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bio website lightandmatter.com
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visits member for 1 year, 8 months
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I live in LA and enjoy day hikes, backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering.


14h
comment What equipment do I need as a beginner outdoor rock climber?
People typically only own one harness, one belay device, and one helmet, so they aren't going to be able to loan that stuff to a climbing partner.
1d
comment Slings for anchoring and lanyard in rock climbing
The DMM links are really good, and surprised me about a lot of things. I didn't know that it was possible to break a knotted, shoulder-length sling with a fall-factor-1 fall equal to the length of the sling -- scary!
Nov
17
comment Dog Breeds for Backpacking and Trail Running
@theJollySin: Usually it's thorns, which can be pulled out and the dog is good to go again. Broken glass can also be a worry, or just sharp rocks.
Nov
14
comment Using the Yosemite Decimal System, how difficult is Everest?
related: outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/4674/2169
Nov
14
comment Using the Yosemite Decimal System, how difficult is Everest?
The article you linked to also says that the Hillary Step is class 4. Since YDS ratings are supposed to be defined by the most difficult part of the climb, I think the over-all answer is that the normal route on Everest is class 4.
Nov
10
comment What are the real dangers of climbing at high altitude?
There is a variety of conditions that can result from being at high altitude, through a bunch of different physiological mechanisms. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altitude_sickness Two really bas ones are high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE). Re HAPE, which you asked about, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_pulmonary_edema
Nov
3
comment When should you carry a firearm when hiking/trekking?
@DJClayworth: And even that probably overstates the danger. I suspect that at least some of these people who got killed were doing something stupid such as taunting the bear.
Nov
3
comment When should you start to train with Campus Boards, Hang Boards and Peg Boards?
Climbing grades are amorphous things. Different people's ratings of the same climb could differ by as much as .5 on the YDS. Even if people agree on a grade, there are many different reasons that a particular climb could have a certain level of difficulty. Different types of climbs are qualitatively different.
Oct
30
comment Trail gun for protection against bears
No, for black bears a gun is not even an appropriate precaution.
Oct
30
comment When should you use gear to climb a tree?
I don't think fear is a reliable guide. People are often afraid of things that aren't significant dangers (mass shootings), and unafraid of things that are dangerous (tailgating on the freeway). Fear tends to go away with familiarity and repetition; danger doesn't. This is why people take avalanche courses and then go out and get killed by avalanches -- familiarity makes them think it's safe.
Oct
30
comment Mountaineering / glacial traverse: rope-up or go it alone?
I've heard that roping everyone together without having a fixed anchor is falling out of fashion Where did you hear this? It sounds pretty impractical to me. Fixed anchors are typically for near-vertical climbing such as YDS class 5. It takes a long time to set up and take down fixed belays.
Oct
29
comment When should you use gear to climb a tree?
Among rock climbers, it's pretty common to hear of people dying in 20-foot (6 meter) falls if they aren't using a rope, neglected to place protection, or climbed high enough so that their protection didn't keep them from decking. I believe these are mostly cases where the person lands on their head or neck, and their neck gets broken. I'm not saying that you can't get killed in a 10-foot fall either.
Oct
21
comment Trail gun for protection against bears
What kind of bears are we talking about? Polar bears? Grizzlies? Black bears? AFAICT the answer is completely different for the different types of bears. In general, this is the bear's natural environment, so if you feel like going there requires you to shoot bears, you're not doing it right. With the possible exception of polar bears, the main solution is food storage, not firearms. For grizzlies, bear spray may be a secondary measure worth considering.
Oct
17
comment Recommended Aconcagua Guide Source?
Interesting question. I'd like to know the answer. I know someone who knows someone who did it completely unsupported, I believe as a group of 2, but that required some serious logistics and planning. Isn't hiring a guide for 10 days going to be pretty expensive, if you're only splitting the cost two ways?
Oct
16
comment How to belay on top of a pitch
Like anatolyg, I also misinterpreted the question. This answer is the one that clearly addresses the question, which was actually about lead-belaying on a multipitch climb.
Oct
14
comment How to belay on top of a pitch
@EverythingRightPlace: But still, I don't see the ATC Guide autoblocking. Here's a demonstration video made by the manufacturer: youtube.com/watch?v=KM5c9wlTReo You have to set it up a special way to get the autoblocking feature. When it's set up this way, you can actually have a problem if your second wants to be lowered -- the autoblocking feature won't let you do it unless you do something special to defeat the autoblocking! This only works with an ATC Guide, not a regular ATC. I would still never take my hand off the brake strand, just as I'd never do so with a grigri.
Oct
10
comment Leader injured during multipitch trad climb, what to do?
@Val: Sure, but e.g., if you have to rap down five pitches to bail off, then you may need to conserve gear so that you have enough to build all the rap anchors.
Oct
10
comment How do you make a snow shelter?
How do you make sure this is safe? I'd be worried about it collapsing, so that I would suffocate and die. It seems like there would be certain snow conditions that would work, but I'd be uncertain about my ability to judge the suitability of the snow conditions.
Oct
10
comment What clothing or gear should I wear to prevent ticks?
Is there Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in your area? If not, then this probably isn't worth worrying so much about.
Oct
8
comment Belay checklist?
@djechlin: That's fine, but then I think you need to abandon your objection to "make your own checklist." At most you could ask people to suggest checklists for a certain type of climbing.