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First time advice buying Mountaineering equipment

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Postby Hotoven » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:50 pm

Brad Marshall wrote:it's really difficult to make a rope longer out in the mountains.


believe me, it is hard, I'm still perfecting the method. :D
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Postby Wastral » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:47 am

Hotoven wrote:
Brad Marshall wrote:it's really difficult to make a rope longer out in the mountains.


believe me, it is hard, I'm still perfecting the method. :D


Where I have been going. 30m rope on a glacier? Yea right, Crevasses 20 feet wide, add in anchor on either side gets it to 30. One needs at least 40 feet just to make a z pulley system for a 2 person with anchor and that makes it over 100 feet.

I'll bet those who go around with 30m ropes have never actually DONE a crevasse rescue with such a rope. If they have its gotta be a serious PITA and SLOW. Impossible to do a drop loop as well.

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Postby Autoxfil » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:25 am

Or, they have a static line along for rescues.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:16 am

Autoxfil wrote:Or, they have a static line along for rescues.


Wouldn't that kind of defeat the purpose of carrying such a short rope in the first place? I can think of better ways to lighten my load by a couple of pounds without affecting my ability to rescue someone. First on the list would be to lose the 10 pounds of extra fat I'm carrying right now! :lol:
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Postby Autoxfil » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:27 pm

No - if you bring a 60m rope, you're tied into it and have to carry coils. If you bring a 30m static and 30m dynamic, it's the same weigh as one 60m rope, much less clutter, and you have way more freedom in rigging up your haul or jugging setup. Plus, hauling/ascending is much nicer on a static line.
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Postby nhluhr » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:01 pm

Autoxfil wrote:No - if you bring a 60m rope, you're tied into it and have to carry coils. If you bring a 30m static and 30m dynamic, it's the same weigh as one 60m rope, much less clutter, and you have way more freedom in rigging up your haul or jugging setup. Plus, hauling/ascending is much nicer on a static line.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but he isn't going to be jugging/hauling.

With that aspect, doesn't it make more sense to be tied into a single long rope? Otherwise if the man carrying the static line falls in a crevasse, he's kinda stuck if he can't climb himself out.
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Postby Autoxfil » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:10 pm

Jugging and hauling are the two ways to get someone out.

You still have the "who's got he rope" issue with coils - or else everyone has a very short coil on them.

I'm not saying it's the best way to go in every case - just that 30m ropes can be a reasonable choice for glaciers.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:09 pm

Autoxfil wrote:You still have the "who's got he rope" issue with coils - or else everyone has a very short coil on them.


Not really. On a two person rope team in an area with relatively small crevasses (i.e. not Alaska) I would normally find the mid point of my 60M rope, pay out 35-50 feet and tie overhand knots for each of us to clip in to. This leaves each climber with 70-80 feet of rope for crevasse rescue which we coil and put in the tops of our packs.
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Postby Buckaroo » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:48 pm

2nd the notion only take one pair of boots on a climb. For Mont Blanc you want plastics and you go right from the trailhead wearing them. Get something with a little rocker for easier walking. If you have the money get some Intuition liners, much lighter and more comfortable. The weight of plastic boots is in the liner. Intuitions make any boot lighter and warmer than any boot with a stock liner.

Wool is comfortable for socks and thermals but once it gets wet it takes way longer to dry out. If you sweat a lot you might not want wool for base layers. Synthetics will fully dry overnight in the sleeping bag, wool will not.

When buying a gore-tex jacket spend more and get something made with the name brand "gore-tex" especially if you're going to climb where it's wet. The knock-off materials don't work as well as the name brand. Get it loose fitting where it will fit over your puffy. When you're high on steep terrain and the wind kicks up you want to be able to quickly layer in either direction, puffy under or over, depending what you're already wearing. On Mont Blanc the wind can pick up to 50mph easy, you're going to want all your layers and you're not going to want to dink around taking something off and back on so you can put something on underneath. For really wet climes get a single layer urethane rain jacket so you can save your gore-tex, cheaper and more effective in the rain.

When shopping for a puffy keep in mind there's at least 2 and sometimes 3 different weights people use depending on conditions. For Mont Blanc you probably want something towards the thicker side, maybe even with a puffy hood. Down is lighter and packs smaller but synthetic is more versatile in that it works much better when wet. Down is worse than wool, once it gets wet it loses most of it's insulation and will not dry out unless you set it out in the sun all day.

Full side zip wind pants are the only way to go on something like Mont Blanc. You can put them on without removing the crampons. Otherwise you have to decide what you need for the whole day before you put on the crampons, or stop mid slope and take the crampons on and off, not practical.

Petzl makes some very nice crampons. I really like the Dartwin sidelocks, maybe a little more technical than what a beginner needs but their other models are nice also.

When shopping for gear pay attention to the weight factor. If all else seems equal go for the lighter item. Packs for instance, the same size pack can vary from 6 lbs to 1.5 lbs. As they say in racing less weight is free horsepower.

If you're climbing Mont Blanc learn how to dig a snow cave and take something to dig with, at least a sturdy cook pot. People have died on the walk up because they didn't know how to dig a snow cave when a storm came in.
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Postby lowlands » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:18 am

Buckaroo wrote:2nd the notion only take one pair of boots on a climb. For Mont Blanc you want plastics and you go right from the trailhead wearing them. Get something with a little rocker for easier walking. If you have the money get some Intuition liners, much lighter and more comfortable. The weight of plastic boots is in the liner. Intuitions make any boot lighter and warmer than any boot with a stock liner.

Wool is comfortable for socks and thermals but once it gets wet it takes way longer to dry out. If you sweat a lot you might not want wool for base layers. Synthetics will fully dry overnight in the sleeping bag, wool will not.

When buying a gore-tex jacket spend more and get something made with the name brand "gore-tex" especially if you're going to climb where it's wet. The knock-off materials don't work as well as the name brand. Get it loose fitting where it will fit over your puffy. When you're high on steep terrain and the wind kicks up you want to be able to quickly layer in either direction, puffy under or over, depending what you're already wearing. On Mont Blanc the wind can pick up to 50mph easy, you're going to want all your layers and you're not going to want to dink around taking something off and back on so you can put something on underneath. For really wet climes get a single layer urethane rain jacket so you can save your gore-tex, cheaper and more effective in the rain.

When shopping for a puffy keep in mind there's at least 2 and sometimes 3 different weights people use depending on conditions. For Mont Blanc you probably want something towards the thicker side, maybe even with a puffy hood. Down is lighter and packs smaller but synthetic is more versatile in that it works much better when wet. Down is worse than wool, once it gets wet it loses most of it's insulation and will not dry out unless you set it out in the sun all day.

Full side zip wind pants are the only way to go on something like Mont Blanc. You can put them on without removing the crampons. Otherwise you have to decide what you need for the whole day before you put on the crampons, or stop mid slope and take the crampons on and off, not practical.

Petzl makes some very nice crampons. I really like the Dartwin sidelocks, maybe a little more technical than what a beginner needs but their other models are nice also.

When shopping for gear pay attention to the weight factor. If all else seems equal go for the lighter item. Packs for instance, the same size pack can vary from 6 lbs to 1.5 lbs. As they say in racing less weight is free horsepower.

If you're climbing Mont Blanc learn how to dig a snow cave and take something to dig with, at least a sturdy cook pot. People have died on the walk up because they didn't know how to dig a snow cave when a storm came in.


Thanks for all of that info, it's great to see everyones' approach to climbing. I really like the idea of light and fast alpine climbing, so I try to stay conscious of weight, but it's also more expensive, or sacrificing in other areas.

Oh, and I see your profile picture, have you climbed Slesse? Looks amazing!
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Postby lowlands » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:40 am

I return from the abyss to ask yet another question.

Sleeping bag temperature ratings! I would like to carry my climbing trips year-round, so I've been looking at sleeping bags going down to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit, that may be hot for summer, but I could open it up a bit to air out. I've been looking at a bag like the Marmot lithium, down filled and light. But, if I'm also buying a belay parka like the Patagucci DAS, would it make sense to buy an even lighter, sleeping bag like the Marmot atom with a higher temperature rating, and then just wear the DAS while sleeping? Would the combination of the DAS and the less insulated bag compare to a lithium, or does it not work that way? Saves weight too, no?

I look forward to your insight,
Keep climbing,
-Steve

Edit: Or maybe something in between those two bags, like something rated to 15 degrees fahrenheit. I'm just using the Marmot bags as examples. I usually have a very high body temperature, and sleep very warm, kick the covers off, that sorta thing.
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Postby Kai » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:32 am

Buy a lighter bag and wear the DAS parka to sleep in. Make sure that the bag you buy is roomy enough on the inside to accommodate all of your clothing. (The Marmot series that you mentioned is cut relatively large, and the Montbell spiral super stretch also are good in this respect. The 15 degree Marmot Helium, or th equivalent Montbell would be fine for very cold conditions provided you were wearing your belay parka.


lowlands wrote:I return from the abyss to ask yet another question.

Sleeping bag temperature ratings! I would like to carry my climbing trips year-round, so I've been looking at sleeping bags going down to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit, that may be hot for summer, but I could open it up a bit to air out. I've been looking at a bag like the Marmot lithium, down filled and light. But, if I'm also buying a belay parka like the Patagucci DAS, would it make sense to buy an even lighter, sleeping bag like the Marmot atom with a higher temperature rating, and then just wear the DAS while sleeping? Would the combination of the DAS and the less insulated bag compare to a lithium, or does it not work that way? Saves weight too, no?

I look forward to your insight,
Keep climbing,
-Steve

Edit: Or maybe something in between those two bags, like something rated to 15 degrees fahrenheit. I'm just using the Marmot bags as examples. I usually have a very high body temperature, and sleep very warm, kick the covers off, that sorta thing.
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Postby Autoxfil » Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:05 am

15 degrees is about the standard. Buy a good 2lb down bag in that range and you'll be set for just about anything in the lower 48 (with notable exceptions.)
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