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Questions tagged [mountaineering]

This tag should be used on questions that discuss possible places for mountaineering in a specific region; do's and don'ts during a mountaineering expedition; safety and equipment associated with mountaineering; general advice for making it a better experience; etc.

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2 votes
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How to do a snowpack test without using a saw

Suppose I am out in the mountains and I want to do a snowpack (in/stability) test before traversing across a slope. I have not, however, carried a saw - to cut a snow column. I have on me regular ...
ahron's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
208 views

At what elevation do 50% or higher percentages of mountaineers report symptoms of altitude sickness?

I've read somewhere that above 2500 meters (8,202 ft) 20% of climbers report having had altitude sickness. IIRC they also wrote that 40% of climbers report altitude sickness above 3500 meters (11,500 ...
Johannes's user avatar
  • 247
3 votes
1 answer
213 views

What is the record for the longest amount of time someone spent on the summits of Denali and Aconcagua?

Babu Chiri Sherpa holds the record for the longest time spent on the summit of Mt Everest, about 21 hours. He did so on purpose, and people usually don't spend more than about half an hour at the ...
Johannes's user avatar
  • 247
10 votes
8 answers
5k views

How high can one go from sea level without having to worry about altitude sickness?

If you're an average-healthy person from (near) sea level, how high may you climb a mountain before needing to stay at the altitude to acclimatise? Is it alright to go/drive up a 9000 ft (2750 m) ...
Johannes's user avatar
  • 247
4 votes
1 answer
234 views

What size backpack do I need for mountaineering expeditions?

I am trying to decide on a backpack strategy for Himalayan expeditions to 6k-7k peaks. Typically, these involve a few days approach march to the base camp. Then the actual climbing is another 3-5 days ...
ahron's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
169 views

Why aren't ground penetrating radar drones used for hidden crevasse detection

In a few studies, researchers used ground penetrating radar to detect hidden crevasses in alpine regions. Since the cavity of the crevasse refracts and reflects differently than the surround snow, the ...
roh's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
130 views

Garmin watch with vs without maps

I'm looking to get a new Garmin wristwatch. Broadly, I'm looking at the Garmin Instinct 2/solar and the fenix 6. Neglecting the price differential, the main difference seems to be that the fenix has 1....
ahron's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
140 views

What was the highest mountain climbed without supplemental oxygen, and the lowest one climbed with oxygen, before Messner's 1970 Nanga Parba ascent?

I wonder what the highest mountain (or highest elevation above sea level, not necessarily a summit) had been that was climbed without oxygen and the lowest one that was climbed with oxygen out of fear ...
user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
350 views

What is the highest "hikeable" mountain in the world? [duplicate]

What is the highest mountain in the world that can be hiked all the way up? That you can go up to the top without any sort of experience climbing.
blademan9999's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
653 views

Is it possible to sleep at an altitude more than 500m above last night?

On a high altitude climb or hike, there is famous safety rule for acclimatization "you should never sleep at an altitude more than 500m above the last night" One of my hike require to me ...
Kharak's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
263 views

When did it become commonplace to rely on Sherpas' technical skills in climbing?

I am rereading Annapurna by Maurice Herzog, the account of the first successful ascent of an eight-thousander, which took place in 1950. In Chapter VII, the following dialog takes place: [Lachenal, ...
ab2's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
459 views

Use of high altitude (8000 M) boots at lower altitudes (6500 M)

On Himalayan climbs, good hiking boots (hard or flex soles) will suffice till base camp. Single boots like La Sportiva Nepal Extreme can suffice (in combination with gaiters) till maybe 6000 M peaks ...
ahron's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
395 views

Traversing a knife edge ridge

Are there any specific skills and/or techniques for traversing a knife edge ridge in the mountains? The route to many summits (e.g. Mt. Matterhorn, Mt. Satopanth, etc.) includes sections of traversing ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
3 votes
2 answers
313 views

Risk of permanent damage from high to extreme (6000m) ascents

I'd be grateful for any views on the risk of sustaining permanent structural and cognitive changes from a climbing trip to high altitude (5000-6000m) if acclimatisation is reasonable and no HACE/HAPE ...
Anothercanary's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
359 views

Making a (retrievable) base in soft snow using a pair of ice-axes

When an ice ax is used to make a T slot base in soft snow, it cannot be retrieved after the last climber gets down and has to be left behind. We were taught and shown (and I have forgotten, hence the ...
ahron's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Retrieve ice-screw after descending

Suppose for climbing/rappeling down the team uses ice screws to make the base. Obviously the screw will need to be recovered after everyone has gotten down. We were taught and shown (and I have ...
ahron's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do Everest climbers go up, down and up again, instead of acclimatizing by simply staying in a camp longer?

To acclimatize to extreme altitude oxygen levels, why do Everest (Chomolungma) climbers go first up and then back down before going up again, instead of staying at say Camp II (21,000 ft; 6,400 m) for ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 233
8 votes
3 answers
306 views

How do you distinguish mild altitude sickness from mere exhaustion?

Is there a way to discern exhaustion due to altitude sickness from exhaustion due to the climb itself? Of course they go hand in hand but the lower oxygen levels would make you feel even more ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 233
8 votes
1 answer
455 views

How come there's a camp in the "Death Zone" on Mount Everest's north route?

On Mount Everest's north route, the one from Tibet, the uppermost camp ("Assault Camp") is at 27,300 ft (8,300 m) placing it in the so-called Death Zone which begins above 26,200 ft by ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
233 views

Are there any handy gadgets to increase visibility range in whiteout conditions?

Low visibility in white-out conditions are a common cause of mountaineering accidents/deaths. I wonder if there are any gadgets that can boost the visibility in such conditions? Can using a thermal-IR ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
5 votes
2 answers
244 views

Himalayan mountaineering - pre-monsoon vs post-monsoon

The four seasons in the Indian subcontinent are Winter, Summer, Monsoon, Autumn. The monsoons go on for a few weeks on end, and bring heavy clouds and rains/thunderstorms, and often enough, floods. A ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
5 votes
1 answer
432 views

When does a snowfield become a glacier?

Based on my understanding, glaciers are formed when massive packs of snow gets compressed under their own weight; essentially snowfields are the early stage of glacial formation. When crossing ...
Jan Lynn's user avatar
  • 331
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Correct technique to traverse exposed sandy rock slope

I have hiked quite a lot, and today I challenged myself to an easy 'alpine route'. At one point I came across this exposed slope (Is this considered a scree slope?) Considering that at the base of a ...
Jan Lynn's user avatar
  • 331
15 votes
5 answers
5k views

Do I need a rope on the Großglockner?

I want to climb Austria's highest peak, Großglockner via the "normal route" (the easiest route). However, I am unsure what I really need for that. Most information advices to use ropes with ...
user1721135's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
281 views

How can I make a winter mountaineering boot into an extreme winter boot?

I am planning to make a winter ascent of a mountain with a height of 4850 meters (15,900 ft). Its summit's lowest and wind-chill temperatures are around -30 C (-22 F) and -40 C (-40 F), respectively. ...
Amid's user avatar
  • 181
3 votes
1 answer
799 views

What's the difference between Mountain Hardwear's Trango and AC lines of tents?

Mountain Hardwear presently lists two major lines of mountaineering tents: the Trango series and the AC series. The primary difference seems to be that the Trangos feature a double-wall, are cheaper, ...
Brian Sweeney's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
329 views

How to prepare for a blizzard while trekking on a mountain pass?

This winter (not sure about the possibility) I'm planning a solo trek across a mountain pass. It's 3000 m (9800 ft) high and I'm pretty used to high altitudes. I've heard that about 30 ft of snow ...
Tim Crosby's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
620 views

How to Maximize Survival Stranded on a Snowy Mountain

I'm looking for survival information similar to what happened to the rugby team in Miracle in the Andes. If a plane crashed on a similar rural mountain range during the winter, what are the important ...
Jori Richman's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
107 views

Post-hike shoe care

How do I get rid of bad smell of mountaineering boots / skiing boots which comes from sweaty feet? I know the best way is preventing that smell by putting them in a ventilated area, but sometimes it ...
cerv21's user avatar
  • 1,047
4 votes
2 answers
911 views

Are "fall-arrester" devices used in climbing/mountaineering?

I came across an interesting looking device on the Petzl website. As per the description, the mobile fall arresters follow the user automatically as he moves, whether on an inclined or vertical ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
4 votes
1 answer
362 views

Can a regular backpack be worn on top of an avalanche airbag vest?

The majority of avalanche airbag makers seem to package their system in backpacks of varying sizes. If one doesn't wish to get locked-in to a specific backpack, or have multiple backpacks each with ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to split 3-5 people into rope teams for glacier travel?

I'm starting to go through the book "freedom of the hills". Somewhere in the initial pages, it states that a climbing party must consist of a minimum of three members. A bit later it states that ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
4 votes
3 answers
288 views

Where do I find hiking partners to go on glaciers/mountains?

Is there a well-known free webpage in Europe where you can find hiking partners to go on > 4000 m mountains? For bouldering and climbing it is usually not a problem to find "new friends", since I ...
cerv21's user avatar
  • 1,047
5 votes
1 answer
619 views

Why are full body harnesses uncommon in mountaineering?

In principle, it is known that full body harnesses are useful for situations where the center of gravity is higher - e.g. for children, or for Alpine situations involving carrying heavy loads. A full ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
5 votes
3 answers
155 views

Can an energy absorber or elastic lanyard be used in glacier travel to give greater time to react in case of a fall?

In the case of a roped up team marching along a glacier with some hidden crevasses, the greatest risk is of a team member falling in and then dragging everyone else along before they can self-arrest. ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
3 votes
4 answers
325 views

What conditions should lead an alpine team to abandon a mountain climb/expedition?

This is a very subjective question but the goal is to make a somewhat comprehensive Wiki-style list of, let's call it "mission abandon criteria", that should prompt a team to turn back. In a siege ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
3 votes
1 answer
295 views

Comparison of dangers on the glacier in summer and winter

What are the main risks of a glacier in winter compared to the risks in summer? How can you deal with these additional risks? Which additional materials or thoughts do you need to have? I would like ...
cerv21's user avatar
  • 1,047
6 votes
2 answers
446 views

Transferable skills between rock and ice climbing

I would like to understand if skills/experience gained in rock climbing are going to be useful in climbing steep ice/hard-snow. Of course the gear as well as techniques involved in either are ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
16 votes
5 answers
3k views

Are snow shoes useful in mountaineering?

In mountaineering one often encounters snow fields with about knee deep snow that basically needs to be trudged through. This is extremely tiresome, especially at high altitudes. Typically the team ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
2 votes
0 answers
286 views

How can a team of 2 or 3 safely traverse a narrow, exposed snow ridge?

Assume a team of 2-3 people intend to traverse a very exposed ridge at altitude. What are the main hazards and how can they be mitigated? The type of ridge in question is covered in snow (various ...
cerv21's user avatar
  • 1,047
6 votes
4 answers
676 views

Cycle of actions and voice signals on a multipitch climb

When climbing multipitch, what is the cycle of things you do when climbing each pitch, and what are the associated voice signals?
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
53 views

What weather conditions would lead to lightning strikes before sunrise?

Twice now I have been summitting peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park while getting really early starts to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms. However in both cases I could still see lighting in the ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
281 views

Alpinism without short roping?

I am looking for a way into alpinism. The most common route I've found is signing up for a multi-day guided group course in a place like Chamonix, culminating in a small summit like Petite Aiguille ...
RRobert's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
1 answer
712 views

What is the mortality rate of Mt St. Elias?

Mt St. Elias is a mountain on the border of Canada and Alaska. I believe it has the fastest relief from sea level of any mountain in the world. I've read somewhere that it has a higher mortality ...
Joe B's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes
1 answer
325 views

Stuck at high camps, what do climbers do to deter boredom?

What do climbers do when stuck at high camps because of weather? Example Everest C2, C3 etc. when stuck for multiple days. Is this time spent inside the tents exclusively? I assume because of weight ...
mxmissile's user avatar
  • 173
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there really no way to rescue a climber from the death zone?

I have watched many documentaries about accidents on Everest and what I learned is, that it is impossible to rescue anybody from the death zone. It is simply too hard for the sherpas, or anybody else ...
user1721135's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
245 views

Mountaineering trousers with short legs

Do any mountaineering / Alpine style waterproof trousers come in short legs? I have a 29" inside leg and I've really struggled to find anything to fit.
Bobney's user avatar
  • 133
7 votes
2 answers
323 views

Are liner mittens significantly warmer than liner gloves?

Under a windproof shell mitten, is an insulating liner mitten significantly warmer than an insulating liner glove made of the same material and thickness? This is a different question from "Are ...
Jordan's user avatar
  • 171
8 votes
6 answers
3k views

Using hiking boots for amateur rock-climbing

What are the practical aspects of using good quality hiking boots (e.g. ones shown below) for climbing? Arguably, an outdoor enthusiast might be involved in various sorts of activities from hiking ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,839
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why is the "alpine style" of climbing not as popular in the Himalayas?

While there have been some accomplished climbers who have done this in the Himalayan peaks, alpine style remains relatively rare in the Himalayas. Most climbing is done in the expedition style with ...
ahron's user avatar
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