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16

This is really interesting, and I think it might be similar to why we don't generally have snow tires / chains etc as a common item here in stores. Certainly the South rarely gets snow, with Wales, The North and Scotland being more likely to get snow days. From the MET Office: The UK gets on average 33 days of snow fall or sleet a year (1971 - 2000). ...


13

If you don't have a compass or other instruments, it is possible to measure the slope with your two (ski) poles solely. Just hold one pole vertically by using gravity and stick it into the snow. Hold the other one horizontally until it reaches the slope with one end and the first pole with the other end. Now you check the height in which the poles contact ...


10

In general it really depends on the snow condition. Angle: If it's powder snow you need a quite steep angle (25 degrees and more). If it's icy/ hard/ wind slab snow then you can try it on a less steep (20 degrees) slope. Safety: I would search for a slope where you have a safe run off, if you can't manage do arrest yourself. And also that your runoff is ...


8

I think it's quite similar to skiing because the reason for kick-and-glide is to save energy. Same for snowshoes; try not to elevate the whole weight of the shoe for every step. Of course in deep snow you have to lift the leg including the snowshoe quite high, but not as high as you'd have to not wearing snowshoes. Open the fixture at the back to make the ...


8

I have used them heaps for Rappelling, and am more comfortable using a Snow bollard than any other single anchor. I have seen snow stakes bend under the load of one person, ice screws pull the ice off the rock. I have seen deadmen fail when the knots came undone (might have been incorrectly clipped 'biner) (students on that course got a valuable knot tying ...


8

To put it simply, carry a compass with you that has a clinometer to measure a slope's angle, set one of your poles down on the slope and place the compass on top of the pole to get a solid reading. If you spend enough time in one area you'll start to become familiar enough with the terrain to remember roughly what the angles are and which routes are the ...


8

In addition to the good answer by Aravona, there are two important reasons: Snow shoes are impractical on steep terrain because they put a lot of stress on your ankles. If you are going to buy equipment for going up snow-covered mountains, there is a much better solution: mountain skis with skins attached. Skins increase the grip tremendously. Example: ...


7

Well, the primary difference is that once you've used your ice axe as an anchor, you can't use it to climb with. Also, two anchors is almost always better than one, especially in snow. You never know the exact strength of anchor in snow. While it is possible to improvise a deadman anchor in snow out of almost anything you can wrap a rope around, it's not ...


7

Walking technique You can save energy by not lifting your shoe higher then needed. And also how long steps you take. If it's steep try to make smaller steps to save energy. If you walk with poles use your poles with the correct length and technique as with cross-country-skiing, both for every step, one per step or asymmetric. Path planing I think you can ...


6

I'm not super experienced with snow anchors, but basically a snow bollard can be a bomber anchor if the snow is hard -- hard enough that you have to use an ice ax to chop the trench. You can back it up using one or more objects such as ice axes or pickets, to make it more difficult for the anchor to fail by having the rope cheese-grater itself through the ...


6

If you are roped up for glacier travel and the person in front of you has just fallen in then you can hammer a snow stake in to provide an anchor. Note that in this case you probably won't have your ice axe available since it will be stuck in the ground with your knee bracing it, holding up your mate. I've not seen the shorter stakes (the snow flukes) in ...


6

Skiiers have many words for snow. Powder Packed Powder Hard pack Ice Glare Ice (If you dig in, you can catch an edge on ice, but not on glare ice.) Crud (Used to be powder, but then it got warm and partially melted, then it re-froze. You sink through it almost like powder, but it's heavy and hard to ski through.) Corduroy (That's the fresh tracks left by ...


5

Firn/névé: Snow consisting of several millimeters sized grains that develop by repeated melting in the sun and freezing over again during the night. Typically occurring in late winter and spring when the temperatures rise again or – in higher altitudes where snow exists all year – during summer. Powder: As the name says, very fine-grained snow that fell ...


5

Two other answers have given methods for measuring this on-site. The trouble is that there's a lot of behavioral and sociological research showing that this doesn't really work. Once you get to the location where the activity is planned, you'll tend to go ahead anyway because you feel committed, and because there is a strong psychological need to show other ...


4

Unless the slopes gradually becomes less and less steep and you're sure there are no glaciers hidden under it, then the only way to safely practice that is to build a solid backup anchor on top of the practice slope and tie into it with a significant amount of rope slack. How to build the anchor is dependent on the terrain. There could be ice on top of the ...


4

Snowshoes are available in the UK, but generally you have to go to more specialist mountaineering shops. I doubt any of the high street chains stock them, instead look at the smaller independent shops. Especially those shops located close to mountainous areas, where snowshoes could be more useful. eg Braemar Mountain Sports have a few models Icicle, in ...


3

Depending on how strict your definition is... Windrow: The pile of snow along the edge of the road left behind by a snowplough. You could also look at this list or this one. Not every word on these lists might apply to your question, but I'm sure you'll find a lot of good ones.


3

Sleet As snow descends through the atmosphere and the air warms it melts and turns back to liquid (rain). If rain or partially-melted snow falls through a layer of sub-freezing air, sleet forms as small pellets of ice. So while not all sleet is still snow, some it may only be partially melted to the point that you may still consider it as such. Sleet is ...


3

Search and rescue guy here. It's been a while since I've skied, XC or downhill, but I do plenty of snowshoeing, and they are nothing alike, even with shallow snow. If anything, snowshoeing on shallow or crusty snow is more like using crampons. Just keep your gear tight, with straps pointing out (eg, gaiter strap on left foot is pointing left, straps on right ...


3

There's an excellent ski term glossary here from the Tetonsandwasatch blog, which includes words for snow, some of which I find hilarious. Some of my favorites: Chunder – Generally, chopped up, bad – even heinous – snow. Corn – Granular snow formed by repeatedly melting during the day and freezing at night. It’s generally icy at night; the ‘corn’ ...


2

In additions to other answers, I build my own stakes for about $10 each and happily leave them behind when rappelling off routes if no other options exist. Leaving your ice Axe, pack, hammer etc behind is not only iffy in terms of survival, its expensive.


2

If you're not walking on very steep slopes, there is basically no special technique to learn. On steep slopes, you can use many of the same foot techniques as with crampons, and in fact many snowshoes include a type of built-in crampon. Front-pointing doesn't work with snowshoes, however, and I don't think three-o'clock position works either. Snowshoes ...


2

You can use the common technique with the poles to measure the slope angle like discribed by @EverythingRightPlace. There is also a ski-pole-sticker that you can attach to your pole and then simply read the angle with a single pole (found on this website). There are also several smart phone apps for your smart phone to measure the angle of a slope. These ...


1

Given your criteria, I would go with bivy sacks. Making shelters from snow (even just tarp covered windbreaks) is energy and time consuming, eating up your already scarce daylight and what little energy you have leftover from hiking/snowshoeing/skiing to camp. A commentary on group size, though: it's almost always a bad idea to go winter mountaineering with ...



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