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AlexandraOnIce

Basic ice rack

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And Dane/Gene-

I'm not trying to be an asshole but I don't like to be written off when I know I'm right/I'm bored at work. A bad habit I guess. :lmao:

Edited by summitchaserCJB

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Sometimes girls just want to climb with girls, and asking a guy to come along just because he's got a nice rack just won't do. Know whadda mean?

 

Missed that first time around. But ya been a while since I asked a girl along just because she had a nice rack...24.gif

Welcome to CC.com!

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Not that this back-and-forth was really about the strength of pickets, but I'm reminded of a good article floating around a couple years ago done by some new zealanders detailing picket strength/failure.

 

Maybe someone with more energy could provide a linky...

 

General jist that I took away: even in the best of snow conditions a picket will actually deform and rip under relatively low impact forces (when talking lead falls). They had a whole quiver of tacoed pickets to prove it.

 

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Good well maybe he shouldn't shoot down my shit when he doesn't know what he is talking about.

I've rock climbed seriously for 6-7 years (and I mean trad leading not TR). Snow creek wall, dragontail, Squamish, damnation crack, Godzilla, Heart of the country, Princely ambitions, angel, Condomorphine addiction, doin the dishes (5.11d), Canary, ect, done a little climbing in Spain as well.

I've guided a party up Baker, done Adams, Hood, Saint Helens, Soloed Sahale (quien sabre) , soloed the tooth-hemlock traverse, Mt Thomson, soloed all of GNS at Index, soloed classic crack (who hasn't) done the tooth in mixed conditions. My first ice lead was WI3 R (up from source lake, tied off ice screws)- not proud of that one- a fall would have been sketchy at best. gonna do Denali in 2011 and Rainier in June. N face of chair x 2. I'm probably missing a few but that is good for now.

 

it's so cute when they chest beat :P

 

And I'd read the article that Dane posted. It's a good one.

 

 

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AlexandraOnIce, Kurt Hicks has an informative/comprehensive blog post on this topic here...http://kurthicks.com/

 

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damn this thread gets spicy when i wasn't looking. When we were on it, I found a solid ice blob that was exactly 60m from the moat. (with others screws holes in it so others used it too) I found that pretty easy and much safer than any winter time picket. After that it was a couple OK screws to easy steep snow to tree belay. then tree pro to ice to tree belay. (with 10 feet of simu)

 

We carried 2 pickets but never found a need for it. plus the snow wasn't too reassuring for strength. Now if I hadn't found that ice belay, I would have made something work but it would have been a backup to a seated stance hip belay for sure. I am used to placing pickets in summer rock solid snow that even a buried bic lighter or small rock would hold lots.

 

I apologize if I came across all aggro. That was not my intention to diss anyone.

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I find it signifigant that I have NEVER placed one.

 

I was wondering if you mean that you had never placed one as pro on a technical pitch to hold a fall that would shock load it.

 

I've placed plenty of pickets, almost always t trench style, and never to be used to hold a lead fall.

 

I just find it strange that anyone with years of exp would never have placed a picket, even in bomber summer snow as a anchored belay to cross a sketchy bridge. Not placing a picket to me doesn't indicate that pickets are worthless, just that you haven't been in a situation that spoke to their use.

 

Not trying to flame, just curious.

 

Edit: Read that article, and found it interesting. It did seem as if they predominately used the "sierra" method of pickets, using them as a picket clipped/wrapped at mid point. I almost never use pickets like that, I use them as deadmen anchors (t trench).

Edited by gyro

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It is not too unreasonable to have never placed a picket. If the snow is strong enough to hold a picket, then it is strong enough to have solid steps, solid bridges, solid everything so that the running belays, and crevasse rescue needs for pickets would not be used. I bet he carries them for the usual reasons, just never had a need for them.

 

I find myself using a picket and a ice axe for crevasse rescue. If we had 4 people on the trip, I would plan on using axes for all crevasse rescue anchors and not using any pickets for running pro if it wasn't needed, like the south side of baker.

 

I admit I have never belayed across sketchy bridges. I usually crawl across the worst. Belaying would be a good idea but at least around here, the sketchy bridges are still pretty damn good.

 

Also, if you climb with new climbers, running belays are a very good idea. If you climb with hardmen and hardwomen, you can have more confidence in there ability to not fall and hence the lack of running belays (pickets).

 

so an equation could look like this (please excuse the geeky math dude stuff)

 

solid partner + good cascade snow + good knowledge and/or experience + mellow route= null picket use

 

or in danes or hard route case

solid partner + good cascade snow + good knowledge and/or experience + gnar scary route = null picket use + rock and ice gear

 

On a side note, I have rarely placed a picket as a deadman for running belays. If it is soft enough for trenching, I usually make big steps for myself and my partners hence the lack of need for running pro. Self arrest is easy also. If the snow is hard and the possibility of self arrest is small (therefore the need for running belay) the vertical placement is strong enough and quicker to place and remove.

 

What is the sierra method of pickets? Never heard that term before.

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Thanks gene, all that makes sense, I guess it just shows that despite all the different styles of climbing out there, all roads lead to the summit. :) I've done a fair amount of climbing with novice's so I probably tend to get in the habit of placing more pro on easy terrain than most climbers.

 

I'll do my best to describe sierra method, but it is what they were using in the above linked article I think.

 

Basic picket use, you hammer the picket in 30 or so degrees up from perpendicular to the slope, and clip into the top biner hole.

 

Sierra method, you place perpendicular, but you actually dig a hole for it, kind of like a sideways t trench. You put the picket in the hole, long end vertical, and clip into the middle biner hole, with a runner going out through the snow like a t trench. You then refill the hole, and totally bury the picket packing snow down tight. Here is a link to a pdf of slides that shows examples of Sierra picket use, pages 24 and 33 for quick reference, though the whole thing seems a decent read.

 

http://www.mra.org/drupal2/sites/default/files/documents/grants/FortiniSNOWANCHORS3B.pdf.pdf

 

I can't find it, but I read a different article by a snow researcher that concluded that in wet, packable snow, sierra pickets actually are slightly stronger than deadman t trench style placement. I still stick with horizontal placement though because I'm still more comfortable with it and haven't had as much practice with sierra style placement.

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so an equation could look like this (please excuse the geeky math dude stuff)

 

solid partner + good cascade snow + good knowledge and/or experience + mellow route= null picket use

 

or in danes or hard route case

solid partner + good cascade snow + good knowledge and/or experience + gnar scary route = null picket use + rock and ice gear

 

 

So, what would you use in the the following scenario:

 

Solid partner + good snow and shitty cascade ice + good experience + 60-70 deg for straight 3000' +/- wind gusts?

 

That would be very illustrative to me because I do intend on using pickets.

 

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Let me know when you find that 60+ to 70 degree 3000 ice face. That is going to be some climb. Don't know of any in NA. Neither Slipstream or the GCC on Kitchener are that steep by a long shot and just barely that long.

 

Jo-Jo's and Dave Dornian's route on the NW face of MacArthur is that steep for 6000ft and might well be the longest steep ice route in the world. 60 degrees is steep and 70 degrees is really steep on alpine ice. Few alpine climbs anywhere will have anything past 60 degrees for more than a pitch or two. Those that do will have huge, well earned reputations. The route on MacAuthor has not been repeated.

 

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/469477/1

 

I was wondering if you mean that you had never placed one (picket) as pro

 

I am getting a old and and forgetful but to my recollection I have not placed a picket.

 

I have hammered in a more than a few ice axes. (for a boot axe belay but more likely just jammed them in to the hilt and stomped on them)

 

I've carried a picket once or twice in Alaska or SA but never had the need to use one, climbing with partners or clients.

 

I mentioned this previous in the thread but worth mentioning again I think.

 

An experinced climber or skier my find snow climbing trivial, where another might find it unreasonably dangerous. I have never heard of a snow or alpine climb being given an X or R rating. The vast majority of places a picket will work gets skiied these days with some regularity. Same place a good self arrest skill set should work just fine.

 

Ice and snow are a changing medium. I don't place pro that is likely to fail. Pickets are likely to fail. I'd rather trust my own skills and protect my partners or clients accordingly.

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N. Face of Hood although a great climb is no where close to being 60 degrees for 3000'...barely 45 for most of it. You would be hard pressed to hit 70 on the steps unless you go early in the season.

 

Majority of it a snow plod in the conditions you picture.

 

Here is a recent TR in thin conditions with some good climbing.

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=865396

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AlexandraOnIce, Kurt Hicks has an informative/comprehensive blog post on this topic here...http://kurthicks.com/

 

I second this recommendation - Kurt's info is as good a place to start as any. Quick, easy answers aren't common on this board :crazy:

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N. Face of Hood and no where close to being 60 degrees...barely 45 for most of it. You would be hard pressed to hit 70 on the steps.

 

A minor correction on the steepness though:

 

NF.jpg

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Same place a good self arrest skill set should work just fine.

 

Except for sudden crevasse fall. :) I do understand your points, though it just makes me think I take routes with more crevasses, which is what I mostly use pickets for, either to have on hand for rescue, or to belay across.

 

Makes me wonder though, given an option, with wet, packable summer snow, what is your ideal anchor to belay across a crevasse if not a picket? Fluke? Assume no surface ice available for ice bollard or screws.

 

The obvious answer to is just avoid sketchy crossings, go early before daily melt, etc... but given circumstances beyond your control, I'm curious what anchor you would use to backup your belay.

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