I took a class on self-arresting, and for anyone who hikes mountains in the winter, you must learn how to do this! It is ok to learn skills like this by watching a video, but you have to actually go out and practice! Try sliding down the slope in each of the 4 directions mountaineers like to consider (even though there are infinite ways I could fall!) 1. feet first on your stomach 2. feet first on your back 3. head … more
Self-arrest is a mountaineering related maneuver in which a climber that has fallen and is sliding down a snow or ice slope arrests (stops) the slide by himself without recourse to a rope or other belay system.
Self-arrest can be performed by using an ice axe or by using the climber's hands, feet, knees and elbows. Self-arrest with an ice axe is a difficult maneuver, but without it the probability of effectively arresting a fall is greatly diminished.