Glacading

8:27 p.m. on August 27, 2008 (EDT)
23 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Hi,
I'm looking for helpful tips, hints, and guides as to how to glacade down a slope.

Is there any desired technique?
Do you need an ice axe?
Can you use a rockhammer or other tool instead?

Thanks for the help!

Brian

11:57 p.m. on August 27, 2008 (EDT)
MODERATOR
38 reviewer rep
1,757 forum posts

It's glissade and there is a right way and a wrong way. It looks like fun and it is, but it also is a good way to get killed or seriously injured if you don't know what you are doing or try it in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is not something you can learn from a book or the net. I suggest taking a beginning mountaineering class that offers lessons as part of the class. That is how I learned.

Here is a classic example of what I am talking about-
http://www.traditionalmountaineering.org/Report_SierraClub_RJSecor.htm

http://angeles.sierraclub.org/news/SS_2006-01/RJSecor.asp

This guy was no rookie and he was extremely lucky his injuries were no worse than they were.

10:06 a.m. on August 28, 2008 (EDT)
23 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Thanks for the tip

11:44 a.m. on August 28, 2008 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,329 reviewer rep
5,272 forum posts

To strongly emphasize what Tom said about glissading, the man in the accident report he linked to is a very well-known mountaineer, author of several guidebooks to mountains that are considered the most authoritative (Mexican Volcanoes, Denali, the Sierra, and others). As it happens, I taught him a lot of things he learned while a beginner (he showed up at one of the Sierra Club Rock Climbing Section events at age 16 - according to RJ, I took him his first multipitch roped climb). The slope on which he had the accident was the very one where he was first introduced to glissading in the Basic Mountaineering Training Course in the 1960s (now called Wilderness Basics). He had descended that slope dozens, if not hundreds of times (familiarity breeds contempt?). If it could happen to him, it can happen to anyone.

Although seriously injured and in the hospital in intensive care for an extremely long time, I am happy to report that RJ has mostly recovered. There are still some problems that the doctors say will never completely go away, unfortunately. But RJ is back in the hills and looking toward some very ambitious climbs and hikes.

Glissading accidents happen all the time. Look at the USNF Mt Shasta site, at the accident reports. There are a half dozen serious glissading accidents every year, virtually all in Avalanche Gulch, virtually all involving self-taught hikers. I can't emphasize enough Tom's advice -

TAKE A COURSE FROM A CERTIFIED MOUNTAINEERING GUIDE SERVICE! Do not try to learn glissading on your own. It is all too easy to develop bad habits and to not develop the necessary judgment of the safety of the slope.

2:09 p.m. on August 28, 2008 (EDT)
MODERATOR
38 reviewer rep
1,757 forum posts

Bill, Thanks for adding the background on R.J. I remember reading about his accident in the LA Times, I think. I haven't been up to the Hut, but I ski at Baldy every now and then over at the downhill ski field.

3:48 p.m. on August 28, 2008 (EDT)
23 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Do you know of any course on the east coast?

I'm not looking at any serious mountaineering (not right now anyway), but saw in a snowshoeing trails book for the Adirondacks that a few of the trails mentioned the possibility of glissading on the decent.

Thanks for the help

8:11 p.m. on August 28, 2008 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,329 reviewer rep
5,272 forum posts

Besides the Adirondack club, the Appalachian Mountain Club and several professional guide services in New England and upstate NY offer basic training that includes glissade training. You can get in contact in one of the local mountaineering shops, for example IME in North Conway, NH (they are both a shop and a guide service), or search out the clubs on the web.

August 22, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: El Chorro Newer: Kamikaze/Sheepshank Knot
All forums: Older: North Bend, WA FSR56 Middle Fork Newer: ASOLO