Snow protection

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A snow fluke SnowFlukeA.JPG
A snow fluke
A snow picket Pickett02.jpg
A snow picket

Snow protection (snow pro) is a type of natural or artificial protection used in mountaineering as an anchor. Two common artificial devices are the snow fluke and snow picket. It is used both for climbing and for securing tents and other camping gear, designed for use in sand and snow.

A fluke is a bent square or rectangle, approximately 8 by 10 inches (20 by 25 cm), and is made of aluminium or other metal, with a cable attached at two points on the upper surface. [1] A fluke correctly used is buried in the snow, tip pointed down, approximately 40° from the angle of the mountain slope. [2] Flukes can deflect or dislodge in harder-packed or dry snow, and are therefore more reliably used in heavy, moist snow. [3] [4]

A picket is usually made of lightweight aluminum in 18–36-inch-long (46–91 cm) long T-shaped design. [3]

See also

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Climbing protection is any of a variety of devices employed to reduce risk and protect others while climbing rock and ice. It includes such items as nylon webbing and metal nuts, cams, bolts, and pitons.

Traditional climbing

Traditionalclimbing, is a style of rock climbing in which a climber or group of climbers place all gear required to protect against falls, and remove it when a pitch is complete. Traditional bolted face climbing means the bolts were placed on lead and/or with hand drills. The bolts tend to be much farther apart than sport climbs. For example, a trad bolted route may have bolts from 15–75 feet apart. A sport route may have bolts from 3–10 feet apart, similar to a rock climbing gym. The term seems to be coined by Tom Higgins in the piece "Tricksters and Traditionalists" in 1984. A trad climber is called a traditionalist.

Ice axe

An ice axe is a multi-purpose hiking and climbing tool used by mountaineers in both the ascent and descent of routes that involve frozen conditions with snow or ice. An ice axe can be held and employed in a number of different ways, depending on the terrain encountered. In its simplest role, the ice axe is used like a walking stick in the uphill hand, the mountaineer holding the head in the center. It can also be buried pick down, the rope tied around the shaft to form a secure anchor on which to bring up a second climber, or buried vertically to form a stomp belay. The adze is used to cut footsteps, as well as scoop/bucket seats in the hillside and trenches to bury an ice axe belay. The long-handled alpenstock was a predecessor to the modern ice axe.

Glossary of climbing terms List of definitions of terms and concepts related to rock climbing and mountaineering

This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Ice climbing activity of ascending inclined ice formations

Ice climbing is the activity of ascending inclined ice formations. Usually, ice climbing refers to roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water. For the purposes of climbing, ice can be broadly divided into two spheres, alpine ice and water ice. Alpine ice is found in a mountain environment, usually requires an approach to reach, and is often climbed in an attempt to summit a mountain. Water ice is usually found on a cliff or other outcropping beneath water flows. Alpine ice is frozen precipitation whereas water ice is a frozen liquid flow of water. Most alpine ice is generally one component of a longer route and often less technical, having more in common with standard glacier travel, while water ice is selected largely for its technical challenge. Technical grade is, however, independent of ice type and both types of ice vary greatly in consistency according to weather conditions. Ice can be soft, hard, brittle or tough. Mixed climbing is ascent involving both ice climbing and rock climbing.

Rock-climbing equipment type of tool for climbing

A wide range of equipment is used during rock or any other type of climbing that includes equipment commonly used to protect a climber against the consequences of a fall.

Aid climbing

Aid climbing is a style of climbing in which standing on or pulling oneself up via devices attached to fixed or placed protection is used to make upward progress.

Sport climbing Form of rock climbing

Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that may rely on permanent anchors fixed to the rock for protection, in which a rope that is attached to the climber is clipped into the anchors to arrest a fall, or that involves climbing short distances with a crash pad underneath as protection. This is in contrast to traditional climbing where climbers must place removable protection as they climb. Sport climbing usually involves lead climbing techniques, but free solo and deep-water solo climbing on sport routes is also sometimes possible.

Rock climbing Sport in which participants climb natural rock formations

Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques and use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.

Hiking boot sturdy lace-up ankle boot for outdoor wear

Hiking (walking) boots are footwear specifically designed for protecting the feet and ankles during outdoor walking activities such as hiking. They are one of the most important items of hiking gear, since their quality and durability can determine a hiker's ability to walk long distances without injury. Hiking boots are constructed to provide comfort for walking considerable distance over rough terrain. Boots that protect the hiker's feet and heel are recommended. Hiking boots give ankle support and are fairly stiff. A less popular alternative is to use light trainers with thin soles. Footwear should be neither too loose nor too tight, to help prevent blisters and sore feet. Hiking socks that wick sweat from the feet, provide warmth, and cushion the feet are recommended and a thin, inner sock may also help. Most hiking boots are also designed for other outdoor activities such as backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, and hunting.

In rock climbing, an anchor can be any device or method for attaching a climber, a rope, or a load to the climbing surface - typically rock, ice, steep dirt, or a building - either permanently or temporarily. The intention of an anchor is case-specific but is usually for fall protection; primarily fall arrest and fall restraint. Climbing anchors are also used for hoisting, holding static loads, or redirecting a rope.

Ice screw

An ice screw is a threaded tubular screw used as a running belay or anchor by climbers on steep ice surface such as steep waterfall ice or alpine ice during ice climbing or crevasse rescue, to hold the climber in the event of a fall, and at belays as anchor points.

Ice tool

An ice tool is a specialized elaboration of the modern ice axe, used in ice climbing, mostly for the more difficult configurations. Ice tools are used two to a person for the duration of a pitch, and thus in some circumstances such as top-rope-anchored climbs, a pair may be shared among two or more people, where only one of them at a time is climbing. In contrast a classical "ice axe" is used one to a person for the hours or days a party is traveling across snow or glacier. In communities where it is common to refer to an "ice tool" simply as an "ice axe", classic "ice axes" are often referred to as "traveling axes", "walking axes", or "general mountaineering axes" to distinguish them from "tools".

Crack climbing type of rock climbing

Crack climbing is a type of rock climbing in which the climber follows a crack in the rock and uses specialized climbing techniques. The sizes of cracks vary from those that are just barely wide enough for the fingers to fit inside, to those that are so wide that the entire body can fit inside with all limbs outstretched. Many traditional climbing routes follow crack systems, as they provide natural opportunities for placing protective equipment.

A Removable Bolt, in climbing, is a spring loaded metal camming device used to anchor a person or a load to a rock or cement wall temporarily. Removable Bolts negate the need to install permanent protection bolts to the wall, which can be costly and cause cosmetic damage. RBs are designed for use in bolting new sport climbing routes, setting temporary anchors on traditional routes, and on back-country expeditions where abandoning gear or placing permanent gear is not optimal. RBs are particularly popular when placing permanent bolts on steep walls with limited features, where other means of temporary protection, such as hooks, traditional camming devices, or slings, are not an option. By drilling a hole and inserting an RB, the bolter can ascend higher up on the rock before placing the next permanent piece of protection, thereby leaving a reasonable climbing distance between bolts on the finished route. RBs have also been designed and produced for fall prevention and safety in construction and mining operations.

Mummery tent 19th-century lightweight mountaineering tent

A Mummery tent is a small, lightweight tent designed and used by Albert Frederick Mummery in the 1880s and named after him. Fred Mummery (1855–1895) was an English pioneer in alpine climbing, making many first ascents, and he developed this type of tent for his lightweight expeditions.


  1. "Snow Fluke". AMC Guides. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  2. Eng, Ronald C. (2010). Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers. p. 348. ISBN   978-1-59485-137-7.
  3. 1 2 Graydon, Don. "Snow Climbing: Roped Climbing: Snow Anchors". Get Outdoors. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  4. Camping Gear