[pct-l] Ice Axe

Richard Woods wpsnotebook at charter.net
Fri Sep 22 14:25:10 CDT 2006

I also like the BD Raven 65 cm copy, a good basic axe, not too heavy.  
Haven't seen anybody mention a leash yet (maybe later in the digest?)
but I use it. Say you fall and the ax gets away from you, with the  
leash you have a chance to get it back and regain control. Also, do  
your basic training wearing a pack. You really need to learn how to  
compensate for that added weight and different balance.

Whatever you have or choose, it won't do you any good if you don't  
know how to use it. Any thing is better than nothing, some pieces of  
gear work better that others for a specific circumstance. Maybe some  
of the Fuller ridge and Forrester Pass vets could weigh in on the  
subject of the all-around most likely conditions encountered for  
those stretches of trail. Obviously snow conditions can change  
rapidly, I'm just wondering what experience tells us is the most  
likely condition a thru will run into.

FWIW, I've done a quarter-mile slide without crampons or an ax down a  
50+ degree slope. Started out as a glissade that quickly got out of  
control. Luckily I only got a few bruises on elbows and butt,  
shredded the palms of my hands, trashed a new pair of original Levi  
jeans and my pack, lost a few pieces of gear, and wore the heels off  
a heavy pair of waffle stompers before I got control on the run-out  
at the bottom. Nothing like flailing along at better than twenty  
miles an hour or so over an icy washboard for a lifetime measured in  
seconds to make a believer out of you.


On Sep 22, 2006, at 10:00 AM, pct-l-request at backcountry.net wrote:

From: Shutterbug steiner <shutterbugg313 at yahoo.com>
Date: September 21, 2006 6:19:24 PM PDT
To: AsABat at 4Jeffrey.Net, pct <pct-l at mailman.backcountry.net>
Subject: Re: [pct-l] Ice axe

I too would be interested in any stories of full Self Arrest with the  
ULA Potty Trowel.  I believe it gives a false sense of security and  
only could be used in heavy snow for self belay - which is  
good........the biggest goal in Mountaineering is to prevent falling  
but I fear that it would fail on a full self arrest on ICE --- which  
by the way is when you need it the most.  I'd not want to risk my  
life on 6 oz.

   I personally like the Black Diamond Raven and have used it in  
practice self arrest many times.  And learning and practicing are  
very important OR it is just a nice walking stick with sharp points.


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