Several years ago, and once I decided to be more actively involved with mountaineering activities, I needed to get equipped with the appropriate gear. Once of the main tools for winter mountaineering activities is the Ice Axe. The first Ice Axe I have used was an ice axe from the Austrian company, Stubai. Nowadays, I use the Salewa Tec X Ice Axe.
Recently, I have decided to upgrade some of my older pieces of equipment, and during this process I came to the conclusion that I wanted to upgrade my harness system too. Having used the Mammut Baffin harness for few years now, I came to the understanding that such a bulky harness was not what I wanted to have anymore. Although the Mammut Baffin performed great so far, I looked for less bulky and most of all for lightweight solutions. After extensive research on various harnesses from different high-end companies, I decided to purchase the new lightweight harness from Petzl, the ALTITUDE Harness.
As winter is approaching it is about time to take off the cast and dust off one of the most crucial items of winter mountaineering, the ice axe.
The Salewa Tex X Hammer Ice Axe is not the latest model of Salewa but is one of the most versatile models ever produced. The Salewa Tex X Hammer Ice Axe has ergonomic head with optimally balanced weight for a perfect swing and placement. The 20° curve in the shaft makes sure the user can use not much power and deliver an outstanding stroke power.
This past winter I was searching for a backpack that I could use it for 2 days (one night) trips to the mountain. This new backpack I wanted to have several features for winter mountaineering and to be within my budget. The previous years, for such excursions I was using the Lowe Alpine Cholatse II 55-65 lt backpack. This backpack was great, though the 55-65 litres where never filled up and therefore I did not want to carry extra weight and volume on my back.
For my hiking and mountaineering expeditions I needed a handheld GPS device that will provide me all necessary trail information and safety when weather conditions become really nasty up on the snowy mountains. My goal was to purchase a not very large or heavy device that would run on AA batteries and would have touch screen too. Garmin makes the most of the Dakota 20’s smaller screen (2.6 inches diagonal, compared with the Oregon’s 3 inches diagonal) by providing a large-font mode for the trip odometer that displays speed and moving time in a large, bold font easily visible when the unit is mounted on a bike handlebar.
The Black Diamond Transfer 3 Shovel’s home is in the mountains, where it can use its tough aluminum blade, trapezoidal aluminum shaft, and hybrid D/T handle to dig snow pits and plow through avalanche debris. The handle’s extendable, and also pops out of the blade for easy storage in your pack and quick access when you need it.
My first pair of crampons where the Rock Empire Machki. At the beginning of my mountaineering adventures, I needed a basic still good pair of crampons. As always, I did an extensive research on which pair of crampons would fit my necessities and my budget too and at I ended up purchasing these pair.
While searching for a good Snow Picket/Anchor, I have decided to create my own ones. I have done extensive research and I have studied several documents on what are the important elements to make the best possible snow picket.
One of the main resources has been the research by Don Bogie “Snow Anchors for belaying and rescue”, the research by Art Fortini named “Failure modes of Snow Anchors” and the full documentation on Snow Anchors by Don Bogie.