Care of Gear

Sharp tools penetrate the ice easily, fracture it less, and enhance your security, so attend regularly to the sharpness of your crampons and picks. Except for the special functional modifications recommended in this book, file all points in the same configuration as they came from the factory, whether they be crampon points or picks. To avoid overheating the steel and damaging the temper, never use a power grinder to sharpen your points. I always carry a small mill file along with me, stashed in an accessible place.

Dry and lightly oil metal parts after use to inhibit rust. Before each climb, inspect all crampon straps, wrist loops, hammers, and axes for fraying, hairline fractures, and fatigue cracks. Also check screws and bolts for tightness Liquid compounds such as Locktite provide extra insurance that bolts will stay tight.

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