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RE: [pct-l] Fuel usage and Ice Ax Length

Fuel Usage:

Yip suggested just trying out how long it takes your stove to boil a liter
of water to figure fuel consumption.  Note that it takes a lot longer to
boil water at high elevation, so add an appropriate extra amount to account
for elevation in your calculation (and for emergency it's always nice to
have a little extra!). How much? Cake mixes and some other pasta mixes have
statements about additional cooking time for each 1,000' of elevation.  I
have to admit that I don't recall seeing any of these in low land
California.  In Denver, Colorado, I recall seeing it commonly on food

Too much costs you only the cost of the fuel and its weight in your pack.
Too little could cost you much more.

Ice Ax Length:

I agree with Joanne, who wrote that you should consider the length of your
ice ax based on what you intend to use it for.  I own two ice axes. The
first, a long one, that I used on the PCT for self arrest, cutting
footholds over Forrester and other passes, and for stability on steep
slopes, unsure footing and river crossings in the Sierra.  I sent it out at
South Lake Tahoe.  I bought the second one after the HIKE and climbing Mt.
Rainier peaked my interest in ice climbing.  It is a short one that can be
easily carried until on steep slopes and used on ice climbs.  

A short ax could be carried on the PCT as a tool for the steep passes, but
as Joanne pointed out, a short ax lacks some capability and versatility
that a longer ax offers.  For weight considerations, I would want
everything in my pack to be as versatile as possible.  The greater weight
of the longer ax is a trade off that each person must consider for themselves.

Don't ask how long of an ice ax I used as it probably wont be applicable to
many due to my height (6'9").  I looked for an ax that nearly reached my
hand when used as a walking stick.


Greg "Strider" Hummel
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