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How to get into Alpine Climbing?

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How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby wetworx » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:42 pm

I was hoping some of you could recommend ways to get started in alpine climbing.

Should I look to get certified? or do the intro clinics suffice?
what are mountains/routes are good to start on?
would a typical progression involve taking a lot of clinics and going on a lot of climbs with others to eventually striking it out on my own/another?

i know this is a broad and involved question, but suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby Buz Groshong » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:49 pm

wetworx wrote:I was hoping some of you could recommend ways to get started in alpine climbing.

Should I look to get certified? or do the intro clinics suffice?
what are mountains/routes are good to start on?
would a typical progression involve taking a lot of clinics and going on a lot of climbs with others to eventually striking it out on my own/another?

i know this is a broad and involved question, but suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.


You might start by telling us a bit about yourself. Where do you live? Do you hike? Do you rock/ice climb? Etc.
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:59 pm

Generally speaking, without knowing your specific location:

Learn the skills from a club school, a commercially guided trip, or a trusted mentor. The progression goes a little like this:

Train - cardio and resistance, especially core. Trail running, hiking local hills with a heavy pack, and Indoor rock climbing are all good and get you out of the gym.
Learn to trad rock climb at your local crag, including aid climbing. Climb multi-pitch trad routes.
Train
Scramble the local peaks and go back backing in winter. Learn to dress yourself and how to pack a backpack. Learn to read a map and compass. Learn to snow shoe and ski. Learn to forecast the weather in the field.
Train
Certify in AIARE, WFR, and LNT if you have a thing for merit badges.
Train
Learn glacier travel skills including glacier navigation, ice axe use and arrest, French crampon technique, snow/ice anchors, z-haul systems, Prusiking/ascending a fixed rope. Climb 4000 meter, glaciated mountains.
Train
Learn to ice climb on frozen waterfalls. Learn how to place screws and build belay anchors and V-threads for backing off. Practice ‘mixed’ climbing.
Train
Do winter alpine routes in your home range.
Train
Go to Alaska, South America, Canadian Rockies, or the French or Swiss Alps to do the real thing.
Repeat steps 11-14.
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby wetworx » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:50 am

i typically find myself in places at sea level with any mountain being at least 6hrs drive out...its terrible.

I guess I have to expect to take holidays and fly out often (and checking-in my gear) to gain any experience right?

thanks ExcitableBoy, that's a great rundown...I really will try to follow that as best I can, but I imagine it'll be slow going haha
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby Hotoven » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:57 pm

ExcitableBoy, I have noticed this question being asked a lot. I also see that your a dedicated responder usually to these topic and put in the effort to give good responses. Maybe a few of us could make a "How To" page on Summitpost that would give the full run down on how to get into the sport and would help new comers understand it fully.

For example, it could explain the difference between Alpine Climbing and Mountaineering which I see people get mixed up over all the time. It could give references to books, explain the difference between all the types of climbing there are and maybe even geography and where Mountains actually are.

It could be one big page of information so the individual does not have to make individual searches for each topic on the internet.

It could be a good reference to for newer/younger members who know what they want, but don't know how to go about it. We could also attach names of people willing to answers emails of PM's if there's more questions.

There may be a page like this but I just haven't yet found it, anyway, just an idea, whats your thoughts?

Here's a page with a similar question.

post852219.html?hilit=getting%20into%20climbing#p852219
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:41 pm

Hotoven,

What a fantastic idea man! I did a similar page for Rainier that was well received. I'll get started on a page for getting into alpine climbing.

EB
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby Hotoven » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:52 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:Hotoven,

What a fantastic idea man! I did a similar page for Rainier that was well received. I'll get started on a page for getting into alpine climbing.

EB


Nice, I'll check out your Rainier page, that's a popular mountain that's always getting questions, good thinking.

If you want help or want to break it up in sections then add it all together I wouldn't mind contributing. If you feel you can do it all yourself though, please knock yourself out! haha
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:30 pm

Here is a link to the Rainier page http://www.summitpost.org/so-you-want-to-climb-mt-rainier/507227.

I'll come up with an outline and then you can decide if there are sections you want to write.
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby Hotoven » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:47 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:Here is a link to the Rainier page http://www.summitpost.org/so-you-want-to-climb-mt-rainier/507227.

I'll come up with an outline and then you can decide if there are sections you want to write.


Nice page, I think I remember a thread with the same title as your page from like a year ago.

Let me see the outline when its done and I'll pick out something.
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:04 pm

Hotoven,

PM sent.
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby wetworx » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:12 pm

you both are awesome! Thank you! =)
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby Hotoven » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:04 pm

wetworx wrote:you both are awesome! Thank you! =)


There's a page in progress, it will get posted when its complete or close to it.
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby sshankle » Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:56 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:Hotoven,

What a fantastic idea man! I did a similar page for Rainier that was well received. I'll get started on a page for getting into alpine climbing.

EB


:D
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:40 pm

Here is the article Hotoven and I wrote. http://www.summitpost.org/alpinism-101- ... ion/756518 We attempted to write an outline fore an alpinist's education. More than write a 'How To' article, we attempted to lay out what skills and alpinist need to learn and how to learn it. We hope you find it informative and enjoyable reading.
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Re: How to get into Alpine Climbing?

Postby Hotoven » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:16 am

ExcitableBoy wrote:Here is the article Hotoven and I wrote. http://www.summitpost.org/alpinism-101- ... ion/756518 We attempted to write an outline fore an alpinist's education. More than write a 'How To' article, we attempted to lay out what skills and alpinist need to learn and how to learn it. We hope you find it informative and enjoyable reading.


Be sure to thank ExcitableBoy for this, he spent a lot of time and wrote the majority of it!
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