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[pct-l] Ice Axe Spots and Stoves

The place where the two hikers I mentioned a little while back took their 
unwanted 30-foot slides on tree-infested slopes (in separate incidents) was 
Fuller Ridge, just after Idyllwild northbound.  This was in '94, with 
normal conditions.  Both were happy that they had their axes, and lucky 
they didn't hit a tree, sustaining only bruises and scrapes. The trail, 
mostly on the north side of the ridge, was completely snow covered. There 
also were sloped snow/ice covered spots on that section that were three 
feet wide with long vertical drops to one side.  I and the fellow I was 
hiking with both had to cut steps and use our axes for balance/climbing.  I 
don't know if this year's currently lighter conditions would imply that the 
snow would be gone or not.

Grivel now sells an all-alloy ice axe that weighs (they say) 9.3 oz.  I 
haven't yet called to see what uses they say are appropriate, but I imagine 
hiking/self-arrest with no belay activity would be appropriate.  I also 
haven't used or tested it, but someone else may be interested.  It is 
called the "Nepal Light" and lists at Climb High for $98.50.

During a winter mountaineering course in the Adirondacks with the first 
night at -27F, the only stoves that worked of the entire group of about 30 
instructors and students were the MSR XGK and Whisperlight.  The XGK was 
the best.  But PCT conditions are much milder.

-- Dave

David B. Stockton

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