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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Crampons Glissading... on 05/09/2011 15:18:45 MDT Print View

Brian, you just proved my point. You must do your ice axe and crampon work in another area besides California. This thread was solely about California's Mount Shasta's Standard Route. You did not list that in your places to go.

The slope angle, snow and ice conditions, weather, and everything else all play into how descents need to happen safely.

I would not want to strap crampons onto my back as you suggested. Way too much chance of that producing a broken rib.

Salewa is a brand name of crampons. I've never heard of Selwa.

Steering with your feet. Yes, actually heels. Works great. It is actually more for speed control. Come to California sometime so that you can learn that all snow is not the same. The original poster may have valued Shasta experience more than Alberta experience.

--B.G.--

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Crampons Glissading... on 05/09/2011 19:56:10 MDT Print View

Snow is snow no matter where it is. Alaska to Mexico to Kilamajaro. The fact you believe otherwise says volumes about your experience level or lack thereof. Thaw, freeze, and solar radiation are all the same depending on season altitude etc.

Crampons on your back? Say what?

Heels don't steer as you originally claimed, now you are claiming for slowing down. Well that is what your ice axe pick and adze are for unless its supper SOFT, otherwise you can do your flip with normal boots on as well when glissading.

If you are purposefully going glissading where its ice and you feel you need more than your pick/adze to slow down, you shouldn't be glissading to start with. Of course who in their right mind would glissade on ice? Best way to bruise/break something along with sever lacerations.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Glissade or self-arrest? on 05/09/2011 23:18:27 MDT Print View

Re: "...slowing down. Well that is what your ice axe pick and adze are for ..."
Do you mean self-arrest, rather than glissade? If you are sliding down the slope on your belly, with the shaft across your chest, the adze above your shoulder and the pick digging into the slope, that is a self-arrest, not a glissade. There is a standing glissade, like skiing, and a sitting glissade, but both utilize the spike, not the pick and not the adze.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Crampons Glissading... on 05/09/2011 23:45:39 MDT Print View

Brian, you are participating in this thread in an unusual manner. For example, you stated "Crampons on your back? Say what?"

That was from my inquiry when you first mentioned carrying crampons on your back on May 9. You first mentioned the back.

Then you stated "Heels don't steer as you originally claimed..." When did I make such a claim? (I didn't)

Steering is tricky when you are flying down a 33 degree slope. I think shifting your body weight from side to side does the most.

Despite your belief to the contrary, snow is very different from place to place. For one thing, north in the Rockies, like Alberta that you mentioned, the snow is cold enough at formation that the crystal structure is quite different from Mount Shasta's snow in May. If the air is consistently cold, then the crystals don't transition as much. That's why the northern Rockies and the Rockies in general have climax avalanches so often. Mount Shasta has avalanches, but they are more of the heavy/wet snow slides that run a short distance and then stop.

The snow labs in different areas can show you how different the snow is. I encourage you to visit one in your northern Rockies.

--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Glissade or self-arrest? on 05/09/2011 23:50:31 MDT Print View

Robert, I wish I could remember the exact words of an old quote about self-arrests. I will paraphrase it.

"There are three forms of self-arrest: the Standing, the Sedentary, and the Involuntary, and they usually follow in that succession."

--B.G.--

Will Elliott
(elliott.will) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA / Wasilla, AK
topic on 05/10/2011 00:57:08 MDT Print View

Thread is about pack weight, not glissade technique; saving that discussion for a different thread will keep this one more helpful to people interested in the original subject.

In response to the pertinent replies above:

[] Will definitely bring a warmer insulating jacket and a warmer bag. Thanks!

[] Glove progression is barehanded, shells only, shells & liners. If the temperature is right for a light liner, I find it is warm enough for skin or cool enough for shells.

[] A couple people have said to ditch the waterproof pants. I'm wearing thin, unlined soft shell pants— Simple Guides. Long underwear is not convenient to take on and off as conditions warrant. Shell pants and belay pants are, hence the "rain pants" on the list. I think the terminology was confusing.

[] Sit pad— do you find that sitting rests allows you to move faster than you would if you left the foam pad at home? I'll have to consider that.

[] Yes, the repair kit is a knife, duct tape, band-aids, Tums. No sunglass case— I wrap them in layers. I carry crampons in the pack.

[] OK, we'll ditch the shovel and bring a snowclaw, since it makes a nice frame for my pack.

[] Again on the "rain pants," these aren't for rain (that's why we aren't bringing a waterproof tent) but for cold, wind, and glissading. They are the 2nd piece of clothing on my legs (besides boxers).

[] I think that's all! Thanks. Looks like the sit pad is still in question. I'll try it and see if I move faster.

How about Kahtoola crampons, vs. Neves or Air Techs? There's a half pound one could save.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: topic on 05/10/2011 01:09:55 MDT Print View

"How about Kahtoola crampons, vs. Neves or Air Techs? There's a half pound one could save."

Will, out of 22 successful summits on Shasta, I made it up only once without any crampons. All other 21, I had full crampons on. The style of crampons depends a lot on your boots (rigid plastic, flexible leather, etc.).

In a way, it is nice to be able to climb without using crampons. It is lighter on your feet. However, the problem lies in where you might have to put them on.

Typically, lots of climbers start up from Helen Lake with crampons on. That's OK. Some like to start hiking up Avalanche Gulch to see how high they can go before they have to put them on. That's OK, except that there may not be a decent place to sit and get them strapped on properly. With your ice axe as an anchor, it can be done. I just found it to be more foolproof to put them on in camp where I can walk around and test them for snugness before I get too far up. If there is one thing that is awkward, it is having a crampon go loose when you are halfway up the slope.

One year it was so icy and bad that we had to put on crampons about 400 vertical feet (lower) before we got to Helen Lake. That was a tough year.

--B.G.--

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: topic on 05/10/2011 12:27:46 MDT Print View

Crampons on/off to 25-30 degrees is quite simple. Worse spots are icy 10 degree stuff because on steeper stuff you just jam your foot into the hillside and you get your straps nice and close to your hands, whereas on lower angle stuff its much farther away and trying to bend over with a full pack is NOT fun on one leg.

Fastest glissade will be with nylon pants or a garbage bag. I suppose I have seen some folks take PVC saucers up the hills. Foam sit pad simply protects your buns for sitting in camp and for glissading.

Will Elliott
(elliott.will) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA / Wasilla, AK
spikes on 05/10/2011 13:55:14 MDT Print View

Thanks, Bob! I'll take real crampons, and a trash compactor bag to glissade.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: spikes on 05/10/2011 14:53:15 MDT Print View

Yes, I feel that real crampons are required. As for the trash bag... it seems like we tried that one year. The trick is that you have to get it bound onto your hips so that it doesn't rip off and it doesn't let much snow or ice into your crotch area. So, if you had some webbing, you could fashion a diaper sling around the trash bag. Keep in mind that you want something that you can apply correctly in a hurry, plus, you don't want something that is too heavy. I assume that you will summit successfully, then walk back down Misery Hill with crampons still on. When you get to Red Banks is when you need to apply this diaper trash bag. On some years, there is an open bergschrund right there at the south end of Red Banks. Sometimes it is closed, but often climbers jump over it if it is only two feet wide. Sometimes it is open about four feet, and that makes a good place to crawl into to get out of the wind for a few minutes. Then you can descend Avalanche Gulch, armed with your ice axe at the ready position, and probably with your crampons off. Of course, if the whole Gulch is icy, you may have to walk all the way down the thing with crampons on. I've done that, but it is really tiring.

On summit day, I highly recommend that your party is the first one out of camp at 5 a.m. or earlier, and be the first party on the summit (9 a.m. or so). It just gives you a larger window of opportunity if weather suddenly closes in.

--B.G.--

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Tomahawking arrest on 05/10/2011 17:26:00 MDT Print View

Sorry to be off topic, but there’s always the “Atlanta Braves’ self arrest” in which you tomahawk your way down the slope at the speed of sound.
Bob, you said, "For Helen Lake, we used to put four people in a three-person tent to improve warmth." Did you also use 1 pee bottle for 4 people? That must have been like being a strand of spaghetti in an Italian dish!

Edited by RobertM2S on 05/10/2011 17:49:05 MDT.

Jason Acker
(NWCLIMBER199) - F
Brian Austin... on 05/11/2011 10:07:09 MDT Print View

Do not listen to what this man says.

Edited by NWCLIMBER199 on 05/11/2011 10:08:40 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Tomahawking arrest on 05/11/2011 13:21:22 MDT Print View

"Did you also use 1 pee bottle for 4 people?"

Of course not.

There was one for males and another for females.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lighten up a Shasta Load on 05/11/2011 17:37:22 MDT Print View

"Don't glissade while wearing crampons? Why not? Just don't use your feet DUH! Unless its mush of course, then feel free, of course if its mush why the heck are you wearing pons?"

Huh? Surely you speak in jest.

Daniel Yaris
(danielY) - F

Locale: PNW
Hi all first post/response on 07/10/2011 14:14:12 MDT Print View

I climbed Shasta a few years back for the first time in 2000 mid May. My two friends and me had light packs. My pack had a stove, pot, expedition down parka, and water bottles, and some power bars.

for clothing I had on koflacks, poly pro long johns, shell pants and jacket. I also had warm gloves, a balaclava, helmet, and sunglass/with goggles. Technical gear was an ice axe, crampons, picket, rope, and trekking poles. That was all we had

When I took breaks I put the down parka on. My pack was very light and we moved fast. (everyone else had about the same gear)


we tried to do a single push and ended up spending the night in a snow cave freezing as the weather turned bad. But it passed and we later summited. Most of the people below at the camp turned around.


I have since been trying to lighten the load and keep it at around 25lbs total for climbs such as rainier and no more than 15lbs for shasta or hood.


Tonight I'm going to Hood for a quick climb and should have a really light pack as the weather has been good. My first hood climb of the year I did with a 15lb pack though I should be able to get it to about 8lbs tonight.