/ Deep snow, short axes.
Last time I ended up carrying a traditional style longer axe as well as my climbing ones but it felta bit silly. Do folks use walking poles?
Do folks use walking poles?
Yes. Wouldn't even consider a third axe.
To be much help with what? I will try answer anyway - If you mean the snow isnt steep enough for you to use them in cane position then it isnt steep enough to be using them for self-belay at all anyway? Also if the snow is soft and deep and the angle is not great then why dont you just have your axe(s) stowed away and walk as normal?
Walking in = walking poles
My logic is that if it's not steep enough that I'd be uncomfortable walking with a climbing axe (maybe one axe and one walking pole), that it's probably not steep enough for me to slide and need to arrest a fall?
If you're on a slope that is steep enough that you think that you might take a slide and the snow is so soft that it wont bring you to a stop within a few metres; you'd have to seriously consider whether you are actually an avalanche waiting to happen? Every situation is different of course, and we use the tools in our tool-box differently?
There will always be that awkward inbetween part though; but hopefully that will be short lived?
Perhaps poles are the answer but one or two?
Get yourself a pair of poles.
Skis for deep snow - much easier. Strap them to pack for climb, and then ski back out. Otherwise poles as suggested. Deep snow is b*ll breaking though if you're breaking the trail. Employ a partner, they are a great help for breaking trail on a walk in.
Walking poles are the answer, the lighter the better. Hold by the shaft rather than the hand grips so you can adjust your grip to match the penetration of each pole. Insert grubby comment here....
You'll find in deep snow, as the climb steepens, you can invert them and use the gripping end as an axe spike. Many are the grade 1 gulleys I've climbed in loose snow using a pole or two as a spike.
At least, not any more after a couple of pretty nightmarish trips, one in the Cairngorms and another in the Pyrenees in Winter.
I'd either avoid completely or beg/borrow/hire skis.
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