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BreezyD

Pickets You Recommend

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Which ones do you like best for snow anchors in the alpine? Brand, material, length?

 

Hit me with your favorites.

 

Thanks!

 

Brianna

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I like the Yates expedition because they're easy to stack together for storage on a pack when not needed (in the V). They also have pointed ends to poke your partners or slow parties on the way up, and a reinforced end for pounding them in. (Yates also makes a cable picket with an attached cable.)

 

drC

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Is the "Snowtube" the thing that's basically an ice axe shaft without a head? A friend of mine has one, but I've never seen him place it.

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I don't have any of the Snow Tubes, but have played with one just a little bit. They seem to work better in denser snow. They're easier to pound into than pickets but don't have the same surface area. Seems like good for late season, very consolidated snow (but not quite Ice yet) However they probably won't do a damn thing if the snow is at all unconsolidated. You might pester Jim Nelson at PMS, as he carries them.

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I like the Yates expedition because they're easy to stack together for storage on a pack when not needed (in the V). They also have pointed ends to poke your partners or slow parties on the way up, and a reinforced end for pounding them in. (Yates also makes a cable picket with an attached cable.)

 

drC

Yates are lighter than the MSR, but perhaps not as strong. Given what Don Serl said, perhaps that isn't an issue. They'll all pull out before they break.

 

I've made improvements to my Coyote pickets by making one of the ends sharp so that it pounds in easier when the snow is super hard.

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DO NOT GET THE LONG ONES.

 

Like Don Serl's referenced post, if you do some playing with pickets in our real snow, you'll probably come away not thinking much of them unless you've t-slotted them. So if you can actually get most of the length of a long one in, then you're probably not going to trust the placement anyway.

 

If you're not over 6'6" tall, those things are going to mess you up on the hike in! I've seen numerous people put on their backs when long pickets meet low branches.

 

-kurt

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I have liked the SMC i-picket since it only has one end you can hammer on. This keeps the burrs at one end and the "stake" end clean, so it is placed easily. If you use the MSR ones, it's nice to only hit them on one end. The burrs are sharp, and can start cutting things on your pack.

 

For what it's worth, there have been a number of sizable loads hanging off short MSR pickets with no problems. And in the right snow, they will break before they pull. They do not hold up so well in the freshiez.

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I use the MSR 24" pickets most of the time, but I think that the Yates pickets might be the way to go for late season stuff - and those SMC deals sound pretty cool.

 

If you, like I, picked up the 36" versions - got a pair for $10 from someone moving to the tropics - you can make a pair of ghetto-late-season-mini-pickets by cutting through the middle at an angle with a hacksaw. Should be more than enough to hold a sliding fall in dense, refrozen snow, and are a bit easier to deal with than their 24" counterparts. I usually just clip these to a harness loop.

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Yates 24" pickets with the little steel reinforcements drilled off are the lightest pickets I've found.

 

As has been posted, strength of the material is pretty much a moot point in this case.

 

A girth-hitch through two center holes with a spectra shoe-string (as you'd have in a T-placement) held in excess of 1300 pounds (static) according to my highly scientific winch experiments before it collapsed in spectacular fashion. This is with the V section facing towards you and the very ends (6inches or so) braced with trees. So it'd be probably be stronger in solid snow since the whole length would be supported....

 

But good luck finding snow that strong.

 

As with any anchor, especially snow, redundancy is the key....

 

 

The Cayotes are quite a bit heavier and didn't fail the same test up to 1500 pounds. Their shape lends me to believe they might be better designed for T-placements too....

 

I carry two Yates 24" FWIW in a two-man team....

 

 

-Fear

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I prefer the 24" SMC thumbs_up.gif over the MSR for the reasons Iain pointed out. It's not much of a point, but it does help in placing them in some cases. Yeah, I have some 36" ones too, but they've been on my pack only once. They suck. thumbs_down.gif

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pickets suck.

 

if anyone wants to buy some, I have 3 MSR pickets I'll sell cheap.

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pickets suck.

 

if anyone wants to buy some, I have 3 MSR pickets I'll sell cheap.

So does rope. the_finger.gif

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I have fallen down a slope while a picket was placed. I was thankful for the picket. It was spring snow conditions.

 

I used to place "dead men" in new snow. But have refrained due to the different types of climbing I do in winter.

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I like the Yates expedition because they're easy to stack together for storage on a pack when not needed (in the V). They also have pointed ends to poke your partners or slow parties on the way up, and a reinforced end for pounding them in. (Yates also makes a cable picket with an attached cable.)

 

drC

 

I second the Yates. I think they are 22"

Edited by dbconlin

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You might want to read Mr Serl's rant on this topic.

Yeah, a picket as a picket is not very useful. I've done that 'test' before, and it's very sobering. A picket as a deadman is more reliable--just takes more time to setup.

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