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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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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
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
30 votes
2 answers
5k views

What makes certain mountains more dangerous than others?

Why do mountains like K2, Nanga Parbat and Annapurna (36 successful attempts, 47 failed) have higher fatality rates than, say, Everest or Cho Oyu (79 successful attempts, 28 failed)? (source) Can I ...
soph-e's user avatar
  • 648
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
26 votes
3 answers
7k views

Can you get permanent brain damage by spending a day at 10,000ft (~3000m) altitude?

I read some articles that suggested that even moderately high altitudes can lead to some irreversible brain damage. Thus, I was wondering whether that is actually possible and what is its likelihood? ...
Todor Petrov'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
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
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
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
23 votes
2 answers
808 views

What is Fast Packing?

I've heard it referred to as a cross between running and hiking, but what does that end up looking like? What type of milage/hour are people doing, there chafing issues, and is this the type of ...
Sean Kolk's user avatar
  • 583
23 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why tunnel tents for the poles, Geodesic for the mountains?

I've noticed that polar expeditions seem to favour tunnel tents, and mountaineering expeditions prefer geodesic designs. Is there a reason why one design fares better than the other in its preferred ...
Simon Hodgson's user avatar
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
21 votes
7 answers
26k views

Is there any practical use for a grappling hook?

A friend was asking about grappling hooks the other day, apparently they'd seen a mountaineering program where the guy carried a grappling hook. We couldn't quite figure out why, I've never seen ...
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
8 answers
3k views

First skills to learn for mountaineering

I have recently developed an interest in mountaineering. There seems to be so many skills to learn (and master) for mountaineering. Although I know it will take a few years to learn (although I'd ...
Danib90's user avatar
  • 433
20 votes
3 answers
1k views

Maintaining a Mountain Hut

I loved and appreciate the concept of Mountain Huts. Though I have never visited one, this really sounds appealing. In my country, India, we don't have Mountain Huts, so we have to manage it all on ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
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
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
20 votes
2 answers
311 views

Cascades mountaineering school

I'm looking for a mountaineering school on Rainier or elsewhere in the Cascades that provides sufficient training to climb Elbrus. Glacier travel, crampon use, crevasse rescue, and self arrest are the ...
Lauren's user avatar
  • 301
19 votes
5 answers
13k views

What is the difference between a Pass and a Col?

Are there any specifics about how to differentiate a Pass and a Col in terms of mountaineering? For non-mountaineering and non-geographical interests it's all the same.
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
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
3k views

What easy 6,500m peaks would serve as easy qualifiers for Everest?

So there's been talk of this for a while, but it seems like the Nepalese government is finally committing and closing Everest to inexperienced climbers. So from now on, as a safety measure, if you ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
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
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
19 votes
3 answers
2k views

What style crampon should I use for my hiking boots and how do I adjust them?

I've been using microspikes on my hiking boots and find that they aren't up to the challenge of hiking up snowy peaks. I use snowshoes but find some mountains would be better served by crampons and ...
Phil Jackson's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
2k views

Are there any general rules of thumb for route finding up a mountain without any trails?

Sometimes mountains won't have trails or recorded routes simply because they don't get enough traffic that a trail will be created. Not every mountain has recorded routes simply because people haven't ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
13k views

What are the pros and cons of ice axe leashes?

My ice ax came with a leash already on it and I have never had any problems with it, but almost all of the other ice axes that I have seen in use lacked one. One obvious pro is in case of dropping ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's 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
18 votes
3 answers
4k views

Any reasons not to use 30-year-old ice axe?

I'll be doing a guided tour which includes going up a steep slope on a glacier, therefore I need an ice axe. I could rent one for a couple of bucks from the tour organizers, but I was wondering if ...
helm's user avatar
  • 1,722
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

What should a rescue team be equipped with?

The last weekend when I was coming back home from a trek on Sunday noon, I got a news about this accident that took place. The place was on the way, so instead of choosing to rest at home, I chose to ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
18 votes
2 answers
38k views

Terms for different parts of a mountain

Is there a graphic representation of the terms used in mountaineering literature which narrates different aspects/parts of a mountain? While reading any expedition report, climbing detail we come ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
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
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
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is "Isolation" and "Prominence" in mountain terms?

When I was browsing through the wikipedia page of the Denali mountain, I came across some piece of information. Refer the screenshot below. What does the term Prominence and Isolation mean?
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
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
3 answers
4k views

Double Mariner Mechanical Advantage

Petzl have a diagram on their website for what they call a Double Mariner. It's identified on the site as having a 7:1 mechanical advantage, but I can only see it as having a 5:1. Can somebody ...
Raz Peel's user avatar
  • 2,712
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
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to deal with unethical campers?

Earlier last month I witnessed someone fell a tree in the Eagles Nest Wilderness while I was on a backpack trip. Its quite obvious that you're not supposed to cut down trees in a national forest, in ...
tsturzl's user avatar
  • 513
16 votes
5 answers
3k views

Rapelling an overhang

How do you bypass the overhang, mid-rappel? --. <-- Start of rappel | | __| <-- Overhang | | Do you go to your knees and then step one foot over at a time trying not to squash your ...
Adam Terlson'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
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
  • 1,841
16 votes
2 answers
11k views

Is there any difference between a harness used for rock climbing vs for mountaineering?

I've recently taken an interest in both rock climbing and mountaineering. Both require a harness, but is there any difference in the harness used for each activity? I understand that the most basic ...
nhinkle's user avatar
  • 8,720
16 votes
2 answers
663 views

Cutting snow steps on slopes

In many of the mountaineering expedition books that I've read, there are references to cutting of snow steps on slopes. What is the advantage of cutting snow steps? Why not use crampons and do a ...
Ricketyship's user avatar
  • 7,805
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
16 votes
1 answer
964 views

What would be a safe ascent rate when mountaineering?

I'm training to climb large mountains. What kind of ascent should I train for at altitude. Let's say above 12000 feet and carrying up to 60 lbs?
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar

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