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St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby rkalsbeek » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:09 pm

aboynamedmargrette wrote:My thoughts on itinerary so far:
- Meet at 7am, brief discussion of practice theories and set some goals for the day
- General (basic) ice/snow practice
- Grill and beer (folks not joining in beacon stuff can bail out
- Beacon practice for anyone who is interested (I would assume we should have enough beacons present to allow taking turns for anyone not equipped with one but still wanting to try)
- Get in a few turns while trying to avoid needing to use any of our newly practiced skills :wink: (weather and time permitting)


Sounds like a perfect itinerary.

SurfNTurf wrote:This crew might be different, but when we've done these in the past most of the attendees were still learning their way around an ice ax. Going over the different ways to hold an ax, how to properly fit and put on crampons, basic snow-climbing techniques (French step, duck walk, etc.), self-belay, glissading, and self-arrest from a variety of body positions took the whole day.


This describes me. Getting an overview of all of this on Sunday would really be awesome.

And as for beacons, I may stay after and learn some basics. I was only asking if I would need one for the other training we will be doing.
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby KyleS » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:34 pm

Sunday would be perfect for us - that's my only day off this week. But my girlfriend and I are already proficient in snow travel and avalanche rescue; we're really just looking for a place to practice glacier travel and crevasse rescue. And it couldn't hurt to have a more experienced person looking over our shoulders. We might still come and help out where we can and then sneak off and practice on our own. But since we live all the way down in the San Juans, we might just find a spot to practice around here, rather than spending 8.5 hours in the car on my only day off.

If there are others looking to practice glacier travel and crevasse rescue and we can get a second group going, we'd definitely make the trip. Or if we can schedule a different day for this, that'd be great, too. We're flying out on May 12, so it'd have to happen before then.

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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Doug Shaw » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:45 pm

I'll join up and can provide some of the overview/guidance for axe/crampon work.

I'm going to agree with some of the previous posters in suggesting that trying to cram in ropework and glacier travel as well is going to be a bit much. They're really worth a full day (or more) of focus in and of themselves.

I can bring a beacon for additional practice in that area as well if anybody is interested.

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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby SilverLynx » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:11 am

Looks like this weekend is going to get really cold and snowy. Planning on being there but I may be taking care of a sick person this weekend. 8-[
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Stereo311 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:36 pm

I would love to join you guys this Sunday at St. Mary's. I have no idea where St. Mary's is. Can someone post the address or a link?

Is this where everyone is talking about meeting: St. Mary's Glacier is located in Idaho Springs, 9 miles above exit 238 off of I-70 (located from a google search).

Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Steve Climber » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:20 am

Stereo311 wrote:I would love to join you guys this Sunday at St. Mary's. I have no idea where St. Mary's is. Can someone post the address or a link?

Is this where everyone is talking about meeting: St. Mary's Glacier is located in Idaho Springs, 9 miles above exit 238 off of I-70 (located from a google search).


That's the guy. I've never been to the glacier itself, but I am assuming parking is in the lots down by the lakes and walk up (?)
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby YooperJonKornely » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:04 am

I've been there a few times this year, playing around with the ice axe and crampons... it is a lot of fun and a great spot to practice. The walk from the trailhead to the lake/glacier is very short, well under a mile. There are 2 parking lots right by the trailhead... but be aware you will have to pay $5 to park as they are private.

Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Steve Climber » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:36 am

YooperJonKornely wrote:I've been there a few times this year, playing around with the ice axe and crampons... it is a lot of fun and a great spot to practice. The walk from the trailhead to the lake/glacier is very short, well under a mile. There are 2 parking lots right by the trailhead... but be aware you will have to pay $5 to park as they are private.


Good to know about parking cost! Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby colokeith » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:58 pm

I am planning on coming. I don't have a beacon. I am guessing avy risk will be elevated due to new snowfall on Saturday. I haven't been up here in years. Is this an area where a beacon / shovel / probe is needed in order to travel safely?
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby GregMiller » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:14 pm

Looking at Caltopo, the glacier itself is not an avy slope, and we should be able to stay out from under any loaded slopes. Can someone else knowledgeable confirm this for me?

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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Doug Shaw » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:16 pm

You don't need avy gear to play safely on the glacier... assuming you're "thinking avalanche". There are some avy-exposed areas above St Mary's Lake, but they're not areas you're generally likely to go into if your goal is the main glacier itself. If you're not careful you can get into trouble, but it's easy to stay in a safe area.

Since there is limited parking and a cost associated with it, I highly recommend folks carpooling from somewhere else to limit the expense and parking real-estate required up there.

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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby GregMiller » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:45 pm

I'd be happy to drive two others, probably from the Morrison park n ride.

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