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How to Cross a Spring Snowfield

Cross the steeps safely and avoid avalanches with these guide-approved tips.
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Glissade

If you’re descending a rock-free slope with a safe runout, sliding down the snow is much faster (and more fun) than walking. Councell’s preferred method: Sit down and slide on your feet and butt. Place one hand on your axe’s head (pinkie toward the pick) and the other on the shaft at your hip. Press the spike into the snow at your side to steer and slow down. (Note: Never glissade in crampons; the points can catch in the snow and make you lose control.)

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