as a shovel that could be attached as one would an ice axe. I wish that Mountain Hardwear provided the answers on its web site. There is a link to a manual, but this pack is not mentioned in the manual. I am planning on several climbs with this pack and will rate it later. It looks good so far.
Hayes. The traditional ice axe loop at the bottom of the daisy chain (stout yellow webbing) is for carrying perhaps a single ice axe when mountaineering or more precisely when approaching a climb. Your friends are absolutely correct regarding the shallow pockets on either side of the pack. We try to provide many options on our packs for carrying stuff into the hills - wand pockets, A-Frame ski carry capacity, two ice axe carrying loops in the form of bottle openers, full wrap compression straps, webbing belt for climbing, top compression strap, and last but not least the traditional ice axe loop. As for providing the answers as to how to use each feature? We would rather leave it up to the individual user to decide the best way to utilize the pack for their particular use or trip. Thanks for checking it out and I hope it works well for you on your climbs!