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CameronCurtis


Nov 25, 2011, 8:33 AM
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Can I be like Nike?
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Can I "just do it?"

I posted this in a reply my in the beginner forum, but nobody saw it. I am trying to get into Alpine mountaineering, and eventually Ice climbing, but I want to take things slow.

I have started sport climbing just from the begining of this last season, I have no Trad experience, but I am not looking to climb at that level yet anyway. I understand that 3rd, and 4th class routes would be the way to go, but I'm interested in climbing them this fall/winter. I live in Washington, so climbing is definitely near, however I guess my biggest concern would be avalanches and crevasses (unlikely), among weather factors too.

Is this an accurate statement? And if so, is what I described reasonably safe to attempt without a guide or professional instruction, (maybe after reading freedom of the hills and doing follow up research on particular locations?) I would have a partner with no experience as well.

Simplified version: Can I climb something that might need an axe and no crampons, without getting myself killed? And if so, what would you suggest I do, keeping in mind I cannot pay for professional instruction, or even hassle a mentor for his time, due to chaotic work.


KodiakPat


Nov 25, 2011, 9:22 AM
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Re: [CameronCurtis] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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Of course!

I learned by reading FOTH cover to cover, going back and rereading specific sections, and finding a safe place to practice what I just read.

It will definitely take you longer to get it down but its doable. Just make sure your "safe place" is actually safe. Looking back i think luck got mr through more than one day out. I know guides are expensive but a good one is worth their weight in gold.

I'd suggest checking out cascadeclimbers.com for some local advice on where to go. You can also find local climbing groups that offer cheep classes.

Enjoy and be safe out there.


rangerrob


Nov 25, 2011, 1:37 PM
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Re: [CameronCurtis] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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Cameron, you're going to really enjoy the inside of crevasses I think. They are soothingly quiet, nice and cold, and dark dark blue.

The short answer is yes you can. The better answer is, find someone who knows what they are doing. Spending the rest of your short life in a crevasse is not fun.


CameronCurtis


Nov 25, 2011, 3:54 PM
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Re: [rangerrob] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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rangerrob wrote:
find someone who knows what they are doing. Spending the rest of your short life in a crevasse is not fun.

Good thing I found YOU then Rangerrob! Whew... that was close! While I do appreciate KodiakPat's response, I think I gain more valuable information from Rangerrob, even though he is a jerk about it. Basically, it's as dangerous as I make it and I could do myself a favor by eliminating the learning curve. Alright, but at least answer me this; what can I climb? Are there any good Wasginton guides? Sites? (Thanks for Cascade climbers Kodiak) And what if I just spot something big and inviting but there's no route on it? Is it frowned upon to tresspass on these? (Example: hiking to the top of the Exit 38 crags past Peanacle Point.)


mikebee


Nov 25, 2011, 4:17 PM
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I would actually say that your best off first getting trad and ice cimbing sorted as individual skill sets (with some cross over on the rope work), and using the knowledge and skills from these two activities to help you with "Alpine Mountaineering" further down the track.

Alpine climbing is basically encapsulating the most dangerous elements of ice climbing, trad rock climbing and winter hiking into one shit scary but distrubingly addictive pasttime. Best off having these component activities stupidly well dialed before playing in the major leagues on alpine routes.

If you're in Washington, the ice season is just getting started now, yeah? It's probably getting too cold for rock climbing over there too, so start by figuring out ice clmbing first first.
Convince your mate to fork out some $$ too, and rent an ice climbing guide for a day (not a course, just a private guide). Get him to show you as much as he can and as much as you can absorb. If you've both read FOTH and maybe another ice specific book (Will Gadd's Ice and Mixed Climbing - Modern Techniques is pretty good), then you'll be able to pick up a surprisingly good amount of stuff from the guide in a couple of days.

After this, you might feel confident enough to buy some axes, ropes, screw and crampons and at least head out and set up some top ropes to practice and get strong on.

While you are with the guide, as him for some advice on easy winter scrambles with low commitment (ie low avvy danger, no crevasses, decent rock), that you can learn about how to approach properly, and begin to spend time out in the hills and getting comfortable with the cold and remoteness. I'd buy an ice axe for these, and at least get used to using it in piolet canne, and find a good slope with a safe run out to begin self arrest practice too.

All that should keep you busy and broke until the rock season begins :)


CameronCurtis


Nov 25, 2011, 5:10 PM
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Re: [mikebee] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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That's great advice, and your description of Alpine Climbing is exactly what draws me to the idea. Unfortunately I'm too poor to start Ice climbing. Got a kid... :S


6pacfershur


Nov 25, 2011, 6:23 PM
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Re: [CameronCurtis] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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if you are truly serious, the first thing you need to do is stop asking questions here....there are a few who offer sincere advice but mostly what you will get is douchebaggery and a few stalkers....good luck and be careful out there (and yes, i am guilty of some DB)


(This post was edited by 6pacfershur on Nov 25, 2011, 9:33 PM)


tolman_paul


Nov 28, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Re: [CameronCurtis] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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CameronCurtis wrote:
Can I "just do it?"

(sic)

Simplified version: Can I climb something that might need an axe and no crampons, without getting myself killed? And if so, what would you suggest I do, keeping in mind I cannot pay for professional instruction, or even hassle a mentor for his time, due to chaotic work.

So you want to get into the potentially most dangerous form of climbing with no hands on instruction, either professional or mentor? I would have to rank that as one of the worst ideas I've come across on rc.com, and there is no shortage of those.

I think what many folks miss is that 3rd and 4th class climbing can be by far the most dangerous. The thought is, it isn't that steep so it isn't that dangerous, and the proper techniques and gear aren't utilized. While you may not "fall" to your death, careening down a 45 deg slope covered with snow, ice and rocks can kill you just assuredly as a 90 deg cliff, though the process will likely be more time consuming and more painful.

Untill you've gained the skills and experience using ice axes and crampons, you really won't be able to judge when you are getting in over your head.

My personal advice is get a good pair of snowshoes and trecking poles and enjoy winter hiking in the hills. It's not rocket science and is tremendous fun. You can get to the top of various mountains via easy to moderate routes.

When you want to get into technical climbing, then for the sake of your child, seek instruction!


CameronCurtis


Nov 29, 2011, 6:24 AM
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Re: [tolman_paul] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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tolman_paul wrote:
CameronCurtis wrote:
Can I "just do it?"

(sic)

Simplified version: Can I climb something that might need an axe and no crampons, without getting myself killed? And if so, what would you suggest I do, keeping in mind I cannot pay for professional instruction, or even hassle a mentor for his time, due to chaotic work.

So you want to get into the potentially most dangerous form of climbing with no hands on instruction, either professional or mentor? I would have to rank that as one of the worst ideas I've come across on rc.com, and there is no shortage of those.

I think what many folks miss is that 3rd and 4th class climbing can be by far the most dangerous. The thought is, it isn't that steep so it isn't that dangerous, and the proper techniques and gear aren't utilized. While you may not "fall" to your death, careening down a 45 deg slope covered with snow, ice and rocks can kill you just assuredly as a 90 deg cliff, though the process will likely be more time consuming and more painful.

Untill you've gained the skills and experience using ice axes and crampons, you really won't be able to judge when you are getting in over your head.

My personal advice is get a good pair of snowshoes and trecking poles and enjoy winter hiking in the hills. It's not rocket science and is tremendous fun. You can get to the top of various mountains via easy to moderate routes.

When you want to get into technical climbing, then for the sake of your child, seek instruction!

For starters; thanks for assuming that I'm an imbecel. Nothing quite says hello like an ornery spit to the face. But it's okay Paul, I'm a bit like you so I understand.

But really? I guess that puts a damper on my spirits a bit. I see the mountaineers have several events to register for, looks like all types of skill levels. Anybody suggest that as a good place to start?


malcolm777b


Nov 29, 2011, 8:11 AM
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Re: [CameronCurtis] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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CameronCurtis wrote:
I see the mountaineers have several events to register for, looks like all types of skill levels. Anybody suggest that as a good place to start?

That is an EXCELLENT place to start. Their basic mountaineering class will get you the skills, you'll meet partners, and you'll see some peaks for sure. They are a bit militaristic though, so if you don't like that, find a different group.


tolman_paul


Nov 29, 2011, 9:35 AM
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Re: [CameronCurtis] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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It wasn't meant as an insult, rather a reality check. Honestly I don't think you are anything at all like me, as I've never approached things the way you originally proposed to approach them.

Perhaps its from loosing friends in the mountains, but I can't take a cavalier attitude towards them.


CameronCurtis


Nov 29, 2011, 4:50 PM
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Re: [tolman_paul] Can I be like Nike? [In reply to]
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Militaristic? How so? I did my four in the Marines so it shouldn't be too much of a problem. But if it is full out a bunch of jar heads and army dogs pretending they are back in the shi7 I'd rather not bother with it.

And whatever paul. I'm not trying to push buttons, just ascerting that I never intended in searching the back country for my beginer experience.


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