Ice Axe skill practice (self arrest
& glissading) at the Mt Ellinor chute
This outing was a Peninsular Wilderness Club
(PWC) event sponsored by Doug Savage. 16 of us hiked up to the chute of the Mt
Ellinor (too much snow on the access road and could not access the trailheads.
estimated 6-7 miles with 2500 elev gain) and practice ice axe self-arrest and
glissading. Many of the PWC members are planning to hike up the Mt St. Helens in May and June. Climbing up the Mt St Helen
would be a tough hike (5 miles one way with 4500 elev gain) but the downhill
would be simple by glissading down using an Ice axe to control the speed. Skill
for Ice axe self arrest is needed to rescue oneself from sliding down or even
plunging death on an icy slope of a mountain.
Doug demonstrated and taught us very well. A
couple of veteran PWC members, Paul D and Bob D, provided helpful comments
during practice. Skill’s practice is not simply “seeing is believing” but
“doing is believing”. More practice is better for oneself. It was a good
opportunity and should be practiced prior to glissading and climbing mountain
events in the icy condition.
For this kind of outing, the happy ending is
always all members returning home safely. Good job everybody and thanks a lot
Doug for the event.