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Need beginner advice -Shasta vs Rainier.

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
 

Postby Luciano136 » Mon May 03, 2010 8:56 pm

Bottom line, don't do Rainier as your first mountain. You might be ok but you could also be miserable and not wanting to ever do something like it again.

Get some basic skills and go out in the snow on a few smaller peaks first. No need to run before you can walk.
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Postby mtngeek » Mon May 03, 2010 9:32 pm

To the OP:

Since CO is so much closer, I would agree with some of the others to start your efforts there. This is simply based on what I consider a cost effectiveness strategy. It would be a huge bummer to buy a plane ticket (or gas money to drive) all the way to CA or WA just to find out that mountaineering isn't your thing. You can even learn mountaineering in NM if you like, but I probably wouldn't recommend it to start.

IMO (and I'm not a mountain guide nor do I teach mountaineering courses), you only need glaciers around to learn how to read them. Almost everything else can be mocked-up on snow slopes for the purpose of learning fundamentals. FWIW, I also firmly believe the single most valuable skill in mountaineering is Outdoor Living, as some others have made comments towards. I know this is a broad term, but under this I include: campcraft, backcountry cooking, understanding weather, hygiene, and clothing and sleeping systems for staying comfortable and dry. While not every mountaineering trip is a multi-day event, I still feel it is always relevant to know how to take care of yourself. Sh*t happens to even the best of climbers; it just happens more often and with higher consequences to those who don't actually understand what they are doing.

In terms of being guided, I'd also agree with the comment to go big on Rainier. Might as well, if you can afford it. If you want just some lessons and/or smaller cheaper introductory climbs, a friend of mine operates Kling Mountain Guides in Durango, CO; so I'll give a shameless endorsement.
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Re: Need beginner advice -Shasta vs Rainier.

Postby mconnell » Mon May 03, 2010 9:41 pm

The Dude wrote:Please take a class with a guide service prior to climbing Whitney, Shasta, Rainier, or a CO 14er.


What exactly is a guide going to teach you that will help you walk up the trail on Whitney? How about a couple hours to walk up Bierstadt, or a morning to walk up Pikes? Paying a guide service to get you up those peaks is a complete waste unless you are headed for a technical route.

For Shasta, a couple of hours learning crampon technique and self-arrest is a good idea. For Rainier, take the time to learn crevasse rescue. Learn these from someone who knows what they are doing, whether a guide service or an experienced friend.
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Re: Need beginner advice -Shasta vs Rainier.

Postby Luciano136 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:47 pm

mconnell wrote:
The Dude wrote:Please take a class with a guide service prior to climbing Whitney, Shasta, Rainier, or a CO 14er.


What exactly is a guide going to teach you that will help you walk up the trail on Whitney?


I'm guessing he is talking about Whitney in winter conditions. I wouldn't consider walking up the trail in summer mountaineering :)
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Re: Need beginner advice -Shasta vs Rainier.

Postby mconnell » Mon May 03, 2010 9:53 pm

The Dude wrote:
Luciano136 wrote:
mconnell wrote:
The Dude wrote:Please take a class with a guide service prior to climbing Whitney, Shasta, Rainier, or a CO 14er.


What exactly is a guide going to teach you that will help you walk up the trail on Whitney?


I'm guessing he is talking about Whitney in winter conditions. I wouldn't consider walking up the trail in summer mountaineering :)


Correct.


Never Mind. :oops:
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Postby mconnell » Tue May 04, 2010 2:22 am

telewoman wrote:Mt. Shasta has 17 variations of climbing routes from non-technical(Ice Axe & Crampons) to technical (Ropes & such). There is more then just the trail up Mt. Whitney like the Mountaineer's Route. By taking the Ice Axe and Crampon Clinic (Basic Snow School) you not only learn how to use the equipment properly-Ice Axe, Crampon Use and Self-arrest techniques, it's also equally important to learn how to be energy efficient. Learning climbing techniques including the French Technique(Flat Foot), Duck Walk, Front Pointing, Rest Step and proper mental preparation will increase the success of your climb.
I teach this course and many of my clients have said, "Yes, I've read all this in a book but to actually get out there, do it and be critiqued by a guide has not only increased their confidence but has help them reach their goals whether it's the summit of Mt. Shasta or going on a very strenuous hike. 8)


Sure, you can teach the course, but can you cook like Cressman? :wink:
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Postby ScottyP » Tue May 04, 2010 2:32 am

The orgional OP may never post here again!
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Postby dskoon » Tue May 04, 2010 4:37 am

Many options are out there, dudes. . . as you've just learned.

As others have said, you might want to start in Colorado, for the sake of proximity. I'm sure there are plenty of mountain guides there as well, as has been mentioned.
But, if you really want to come further west, I'd probably go for a quick but thorough course on either Shasta or Mt. Hood. Both mountains' standard routes are similar as far as technicality goes, and you will get that "big mountain feel," on either one, though Shasta is higher than Hood. (And I second the posts that say to start with something other than Rainier).
A buddy and I did a two-day course on Hood with these guys, and we thought them good for the basic skills. Check them out and good luck on whoever you go with.

http://www.timberlinemtguides.com/
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