The question is… How do you do ice axe training in the desert? Well, first you start by off-roading to an old rock-quarry where your hiking amigos are waiting for you.
We’re absolutely covered head to toe for one reason: we’re going to be rolling around in dirt that simulates ice and snow while we learn the self-arrest techniques. Yes, that’s right… rolling around in the dirt while learning how to use an ice axe. The dirt actually did simulate snow characteristics, minus the whole freezing part.
Then we practiced hiking up and down the dirt hill about a thousand times using different hiking techniques. I thought this was going to be an easy day of hiking class, but I certainly was wrong. It is exhausting moving up a steep hill at a snail’s pace; for every one step forward, you slide a half step down. Little by little, though we learned the techniques!
We then got to practice using the ice axes – who knew there were so many different techniques! Some of the funniest moments were learning how to do self-arrest in the dirt, which means we had to throw ourselves down the dirt hill in hopes of gaining enough traction to practice the technique. We also had to practice falling head first which meant dirt in every open pore of your body!
We conquered that dirt hill, and left feeling very prepared for anything that could come our way. More hiking, here we come! But until then…
Besitos de Mexico,