ice axes in the lake district?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Simon Mc, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Simon Mc

    Simon Mc Guest

    It would be, on a first date. Get to know it first, meet the family, then
    maybe think about a weekend away.

    Unable to resist,

    Simon Mc


    "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > is it square to take a ice axe to the lake district?
    >
    >
     
    Tags:


  2. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Andy wrote:
    > is it square to take a ice axe to the lake district?


    That rather depends on the conditions and what you'll be doing. It
    certainly /can/ be worth taking axes there at certain times and places,
    but right now I think it would be a waste of effort...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  3. The Reids

    The Reids Guest

    Following up to Andy

    >is it square to take a ice axe to the lake district?


    not between November and April, unless your not hillwalking.
    --
    Mike Reid
    If god wanted us to be vegetarians he wouldn't have made animals out of meat.
    Wasdale-Lake district-Thames path-London "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk" <-- you can email [email protected] this site
    Eat-walk-Spain "http://www.fell-walker.co.uk" <-- [email protected] all, it's a spamtrap
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Guest

    is it square to take a ice axe to the lake district?
     
  5. The Reids

    The Reids Guest

    Following up to Andy

    >the reason I asked is because I was up in the lake district wild camping in
    >February this year and on the way back down I noticed several people who had
    >ice axes attached to there backpacks, and I couldn't help wondering what the
    >point of carrying them up there was, as there was probably no more than
    >twenty square feet of snow up there!.


    You make a judgement as to is there snow and ice high up,
    sometimes you get it wrong. If I do a winter multi day walk
    between pubs (my favourite way of walking :) ) I would take the
    axe. some people probably just leave it on the pack all winter?
    As for impaling yourself its best to have point protectors on, as
    even if there is snow, its easy to have someones eye out on the
    upward pointing spike.
    --
    Mike Reid
    If god wanted us to be vegetarians he wouldn't have made animals out of meat.
    Wasdale-Lake district-Thames path-London "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk" <-- you can email [email protected] this site
    Eat-walk-Spain "http://www.fell-walker.co.uk" <-- [email protected] all, it's a spamtrap
     
  6. Bernard

    Bernard Guest

    "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > the reason I asked is because I was up in the lake district wild camping

    in
    > February this year and on the way back down I noticed several people who

    had
    > ice axes attached to there backpacks, and I couldn't help wondering what

    the
    > point of carrying them up there was, as there was probably no more than
    > twenty square feet of snow up there!. I also noticed what I believe were
    > marks from crampons on a lot of the rocks on the paths. surely even if it
    > had snowed heavily that day there wouldn't be enough snow to use something
    > like that?. and aren't you at risk of impaling yourself on the thing every
    > time you trip over?.
    > "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > is it square to take a ice axe to the lake district?
    > >

    The people you saw would have set out prepared for the worst and in some
    years, on some of the fells, ice axes and crampons are extremely useful.

    About 8 years ago in February, we went up Helvellyn from Thirlemere, about
    200 metres from the top there was what we thought was a covering of snow,
    when we reached it, it was frozen solid was virtually a sheet of ice and was
    impossible to walk on without crampons, so we turned back. Anyone covering
    any sort of distance over that ground would have found an ice axe extremely
    useful if they had slipped.

    Regards

    Bernard
     
  7. Andy

    Andy Guest

    the reason I asked is because I was up in the lake district wild camping in
    February this year and on the way back down I noticed several people who had
    ice axes attached to there backpacks, and I couldn't help wondering what the
    point of carrying them up there was, as there was probably no more than
    twenty square feet of snow up there!. I also noticed what I believe were
    marks from crampons on a lot of the rocks on the paths. surely even if it
    had snowed heavily that day there wouldn't be enough snow to use something
    like that?. and aren't you at risk of impaling yourself on the thing every
    time you trip over?.
    "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > is it square to take a ice axe to the lake district?
    >
    >
     
  8. Mike Clark

    Mike Clark Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Andy
    <URL:mailto:[email protected]> wrote:
    > are right, I thought there might be a use for them in that sort of
    > situation. but aren't areas of ice like that rare in the lake
    > district?.


    Not that rare in winter. The real problem is that conditions are very
    changeable. You could have sun, snow and rain all within a few hours of
    each other. I've certainly been in the Lake District with several inches
    of firm snow on the summits.

    > and when it does snow up there isn't it more likely to only be a few
    > inches deep.


    Quite possibly.

    > so to me it seems like the only real use for an ice axe is to help
    > stop yourself if you start to fall down a very steep mountain side,


    Yes that is a very valid use for an ice axe, particular a walking axe.

    > but would there be enough snow to use the axe properly?.


    Define what you mean by properly? Do you mean use of a "walking axe" or
    use of a technical "climbing axe", e.g. with a drop nose pick ? They are
    very different beasts with different intended uses.

    You can also use an axe quite effectively in frozen turf, so snow isn't
    an absolute requirement.



    Mike
    --
    o/ \\ // || ,_ o Mike Clark, "An antibody engineer who also
    <\__,\\ // __o || / /\, likes the mountains"
    "> || _`\<,_ // \\ \> | Cambridge Climbing and Caving Club
    ` || (_)/ (_) // \\ \_ <URL:http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/cccc/>
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Guest

    are right, I thought there might be a use for them in that sort of
    situation. but aren't areas of ice like that rare in the lake district?. and
    when it does snow up there isn't it more likely to only be a few inches
    deep. so to me it seems like the only real use for an ice axe is to help
    stop yourself if you start to fall down a very steep mountain side, but
    would there be enough snow to use the axe properly?.
    "Bernard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > the reason I asked is because I was up in the lake district wild camping

    > in
    > > February this year and on the way back down I noticed several people who

    > had
    > > ice axes attached to there backpacks, and I couldn't help wondering what

    > the
    > > point of carrying them up there was, as there was probably no more than
    > > twenty square feet of snow up there!. I also noticed what I believe were
    > > marks from crampons on a lot of the rocks on the paths. surely even if

    it
    > > had snowed heavily that day there wouldn't be enough snow to use

    something
    > > like that?. and aren't you at risk of impaling yourself on the thing

    every
    > > time you trip over?.
    > > "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > > is it square to take a ice axe to the lake district?
    > > >

    > The people you saw would have set out prepared for the worst and in some
    > years, on some of the fells, ice axes and crampons are extremely useful.
    >
    > About 8 years ago in February, we went up Helvellyn from Thirlemere, about
    > 200 metres from the top there was what we thought was a covering of snow,
    > when we reached it, it was frozen solid was virtually a sheet of ice and

    was
    > impossible to walk on without crampons, so we turned back. Anyone

    covering
    > any sort of distance over that ground would have found an ice axe

    extremely
    > useful if they had slipped.
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Bernard
    >
    >
     
  10. steve Wilcox

    steve Wilcox Guest

    I was up on Striding Edge one April, and had to turn back, as the ridge was
    covered with compacted ice - there had been a slight thaw then a re-freeze
    the day before. People with crampons on hardly slowed down as they waltzed
    past me. I was slipping and sliding, and it would have been suicidal to
    carry on. So yes, crampons and ice axes are useful between October and April
    in the Lake District . . .


    --
    Peace !

    Steve Wilcox

    "If Whisky Don't Kill Me I'll Live 'Til I Die"

    [email protected]
     
  11. spongebob

    spongebob Guest

    "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > are right, I thought there might be a use for them in that sort of
    > situation. but aren't areas of ice like that rare in the lake

    district?. and
    > when it does snow up there isn't it more likely to only be a few

    inches
    > deep. so to me it seems like the only real use for an ice axe is to

    help
    > stop yourself if you start to fall down a very steep mountain side,

    but
    > would there be enough snow to use the axe properly?.


    In most cases perhaps you are right, but who can tell how the weather
    will turn? There is nothing wrong with taking an axe and crampons just
    in case - especially in February. I've done Striding Edge when
    conditions were superb (ie, lots of hard snow and ice) and there was
    no indication at ground level of anything other than slush.

    Graham
     
  12. Andy

    Andy Guest

    well I've read that there are ways that ice axes can be used to stop
    yourself if you start to fall on steep slopes, but does they amount of snow
    needed to do that matter. and would not using an axe to help stop yourself
    work just as well in most conditions.
    "Mike Clark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>, Andy
    > <URL:mailto:[email protected]> wrote:
    > > are right, I thought there might be a use for them in that sort of
    > > situation. but aren't areas of ice like that rare in the lake
    > > district?.

    >
    > Not that rare in winter. The real problem is that conditions are very
    > changeable. You could have sun, snow and rain all within a few hours of
    > each other. I've certainly been in the Lake District with several inches
    > of firm snow on the summits.
    >
    > > and when it does snow up there isn't it more likely to only be a few
    > > inches deep.

    >
    > Quite possibly.
    >
    > > so to me it seems like the only real use for an ice axe is to help
    > > stop yourself if you start to fall down a very steep mountain side,

    >
    > Yes that is a very valid use for an ice axe, particular a walking axe.
    >
    > > but would there be enough snow to use the axe properly?.

    >
    > Define what you mean by properly? Do you mean use of a "walking axe" or
    > use of a technical "climbing axe", e.g. with a drop nose pick ? They are
    > very different beasts with different intended uses.
    >
    > You can also use an axe quite effectively in frozen turf, so snow isn't
    > an absolute requirement.
    >
    >
    >
    > Mike
    > --
    > o/ \\ // || ,_ o Mike Clark, "An antibody engineer who also
    > <\__,\\ // __o || / /\, likes the mountains"
    > "> || _`\<,_ // \\ \> | Cambridge Climbing and Caving Club
    > ` || (_)/ (_) // \\ \_ <URL:http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/cccc/>
    >
     
  13. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

    On Mon, 23 Aug 2004 19:44:16 GMT, Andy wrote:

    >"Mike Clark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >> In article <[email protected]>, Andy


    >> > but would there be enough snow to use the axe properly?.

    >>
    >> Define what you mean by properly? Do you mean use of a "walking axe" or
    >> use of a technical "climbing axe", e.g. with a drop nose pick ? They are
    >> very different beasts with different intended uses.
    >>
    >> You can also use an axe quite effectively in frozen turf, so snow isn't
    >> an absolute requirement.


    >well I've read that there are ways that ice axes can be used to stop
    >yourself if you start to fall on steep slopes, but does they amount of snow
    >needed to do that matter. and would not using an axe to help stop yourself
    >work just as well in most conditions.


    You need a certain amount of hard snow to make a self arrest in but
    even if there isn't enough snow for that a walker's axe can be mighty
    useful used as a short pole to aid an ascent or descent over steep
    ground.
    --
    Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
     
  14. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Andy wrote:
    > the reason I asked is because I was up in the lake district wild camping in
    > February this year and on the way back down I noticed several people who had
    > ice axes attached to there backpacks, and I couldn't help wondering what the
    > point of carrying them up there was, as there was probably no more than
    > twenty square feet of snow up there!.


    Unfortunately a judgment of the conditions every step of a route can be
    tricky from the bottom of the path. On one occasion I left my axe in
    the car because there was no snow to be seen and I had some, ummm,
    "interesting" moments later on when I had to cut myself steps with a
    handy rock. Nul Points for brains there...

    > I also noticed what I believe were
    > marks from crampons on a lot of the rocks on the paths. surely even if it
    > had snowed heavily that day there wouldn't be enough snow to use something
    > like that?.


    Most use I've had from crampons in a day was actually after a major
    thaw, which suddenly turned cold. Pretty much the whole of Lochnagar
    was covered in one huge sheet of water ice, and progress would have been
    impossible without them. Crampons are for ice, not snow, and all you
    need for ice is water and cold.

    > and aren't you at risk of impaling yourself on the thing every
    > time you trip over?.


    Yes, which is why you shouldn't take them when you /know/ you won't need
    them. But you often don't know...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  15. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Andy wrote:
    > well I've read that there are ways that ice axes can be used to stop
    > yourself if you start to fall on steep slopes


    If you're going out in winter onto high tops and you don't know how to
    use an ice axe (a) for stopping a slide to start with and (b) arresting
    one which has started then you're really not doing yourself any favours.
    You really should know how to use an axe before you head into the
    hills over winter, unless you're willing to turn back as soon as snow
    blocks the way.

    > but does they amount of snow
    > needed to do that matter. and would not using an axe to help stop yourself
    > work just as well in most conditions.


    Yes and no, respectively.
    I'd do some reading up on using axes if I were you.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  16. Mike Clark

    Mike Clark Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Andy
    <URL:mailto:[email protected]> wrote:
    > well I've read that there are ways that ice axes can be used to stop
    > yourself if you start to fall on steep slopes, but does they amount of
    > snow needed to do that matter. and would not using an axe to help stop
    > yourself work just as well in most conditions.


    I think if you're venturing out onto the Lake District hills in winter
    then you should really make sure you know how to use axe and crampons
    properly so that your first encounter is not your last.

    Reading up on the correct useage is a start, but better still is
    practice under controlled conditions where you have a safe runnout.
    Better still seek expert tuition, there are many winter skills courses
    available.

    The key to safe travel under winter (or summer Alpine) conditions is
    knowing when and how to use axe and crampons.


    Mike <URL:http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/>
    --
    o/ \\ // |\ ,_ o Mike Clark
    <\__,\\ // __o | \ / /\, "A mountain climbing, cycling, skiing,
    "> || _`\<,_ |__\ \> | immunology lecturer, antibody engineer and
    ` || (_)/ (_) | \corn computer user"
     
  17. The Reids

    The Reids Guest

    Following up to Andy

    > but aren't areas of ice like that rare in the lake district?. and
    >when it does snow up there isn't it more likely to only be a few inches
    >deep. so to me it seems like the only real use for an ice axe is to help
    >stop yourself if you start to fall down a very steep mountain side, but
    >would there be enough snow to use the axe properly?.


    "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk\esk140.htm"

    and that's at road level!
    --
    Mike Reid
    If god wanted us to be vegetarians he wouldn't have made animals out of meat.
    Wasdale-Lake district-Thames path-London "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk" <-- you can email [email protected] this site
    Eat-walk-Spain "http://www.fell-walker.co.uk" <-- [email protected] all, it's a spamtrap
     
  18. Mike Clark

    Mike Clark Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, The Reids
    <URL:mailto:[email protected]> wrote:
    > Following up to Andy
    >
    > > but aren't areas of ice like that rare in the lake district?. and
    > >when it does snow up there isn't it more likely to only be a few inches
    > >deep. so to me it seems like the only real use for an ice axe is to help
    > >stop yourself if you start to fall down a very steep mountain side, but
    > >would there be enough snow to use the axe properly?.

    >
    > "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk\esk140.htm"
    >
    > and that's at road level!


    I think you meant forward-slash not back-slash

    <URL:http://www.fellwalk.co.uk/esk140.htm>

    and on my site

    <URL:http://www-immuno.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/mikepics/xmas95.jpeg>

    Mike
    --
    o/ \\ // || ,_ o
    <\__,\\ // __o || / /\, Cambridge Climbing and Caving Club
    "> || _`\<,_ // \\ \> |
    ` || (_)/ (_) // \\ \_ <URL:http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/cccc/>
     
  19. Phil Dowrick

    Phil Dowrick Guest

    "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > the reason I asked is because I was up in the lake district wild camping

    in
    > February this year and on the way back down I noticed several people who

    had
    > ice axes attached to there backpacks, and I couldn't help wondering what

    the
    > point of carrying them up there was, as there was probably no more than
    > twenty square feet of snow up there!. I also noticed what I believe were
    > marks from crampons on a lot of the rocks on the paths.


    <snip>

    Likewise I was in the Lakes in Feb (Langdale) and saw a number of people
    with ice-axe and crampons, however it was an organised trip for Scouts and
    Scout Leaders to acquire some winter hill experience and be taught how to
    use them properly. Unfortunately there was not enough of the white stuff to
    really use them properly but that didn't mean they shouldn't have been
    carried and used if necessary. (Weather on the Saturday was rain, sleet and
    hail, with snow overnight but only had a short day on the Sunday so couldn't
    really get the advantage from it)

    Hoping for a good covering next year :)

    Phil Dowrick
     
  20. The Reids

    The Reids Guest

    Following up to Mike Clark

    >> "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk\esk140.htm"
    >>
    >> and that's at road level!

    >
    >I think you meant forward-slash not back-slash
    >
    ><URL:http://www.fellwalk.co.uk/esk140.htm>


    that's what comes of converting the local address to the web
    address. Thanks!
    --
    Mike Reid
    If god wanted us to be vegetarians he wouldn't have made animals out of meat.
    Wasdale-Lake district-Thames path-London "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk" <-- you can email [email protected] this site
    Eat-walk-Spain "http://www.fell-walker.co.uk" <-- [email protected] all, it's a spamtrap
     
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