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[pct-l] Ice ax for PCT?

	Last summer I did bring my Ice ax and I feel that it ended up to be well
worth carrying the extra weight. I did not start carrying mine until
Tehachapi- where I had my family there to meet me on the trail- they
brought the Ice ax for me to use after then-- it saved having to mail it.
Anyway I Definitely would say dont carry the ax before the Sierras---
especially if you are leaving later in the season like you are. 
	In the Sierras I did run into some passes that where rather scary.
Foresters Pass had a near vertical Ice/snow patch near the top-- At the
time I really felt I needed it to cross that. I also felt I needed the ax
on Glen Pass. On these passes you dont follow the trail and its grade- you
have to walk straight down, or at a slight angle. The trail is covered so
you cant follow its <18% gradient. On Glen Pass you would stand at the top
and look down the other side and not see the bottom of the trail because it
was so steep-- You just trust the faint footsteps going down that way are
going in the right direction. 
	Before I went had my PCT adventure last summer I took a snow and ice/
mountaineering course to learn self arrest and the use of crampons and the
ice ax. I would recommend that you take a course or learn from someone the
proper way to Self arrest. After taking the course I felt much more
comfortable and confident in the snow and ice. 
	There where several people who carried the their ice ax from the border.
They liked to have it because it can serve as some conveniently tools- dig
cat holes, lean you pack against, walk with or whatever. I guess its up to
you. To me it does seem like too much extra weight outside of the Sierras.

May you have a peaceful and beautiful Journey!!

Ryan Christensen

Ryan Christensen
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