Friday, April 2, 2021

Considerations for Roping Up on a Glacier while Ski Mountaineering

The following video discusses some of the questions that you might consider around roping up for glacier travel. 

It is common to see skiers moving on glacial terrain, unroped. Anytime you are on a "wet" glacier -- a glacier with snow on it --  there is the possibility of a crevasse. That said, your skis do create less force on the snow than walking does, so you can get away with a little bit more than you can in spring and summer mountaineering on foot.

Ross Berg, a Canadian guide, talks about glaciers and what he considers before roping up on a ski mountaineering program.

Ross lists three considerations at the end of his video:

Familiarity -- Do you know the area? Have you seen it without snow on it? 

Visibility -- Can you see, or are you in a white-out? Everything is more dangerous when you cannot see.

Snowpack -- Do you have a good snowpack? Are the crevasses filled in or covered by a lot of snow?

He also notes that you should be conservative until you have more skill and knowledge at reading glaciers and understanding them...

--Jason D. Martin

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