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 Post subject: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:38 pm
Posts: 326
Location: Fairhaven
I've finally gotten a chance to get out a bit on my split and I'm getting my gear dialed. I took a short slide on some really stiff wind pack that made me realize the value of a Whippet to stop a fall while climbing. In that case I would have been fine with just one Whippet in my right had which is my dominant but slightly weaker hand (elbow injury). I'm not sure that I'd want to reach across my body if I was on a traverse on my left edges instead.

Tell me how you feel on the cost/benefit of one Whippet or two.

:guinness:

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:38 pm
Posts: 326
Location: Fairhaven
No one has an opinion on this? Hopefully it's because everyone is out riding instead and the only people who have looked here have the same questions I do.

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 1185
Location: Denver
I use two most of the season, started last year. They are heavier then normal poles, but great for pulling up the heel risers and whacking yetis. Having only one was annoying to me with different weights in each hand. Two is pretty awesome for climbing stuff thats not stout enough for an ice axe. Sliding down hill or traversing on icy steeps I will either have an ice axe or one whippet out.

Also, i love having them both while skinning as i can grab the top of the whippet instead of having my wrist bent during pole plants. I probably use that method 80% of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 292
Location: Whistler, Coast Mtns
Touring in the slackcountry I only take one. Use it all the time.
If i'm out on any sort of a trip I just add an axe to my pack. I bought two originally but I find I only use one most of the time, and if I'm in a situation where I need two picks of some sort, I'd rather one of them not be a whippit.

To each his own, every situation is different.

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 11:01 pm
Posts: 120
Location: June lk
One and a really light axe if it's a 'mission' type of day, but zero if it's more of a 'ride shorter lines in awesome snow type of day.'. Less likelyhood of self-efficeration that way. Nothing screams that you're a bad-ass ski mountaineer more than skinning pow with dual whippets, and I can lift my heel risers and scratch my back fine with normal poles :wink: . They're definitely useful in situations, I'm just clumzy...

My whippet is really old and is only 2 sections, so doesn't collapse nice and short, and I hate having things sticking up off of my pack. That being said, it does come in handy for technical skinning and booting steeps.

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:38 pm
Posts: 326
Location: Fairhaven
UPGRAYEDD_2505 wrote:
Nothing screams that you're a bad-ass ski mountaineer more than skinning pow with dual whippets, and I can lift my heel risers and scratch my back fine with normal poles :wink: .


What it would really mean for me is that I suck at kick turns and steep, exposed kick turns scare me. :cry:
I've managed to stop all of my slides so far and I've never tried a whippet but I feel like it would be good to have one in each hand so I can plant which ever one is the most convenient. Or do you guys switch it to the uphill hand when traversing?

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
Posts: 4958
Location: California
Two...always two!!! :thatrocks:

Its not about trying to be a core mountaineer...its about function, safety, and being prepared for anything that comes at you on the ascent. I never use non-whippet poles, even for summer backpacking a use whipptes. I'm not a poser, I find them more comfortable to hike with because I can rest my whole hand on them like a cane. There's also so many little things they can be used for....too many to list.

As for their original purpose they work great for that as well. Just because its a powder day doesn't mean you wont find some wind scoured snow or ice near the ridges. If you're like me and are too stubborn to switch to boot mode or you dont carry split crampons, the whippets provide some extra safety that I wouldn't trade for anything. I've slipped on firm snow and caught my self many times. It's not like I would have went for a slide for life but even if it means not loosing 10 feet you just gained it's a win in my book. One is better than none I guess but two is the best. If you're gonna do it, do it right. They're also sooo helpful when booting up steep couloirs. More often than not I can just use my dual whippets without having to carry an ice axe too. My whipptes are probably my favorite and most used pieces of gear over the years.

Edit to add. The 3-section mod is a must! (u cut them down to 3 sections not the stock 2)


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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:53 pm
Posts: 69
Location: CGY, Canada
bcrider wrote:
The 3-section mod is a must! (u cut them down to 3 sections not the stock 2)


Sorry to go off topic here, but.... Any threads or links on this mod?

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:53 pm
Posts: 69
Location: CGY, Canada
mrash wrote:
Any threads or links on this mod?


Found it

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9041&p=65995&hilit=whippet#p65995

Continue....

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 299
Location: Altadena SoCal
I agree with bcrider about all the fringe benefits to two whippets.
I am not so sure about having two in a fall situation.
From the manual . . . "In a self-arrest situation, hold one hand over the Whippet’s pick, with the shaft diagonal across the torso, one hand holding on near the FlickLock mechanism."

BD designed their whippets like full-blown ice axes; to have the user's weight pushing into the slope, maximizing the pick's bite. It seems to me, two picks reduce the force on each pick's tip. Not to mention the fact that we are much stronger pushing down onto (b/c one hand is @ chest level with the pick and the other is supporting & weighting the pick at hip level) as opposed to pulling down from (where both hands are gripped @ chest level). In a slide, the single whippet technique would also avoid being poked by the basket-end; whereas two handed whippet action would have two pointy, loose basket ends controlled only by your wrist position (control of which is compromised by gripping the whippets).

2 whippets - pros: Same wight poles, all the cool little stuff, bomber handhold every place you put it. cons: extra poke factor, $$$

*verses*

1 whippet + another trekking pole - pros: BD says you should, better leverage for stopping, better control of fewer pointy things in a slide, saves money. Cons: awkward weight distribution, only some of the cool little stuff, only one guaranteed bomber hold at a time.

It seems to me, if you had the money, you could have the best of both worlds by having two (for all the little things) and, in the event of a slide, you focused on one pick letting the other dangle at your wrist.


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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
bcrider wrote:
Its not about trying to be a core mountaineer...

WTF??? I was rocking 2 whippets back before it was cool, and all this time I thought it was about being core and rad!

Plus, UPGRAYEDD is really underestimating the utility of the back-scratching and heel-lifting functionality. You need to get a double dose of whippets son.

:)

But seriously. I have been sold on two whippets for years now. I always bring em. Never know when they are going to come in handy. Never had any problems with self-impalement. I find that they are most useful when you aren't expecting it. You're skinning along and all of the sudden you hit some ice and slip... BAM you just stick your hand down, and even if it doesn't stop you, it will give you just that little bit of time to get your feet back under you or make a better arrest. With two, you don't have to think about which hand to arrest with etc. And like BCR said, they are great for booting up steep chutes. Not as secure as an ice axe but way better than just poles.

Back in the day, when I got my first whippet, the guy at BD told me that practically everyone he knew who used a whippet had only one. That was like 7 years ago. I suppose the other argument for using only one (or none!) is that they're yet another spendy piece of gear!

Anyway, standard disclaimer: use what works for you, and YMMV.

HansGLudwig wrote:
I agree with bcrider about all the fringe benefits to two whippets.
I am not so sure about having two in a fall situation.
From the manual . . . "In a self-arrest situation, hold one hand over the Whippet’s pick, with the shaft diagonal across the torso, one hand holding on near the FlickLock mechanism."

Good point. But it seems to me that in the skinning situation, that is going to be difficult to do if you have your hand through the strap, which I pretty much always do as it gives you extra leverage when poling/skinning. I guess you could probably rotate your hand over the top pretty easily, then grab lower with the other hand... but, what if you only have one whippet and it's in your downhill hand? Getting the pole into that position might be tricky.

So I guess it seems to me that while it might not be the ideal self-arrest, just sticking a hand down with a big pointy thing sticking out is certainly going to at least be more useful than a bare glove. I guess it all comes down to practicing with whatever tools you use, so that your body reacts instinctually when the need arises.

(BTW, are you the Hans Ludwig that wrote those eastside articles in Couloir mag back in the day?? I still use those for inspiration!)


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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:02 pm
Posts: 250
Location: OR
I can see how clawing in with two whippets may slow you down in certain circumstances but in many self-arrest situations you really need to get your weight over your axe, lift your feet, and not let go. Also, consider the friction (or lack of) your clothing is providing. Hard shells will get you maching almost as efficiently as your p-tex. In many conditions, wool army pants and a pendleton work really well. If it's windy, throw on a soft-shell. If it's powder, gore-tex is great but you may not need a whippet or ice ax in those conditions.

:twocents:

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 Post subject: Re: One Whippet or two?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 11:01 pm
Posts: 120
Location: June lk
Just to be clear I wasn't really poking fun at people like JimW and bcrider who guinea pig steep adventurous stuff. I was thinking more of the 'Muir Snowfield on a Beautiful Saturday with 200 of your closest friends' crowd...NTTAWWT.

jaded local snowboards? Who knew...

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