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Re: [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.
Partly depends on when you are doing the hike.  If it is later season I
would not carry an ice axe at all.  I usually use a push broom handle as a
walking staff.  Helps to keep you balanced as you are rock hopping across a
stream.  The metal screw goodie on the bottom keeps it from wearing down.
I have not yet graduated to using two as some espouse.

I have done the JMT three times without using either poles or an ice axe.
The only time I took the ice axe was when I did the PCT.  I have also done
it several times now (in both directions) with a hiking staff.  The staff
has become a part of the rhythm of hiking for me so I don't feel right
without it.

If you are going to be heading out early season I would consider an ice
axe, particularly for the ice chute on the south side of Forester Pass.

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