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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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28 votes
5 answers
1k views

Is there a definitive list of the tallest mountains in the world that require little or no mountaineering experience?

I was wondering if there is a list of the tallest mountains in the world where you can walk or scramble up to the summit? As opposed to using even basic rope skills?
Aim Kai's user avatar
  • 2,897
22 votes
8 answers
3k views

What do I do if I lose my belay plate?

The scenario My climbing partner and I are at the top of a pitch and we drop a belay plate to the ground. There is no safe descent, we were planning on rappelling down off safe anchors. What do we ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
7k views

How to calculate how much sugar to use as antifreeze in drinking water?

Sea water does not freeze until about −2 °C (28 °F) if you add more salt you can lower the freeze point to -21°C. We know from How much sea water can I safely drink? that drinking salt water is not ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
51k views

How do climbers retrieve anchored rope?

The following is a scene I have always been perplexed about. I’ve seen it many times. A mountain climber has no one above him as he descends and is trailing rope behind him that he is using to ...
Dick Platt's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the real dangers of climbing at high altitude?

I had a campfire discussion not long ago with a man that got pulmonary edema while attempting the summit of Aconcagua, and we got into the discussion of the effects of high elevation. I had always ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does drinking tea cause problems at altitude?

I've heard from a tour leader that you shouldn't drink tea in high altitude because it makes you thirsty and cause problem in blood circulation. Is this true? Should'nt we drink tea in high altitude?
Alireza's user avatar
  • 867
15 votes
5 answers
23k views

Knee pain when descending a mountain

It's been said by a specialist doctor that any form of mountain descent would affect your knee caps. Do old mountaineers have knee problems? Is it related to the way you descend?
Alireza's user avatar
  • 867
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Training to prepare for oxygen deficiency in the high mountains

I would like to prepare myself for the climb in the high mountains (for now by "high mountains" I mean elevation 4000 m and more, but eventually eight-thousanders). What can I do to improve my ...
syntagma's user avatar
  • 1,113
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is dyneema rope without a sheath safe for climbing?

I recently was given some old Chouinard hexes my uncle used back in the 70s. They look great, and I see no reason why I can't re-sling them and use them as perfectly safe protection. I've found some ...
user avatar
54 votes
7 answers
11k views

Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

This image has recently come under considerable criticism on social media for dangerous mountaineering practices. The location is unknown as the qualified mountain guide observer wanted to maintain ...
Venture2099's user avatar
  • 2,889
23 votes
7 answers
825 views

Light-weight emergency overnight-gear

What is a good emergency-overnight-sleeping-setup when every ounce counts, like on long technical routes (grade V or VI) where the goal is to do it in one day (without hauling), but one wants to ...
DudeOnRock's user avatar
  • 7,491
19 votes
4 answers
6k views

How to detect a crevasse on a glacier

When you're walking in a roped party over a glacier, how can the leader detect crevasses? Sometimes it's possible to walk existing tracks, but even then it's possible to have a crevasse fall. What ...
ibex's user avatar
  • 2,662
19 votes
4 answers
9k views

Altitude sickness when going from sea level to 14,000 ft (4,200m) in a single day

My sister lives at sea level -- Baltimore and Chicago. She is coming to visit me in Denver (5280 ft or 1600m). She wishes to climb Mt Bierstadt (14,065 ft or 4200m) the same day she arrives. I have ...
Roddy of the Frozen Peas's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do I rescue someone out of a crevasse?

What is the technique involved in crevasse rescues? Presuming a group are all moving together on a glacier and the leader of the party has fallen into a crevasse (collapsed snow bridge, etc.). The ...
user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
7k views

How to walk as a roped party on a glacier?

If you want to walk on a glacier you usually do this roped together as a team. How to walk as a roped party on a glacier? What I have to pay attention to when knotting the rope? Related question: ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 1,491
17 votes
5 answers
12k views

At what point do I need snow goggles or glacier glasses when hiking?

I'll be backpacking Europe in the winter (snow and rain) and parts of my trip will be outdoors, such as hiking in Dolomites, Italy. For purposes of packing light and risk of losing expensive gear, I ...
MarkE's user avatar
  • 1,411
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the relationship between altitude gain and temperature decrease when mountaineering?

In the absence of inversions, going up mountains will bring you into lower temperatures as you get higher. What is the rule of thumb for how the temperature decreases with altitude?
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
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
  • 1,841
15 votes
5 answers
8k views

Do mountains really make their own weather, and if so why?

Forecasts for the mountains generally seem to be somewhere between useless and unreliable. Afternoon thunderstorms, clouds that come out of nowhere, unexpected rain showers, etc... Anyone who has ...
Felix's user avatar
  • 6,869
15 votes
1 answer
4k views

How do I self arrest without an ice axe?

Self-arresting is used to stop a mountaineer who has fallen and is sliding down a slope. Ice axes are generally used for self-arrest, but what should a climber do to self arrest if he has lost his ...
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
4k views

Using a rope "Alpine Style"/Moving together

I've seen people using a ropes "alpine style" in the past but I'm not sure on the specifics. By alpine style I mean where the rope is coiled around the body and attached to a second of third person. ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
646 views

Case example on Altitude Mountain Sickness: How to detect and react properly?

I know the theory behind effects of high altitudes on the human body is not entirely understood and because of cross-influence it is a difficult topic. It's not an exact science. Having said that I ...
Wills's user avatar
  • 12.2k
11 votes
4 answers
4k views

Anchor without cordelette?

I have the John Long book on climbing anchors and also a couple of others that describe the subject more briefly (Pesterfield, Traditional Lead Climbing, and Freedom of the Hills). When it comes to ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

How many "Munro" revisions have there been?

In 1891 Hugh Munro published his list of mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet, since then the list has been revised a number of times and the current total stands at 282. How many revisions have been ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 625
9 votes
1 answer
525 views

How do you predict weather with an altimeter while mountaineering and or backpacking?

I do know that if your elevation rises while staying in the same position, the pressure is decreasing and that it is a sign of bad weather incoming and a decrease in elevation means that the pressure ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
452 views

How to abseil without a descender device? [duplicate]

Lets assume I am abseiling multiple pitches with some tuber device and at some point at a belay I dropped the device. How do I improvise something that does the braking while descending? I still have ...
imsodin's user avatar
  • 21.7k
4 votes
2 answers
261 views

What affects the acclimatization process? [closed]

We know we need "Climb High and Sleep low" to prevent Altitude Sickness. Now the question is what can affect the acclimatization process? Example: Bring luggage/bag/etc when climbing high. Will ...
Denny Sutedja's user avatar
37 votes
10 answers
10k views

Mountaineering with a 6-year-old kid in winter

I'm planning to go to the Austrian Alps with my 6-year-old daughter in one week. We would like to go on Großer Priel, 2515 m. The plan is to go for three days (sleeping two nights in a tent on a ...
user1209304's user avatar
  • 1,387
34 votes
4 answers
11k views

What do mountaineers eat and drink on the day of an Everest summit?

I was watching Everest (2015) on the weekend and was wondering what the mountaineers do for sustenance on the day they attempt to summit. It appeared they left around midnight, aiming for a 2pm ...
WW.'s user avatar
  • 1,253
31 votes
4 answers
6k views

Should one attempt to rescue a stranger from a crevasse or wait for mountain rescue?

Imagine the situation. You are somewhere in the montblanc massif crossing a glacier and you come across a pair of climbers. You/ I are well trained in crevasse rescue, but are not a certified guide. ...
llama's user avatar
  • 1,972
30 votes
3 answers
2k views

What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?

I will be going above 15000 feet (4500 meters) on a trip next month, and I've heard people will often get altitude sickness. Is there anything I can do beforehand to prevent sickness or take while I'm ...
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
25 votes
7 answers
26k views

What are the key differences between Mountaineering and Rock Climbing?

I think the title speaks for itself. I have done a basic google search and I do not find the references to be sufficient. I'm looking for a short synopsis that would educate a layman such as myself.
Russell Steen's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
572 views

A little bit of acclimatisation or no acclimatisation at all?

This summer I'm planning to mount my first 4000 m mountain in Switzerland. So far I only got around 3300 meters while hiking and had no problems. However 4000 meter an above is definitively a ...
RoflcoptrException's user avatar
23 votes
7 answers
45k views

How do I know what size ice axe I should get?

I'm going to start mountaineering. Is there a recommended size per height/weight for ice axes for general mountaineering?
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
1k views

Descending a dry grass slope with serious inclination and exposure

This post here mainly talks about Ice slopes I reckon. The region where I live, we don't have Ice slopes, but we have lots of grass slopes. Usual threat is a slope, probably a good 100 m, no bolt to ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
20 votes
2 answers
804 views

Things to consider when buying sunglasses

I am going to buy sunglasses. Here is how and where I am going to use them: mountain trekking - with altitude mostly below 2000, however I will use them in the following months on higher mountains (...
syntagma's user avatar
  • 1,113
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do you make a snow shelter?

Sometimes when mountaineering, there may be an emergency situation which leaves you in bad weather with no or damaged shelter (such as returning from a summit attempt or after a wild and crazy storm). ...
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
7k views

Best type of rope for glacier travel?

What sort of rope would be ideal for glacier travel? I have a 10mm 60m rope, but this is quite heavy. Would a 9mm 50m rope be suitable for a team of three, crossing glaciers in the Swiss Alps?
Simon Hodgson's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Walking through a Thigh-high snow

I have far less experience in trekking where there is snow. I believe walking through snow and through ice are two different techniques. Is there some sort of safe technique to walk on such snow ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

When I do and when I don't need shoes with ankle supports?

There has been a lot of lot of discussion about whether the shoes should have ankle support or not. I have seen the discussions (not just on The Great Outdoors, but elsewhere too) that ankle muscles ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Sustainable systems for carrying out human waste

I am looking for sustainable alternatives for carrying out human waste. WAG bags, though convenient, sadly have to end up in land-fills. I am looking for a system where the non-biodegrading components ...
DudeOnRock's user avatar
  • 7,491
10 votes
2 answers
946 views

What footwear did mountaineers wear in the 19th century?

I'm particularly curious about their footwear.
dant's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
2 answers
979 views

Do I need to break in double plastic mountaineering boots?

I just bought my first pair of mountaineering boots. I know hiking boots need to be properly broken in before taking them on the trail, but what about plastic mountaineering boots? These are ...
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
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
1 answer
5k views

Taking Aspirin in higher altitudes

Reading this answer and especially the comments leads me to questions: Should one use Aspirin in high altitudes? Should one use it as a precaution or only when actually getting headache or other ...
Wills's user avatar
  • 12.2k
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What’s the difference between a B and a T ice axe?

Some ice axes are labeled as “B”, others as “T”. What’s the meaning of these letters and what are their practical implications?
zoul's user avatar
  • 4,993
6 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Loduwijk's user avatar
  • 3,556
5 votes
3 answers
514 views

How can I safely climb a glacial route with just a kid or one other person?

I want to climb a mountain with my daughter. There is a glacier on the route that we should cross. Other routes take much longer or are technically more difficult. The glacier does not have many ...
user1209304's user avatar
  • 1,387
5 votes
1 answer
625 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
  • 1,841
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is an alpine start?

Sometimes climbers/mountaineers will say that they are getting an alpine start. What does this mean and why would they want to do this?
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar