Saturday, February 17, 2007

CMRU Snow Protection Training

Today we drove up to Tombstone in the pass to learn all about placing snow protection on climbs.  Snow protection includes climbing tools such as pickets and flukes and digging bollards in the snow.  When properly placed these devices can hold a lot of weightCmru_training_21707_033
as we found out.  I'm not going to go into details about any of it because unless you are an avid mountaineer you will fall asleep.  I will point out one interesting fact though.  When we placed an ice axe in the snow perpendicular to the slope about a foot deep, packed it in, and tied a caribeaner and rope to it, it took 3 of us pulling on it with all our strength to dislodge it from the snow.  THAT IS HOW STRONG SNOW CAN BE. We actually ended up bending a picket clean in half before the snow gave way and it wasCmru_training_21707_031
pulled through.  Obviously the strength varies with the snow conditions but last year Jason said they had one picket so secured Cmru_training_21707_029
in the snowpack that when they attached to climbing rope to the truck winch it actually pulled the parked truck sideways before giving way... unreal.  It was a beautiful day with blue skies.  After learning a bunch of new rope skills and placing snow protection we learnedCmru_training_21707_039 briefly how to read a snow pack for avalanche danger and also how to properly use avalanche beacons to find buried avalanche victims.  On the way I took a few pics of the moss covered trees up in the South Santiam river... pretty cool with the light
passing through them and the mist rising off the river.  I got home early enough to even go on a bike ride in MacDunn.... and man am I out of shape!  :)


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