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#158434 - 12/08/11 02:27 AM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
If it is steep and icy enough for crampons, then I would want to carry an ice axe and know how to use it to self arrest. If you either don't have one or have one and don't know how to use it and you fall on something steep, you could find yourself in big trouble in about 3 seconds. I took a mountaineering class many moons ago, so my practical skills are pretty much nil at this point, but I do remember how quickly you pick up speed when you fall., especially with a pack on.

Another thing, if you do fall and try to stop yourself with your crampons as you slide, you could find yourself cartwheeling down the hill and risk breaking an ankle.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#158437 - 12/08/11 07:04 AM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: TomD]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I think you comments are right on, and absolutely correct. However, I have a lot of experience on the specific trails the OP will be traveling in the Catalinas and Rincons when they were snowed in, and, oddly enough, an ice axe is seldom, if ever, necessary. On the other hand, ski or hiking poles, with baskets, will come in handy. Although they may be superfluous at times on the trail, I'll bet they will be welcome when in deep snow.

The typical trail in those ranges cuts through heavily forested or brushy conditions. Cartwheeling is an unlikely event. Besides, it is strictly against NPS policy guidelines.


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#158500 - 12/08/11 08:32 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: oldranger]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
I also agree. Ice axe and self arrest seem to be near when crampons are also used.

Thankfully, we have guys like old ranger that know the trails well enough to say an ice axe might be a bit overkill. My argument against ski poles is the same as my argument against hiking poles(if there is even a difference). When I do need them I'll either tough it out, or find a stick to use. I really enjoy having my hands free when I hike.

On another note, wanted to run my food plan by you guys.
Breakfast-oatmeal, dried fruit, brown sugar
Lunch-granola, dried fruit, dried sausage, beef jerkey
Dinner-ramen, pita, cheese, sausage, tuna
Snacks-nuts, power bars, snicker bars

This is pretty general, I have specific brands I like, but I never know if I'll be able to find them at the various grocery stores. Feel free to make suggestions
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#158574 - 12/10/11 02:50 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: oldranger]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I'm a big fan of trekking poles. Haven't used them for much except with snowshoes or skis (with baskets), but they have prevented me from falling over a few times. My self-arrest training was on fairly steep snow in NZ with a big run off and after being shown what to do, we would basically toss ourselves down the hill and try to stop within a short distance. If the terrain is flatter, then not so much of a problem, obviously, but falling over with a big pack on, as I did a couple of times in Yosemite in soft snow on one trip, it was a real hassle to get back up, even with poles.

Even here in So Cal where it does get snow and ice in the mountains, there has been at least one accident where a hiker fell off a trail when she slipped on something-probably ice, but that was undetermined. Unfortunately, she was dead by the time SAR found her. I think she was training for a cross-country run, so she had no poles or traction devices on her shoes.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#158580 - 12/10/11 10:40 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: TomD]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
Haha, Tom. Someday, I hope we get on a trail together, intentional or accidental. Although, the latter would make it even more sweet. You seem like the guy that has stories that go on just about all night. We should look into getting together.
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#158582 - 12/11/11 01:58 AM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Yeah, I have a few. If you get out to CA, be sure to let me know.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#158666 - 12/13/11 02:08 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
Hey all,

Just wanted to post one last time before I head out on the trail.

Thanks to everyone that chimed in and offered advice. This trip wouldn't be possible without you guys. Special thank you to Pika for all his sage wisdom. It's great that it's actually happening!

If you'd like to follow my trek, I'll be posting as often as possible on my blog.
Click here for blog

See everyone in 24 days

All the best,
Mark
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#158671 - 12/13/11 03:19 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Good. I forgot to ask him for that! grin

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#158872 - 12/17/11 05:01 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
Hello everyone!

It is day 5 of my trip, and I have arrived in Patagonia. All is ok, well mostly. I'll be doing a day by day update in my blog talking about my time so far. I have already got Trail Day 1 up and will continue to post throughout today. I've gotta go find a place to sleep tonight first!

I'd love it if you let me know what you think of how I'm writing my blog. Too long, more detail, what do you guys want to hear about? If you could, post it in the comments sectioned the blog. Makes it easier to keep track of.

Hope to hear from you soon! Stay tuned for more!

All the best,
Mark
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#159117 - 12/22/11 01:45 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Loved the blog! Keep on writing, you're doing great.

Personally, I hate it when I get woke up by law enforcement shining a Mag Lite in my eyes mad

Just kidding, that's never really happened to me wink
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#159234 - 12/25/11 11:49 AM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: billstephenson]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Well, if Mark is on schedule he should be restocking today at Colossal Cave. It has been crisp in the morning with 1/2 in thick ice where there is water at 5000 feet. There is just a little snow on the ground in Payson. The Rim is solid white still at about 7000 ft elevation. With any luck I'll be meeting up with him at Rincon Creek tomorrow late afternoon. Hope everyone is having a great Christmas.

sK

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#159242 - 12/25/11 03:58 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: skcreidc]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Last update by me for those following this before I meet up with Mark at Rincon Cr. Just got off the phone with Mark and he seems to be doing fine. He is all restocked and ready to go (his Mom surprised him at his resupply!). Merry Christmas Mark! We are not going with crampons...and the weather seems to be turning for the better. Everyone have a great new year!

sK

PS...back to places I can go with my dog. grin

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