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[pct-l] Ski poles/ice axes

>From: "Jerry McMillan" <JMCMILLA@uci.edu>
>Subject: [pct-l] Axes and Poles
>     A couple of summers ago, I ran into a discussion on the JMT about the
>     relative merits of carrying an ice ax vs. ski poles. The ax proponents
>     claimed that the ax would help avoid injury if they slipped. The pole
>     people said that the poles would keep them from slipping in the first
>     place.
>     I'm hiking the JMT this summer, and would appreciate comments for and
>     against both opinions.

I can see the advantage of poles under certain situations, primarily deep
stream crossings.  And people I have talked to like the fact that thay can
get into a "hiking rythm" using them.  However, I would opt for an ice axe
on the JMT.

Although ski poles may very well decrease the possibility of a slip, I
doubt that they could prevent slips under all circumstances in snowy/icy
conditions.  Does anyone know how ski poles compare to ice axes during a
self arrest?  I doubt they compare favorably.

The arguement given above doesn't seem logical to me.  It seems analogous
to saying "I'm not going to use my seat belt because I am driving carefully
enough to keep me out of an accident."

I would be interested in hearing others ideas.


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