Snow Travel: Skills for Climbing, Hiking, and Crossing Over Snow

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Overview

Learn to conquer year-round snow travel—and go where you want, anytime you want

  • Latest addition to the popular Mountaineers Outdoor Expert series
  • Features 50 black & white photos and 15 illustrations
  • An easy-to-use guide for safe travel over snow for all outdoor ...
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Snow Travel: Skills for Climbing, Hiking, and Crossing Over Snow

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Overview

Learn to conquer year-round snow travel—and go where you want, anytime you want

  • Latest addition to the popular Mountaineers Outdoor Expert series
  • Features 50 black & white photos and 15 illustrations
  • An easy-to-use guide for safe travel over snow for all outdoor recreationists


Snow Travel: Skills for Climbing, Hiking, and Moving Across Snow (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert Series) is a comprehensive how-to book covering all the essential techniques for safe and efficient movement across snow fields. Author Mike Zawaski, a longtime instructor with Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), has decades of snow-travel experience. Whether you're a hiker, scrambler, backcountry skier, climber, or general winter traveler, you will discover fundamental information including:

  1. Picking the right gear and other pre-trip planning: ice ax, crampons, clothing, and essentials for safety
  2. How to choose a route: evaluating snowpack and picking out the fall line
  3. Basics of kicking steps: walking flat-footed, front pointing, duck stepping, stepping efficiently with crampons or ski/snowboard boots, and more
  4. Using your ice ax: traversing, chopping steps, glissading, self arresting, and utizlizing a range of ice-ax positions
  5. Snow hazards: elephant traps, cornices, sunburn, snow bridges, and post-holes
  6. Lesson plans: how to share your knowledge with others


Mike Zawaski has been climbing mountains for 20 years and has made ascents of snowy peaks in Alaska, Peru, Mexico, and on all types of snow across the United States. He has taught mountaineering courses for Outward Bound for over 15 years, worked in mountain rescue with Yosemite Search and Rescue, and taught for the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS. An instructor of astronomy, geology, and outdoor education at Front Range Community College, Zawaski is also the founder of The Observant Naturalist, a science education nonprofit. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Winner of the 2013 National Outdoor Book Award for Instructional

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594857201
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2013
  • Pages: 189
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction 10

Environmental Considerations and the Leave No Trace (LNT) Ethic 12

Chapter 1 Gear

Dressing and Packing for Success 19

The Ice Ax 25

Crampons 31

Ski Poles and Trekking Poles 34

Avalanche Equipment 35

Chapter 2 Getting Started: Ascending

Slope Ratings and Difficulty Levels 40

The Fall Line 41

Daily and Seasonal Changes in the Snowpack 43

Climbing Techniques 50

Transition Zones 66

Energy Conservation and Routefinding Skills 67

Chapter 3 Using Your Ice Ax

Carrying Your Ice Ax 72

Using the Spike as a Point of Balance or Support 77

Techniques that Drive the Pick into the Snow for Balance or Support 85

Swinging Techniques 90

Cutting or Chopping Steps and Platforms 91

Climbing With Two Axes 96

Climbing Over a Lip 97

Chapter 4 Descending

Descending Over an Edge 102

Chopping Steps 104

Downhill Step Techniques 105

Crampons: Techniques for Descending 110

Glissading 114

Chapter 5 Self-Arresting

The Basics of Self-Arresting 123

Self-Arresting While Wearing Crampons 130

Self-Arresting While Wearing a Backpack 130

Self-Arresting Using Ski Poles 131

Chapter 6 Traversing, Resting, and Other Skills

Traversing 134

Resting 136

Other Skills 138

Planning Your Snow Climb 142

Communication on the Mountain 143

Additional Considerations for Skiers and Snowboarders 145

Chapter 7 Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Elephant Traps 160

Snow Gators 161

Avalanches 162

Cornices 166

Snowbridges over Creek Crossings 168

Rockfall 168

Crevasses 169

Whiteouts 171

Thunderstorms 171

Sunburn 172

Hypothermia 172

Frostbite 173

Trench Foot 173

Plan Your Day To Avoid Hazards 174

Appendix: Teaching a Snow Travel 101 Class 175

Glossary 179

Resources 183

Index 185

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Many of us who travel in the mountains take for granted the haza

    Many of us who travel in the mountains take for granted the hazards of snow travel. I have volunteered on several Search and Rescue teams and can tell you from personal experience that accidents can happen when we do not use proper technique and equipment when traveling on snow. It is so much more fun to reach a summit when you have the skills Mike Zawaski shows and describes in Snow Travel: Skills for Climbing, Hiking, and Crossing Over Snow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    Great book!  I am a retired outdoor educator, mountaineering ins

    Great book!  I am a retired outdoor educator, mountaineering instructor and guide.  This book serves as an excellent resource for all information related to snow travel.
    Whether you are a beginner or professional, this book will prove extremely useful.  Beginners will learn the basics to advanced snow travel techniques and professionals can use it as a resource for teaching progressions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    This is an excellent and concise manual covering all aspects of

    This is an excellent and concise manual covering all aspects of snow travel. Primarily aimed at the novice, this book is very readable with clear descriptions, appropriate illustrations, and excellent photographs making it easy to understand. The seasoned snow traveler will also enjoy this comprehensive review and discussion of more advanced techniques. There is a good chapter on hazard avoidance. This book is a worthy addition to any mountain library and keeps good company with that revered classic "The Freedom of the Hills".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    I am an outdoor educator and plan to use this book for reference

    I am an outdoor educator and plan to use this book for reference and teaching in my university classes. Zawaski has covered the bases with a readable, thorough treatment of snow travel that is valuable to a broad audience; from the recreational peak bagger wanting to get out on more difficult terrain, to the aspiring mountaineer.

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