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Begginer in need of help

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Begginer in need of help

Postby Ashers » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:02 pm

Hay guys so since trying rock climbing in the Blue Mountains and attending an indoor climbing gym a few times this year I decided to climb Huayna Potosi in Bolivia with a guide for the first time and summited ad 07:00 am just in time for sunrise!!!

It was the most amazing experience of my life and also the hardest. I'm a fitness instructor who enjoys the intense workouts style like crossfit and gym jones and realised that I just want to keep on climbing!!

Trouble is im living in the Netherlands at the moment and i need some advice from you guys.


What are the best ways for me to start climbing without a guide?

Is a 'big trip/climb' once a year enough to practice my skills whilst still develop.
I am thinking of going to Switzerland for a hiking trip in summer next year so are there any relatively easy climbs I can do without a guide that I can do alone?
Or is there anyone out there who would like to take a newbie under there wing for one climb??

In the mean time I will get 'mountaineering freedom of the hills' and probably mark twights 'extreme alpinism'

But any advice to get started or a potential climbing partner would be great!!
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Postby radson » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:22 pm

Any particular reason you are not into guides?

In Europe. you have companies such as jagged-Globe, ISM, Icicle etc who have intro, intermediate and advanced mountaineering courses.
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Postby Ashers » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:26 pm

Well it just doesn't seem like I will progress myself very much as the guide I went with wouldnt show us how to tie ropes etc and thats the stuff I want to learn. Yeah I know a mountaineering course is the way to go just cant afford it this year.

Is there no extremely easy climbs that I can still develop some skills that only require minimal equipment?

Or is it just the course or a guide which is the way to go?
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Postby radson » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:37 pm

Ashers wrote:Well it just doesn't seem like I will progress myself very much as the guide I went with wouldnt show us how to tie ropes etc and thats the stuff I want to learn. Yeah I know a mountaineering course is the way to go just cant afford it this year.

Is there no extremely easy climbs that I can still develop some skills that only require minimal equipment?

Or is it just the course or a guide which is the way to go?


I suspect most people in the moutains would never have used a guide and learnt through experience and friends , so it is definately an option.

As a counter point, Mont Blanc massif for example is a burial ground for 100's of amateur mountaineers who may have been better served having a bit more instruction, competence and experience before tackling some of the harder stuff.

So with tight finances, yeah you might be best looking for hills with low objective danger, skip the glaciers and the steep stuff and start on your apprenticeship by learning to move quickly and efficiently over mixed terrain. Onwards and upwards, some via ferrata might be a good transition to the mroe technical stuff to get you more used to exposure.

As you progress, you will get better almost by osmosis in what gear to take, navigation and route finding...also how much food and water you will need and your level of endurance.

Most of all have fun, find a buddy to climb with and take care.
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Postby Ashers » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:49 pm

Hay thanks for the good advice!!

Via ferratta I hadnt thought of that.

Have you got any specific routes or climbs in Switzerland or France or close to Holland that you can recomend??

Physically demanding and less technical might be the way to start I guess?
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Postby kiwiw » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:00 pm

get a copy of freedom of the hills and practice crevasse rescue in your backyard, or at least just get familiar with safety techniques. a must have for any prospective mountaineer.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/089886 ... JDYZWXMZ79
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Postby dmiki » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:15 pm

Ashers wrote:Hay thanks for the good advice!!

Via ferratta I hadnt thought of that.

Have you got any specific routes or climbs in Switzerland or France or close to Holland that you can recomend??

Physically demanding and less technical might be the way to start I guess?


Try to check out Pascal Sombardier's book on French via ferrata. I guess it should be available in English.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=s ... sombardier

But there are tons of books on French ferrata.
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Postby nattfodd » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:00 pm

Taking a mountaineering course would definitely be a good way to learn. There are plenty in the Alps, in Chamonix or Switzerland for instance. Learning through solo hikes can work, but it will take plenty of time for you to get enough experience to move to more technical ground, and it can be quite dangerous too.

One thing you could practice at home is some rock climbing (trad would be best if you can find it in Netherlands) to get familiar with the tools, rope management and the such. Then find your local alpine club, look for people with similar interests and skill levels (or slightly higher than yours), then plan some trips with them. That will by far be the best way to learn.

Reading Freedom of the Hills can help, but it's only a book, so you shouldn't rely too much on it and ask some real person to show you instead.
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Postby BrunoM » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:13 pm

Plenty of single pitch (and some multi) in the Ardennes in Belgium.

Mostly sport climbing, with some places that can be used to practice trad climbing.

http://www.belclimb.net/crags_home.asp? ... mbing&id=6
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Postby WouterB » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:14 am

I'm from Belgium and try to get out as much as I can. I'm planning some smaller trips in the alps, I'll send you a pm for the next trip. As you seem to be in good shape I don't mind the extra company. I don't know everything either, but the best way to learn is by getting out and doing it.
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Postby xDoogiex » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:45 am

Lots of awesome people on here. So you can get a lot of good information and meet people
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Postby WouterB » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:20 pm

sjarelkwint wrote:What do you know about weather?
Pretty important in the alps ...

Easy climbs = +4000m? Lagginhorn, Allalin?
No glacier for lagginhorn ...


Best to start out on something lower.
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Postby Ashers » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:05 pm

Thanks for all the replys guys its good to hear info from people who are already where I want to be.

I figure I might try and let somebody tag along on their trip!Whilst also try the via ferratta and general hiking until I can afford a mountaineering course.

Wish they wern't so damn expensive!
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Postby xDoogiex » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:09 pm

way to exspenive, atleast for me too. luckily i know people who have gone through NOLS classes and one who tought mountain warfare in the marines. awesome having friends with lots of experience
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