An ice axe is a tool mountaineers use for routes that involve snow or ice. It is used to probe the stability of the snow or ice in crevasses, and for ice climbing. There are techniques to lighten a fall onto a suitable surface of snow or ice. it can be used to securize a party on an ice climbing tour. In 1933, crampons were introduced. These are attached to the shoes of the mountaineer and provide more stability. They are also used in icy situations. Before their widespread use, ice axes were used to make steps for the mountaineers to use.