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That is very true. I've been reading Connally's The Mountaineering Handbook religiously lately and he never fails to mention to only bringing what is needed. The most important element of successful mountaineering is light mountaineering. The less gear you bring and the lighter your pack the faster you move. Moving faster is more likely to save or help you than having 20# of extra gear.
Bean wrote:I bet if you hadn't wasted time with rope, axes, crampons, pickets, and whatever else you had on you, that extra hour you wanted wouldn't have been necessary. I was plunge stepping down those very same snow fields this october. If I had fallen, the snow was so soft I would've simply stopped.
Move quickly. If you have to lighten your load for that, then do so.
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Bean wrote:Why did you rope up on Elbert?percious wrote:Part III - Mount Elbert
The run-out did not look great, and I didn't have full confidence that two members of my party could safely arrest if need be. Also, the snow was pretty crusty, so plunge stepping would only get you a small amount of security. The intention was to continue up the steeper gullies which were near the summit cone, which I would have placed pickets for:
Had I to do it again, the ropes and pickets would have stayed in until I got to the bowl.
I could see maybe roping up for a steep gully but in some of the pictures you guys were roped up on almost completely flat terrain. As long as all your party members had crampons and either trekking poles/axe you would have been fine without a rope. If you didn't feel confident in your party members' skills to self-arrest and you were actually planning to summit Elbert maybe you should have taken a different route. I would venture to guess that being on a 14,000 foot mountain too late in the afternoon is probably more dangerous than iffy run-out. If you slide down the snow you should be able to slow down momentum enough to avoid serious injury, however if you get zapped by lightning your chances of survival are pretty slim. Make it a sold practice to be below tree-line before noon. I just can't really see the need for roping up on something like Elbert. As they say in mountaineering, a solo climber is one who falls alone, a roped group is one who falls together. Mt Elbert isn't Mt Rainier or another heavy glaciated peak. You don't have to worry about slipping into a crevasse or anything of that nature.
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.
- Mel McKinney
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Enjoyed reading the report on Longs. Glad you all were able to discuss the breakdown in communication regarding the descent in the storm. I've been in the situation of herding a group down the mountain when the lightning and hail are getting closer and closer. Not fun!
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