If you must traverse on steep ice, you will get the most out of each tool placement if you place your tool diagonally as close to your body as possible, just above shoulder height. Then lean as far as possible in the direction of the traverse and place the other tool diagonally at a comfortable arm's reach. You can either take small sideways steps, or, if you are feeling confident, you may cross one foot in front of the other.
Descending steep ice is best done in a similar manner. Place one tool off to the side and as low down and close to your body as you find comfortable, A slight lie-back off this tool will allow you to take several steps down, at which time you are ready to place the other tool low down and diagonally off the other side, ready to repeat the procedure. A more secure descent on thin or rotten ice is made by simply backing
WHh time running out (Terl and I liad 0 plan« In catch), I rushed «t thé Steepest Un» through the upper kt cfiff, immediately encountering vertical AIS tandiHons ... which soon became overhanging Alt and would bave been even more difficult if I hadn't ran out of ■team below the last 25-foot IS* overhang. In the end t was forced to bang on screws forest.
There w« no time left f« Tori fo try the pitch, and as I explained to her, alpine ke is Seldom banter than dass 4 anyway. She had had a dtttic, realistk introduction to the techniques, hazards, and beauty ofalpine ke, and she loved It!
straight down with small steps and short placements of the tools at about head level or just above. Placing the tools off to the side allows a better swing and firmer placements, while going straight down gives greater control and allows both tools to remain planted while you step down.
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