> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Marc Chrusch
> The following overly-long paste is from the Cody Ice Online
> Clinic. While it's focused primarily on ice climbing, there's a lot here
> applicable to steep snow climbing.


>     * French Technique  The French technique or flat-footing
> on ice is the preferred technique for low-angle to moderately
> steep ice. All crampon points but the very front are kept in contact
> with the ice for traction.

This takes practice with low-cut boots.  I can't imagine
trying it in ski boots on anything with any amount of pitch
(hiking trails excepted).

> It is important in the French technique to plant all points
> except the front two. It is tempting to try to "edge" into a
> slope, placing only the inner row of points and leaving the outer points in
> the air. This is easier on your ankles, but your crampons can skate
> over the ice, allowing you to skate down the slope.

I think one difference ice and some snow conditions is that
when the snow is soft and corned up, you *can* sometimes "edge" in
by essentially kicking a step big enough to get your whole foot
supported.  Note, here you are really relying on the integrity
of the snow step to support you and the crampon is more just
keeping you on the crude step.  We use this technique for
steep sections on hiking trails all the time (where a sliding fall
is not a hazard, mind you). As the quoted article suggests, edging
with points unsupported is a recipe for disaster.

I should also note that I find kicking steps in snow with crampons
to be tiring at best and a good way to trip at worst.

> Ice Axe Techniques
>     * For steep ice (45 and higher) using German technique:
>     * Low Dagger (piolet panne)  The low dagger position
> comes into play
> when you face into the ice or snow and start to front-point.
> Holding the
> axe by the head at the adze, push the pick into the slope at
> about waist or
> chest level. This is used for short stretches for balance and
> is better
> used on hard snow or soft ice. It's difficult to get much
> purchase on hard
> ice with this technique.

I can see this being useful for the kind of climbing in Tucks
but I've never done it.  Would love to hear from folks who are
using axes for this type of climbing/skiing.

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