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Thread: Rescue on Adams

  1. #61
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Believe it. I've seen people who've not even tried on their crampons before, put them on backwards, refuse to switch back to snowshoes even being the only one postholing in spruce traps, etc.
    Not surprised at all.
    I've also had to help beginners put their snowshoes on.

    I hiked once this year with someone who had an axe. He was carrying it backwards from self-arrest (pick forward), and on a very short leash. I explained all of the stuff I had read, and explained I did not own an axe and received no formal training.
    Actually, there are two schools of thought on this... Hikers are often told to carry the axe pick-backwards because one is closer to self-arrest position. However, there is an ice climbing position with the pick forward (piolet panne, holding the axe by the adze). Many find this to be superior. (FWIW, Chouinard advocates this position.)


    Also, there are non-self-arrest uses of an axe. For instance, chopping steps, as a balance hold (shove the shaft in the snow and hold the head for balance) plus a variety of ice climbing positions. In fact many technical axes are not as good for self-arrest than walking or mountaineering axes. A hiker who does not know how to self-arrest could be safer with an axe than with ski poles or nothing on certain kinds of terrain because it could lessen the chance of his falling in the first place.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 03-30-2010 at 06:09 PM.

  2. #62
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    Actually, there are two schools of thought on this... Hikers are often told to carry the axe pick-backwards because one is closer to self-arrest position. However, there is an ice climbing position with the pick forward (piolet panne, holding the axe by the adze). Many find this to be superior. (FWIW, Chouinard advocates this position.)
    Trust me, he had no clue either way.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  3. #63
    Senior Member cbcbd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonadnockVol View Post
    ...To his surprise he found his partner lying on the edge of the cliff with most of his legs hanging out over the void. At the last possible moment, the ice axe had caught but the poor man was too exhausted to pull himself up and so he just lay there until Pinet got to him.
    Whoa!
    Didn't they make that into a movie?
    Doug

  4. #64
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Believe it. I've seen people who've not even tried on their crampons before
    Yes, I've seen that, and then when they are partway up they discover the crampons could not be adjusted to fit their boots, period

    It's more common with snowshoes because snowshoes are more common :-) At least twice I've been on trips where someone simply couldn't make their snowshoes fit and had to swap with someone with different size/style boots

  5. #65
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    In the interest of full disclosure, I (still) do not own an ice axe, and I have never needed crampons in my pursuit of the winter 48. MSRs and microspikes have been more than sufficient.
    I have climbed each of the 48 at least once in winter without any traction devices, but I have also used full crampons on seemingly-benign trails such as 19MB - it just depends on conditions

  6. #66
    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    I rarely bring an ice axe with me while hiking. I find it difficult to strap it to my fanny pack when Im done having my picture taken.
    Enjoy your best

  7. #67
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    Would a traditional climbing helmet really do all that much for staving off the kinds of trauma that kill people in most winter conditions?
    Probably not 1500' foot falling neck snapping or boulder drops on my head trauma...But slip and knock yourself out and die in the cold trauma, yes.

    A helmet is such an easy thing to wear, just avoiding an irritating branch whack flesh biter seeing stars encounter is worth it.
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start

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  8. #68
    Senior Member Frodo's Avatar
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    So do YOU wear a helmet while hiking in winter?
    "If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door"

    - Paul Beatty

  9. #69
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Trust me, he had no clue either way.

    Tim
    NO joke at all -- you can ask Jason Ferris, Giggy or Jeff Stone: I thought you stuck the tip of your ice axe in your bung hole before I climbed the big slide on Mt. Flume this past weekend. No joking at all. I had never used an ice axe before and I just assumed that's what you did with it...

    Don't assume that even the most competent hikers know what to do with an ice axe.

    -Dr. Wu
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  10. #70
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Sure, I have an ice axe. It hangs in my basement 99% of the time. I promised it I would take it out at least once a year to give it fresh air, otherwise that's about it.

    I did learn to self arrest with it, in a controlled environment on a hill behind my house. After several beers, we got the hang of it and barely suffered a flesh wound in the process. Would I honestly be able to save myself sliding over the edge of King Ravine? Doubt it.

  11. #71
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
    So do YOU wear a helmet while hiking in winter?
    I did when I was trying to do the W48 solo thing, partially as a nod to my wife, the nurse, partially because my ski helmet worked well with my goggles and partially because I didn't care and figured it couldn't hurt. I don't really go alone in winter anymore, unless it's pretty straight forward.
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start

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  12. #72
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    As one who tends to walk into trees, I ought to wear protective head gear. As it is, I wear a hat with a sturdy front bill. Helmets aren't uncomfortable, but I've only worn them when climbing (as opposed to hiking) on Whitney, Rainier, and Hood.
    Ellen

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    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  13. #73
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    I just read this in the Littleton Courier. Unless my skim-reading has not been thorough enough, I don't think I've seen this information before and found it interesting:

    "An Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) winter hut caretaker, Doug Soholt, age 25, of Colorado, survived a 1,500-foot fall down the Great Gully in the northwest corner of King Ravine on the north side of Mt. Adams.

    "His hiking buddy, Nathaniel "Nathan" Blauss, age 28, of Hanson, Mass., a member of the AMC's construction crew, looked for him..."
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  14. #74
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    Seems odd that the F&G spokesman first said the hiker didn't have axe and crampons but was prepared for the hike, and then also says the hiker should've had axe and crampons on that terrain.

    The hiker being an AMC Hut winter caretaker and thus (presumably but not necessarily) a somewhat experienced winter hiker puts an interesting twist on the story. If only he had been an unprepared newbie from Rhode Island, it would be so much easier for me to carry on and on with self-righteous speculation.

    Sliding down King Ravine for the lenth of FIVE football fields and then walking out with "just" a few head wounds is something I still can't wrap my brain around.
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  15. #75
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    The hiker being an AMC Hut winter caretaker and thus (presumably but not necessarily) a somewhat experienced winter hiker puts an interesting twist on the story. If only he had been an unprepared newbie from Rhode Island, it would be so much easier for me to carry on and on with self-righteous speculation.
    Because it seems like he'll be okay, I don't feel bad making cracks about those flatlanders coming from Colorado to the Whites and not knowing how to deal with mountains

    Hope you have a speedy recovery, Douglas, and many more mountains, of whatever elevation.

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