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NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

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NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby tanky_walrus AKA Wil » Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:33 pm

Hi guys
Since this is my very first post at all in these forums I'd like to ask for a bit of info.
I really want to go the Berner Oberland when Im older but I need some advice
1)Im 13 at the moment and I know that sounds like Im a little kid that doesnt know anything but listen to this. I am a hiker/walker who lives in Tasmania, Australia and I was looking at some mountain pictures on the web about a month ago and saw Switzerland. I was absolutely capitvated and I found out out a bit more then I found this site. I really, really liked the looked of the mountains in the Bernese Alps. My ultimate goal would be to climb as many as on the pages of this website, but I would need to train for 5 years untill after grade 12. I already do indoor rock climbing( and im all right-half way up the grades) and I was wondering what other training other than walking I would need to do if I took a couple of crash courses in Mountaineering when I got to Switzerland so that I could climb some of the easy routes on mountains such as Finsterarrhorn, Monch, Jungfrau, Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn and numerous others?
2)Would the "Alpine Mountaineering" course at www.jagged-globe.co.uk be enough to complete these mountains?
3)What kind of eqipment would I need for these mountains?
Cheers in advance everyone
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby Gabriele Roth » Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:45 pm

I think you could start with New Zealand mountains ... Mt. Cook and nearbies look very similar to Jungfrau area ...
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby tanky_walrus AKA Wil » Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:52 pm

Thanks and I thimk I'll do something like that before I go so cool-Do you know anyplaces in Australia where there is good alpine climbing?
Do you thimk with 5 YEARS of training I'll be good enough?
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby Gabriele Roth » Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:57 pm

just start climbing, you will understand by yourself when you will be ready for alps
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby tanky_walrus AKA Wil » Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:02 pm

Thanks for the advice got to go to school now I''l post later T_W
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby noah » Mon Jul 25, 2005 11:26 pm

T-W gab hit it right on the head, you're young enjoy the moment and just enjoy the climbing...the rest will come.
you've got some great hiking and scrambles (as well as climbs) in your part of the world just get out there and have fun.
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby Tom Fralich » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:09 am

I started with hiking and camping when I was about your age. That led to long-distance backpacking, and finally to climbing. It is a very logical progression, and the non-technical stuff like hiking gives you a good foundation in basic outdoor skills and fitness. A big part of alpine climbing and especially expedition mountaineering is being able to take care of yourself in the mountains and feeling comfortable there. And that is something that you can learn very well as a teenager through your hikes and scrambles.

You have access to very good rock climbing in Australia and mountaineering in NZ. But the more technical activities require significant instruction, which often requires a lot of money. If you don't have family or friends who can teach you the skills, then it can be very tough as a young person. There are courses in alpine climbing in NZ through Aspiring Guides, but they cost several thousand dollars typically. But maybe you could ask your parents for a Christmas trip to the Arapiles for an introductory course in outdoor rock climbing (or something like that).

The other thing you can do is read. You can get books like Freedom of the Hills, How to Rock Climb, Climbing Anchors, Alpine Climbing (by Cosley and Houston) and Extreme Alpinism (a bit advanced, but very exciting). The last one has all kinds of information on training and nutrition for climbing. I was lucky and had the opportunity to take some courses in mountaineering, but I have a friend who basically taught himself from books and he is a very good climber.

So my advice is:
1) Keep doing as much hiking and other outdoor stuff as you can. You will get really strong and develop lots of endurance. Get used to being in a tent in the rain and snow and other stuff like that.
2) Read as much as you can, either in books or on the discussion boards of websites like this. You can learn a lot from other people's questions and the discussions amongst climbers on these sites.
3) Keep climbing at the gym. You will learn the movements of climbing which will help you when you start climbing outside. And you will meet other people who are interested in climbing.
4) Try to take some courses if possible...harrass your parents to take you to the big rock areas in Australia or to NZ.

Here's a quote that I really like about climbing from Ed Viesturs:

"It only takes 5 minutes to learn to strap on a pair or crampons, but if you want to be a mountaineer, you better set aside some time - like the next 10 years of your life."

So basically, be patient. I think climbing is a fantastic sport and I wouldn't give it up for anything. But it takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication to learn to do it safely and well. You are interested very early, so I think you can be very successful. Best of luck to you. You can e-mail me or message me on AIM (if you have it - my screenname is AlpinistNYC24) if you want to ask me any questions.
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby Moni » Tue Jul 26, 2005 2:15 am

I agree with Tom. Take the time to build endurance, good solid hiking skills in exposed places and plain common sense when exisiting in the outdoors. Purposely hike in bad weather and poor visibility. The Berner Oberland is notorious for its bad weather. The rock isn't good - so anywhere with hikes and climbs on talus and scree are good practice. Develop a solid foundation in snow , ice and glacier (that's where going to New Zealand would come in). It doesn't have to be fancy to get the basic skills! Too many people think it is all about the technical stuff, but good basic outdoor common sense and patience goes much farther. There are many hikes and easy climbs in the Berner Oberland as well as the really hard stuff. They are all worth doing. Australia itself has some neat stuff - don't overlook the riches right on your doorstep!
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby tanky_walrus AKA Wil » Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:25 am

Jezz guys awesome advice!!!!!
I am planning this weekend to do a overnight hike and stuff and going camping with my Dad. I had rock climbing practice(indoor) tonight and am going really well. I am gonna see if at the end of this year I can do a 12- day hike at cradle mountain(you might have heard of this) , but I am trying to do shorter hikes in the mean time. I also do cross-country training and play table tennis so to do all my sports I have to be fit and agile so that isnt a bad thing. I might also start orienteering which would be fun.
Thanks so much
p.s Do you know where I can get that book you mentioned from cousley and houston? I saw thier website and thought when (and if) I get to Switzerland I could try one of their tours
Cheers
T_W
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby Tom Fralich » Tue Jul 26, 2005 4:09 pm

Here's a link for the Cosley-Houston book from an Australian dealer:

<a href=http://www.bookworm.com.au/cgi-bin/bookmall/bookworm/returndetail.tam?xax=642477&item%2Ectx=WZ47584&query%2Ectx=Houston%2C%20Mark%20et%20al&searchtype%2Ectx=author&boolean%2Ectx=and>Alpine Climbing</a>

You are doing all the right things. A 12-day hike at Cradle Mountain would be great. If you stay as motivated as you are right now, you will definitely get to Switzerland. And maybe we'll climb together...if you don't mind climbing with an old man :-)
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby tanky_walrus AKA Wil » Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:39 pm

Yeh totally
I discovered the cradle mountain walk was 5-7days actually-got my facts wrong. But there is a walk in south west of tassie where its 7 days of alpine sorta tekking-maybe hope for that the summer after.....
Thanks so much mate p.s did you get my email?
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby noah » Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:12 am

Will
try and get hold of the dec/jan issue of outdoor mag there is a great article on sw tassie, im sure you will enjoy it. got to get down that way sooner or later myself and do the cradle mtn hike. Maybe when i do you can be my local !
cheers n.
ps switzerland is worth the wait

pss Tom, clarity tells me you guys have been getting up some routes, well done on horli.
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby Tom Fralich » Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:54 am

Noah - Thanks, climbing with Tracy was great, but I'm back in NYC now sadly. I will probably go back to Chamonix next summer, hopefully for six weeks. I have to go back to the clinic in December 2006, so next summer will be my last long vacation. I will definitely be looking for strong partners for some bigger routes...maybe you or Tracy or both? Thanks for the note about the Hornli...it was a great day up there. No crowds, stable weather, and near-perfect conditions on the ridge. It was one of those rare days that comes along every so often where everything is just right. I would have preferred to do it with a partner, but it was too good to pass up.

Wil - I know the hikes that you're talking about and they look awesome. I actually thought about going to Tasmania last December when I was in NZ. Make sure you post some pics afterwards.
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby tanky_walrus AKA Wil » Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:51 am

He this weekend I am doing a 20km walk up the mountain near me-Mt Wellington. It is 1200m high but has is very, very touristy but there are still some good walks up it. It has a road up thier but I am going to do a track that would be a bit like alpine climbing
cheers everyone
p.s tom-Did you get my email?
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Re: NEWBIE HERE-NEEDS HELP ON BERNER OBERLAND

Postby Tom Fralich » Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:44 pm

Wil - I didn't get your e-mail. Maybe it takes a bit of time to get here. Are you sure you sent it to the correct address?

tjf24@columbia.edu
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