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

Nervous Beginner

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
 

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby TimB » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:25 pm

The Chief wrote:Here's a fellow SPer... Tom Johnson at 62 climbing the EB of Whitney:
Image
Image


Here' is another SPer who is 60 leading some 5.10ds and .11a's at Pine Creek:
Image

So... no frkn excuses, period.



PS: The Boss this last Spring summitted Everest for the 3rd time with this Client. He, the Client, is 61 who started this Everest quest at 52:
ImageImage


Awesome!
Gives this 44 YO beginner some hope. :cool:
User Avatar
TimB

 
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:15 pm
Location: Twin Falls, Idaho, United States
Thanked: 42 times in 32 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:27 pm

We can debate the intelligence of going to the Himalayas without any glacier experience, but I wouldn't want to embarrass you any more than you already have.

There is also the question of competence. Sure, people can go the Himalayas without full competence in the necessary skills. There are some good books out there about the recent disasters on Everest relating to having too many incompetent climbers being guided up Everest.

Just because you can buy your way up Everest doesn't mean that you should.
User Avatar
Sierra Ledge Rat

 
Posts: 1185
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:14 am
Location: Appalachia, United States
Thanked: 276 times in 179 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby radson » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:20 am

I think different paradigms are at play here. While it is always really helpful to have crevasse rescue training under your belt, a novice climber to the Nepalese Himalayas (for example) rarely encounter, let alone carries a rope in which to extract themselves.

Getting back to the OP, if Otto did venture to the Himalayas , I suspect he would most likely join a commercial group on fixed lines where crevasse training is moot. He's unlikely to be alpine climbing virgin peaks and un-trammelled glaciers. Now in saying all that, a course with AAI etc undoubtedly would lead to a general overall climbing confidence and an improved skill set.
User Avatar
radson

 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:34 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanked: 122 times in 86 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby norco17 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:50 pm

The Chief wrote:Another point SLR (Old Fart Doc) is that most if not all of today's "U.S. Commercial Alpine/Mountaineering Guiding Services" are Certified to Instruct the course/s that you are obliging that the OPist attend. In most cases as in our Service, the basic to Intermediate Glacier/Snow Travel Competency Course you suggest be taken prior to attempting any Himalayan/Big Mountain Adventure, is built into the trip as a precursor.

That is in fact one of the primary reasons our particular Service enjoys the high client satisfaction reviews and impecable safety record that we have.



OTTO if you decide to go with a guide service. Check them out extensively. If it was me I would use them more for training purposes than a mule packing service.
User Avatar
norco17

 
Posts: 847
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:53 am
Location: riverside, California, United States
Thanked: 200 times in 135 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:18 pm

The Chief wrote:
We can debate the intelligence of going to the Himalayas without any glacier experience, but I wouldn't want to embarrass you any more than you already have.


Really??


So how many Big Wall courses did you take prior to getting on the Valley Big Walls including the Big Stone?

How many BC Ski Avy Courses did you take prior to heading out on all your BC Ski adventures?

How many Desert Survival Courses did you attend prior to heading out to Wadi Rum and climbing there???


How many Glacier/Crevass Courses did you attend prior to heading up Denali back in '79??
Image

etc etc etc?

Did you buy your way up and over all these adventures you have partaken in????



It is obvious there was no incompetence on the recent Everest or any other trips that our Clients have been on. Especially the one I posted.


There is a pretty big difference between people like SLR and your average internet trophy hunter from Kansas. To be honest I do not think SLR would ever consider a guided expedition up Everest with all of the Disney Land atmosphere bullshit going on over there year to year. Some people that do not have time (or do not give a shit) for doing OWN trips to local mountain ranges sure can go up and do Everest for their first big peak. It is fine and all, but not for everyone. AND IF it is one of your first peaks, I hope you do know how to use a jumar, self arrest, do crevasse rescue, start your stove, etc. People that do not have the drive to learn this stuff on their own SHOULD take some course before going to a busy place like that (obviously 'The Client' did that before he went- took a course with SMG, and supposedly started preparing for Everest a long time ago- congrats to him).
User Avatar
Vitaliy M.

 
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:23 am
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 287 times in 215 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Buz Groshong » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:54 pm

bird wrote:"Argue for your limitations and they are yours" R Bach
The Himalayas are well within your reach. And I respectfully disagree with SLR, he can judge, but who cares? Go climb Island Peak with a guide, it will be the trip of a lifetime.

Here's a nifty article that's perfect for you. http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure- ... p-Ten.html I've had great experiences with American Alpine Institute aai.cc and their courses.

As for training, read this http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/eve ... e-20120504
It will get some flak on this forum, but at nearly 50, I can still climb long days and stay injury free following this concept.

Set some goals, start small and work up (literally). For next summer, a skills course that ends with a climb of Mount Hood or Mt Baker would be a fine choice. Then maybe a trip up Kilimanjaro in 2014, just hiking, not technical, but what a trip!
Rainier, Whitney, 14ers in Colorado. There's so much to do.
Start reading up, take a course, go with a guide and learn the ropes. :D


Great advice. I'd add to do what you enjoy. Goals are nice, but they shouldn't be ends in themselves; they should be means to the primary end, which is enjoying what you are doing. If you read what bird has said above you will see that he is emphasizing just that. Oh, and I was 50 before I had climbed a 14er and 57 before I set foot on a glacier.
User Avatar
Buz Groshong

 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Thanked: 687 times in 484 posts

The following user would like to thank Buz Groshong for this post
dskoon, TimB

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:21 am

FYI

I am a self-taught mountaineer. I never took a course. I barely survived my self-guided apprenticeship. I was too poor for anything else.

The first and only time I ever used a guide was in the Wadi Rum in Jordan in March 2012. Although you might consider my first trip to Denali in '79 as a "guided" trip because I was the most junior, youngest, and least experienced member of the team. All I did was follow and haul frickin' monster loads that were so heavy I could barely stand up.

Before I went to Denali the first time I spent a lot of time on Mt. Shasta, and I did a lot of winter ice climbing and winter mountaineering.

After my second trip to Denali (there were only two of us on that trip) I decided that expeditions just weren't my bag. I'm more of a class 3 mountaineer who prefers a relatively safe Sierra-style environment where I can go solo without much worry. I lived in the North Cascades for many years, but that place is pretty serious and difficult for the solo climber because of the glacier travel.
User Avatar
Sierra Ledge Rat

 
Posts: 1185
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:14 am
Location: Appalachia, United States
Thanked: 276 times in 179 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:16 am

The Chief wrote:SMG... Who's that?


It is possible I misunderstood your prior comment. You said he did a spring run up Mt. Whitney, I was not sure if he was guided by SMG (Sierra Mountain Guides. Place where you work?) or not. Whatever it is, you mentioned "He, the Client, is 61 who started this Everest quest at 52." By 'quest' I suppose you mean he worked his way up to get to his goal- which is good.



To the OP: I hope you find what you like most. I can suggest a 2 week vacation to CA during summer (Summer time is the best). You can go up Shasta for example (alone or with a partner. I would suggest Shasta in late April, may, or early june), get to the regular base camp and see if you want to summit or not. If not, hanging out there is nice- scenic spot. Than you can easily do White Mountain hike, and check out Bristlecone pines (oldest trees in the world). If you secured a permit for Whitney, you could do that. Or do a hike up to see Temple Crag.
Temple Crag (worth a visit)
Image
Mt Whitney- beautiful
Image
A good challenge would be to do Mt. Lyell - short class 3 scramble with incredible views (easy, but long and very scenic hike out of Toulumne meadows). Harder and much more exposed scramble would be East Ridge of Mt. Russell (fantastic). NE face of Mt. Abbott is also nice and has a snow section, and a 3rd class scramble section. There is a lot to do alone. And I am sure there is a lot you can do with guides too. It depends on your priorities. If you want skills RIGHT NOW/particular difficult goals, than guides may be a better solution. If you want to enjoy the wilderness, than simple research and time off is your friend. You do not always have to climb a high point to have an awesome trip.
One of my favorite photos was taken from a pretty obscure peak down the ridge from Cloudripper. Cloudripper should have great views and not be very difficult.
Check out this view!
Image
User Avatar
Vitaliy M.

 
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:23 am
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 287 times in 215 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:20 am

The Chief wrote:So SLR (DOC), you just contradicted your own futile previous posts.

If you (and for that matter, most including myself) can do it, being "self taught", why then can't the OPist follow suit?


Will let SLR speak for himself, but I believe he was talking about needed skills for big Himalayan expeditions. SLR was able to gain necessary skills from getting out all the time around his home state. A climber that does not have this ability should have some kind of comprehensive training before getting on a major peak. Even a 5 day course won't teach a fresh climber all the needed skills to be self sufficient on a big mountain. But at least, it is a good start. Some bold people with common sense and experience with winter weather might be fine though...depends on an individual.
User Avatar
Vitaliy M.

 
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:23 am
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 287 times in 215 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:21 am

I don't have a major issue with being self-taught. There's the old saying: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

Unfortunately, for the self-taught, bad judgement in climbing can be fatal. The self-taught should take it slow and easy, and shouldn't rush their training.

As for the OP, at 55 he doesn't have a lot of time remaining on the old clock. Taking mountaineering courses would put him in the fast lane to competency. That would give him a better chance of tackling his goals before something gets in his way.

You have to consider that once you get into the 50s and 60s other issues can pop up that interrupt the pursuit of goals. Like cancer. Like multiple sclerosis. Like elderly parents who need 24/7 care.

I will reiterate: someone who is 55 and living away from alpine mountains is going to have a difficult time becoming a "Himalayan cimber" before he becomes too old.
Last edited by Sierra Ledge Rat on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
User Avatar
Sierra Ledge Rat

 
Posts: 1185
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:14 am
Location: Appalachia, United States
Thanked: 276 times in 179 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:47 am

Hee-hee...

I haven't hung up my boots, just changed my poison...

Image
User Avatar
Sierra Ledge Rat

 
Posts: 1185
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:14 am
Location: Appalachia, United States
Thanked: 276 times in 179 posts

The following user would like to thank Sierra Ledge Rat for this post
John Duffield

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:34 am

The Chief wrote:
SMG (Sierra Mountain Guides. Place where you work?)

Niet....Nein... Nope


OK! Fine! SMI. :roll:
http://www.sierramountaineering.com/rick_poedtke.html
User Avatar
Vitaliy M.

 
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:23 am
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 287 times in 215 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:22 pm

Consider it as a favor. Looking almost as bad-ass on that web site as the individual in your profile shot.
User Avatar
Vitaliy M.

 
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:23 am
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 287 times in 215 posts

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby Buckaroo » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:20 pm

You don't have to go as far as the Himalaya to find good climbing. There's a lifetime of peaks just in the lower 48. If you want to really get serious you need to move closer to the mountains. Either that or you are going to be doing a lot of traveling.

If you do decide on the Himalaya you may find that the ratio of climbing to waiting around for the weather or getting sick from a foreign bug is not that great.

Some ideas for things to climb. Mt Hood in OR, any of the 14ers in CO, Mt Shasta, Mt Whitney in CA, Mt Baker, Mt Rainier in WA.

Keep in mind when climbing high peaks you need to acclimatize to the altitude. Many people think the CO 14'ers are the same as something like Rainier. Not necessarily so, with CO you are climbing from a town that's 5000' to start and going to 14000'. In WA you are climbing from sea level and going to 14000. Much harder.
User Avatar
Buckaroo

 
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:49 pm
Location: tukwila, Washington, United States
Thanked: 9 times in 7 posts

The following user would like to thank Buckaroo for this post
otto6457, Vitaliy M.

Re: Nervous Beginner

Postby nartreb » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:53 pm

>If you do decide on the Himalaya you may find that the ratio of climbing to waiting around for the weather or getting sick from a foreign bug is not that great.

QFT. The trick with the really big mountains, on guided routes, is wanting it badly. Being a "true mountaineer" is not necessary, being able to put up with a lot of cold, boredom, etc etc is.

It helps to get into decent shape, but you don't have to be Superman. The guides usually know what they're doing and will set a pace that their clients can keep up with.

A lot of folks on this site would rather maximize the time spent on the "fun parts" - the technical climbing, and would chafe at being guided. But I have a hunch that Otto is more interested in "achieving the dream" - that he won't care whether Rainier is twice as fun, if it's not in the Himalaya it won't count.
User Avatar
nartreb

 
Posts: 2188
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: online or in boston, Massachusetts, United States
Thanked: 168 times in 140 posts

PreviousNext

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.