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St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby GregMiller » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:25 am

I have a small propane grill I can bring as well.

Also, I have three old retired gym top-ropes that I wouldn't mind bringing, they're not too long (50-60 ft), but I don't care if they get chewed up or stepped on.

As far as time, I haven't been up there recently, but for self arrest would we want to be up there earlier for slicker/harder snow?
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby wildlobo71 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:36 am

My concern is - has the snow pack consolidated enough at St. Mary's to be good for getting some momentum? Perhaps, like the Spring Gathering, we should move this to something a bit later (even a couple of weeks)... just a thought.

That being said - I *think* I can make it this weekend, Sunday... I've got several years of snow experience, self-arrest, and the all important glissade skills. But I'd love to brush up and break out the tools and skills - haven't needed crampons and the axe since Thanksgiving on Orizaba. For travel purposes, I don't see the need for crampons - for those of you who don't yet own them, you can simulate with microspikes. However, bring crampons if you have them so you can practice arrest technique with more realistic gear.

And if we are practicing traversing, self-arresting and that - do we need ropes?
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Winter8000m » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:50 am

So it seems Sunday might work for everyone overall? Maybe meet at that parking lot at 7ish? or we could go real early at 8 am 8)

Is everyone just wanting to practice self arresting? or prusiking, crevasse rescue, glacier travel too?
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby GregMiller » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:53 am

I was hoping to see the glacier travel related stuff, in addition to the self-arrest. I'll take what I can get, though.

Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Steve Climber » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:48 am

Winter8000m wrote:So it seems Sunday might work for everyone overall? Maybe meet at that parking lot at 7ish? or we could go real early at 8 am 8)

Is everyone just wanting to practice self arresting? or prusiking, crevasse rescue, glacier travel too?


A friend and I will likely head up slightly on the early side (hopefully) to get in some turns beforehand and do some beacon practice also. As far as main group activities, I would definitely like to work on self-arrest, but I am most interested in the team travel and rescue side of things.
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby rkalsbeek » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:25 am

Winter8000m wrote:So it seems Sunday might work for everyone overall? Maybe meet at that parking lot at 7ish? or we could go real early at 8 am 8)


I'll be there Sunday!! Meet y'all at the parking lot around 7ish. I don't have a grill to bring up, but I'll bring up some tasty beers.

aboynamedmargrette wrote:As far as main group activities, I would definitely like to work on self-arrest, but I am most interested in the team travel and rescue side of things.


I agree with you and GregMiller - I will take whatever I can get. I would like to learn the proper way to self-arrest, but anything I can learn from y'all would be awesome. I really appreciate everyone teaching us!
aboynamedmargrette wrote: So far I am coming with !!!HELMET!!!, Ice Axe, Crampons, Harness, Biner(s), Snow worthy clothing and extra socks. Any suggestions on other gear to bring or something ESSENTIAL that I am missing? Will also bring small grill and some beers (hope Dales and/or Ranger is good for everyone)


One question: I do not own an avy beacon. I do not want to put anyone else at risk (myself included) because I do not have one. However, I've heard that St Mary's tends to be low in terms of avy risk. For these kinds of things we're doing, is it necessary to have an avy beacon?

Last, I'm trying to keep track of everyone who may be going, so I have enough brews on hand. Here's what I have so far (anyone else not on this list MORE than welcome, but so far you all have expressed that this Sunday 3/24 would work).

Winter8000m
Brian C
Aboynamedmargrette - +1 friend
GregMiller
ColoKieth?
WildLobo - tentative?
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby wildlobo71 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:41 am

What is the goal for Sunday?

Simple snow practice for hiking and climbing in the Colorado mountains this spring? That should include basic technique on snow, tool use, self-arrest, glissading (if you wish, this is not truly a technique of "safe" travel, but hell - it's fun, and efficient, if done correctly.) You wouldn't need ropes or harnesses for this.

Ice and Crevasse rescue? This is a much more serious day - many people here may not be ready for. I'd prefer to have that first done by instructors (not that Noah and Brian and others can't offer great instruction) and this would be a "brushing up" day. This practice, by itself, can take a whole day with teams of people. And only some of us (them) have the correct tools for this.

I would hate to show up with 10+ people looking for 3-4 different things and not really have a great idea of what the agenda is.

(I am a planner by nature.)
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby rkalsbeek » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:53 am

wildlobo71 wrote:(I am a planner by nature.)

Same here! Trying to get a list of who's going, and in my excitement for Sunday, I glazed over everything else you pointed out. So good call.

wildlobo71 wrote:What is the goal for Sunday?


I for one, only need what you called "Simple Snow Practice" - the snow travel techniques, tool use, self arrest, and proper glissading. While I would love to learn crevasse rescue, I agree with you that this day we are planning probably is not the best for that. I need to know it sometime in the future, but right now I need to learn the basics.

But that's speaking for myself - we have two questions left unanswered:

-Noah and Brian - are you cool with teaching us these snow practices?
-Everyone else planning on going, are you cool with learning these basics?
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Justin9 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:01 pm

I hope it is not too late to join in. I could really use some guidance on general snow travel and self arrest techniques. I will be coming from the north end of colorado springs if anyone would like to carpool. I'll leave here at 5am, I think...

Bill - glad you are a planner, because I'm not!
Last edited by Justin9 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Steve Climber » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:19 pm

wildlobo71 wrote:What is the goal for Sunday?

Simple snow practice for hiking and climbing in the Colorado mountains this spring? That should include basic technique on snow, tool use, self-arrest, glissading (if you wish, this is not truly a technique of "safe" travel, but hell - it's fun, and efficient, if done correctly.) You wouldn't need ropes or harnesses for this.

Ice and Crevasse rescue? This is a much more serious day - many people here may not be ready for. I'd prefer to have that first done by instructors (not that Noah and Brian and others can't offer great instruction) and this would be a "brushing up" day. This practice, by itself, can take a whole day with teams of people. And only some of us (them) have the correct tools for this.

I would hate to show up with 10+ people looking for 3-4 different things and not really have a great idea of what the agenda is.

(I am a planner by nature.)


Good points. I will plan on a more basic day of (non-rescue requiring) roped team travel, tool use, self-arrest, etc...and maybe a follow-up day later in the season for the more advanced skills (crevasse rescue, etc)

rkalsbeek wrote:One question: I do not own an avy beacon. I do not want to put anyone else at risk (myself included) because I do not have one. However, I've heard that St Mary's tends to be low in terms of avy risk. For these kinds of things we're doing, is it necessary to have an avy beacon?


I am planning on practicing with the beacon separate from this "14ers group practice" but would be up for anyone bringing a beacon joining as well.

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)

edit: Sorry - in my haste and excitement, I have assumed they were in and completely forgotten to ask the most important question:

Noah and/or Brian, are you good with sharing some or your knowledge with us? It would be much appreciated by all of us inexperienced folks and would be a great chance to get out as a group and as part of the 14ers.com community

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU if you are in.
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby SurfNTurf » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:12 pm

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.

Not saying a smaller group of more advanced climbers couldn't do crevasse rescue, snow anchors, roped travel, beacon practice and so on. But in my opinion, for the newer folks, making sure your basic skills are honed for the upcoming snow-climbing season would be more beneficial than trying to cram too much into a single day (and promptly forgetting it all).

I'm bummed I can't make Sunday. I hope y'all have a fun time!
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Re: St. Marys snow/ice practice day?

Postby Steve Climber » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:37 pm

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.

Not saying a smaller group of more advanced climbers couldn't do crevasse rescue, snow anchors, roped travel, beacon practice and so on. But in my opinion, for the newer folks, making sure your basic skills are honed for the upcoming snow-climbing season would be more beneficial than trying to cram too much into a single day (and promptly forgetting it all).

I'm bummed I can't make Sunday. I hope y'all have a fun time!


I agree with that. As I mentioned before - Beacon practice doesn't need to be a part of the 14ers group practice. My buddy and I figured this would be a easy chance to work with beacons a bit on our own. Just thought I'd throw it out there for anyone else that was bringing one or that wanted to practice as well. Don't plan on it being included in the regular practice... we will probably do that late in the day and maybe try to get a lap or two in after we grill for a bit.

SurfNTurf, Sorry you can't make it. Hopefully we can get another day together later in the season to practice more advanced techniques.
Dave B wrote:And/or line thy helmet with tin foil and realize this is a freaking mountaineering website.


Steve Climber wrote:So that's your backpack, huh?

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