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Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:18 pm

I'm not sure I fully understand the question, but it seems like you are asking how to build a rappel anchor in snow or ice.

In good ice I build a v-thread anchor. (Google Abalakov V thread for an explanation). If it is hard snow, then I chop a bollard. In soft snow, then I use a fluke or dead man a picket.
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby ChrisJahn » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:20 am

There is plenty of literature and videos out there but remember the sure/safe way to learn and hone your skills will always be through some form of mentoring be it mountaineering courses or a seasoned climber who is willing to share some experience. I would use the forum to point blank ask if someone can show you a few things on the mountain. Many top climbers began this way. You have nothing to lose.
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby klettergeit » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Don't get me wrong. I'll get your point, and it's all about safety. But it's probably not rocketscience for me. I've done several courses and lots of alpine climbing tours. Just didn't do a really big bergschrund.

If there is plenty of literature and videos, please link it, give your opinon etc. etc.
After that I can deside myself if I have the skills, so not I'll ask an experienced guy or a guide.
I want to hear your opininions, not only from one mentor.
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby johngenx » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:37 am

How do you rappel something from below? Maybe I've been doing it wrong?
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby klettergeit » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:54 pm

johngenx wrote:How do you rappel something from below? Maybe I've been doing it wrong?


Thanks for your usefull comment. You must be a pro who doesn't want to share his knowledge.
Anyway could a human person give me some advise?
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby logsden » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:07 pm

klettergeit, I may be coming into this conversation late…but your original question appears to be gone. Can you re-state what it is you are looking for opinions on?
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:21 pm

In hard ice use a V thread, hardish snow build a bollard, in soft I'll back up a bollard with a pickett in a deadman position. You can use alot of objects as a deadman......I've heard of people using some bizzare objects in a pinch......as long as you build it right and directionalize it correctly even the smallest objects buried properly can hold your weight. Freedom of the Hills has all of these anchors listed in the book. Try these out on a moderate slope and see how much weight/forces they will hold in the current snow type/conditions. It's much better to practice this stuff in a controlled environment, even in inclement weather, so you're not on the spot on the side of a mountain hoping that your memory/theory is correct. :) I hope this helps.
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby johngenx » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:33 am

klettergeit wrote:
johngenx wrote:How do you rappel something from below? Maybe I've been doing it wrong?


Thanks for your usefull comment. You must be a pro who doesn't want to share his knowledge.
Anyway could a human person give me some advise?


Don't get your panties in a bunch. When it comes to gaining technical climbing knowledge you're using a pretty dicey means, and you can't get upset when people question the fact that if you're asking very basic questions on a forum, that perhaps you need to back up a few steps.

If you're experienced with rapping, just not a 'schrund, then I would assume that you've built anchors in snow and ice already. Why would your anchors be any different for a 'schrund as opposed to any other situation?

Personally, I don't use things like remote-remove-ice-screws. Seems time consuming and complex. For ice, just make two v-threads, add a screw that can pulled by the last person, and you're done. I generally leave cord in the Abalakov, but you can run the rope through it, meaning no tat to leave. But, you run the risk of a frozen rope.
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby klettergeit » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:13 pm

For some reason my first post is deleted.
I'll explain it again.

I'm pretty experienced with alpinism but didnt pass a very big bergschrund. So I don't know if the technique is different on any other situations.
My idea was to pass it while belaying from below with a snow ancor in snow and icescrews in ice.
From the top you can do the same.

But if you have to go down you have to make a rappel. A rappel in ice is farely easy with an ablakov. But do you guys use the technique to remove a pickel or do you use something different. (I practised it before) Obviously in possibilities of using rocks I would use it. If you guys are using different techniques than I just explained, could you please tell me which ones?

@johngenx I explained it all on my first post (probably not the best english ever) and I'm pretty sure I was clear enough because I didnt tell you anything and you just gave me an answer:-) But no worries I'll back up.
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby Bob Sihler » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:23 am

klettergeit wrote:For some reason my first post is deleted.


That seems to have been my fault, inadvertently. There were duplicate posts. One was deleted and somehow the original went with it as well. No conspiracies against you. :)
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Re: Securing and abseiling a bergschrund

Postby johngenx » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:46 am

Every 'schrund is different. But, think about what will happen if it's very wide. You rap down into it? And then what? Climb up out of it? Maybe. When climbing over it, what will happen? Well, you might be able to descend into it and then ice climb back up the other side. Might be overhanging and difficult. Or not. This assumes no bridge. For a bridge, I usually build a belay.

There is no "operators manual" for dealing with an obstacle as varied as a bergschrund. They're situational, and the trick is to apply your experience and technical skills to the problem. As you're a highly experienced alpinist, save for this one situation, you will apply your skills to the problem at hand.

I'm curious about tricks like retrievable ice screws and pickets. I've read about the techniques in books (like Nigel Shepherds) but always thought them to be overly complex and would not want to rely on them unless I had to. I'd prefer to use Abalkovs and bollards or just leave gear behind if it wouldn't leave you without enough to finish your ascent/descent. Have you used these techniques?
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