Tuesday 2 February 2010

Winter Mountaineering Day, Jan 30th continued

An "action shot", Craig brakes during the second progression of ice axe braking whilst Alex looks on.

Teaching Ice Axe Braking involves using the pick of the axe buried in the snow to arrest a slide. The axe shaft is held diagonally under the chest, hand over the head of the axe and the other over the spike at the bottom of the axe shaft.

Moments after this shot was taken Craig reached out to the right with the pick of his axe and stabbed it into the snow causing him to spin around into the uphill facing position which is the correct one for braking as seen in the last picture of the previous post.

Iain's coaching from the above picture was that Craig needed to be "resting more upright" on his elbows and it was noted that his left hand was not covering the spike at the base of his axe shaft - the danger with that is that once in the uphill facing position, the uncovered spike could "dig in" causing the axe to be ripped out of the person's hand - not ideal if you are trying to brake with it!

Soon it was time to pack up and head back to the car and the party headed straight down between Harrison Sticke and Pavey Ark and it was here where this last picture was taken. It had been an action packed day filled with skills and challenges and both Alex & Craig and Iain were happy with what had been delivered.

It was an unusual and demanding day with the breadth of what had been covered, but that's what the guys wanted, so Iain made sure that's what they got! This is what we at Kendal Mountaineering Services are famous for - bespoke days in the outdoors where you decide what you want and we'll make it happen!

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