Learn how to cut a snow cornice using the BackcountryBomb tool
Snow cornice cutting just got a lot easier using the BackcountryBomb tool! Backcountry skiers and snowboarders, snow avalanche forecasters, professional ski guides and heli-ski guides, and professional ski patrol have been cutting and dropping cornices for a long time in the backcountry, now, with the BackcountryBomb tool they are able to drop an icy, dense snow cornice with more efficiency than before.
It's as good as snow cornice cutting gets without explosives!
Cornice cutting basics using the BackcountryBomb tool (one-person method):
Tips for using the BackcountryBomb tool
The Rub n' Tug - Be aware, dense cornices may unexpectedly tug on the wire cable while dropping, this is normal, keep a firm grip on the handles (never put hands on the wire cable or inside wire cable loops), if the force is too great, let go of the handles.
The Human Backcountry Bomb - Be sure to avoid becoming a human backcountry bomb by never allowing the wire cable or any part of the BackcountryBomb tool to be behind you.
The Snag - If the wire cable becomes stuck, stop to avoid fraying the wire cable. Then, if possible, try changing directions on the cut, it may be that you're caught in ice/rock and changing directions will release the wire. If all else fails, use the wing nut release to remove a handle allowing you to pull the wire cable through the cornice (don't try to pull a handle through the cornice.) Re-assemble and try again. Hint: a leatherman type tool helps!
The Fray - If you regularly have to remove the handle, over time, the cable will fray and it will become impossible to thread the cable back thorough the nylon sleeve and handle. To repair the frayed cable end, simply clip off an inch or two of the frayed end and carefully feed it back through the nylon sleeve and handle, then, tighten the wing nut on the releasable bolt and tape off the end with duct tape (or similar).
More, Bigger, Better - In an attempt to have one large release as opposed to having several smaller premature releases, try cutting 1/3 of the cornice in one direction and then, change directions to cut the rest of the cornice. This tactic is especially helpful when cutting non-overhung cornices.
BackcountryBomb Snow Cornice Cutting Tool Instructional Videos
Watch & Learn how to cut snow cornices using the BackcountryBomb tool, the backcountry skiers new best friend!
Proper winding is essential; a properly wound BackcountryBomb Tool allows for easy unfurling and prevents kinks in the cutting wire.