After finishing my level 1 course I've recently just started digging pits and performing various tests. However when isolating columns (ex for ECT, saw prop, Rutschblock etc) I'm finding it rather difficult to cut out the back or longer column side. I'm using the the BD saw attached to a compatible BD ski pole.
The problem is, while the saw cuts, you still have to shove/work the wider pole down the back of the thing into the cut. It's not making for very clean cuts nor am I certain they're 100% isolated.
Are most folks using the cord around a probe method for cutting out the larger columns?
What cord is typically used for then, just a length of 3mm spectra climbing cord or some such?
One last thing, any tips for smoothing out the pit wall? I have the new K2 shovel and have been trying to make it smooth by shaving off new snow from it... I'm wondering if I should be trying to brush it more...
Shaving works well from waht i've found. A brush is a great tool though for seeing intricacies of harder layers where they blend in the snowpack.
I like to saw columns. I like to cord ECT an rustchblock. I'm using 5mm static line because I had a bunch laying around - don't see why 3mm wouldn't work. Just put a few overhand knots in it to act like teeth when you cut. I think with practice a cord can be used for columns faster then the saw judging by some veterans i've seen but i just personally like to saw them, don't really know why.