Thanks for the reply ben.
The article specifically references the 4mm cable used in the picket by "Aspiring Enterprises" which I think is this one here:http://www.aspiring.co.nz/tramping-snow.aspx
It gives the cable of a rating around 11kN which seems to be in line with the 2500 lb tensile strength of the wire I can find on the web. I can’t imagine the Yates model is much less unless the wire is something else other than steel.
That said, I figured the 5000 lb 3/16 spectra would be more than enough of a replacement, plus I wouldn’t have to permanently swage the cable onto the picket. I’m hoping the similar width would give me about as much snow cutting ability but I’d even consider carrying a snow saw over digging t-slots. I’d probably attach the rope with a follow thru figure 8. I think a girth hitch might twist the picket if it didn’t stay square as it was pounded in.
Note that I’m comparing the upright mid-clip to a t-slot, not to a top clip. The study led one to believe that a top-clip is inferior by HALF to a mid-clip. The only nod it gave to the top clip was when the snow is so hard (nearly ice) that trenching for a t-slot or mid-clip is not possible.
Crack open the article – it’s worth looking at just to see the pile of mangled pickets they tested with