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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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
196 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 ...
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  • 1,717
4 votes
1 answer
192 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 ...
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  • 1,717
3 votes
2 answers
244 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
158 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 ...
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  • 1,717
3 votes
2 answers
928 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 ...
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  • 1,717
9 votes
2 answers
795 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 ...
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  • 233
8 votes
3 answers
191 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 ...
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  • 233
8 votes
1 answer
293 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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
214 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 ...
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  • 1,717
5 votes
2 answers
163 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 ...
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  • 1,717
5 votes
1 answer
203 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 ...
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18 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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15 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
169 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. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
323 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, ...
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7 votes
3 answers
268 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
184 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
103 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 ...
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  • 959
4 votes
2 answers
506 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 ...
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  • 1,717
4 votes
1 answer
228 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 ...
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  • 1,717
6 votes
4 answers
571 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 ...
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  • 1,717
4 votes
3 answers
261 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 ...
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  • 959
5 votes
1 answer
306 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 ...
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  • 1,717
5 votes
3 answers
126 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. ...
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  • 1,717
3 votes
4 answers
306 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 ...
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  • 1,717
3 votes
1 answer
124 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 ...
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  • 959
6 votes
2 answers
362 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 ...
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  • 1,717
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 ...
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  • 1,717
2 votes
0 answers
204 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 ...
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  • 959
6 votes
4 answers
658 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?
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1 vote
1 answer
52 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
256 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 ...
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  • 81
7 votes
1 answer
524 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 ...
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  • 171
7 votes
1 answer
303 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 ...
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  • 173
8 votes
4 answers
831 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
213 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.
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  • 33
7 votes
2 answers
233 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 ...
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  • 171
8 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 1,717
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 ...
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  • 1,717
12 votes
3 answers
474 views

What counts as climbing a mountain?

Obviously by anyone's definition, you need to reach the top to successfully climb a mountain, but after hiking to the top of Guadalupe Peak, where the peak is at 8,751 ft, but with a prominence of ...
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  • 223
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Summitting Breithorn in the winter?

I am interested in summitting Breithorn this winter (late January) using crampons and an ice axe. I am in excellent physical shape but I do not have much alpine experience. I have seen mixed reviews ...
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  • 103
2 votes
2 answers
371 views

Can I theoritcally climb The Mount Erciyes in the summer?

I recently wanted to climb that mountain because I literally love pushing myself and it looks fun. Information about me I am a 15.9 year old male teen (14-12-02) I live in İzmir Karşıyaka (30 meters ...
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4 votes
1 answer
320 views

What was the temperature without windchill for the climbers that "Minus 148 Degrees" is written about?

The book Minus 148 Degrees is written about a winter climb of Denali in which a rapid weather change forced the climbers to seek refuge in an emergency snow cave. The title is a reference to the ...
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  • 3,436
9 votes
3 answers
285 views

Mountain weather archive

Are there any weather, or at least temperature, archives for mountains? I have read that this information is very spotty, that it is not recorded for many mountains. In searching for this data, ...
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  • 3,436
6 votes
1 answer
700 views

How accurate is the 3.5 - 5 degree F temperature drop per 1000 feet rule of thumb?

Related Q (especially its link to inversion): What is the relationship between altitude gain and temperature decrease when mountaineering? This question is concerning the commonly used rule of thumb ...
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  • 3,436
5 votes
1 answer
211 views

Climbing Mt. Kazbek - Hiring a Guide from the Meteo Station

I am planning to climb Mt. Kazbek, from the Georgian side, in August, but I am not really keen on the idea of booking a whole package all the way from Kazbegi. I've read elsewhere that you can hike to ...
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6 votes
2 answers
278 views

Is altitude tent helpful in preparation for climbing 7000-8000m mountains?

Climbing extremely high mountains requires a long time (weeks together) to acclimatisation to the altitude. Is it possible to reduce this time by adding sleeping in Altitude tent to the preparation ...
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  • 1,387
8 votes
1 answer
253 views

Why is a Reverso not useful when belaying a first that's crossing a Bergschrund?

I started reading Petzl's tech tips for mountaineering. While on the section for Crossing a Bergschrund, specifically in the part for Belaying a leader we have the following warning: Warning: the ...
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  • 2,446
4 votes
1 answer
350 views

Reattaching Tent Rain Fly Hooks

I have a Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 (a four-season tent) that lost the hooks on its rain fly. They simply became unglued from the inside of the fly a little while back. For those not familiar with ...
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