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Frostbite Frostbite  by reboyles

I was reluctant to ever publish these pictures because I thought they were a bit shocking and frankly, I looked at them long enough during the healing process to never want to see them again. However, I think there might be some value in relating my experience to those who are ever so unfortunate as to suffer from frostbite.

Over the years I heard about all kinds of treatment for frostbite like rubbing the frozen parts vigorously to soaking in warm water and even a few "old wives" tales of balms and natural potions. In my case, I faced the immediate amputation of parts of three toes since the standard of the day called for this in order to prevent gangrene.

Fortunately, I was familiar with the work of Dr Cameron Bangs and his treatment of frostbite so I waited a few months before I went under the knife. If I recall, the advice was something like this: "delay surgery until you can determine the line of demarcation". During this time I carefully tended my feet daily and kept a watchful eye for any sign of infection. Frostbite injury is very similar to a burn with varying degrees of severity from first degree to third, the difference being the depth of damage.

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Retrievable Rappel Anchor Retrievable Rappel Anchor  by Scott

This method is used for clean rappeling anchors and avoids leaving any webbing/slings behind. In some areas, leaving rap anchors is illegal. It is always a good idea to leave as little behind as possible.

This method can be modified for pitons/bolted anchors as well. This is just for fun and clean climbing ethics most of the time. No one has to use the method.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Even if you aren't planning to use retreivable rappel anchors, you've at least got to watch this little cardboard cutout do his descent!

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I Know What
A Foot Is!!! I Know What A Foot Is!!!  by swm88er

How should we measure our mountains...meters or feet? I have grown up in Colorado and I’m partial to my American units, but even though I live in America, I’ve been using SI units ever since entering public school. Not long ago I was reading Gerry Roach’s Colorado’s Fourteeners guide book and found, in the appendix, a few paragraphs titled In Defense of Feet. As I read the article, I found myself laughing in agreement.

The metre, or meter, came about in the late 1700’s (in and around the time of the French Revolution). At this time, the units of measurement in France were an absolute mess, with standard lengths of measurement varying from city to city. The French realized their dilemma and decided to try to fix the problem, leaving the issue in the hands of the Academy of Science in Paris.

They came up with several proposals, but none of them were very popular and the Academy left the decision to a bunch of scientists. That group decided to set the distance they called a metre as one ten-millionth of the distance from the pole to the equator at sea-level, or as Roach says “ 1,553,164.13 times the wavelength of the red cadmium line in air under 760 millimeters of pressure at 15 degrees Centigrade.” What!?!?!

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Mountain
meteorology of Scotland Mountain meteorology of Scotland  by Proterra

Although the Scottish mountains are small by global, or even European standards, they pose a specific set of hazards, not commonly found in mountains of similar stature. An average of one-third to a half of all incidents requiring a mountain rescue call out in this country are attributed to weather, as well as poor planning and meteorological skills on the part of the people involved. In this article I'll try to explain the specifics of Scotland's mountain climatology and topography, and what effect this has on it's meteorology.

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Water, How Much is Too
Much? Water, How Much is Too Much?  by FlatheadNative

Water Intoxication is also known as hyperhydration or hyponatremia. Hyper and Hypo are both Latin prefixes. Hyper means “excessive” and hydration refers to “the process of providing an adequate amount of liquid to bodily tissues.” Hypo means “less than normal” and natremia means “the presence of sodium in urine”.

Sodium (or salt) helps regulate the body’s fluids. Water intoxication occurs when the body’s most important electrolyte, sodium, is too quickly diluted by consuming large amounts of water in a short duration of time. This causes the cells in the body to swell and malfunction.

Essentially when large amounts of liquids are placed in the body in a short duration of time the kidneys fail to keep up to the demands that it can normally keep up to in the every day routine. This causes an imbalance in the concentration of electrolytes in the blood as well as an excess of blood volume. This causes excess water to enter the blood stream and the cells swell.

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Finding
Yellowstone's Wildlife Finding Yellowstone's Wildlife  by Arthur Digbee

Yellowstone was the world’s first national park, established to preserve the region’s thermal wonders. It has more than half of the world’s geysers, mudpots, and fumaroles, in a concentration unmatched elsewhere. So, of course, the number one reason people give for why they visit Yellowstone is . . .

the wildlife.

That’s a remarkable fact for the world’s most significant geothermal region. The fact that even more visitors want to see the animals underscores the remarkable wildlife resources in this magnificent park. There’s no way to know for sure, but I suspect that SPers who visit the park come for the backcountry hiking. Yellowstone isn’t exactly a climbers’ mecca, especially when compared to the Grand Tetons 20 miles to the south – or the Beartooth-Absaroka Wilderness next door. Yellowstone’s most well-known peak, Mount Washburn, is a simple walkup on a service road. Its climbing and other backcountry destinations offer not technical challenge but a rich backcountry experience. In that backcountry experience wildlife plays a central role.

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Expedition
Medicine Expedition Medicine  by markhallam

This article is suitable for small groups, travelling light into the greater mountain ranges or other remote mountain areas. It is particularly aimed at trekkers or climbers, intending to go to altitudes of less than 7000 metres – and on straight forward routes, where there is some risk of illness but not great risk of physical injury.

Much in this article still holds true for the higher mountains, so it may still be worth a read if you are off to tackle one of the eight thousanders – or an unclimbed face on a remote Andean peak. But on such as these, risk of illness and physical injury is very much greater and you may be advised to have a seasoned expedition doctor in the party – who has current experience of trauma management as well as altitude awareness.

The article is on expedition medicine, but it is intended to be interesting as well as useful to non-medics especially. Many light weight parties go to altitude or to remote areas without having a doctor or nurse in the party. It is to be hoped that this article would provide a basic guide to some of the medical hazards which are possible – and to treatments which at the least may prevent the trip being spoiled for some or all of the party, but at most could save a life.

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A History
of Climbing in the Cascade Mountains A History of Climbing in the Cascade Mountains  by jacobsmith

Mountaineering has long suffered from a lack of historical consciousness. While climbers are, by and large, an educated community, few have formal training as historians and fewer still have any conception of the effect this lack of serious historical attention has had. Consequently, climbers often have a peculiar ahistoricism, in which they are aware of their history, of the events of the past, but chronically underestimate how different that history is from the present.

Mountaineering is not a single strand, a singular impulse running through history. There is not an innate “climber instinct” that they (we)1 are all tapping into. Rather, mountaineering has been constantly shaped and re-shaped, so as to be almost completely unrecognizable from its genealogical origins, by both the cultures from which the climbers come and the mountains to which they go.

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Home Is
Where the Heartache Is Home Is Where the Heartache Is  by Bob Sihler

It is dawn in Yellowstone, again. I love dawn here. It is not just because the traffic, especially the RV and bus traffic, has not arrived yet. It is not just because of the glow the early sunlight casts on the trees, meadows, hills, and mountains; or because of the mist that rises from the streams and turns a blinding white as the sunbeams strike it. It is because the world-- the primordial world-- has begun again. A few remaining slivers of it are, by Greater Yellowstone, along with just a handful of other places in the world, preserved in hoped-for perpetuity.

Somewhere, grizzly cubs are playing while their mother huffs in disapproval and tells them to move along, for she knows the urgency of fattening up for the long, brutal, and unforgiving winter that follows the glorious but brief Yellowstone summer. Somewhere, wolves are following the ancient cycle of kinship and survival that makes them among the most-durable, least-understood, most-loved, and also most-hated creatures on the planet; a lucky few humans hear their howls and feel a chill and an emotion they cannot explain but which will stay with them for the rest of their days. Somewhere, a mountain lion silently watches its intended prey; its scream, unlike the wolf’s howl, is alien to us and speaks of an instinct and a fierce solitude that would drive all but a few of us insane.

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Learning to Rock Climb Learning to Rock Climb  by Duseks

A lot of people would like to learn how to Rock Climb but don't know where to start. This article will provide a simple road map through the learning process.

There are many ways to learn to climb stone. This is a generic approach I have compiled from teaching friends and guiding. It's methodical and direct and provides a safe path to self-sufficiency and competency in the vertical world.

If any terms or concepts are unfamiliar - don't worry - it will all make sense in time. In the beginning everything seems daunting and unforgiving, that is normal, rest assured that your outlook will change as you learn more. The modern system of Rock Climbing is exceedingly well thought through and very safe. However, it requires time, focus, and respect to learn how to rock climb properly.

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