Dual ice axes are rarely used in typical mountaineering, being usually reserved for near vertical ice such as waterfalls, crevasses, couliers and the like. In this case, the user frequently has 3 axes, two short hand axes, rigid crampons, with the longer axe strapped on.

Front pointing has not entirely replaced cutting steps, in places like Nepal, where typically up to 100 persons need to be at one of several bases camps (see the Pyramid Supply System), steps are cut to add whatever measure of safety is possible to a rather hazardous medium. (see icefall).

All the cool technical ice climbing axes seem to now have replaceable adze and/or heads and spikes. Different kinds of ice, differnt type of heads, from ones with a very steep attack (the degree the adze curves in, or curves at all), to specal attachments that not only serve as heads, but also have holes for screwing in ice screws, or prying them out. See Charlot Moser, Black Diamond, Climb High, REI etc.