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

Don writes:
> 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.

Hmm, Don do you think your knowledge of what the conditions will be is clear?

Having done technical ice climbing in the High Sierras and on Mt. Rainier I 
WOULD NOT attempt to cross Forrester Pass (remember 13,200 feet!) without an 
ice axe before late August in ANY year.  Perhaps my limitations - fears - 
reservations are greater than yours, but I'd have to say, IMHO, you must be 
highly confident on steep ice with deathly exposure to make this statement.   

The ice cornice - wall at Forrester Pass in 1977, the lowest snowfall year of 
record, was several feet taller than I am, probably around 10 or more feet.  
Even if steps have been cut into the vertical ice, you have to figure out a 
secure way of climbing up, and consider the exposure of 300 to 400 feet below 
you should you fall.  AND you have to get your pack over also.

I don't wish to scare anyone, however, don't make rash judgements about 
conditions or your capabilities without a complete understanding of what you 
MAY encounter . . . and conditions often change.

Greg "Strider" Hummel

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