Elaine negotiating steep descent using daggering with ice axe and front-pointing with crampons

Technique of using your ice axe on moderately steep ice. You hold the ice-axe with the adze (the triangular bit opposite the pick) in the palm of your hand with the pick facing the slope, and dagger the pick into the snow – usually just above waist height – and then push down on the adze. It is a more efficient method than swinging the ice-axe by its shaft above your head when the angle of the snow isn’t too steep. Here we can see Elaine daggering on the descent of Carn Dearg.

About Cameron Speirs

Born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands, Cameron, has been interested in outdoor pursuits since he was a wee lad. Over the last few decades he has climbed extensively in the Italian Dolomites as well as summiting the Matterhorn and several other 4000m alpine peaks. Closer to home he has spent many wonderful weekends mountaineering and biking in Snowdonia, Cairngorms, Glen Coe, Skye and Lochaber.
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