Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Alpine climber

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
 

Alpine climber

Postby Lolli » Wed May 26, 2010 8:40 pm

I have just had a interesting PM conversation, which caused me to wonder how the alpine climbers among us define "alpine climber".

The person I had this conversation with, did not make a distinction between alpine climber and alpine style climber.

To me, the first is about which kind of mountains, the second about how you climb them. A rather important distinction. But maybe it doesn't exist?

What say you?

(Of course I know that there will be plenty who don't climb alpine who will have an opinion too, and that's fine, but I'd really would be happy to hear from the big mountain climbers, if anybody among them would like to volunteer an opinion.)
User Avatar
Lolli

 
Posts: 810
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:56 pm
Location: Sweden
Thanked: 108 times in 67 posts

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed May 26, 2010 8:54 pm

In my mind, an 'alpine climber' or more succinctly an alpinist, is someone who climbs particular types of routes in the mountains. These routes necesarily involve technical rock climbing (5th class minimum or even aid), steep technical ice, (sometimes water ice, sometime glacier ice), all on a route leading to a distinct summit.

For example, someone who climbs one of the standard routes on Mt Rainier including the DC or Emmons glacier may call themselves a 'mountaineer' or more generally a climber, whereas someone who climbs technical routes on the same mountain such as Ptarmigan Ridge may refer to themselves as alpinists.

Further more, in order to consider oneself an alpinist, one must have developed technical proficiency in rock climbing, ice climbing, glacier travel, and skiing in addition to the mountain traveler's other necessary skills set.
User Avatar
ExcitableBoy

 
Posts: 2940
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Thanked: 441 times in 316 posts

Postby Lolli » Wed May 26, 2010 9:01 pm

ExcitibleBoy wrote:Further more, in order to consider oneself an alpinist, one must have developed technical proficiency in rock climbing, ice climbing, glacier travel, and skiing in addition to the mountain traveler's other necessary skills set.


what I call mountaineer skills.. .

maybe I should have mentioned alpine style versa expedition climbing, as the definition of the term alpine style
User Avatar
Lolli

 
Posts: 810
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:56 pm
Location: Sweden
Thanked: 108 times in 67 posts

Postby welle » Wed May 26, 2010 9:10 pm

I pretty much agree with EB's definition, Alpinist is someone who climbs mountains via technical routes, not necessarily alpine style. A lot of Eastern European alpinists climb very hard technical routes siege expedition style.
User Avatar
welle

 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: NY, New York, United States
Thanked: 21 times in 17 posts

Postby Lolli » Wed May 26, 2010 9:17 pm

I was thinking about the real high mountains, in Karakoram et such,
but I realise it may depend
User Avatar
Lolli

 
Posts: 810
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:56 pm
Location: Sweden
Thanked: 108 times in 67 posts

Postby JackCarr » Wed May 26, 2010 10:11 pm

knoback wrote:Mountaineering is cleverly finding the easiest way up. Alpinism is cleverly finding the hardest way up.


That's a quality quote!
User Avatar
JackCarr

 
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:35 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby Lolli » Wed May 26, 2010 10:14 pm

BorutKantuser wrote:The "alpine style" developed as a counterpart to the expeditional style.
It refers to a mode of single push, as one so often practices in the Alps.

Alpine climbing is probably alpinism.

borut



That's how I see it too
User Avatar
Lolli

 
Posts: 810
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:56 pm
Location: Sweden
Thanked: 108 times in 67 posts

Postby Lolli » Wed May 26, 2010 10:15 pm

knoback wrote:Mountaineering is cleverly finding the easiest way up. Alpinism is cleverly finding the hardest way up. Alpine style is what you said: put it all on your back and go.


:D
User Avatar
Lolli

 
Posts: 810
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:56 pm
Location: Sweden
Thanked: 108 times in 67 posts

Postby kamil » Wed May 26, 2010 10:36 pm

knoback wrote:Mountaineering is cleverly finding the easiest way up. Alpinism is cleverly finding the hardest way up.

Quote of the year :D
What if our cleverly found way up a previously unclimbed mountain turned out to be 5.10?
User Avatar
kamil

 
Posts: 598
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:31 pm
Location: Aódź, Poland
Thanked: 22 times in 17 posts

Postby norco17 » Wed May 26, 2010 10:38 pm

kamil wrote:
knoback wrote:Mountaineering is cleverly finding the easiest way up. Alpinism is cleverly finding the hardest way up.

Quote of the year :D
What if our cleverly found way up a previously unclimbed mountain turned out to be 5.10?


Well then you have cleverly found the hardest and easiest way up which makes you a mountaineering alpinist.
User Avatar
norco17

 
Posts: 823
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:53 am
Location: riverside, California, United States
Thanked: 167 times in 109 posts

Postby granite4brains » Wed May 26, 2010 10:39 pm

Lolli wrote:
knoback wrote:Mountaineering is cleverly finding the easiest way up. Alpinism is cleverly finding the hardest way up. Alpine style is what you said: put it all on your back and go.


:D


guess that makes me a mountaineer :lol:
User Avatar
granite4brains

 
Posts: 466
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:53 am
Location: Ridgecrest, CA, United States
Thanked: 11 times in 9 posts

Postby Damien Gildea » Thu May 27, 2010 12:46 am

knoback wrote:Mountaineering is cleverly finding the easiest way up. Alpinism is cleverly finding the hardest way up.
:) Very good.

An 'alpine climber' is pretty much anyone who climbs a mountain, in any way, in alpine regions. It is a very general term, to distinguish practitioners from cragging rockclimbers, boulderers, hikers etc.

A 'mountaineer' is also a fairly general term for someone who climbs mountains, in whatever way. It could be used interchangeably with 'alpine climber' though in the latter there is maybe a slight implication that the terrain is a bit more technical, actually 'climbing', whereas a mountaineer's route on a mountain may be really just walking uphill.

So an 'alpine climb' may include a hiking approach, mountaineering up a glacier, rockclimbing up technical pitches, and hiking back down, all put together in one trip.

'Alpine style' is the way in which you do an alpine climb - when you start on the route you go from bottom to top in one go, maybe camping or bivying on the way, and come down again, hopefully. No shuttling, no pre-placed camps, no porters above BC, no fixed ropes. And ideally, no one else on the route to inadvertently show the route and break trail. Below 20,000ft most alpine climbs are done in alpine-style, but one does not necessarily follow the other. eg. a very difficult rock route on a 12,500ft peak in the Alps may involve fixing ropes and shuttling up and down.

So an 'alpine climber' does not necessarily climb in alpine style. A mountaineer can climb in alpine style, if they climb that particular way described just above (continuous ascent, no fixing, no pre-placing camps etc).

So one is a description of a general practitioner, the other a description of a specific practice.

'single push' as it is commonly used nowadays is just slightly different, a non-stop climb, no bivy or camping, no sleeping, other than nodding off at the belay drooling onto your parka ...

An 'alpinist' could be quite a general term, but traditionally in climbing it means someone who is proficient at all of climbing technical rock and ice pitches, glacier snow slogs, and skiing, maybe all in the one outing. The reason for skiing is that it is considered necessary if one is to be able to travel across any mountain terrain in any condition at any time of year - a complete mountain traveller (particularly in the European Alps, which are quite steep and glaciated). A mountaineer may not be able to climb technical rock, a rockclimber may not be able to ski - so they are not alpinists. Roughly, this skill set is based on what would be required in Europe (the Alps with a capital 'A') to become a fully qualified UIAGM / IMGA guide - which is pretty much the same as required now for the same qualifications in Canada, USA, NZ etc.

'expedition style' - ie. shuttling up and down to place and stock camps, fixing ropes and maybe using porters on the mountain.
User Avatar
Damien Gildea

 
Posts: 1357
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:19 pm
Thanked: 218 times in 132 posts

Postby OJ Loenneker » Thu May 27, 2010 1:13 am

ExcitibleBoy wrote:Further more, in order to consider oneself an alpinist, one must have developed technical proficiency in rock climbing, ice climbing, glacier travel, and skiing in addition to the mountain traveler's other necessary skills set.


So, if I climb with my skis, cross a glacier, boot up a 10' section of vertical WI with a whippet and an axe, stumble up a rock gully for ten feet, and ski back down, does that make me an "alpinist"?

Sounds like my last ski trip on Mt. Hood... :P
User Avatar
OJ Loenneker

 
Posts: 785
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:40 pm
Location: Portland , Oregon, United States
Thanked: 15 times in 11 posts

Next

Return to General

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.