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15

If you have some credible people saying not to be roped up, I'd love to see it, because that sounds completely insane to me. Here's why: If you are traveling on a glacier without being roped up, there is a very, very, very good chance that you will die if you fall in a crevasse. This isn't because you vanish into nowhere, but because you will get what we ...


14

The key advantage of a geodesic design is the pole configuration can support a greater static load. This means they are favoured for mountaineering expeditions because they can withstand a heavy snow fall (compared with a tunnel design that would sag with the weight of the snow between each pole). Tunnel tents are preferred for polar expeditions as they ...


13

There are two interpretations of 'Mountaineering' depending on the context in which you use the word: Mountaineering is any activity in a mountainous environment. It includes rock climbing, ice climbing, hiking, orienteering, skiing, and 'mountaineering' in its own right (see below)... Mountaineering as a specific activity is usually used to include ...


13

The idea that caffeinated drinks dehydrate you or "don't count" toward your body's water requirement is a myth. Laboratory studies have shown that caffeinated soda is just as hydrating as water, i.e., the diuretic effect of the caffeine is too small to measure.[Grandjean 2000] Even in the case of coffee, which has much higher concentrations of caffeine than ...


11

Personally you don't need to go for any of the name-brands, unless that is important to you. Some things to look for: Comfort. Wear them for several minutes. Yes, the salesman is trying to wrap up this sale in under 2 minutes so he can get more commission. You will likely be wearing the shades for hours on end, so keep them on for at least a couple ...


10

The most obvious thing is an emergency blanket. It will add a lot of extra insulation per gram. It'a good to have one in you bag on any trip. However, a mere blanket is definitely not enough for all seasons, elevations and weather conditions. When planning at home, you should ask yourself a question: "What will happen to me if I have to be on the route ...


9

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has a definition of Mountaineering right here: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/mountaineering.asp The British Mountaineering Council (BMC, link: http://www.thebmc.co.uk/) has a great wealth of articles about the topic, which I can only recommend. Typically "Mountaineering" involves the use of technical equipment in order to ...


9

This is a bad plan for several reasons. YakTrax are not well suited for this situation. YakTrax are more specialized for people who want to go running on city streets in places with cold winters. For mountaineering, they're basically useless. They don't give enough extra traction. Microspikes or crampons would be more appropriate. Roping up is a ...


9

My experience of mountain huts huts is mainly from UK and Europe. Standards in other parts of the world may vary. Mountain huts come in a wide range of different varieties. At the basic end you have unmanned huts or bothies. These can range from very basic with just a roof and wooden bunks to put your sleeping kit on to reasonably nice with beds, stove, ...


8

I doubt a definitive list exists. But here is an algorithm to create your own list: What altitude-based things make climbing a peak require gear? At what altitude do problems in step 1 start occurring? What non-altitude-based problems might cause a climb to require gear? What peaks nearest me are this height or less? Here are my personal answers to ...


8

Your best bet is to try and position yourself face down, with your feet at the bottom, and then arc your body to put as much pressure on the hands, feet and knees as you can. As pointed out below though if you have crampons then don't ever dig those into the surface at all - you'll only injure yourself! If that's the case, just use your hands and knees. ...


8

I always take a fist-sized SOL emergency bivy bag and a couple of strong black garbage bags. That way you can stuff food and even your body in the bags when conditions are cold and wet. I have also converted a garbage bag into a spare insulating clothing layer by tearing holes for arms and legs. Essential for climbers are a whistle for signalling and a ...


8

You would use the rope doubled, so that when you are at the length of it, you anchor off and release one end of the doubled rope so you can pull it through the anchor. Then re-anchor at your current position in order to continue your descent.


7

General fitness is the only technique you can employ without going to higher altitudes. Acclimatization is the most common technique. Altitude sickness occurs at 2,400 m, so you go to a base camp (for example Cuzco if you're doing the Incan trail, or the South/North Base camps for Everest) and you let your body adjust to the altitude over a few days ...


7

According the the UIAA: International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation After 8850 feet a rate of 1250 feet per day above the previous days sleeping altitude is a generally appropriate rate of ascent. Usually after 2700m, not to climb more than 400m from the previous night’s sleeping altitude would be a reasonable recommendation. Climbing high ...


7

With your hand on top of the head of the axe and holding it down by your side, the spike should come down to about your ankle. This will feel quite short, but when walking on steep ground (which you should be when taking an axe!), holding the axe in your uphill hand it will be a very useful length. Shorter is also lighter... Ideally try and borrow one and ...


7

There's a discussion of this in Freedom of the Hills. The question refers to snow, but usually this is done on ice (or very hard snow). One reason would be if not everybody in the group has crampons. For example, mountain guides in East Africa usually can't afford crampons. Historically, the technique was developed before crampons were invented. Even if ...


7

In a sense, yes. While mountains don't literally "make their own weather," they do sometimes provide additional catalysts to create localized disturbances which you might otherwise characterize as "weather" (thunderstorms, clouds, rain, etc). In a broader global sense, weather events occur when masses of air with differing characteristics suddenly collide. ...


7

Being young, athletic, fit and having great conditions won't help you if you are missing experience in techniques/tactics required when going over glaciers. Kilimanjaro is a high altitude mountain, but it is technically easy. You don't have to touch a glacier there so it's not really a good reference. Therefore I would highly suggest to hire a guide at ...


7

To be honest, the most important thing a Rescue Team needs to have is plenty of manpower (and womanpower!) with training and experience (speaking as a member of a UK Cave Rescue Team).


7

I am not entirely sure, but I think you are referring to boots like the La Sportiva Nepal. In this case, while these shoes are as you mentioned designed primarerly for technical mountaineering, you should not expect these sort of problems. I did my military service mostly in these boots and we did a lot of marching on flat concrete. While this is a shameful ...


6

Here are few shelters that I think have good design. Although some of them are missing hole for cold air to drop in, they are still good for shelter from a storm as quick solution.


6

I don't have any specifics on carbon fibre, but from indoorclimbing.com: Fiberglass and polycarbonate composite (which would include carbon fibre) climbing helmets absorb the shock energy by breaking. The outer shell of the composite helmet absorbs the energy. Plastic and nylon helmets transfer the shock to the inner cradle harness. Helmets made ...


6

Either option is acceptable, particularly since you aren't going very high. There are rare instances where people get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or worse even at relatively low altitudes, and these are more common when there is no acclimatization. However, it is very rare for such problems to suddenly arise and not be fixable (through rapid descent). Each ...


6

Cordelettes are an American obsession. In the UK and Europe most people climb multipitch on double ropes. In this case, and if one is swapping leads, then an anchor with up to four pieces with the rope is trivially easy. Clove hitch to first piece, little loop of slack, clove hitch to second piece, tie rope back to locker krab on harness. Repeat with second ...


6

One of the big reasons that we seem to be 'caught' by the weather when we're on the mountain is that the mountain forces otherwise harmless air to ascend and condense. As the warm and moist air is forced to ascend the mountain, the air quickly cools and reaches its dew point, water droplets form and a vicious cycle is set in motion. This is especially true ...


5

It isn't necessary to always take a helmet. The main protection helmets provide is from things falling on you from above (protection from you falling and hitting your head is secondary). When you go scrambling, before you start, make an assessment of how likely you are to encounter falling objects; Are there loose rocks/soil/vegetation on the pitch. Is ...


5

One possibility is the trek to Gosaikund - also known as the "Frozen Lakes". It can be done in six days walking. However, I'm not sure I would call it easy- the first day, especially, will be very strenuous. However, it's a very pretty trek, and the first two days are very rewarding. Another advantage is that it's relatively close to Kathmandu, which means ...


5

You cannot book most huts in advance. You simply arrive and get a place to sleep. If you're late then you will have to sleep on the floor. Places are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. I speak from (limited) experience. I haven't slept in huts much, but I've visited quite often, and most are quite basic. There are some modern huts that can be ...


5

A cordolette gives you the most versatility and is definitely the way to go in most situations, especially if you are relatively new to climbing. A disclaimer before I elaborate any further: Reading a book on anchor-building is not enough to be able to construct a save belay anchor. Read the book and then have an experienced climber teach you in the ...



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