"For general mountaineering avoid an axe that’s too long. When the axe is comfortably hanging at your side with your arm straight, the spike of your axe should be right at your ankle bone." - Solveig Waterfall's Guide PickTM pick: Black Diamond Raven Pro
"I personally use an alpine climbing axe on mountains like Denali, Vinson and Everest because you have a choice between an adze and hammer. Also, a slightly shorter axe is beneficial when you get on steeper terrain." - JJ Justmam's Guide PickTM pick: Black Diamond Venom Hammer
The Take Away: For standard routes on Rainier, Denali, Everest and other non-technical climbs, a general mountaineering ice axe provides the ideal balance of weight, features and durability. On steeper routes like West Rib on McKinley and Liberty Ridge on Rainier an alpine axe will be your choice. In general, more technical tools will match more technical routes.