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Thread: Alpine Hunting - Safety Tip

  1. #1
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    Alpine Hunting - Safety Tip

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    I was just looking at the How To: post by 7mmsaum. Thanks for the post. All those articles will make for great reading over the next few months !

    However, I saw this photo on the nzoutdoor web site home page and knowing that you are in the middle of winter, I thought I would throw out a safety tip. My ratio of alpine trips to hunting trips is about 100:1

    The picture shows a person on relatively steep terrain that is covered in white stuff - presumably some form of snow, ice, neve or whatever.

    The person has their uphill hand on that white stuff and appears to be holding an ice-axe in their downhill hand.

    This is back arsewards or arse backwards however you look at it.

    Always hold your ice-axe or trekking pole in your uphill hand

    Be safe out there this winter and do not be afraid to correct your mate if you see this type of mistake. A slip would ruin the day for both of you.
    Tentman likes this.

  2. #2
    Member Scouser's Avatar
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    +1 KS, im a mountaineer, real hard to 'arrest' your fall when you have your ice axe on the 'downhill side'...........recipe for disaster!!!!!....great tip!
    distant stalker likes this.
    While I might not be as good as I once was, Im as good once as I ever was!

    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt

  3. #3
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    Well spotted - at least its on a tether, that's another trap for young players, lots of ice axes lie at the bottoms of gullies that were snow filled in winter, having slid there when their owner perished (hopefully not) cause he/she couldn't hold onto the axe in the arrest and never got a second go . . . .

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    can I ask why the uphill side is the go?

  5. #5
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    My guess would be that you arrest with the pick on the up hill side. Dig it in below you and you will try to go over or round it and not be so effective and also allow you to gain more speed as you try to correct the situation.

    Thanks for the heads up if I get into this.
    There are only three types of people in this world. Those that can count, and those that can't!

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    makes sense when you put it like that. im yet to use a ice axe on my thar expeditions

    could you wiser mountaineers reccomend a decent one?

  7. #7
    A Good Keen Girl Dougie's Avatar
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    You can often hire axes and most people that do a bit of snow travel will have a few in their collection. Do a course or go along with someone experienced and borrow their gear first, they can teach you how to self arrest with and without an axe.

    It's really fun
    She loves the free fresh wind in her hair; Life without care. She's broke but it's oke; that's why the lady is a tramp.

    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt

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    ill only be flying in and out of the south island these days, no time for a cource, I typically avoid the snowy hillfaces that look avalanchy
    youtube will have to be my teacher this time

  9. #9
    Member GravelBen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill999 View Post
    could you wiser mountaineers reccomend a decent one?
    I have an assortment of Black Diamond gear and like it. My lightweight walking axe is a Raven Pro, at 380g its light enough to take on the trips when you aren't sure if its worth taking one or not. As with guns, see what feels good in your hand.

    Best value you're likely to find (and good quality too) is i climb .co.nz :: Mountaineering gear at wholesale prices

  10. #10
    Member GravelBen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetman View Post
    My guess would be that you arrest with the pick on the up hill side. Dig it in below you and you will try to go over or round it and not be so effective and also allow you to gain more speed as you try to correct the situation.
    Yup, thats pretty much it - most common slip is your feet sliding out from under you so if your axe is on uphill side you are in the right position to put your weight over it and self-arrest, or often stop yourself before you even start sliding. On the downhill side you have to roll over/spin around first (use the axe as a pivot point to spin) which takes time and lets you gain speed.

    I recommend having a practice session on a slope with a safe run-out before hitting steep terrain - practice falling and self-arresting from every angle you can think of (feet first, head first, upside down, sideways...) so you know what to do if it happens accidentally later. Sometimes in soft snow you can get better braking force from the adze rather than the pick, takes confidence to pull it out and turn it round while you're sliding down the hill though...
    Dougie likes this.

  11. #11
    Member Scouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill999 View Post
    makes sense when you put it like that. im yet to use a ice axe on my thar expeditions

    could you wiser mountaineers reccomend a decent one?
    As GB has stated, just hire/buy a 'general m'taineering axe', when your holding it like a walking stick your arm should be straight and the 'spike' just touching the floor, get a 'leash'....you will own it longer!!!!!!

    learn how to 'self arrest' from preferably a mountaineer, otherwise 'you tube'....you have it on 'the hill side' so when you lose your footing/slip you just fall onto it without having to twist your body because its on the other side!!!!

    above all, be bloody careful up there!!!!!
    While I might not be as good as I once was, Im as good once as I ever was!

    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt

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    Ok then where can you hire from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill999 View Post
    Ok then where can you hire from?
    A lot of outdoor shops in mountainous SI tourist areas (Dunedin, Qtown, Wanaka, Mt Cook etc) hire them out, often tramping clubs have a collection which they hire out cheap to members (or friends of members) too.

  14. #14
    A Good Keen Girl Dougie's Avatar
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    In Chch R&R Sport used to hire, not sure about now sorry. What area do you live in? Also if Youtube doesn't smoke your tires, there is actually a couple pages in the MSCM (Bushcraft) that give you a few tips Chapter 17 in the older MSCM31
    She loves the free fresh wind in her hair; Life without care. She's broke but it's oke; that's why the lady is a tramp.

    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt

  15. #15
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    I live in the far north of the north island

 

 

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