Hot answers tagged

46

If the snow was hard packed enough that a self arrest is not possible, and there are no intermediate anchors, then if one person falls, they can take the whole team down with them. If that was the case then what they should have done is to have the first person place anchors as they went up, either snow pickets or ice screws depending on the conditions. The ...


25

Found an answer by Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources. For new, clear ice, 4 inches should be good for ice skating or any activity involving just a person's weight. They recommend double that thickness (8 inches) for white ice which has about half the strength.


24

First of all: Walking a glacier contains some serious risks and roping up is not enough to cover that risks, but also knowledge of crevasse rescue is needed. Therefore I strongly recommend a glacier course where all those things are taught. Now for some basic things to consider when walking a glacier as a roped party: When walking a glacier, one normally ...


22

The most common options coming to my mind are: Securing from anchors and building e.g. one rope-party with 2 and one with 3 members This is slow but very safe. You do it in steep and/or difficult terrain. Moving continuously being roped together while the first uses gear Using e.g. a tibloc or you can use rocks to let the rope move behind them (with ...


19

You never want to stop yourself with the crampons because they are liable to catch, flip you over and, at best, put you in a worse situation than before and, at worst, break your legs. Instead you want to first stop yourself using the pick of the ice axe, with your crampons raised above the ice. You can use your knees as an additional brake. The way you do ...


16

Yaktrax advertises products intended to help with this, which might be less damaging to interior surfaces than crampons. You can find some SE discussion on those kinds of products here. Keeping a low center of gravity can reduce probability of injury by reducing how far you fall. Positioning yourself so that if you do fall, a softer part of your body (...


15

Here at south Russia, we have lots of ice surfaces every winter and need to walk around. So, practical experience: The simplest option to reduce slipping will be to just glue some hard waterproof low-grit (approx 60-120 grit) sanding paper on the bottom of your shoes. This is often used here amongst aging people that are less agile due to their age. If they ...


13

The answer of @BenediktBauer covers pretty much everything you have to know as a beginner on glaciers. What you also have to know is the proper knot (and that was the second part of your question). You can use the figure eight, like is recommended in sport climbing too (so most people will already know this knot). You of course have to watch out, because of ...


13

It look like they are "moving together". Very common in alpine ascents when moving over easier ground where it would take too long to pitch the climb (fixed belay). The leader would run out around 10-20 meters to the second and would look for rock features or quick placements to get some protection in. Notice the rock features on the ascent, I'm guessing ...


11

Traditional military routines for crossing a river under such conditions are the following Bag your pack and items in a waterproof sack/black bag Tie it up and use as a buoyancy aid Wear your normal boots and thin socks Ensure Gore-Tex socks are in your pack. They cost approx $10-14 Cross the river and accept the cold - embrace it :-) Once across remove ...


11

My question is: short of drilling, how do locals decide the ice on their lakes is safe for winter sports? What people in North America do (for testing if you can walk on the ice) is: Check that the edge is thick enough to hold your weight, if you can't get on the edge you won't get to the middle (without getting soaked, which is the #2 thing to avoid). ...


11

Absolutely yes. I don't leave my home without them (well, another model than the one you linked) if there is any chance of hitting snow/ice during a hike. For such hikes, they always, at any time of the year, sit at the bottom of my pack, right next to the survival sheet. I've had at least two occasions where they transformed a stupendously dangerous ...


10

Although @ReverendGonzo gave a nice answer I want to start a little debate. There is no explicit answer to this question. Different alpine clubs have different opinions and even different mountain guides in one organization. That being said, I think the process described by @ReverendGonzo (which I will call default process) is very common and also the ...


10

Most important: Be prepared! On organized skating tours (at least in sweden) the following is mandatory equipment. An ice probe (to determine ice thickness so you wont go through in the first place) A backpack with a complete change of clothes in a watertight bag. The backpack must have a harness that goes between your legs so it doubles as a flotation ...


10

Ice Disk That phenomenon is called an ice disc or ice circle. It occurs in slow moving water in cold climates. Ice discs form on the outer bends in a river where the accelerating water creates a force called 'rotational shear', which breaks off a chunk of ice and twists it around. As the disc rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice — smoothing ...


9

We have a pond on our farm and often groom the ice for ice skating. We have a pretty simple 3-step process that takes about 20 minutes with a couple of people and gives us great ice: Shovel off any snow. The melting/freezing snow really ruins your ice. We use a metal bladed shovel which also helps to knock off any bumps in the ice. (Some loose ice shavings ...


9

What do you do in this situation? Just keep moving, trying to basically swim through the ice, while breaking it hoping to reach thicker ice or the shore? More or less, yes with two caveats. If someone else is in the process of attempting a rescue (e.g., their first rope toss came up short or the boat is on the way) you might be better off making sure you ...


9

It's impossible to say from a photograph whether something is "safe" or not. Many factors come into play, including the experience level of the climbers concerned. For all we know, they may have been roped together for a glacier traverse, and chosen to stay roped up for a short section well within their capabilities, knowing they will need to be protected ...


9

As mentioned by others: It is impossible to definitely judge the situation from just the photo, and that's all we have. As far as I see, there is no protection between the roped climbers here. So my answer is under the following assumption: The party is roped up with lots of rope between climbers without any protection in a steep slope of mixed snow and ...


8

I thought about fishing boots. They would probably take the same space as an extra pair of pants and boots anyways, but they would save you from getting wet from freezing water and be a lot cheaper as well.


8

This actually happens to be pretty relevant to Physics(so it's kind of odd it was migrated away from the Physics.SE). You were actually on the right track with the penguin idea and increasing your co-efficient of friction. The graphic in this article has been floating around the internet for a while now. It's pretty self-explanatory, but the gist of it is ...


8

In sweden, where skate touring is a popular winter sport, skaters bring a device called "ispik". (Ice pike). They come in two varieties. Either double pike, that looks like a sturdier version of a ski pole or a single pike that looks more like a broomstick with a tapered metal point. Generally speaking a single pike is easier to use but a double pike can ...


8

Conditions that can lead to clear ice such as this are: Water with few impurities causing less scattering of light: This lake does not have any water flowing into it, therefore rain is the only source of water Freeze the water slowly so that impurities and air bubbles can rise to the surface, and in the case of air, escape. The area of the lake in the video ...


7

There's a lot that you can do in regards to walking style: Avoid walking on the ice if you can. (if it's a poorly cleared sidewalk, and there's snow on grass near it, walk in the snow) If it's a layer of ice over a base of snow, crack the ice by walking heel first (and really put your weight into it), so that you create footprints in the snow rather than ...


7

You need between 3 and 4" of clear ice to be safe, but, with practice, you can visually determine if there is this amount or more. The key is that ice can support your weight in boots and not yet be safe for dynamic or concentrated loads (i.e. jumping or ice skating). The basic technique is that you first bash the edge of the ice (it is always thinnest at ...


7

Rocky Mountain Canadian here, The easiest way to identify good boots for ice is to simply feel the rubber on the soles. The softer and the stickier the rubber on the soles of the boots, the better traction they will provide on ice. Vulcanized natural rubber is the best. The gold standard for winter boots in Western Canada up in the rockies are Sorel Boots. ...


7

Its just the result of pressure on the ice pushing the slabs up like that. It could also have been a solid non melting object underneath like a rock, but I can't see one in the picture. Ice will do all sorts weird things under pressure like pressure ridges or ice shove/heaves or spring tectonic cracks. Since its melting, it would seem that the pressure ...


7

Depends on how steep your ice patch is. Crampons are really good when you have steep slopes and you need to do some real front pointing. Crampons are good for mixed climbing as well. They are also heavier than microspikes. Microspikes make a good choice when the slopes are less steep. And when your needs for grip are not that severe. From my experience, ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible