Winter now arrives in Moray and even a bit of snow.Walking poles and their uses and remember they are not a substitute for an ice axe.

I was in Forres yesterday visiting the Physio and came out to my car pretty covered in snow and it was a slow drive home in the dark. At least everyone drove sensibly and it was snowing pretty heavy causing a bit of problems for those driving home from work! I have winter tyres so it was easy driving just a bit more care and space needed between drivers. There has been a bit of snow overnight but Burghead seems okay the effect of the sea helps!

I will not be going far today and the hills can wait until the weather settles down a bit! I can watch the weather and avalanche forecasts and advise all to do so ! The information is all there so have a look! There was a great photo on the Blog for the Lochnagar blog of the snow conditions hardy folk these  avalache forecasters !

My Lexi Makalu carbon walking poles broken in bottom and mid shaft section

I have used walking poles for over 30 years and they are a great asset if used properly especially in winter. The saving on my knackered knees by using poles has been amazing and I have benefitted from them for years. In winter it is important to ensure you use them in the correct places and they are not a substitute for an ice axe on steep ground. If there is a chance of a fall put your poles away and get your ice axe out! Poles will not stop a slide on steep snow! I watch so many using poles in the wrong places where a fall could be serious or worse.  I remember getting laughed at using them in an early RAF winter course in the Cairngorms in the early 80’s. How times change and now they are used by most winter mountaineers and walkers all over in every season. Be careful with their use and put them away on steep ground and get that axe out.

Sadly as the picture shows I have broken one of my poles. I must admit I am fairly rough on them but one broke on a screw run the other in a bog!  Anyone else had problems? 
Any comments? 

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Avalanche info, Enviroment, Equipment, Lectures, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Winter now arrives in Moray and even a bit of snow.Walking poles and their uses and remember they are not a substitute for an ice axe.

  1. pondbug says:

    Altho I was one who laughed when walking poles first arrived I’ve been using them for over 20 years on Munro’s etc, and am convinced of the benefit to knees and hips. I’m only on my third pair and have always gone for the cheap option. My best pair were Tiso own brand and currently have a pair
    bought in Lidl. And it’s not that I take particular care of them. The main thing is to have a bit of patience setting the internal grips so they are not too tight or loose. My best story related to when we carried a friend, who had a leg injury, off the hill using a plastic bivvy bag and two pairs of poles as a stretcher. My Tiso poles bent quite a way and I expected them to be knackered but in fact they returned to their normal straight form and I carried on using them for a few more years!

    Liked by 1 person

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