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Thread: Self Arrest theory ve practice

  1. #31
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by giggy View Post
    I suggest spend the money and get taught right. 25 bucks and a weekend away from peakbagging isn't too much to sacrifice. (amc weekend)

    better yet, get a group and have IME or another guide take a few of you out - my guess is it would be about 100 bucks a person.
    Unfortunately the Boston chapter above-treeline workshop fills up really fast every year...I hope to make it in this year, but I'm not sure it's likely.

    Chauvin Guides does a 2-day course at $125/person/day (assuming a three-person group.) If anyone's potentially interested in making a group, PM me...I'd want to hike with you first, though

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Dub View Post
    Maybe it's just my partners, but nobody seems willing to jump into the crevasse to help me practice glacier travel self-arrest. Chip, are you volunteering...?
    The NH chapter glacier travel program might help with that.

    For simple self-arrest practice, I'll probably hit Prospect Hill (Waltham) once there's a snow base (might take awhile.) I'll post then in case any other Boston-area people want to join. (It is, just barely, T-accessible.) Corey Hill might also work, but the runout looks dicey at best.

  2. #32
    Senior Member giggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterWarlock View Post
    Thanks Michael - not quite the $25 Giggy mentioned , but looks like a good program.

    I kinda like the IME option better - have to look into it a bit more.
    the amc offers a program in spring for about 25 bucks (10 bucks a day??) at gunstock run by volenteers - they do this every year - but i don't have the details.


    all those amc ones (michealj pointed out) do is outsource to the local guides and probably take a cut for themselves, just go to the guides themselves you'll probably get a better deal talking one on one than via AMC. plus, by going to the guides, you can customize - like i said, most people here don't need the hour instruction on what to wear and the importance of water, etc..
    Last edited by giggy; 12-04-2008 at 09:53 AM.

  3. #33
    Senior Member WinterWarlock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by giggy View Post
    the amc offers a program in spring for about 25 bucks (10 bucks a day??) at gunstock run by volenteers - they do this every year - but i don't have the details.
    Thanks - and to echo what LawnSale said, I'd be interested in hooking up with an IME day of instruction if something like that comes together.
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  4. #34
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by giggy View Post
    iI suggest spend the money and get taught right. 25 bucks and a weekend away from peakbagging isn't too much to sacrifice. (amc weekend)
    It isn't the money, or peakbagging that is the blocker (for me.) It's the parental obligation thing. Otherwise I completely agree with getting the professional training. The schedules for these things don't exactly make it easy to go either, if I was suddenly given a chance.

    Tim
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  5. #35
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Prospect Hill (Waltham)
    Excellent idea - the north-facing slope with the light poles, by the main entrance (I think this used to be a ski area). Decent slope with a nice flat runout, and there will probably be tobogganers packing it nicely.

  6. #36
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Sale View Post
    Willey's Slide is where I have practiced in the past, which is nice because I'm already there doing some climbing. While the runout on the bottom can be a little intimidating, it's not bad if you don't start from the top and you'll stop in plenty of time. It's also close to the highway, but can be busy during the 'season'.
    Willey's Slide has a very short runout and then throws you into the trees. You also have to catch it when the lower portion is hardpack/crusty snow rather than ice.

    Doug

  7. #37
    Senior Member Lawn Sale's Avatar
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    I've never found it a problem as that's where the snow accumulates, and there is plenty of time to stop before the trees, unless you're starting from the top, which would not be a smart idea.
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  8. #38
    Senior Member hikingfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    I refuse to even purchase an ice axe until I know how to actually use it for self arrest. At some point I'd like the opportunity to practice with experienced people. I can't currently "afford" to take a weekend-long mountaineering class.

    Tim
    I once took a course on "mountaineering" on Mt Washington. Basically, we went in Huntington Ravine for a day in April (I remember that it was during that weekend where everyone goes to Tuckerman to ski) and praticed sliding down the mountain and self-arresting. Just borrow a friend's ice axe and go nuts! It's lots of fun and if anything at that specific period of the year, you can usually self-arrest by simply digging in your mitts into the snow.

    Fish

  9. #39
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Dub View Post
    but I've always read and been told not to wear the poons when practicing, to avoid those pesky snapped ankles. What're others' thoughts here?
    Very true.

    If you are not wearing crampons, your weight should be on the axe head and your toes. If you are wearing crampons, your weight should be on the axe head and your knees with your feet up in the air. (These are with respect to "self-arrest position"--on your front with the axe head just above your shoulder and the shaft under your shoulder and down to the opposite hip. Hands on the axe head and just above the axe spike. Axe pick pressed in the snow.)

    Nice how-to movie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM3xLshmNnk

    And, of course:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-arrest

    Doug

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney View Post
    Have you ever actually done a self-arrest using this whippet system? I've not, nor known anyone who has. When I look at one of these in the store I've always been struck with how flimsy they seem, and know how much force is generated within fractions of a second in real life, I've had my doubts about them.

    I would be very interested in hearing from someone who's actually used one, even if the self-arrest was only in practice.
    I have. I use a single pole with this type of handle in winter. The weigth of the removable "pick" is far less than an ice ax. I don't always bring the pick but frequently do. So when I'm on a slick piece of terrain, I often tell myself, well it would be stupid to bring it and not use it. So a few times I was kick stepping up a slide with crust. My feet began to slide. After several feet, with lots of adeneline flowing, I dropped forward in self arrest postion and I came to a stop. First time was on Friday slide in the Cats. I don't remember the second times.

    Of course as with an ice ax, the speed at which you hit the stance will largely influence success or failure. Get any type of speed going and that ax wil just skip across the ice or rip out of your hands. So, when I start to slide in a situation with no safe runout, I respond quickly.

    Please understand that the BD handles are a very long way from an ice ax. I think about all the people I see above tree line without ice axes on largely ice encased terrain in a fall=death situation. Heh I was there too. For wahtever reason, these people chose to go there without an ice ax. Would the BD handle work? On ice, I doubt it, but on ice, you would need to be good to get an ice ax to arrest your fall. Glad I didn't have to find out.

    A really good place to learn is on a ski slope. You can get a steep run covered in hard pack snow that supports a slide with no rocks and a good runout.
    "I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet, had my head snowed in, and I'm still on my feet, and I'm still,...willin"

  11. #41
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Proceed at your own risk: Practicing in crampons and a backpack would be much more relevant than without as that's generally the state you'll be in if you fall.

    Also, I really appreciate the real-world input from the likes of cbcbd and the Gig. Not falling to begin with is certainly preferable.
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  12. #42
    Senior Member NewHampshire's Avatar
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    Hmmm, $25? Thats not too bad....I actually thought it was worse (like $125).

    Brian
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Proceed at your own risk: Practicing in crampons and a backpack would be much more relevant than without as that's generally the state you'll be in if you fall.

    Also, I really appreciate the real-world input from the likes of cbcbd and the Gig. Not falling to begin with is certainly preferable.
    You should NEVER EVER practice self arrest with crampons on.
    The risk of injury is greater than the benefit of any extra learning.
    Of course you should know the difference in procedure for crampons vs no crampons. I do practice with my pack on.
    "I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet, had my head snowed in, and I'm still on my feet, and I'm still,...willin"

  14. #44
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John H Swanson View Post
    You should NEVER EVER practice self arrest with crampons on.
    The risk of injury is greater than the benefit of any extra learning.
    Of course you should know the difference in procedure for crampons vs no crampons. I do practice with my pack on.
    I respectfully disagree. Perhaps as a first experience: yes. But in a worst case situation, I believe it is better to get hurt in a controlled situation than to get the same injury well up a glacier.

    The Rainier guides taught, and had us practice self-arrest at Camp Muir with crampons on. Some of the group doing it for the first time.
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  15. #45
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
    I respectfully disagree. Perhaps as a first experience: yes. But in a worst case situation, I believe it is better to get hurt in a controlled situation than to get the same injury well up a glacier.

    The Rainier guides taught, and had us practice self-arrest at Camp Muir with crampons on. Some of the group doing it for the first time.
    You should certainly know how to self-arrest with and without. How you get there is, obviously, a judgment call.

    The video that I references a couple of posts ago advocates using one's knees even without crampons so you can use one technique in either case. Unfortunately, this results in a less-than-best self-arrest without crampons.

    One can certainly practice using one's knees or toes without crampons to learn the techniques for use with and without crampons.

    Doug

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