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[pct-l] Re: ice axe

Craig writes:

>I wish I could say, "If I need it and I don't have it,
>then I don't need it."  I also wish I could ask do I
>need an ice axe and have people say no, but the
>correct answer is probably "It depends."

Your right, it "depends". Traversing snowfields depends on your experience,
the skill you've gained through that experience, and the amount of risk you
are willing to accept. And crossing snowfields can be very risky.

>I will be using Leki poles, but I don't know how good a 
>substitute for an ice axe they'd be in an emergency.

If you intend to use trekking poles you might consider adding self arrest
grips. I think Ramer makes one that is compatible with Leki poles and Black
Diamond makes the Whippet conversion that works with most of their ski and
trekking poles.

>So, :-), do I need an ice axe?

That "depends"; it's your decision. But whatever you choose, practice your
self arrest technique until you are confident you can stop yourself in a

Hope to see you safely on the other side of Forester Pass.

Don Davidson