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bistro

ice screws

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Senario,

I am traveling solo across a glacier. I fall through an ice bridge and land on a ledge or am wedged between two walls of ice 10 to 20 ft. down. I am uninjured. How many and what Ice screws would be needed to get out of the crevase if useing srews was the only escape. Keeping in mind, besides traveling across the glacier alone isn't wise,I have crampons on and have a standard ice ax and am prepared in general for travel of this nature.

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It depends on the type of ice.

 

Soft glacier ice - put the teeth about 10 degrees down from the hanger (i.e. hanger high). A combo of threads and leverage give holding power in soft ice.

 

waterfall ice - put the teeth upwards about 10 degrees from perpendicular (i.e. hangar low). Threads give holding power in dense ice.

 

A more important question is how you'll clear the (probably overhanging) snowy crevasse lip with only a single ice axe.

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What are the screws for?

 

If you seriously think you're gonna need to solo crevasses, you should leave the screws at home and bring a second tool, would be my thinking

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Strap a long enough extension ladder to your harness and you won't have to worry about going in at all.

 

You can also aid up on two screws using makeshift aiders tied from the remains of your blown undies.

 

 

 

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Wait, it sounds like aid climbing, screw all that stuff cause you only need body weight placements! You could probably do it with a couple of wine bottle openers and then you'd have something to drink too!

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It should be mentioned that the odds of being in a position to just climb yourself out of a crevasse fall are probably pretty slim... I'd think most crevasses you're going to fall into would be pretty clean tapered, and you'd wedge in, suffocating to death on your own lungs in about 15 minutes.

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You can also aid up on two screws using makeshift aiders tied from the remains of your blown undies.
I just spewed a Planet Killer out my nose... :lmao:

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there was a fellow whom along with his partner fell into a crevase on rainier. his partner died from the fall but he climbed out using ice screws. you never know eh.

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kurt thanks for the tips on placement of the ice screws. as usual your advise is given with candor and shows respect for those who seek answers to questions that may seem to others unnecessary.

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there was a fellow whom along with his partner fell into a crevase on rainier. his partner died from the fall but he climbed out using ice screws. you never know eh.

 

that is probably because the second guy fell onto the first killing him or like on baker years ago, the first guy was "lowered down" due to the second guy trying to self arrest but still fell into the crevasse and dying in the fall. Either scenerio does not apply to a soloist.

I have looked into many crevasses and not seen many that had ledge to land on and climb out. 99% of them squeeze down gradually or I couldn't see the bottom due to crazy depths. These are bad odds for anyone to fall into.

You are posting this question in the newbie section which implies that you are new to this climbing game. Heed the words of advice when someone tells you that you are doing something unsafe.

 

Now it is not a bad idea to carry one ice screw even for a roped climber. I knew a very experienced mtn guide who had to place a ice screw to take the weight off the surface members who was unable to build a anchor where they self arrested.

 

If you really want to be able to aid out a crevasse, you will need some slings to be able to stand in (probabaly 4 shoulder length) about 4 carabiners, and some gear to get through the snowy parts. For that you will need a couple pickets to aid on and a small shovel to dig through the snow with. Really much easier to find a partner.

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I am traveling solo across a glacier.

Corn over ice, all crevasses open and obvious. What could go wrong? I was climbing and slipped on dull crampon points and self-arrested just above this one...

Elliot_water_1_-_small.JPG

Elliot_water_2_-_small.jpg

Edited by pcg

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Nothing like a refreshing, mid morning dip...

 

The assumption a solo glacier traveler must make is: if you go in, you're done. Not saying carrying self rescue gear is not a good idea, but...

 

You haven't lived until you've seen roped glacier skiers attempt to link turns. It's an...art?

 

 

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Regarding ice screw placement, there is no scenario where a positive placement angle is stronger than 0 or negative, per Blake's post. This was popular wisdom a while ago, based on a long standing misunderstanding of how ice screws actually work, but testing has since disproven it. Don't do it.

 

Testing does indicate that a positive angle can make for a stronger picket placement in softer snow, hence the possible confusion, but it's probably better to deadman the picket in that instance, anyway. Ice screws do not work at all like pickets, however.

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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It depends on the type of ice.

 

Soft glacier ice - put the teeth about 10 degrees down from the hanger (i.e. hanger high). A combo of threads and leverage give holding power in soft ice.

 

waterfall ice - put the teeth upwards about 10 degrees from perpendicular (i.e. hangar low). Threads give holding power in dense ice.

 

A more important question is how you'll clear the (probably overhanging) snowy crevasse lip with only a single ice axe.

 

Kurt's advice is great! This is the standard book answer according to "Alpine Climbing, Taking your technique higher."

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It really comes down to wether or not the sun is gonna be enough to heat up the screw and melt out the ice. If it is warm and sunny and in the ice long enough (summer ice TR comes to mind) then you need to angle it back a bit to that even it it melts out, it will not "pop" out. If it is inside a crevasse that is cold, dark and only used for a brief period of time like for protection, then I usually drill in perpendicular to the ice.

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THANKS to all. It is true i havnt much expeirience with ice screws, having said that, i do travel alone a great deal of the time and am always looking for ways not to become a statistic. the way to do that is find ways of self preservation and self rescue and being prepared for the worst.this philosophy has served me well over the years. I do agree that traveling alone on glaciers is not safe and have avoided it thus far but ya never know what you might have to do,ie climb out of a crevase after a tragic accident. THANKS again to those who offered constructive ideas. to those with the underwear jokes. well, your not much help and probably should not post on the NEWBIE site.

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to those with the underwear jokes. well, your not much help and probably should not post on the NEWBIE site.

 

to be honest, questions of soloing glacier should never be on a newbie forum because newbies should never solo a glacier. In fact, if one has to ask questions about how to solo glaciers, they should not be soloing on a glacier. Once one has spent enough time on a glacier, they will know the answers.

 

And before you give Tvash grief about the undies comment, he brings up a very good point in comedy that you missed entirely. What will you use to aid up with? Just carrying 2 screws is going to be completely useless without some minimal equipment to actually aid with.

 

Heed the advice given by all the people who posted on this thread. I have never met you but your words sound kinda cocky.

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now thats odd. one would think that if one doesnt know the answer to a question then the most logical place to go would be the Newbies section. While i do know that you cant just screw an ice screw into the ice and use them as stairs I think the point missed was that I am looking to learn techniques from those with expierience. If i were so cocky i wouldnt even ask this question but I do have a desire to live if for some reason I am stuck on a glacier because of unforseen cirumstances. as I stated I have no intension of puposely traveling alone across a glacier however I will be prepared. I might ask, where would one go to ask these DUMB questions if not the NEWBIE section. Newbies section is not just for people new to this sport but in my opinion a place to get info for those aspects of the sport we are NEW to. the ones that seem to be COCKY are the folks who make fun of and offer ridicule to those who would want only to better or perhaps expand their knowledge of aspects of this sport in which they have a weakness. That is what this section is for,am I mistaken?? So to reiterate, those who dont offer positive information should not comment as those that are truly new to this sport would, in my opinion, be less inclined to ask for instruction or guidence for fear of feeling their questions would be thought of as STUPID.

Again, thanks to those who offered constuctive thoughts to my inquiries.

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