Paul Petzoldt's Sliding Middleman Snow Technique


  • Maurice Phipps Western Carolina University
  • Todd Murdock Western Carolina University


snow climbing, mountaineering, Sliding Middleman, Paul Petzoldt


The Sliding Middleman snow technique enables fast progress across snowfields. With little rope handling, it is more efficient than other belaying techniques on snow and safer than roped teams relying just on ice axe arrests to stop a fall. Interestingly its use is uncommon. Perhaps this is because it is difficult to document the details of how to actually do it. This article endeavors to detail exactly how to accomplish the technique and is explained with photographs to clarify how it works. The authors have used this technique successfully over the years in spring mountaineering conditions. They believe that it is a useful technique especially with a group of around 12 students new to snow climbing.




Essays, Practices and Commentaries