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bio website lightandmatter.com
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visits member for 1 year, 7 months
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I live in LA and enjoy day hikes, backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering.


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.
Oct
7
comment Leader injured during multipitch trad climb, what to do?
@requiem: Excellent discussion at the mountainproject link. That's exactly what I was looking for, although of course an SE answer would be better. If I have time, maybe I'll try to figure out how to condense that thread into an answer to my own question.
Oct
7
comment Leader injured during multipitch trad climb, what to do?
Thanks, but I don't think this really addresses my question. I was asking about the situation where the leader has more than half the rope out, so they can't simply be lowered, and I'm interested in the procedures that would be necessary to get them down in that situation.
Oct
6
comment How much should my toes hurt in 5.10 MoccAsym shoes?
I added a summary of the article.
Oct
5
comment Anchor without cordelette?
Good point about how using the rope as part of the anchor severely limits options when something goes wrong. On the other hand, it occurs to me that the technique I've learned for escaping the belay requires the use of a cordelette for a prusik -- so unless I have a second cordelette, it seems like I have serious problems regardless of whether I build the anchor using the rope or using a cordelette.
Oct
4
comment How much should my toes hurt in 5.10 MoccAsym shoes?
What type of outdoor climbing are you talking about? Bouldering? Difficult sport climbing? In general, if it hurts, that's your body telling you not to do it.
Oct
4
comment What should I look for in hiking binoculars
There is not going to be a generic answer to this. It will be a trade-off involving price, features, and weight. I have a nice pair of binoculars, but I wouldn't take them hiking because they're big and heavy. But other people might not might the weight.
Oct
4
comment Ration or consume water?
@nhinkle: lightandmatter.com/article/hiking_water.html
Oct
3
comment Belay checklist?
A checklist needs to be standard and perfect But I don't think that's possible, because there are many different types of climbs and belays. If I'm belaying someone on top-rope in the gym, I'm going to check their knot, but if they're following me on a multipitch climb, I can't do that. For a sport climb, I may want to tie a knot in the end of the rope, but the climber may choose not to wear a helmet. For a trad climb, I'm tied in to my end of the rope, so that's not something to check, but we should certainly be wearing helmets.
Oct
2
comment Water filter that handles mercury?
I would first find out what the concentration is in the local water (this many parts per million or whatever), and compare with standards for drinking water. If it really is at the level where it could be harmful, I doubt you're going to find commercial products, since it's not a common problem.
Sep
29
comment Carrying crampons safely when not using them
I tried the soda bottle. Totally didn't fit.
Sep
29
comment How do to a safety knot when abseiling with 2 ropes?
Most people use an autoblock, not a Prusik.
Sep
26
comment During high-altitude lengthy expedition: To shave or not shave?
Having a beard covered with frost is the manliest of mountaineering achievements. In order to achieve this, make sure to stop shaving at least a couple of weeks before you start the expedition.