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410 Glissading 2011-06-03

practicing self arrest

Practicing a head first self arrest

Glissading is a controlled slide on snow. Essentially, you sit on the snow and become a toboggan. It is fun, fast, and exhilarating. After a long slog up the hill, the snow traveler is rewarded by a fast, knee saving, descent. By using an ice axe the glissader controls the speed and direction of the slide.

In Glacier National Park a group of workers from the Lake MacDonald Lodge climbed a nearby peak, Mount Stanton. After a successful climb they began the descent. While glissading one of the hikers tried to stop himself but went over a thirty foot cliff and then continued to slide out of control for eighty or so feet.

The hiker's companions went for help and he was rescued by a helicopter lift and taken to an area hospital.

(NPS - Incident Report)

Glissading is fun; but it can be risky. A glissader who cannot control his speed or direction is just a slider. The problem with glissading is that it is amazing how much speed the slider can build. Soon he is screaming down the hill and going too fast to stop. Yikes.

Using an ice axe is a required skill for mountain adventurers. Though knowing how to use the axe is a skill, knowing when to use the axe is good mountain sense.

A few glissading tips ...

Check for avalanche conditions first. Or, you might really be sliding out of control!

Check the snow conditions; hard, icy, snow is very fast and makes for an uncontrollable slide.

Hard snow is also very hard on the rear.

If the snow is too hard, wait for the sun too warm it or walk down.

Glissaders need to be able to control their direction, slow down, and even stop the slide.

Know how to use an ice axe. Practice, practice, practice.

Do not slide down a slope which you are unfamiliar. Generally, you climb the slope and then slide down.

Make sure the slope has no obstacles (like cliffs or exposed rocks).

Check the run-out at the bottom of the slope. The run-out is where the slope decreases and allows the slider to naturally slow down without dangerous obstacles at the bottom.

Divide the slope into shorter sections. Slide over the first section, stop (self arrest) and wait on the others, then slide again.

It is a better idea to walk down the slope than to slide out of control.

If you are going too fast, at least yell, Yee - haaaaa!

Happy glissading trails


scree - Go Vols

I hardly ever have much to say about football; but the University of Tennessee coach, Derek Dooley was recently quoted as saying,

"I've told our coaches, if we get fired around here, it better be for losing," Dooley said. "Just look in the last year, (Mark) Mangino, (Jim) Leavitt, (Mike) Leach, Tressel. Phenomenal football coaches. I hope I can win the way any one of them did.

"(They) have all been fired for something totally unrelated to winning and losing." (govolsextra)

That is college sports at its finest.


scree - Doughnut Day

As you may already know, today is National Doughnut Day. Visit an official Krispy Creme store for a free doughnut!

Happy doughnut trails!


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