The jubilee pickaxe on the road with its creator and manufacturer Ruedi Bhend

Ruedi Bhend, honorary member of the Grindelwald Mountain Guides Association, has been making ice picks for 50 years - the 'Bhend pick', world-famous in mountaineering circles. (eispickel.ch/geschichte-des-eispickel/). One might think that in the age of steep ice climbing, drytooling and repeatedly beaten summit records, an ice axe with an explosive tip and wooden shaft would no longer have a raison d'être.
Far from it: Reto Schild, the technical director of Swiss mountain guide training, says: "The use of the ice axe is an examination subject in mountain guide training. The change of glaciers requires more frequent changes from rock and scree to ice - with the skillful use of the ice pick, constant putting on and taking off of the crampons (and thus loss of time) can be reduced. The same in winter, the mountain guides and guides must be able to carve a ski track in the steep, hard snow and to chop a pointed turn."
Ruedi Bhend still makes more than 100 picks every year. Ruedi was a strong mountaineer himself and on his numerous tours he tested the ice axe again and again and then continuously refined the explosive tip and shovel.
Today he can be found more and more on mountain trails - and never without his pick! This was also the case with his wife Kathrin and friends in September in the Vals Valley, at the foot of the Zervreila and Rheinwaldhorn; this time the jubilee pick was also present.

(Text Godi Egger; Pictures Lilli Balmer, Mirjam Egger, Godi Egger)