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Alpine Style, A closer look
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majid_sabet


Aug 28, 2010, 9:18 PM
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Alpine Style, A closer look
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Few weeks ago a Nepalese friend of mine who makes his living from guiding pro climbers in Himalayas came to state and over the dinner ,we talked about alpine style climbing . He mentioned that many European climbers come to do alpine style climbing but from what he described ,it was more like " you sherpas carry our stuff to BC and we do light & fast ascent ".

I thought in alpine style, you go in and out while carrying and doing everything yourself . What do you guys think ? Is this some new style ?


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Aug 28, 2010, 9:20 PM)


avalon420


Aug 28, 2010, 10:20 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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Yuppienists, only thing worse than a boulderer.


jjanowia


Aug 29, 2010, 5:03 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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I'll bite.

Is it appropriate to describe ascents of routes like Cassin Ridge on Denali, or the various ice / mixed routes in the Ruth Gorge as alpine style?

After all, you get flown in to basecamp on a friggin' ski plane.

What you're asking is "when does the route start?". Sounds like you're arguing that paying someone to help get you there (e.g. airline company, train, taxi, sherpa, etc.) negates the 'alpine style' aesthetic.

If you're arguing that people need to schlep their stuff all the way, then the only alpine-style climber I'm aware of is Stefan Glowacz, trying to approach peaks by "fair means":

http://marmotpro.com/stefan_glowacz

Now, if you want to argue that sherpas do tons of hard work supporting expeditions but get very little recognition for their valuable contribution in, say, writeups / blog posts / articles in journals (e.g. Alpinist or AAJ), then you are mostly correct.


(This post was edited by jjanowia on Aug 29, 2010, 5:04 AM)


jaablink


Aug 29, 2010, 5:50 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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 Many of us still pack in all our own supplies and equipment. It takes us several days to stock each camp.
Some factors considered may be location, ambition , physical abilities of the team , avg. age, and the max time they have to complete the expedition.

if you have time to kill, about an hour. check this link out.
http://www.hulu.com/watch/126230/messner


Rudmin


Aug 29, 2010, 8:20 AM
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It doesn't count if you don't walk (or bicycle) to the mountain from your house under your own power like Goran Kropp did on Everest.


tomtom


Aug 29, 2010, 8:57 AM
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majid_sabet wrote:
I thought in alpine style, you go in and out while carrying and doing everything yourself . What do you guys think ? Is this some new style ?

This is a silly question.

Even in the alps, climbers take the train or buses to get to base camps in towns such as Chamonix or Zermatt. They also use ski lifts or trams on approaches to alpine huts.


majid_sabet


Aug 29, 2010, 9:12 AM
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Re: [tomtom] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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tomtom wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
I thought in alpine style, you go in and out while carrying and doing everything yourself . What do you guys think ? Is this some new style ?

This is a silly question.

Even in the alps, climbers take the train or buses to get to base camps in towns such as Chamonix or Zermatt. They also use ski lifts or trams on approaches to alpine huts.

that is different cause once you are done with ski lift, you take your own while in himalayas, they carry everything for you to BC


fresh


Aug 31, 2010, 12:23 PM
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Re: [Rudmin] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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Rudmin wrote:
It doesn't count if you don't walk (or bicycle) to the mountain from your house under your own power like Goran Kropp did on Everest.
but what you didn't even build your house by yourself?


olderic


Aug 31, 2010, 1:53 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
tomtom wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
I thought in alpine style, you go in and out while carrying and doing everything yourself . What do you guys think ? Is this some new style ?

This is a silly question.

Even in the alps, climbers take the train or buses to get to base camps in towns such as Chamonix or Zermatt. They also use ski lifts or trams on approaches to alpine huts.

that is different cause once you are done with ski lift, you take your own while in himalayas, they carry everything for you to BC
Once the himalayas get the infa-structure that the Alps has it will be exactly the same. There is a road into base camp on the north side of Everest. Does using that to get to basecamp negate "alpine style"? Conversely if you go back 150 years ago and look at how things were done in the Alps - shouldn't that be the definition of alpine style? - numerous porters were typically used. Was that not alpine style?


creemore


Aug 31, 2010, 7:06 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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This is a hard subject for some. This isn't a religion. It's a way of doing things as purly as possible.

Beyond going on with history of the word, it's a combination of things. Some flexibility is allowed.

My defenition.
- On a mountain. The size depends on the local hills. The bigger /cool looking the better :)
- Involves steep rock, ice\snow techniques to stay safe. Some climbers choose to solo so rope use does not come into play.
- More than 5 pitches of it.
- In the Alpine. Above tree level.
- Leave no/little bit of a trace. Try at least.
- The main goal is usually the summit.
- In different countries, respect the local ethics/laws!

All styles of climbing (I feel) are independant of the approach used. Just be honest on the means utilized to get there.


mikebee


Sep 3, 2010, 5:58 AM
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Re: [creemore] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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In reply to:
My defenition.
- On a mountain. The size depends on the local hills. The bigger /cool looking the better :)
- Involves steep rock, ice\snow techniques to stay safe. Some climbers choose to solo so rope use does not come into play.
- More than 5 pitches of it.
- In the Alpine. Above tree level.
- Leave no/little bit of a trace. Try at least.
- The main goal is usually the summit.
- In different countries, respect the local ethics/laws!

All of that is required for alpine style climbing, but I reckon you've missed the most important points. Alpine climbing, specifically involves one continous push (not pre stocked intermediate camps), no prefixed lines, few if any bolts and an overall gearing towards a "fast and light" mindset.


iron106


Sep 3, 2010, 6:19 AM
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Re: [mikebee] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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mikebee wrote:
In reply to:
My defenition.
- On a mountain. The size depends on the local hills. The bigger /cool looking the better :)
- Involves steep rock, ice\snow techniques to stay safe. Some climbers choose to solo so rope use does not come into play.
- More than 5 pitches of it.
- In the Alpine. Above tree level.
- Leave no/little bit of a trace. Try at least.
- The main goal is usually the summit.
- In different countries, respect the local ethics/laws!

All of that is required for alpine style climbing, but I reckon you've missed the most important points. Alpine climbing, specifically involves one continous push (not pre stocked intermediate camps), no prefixed lines, few if any bolts and an overall gearing towards a "fast and light" mindset.

So using the chair lift to the top falls under, Alpine Style?


shoo


Sep 3, 2010, 6:58 AM
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Re: [iron106] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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iron106 wrote:
mikebee wrote:
In reply to:
My defenition.
- On a mountain. The size depends on the local hills. The bigger /cool looking the better :)
- Involves steep rock, ice\snow techniques to stay safe. Some climbers choose to solo so rope use does not come into play.
- More than 5 pitches of it.
- In the Alpine. Above tree level.
- Leave no/little bit of a trace. Try at least.
- The main goal is usually the summit.
- In different countries, respect the local ethics/laws!

All of that is required for alpine style climbing, but I reckon you've missed the most important points. Alpine climbing, specifically involves one continous push (not pre stocked intermediate camps), no prefixed lines, few if any bolts and an overall gearing towards a "fast and light" mindset.

So using the chair lift to the top falls under, Alpine Style?

I think using a chair lift qualifies as "fixed lines."


creemore


Sep 3, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Re: [mikebee] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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You're right that "in a push" is quite important.

Weather seems to dictate the other stuff. I'm not Steve F. House.

I'll use fixed ropes (usually my lead rope, fixed for the mornings first pitch). I might have a high camp (capsule style). I might place a bolt (by hand of course)as required.

My gear is not always that light. Some of that stuff wears out to fast for my liking.

But I'll always tell other what I did.

My point was that there are no rules, these are guidelines. Apply them as you see fit and stop worrying what others are doing!!!


Guran


Sep 14, 2010, 8:48 AM
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Yes, if you want to spray about your style: tell us what you did, not how you labled it.

As someone wrote above, the use of sherpas, ski lifts or other aids negates "style points" for the part where they were used. Not nessecarily for the main climb.

Assume you have a hard wall branching off from a trade route as your main objective. So you put up a base camp at the branch (using whatever help you want), wait for conditions and then do the wall in a single push. I'd say that the wall was done in style, even though the way there was not.


kachoong


Sep 14, 2010, 9:02 AM
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Re: [Guran] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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I think a major point here, which I think we're not addressing, is that Sherpas in the Himalaya make a living from schlepping gear for expeditions and treks to basecamps. Whether I was a part of either, or heading for an "alpine style" ascent, I wouldn't deny the Sherpas of their livelihood. Isn't there some "rule" regarding the maximum amount of gear you can carry so as to allow for porter help? IMO as long as "basecamp" in your post-climb analysis is the base of the mountain, you should be given alpine style points.


Colinhoglund


Sep 14, 2010, 10:28 AM
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I think the key work is 'style'. I've chatted with some of the alpinists around here (Canadian Rockies). For them it's not about the summit, but how they got there. One push, no bolts, Onsight, ground up and leave no trace seems to be their biggest concerns.
I think that "basecamp" is a relative term. Many routes here can go car to car. But others are more remote, requiring a few days to slog in and wait for weather. I don't think having a friend/sherpa help you stock basecamp violates this as long as once you leave basecamp it's one push and you leave no trace on the route. Ie. you don't leave behind a garbage dump each night you spent on route. My 2˘.


Guran


Sep 14, 2010, 11:52 PM
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Re: [kachoong] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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Well, it's true that "good style" is not necessarily good in all aspects. A lot of locals probably prefer the "cocktail adventurer" or the hordes of adventourists to the more style/ethics aware élite.

This is not just the case in the himalayas, but in mountain and wilderness areas world wide. We see it as ethical to leave no trace, and in a global, long term perspective that is of course correct.
However, as a local, when outsiders mess around in your backyard you want them to leave a considerable trace - in your wallet.


Now, I'm not saying that pure style is bad, or that alpine style = cheap dirtbag. Just pointing out that there is a case for the touristy style too.


giza


Sep 15, 2010, 7:11 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Alpine Style, A closer look [In reply to]
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Since when does 'alpine style' have anything to do with the approach? A self-propelled approach on bike or foot is impressive, but the climb starts at the base of the mountain/route. How the climber(s) choose to climb the route dictates their style (i.e., capsule, alpine, etc.), not how they do the approach.


(This post was edited by giza on Sep 15, 2010, 6:22 PM)


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