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Sig Olsen

Snow stakes - snow pickets?

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Since I have never camped in the snow, do I need snow stakes? I will be climbing Mt. Shasta end of next month. Using MH Direkt2. It has 6 tent body stake spots and 6 guyout spots to tie down. Do I use 12 stakes?

If you were planning today to go to Shasta end of next month, what would you want to bring?

This type of snow stake:

http://www.rei.com/product/358111/smc-sno-tent-stake

or this type:

http://www.campmor.com/msr-2ft-snow-picket.shtml?source=CI&ci_sku=71488WC&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw={keyword}

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For snow the MH soft stakes, (parachute kinda things), are the way to go. Looks like MH no longer makes them though, these are the closest I could find: http://www.rei.com/product/725165/rei-snow-and-sand-tent-anchors. I bring enough stakes for the body, and then use deadmanned trekking poles, shovels, pickets, ice tools, skis, buried rocks, etc for guy points. If I am not carrying over and I need to take the guy points with me, I take the tent down and pile snow blocks on it to keep it from blowing away.

Edited by DPS

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put whatever stakes/alternatives on the fly guy points. Staking out the body using those low points is a weak way to anchor the tent. Think leverage.

 

I use the standard wire tent stakes for all anchoring. In your case, I would age harden the snow above the buried stake. Age harden is a fancy word for smack the snow down to make it hard.

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Ive had a tent staked in snow with standard stakes used as deadmen nearly blow away, go with the SMC snow stakes. Extra stuff sacks can also be used, fill with snow, girth hitch the opening and bury. While you certainly can use a picket to anchor a tent its way overkill.

 

With your tent I would bring 8 snow stakes at most, 4 for the corners and 4 guy out points, then I would improvise if the weather got bad enough to need more.

Edited by RaisedByPikas

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I don't carry stakes summer or winter. I've added guy-lines to the vestibule and tail (back-vestibule) points - for my Firstlight, I've added them to the four corners. In the summer I use rocks or logs to tie down the tent. In the winter time, sectional ski poles, ice axes, snow pickets brought for crevasse rescue, skis, and snowshoes can all be used. Since the primary purpose is to hold down the tent, two or three lines can share an anchor. If I'm leaving the tent behind (like on summit day), I make sure the lines holding the vestibule and tail end are completely bomber, and leave at least central guy-line anchor point on each side. If I can't do that, I'll pull the poles out from the ends, let the tent collapse, and pile enough snow blocks on it that I'm confident it won't fly away. Setting it back up and re-establishing the anchor points is a quick exercise at the end of the day.

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Climbing and leading for 15 years. I use the SMC "half-tube" snow stakes. I take enough to handle the entire stake-out, and do not rely on finding convenient rock, or logs at the bivy site.

I do not bury my trekking poles or use snow pickets. (How can you go to the summit and leave your pickets behind?) Tech Tip: each snow stake has its own attached cord to use for girth hitching to the tent attachment points. I use ~2mm accessory cord. 30" length, threaded thru the two middle holes of the stake and tied into a loop with a double fisherman knot. This makes the stake easy to attach, easy to bury deep. Wind can come up when you are enroute to the summit, so it is prudent to stake your tent very securely.

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You can use these as traditional SMC stakes, driving them in from the top, or girth hitch a loop through/around one of the middle holes, and use'em as a deadman. This is pretty much what RJ said. Cheap, effective, and it'll hold in high winds. Other lightweight options include nysil stuff bags (med size; use for the main pull-outs). In super high winds, I like to take a couple of extra pickets per tent.

 

I prefer a trucker's hitch/knot to tighten them down.

 

http://www.rei.com/product/358111/smc-sno-tent-stake

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Thanks alot. The SMC stakes are the ones I posted a link to in the first post. I will order 8 of them and 4 pickets. I can leave the pickets in the rental car if I dont feel I need them. Thanks again everyone.

 

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Listen to Chris. Rocks are bomber and available at most locations. I take a FEW stakes, a couple small lite stuffsacks,ect. Peace of mind comes from colasping the tent and covering with a couple large snow blocks. I have also been known to to pile a couple large rocks inside on my foam mat when leaving for the day.

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Sig... you're going solo to Shasta or will you have a partner? 4 pickets is crazy weight and totally overkill imo! save yourself the cost and more importantly the weight.

 

myself I bring 7 snow stakes-that holds my 4 corners and 3 side-wall guy lines, then 2 small crapper stakes for two little spots on either side of my tent. I'll use poles and other items if I need more guy lines (off the 4 vertices on each corner). I could probably pare down the snowstakes and use items I bring..maybe next trip I'll forgo and see how it works out.

 

cheers

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4 pickets is crazy. Why bring the lightest tent then negate the weight savings by bringing the heaviest possible items for stakes? Think outside the box. Snowshoes, shovel blade and handle, dead manned trekking poles, stuff sacks filled with snow - whatever you have will already work perfectly.

Edited by DPS

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Leave all the stakes at home. With two people you will have two ice axes and perhaps 4 ski poles. Use them. Ah? but want about once you leave camp and leave and the tent? Pack yer tent up and dump it in hole with your other extra stuff while you are climbing. If you get back late and want to stay another night just set it up again. Other wise grab it and go. And if you do plan to stay another night no matter what use a couple of poles to hold it down, but drop the tent, and throw some snow on it to weight it down.

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Ok Ok. I will bring 8 of the snow stakes and no pickets. I thought it would bee good as a test. Does anyone have first hand experience with the smc sno stakes vs msr blizzard stakes? The seem identical but the smc ones are half the price.

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Anyone have first hand experience with the smc sno stakes vs msr blizzard stakes? The seem identical but the smc ones are half the price.
Now you are officially overthinking it. Either one will be fine and useful for both snow and ground situations. Still, nothing beats the MH soft snow and sand anchor for pure snow. http://www.backcountry.com/mountain-hardwear-snow-sand-tent-anchor Edited by DPS

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everyone said dont bother with snow shoes so I wont have them to use as stakes. I wont be skiing so I cant use ski poles. I never use hiking poles unless everyone thinks they will help in snow. I find they just wear me out more. Didnt plan to bring a snow shovel. Do I really need one?

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everyone said dont bother with snow shoes so I wont have them to use as stakes. I wont be skiing so I cant use ski poles. I never use hiking poles unless everyone thinks they will help in snow. I find they just wear me out more. Didnt plan to bring a snow shovel. Do I really need one?

Probablly not, but I see your point now. Those

SMC stakes are light enough to bring a few.

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1) The advice here is free and opinion, not guide-on-retainer everything said is backed up with a guarantee. On everything, you need to ultimately decide for yourself--whether snowshoes, anchor types, poles, etc.

 

2) Poles. Entirely opinion.. but I use them all the time, nice on the up, nice on the down. Useful as anchors, don't weigh much. But put snow baskets on or don't bother taking them. A single 3 piece pole can be deconstructed into 3 anchors, for instance. Some people like 1 pole--myself I take 2 and stash them or collapse them and put on pack when I have to.

 

3) a shovel is an invaluable tool to have when on snow. And as a safety/emergency tool to dig a snow cave/pit/trench to protect/reduce exposure.

 

4) Can you go out for a weekend and test your equipment on the snow and maybe go up a small hill or lesser peak? You can have carbon fiber titanium uber everything but really the greatest too and value is your brain and knowing (experiencing) how things actually work prior to 'needing' them to work. Not just 'in theory'. Obviously a test-run is not a pre-req to success on Shasta but all things equal.. it is a bit like planning to run some rapids in a kayak or canoe without just running the kayak/canoe on some flat water or a relaxed river to get a sense of how it performs.

 

I think if you can get a test run or two in you will contribute to a greater chance of success on shasta and do yourself a big favor. Less items to worry about, less things to focus on that are secondary to the climbing itself.

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I see snow shovels as being situationally relevent. BC skiing and winter climbing; definitely. Summer climbing in the Cascades, probably not. Everything in between is a judgement call - can be usefull but often not necessary.

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Ok Ok. I will bring 8 of the snow stakes and no pickets. I thought it would bee good as a test. Does anyone have first hand experience with the smc sno stakes vs msr blizzard stakes? The seem identical but the smc ones are half the price.

 

The SMC stakes are great. Besides gripping the snow better than the cheap wire stakes it's also nice you can clip/tie the guy lines right into the stakes so you don't lose any of them when you set them up as a deadman. In the summer I haven't found a shovel to be necessary but we usually bring one for convenience if there are a few of us.

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on snow without a shovel? after 45+ years of mountaineering on snow, I'd have to say I'd go without the tent before I'd go without the shovel...

 

as for anchoring your tent - listen to the deadman crowd. any object you can tie off and bury will work. I've even used plastic bags filled with snow & buried. count on having to excavate to retrieve your deadmen. most likely your tent would rip apart before any deadman anchor would fail... I neither carry nor recommend stakes for tenting on snow.

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opinions are like a$$h0le$, everybody's got one.

 

If I brought a shovel for a small team, it would be the lightest one available. I like the kinds that attach to axe handles and I think that grivel makes one. Maybe others like voile but it is a real guess. I got one from BD a long time ago but I am fairly sure they don't bother anymore. Some people will scoff at it but a plastic blade will be fine for you. (UNless you are diggin for avi victims)

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Any one of these shovels that have a metal blade will work great. Yes a plastic blade will work for you but why bother when its no cheaper and not much lighter. Don't get that snow claw POS. I prefer flat blades because its easier for me to make flat tent platforms. I agree that you'd have to be crazy to not bring a shovel when camping on snow. You still need one in the summer unless you like setting your tent up on suncups.

 

Shovels

Edited by RaisedByPikas

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