Oct 11, 2013, 8:42 AM
Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Sounds sketchy as hell.
I don't know what kind of snow climbs you're getting on, but it is very typical for well-trafficked routes in the Cascades (my limited sphere of reference) to have some sort of semi - fixed anchor (think a bunch of tat slung to horns with rap rings, fixed pins in rock, etc) that mitigates the need for leaving your own pro (except maybe some tat or slings to back up or replace old tat).
If you're out exploring, or simply need to bail mid-route on something, leaving gear for rapping is a price of entry typically in my view. I'd bring along some nuts, hexes, and pins.
If snow is steep enough such that you want to rap and there isn't a station there, I'm guessing you're more likely to be in a couloir. In this context, I would tend to look for cracks in the rock on the sides of the couloir that would be acceptable for building an anchor, and try to rap off of passive pro.
Personally, I'd downclimb if it it seemed safe (for me, that would mean less than 45-50 degrees, and no ice steps).
(This post was edited by jjanowia on Oct 11, 2013, 8:44 AM)