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DanO

question Snapped lower trekking poles during self arrest

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Anyone know of trekking poles designed for self arrest via pole

In arm pit method?

 

Works well if pole does not bend or break.

 

Dan

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Never thought of using my pole to arrest, interesting! If I ever slip with my pole out and no axe I've always just tossed the pole and used my hands and feet (which also works quite well). If it is too hard to arrest with hands and feet, it is time for the axe IMO.

 

The toughest poles out there are BD Whippets, but they probably would break too if you tried to arrest with the lower section jammed into the snow. And then there is that whole pesky pick to deal with....

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learned pole self arrest doing avalanche control missions on pro ski patrols, and have used it regularly since the mid-eighties. protocol is one hand on pole at basket, pushing point into snow, other hand at pole grip. not quite as effective as an ice axe, but far superior to these silly "whippet" grip accessories... besides self-arrest this also works well for controlling glissade. becoming adept at pole self arrest eliminates the need for an ice axe on most summer snow venues, except glacier travel where crevasse-fall is a risk.

Haireball

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https://www.google.com/search?q=ski+pole+self+arrest&client=tablet-android-samsung&prmd=isvn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZquy9tvfUAhUI2mMKHQI6BXwQ_AUICSgB&biw=1280&bih=800#imgrc=OgJual7EQDdLmM:

 

 

I do something like this but upper hand is lower and pole is in arm pit, pole less likely to break with lowest section retracted.

 

Works very well with medium soft to soft snow, likely a LOT better than a ice axe in very soft snow. Not as good as axe in harder icy snow.

 

It is a shame this skill is not well known.

 

I am thinking of building my own poles because of the lack of knowledge of this skill etc, and the gear for it that I would prefer.

 

I would want a hard solid spike for the lower section of the pole for most usage.

 

Like steep slick ground and for snow.

 

Dan

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If the snow is soft, hands and feet have a lot more surface area than a ski pole. Or are you mostly talking about controlling speed while glissading? I guess I'm struggling seeing why in softer snow you need to use a pole to arrest.

 

And if it is harder, the whippet is a good alternative to an axe if you are skiing.

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Ski pole is much longer than pick of ice axe, you can get it deeper to where the firm snow lies.

 

Only works if you can prevent ski pole from levering out, the best way I have found in the arm pit method.

 

If you are using ice axe on very steep soft snow your unable to get pick of ice axe into firmer snow that can grab, you can dig in feet of course and that helps.

 

I have not done the testing to prove it, but I suspect a ski pole self arrest is likely to be much better with very soft snow conditions, BUT you can bend and break the pole if you use the lower section of pole extended.

 

I am thinking of getting some solid aluminum rod to try out for lower sections of my trekking poles to see how that works. I like to extend my pole or poles way out for side hilling and downhill

 

Dan

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By the way you do this with no basket on ski pole for best self arrest effect on soft snow.

 

A bare ski pole works very well in snow if you want security. You can do a lot with it that you otherwise unable to do.

 

Going uphill is much better you have a another shaft to stab in, same for downhill, two poles downhill works well, or one ski pole and ice axe downhill works well.

 

Extend one pole way out and place the tip below your boot while

hiking side hilling it will prevent the boot from blowing all the way out if it slips. Downhill hand with trekking pole.

 

Bare tip trekking poles can save your butt, but you tend to mangle your poles at times.

 

Dan

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