/ Deep snow, short axes.

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aldo56 - on 17 Dec 2012
So your walking into a climb through deep, soft snow. Your climbing axes are a bit short to be of much help, how do you folks deal with it?

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?
GridNorth - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to aldo56:
Do folks use walking poles?

Yes. Wouldn't even consider a third axe.
Milesy - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to aldo56:
> So your walking into a climb through deep, soft snow. Your climbing axes are a bit short to be of much help, how do you folks deal with it?

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?
waiting for snow - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to aldo56:

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?
aldo56 - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to aldo56: Aye, i'm talking about walking in on glen floors etc where there is deep snow. I find it easier walking in snow with some sort of support rather than just walking normally as I tend to stumble a bit!

Perhaps poles are the answer but one or two?
Big Lee - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to aldo56:

Get yourself a pair of poles.
Orgsm on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to aldo56:

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.
BnB - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to aldo56:

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.

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The Ex-Engineer - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to aldo56:
> So your walking into a climb through deep, soft snow.

I don't.

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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