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Kane

Anyone have some spare pickets?

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I'm traveling to Washington to climb Rainier with a friend from July 2 - July 6, we are short on pickets and it would be great to not have to buy them. If anyone has some laying around willing to loan us, please let me know what beer you like!

 

K4N3

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I'll definitely be on rock at that time. I only have one picket, but if you want to borrow it, PM me :)

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What route are you climbing? I have not needed pickets on Rainier for any of the std. routes. If you have one for each person yer fine.

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What route are you climbing? I have not needed pickets on Rainier for any of the std. routes. If you have one for each person yer fine.

 

One picket per person is standard, unless you are attempting one of the steeper routes like Liberty Ridge, Ptarmigan ridge, Mowich Face, etc., then one or two extra pickets per team would be helpful. I think I have one picket I can loan you if you need it.

Edited by DPS

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We are going the standard route and I also think we'd be fine with just one each. My partner is concerned since we are a 2-person party, if one of us fell into a crevasse we'd need the extra for the Z anchor rescue. It's been a while since I've been in the mountains so I didn't argue the point.

 

Alisse and DPS thank you for offering! I'll PM when I know 100% if he wants to take them. Considering how many people will be up there and how well traveled the path will be I'm going to try and talk him out of it.

Edited by Kane

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Have you looked into tying butterfly knots between in the rope between the two of you? This technique adds extra security in a rope team of just two.

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Hah, this comes up in my mind so much.

 

ScaredSilly, I've never needed a picket on std. rainier routes, however I am curious when you say needed vs thoughts on value of having. What are people's honest 2cents about extracting a non-ambulatory partner from a crevasse, in a 2 man team with just 1 picket per person. From everything I can tell you are probably up shit creek, maybe even if you have 2 pickets.

 

DPS: I see this constantly (bufferfly knots between two)..and I cannot say I've been able to do a comparo of falling into a crevasse with and without but I do wonder is the increased friction and possibility of a bufferfly knot catching/slowing on the crevasse edge appreciably more beneficial than the clusterf of attempting to extract using a knotted rope?

 

I don't ask these questions to be a dick, they're two things I've thought about plenty and in both cases I find myself erring to (2 pickets) and no knots with a part of 2, but I would love empirical info/grounded edu if anyone can provide. I might just lean conservative in the mnts.

 

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What are people's honest 2cents about extracting a non-ambulatory partner from a crevasse, in a 2 man team with just 1 picket per person. From everything I can tell you are probably up shit creek, maybe even if you have 2 pickets.

 

That is a very good question. I think the one picket/pulley per person assume at least a three man rope team, so two pickets/pulleys will be available to set a Z haul system.

 

The times I have climbed on big, remote glaciers in a two person party, we had other items that could have been easily used in addition to a picket, such as dead manning an extra ice tool/shovel/skis, etc.

 

DPS: I see this constantly (bufferfly knots between two)..and I cannot say I've been able to do a comparo of falling into a crevasse with and without but I do wonder is the increased friction and possibility of a bufferfly knot catching/slowing on the crevasse edge appreciably more beneficial than the clusterf of attempting to extract using a knotted rope?

 

Speaking from experience, this one time, on the Ruth Glacier, my partner fell the entire way into a crevasse when the bridge he was standing on (while wearing skis) broke. The butterfly knot jammed into the lip and his weight never came onto me.

 

I was carrying the other rope (we were coming off Ham and Eggs on Moose's Tooth, so we had two ropes). I used my skis to set up and anchor, padded the lip with an ice tool, hauled his pack and skis up with the extra rope, then dropped it back down so he could prusik up. The knotted rope was so entrenched we had to cut it.

 

Assuming a party is using one rope, then you would have to carry a long enough rope so each partner had enough length in the rescue coils to reach the fallen partner. Hauling on the knotted rope simply would not work in my experience.

 

I've though a lot about this because all of my AK and big glacier trips have been in a two person party. I think the ultimate two person system would be using two 30 meter ropes. One is knotted, and tied between each climber, the other is not knotted, and tied to each person, with rescue coils.

 

This would have one rope to catch the fall and jam into the lip, leaving a rope free to either prusik or haul on.

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I see this constantly (bufferfly knots between two)..and I cannot say I've been able to do a comparo of falling into a crevasse with and without but I do wonder is the increased friction and possibility of a bufferfly knot catching/slowing on the crevasse edge appreciably more beneficial than the clusterf of attempting to extract using a knotted rope?

 

+1 to what DPS says

 

one way to think about is that there is no rescue if both climbers are in the hole. Done a lot of practice with self rescue and I can tell you that even when people know it is coming, many people fail at the self arrest when significant forces are pulling. Especially when people are tieing in close together (like 25 ft) there is very little room for getting into a good stance on the ground and hold the weight.

 

now bring in reality which is that the bridges will most likely fail in the afternoon and therefore the climbers are prolly tired and not very well focused. then your chances of getting it right are even less. For a team of two, you really need all the tricks (like the butterfly knots) to keep you both above grade level.

Edited by genepires

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very much appreciate the seasoned responses from both of you. That's my take on big country AK style with 2, you've got other means around with you (shovel, skis, ice tools). A second rope is the big key too.

 

Gene: there was that wonderful video floating around of people trying to self arrest in warm conditions..I want to say it was a polish video in the alps but I'm not sure. Anyways multiple times, even when ready, the intensity really got people..doesn't bode the best.

 

So to take this to its logical conclusion, in the context of something like DC or Emmons, like OP stating climbing with a friend (party of 2), ideal is 2 picket, 2 pullies, butterfly knots in rope, and tied into extra un-knotted rope for extraction. Off the top of my head don't recall seeing this much/often. Mostly 1 rope, often a 30m shortie, and a picket each (assuming 1 pully each), if so it seems the take away utility of that gear is simply, don't fall in and be non-ambulatory. Admittedly not a super duper common affair, but it does happen. Hell I have tried setting a picket while holding weight in a simulated arrest, in order to take weight off me and it was..not encouraging in hard snow conditions.

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For a truly independent, two-person team on standard, moderate glacial routes on Rainier, a 45m rope, a standard set of rescue tools, and anchor material should be adequate. A shorter rope can (and certainly does) get used on many routes...but implies a growing list of obvious limitations. Second, an ice axe and a single picket generally are enough. Often you can bury some third piece of kit from your pack when the snow conditions warrant. In typical "climbing season" snow conditions the picket and ice axe are usually sufficient. Of course this is entirely dependent on current conditions and I've certainly carried two or more depending on route and season.

 

The ***generally*** smaller crevasses found on a route like the DC don't require huge, "Alaska sized" distances between team members (despite the fact that you do often see teams roped up with 20m or even 30m intervals on the DC and other routes). Worst case scenarios with an incapacitated, crevassed victim on a 45m rope still leave room for improvisation assuming the rescuer is able to rappel and solve the issues while down in the crevasse.

 

Comments about never "needing" a picket on a Rainier route seem to be glossing over the fact that you NEVER need them ... until you NEED them ... just like a lot of things in our mountaineering kits.

 

Cheers.

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I have thought about this quite a bit. On my recent trip to AK we went with a 60m rope divided about 22-16-22 or so with butterfly knots in between.

 

The thinking on the butterfly knots is the same as stated above. You can't climb out a hole you're both in.

 

The reasoning for 60m and ~22 on the coil is that you're more than likely going to have to climb out on the coiled strand. Even if you don't have butterfly knots the rope may be so entrenched that it would take a ton of excavation (around a loaded rope) just to get it free and clear enough to climb over the lip.

 

We practiced setting up hauls etc and theoretically the coil we carried gives a lot of material to build elaborate systems with the assumption the original line can be hauled on. There are strategies for being able to do a drop loop or some other things on the coil too if you had to.

 

My 2 person thinking has really evolved to focus on arresting the fall (butterflys) and having reasonable ways to self-extract. It's possible to climb past the butterflys but its a pain. The free rope on the coil gives another good option.

 

IMO climbing as a 2-person team means assuming some significant additional risk in that I don't think hauling your partner out (and over/through a lip) by yourself is really reasonable to expect. I think it is good to be prepared to try but you have to be realistic about the fact that its probably not going to happen.

 

Regarding picket quantity, on a 2 person team I like to have 1 picket pre-rigged and ready to go, 1 ice axe in hand for arresting and one more item which is pretty quick and dirty ready to T-slot and back up the picket. In AK this is usually a shovel or spade, it could also be a second tool, etc. I don't like to count on my main axe to make the second piece in the anchor. I also don't like to rely on the random crap like deadmanning stuff sacks or digging bollards in my frontline defense. This means on PNW trips I sometimes carry 2 pickets per person if its a one-axe type of ramble. I also cut a 3 footer in half and sometimes carry the shorty as picket #2.

 

I also often carry a screw. The idea being if you're the one who drops it you might be able to sink it in the wall and get body weight on it for your partner to help make it easier/safer for building your anchor. Not sure if anyone else does that. If you don't need them for the climb I sometimes struggle to justify it. You don't need it until you NEED it kind of thing.

 

Interesting idea with the double 30 thing. (And you could do it by folding a 60 in half...) Main drawback I see is that both strands are probably entrenched in the same slot, so climbing out might still be a problem. Also, topside partner has nothing to work with to try to haul with or rap in on etc. I think each person carrying some coil is still probably a better option.

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I should say that on the std. routes I have not taken pickets. By std. routes I mean Gib Ledges/DC/Furher/Kautz. Mostly because I am traveling sans something to pound then in with (i.e. no hammer). I do take an ice screw - one per person. Whilst traveling with cracks about like others we use 1/3 of the coil and keep the slack to a minimum.

 

Everything is a roll of the dice ...

 

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