Forums TR Archive Washington WA Picture Report for May
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  • #589071
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    I am definitely not a super experienced mountaineer but I am interested in the topic so here are my two cents…

    I like that you hold the mountaineering axe by the head, rather than the shaft. I think that every time I’ve seen someone snowboarding with axe in hand, the person is holding it by the shaft. It makes more sense to me that you should hold the axe by the head and use the same self arrest technique that you would use if you fell while climbing. So thanks for that – I probably wouldn’t have figured out that the head was the better option on my own. It could be that the ‘handle-holding’ snowboarders out there are using technical tools, but aren’t mountaineering axes the tool of choice for self arrest?

    Regarding two tools vs. one, I think that being able to arrest a fall is the primary reason to ride with an axe in hand and if you get a higher success rate with just the mountaineering axe in hand, then that’s the way to go. If the technical tool only comes into play once you’ve come to a stop, maybe it is better to rig a way to stow it for easy access when you need it.

    Just brainstorming…

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #589072
    jimw
    1421 Posts

    @sanfrantastico wrote:

    I like that you hold the mountaineering axe by the head, rather than the shaft. I think that every time I’ve seen someone snowboarding with axe in hand, the person is holding it by the shaft. It makes more sense to me that you should hold the axe by the head and use the same self arrest technique that you would use if you fell while climbing.

    I’m no expert either, but I don’t quite buy that argument. When you are climbing (assuming standard glacier travel, not actually ice climbing), you hold it on the head because you have to. You don’t have the option of holding it on the shaft because that wouldn’t be practical for self-belay. When you’re riding, either is practical.

    So the choice should be based on whatever works best when you’re riding. It seems to me like holding it by the head you have more chance of it getting in the way since you have the shaft hanging down. Then again, I could see how it might make a heelside self-arrest more practical since you could get in at least a decent self-arrest position without having to roll over.

    Maybe this discussion should move over to the original thread:

    http://talk.splitboard.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2081

    #589073
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    Yeah, that’s probably the right place for it, Jimw. I’m not sure how to move the discussion over… Is that something BCRider can do??

    I totally agree with your earlier statement regarding a controlled environment. I’m sure a person could answer these questions by donating an afternoon to the cause on a slope with a safe runout.

    I think I would prefer holding the head instead of the shaft basically because the pick is on the head and that’s where the action is.

    I think no matter what, you want to fall into self arrest position with the pick in one hand and the shaft in the other.

    If you are initially holding the shaft a bunch of stuff could go wrong. You could freak out and swing the axe like a technical tool and either not get a good bite on the snow or lose your grip on the shaft. If you did think to swing the head into your other hand, it seems to me more difficult to catch the head and grip it well than it would be to catch the shaft. Finally, I think you could get better one-handed control of the pick if you are holding the head rather than the shaft, if it came down to it.

    Maybe someone who has arrested a lot would know… I’m just speculating.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #589074
    huevon
    124 Posts

    I expect the two axe thing would be far superior in situations where you end up essentially having to “downclimb” sections :shock:. For self arrest after a fall, I think that having an axe in each hand is a serious liability, but then so is falling…

    In an actual fall, self arrest would have to consist of a combination of using your board edges to position yourself for self arrest (not trivial, as you will tend to fall head first) and then controlled use of a single iceaxe with both hands. The single axe lends simplicity and leverage (the two most critical things you would need in a fall).

    #589075
    skykilo
    24 Posts

    The pathword ith:
    DON’T FUCKIN’ FALL!

    #589076
    lewmt
    570 Posts

    WWKD….(what would Koch do?)

Viewing 6 posts - 21 through 26 (of 26 total)

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