RMI and Whittaker Mountaineering Gear Guides Rainier Five Day Summit Climb - Page 6

Ice Axes The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5\'8\", use a 65 cm. axe; 5\'8\" to 6\'2\", use a 70 cm. axe; and taller, use a 75 cm. axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.\r\n\r\nIce Axes on Rainier Our route on Mt. Rainier is mostly non-technical with little, if any, overhead use of the ice axe. The axe will be used only above Camp Muir. A standard mountaineering ice axe with a straight shaft will work best. The axe is a great third point of balance on steeper slopes as well as a tool for self arrest if a fall occurs. We discourage ice axe leashes that attach to the wrist as these mostly get in the way on the multiple switchbacks on the route.\r\n \r\nCrampons The 10 or 12 point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. Rigid frame crampons designed for technical ice climbing are not recommended.\r\n\r\nTypes of Crampons 10 or 12 point steel adjustable crampons are ideal for climbing on Rainier. Avoid aluminum crampons as they are easily damaged on rock. Your crampons should be adjusted so that the sole of the boot sits snugly on the crampon frame, and the toe and heel bails snug securely around the boot, minimizing any movement. Crampons are right and left foot specific, with the buckles designed to sit to the outside of the ankle, and the adjustment bar bent to mirror the shape of the foot. Typically, straps run from the ankle, through the toe bail, and to the buckles on the outside of the ankle. Excess strap length can be trimmed or tucked inside the velcro on the front of the gaiters. To learn more, check out the Whittaker Mountaineering Guide to Ice Axes and Crampons.