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  • CAMP USA - Corsa Nanotech Ice Axe - Red
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  • CAMP USA - Corsa Nanotech Ice Axe - Red

CAMP USA Corsa Nanotech Ice Axe


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    26 Reviews


    An ultralight ice axe for spring mountaineering and technical ski tours.

    Sometimes an all-aluminum axe just isn't burly enough to get the job done. Camp USA's Corsa Nanotech Ice Axe combines the ultra-low weight of an aluminum ice axe with the excellent hard-ice penetration of a steel axe. The 8.8-ounce Corsa Nanotech uses aluminum construction in the shaft and head but includes a light, strong Nanoflex steel pick and spike for better hard snow and ice penetration.
    • Nanoflex steel tip to add performance to the aluminum pick
    • Ultralight construction makes this axe ideal for ski mountaineering
    • Upper shaft curve adds clearance for climbing steep snow and mellow ice
    • Textured lower shaft for better grip
    • Item #CMP0053

    Tech Specs

    Shaft Rating
    Pick Material
    Nanoflex steel
    Shaft Material
    Claimed Weight
    8.8 oz
    Recommended Use
    ultralight mountaineering, ski mountaineering
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    I like, but not great on ice

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    Let me start by saying this is a personalized experience. I realize not everyone will use this in the same envioronment or the same way. I used this tool for solo climbing on Mt Shasta, California. Climbed using this axe and the BD Contact Strap with ABS plates crampons strapped to snowboard boots. Alpine start around 3 am, light and fast with snowboard strapped to back.

    The axe was a nice tool to have, I'm 6'2 so it felt nice to have a tool which is just a bit longer than what I'm used to (BD Ultra Raven). It made uphill contact a breeze, and even made downhill contact without hunching over possible.

    I really only have two complaints or cautions, which have been voiced in earlier posts:

    - The axe is very light, making it difficult to get any real "heft" behind your swings

    - The adze is kinda thin, making for a smaller surface area when you hit the snow / ice

    We ran into ice on the way up. I was assisting those in my group to switch over from crampons to snowboard / skis, so we could decend as a storm was starting to settle in. It was difficult and time consuming to cut platforms, for members of my team to get an upright stance, so they could get locked into their gear.

    The two complaints I listed above made the effort of cutting steps / platforms a little more difficult and time consuming than I would have liked. Perhaps my tehcnique with the new axe was a little off, as this was my first use of it. But immediately upon borrowing my wife's Ultra Raven, I was able to chop out two platforms in no time.

    If you are just going out for a casual summit with good weather and soft conditions, this axe will serve you well. If you expect mixed conditions and possibly hard surface where you might want to do some chopping, you might have mixed results.

    It also did well on the decent, and helped me arrest one or two times when the surface underfoot became really hard ice and I lost an edge on my board.

    I like, but not great on ice

    Great axe for specific applications.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    As others have indicated, this is not a great all purpose axe however it super light. I bought a 70 cm that i use almost strictly for piolet. The extra length allows me to stay upright more than my smaller axes however doesn't add any additional weight. I usually carry this and set of ice tools for the routes I do. The ice tools come out when I really need and axe however I have this ultra light axe out for extra stability on moderate terrain or the rare unplanned self arrest. Due to the ultra light weight, I think it's worth the effort to carry.

    A Specific Axe

      In my opinion this is a tool with a very specific use. It should not be your all around piolet or even considered a general mountaineering axe and should not be replacing your old piolets (for example BD raven). I've watched the adze and head snap off when cutting steps in moderately firm neve, seen the shaft bend, and the steel pick disintegrate when swinging into junky ice. That all being said I still really like this axe as a specific tool for certain ski or climbing missions, where I will most likely not need an axe, and if I do it will be simply for snow walking and or that one small patch of ice. This is primarily a ski mountaineering tool for skimo racing where they are required to carry one and or they do not need many of the functions of normal piolet.

      Some things to keep in mind that the head and spike do not have compatible or usable clip in points, and the head is not rated (I've watched them break). The skillset of proper piolet technique and usage has somewhat been forgotten, and unfortunately this tool cannot do with any bit of confidence the majority of things even a standard BD raven can do.

      That all being said, the thing is insanely light and the shorter lengths fit in a pack nicely. The grip on the shaft is just a bit of grip tape but it seems to work well, and for the very small amount of time this guy gets used it seems to get the job done.

      This should be an addition to your axe quiver not a replacement to an already owned axe.

      My go-to ski mountaineering axe

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Light, strong, durable, perfect bent shaft, good grip. Weighing in at less than 9 oz and keeping me securely attached to the mountain , this is one of my favorite pieces of gear. Before I would tend to leave an axe in the car to avoid carrying some extra weight on longer days or trips to new areas.... not anymore.

      So Light Yet Still Plunges Strong

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I still can't believe how light, functional and comfortable this axe is. I tend to always carry an axe with me on my missions for that

      So Light Yet Still Plunges Strong

      Never go out without it. So Light!

        This axe is perfect for ski mountaineering. Extremely light, but with its durable stainless steel tip it can handle any ice/snow conditions.

        The grip tape on the handle is really sticky, especially with leather touring gloves and i was about to climb roughly WI3 with this thing to surmount a bulge.

        My buddy also dulled the tip when he whacked it against some rocks, all I had to do was take a file and it was sharp as new! Stainless steel!

        Any lighter and it wouldn't be there

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I bought this axe last spring and have finally gotten a chance to put it to the test while getting into the alpine during this warm winter and could not be happier with my purchase. Not only is it so-light-I-can't-even-tell-its-on-my-pack but it is sturdy and keeps me feeling comfortable and fast booting up couloirs. It is strong and versatile on really steep more extreme terrain but light enough to throw in your pack just-in-case on those mellower days. Excited to use it to keep pushing me further into the backcountry!

        Light, Capable

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I'd like to echo the other review that this axe replaced my BD Raven and seems equally as capable at about half the weight. Have used it snow climbing in the Tetons several times and plan to take it on the Haute Route next month. The design seems sound; the re-enforced tips have held up well thus far. I haven't tried it on any ice yet, but it has been quite effective on re-frozen bulletproof snow. I can't imagine a better tool exists for steep snow climbing - obviously something more technical would be required for any legit ice.

        Super light!

        • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

        Not even close to my other axes in weight. This feels great in my hand and is the perfect 'just in case' axe, for those trips when I know I'll need it to cross a snowfield or two, or if I'm just not sure if it will be necessary at all. I got a much smaller size than my 'normal' axe-- So I do think that on a bigger mountain, I'd bring my standard size. But for spring mountaineering, this is perfect!

        Great to have for long routes in GTNP

        Using this Axe primarily for the descent and some step cutting on the Middle Teton. Perfect for this application, super light so Its easy to rationalize carrying it all day and will definitely hold up for this kind of climbing.

        Great to have for long routes in GTNP

        Good Bye Raven

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        Same idea as their Nano Tech crampons, beef them up at the wear points but, dont make it heavier. They used their special steel right where I would want it, at the bottom of the shaft and at the tip of the pick.<br ></article><br />The slight curved shaft makes climbing steeper terrain feel more secure. Also its a little easier to hook rocks and tree branches should your adventures take you to them. The minimal grip at the bottom beats the ski strap I have been using for years on my Raven.<br /><br />Between this and the Nanotech crampons Ive dropped a total of 1.5 lbs from my ski mountaineering set up. Not a huge deal on a 1-3 hour tour but, over the course of 8-12 hours it makes a difference. A huge difference if you are at altitude!

        Good Bye Raven

        Go Light Go Fast

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        The good folks from CAMP USA put on the CAMP USA Adventure Week for a few the Expert Gearheads here at Backcountry and holy heck was it one jam packed week of nothing but testing gear.

        One of the main pieces I tried and loved is the CAMP USA Corsa Nanotech ice axe. I was blown away by the performance of this axe in terms of the features but also the weight.
        The weight reduction largely comes from the head not being a full steel head. Instead the critical points are made of “Sandvik Steel.”

        Here is what CAMP USA has to say about the Sandvik Steel:
        “Sandvik Nanoflex is an innovative patented steel alloy that is 60% stronger than normal steel which allows for a significant reduction in the amount of metal used, thereby decreasing weight while maintaining strength.”

        Axe Head:
        The head on the Corsa Nanotech is a unique one. Most other axe heads are either steel (heavier but more durable) or aluminum (lighter but wear faster and not suited for ice or steel terrain). This head is an aluminum one with a pick that is made of Sandvik steel.

        Sandvik Pick:
        I’m a huge fan of how CAMP USA integrated this feature. To have a durable pick on a lightweight head is downright impressive. Plus it is nice knowing that it’ll hold up to abuse. The attention to how the pick was attached to the head is incredible.

        The shaft is all aluminum which helps keep the weight down but has a slight curve to it. I preferred this for the steeper terrain we found ourselves on rather than having a true straight shaft.

        There are two grip patches down where your bottom hand goes. I’m not a fan over the over-molded rubber grips you’d find on the BD Venom or other various axes. But the two grip patches are a nice subtle feature that doesn’t create any problem when plunging the axe into the snow on steep terrain.

        Shaft Plug:
        About 2cm’s in on the bottom of the shaft there is a plug that makes it so the ice or snow cannot get logged into the shaft and adding weight.

        Sandvik Spike:
        Most other axes have an aluminum shaft and either the bottom of the axe is cut at an angle but then if you actually hit ice or rock the shaft bends. Or some of the axes have a steel pick at the bottom. The Corsa Nanotech has a pick at the bottom made of the Sandvik steel which is pretty durable and great for keeping the axe in place during uphill travel.

        These come in 50, 60 and 70 cm options. For me I opted to go with the 50cm length axe. I wish there was a 55cm option. The 60cm seemed too long but the 50cm was a tad short. I have longer arms and I figured for steeper terrain the 50cm would work nicely.

        If you have any questions at all, let me know and I'm more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

        Jared D.
        Expert Gearhead

        Go Light Go Fast

        What size should I get?

        So for a versatile size, measure the distance between the tip of your middle finger while at your side and the malleolus of your ankle. This will provide the most versatile size for you.

        If you intend to be on steeper terrain mostly, then you can use a shorter axe, if you are going to be on more moderate flatter terrain then a longer axe will suit you better.

        You can call or email me directly. 801-736-6398, or

        I am looking for a ski-touring ax... I...

        I am looking for a ski-touring ax... I want a bent shaft so my options are the BD venom, the corsa nano, Or a petzl sum'tec. What will preform best in the semi-technical wasatch backcountry?

        These are all very aggressive tools for ski touring...But, I like the BD and Petzl because they have replaceable picks. The petzl has a cool little sliding rest that you can move on the shaft to use it on technical terrain easier, and a slightly less aggressive pick than the BD, that would be my choice.

        hi I am curious about this product cause...

        hi I am curious about this product cause I see that it has a 5 star rating but I was wondering if it would be my best bet or if their is something else out their that is more efficient to use for my snowboarding next year and that is running a decent price range

        The only other thing comparable in terms of weight and functionality is the black diamond raven ultra (which is a couple ounces heavier). This on is certainly more expensive, but you get what you pay for - and in this case, its the steel pick and tip and the light weight.

        Any axe will do; you're really only spending the extra money on this for the weight savings. Any of the BD Ravens, Grivels, or other CAMP axes will all function basically identically. People just really like this axe since it's so light, but you can get away with paying a lot less for basically the same performance in a slightly heavier package.

        I am a Japanese.I have lived in Japan.It...

        I am a Japanese.I have lived in Japan.It is dispatch possible?Furthermore, I have the credit card(VISA).

        Ichiro Iwata," uses UPS Worldwide Express or Worldwide Expedited for all shipping outside the United States."Backcountry says it is allowed to ship Camp products internationally. So you should be able to place your order and have the Camp ice axe dispatched (mailed) to you.Arigato gozaimasu, Sumo