Winter Skills Videos - Ice Axe Self Arrest

Good personal movement skills are key to moving around the hills safely and efficiently. The following videos are designed to show you the techniques to self arrest a slip or a slide.

Ice axe self arrest - from walking

Even with good skills there is always a possibility of taking a slip or a trip and if you do, having the appropriate techniques to self arrest is paramount.

Ice axe self arrest - starting in a seated position

To be able to self arrest effectively, it's important to practise, this video is about using an ice axe to self arrest when starting from a seated position. The seated position is an ideal way to start learning how to self arrest.

Ice axe self arrest - head first

When you have mastered the arrest from a seated position you can now start to explore other orientations in which you may need to have the skill to arrest from. The first being head first.

Ice axe self arrest - on your back

A more challenging position to find yourself in would be head first on your back and getting yourself set up to practise this position is a challenge in itself.

Ice axe self arrest - roll

Arresting from a tumbling fall is the most advanced practice and should only be practised once you have mastered all the other positions.

Remember, there is no substitute for good movement skills and techniques when exploring the hills in winter conditions and information about these skills as well as self arrests can be found in winter skills, the official handbook for the Winter Mountain Leader Award. These vidoes were produced by George McEwan the Mountain Training Scotland Executive Officer and are part of the Winter Mountain Leader syllabus.

Avalanche Rescue and Safety Equipment

Avoiding avalanche hazard remains the priority in avalanche education. Mountain Training have a positioning statement on avalanche rescue and safety equipment for mountaineers.

Other winter skills videos

Avalanche Forecasts


Security on steep ground

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