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18h
comment Protecting Food Supplies While Backpacking
One good option is an ursack: ursack.com . It's a lightweight kevlar bag that is bear-proof and also fairly good against rodents. Hanging bags up in trees is an outdated technique that doesn't work well in areas that have bears habituated to obtaining human food.
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comment Should you occasionally use locking biners on pieces of protection when using alpine draws?
The video is really good -- convinced me to buy a few. I've seen the thing happen that he demonstrates where the rope slides the screw barrel out, and it's pretty horrifying.
1d
comment Should you occasionally use locking biners on pieces of protection when using alpine draws?
Two pounds is a lot when it's hanging off of your harness or a gear sling.
1d
comment How do I know what size ice axe I should get?
There is no single best length for an ax, even for a particular person. A long one is good for walking in cane position on a relatively low-angle slope. As the slope gets steeper and you start getting into something more like ice climbing, you want a shorter ax or technical ice tools. Lengths of axes don't really correlate much with the person's size. It's more about what activity you're going to be doing.
1d
comment What clothing would be suitable for hiking and camping in 0°C?
Is the waterproof stuff because you think there's a chance of rain, or just for wind protection? In general, your proposed clothing layers sound all right to me for a front-country day hike, but since you're camping, they sound a little inadequate unless you're willing to huddle in your sleeping bag all evening and all morning. I would add a wool base layer (I have a smartwool one that I love) and a down jacket of some kind.
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comment Should you occasionally use locking biners on pieces of protection when using alpine draws?
Also, I think the concern about non-rigid draws is overblown. Once the rope is through the carabiner, the rope itself prevents the draw from twisting. In a way, a non-rigid draw may be better, because you can choose which way to flip the bottom biner, positioning it so that the rope pulls against the spine. I'm not much of a sport climber, but I had imagined that the reason for the rigid quickdraws was that their rigidity would make them easy to place quickly.
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comment Should you occasionally use locking biners on pieces of protection when using alpine draws?
A side issue: I'm not following what you're saying re wiregates versus non-wiregates. Are you saying that one is more likely to open than the other? Is there evidence for this?
Jul
29
comment Avoiding a “ding-dong” when lead belaying in the gym?
My gym doesn't provide weight bags either, but I'll ask if they have some stashed somewhere.
Jul
29
comment Avoiding a “ding-dong” when lead belaying in the gym?
Yes, that's an excellent answer. Unfortunately my gym doesn't seem to provide anything like that. Maybe I should ask if they can.
Jul
28
comment Avoiding a “ding-dong” when lead belaying in the gym?
@ChrisMendez: I don't know if it's a really standardized term. I've just seen it online. I think it could be any collision between the climber and belayer, e.g., it could be his feet hitting my head. Basically I want to avoid a collision, especially if such a collision could stun or injure me so much that I drop the belay.
Jul
28
comment Is the “rattlesnake line” higher now in the Sierra than it used to be, decades ago?
Climate change is not a fast process, so the change in 20 years is not going to be that great. Rattlesnakes are not aggressive, so they're generally not worth worrying about. If you knew that there were or were not rattlesnakes in a given area, it wouldn't help you to be safer.
Jul
27
comment When can a glacier be crossed without special gear (axes, crampons, rope, etc.)?
Your edited version of the answer is better, so I'm removing my downvote.
Jul
27
comment When can a glacier be crossed without special gear (axes, crampons, rope, etc.)?
[...] climb out while being belayed from above on the climbing rope. To accomplish this, the victim will almost certainly need crampons and at least one ice ax or ice tool. A secondary reason for the crampons is that the people up on top have to self-arrest when their partner falls in. Once they're in self-arrest, at least some of them need to maintain that self-arrest for a significant period of time while the rescue gets under way, and they need to be able to do that while at least one person gets up. To do that, they are going to want to kick in with their crampons.
Jul
27
comment When can a glacier be crossed without special gear (axes, crampons, rope, etc.)?
but falling down one with sharp pointy things attached to you can actually increase your chances of wounding yourself (snagging a crampon on the fall and breaking your leg, impaling yourself on your tool, etc.) No, this is wrong. Although it's true that you can be injured by your crampons in this type of situation, that isn't a reason for not wearing crampons. The reason is that although there are multiple possible strategies for getting someone out of a crevasse, the technique of choice, which you should try first and which has the greatest probability of success, is for the victim to [...]
Jul
27
comment When can a glacier be crossed without special gear (axes, crampons, rope, etc.)?
Your description of techniques for travelling on crevassed glaciers is wrong and unsafe. Every member of the team needs to have the gear, not just "one or two people." You don't know which member of the rope team is going to fall in, and if someone does fall unexpectedly into a hidden crevasse, all of the other people on the rope team will only have a matter of seconds to self-arrest using their ice axes. If they successfully self-arrest, then one person needs to get up and begin the technical process of a crevasse self-rescue. Tying knots in the rope is not sufficient by itself.
Jul
27
comment How to prevent sweat washing off insect repellent?
The CDC link you gave doesn't really support your claim that DEET is bad for people in general. It's poisonous if you intentionally drink it, and it can have bad health effects on young children if applied every day over a long period (months or years).
Jul
27
comment When can a glacier be crossed without special gear (axes, crampons, rope, etc.)?
It's not just a question of ice ax and crampons, but also ropes, harnesses, anchors, and all the technical gear used for crevasse rescue. You need to get information on whether the glacier has crevasses big enough to fall into.
Jul
26
comment Why should I take a pocket knife for wild camping / hiking?
To spread jam, why not just use a spoon?
Jul
25
comment Is it safe to cook food during a hike (on trail) when bears are possibly around?
I don't understand the question. Are you talking about literally cooking in the middle of a trail, where people will have to step over your stove? Why would you not get off the trail? Are you asking about cooking as opposed to eating food that doesn't require cooking? I don't see why that would matter; I would think that a bear could smell either type of food. Are you asking whether it's even possible at all to go on a multi-day backpacking trip in the Rockies? Are you asking about whether it's better to cook near a trail than at some distance from the trail?
Jul
25
comment How can I safely practice trad climbing?
In addition to what others have suggested, two more options: (1) Do a mock lead where you're on a top rope, but you also practice placing gear and clipping in to it just as if it were the real thing. (2) Climb stuff that's so easy for you that you feel totally secure. 4th class, 5.0.