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“Sharp crampons are like sharp knives: They are safer and work best when sharp,” says Steve House, a climber and the author of Training for the New Alpinism. Trekking on ice, snow, and especially rock will eventually dull crampons and make them less effective— particularly early in the season, when ice and snow are light….

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The ice ax is an essential mountaineering tool— arguably the essential tool—when climbing large, glaciated peaks or when ascending steep routes on any mountain in the winter. When exploring peaks like Maine’s Katahdin or New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in winter, using an ice ax—along with crampons—is not only recommended, it’s a necessity. STRUCTURE OF THE…

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