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Fast and light is the name of the game with alpine climbing. This is done beautifully with the new Kestrels. Weighing only 16.4 oz each, the carbon fiber/kevlar tools are light in hand, yet perfectly balanced for a confident swing, as I experienced on the technical ice of Loch Vale, Colorado. The kevlar texture felt surprisingly tacky when holding with a gloved hand all through the handle and shaft—no grip tape needed, which again reduced weight vs. other tools I’ve owned. While dry-tooling picks and pick weights are available, I felt the Kestrel worked best at its bare bones, ready for high-alpine ice where every ounce of kit has been calculated. MSRP: $495 each