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Rear end/slide protector

Many of these summits here in southern AZ are decomposing granite or lava. In addition, they are extremely steep grades, especially near the top. The footing is never good and your feet can go out from under you at any time. Add to that, that everything you might bump into has either points or hooks and it can be a bit much.

Lava is pretty straight forward, the rocks are fairly large, the footing is bad, but you can make your way easier than granite. Granite can have large fields or rocks ranging in size from a pea to a watermelon and larger. These are areas are the worst IMO. I find that with the steep inclines and constantly moving ground, that I prefer to just “sit” and slide down some of these fields on the soles of my boots and my rear end.

The problem is that what covers my rear end, is not the same as what covers the soles of my feet. Is there some climbing product out there, like leather chaps (in reverse), that can be worn to allow for this sliding? Something that you can attach to your belt or pants and sit and slide?

If not, I am going to head over to the leather crafts store and buy myself a piece of leather and attach some Velcro to it for these summits. It has got to be cheaper and more comfortable than destroying blue jeans on the way down.

We have similar rocks here, the coarse crystals in the granite weather out and are like marbles underfoot. Your mode of descent is commonly known here as a “bummade”, as an analogy with “glissade”!

I suggest a slightly different technique, put on a pair of strong gardening gloves, then sit down, lean back slightly and place your palms on the ground just behind you, lift your rear end slightly off the ground and then walk down on your hands and feet - a reverse quadruped! If you feel yourself slipping, sit down at once to halt the slide. This works for me but it feels dam’ ignominious!

You used to be able to buy climbing breeches with leather reinforced seat and knees but I don’t know if they are still available.


What about something meant for motorcycling?
Leather trousers will be too hot, but something else may be available?

I did some of that reverse quadruped stuff too, but sometimes the momentum got the best of me and I just let it slide.

I thought about riding pants etc and ruled it out because, yea, definitely too hot. I basically want something that I can stick in my pack and maybe Velcro to the back of my pants when needed and slide on down.

Hi Mike and the group

Might sound stupid and I might get shot down in flames,

What about a small light weight folding snow shovel, used one a few times in the past to descend some snow slopes

Just a thought



A snow disc sled?


Anything that would protect my butt and drawers from being destroyed is a good idea. I actually thought about maybe cutting a piece of plastic to size and using that. The only issue I think might be the potential to build up too much speed.

I just want to be able to scoot down for a bit where standing upright is too dangerous.

Not recommended - it would soon abrade the plastic and control would be a problem, you would find that dodging obstructions and braking would be difficult.

Another thing that you used to be able to buy is iron-on patches, but I haven’t seen them for years. If they can still be obtained just iron them in positions where you expect to get abrasion.


Have you considered trekking poles?
I’ve descended some pretty unfriendly scree slopes in several areas, and the human version of 4WD really helps.

I have seen people hiking with those and thought about it, but I don’t think they will help much with the grades and materials I am talking about.

I use a aluminum pole for my antenna and that doubles as a walking stick. It does a good job in most cases, but when that grade is too steep and covered in gravel, just even looking at it, makes me want to sit.

I am off to the leather store today to see if I can find something that will work. I know my best bet is to just avoid hills like that, but sometimes you just have to plug along.

I always use them now. On most terrains they are a godsend. Slips and slides in snow and mud, or whatever now don’t put all the strain and reaction on the other leg, you just roll with it.
Saves my decrepit knees on descents too.
They are a hindrance on scrambles of course, and take a bit of getting used to at first.

Good luck with the leather though.

In addition to a pair of shoes with superior traction (not all hiking shoes are created equally), I agree with G1YBB about trekking poles - and spend the money for a good set. I favor the Leki Thermolite XL poles or their Micro Vario Ti if you want poles that can break down.

Barry N1EU

I think I will give the poles a try, although, at first blush I am not convinced they are the solution to the problem, can’t hurt to try.

I did go buy some leather and am going to fashion a “skid plate” that I can also put down under my padded cushion when I sit to keep some of the cactus quills off.

As far as the boots go, good footwear is a must. I have a very good pair of Danner’s with Vibraim soles that I can climb just about anything with. The only issue is being on an incline like this “” that is covered in marbles.

Of all the suggestions so far (thanks for them all), I have the boots covered, so I think I will fabricate the skid pad and try out the poles. Even if they don’t work in the scenario I am talking about, I am sure they are good in others. There is nothing wrong with having a lot of tools.

Yes poles are a great help on most slopes but remember and have them set to a height that works. I have to laugh at some of these hikers that have the poles extended to their limit and the handle is almost at head height. What use that is I don’t know - or maybe I haven’t found out yet.

I find that having the pole so that my elbow is at right angles when beside me is a good height for most inclines.

Good strong lightweight ones are a bonus, mine (Brasher Compact) are aluminium and now about 10 year old will easily support my 10 stone going down steep sections and help to pull me up on the way up.

Newer and better ones are available nowadays but as long as my Brashers keep bashing on I’ll keep them.

Pole height for most inclines, up or down is about right when you have your forearm parallel to the ground on flat ground. However for stepper descents, adding another 4 inches or so can be good.
I have the leki makalu with sprung bottom section. These are a few years old. Good and strong but their shortest packed length is longer than my plain leki titanium ones. They are quite lighter, a little weaker, I bent one first day out losing my step in snow the stick was a foot or so into. Still usable since but the curve bugs me. Although I never actually use them as the girlfriend always is using them while I use the others.

Cheap ones have a tendency to collapse randomly, so bear in mind if you buy some test sticks cheap. If you check all is tight each time you leave the car the lekis should never let you down.
They are also brilliant for leaping bogs and small streams giving you a little extra distance and height. And for testing the ground where one step is firm peat, the next is 10 inches deep :slight_smile:

So I went to the leather store and bought a piece of leather. I cut some belt loops in it and threaded some Velcro through the legs etc. It can be folded up and tucked in the backpack.

I wanted to get a piece of leather to sit on anyway, because the foam pad I sit on does not stop the cactus needles from poking through. So this will serve a double purpose of butt skid plate and sitting pad.

Hopefully this does the trick.


I have no intention of wearing this all the time, only on the way down for summits where there is a chance I need to scootch.

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I wondered what I was looking at then for a moment!! :smile:

Be interested to hear about the first field test.

I was going to preface the pic with:

“does this make my butt look fat”? or “please no marriage proposals I am already taken”…

I think that leather pad will get more use as a seating pad than a skid pad, but I will definitely post how it works out when I use it. My next few planned activations are not on summits that will likely require the use, but we will see.


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