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[pct-l] Did Lowder have an ice axe?

The newspaper says "no ice axe was found"  and it says his body was 80
feet down an icy chute.  Considering the materials that ice axes are
made from, I can picture an untethered ice axe sliding/bouncing and
ending up quite far away from the victim who perhaps didn't have time to
use it.  So, to say that because no ice axe was found means that he
didn't have one is a bit of a stretch.  I have been to New Army Pass,
and it is a whole lot of territory to search for an ice axe that could
have ended up in some concealed cranny of rock.  
All the incident says for sure is that nothing is guaranteed in life,
except death.  Bad things can happen anywhere and there is no insurance
against death.  We all get it in the end, the question is only where,
when and how.  An ice axe is a great survival tool in the circumstances
he was in but it is no more a sure thing than anything else.  Far better
than nothing, and far better than hiking poles, but not an absolute
guarantee.  Follow your best informed plans and accept that the worst
can still happen.  That's life.  Or, you can stay home.
Marion Davison