The Cassin Mirage’s pick scored high marks for ice and mixed versatility.
Cassin Mirage, $200
Summary: The Mirage has decent clearance and its pick is versatile, requiring only minor modification for dry-tooling or use in cold conditions. The reverse shaft curve just above the grip rotates your wrist to an odd angle, so it’s slightly more strenuous to hold. The tool’s comfortable and detachable leash is easy to use and allows your hand to slide the full range of the shaft, but the clip does rattle around when you plant the tool. The molded plastic grip has finger shelves for gripping and control but lacks a pinky shelf. While this makes the Mirage more versatile for crossing over from waterfall to alpine ice, it does detract from its steep-ice ability.
Pros: Versatile pick. Ergonomic grip.
Cons: Rattly leash. Lacks pinky shelf.
Overall grade: B+
Cassin/Climb Axe: (800) 895-0048, www.cassin.it