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    • Please, stay safe out there!

      This turned up on another forum that I frequent, and I got permission from the original poster to repost it here. Please, everyone, be careful out there! Even a mild winter like this one can kill!

      gjdagis Feb 7 3:24 PM

      Two days ago I climbed Blackhead Mountain from the BLUE trail on the north-eastern part of the mountain. I had my full crampons on as I was attempting the top 400 feet (I had been wearing microspikes before that but they were obviously insufficient for this section). As it began to get really very steep I edged toward the side of the icy gully when the root I was holding on to broke. I slipped out onto the 40 degree solid ice and luckily grabbed onto a small rock before I flew down the icy slope and off of the cliff. I was in SERIOUS trouble because there was NO way to stand up and get my spikes into the ice. I couldn't kneel since the ice was too slippery. I couldn't ROLL because of the same reason. I had no ice ax with me so I couldn't get up using that. Only the SIDE of my boots were meeting the ice which did me absolutely no good. It looked like I was doomed for sure.

      The ONLY way I was able to actually make it out alive was to literally PULL my entire body (And pack . . . I couldn't get it OFF of me without letting go of that rock) about 5 or 6 feet to a safe area with the two points of one of my crampons as I anchored alternately with the two points on the other foot's toes. How I managed the strength to do THAT is beyond me. If I would have lost contact with the points on either crampon it was over. I am so fortunate.

      What I am trying to say is that I wouldn't attempt Blackhead from this side at this time. The other side was FINE. Black Dome was totally clean! No problems ANYWHERE in the range except here and BOY was it problematic. Secondly, whenever I think I may need crampons I will ALWAYS carry an ice ax with me. I suggest you consider doing the same thing. Please don't ever put yourself through the abject terror that I found myself in. Be safe! :)

      George J. Dagis #1065
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.