Winter Skills Top Tip Number 1

Posted on 13 January, 2019

the-correct-ice-axe-braking-position.jpgFor anyone wishing to go winter walking in the mountains this winter, learning efficient Ice Axe Braking is an absolute essential.

So, you've slipped over on a hard patch of snow ice and are sliding out of control down a slope accelerating towards that steep drop - here's what to do.

  • First get yourself facing uphill and on your front - stab the pick of your ice axe into the snow to facilitate this - but don't let go of your axe in the process!
  • Secondly; and as quickly as possible - pull the ice axe up under your chest/breastbone and press  down on it hard - pushing the pick of the axe vertically into the snow.

        Phew! You've just stopped that slide into oblivion!

In order to achieve efficient Ice Axe Braking you must be holding your axe diagonally across your chest - one hand holding the top of the axe across the pick/adze and the other enclosing the botton of the axe known as the spike or ferrule. Your feet should be raised and your back must be slightly arched to press your ice axe pick down in to the snow. You MUST look away from the the head of the ice axe adze when braking and you MUST keep a tight hold of your axe!

Want to know more? Then book on to one of our Winter Skills Courses. The dates are here.

We look forward to working with you this winter season.

  • Winter Skills

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