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[pct-l] Re: ice axe - risk - New Army Pass

>............On the descent, one of the guys in our group slipped on a
>steep slope, lost his axe partway down, and slid to his death right before
>our eyes........

And the lesson here is what? Hiking in the mountains is dangerous; even the
"properly" equipped and trained are not invincible. Check with your local
SAR group and see how many rescues/recoveries they make where the victims
are described as "experienced and well-equipped".

BTW, I will be hiking this year using trekking poles with a Whippet. It is
not a decision I reached while sitting idly before a computer screen or
because I think they're better than an ice axe (they're not), but because I
think they are what I will need, based on my knowledge of what the
conditions will be and an assessment of my abilities and, more importantly,
my limitations. Others will make different choices based on their experience
and I would not argue that they made the wrong choice. Just because we make
different choices doesn't mean that one of us is rash, reckless, foolhardy,
or hare-brained; and, conversely, that the other is fearful, timid, or
overly cautious. Each of us comes to the PCT from a different background and
with different skills and what is the right choice for one is not
necessarily the right choice for all.

New Army Pass is, IMO, one of the most dangerous passes in the Sierra. Far
more difficult than either Forester or Mather. It is more of a cliff than a
steep slope and self-arrest, even with an ice axe, would be miraculous.
There is little, if any, room for error.

HYOH - but be careful, very careful.

Don Davidson