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Beginning Alpine Style
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ssmall123


Jan 11, 2010, 8:47 AM
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Beginning Alpine Style
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Really want to get in to alpine stye climbing. Anyone got any ideas on how to get started in the alpine climbing world. Crazy Have a good foundation climbing 5.12 sport and 5.8-5.9 trad comfortably.


shimanilami


Jan 11, 2010, 9:12 AM
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Re: [ssmall123] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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Pick something easy and just do it. That's how most people start.

If you can hook up with an experienced partner, that's a bonus.


ssmall123


Jan 11, 2010, 9:32 AM
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Re: [shimanilami] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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Any reccomended easy climbs? Longs Peak?? Tetons??


shimanilami


Jan 11, 2010, 9:36 AM
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Re: [ssmall123] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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I could only suggest climbs in the Sierras. My first technical alpine climb was the East Buttress of Mt. Whitney.


edge


Jan 11, 2010, 9:40 AM
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Re: [ssmall123] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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ssmall123 wrote:
Really want to get in to alpine stye climbing. Anyone got any ideas on how to get started in the alpine climbing world. Crazy Have a good foundation climbing 5.12 sport and 5.8-5.9 trad comfortably.

Where are you located?

And not to seem flippant, but trad climbing ability has much more to do with alpine style climbing success than sport climbing tics.


jmeizis


Jan 11, 2010, 10:30 AM
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Re: [ssmall123] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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Alpine style is a really broad brush. You could be describing multipitch rock climbs in the Tetons, high altitude snow slog in the Cordillera Blanca, or just going fast and light on some mountain.

Rock climbing is a good base if you only ever want to do alpine rock climbs. But if you want to do other things then it really depends on the terrain of those particular objectives.

If you want to climb Denali someday then I'd suggest you learn a lot of snow, ice, and glacier skills, as well as learn to be comfortable sitting in your tent (suggestions aren't based on personal experience). If you want to climb the Grand in the summer then you could probably get there with just some backcountry camping skills and being really dialed on multipitch climbing.

Your goals and how they evolve over time will lead you towards the skills you need to accomplish those goals. So first maybe decide on a mountain, find out what the terrain is like to determine the skills you need, acquire those skills, then climb it. Sometimes you acquire those skills on easier peaks which in turn gives you an opportunity to assess your abilities and rethnk your goals.


(This post was edited by jmeizis on Jan 11, 2010, 10:32 AM)


ryanb


Jan 11, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Re: [ssmall123] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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Sounds like you are a stronger rock climber then most alpine climbers I know but 5.9 trad is kind of weak sauce for a 5.12 sport climber. Spend some time developing some solid trad skills (be careful...dont pull your gear and die).

Good rock skills will get you up a a lot of cool alpine routes with easy approaches (ie late summer stuff at washington pass or the enchantments in the cascades when most of the snow is gone). Your next step it to develop good backcountry travel/camping skills, good snow travel skills (self arrest, kicking steps, plunge steping) and good glacier travel skills (crevasse rescue) to get you on the more remote/inaccessible classics and get you into the high country before the snow melts (these skills are also what will get you up snow slogs like Rainier if that interests you).

Learn to ice and mixed climb if that appeals to you as well.

Get a ~50 cm ice axe (doesn't need to be an ice tool but short is good for dragging up rock climbs) and learn to self arrest. Practice somewhere with no risk of running into stuff (ski area etc).

Get a guide book or 2 (or 10) to your local range and start looking for classic non glaciated routes that are either non technical or have sections of low to mid fifth. Do a bunch of them. You will learn a lot about staying fed, hydrated, warm and dry, moving quickly on moderate terrain, watching the weather and knowing when to retreat (turn around times!). These are the most difficult parts of climbing in the mountains.

Others will suggest reading "Freedom of the Hills" and it has some okay info on things like self arrest technique but it is pretty bad for someone who aspires to climb technical routes.

I feel that Peter Croft's book is better and much shorter (keep it simple) and can be had for less then 3 bucks:
http://www.amazon.com/...263239814&sr=8-1


sungam


Jan 11, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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Alpine climbing and alpine style are kinda different things. If you mean to get into alpine climbing, like this:

Or this:

I recommend doing longer (if you haven't already) trad routes, getting familiar with map and compass work, learning how to move over 4th and 5th class terrain quickly and safely using various techniques, and getting used to being a little more aware of time management and the likes. I'd also suggest learning to move over glaciers and how to climb ice/mixed - not because this is a necessity for alpine climbing, but because it's fucking excellent fun, and you'd honestly be missing out if you didn't get on it. Build up to the bigger stuff, and be careful, but at the same time don't be so timid as to not have any fun. Experianced partner is a giant +.
I think Ryan nailed everything else.

Now as for alpine style...
If you wanna carry a bag bigger then this:

and still not have enough to eat, enough fuel to melt snow, or a warm enough bag, then I suggest therapy, and if that doesn't work then the Karakorum or Peruvian Andes should do the trick.


kheegster


Jan 11, 2010, 5:40 PM
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Re: [ssmall123] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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If you're thinking about alpine climbing, then learn to ice climb and learn snow/glacier skills.

If you're thinking about alpine-style climbing, then you want the above, plus:
- ability to keep moving for a couple of days at a time without sleep or water
- practise sleeping in a trash bag in a meat locker. On a shelf.
- know the weight of everything in your possession down to the gram
- get used to drinking from your piss bottle
- practise trad climbing with 3mm accessory cord instead of rope


rschap


Jan 11, 2010, 7:00 PM
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Re: [kheegster] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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North Palisade area in California is a good place to start. There are 5 mountains close together with multiple rock and ice routes.


Edit to add: all over 14,000 ft, there are more then just 5 mountains there.


(This post was edited by rschap on Jan 11, 2010, 7:01 PM)


sungam


Jan 12, 2010, 2:47 AM
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Re: [kheegster] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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kheegster wrote:
If you're thinking about alpine climbing, then learn to ice climb and learn snow/glacier skills.

If you're thinking about alpine-style climbing, then you want the above, plus:
- ability to keep moving for a couple of days at a time without sleep or water
- practise sleeping in a trash bag in a meat locker. On a shelf.
- know the weight of everything in your possession down to the gram
- get used to drinking from your piss bottle
- practise trad climbing with 3mm accessory cord instead of rope
LaughLaughLaugh
The first time Cory told me he only took one bottle on Denali, it took about a minute of further discussion/daydreaming about me joining him the next year before, mid sentance, I was like "wait, WHAT? ONE BOTTLE?" his response - "chill, dude, I rinsed it!"


ssmall123


Jan 12, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Re: [sungam] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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Thanks everyone! Great advice from all. Already have freedom of the hills and have read it all. Just got to get out there and do it. Smile


quiteatingmysteak


Jan 12, 2010, 11:15 AM
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Re: [ssmall123] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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ssmall123 wrote:
Thanks everyone! Great advice from all. Already have freedom of the hills and have read it all. Just got to get out there and do it. Smile


Start out doing some wilderness travel, with some big dayhikes, peakbagging and backpacking. While mundane at first, the skills you aquire to read a map, prepare for an overnight, travel cross country, deal with altitude and pack correctly will be absolutely indespensible. Over summer try to get out to somewhere like Tuolumne and try a few grade III's (cathedral peak, north ridge of conness, tenayay peak are great starts).

For speed and efficiencty find a local crag that has long routes, hopefully over 4 pitches, and try to cram a bunch of routes in a short day where being ragged by the approach and descent become a definable quality of 'difficulty.'

and have fun!


rangerrob


Jan 13, 2010, 11:08 AM
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Re: [quiteatingmysteak] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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Going alpine is more a frame of mind than anything else. climbing with a pouch of bali Shag in your pocket is totally Alpine. Cracking a Dale's Ale at the top of the route is totally Alpine. Talking about some babes bootylicsious ass with your partner as he is scratching his way up a thin, chandeliered WI5 is pretty Alpine.

I'll tell you what is definitely not Alpine:

-Stopping at Starbucks before or after climbing
-Wearing anything with a logo on it
-using a wired Hex
-Rope bags
-Thinking you're a badass because you can lead a bolted 5.12
-Calling yourself a rock climber, or an ice climber
-Washing your hands after a day of dirty crack climbing so you can eat


As I have clearly demonstrated, it is a frame of mind more than anything else

RR


reno


Jan 13, 2010, 8:58 PM
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Re: [rangerrob] Beginning Alpine Style [In reply to]
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rangerrob wrote:
Going alpine is more a frame of mind than anything else. climbing with a pouch of bali Shag in your pocket is totally Alpine. Cracking a Dale's Ale at the top of the route is totally Alpine. Talking about some babes bootylicsious ass with your partner as he is scratching his way up a thin, chandeliered WI5 is pretty Alpine.

I'll tell you what is definitely not Alpine:

-Stopping at Starbucks before or after climbing
-Wearing anything with a logo on it
-using a wired Hex
-Rope bags
-Thinking you're a badass because you can lead a bolted 5.12
-Calling yourself a rock climber, or an ice climber
-Washing your hands after a day of dirty crack climbing so you can eat


As I have clearly demonstrated, it is a frame of mind more than anything else

RR

There be some signature worthy stuff in that post, folks.


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