Your best crevasse experience

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Concerned citizen

Big Wall climber
Sep 13, 2018 - 09:42pm PT
My crevasse incident involved something more like a bergschrund, which formed in the snow in Tuckerman Ravine just below the steep rocky band. I was on downhill skis, traversing the steep terrain above the "crevasse" (which I should not have done!) when I crossed a runnel (a fall-line trough) that was formed by spindrift from above. My bindings released when they hit the deep snow volume in the runnel, causing me to fall and slide down the runnel headfirst. When I reached the crevasse I was stopped only a foot or so below the surface by a snow bridge formed from the same spindrift.

Some 15 or 20 ft below I saw the volume of snow melt beneath the snowpack. I dread to think of the outcome had I dropped down to the bottom of the "crevasse."
HermitMaster

Social climber
my abode
Sep 13, 2018 - 09:54pm PT
You knew the crevasse was there and you fell into it anyways? Do I have this right?

Personally I would go with the Donini pushed me story...
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 13, 2018 - 10:36pm PT
You knew the crevasse was there and you fell into it anyways? Do I have this right?

Well, looked like a good idea at the time.

Moose
John M

climber
Sep 13, 2018 - 10:48pm PT
Doesn't Jim know that moose can't jump?

Glad you are ok moose. Sounds like a great trip!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Sacramento, CA
Sep 13, 2018 - 11:57pm PT
That’s a real trip report.

You considering one of those medical call buttons for the next time you trip and can’t get up?

Good on you though, who wants to die in a hospital.
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Sep 14, 2018 - 01:03am PT
Well sheesh why weren't schnapps available at the time? A bottle could have been lowered before the rescue. Noobs!!!

Glad everyone is O.K. ;-)


S....
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 14, 2018 - 01:12am PT
hey there say, moosedrool... wow, wonderful share!

so very happy for you... welcome home...


ahhhhh, the ol' moose tracks...

https://moosetracks.com/products/moose-tracks-ice-cream/

NOT MY PHOTO.... just showed the photo that is in the link, for ref.
NOT MY PHOTO.... just showed the photo that is in the link, for ref.
Credit: neebee






or, the tracks of -- moosedrool that we can follow,
that 'does not need to stay frozen' :)
but 'warms our hearts' with 'trail fun'...


hugs to the family, glad you and your partners are all home safe...
and, guides back home, safe, too, to their homes...


happy good eve, to you all!



ps:

no, moose... no, no, no... is NOT a good idea...

:)


as to this quote:

Well, looked like a good idea at the time.

Moose


*once, again... so glad you are home safe!
man oh man...


also, nick-- will be good to hear your story, when you get
the chance to share... oh my...
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 14, 2018 - 01:19am PT
hey there say, guys... THANK you for rescuing-- moose...

rescuing moose-- are not easy... oh my... :(


https://metro.co.uk/2017/02/03/ice-skaters-rescue-exhausted-moose-that-fell-through-an-icy-lake-6425448/


whewwwww...

hope i made you made you smile, moose...
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 14, 2018 - 03:49am PT
moose jump pretty good?
Moose the athlete
Moose the athlete
Credit: tradmanclimbs
kpinwalla2

Social climber
WA
Sep 14, 2018 - 07:37am PT
My first glacier travel experience was in 1981. My partner and I were doing the approach to Pigeon Spire via the col between Snowpatch and Bugaboo spires when the snow beneath me suddenly collapsed. I caught myself with my ice axe on the lip as I went up to my armpits, my legs dangling in space. I remember hauling myself out and continuing, but not being especially freaked out by the experience, as I should have been. On the way back from Pigeon, we both glissaded over the area of that crevasse (bergschrund) noting the hole where I had punched through. I think we "reasoned" that if we were moving fast enough, we wouldn't break through. Sometimes I wonder how I survived that stretch of age 16-24...
Credit: kpinwalla2
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 14, 2018 - 10:47am PT
My best crevasse experience has been the absence of any crevasse experiences...up to my armpits several times but that’s about it.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 14, 2018 - 01:43pm PT
I don't know about "best," I'm with Jim on this... better is no crevasse experiences...

the "turn around point," I'm familiar with that too, in 1993 we were wanting to get back to Mt. Columbia on the Ice Fields. We were camped out at the Ice Fields camp ground, Mike was recovering from ankle soreness from new boots so Lawrence and I thought we'd take a little walk up the Athabasca Glacier to check out the approach to Snow Dome up a feature called "The Ramp."

Athabasca Glacier, 1993
Athabasca Glacier, 1993
Credit: Ed Hartouni

The way up was to walk the tourist bus road onto the glacier and make your way through the labyrinthine crevasse fields of the three steps. "The Ramp" was a section of névé appearing to be crevasse free, in the picture above, it is on the highest step just before entering the Columbia Ice Field, the broad summit in the upper center of the image is Snow Dome. Water from its summit flows to the three major oceans: Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic. (Currently my fluid contribution is making its way from there to those three oceans.)

The purpose of the walk was to familiarize ourselves with this approach, with the idea of hauling a week or so worth of provision to play on the ice field, picking off surrounding summits.

Mike and I had scoped out the Athabasca/Andromeda Col a few days before, the gate on the road
Credit: Ed Hartouni

and a view of a bus trundling tourists
Credit: Ed Hartouni
Lawrence's and my objective was the place on this image on the left where the bright sky peeking around the cloud cover highlights The Ramp. (As a public service announcement regarding pictures like the one above, the "gravel" that seems to drop down to meet the glacier isn't quite what it seems. As you get closer to the glacier, you realize you're walking on a thin veneer of gravel on top of black ice. On your first time encounter, you realize that you should have put your crampons on much sooner, especially if the ground is sloped and you're wearing a huge pack. Somehow I don't recall anyone pointing this out to me.)

From afar the glaciers look straight forward and the features manageable, but these glaciers are a bit bigger than the Sierra variety, and when moving around in them you're like an ant crawling on some complicated surface. Here's Lawrence looking for a way through the maze to get to The Ramp, which avoids the ice fall above in the left corner of the image.
Credit: Ed Hartouni
As the Sun heats up the day, the seracs start falling and the hanging glaciers calve off the cliffs all around you. Being out in the middle of the glacier affords you a sense of security, but tempered with the fact that you can't exactly maneuver around at will.
Credit: Ed Hartouni
Certainly this is an alpine setting, a 1950s news reel narrator's voice kept repeating as an earworm in my head "THIS IS ALPINISM!" as the dreary trudge carefully threading around gapping slots got us to the base of The Ramp.

Moving in and out of the Sun through the shadows of the surrounding cliffs plunged you from hot and sweaty to cold and icy, the mind shuts off in a form of terrifying mediation step after step, awareness of the danger but absent any intellectualizing.

I'm on the lead, we're roped up of course, and there is something that seems to be happening as I ascend, couldn't quite put my finger on it. The névé is pocked with holes, indicating the presence of underlying crevasses, and the holes were starting to form patterns with my slowly changing perspective.

Just as my brain came up with the explanation, the ice under my right foot gave way to nothing, I rocked forward on my left foot, instinctively threw my arms up to catch the firm lip of the other side of the crevasse I had just found. My body forming a bridge, and my eyes blinked to adjust to the darkness as absolute as the brightness of the world I had just been ejected from.

Silent, deep, cold.

I retreated to the side of the crevasse I had come up on. The explanation not only clear, but demonstrated. The pattern the holes were making was a line, the line of a crevasse diagonaling in from our right. I had just punched another hole on that line.

Credit: Ed Hartouni
Lawrence suppressing a smile over my extraction shenanigans.

Stop, eat lunch, turn back.

The reconnaissance was a good one, we decided access the Ice Field via the Saskatchewan Glacier; there are other stories to tell about that, and the subsequent discovery of why an ice field is an ice field.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 14, 2018 - 01:57pm PT
Crevasse on the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col, August 1985 <br/>
Crevasse on the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col, August 1985

Credit: Ed Hartouni
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Sep 14, 2018 - 03:50pm PT
Best experience?

On an overcast and snowy rest day in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater, we decided that it would be a good idea to rappel down into a crevasse. We found a hole, rigged a couple of ropes side-by-side, a dropped in together.

It was actually pretty frightening. The crevasse opened up below, until it was about 10 feet wide. Huge sheets of ice that weighed many tons hung precariously to walls of the crevasse; we tried not to touch them. Monstrous icicles of death hung everywhere. The crevasse dropped into the black depth, deeper than our headlights would reach. On, yeah, it was really frigging cold.

Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

Another good story, following kpinwalla2's story above, at the same spot. My brother and I got the top of the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col, only to find a large group of people rappelling down the steep upper section, rappelling over the bergschrund, and carefully kicking steps (facing inwards) while descending the rest of the couloir.

No way in hell we were going to wait around for that crap. We jumped off the cornice, glissaded down, leaped over the berschrund, flew past everyone roping down, and we glissaded all the way to the bottom. Standing glissade, BTW.
Credit: kpinwalla2
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Sep 14, 2018 - 04:08pm PT
Back in the 1990's I assisted RJ Secor on his crevasse rescue seminars held on the Eton Canyon bridge above Pasadena. It is great to practice the prussik climb and set-up for the Z-pulley and C-pulley in the t-shirt and shorts climate before heading out to real ice.

I hope to continue these practice sessions again some day.

Setting up rescue practices with your local climbing associates is a great way to be prepared.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 14, 2018 - 07:48pm PT
Terry, hope you are ok. your fall was not on this years trip???
ExfifteenExfifteen

climber
Sep 14, 2018 - 09:23pm PT
Sometimes I wonder how I survived that stretch of age 16-24...

Here is my best crevasse experience shot. Above the Great Icefall on the Muldrow Glacier, 1990.

Credit: ExfifteenExfifteen
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
Sep 14, 2018 - 09:49pm PT
The Sherpas I lived with had some great stories about dragging yak across a 19,700 foot pass where some of the yak managed to fall into crevasses and had to be winched out.
Jim Clipper

climber
Sep 14, 2018 - 11:14pm PT
After a few days of glacier travel,does hairstyle keep you safer, cuz you know... physics?



(dr. H, you are rad!)
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2018 - 02:05pm PT
It's been almost two months since my "crevasse experience". No PTSD (yes, I'm stronger than our troops).

My shoulder is not well, though, and I have to wait for my teeth replacement for two more weeks.

Since I came back from Karakorum, I "climbed" only one route, Snake Dike. Not a problem for the shoulder. But in a few days I'm going to Indian Creek.

Jim, I know you have no mercy, but please, take it easy on me. No 5.11's please! Btw, who carved your face on that God forgotten rock?

Pakistani Rushmore:

Credit: moosedrool

Moose
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