Want to learn some snow climbing tips from the guy who founded the American Alpine Institute and former president of the American American Guide Association (AMGA)? We thought so. While these are some great tips for beginners, even you crafty veterans may learn a few new things.
You want pickets clipped vertically to your gear loops, not slung around your neck. Here’s how to rack pickets right.
The munter mule overhand, or MMO knot, is a load releasable hitch. While it’s helpful in complex rope rescue scenarios, it’s not required in crevasse rescue, and in the opinion of various experts, does not need to be taught to beginners.
Sinking a snow picket and having a few people try to pull it out is kind of fun . . . but not very scientific. The French national guide school did some real world pull tests on snow anchors, and there are a few good takeaways
Traveling on a glacier in a two person team can make crevasse rescue very difficult. Fortunately, we now have some definitive answers on a way to make it safer - brake knots in the rope.
New school layering - have an “action suit” when you're moving fast, and a big puffy jacket to put over everything when you stop. Here’s just about everything you need to know about the belay jacket.
If you fall into a crevasse, having an ice screw lets you unweight the rope, making life a lot easier for your partners on top trying to get you out. If you have two screws, you could even aid climb your way out.
Do you have a climb on a moderate angled glacier, such as a standard route on many Pacific NW volcanoes? Never going to lead on it? Consider a static rope.
Dry Feet = Happy Feet! You can always have dry socks, even on multi day snow climbs, if you follow this tip.
Headed on a snow climb that has a long approach followed by more technical climbing? Don’t “sweat on the approach - bring an extra midweight base layer and swap is as you slow down.
Here's a fast, clever and easy-to-remember way to ensure proper spacing between team members when traveling on a glacier.
Running belays on snow can be a safer and relatively fast way for a team to travel in steeper terrain. Here’s 3 Tips to make them more effective.
Don’t ditch your poles when the going gets steeper and snowy. Having a pole and ice axe can be a great combo, especially when traversing.
Good rule of thumb for snow climbing: always bring two pairs of gloves at a minimum. They don't need to be name brand, especially your back up pair. Here's how to find some online.
There's no such thing as a freestanding tent on a windy mountain. Here's a light weight and nearly free way to make solid snow anchors for your tent.
For glacier travel, it's a smart approach to tailor the equipment you carry to the level of possible risk from the crevasse fall.
Glissading - You might have learned how to do it on your first day of climbing school, but there’s a lot of reasons why you may want to avoid it.