New to Mountaineering

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greenonion
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by greenonion » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:38 am

pvnisher wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:25 pm
What's the quote, "if you're warm, regular, rested, or well fed then you're not mountaineering."
Ha.
Love it. Sounds like a potential 14er user's quote line.
Oh wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being...

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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by Trotter » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:40 am

Eli Boardman wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:22 pm
This is what worked for me, and what I'd recommend:

1. Pick a goal (let's say: "climb a 14er in winter").

2. Research it a bunch and find out what you need to learn (in this example, look up which 14ers are safest in winter (Quandary), then read Quandary trip reports from Dec - March).

3. Pick up the gear and/or skills you need (maybe take an intro avalanche avoidance class, buy microspikes, study mountain forecasts, make sure your boots are warm enough, etc.).

4. Make a conservative attempt (simply start hiking and turn around if things start to go south).

5. Evaluate your success/failure and repeat cycle (maybe you turned around because your water bottles froze--next time you know to keep them inside your pack and turn them upside-down).

Note: a lot of this could be simplified by finding an experienced mentor or taking tons of dedicated classes, which many will recommend. I prefer the DIY approach, and finding the right mentor is far from a given.
+1
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. -Nelson Mandela
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called Ego. -Nietzsche
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greenonion
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by greenonion » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:53 am

Agreed on Eli's approach. It works well for him. And cannot emphasize enough the need to understand avy terrain/conditions since you are interested in winter excursions. Here are a couple of sites that will help: https://avalanche.state.co.us/ and https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=39.0461 ... t&a=c%2Csf

Turn on "slope angle shading" on Caltopo and learn about the significance of those slope angles with snow on them. That's just a start - much more to learn about avalanches. Freedom of the Hills as suggested by nyker is a great resource too.
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by Jay521 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:11 pm

Count me as another who agrees with Eli. Solid advice for sure.
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by Jorts » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:23 pm

Eli Boardman wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:22 pm
Note: a lot of this could be simplified by finding an experienced mentor or taking tons of dedicated classes, which many will recommend. I prefer the DIY approach, and finding the right mentor is far from a given.
You reach a level in mountaineering where DIY becomes increasingly dangerous. Can definitely be autodidactic most of the way, but I wouldn't recommend just diving into ice climbing, alpine trad or glacier travel without some sort of mentoring or instruction.
Traveling light is the only way to fly.
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by spiderman » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:58 pm

Jorts wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:23 pm
Eli Boardman wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:22 pm
Note: a lot of this could be simplified by finding an experienced mentor or taking tons of dedicated classes, which many will recommend. I prefer the DIY approach, and finding the right mentor is far from a given.
You reach a level in mountaineering where DIY becomes increasingly dangerous. Can definitely be autodidactic most of the way, but I wouldn't recommend just diving into ice climbing, alpine trad or glacier travel without some sort of mentoring or instruction.
We did the Eli approach and neither of us died despite our best efforts. The glacier stuff gets serious, quickly.
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by coneydogron » Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:05 pm

My 2 cents and how I started out was by going with a guide up Mt Shasta. Living in Michigan and really clueless to mountaineering it was a great experience and I also bagged a 14er. The first day was a lot of education on self arrest and general mountaineering techniques on snow travel. It was a very rewarding experience and got me into this 'whole mountain thing' on a good footing.
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by Alan Arnette » Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:15 pm

zestyziggy wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:38 am
Hey guys!
I've decided this year is the year that I'm going to start mountaineering. Where's a good place to start? I'm aware that classes are offered at the CMC, and I plan on taking those as soon as possible. Are there clubs I can join? and what gear is recommended? Thanks for all the help.
Congrats, I've found this is a sport of love, rejection, or addiction ... or all three! Yes, taking classes at the CMC is great, AND find some friends to climb with you, preferably experienced. Take in their knowledge and good/bad times as lessons. But most of all, have fun. This is a sport about personal exploration, not records or self-aggrandizement. Make a summit, come back home, reflect on what went well, and what didn't. Never consider not making the summit a "failure"; consider it a learning experience and use that knowledge to make the next climb a positive experience. Finally, climb responsibly, LNT, and smile at your fellow hikers/climbers! :) :) :)
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by greenonion » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:15 pm

Jorts wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:23 pm
Eli Boardman wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:22 pm
Note: a lot of this could be simplified by finding an experienced mentor or taking tons of dedicated classes, which many will recommend. I prefer the DIY approach, and finding the right mentor is far from a given.
You reach a level in mountaineering where DIY becomes increasingly dangerous. Can definitely be autodidactic most of the way, but I wouldn't recommend just diving into ice climbing, alpine trad or glacier travel without some sort of mentoring or instruction.
Good stuff here. Listen up folks... learning as we all are
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by Eli Boardman » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:32 pm

Jorts wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:23 pm
Eli Boardman wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:22 pm
Note: a lot of this could be simplified by finding an experienced mentor or taking tons of dedicated classes, which many will recommend. I prefer the DIY approach, and finding the right mentor is far from a given.
You reach a level in mountaineering where DIY becomes increasingly dangerous. Can definitely be autodidactic most of the way, but I wouldn't recommend just diving into ice climbing, alpine trad or glacier travel without some sort of mentoring or instruction.
Well yeah that's true to a degree (though mostly self-taught alpine trad has worked fine for me), but I was assuming the OP wants to get started with average Rockies mountaineering objectives, not the French Direct on Alpamayo.
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by DArcyS » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:41 pm

For anybody interested in mountaineering, I think I'd have them consider three things.

1) Are they primarily interested in a physical or athletic challenge? If so, mountaineering isn't the best choice. It's not that tough to climb mountains, at least in Colorado. I know people in their 60s and 70s who climb mountains. Greater athletic challenges are found in running races (e.g., 10k's or marathons), bike racing, or doing triathlons.

2) Are they primarily interested in climbing on rock? If so, then take up sport or trad climbing. Sport climbing seems to hit the sweet spot for challenging one's strength and skill but minimizing the risk of a serious accident or death.

3) Are they primarily interested in being out in the mountains? Then go with mountaineering.
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Re: New to Mountaineering

Post by Jorts » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:29 am

Eli Boardman wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:32 pm
I was assuming the OP wants to get started with average Rockies mountaineering objectives, not the French Direct on Alpamayo.
:lol:

I'm thinking of, amongst other things, simulclimbing by placing a progress capture device at an anchor between the follower and the leader, so that if the follower falls he/she doesn't pull off the leader; judging when it's okay to simulclimb vs belay pitches; acceptable runout; escaping the belay; navigating and identifying avalanche terrain and understanding snowpack...

... these are all things encountered in Colorado. You can read about all of them, but to practice them safely takes a little nuance where "just figuring it out" can be dangerous. Many of us have been in situations where we don't plan to use the rope but terrain dictates it. Figuring that out on the fly can be lethal, as supported by an examination of "Accidents in North American Mountaineering".
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