Eventually....New ice axes
Three weeks averaging three to four hours a day, plus a week on and off faffing with paint etc, has turned two tired looking walking axes into a pair of technical axes :-)
Couldn't believe it when I came across four Mountain Technology walking axes at £2.50 each (c. $4.10). Couple of DMM picks for £15 & £25, then just a few bits of aluminium, some odd bolts, that's about it.
They're not perfect by any means, Hammerite is rather frustrating to paint with! And obviously don't know exactly how strong they are, but certainly should be good enough for my first season, just need some cold weather now!