It can be found at the very top of the Throat of the World. The only legitimate way to get there is upon completion of the quest The Throat of the World. Just to the side of the Time Wound, opposite of the word wall is a slope that can be climbed to reach the summit. The pickaxe lies just below the peak, embedded into the rock. Alternatively, with enough patience, the mountain can be scaled on horseback or by jumping repeatedly. Upon reaching the top, the pickaxe can be acquired.
The pickaxe grants the Dragonborn +5 towards Smithing. In the base game, this does not break the cap of 100 Smithing. When used as a weapon, it inflicts 5–7 shock damage, in addition to its regular damage.
In the base game, the Notched Pickaxe can be disenchanted to learn the unique "Notched Pickaxe" enchantment, which can be used to enchant other weapons and items.
- Points towards Smithing are capped at 5. The shock damage varies as per standard enchanting rules.
- Dual Wielding two enchanted Notched Pickaxes does not increase the Smithing bonus over 5.
- Despite its name, it shows no visible notches.
- When viewed in the Creation Kit, its Editor ID is
- The Notched Pickaxe may be a reference to Markus Persson, a.k.a "Notch," who is the creator of Minecraft, as pickaxes are tools prominently featured in Minecraft. In addition, the Notched Pickaxe gives a bonus to Smithing, a skill similar to crafting items in Minecraft.
- Another similarity has to do with the English mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine who disappeared while climbing Mount Everest in June 1924. Many search attempts were made to try and find Mallory and Irvine but were unsuccessful. The only discovery made for 75 years and several search attempts was a marked pickaxe, likely belonging to Irvine, a few hundred yards from the top. Mallory's body was recovered in 1999; despite possible sightings, Irvine's body has not been found.