I own an Ice Axe!?

Yeah that’s right. I own an Ice Axe.  Never thought I’d say that. But with the heavier than average snowfall out west this year I have a feeling it may come in handy. What will I be using it for, you ask? Well the main purpose is for self arresting; or in layman’s terms, stopping myself from sliding down the snow; pretty essential this year.  It’s also helpful for traversing the snow laden trail.  It’s about 30 inches long and it also has a pointy end at the end of the shaft as well.  I received it today along with my crampons, which are like bear claws for my feet.  I strap them on my shoes and they help with traction in the frozen tundra that will be the trail this year.  As you can see there are 10 claws which are about 1 1/4 inches long each.  They should do the trick.

With the crazy weather out west this year, breaking snowfall records, rain fall records, floods and the ending of the 3-5 year California drought (depending on who you listen to) I had to re-evaluate some gear.  The crampons, for example, are more durable and technical than I had thought to bring.  I will be donning warmer clothes earlier than predicted, as well as buying extra, warmer clothes than expected too.  My itinerary and town stops will also be re-evaluated for safety’s sake.  Mother Nature sure is having a fun year so far!

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