BD Whippet for Mountaineering?


Original Post
Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 91

I've been seeing a few people use Whippets recently for non-skiing mountaineering applications, and there is a Denali tips thread on MP where it was recommended as well. I'm starting to think that there may be something to this concept  

I could see a situation where you could just use this and bring no axe at all if the route were completely non-technical. I could also see a situation where you could beingone of these and maybe a shorter technical axe.

Do you folks use one for primarily non-ski purposes?  If so, how does it complement your climbing?

Robin S · · OR · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 10

I've used it for mountaineering. It's not always practical instead of an axe and I generally carry an axe anyways. The Whippet can arrest just as well as an alpine axe (I've tested this and friends have confirmed it) however the lack of an adze or any CEN strength rating limits its practicality. I carry a Whippet when traveling up steep non-glaciated faces as well as on glaciers, though I always have an axe on my pack when on glaciers should a crevasse rescue situation arise. 

simplyput · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0

 Careful! These little buggers pack a punch at altitude!

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 91
Robin S wrote:

I've used it for mountaineering. It's not always practical instead of an axe and I generally carry an axe anyways. The Whippet can arrest just as well as an alpine axe (I've tested this and friends have confirmed it) however the lack of an adze or any CEN strength rating limits its practicality. I carry a Whippet when traveling up steep non-glaciated faces as well as on glaciers, though I always have an axe on my pack when on glaciers should a crevasse rescue situation arise. 

Thanks for the feedback Robin! That is kind of what I was thinking too. 

Jason4Too · · Bellingham, Washington · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

On mellow glacier climbs I like to use a basic ice axe in my uphill hand with a trekking pole in my downhill hand.  I don't mind the bit of extra weight that the head adds to a regular pole so I carry the whippet.  I find that the wider head makes it more comfortable to lean on with the same grip you'd use with an axe than leaning on the smaller head of a pole.  

I've managed to arrest myself with my whippet in hard frozen corn when I slipped mid kick turn.  I got the point into the snow pretty quickly and slid another 50m or so before I actually got stopped (~45 degree slope).  It was interesting to see the trench that the extra tang left in the snow.  I don't know how effective it would be in truly hard alpine/glacier ice.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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