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Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services,

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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Hotoven » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:32 pm

Tomash wrote:Thanks that's the answer I was looking for.


No problem, feel free to ask any question on here, this is a great site for beginners because there are so many others willing to help. You may get heat at first, but give it time, summitpost members will start to grow on you! :D
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby CClaude » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:50 pm

Tomesh,

There are many climbs in the world that knowing glacier travel and basic rope work will be sufficient to travel safely. I have friends that have climbed a lot in the Himalayas on non-guided trips who are very competent in what some people would classify as mountaineering but are mediocre rock climbers and ice climbers. Any additional skill sets you develop is only beneficial, be it technical rock climbing and ice climbing. You have to decide what you would like to do in the future.

Now learning at the climbing gym, where nowadays many people learn, will teach you only a few things. Belaying being one. Face climbing is another, and some gyms have cracks. Not much else can be learned at a gym. Its also unfortunate, the quality of learning experience varies tremendously from gym to gym. In Flagstaff, the staff tend to be very active first ascentionists locally and are good resources. Some gyms in the Bay Area and in New York (where I haved lived before) tend to be operated by people who have a mediocre or no knowledge of climbing I hate to say (not all be some that I have seen).

Learning at one of the meccas of climbing of the style you'd like to learn (in the US and Canada that would be Yosemite, Squamish, Indian Creek, Gunks, for rock, Canadian Rockies, the Tetons, Sierras for Alpine climbing, or the Cascades for mountaineering), you will have a better chance to have guides that are extremely experienced and active in that medium, as long as they are also effective teachers.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Tomash » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:48 pm

Ok so I got it narrowed down to alpine climbing and mountaineering. What's the difference?
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Hotoven » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:28 pm

Tomash wrote:Ok so I got it narrowed down to alpine climbing and mountaineering. What's the difference?


Big difference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_style

Alpine is harder routes, traveling very light, and very fast. The goal is usually to get to the top of the route, not necessarily the top of the mountain. The more experienced climbers who keep pushing the limits are generally alpine style climbers, claiming new routes up already climbed peaks. You also use all type of climbing, rock, aid, mixed, and ice. There are some alpine climbs that are all rock, and some that use no rock climbing technique.

Mountaineering is longer, moving camps up a mountain, siege style. Most people climb Everest Mountaineering style, you almost have to. Your goal is generally to get to the summit of the mountain the easiest route and just to top out and come on down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountaineering

Both climbing style are rewarding, and fun, most people who do alpine climbing have started off first with mountaineering. You had a good question, and right now I don't have the time to get into more detail, but buy and read Freedom of the Hills book. That's a must read for anyone into either sports.

I'm sure others will chirp in and add more to what I have started.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby aglane » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:20 am

Hotoven comments usefully to observe "Alpine is harder routes, traveling very light, and very fast. The goal is usually to get to the top of the route, not necessarily the top of the mountain. The more experienced climbers who keep pushing the limits are generally alpine style climbers, claiming new routes up already climbed peaks. You also use all type of climbing, rock, aid, mixed, and ice. There are some alpine climbs that are all rock, and some that use no rock climbing technique.

"Mountaineering is longer, moving camps up a mountain, siege style. Most people climb Everest Mountaineering style, you almost have to. Your goal is generally to get to the summit of the mountain the easiest route and just to top out and come on down."

These are useful points.

Would it be clearer to call mountaineering the activity, "alpine" one particular style? Hotoven well notes that in that context the opposite is "siege style." (We also used to call the activity "alpinism" but that's perhaps happily become less common.)
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Tomash » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:31 am

I looked at MM 12 days course and it looks pretty comprehensive to me in my opinion as a noob. Like I mentioned earlier rock climbing doesn't interest me at all, but I will treat it like a condom. Its better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby TheGeneral » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:38 am

IagosGhost wrote:Even though AAI was a little more expensive, I went with them for one reason--a reason that wasn't rational. For some reason I was biased against MM becauase their founder Scott Fischer was killed in the Everest Disaster of 1996. I know that sounds crazy, but that was what I was thinking at the time. And I was dropping over $2,000 of my hard-earned cash; I wanted to get my money's worth. YMMV.


That's strange. I chose Mountain Madness because none of their CLIENTS had died in '96.

Had a great time on Mt. Adams and learned a boatload.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:08 am

Hotoven wrote:
Tomash wrote:Ok so I got it narrowed down to alpine climbing and mountaineering. What's the difference?


Big difference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_style

Alpine is harder routes, traveling very light, and very fast. The goal is usually to get to the top of the route, not necessarily the top of the mountain. The more experienced climbers who keep pushing the limits are generally alpine style climbers, claiming new routes up already climbed peaks. You also use all type of climbing, rock, aid, mixed, and ice. There are some alpine climbs that are all rock, and some that use no rock climbing technique.

Mountaineering is longer, moving camps up a mountain, siege style. Most people climb Everest Mountaineering style, you almost have to. Your goal is generally to get to the summit of the mountain the easiest route and just to top out and come on down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountaineering

Both climbing style are rewarding, and fun, most people who do alpine climbing have started off first with mountaineering. You had a good question, and right now I don't have the time to get into more detail, but buy and read Freedom of the Hills book. That's a must read for anyone into either sports.

I'm sure others will chirp in and add more to what I have started.


What you call described as "Mountaineering" is really called "Expedition style (siege style)." Mountaineering would be a general term for climbing mountains, that does not specify the style of the climb.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:18 am

Mountaineering - a very general term for moving through, and over, the mountains on foot. May include some hiking, some moving over snow, ice and/or rock, glacier travel or all of those. May include technical climbing, or just hiking in the mountains. Does not include rockclimbing at the crag, bouldering or crag-style WI ice climbing.

A subset of Mountaineering is ...

Alpine Climbing - climbing peaks in an alpine environment, usually of a more technical nature than just hiking up mountains, though hiking may be involved in approaching the more technical climbing. May involve rockclimbing, ice climbing, snow climbing and/or glacier travel, maybe all in the same morning. An alpine climb may often involve snow or ice climbing, and glacier travel, but in some cases can be a predominately rock climb. So, longer, higher and colder than just rockclimbing at the crag. More technical than just hiking up a hill. Done on Lower 48 peaks, Alaskan peaks, Himalaya, European Alps, New Zealand, Patagonia etc - anywhere there are relatively high peaks that require long climbing sessions to get up them.

Those who undertake alpine climbing on bigger mountains may do so in ...

Alpine-Style - a method of climbing mountains. From the bottom to the top in one go, maybe stopping to camp along the way, but no camps are left on the mountain, no going up and down to carry loads, no fixed rope, no Sherpas or high altitude porters (ie. no porters above base camp). Ideally, no prior inspection or climbing on the route. Used on Andean, Alaskan, Himalayan type peaks, though the origin of the term came from trying to climb in a style similar to that used in the Alps - the European Alps - as in using no camps on the mountain, just up and down in one go (often one day).* It is often misused in various ways, such as "we climbed alpine-style from the top camp" - which is an inherently impossible thing to do.

Alpine-Style is usually considered a stylistic, environmental and sporting improvement on ...

Siege Style - gradually placing higher camps, usually with fixed ropes between them to enable shuttling up and down, use of high altitude porters / Sherpas. Nowadays usually only used on bigger Himalayan / Karakoram peaks, though it was the method used for climbing many big peaks earlier last century.**

So, 'alpine climbing' and 'alpine-style' climbing are two very different things. 'Expedition style' is an inaccurate and misleading term because a mountaineering expedition to a peak can climb that peak in alpine-style, as many do.

* A further variant to alpine-style is 'single push' climbing, which in current use really means 'non-stop single push' where the climbers go for a very long time to complete the route and descent in a continuous session, maybe more than 24hrs, not even camping or bivying, primarily to avoid carrying heavy loads and to make use of short weather windows. This is a more accurate translation of the true style of climbing in the Alps to the Greater Ranges than 'alpine-style', as camps are rarely used in the European Alps. This method is still quite rare, but was made famous in the 80s and 90s by Euro alpinists like Erhard Loretan, Jean Troillet, Pierre Beghin, Voytek Kurtyka and Benoit Chamoux. It is from this era and activity that the term 'fast and light' (actually léger express) was coined, though that is now applied to other less impressive ascents.

** A method that is in-between alpine-style and siege-style is capsule-style. This is moving up the mountain in one go, but fixing ropes just between two camps and shuttling back and forth between just those two - never back to base camp, always staying on the route. The two camps and the fixed lines between them form the 'capsule' and that capsule gradually moves up the mountain, unattached to base camp. Once a new camp is established above the top one, the bottom one is dismantled and the ropes above it used higher up to place another camp. This is not used often, mostly on very difficult new climbs on big steep peaks in the Greater Ranges. eg. Changabang, Trango, Thalay Sagar etc.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Bergshrund » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:24 am

Hugh? Seige Style?

The term is Expedition Style or Expedition Mountaineering.

Who created this 'seige style' term?

And Vitality, what you are refering to him calling Mountaineering...., you are correct. The term is Expedition Mountaineering or Expedition Style. He just mixed up the term.

There are two main climbing philosophies in Mountaineering for ascending the highest peaks. Alpine Mountaineering & Expedition Mountaineering.

Damien's explanation of 'alpine style' is correct although I wouldn't call it a method. The method they are using is Alpine Moutnaineering. Even the methods that Expediton Mountaineers use is the skillsets of the Alpine Mountaineer. They aren't 2 separate sports.

Alpine Style is just a word used in guidebooks or journals to qualify an ascent that met certain criteria...ie. single push, no fixed lines...as you explained. When someone says 'alpine-style', climbers know exactly what it means. Light & Fast, no elaborate system of tents etc....

Regarding this 'Capsule Style', this is Expedition Style. Not everything exists in a vacuum, but people generally get the idea of what qualifies a group for Expedition Mountaineering vs the other. Sometimes you'll even see the term "Expeditionary Mountaineering" or "Expeditionary Climbing"...they all mean the same thing ie. Expedition Style.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Wastral » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:26 am

Uh, symantics. Who cares?
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby Jaskic » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:55 pm

Just to jump back on the original topic, I am scheduled to take climb with the Northwest Mountain School next summer on Mt Adams. I did a fair amount of research across all the different guide services and schools based on programs, price, contents, logistics, etc. I found Olivia at NMS to be the best of them all. Though I won't rate the actual experience with them yet (the climb is Summer 2012), my interactions with them thus far have been stellar, as is their reputation.

http://www.mountainschool.com/
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:58 pm

I believe folks witll start seeing a lot more choice when it comes to guide services in the US. There is a group working to allow independent guiding in the US, much like it is run in Europe. The adoption of IFMGA certification standards through the AMGA was a really good step. Supporting small guide companies who employ fully IFMGA certified guides, including John and Olivia at NWMS, is a great way of supporting these efforts which will ultimately result in greater consumer choice.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:04 pm

Bergshrund wrote:Hugh? Seige Style?

The term is Expedition Style or Expedition Mountaineering.

Who created this 'seige style' term?


Not sure who coined it, but it has been in constant use since I started climbing over 20 years ago.
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Re: Mountaineering course-Differences between guide services

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:43 pm

-

the difference between mountaineering and alpinism?

I feel there has to be a simpler definition, for quick reference.

BOTH alpinism and mountaineering are practiced in the high mountains, however...

Alpinism involves rock climbing that is rated at least 5.9 in difficulty...or ice climbing of 65 degrees or greater.

Mountaineering is anything less than that.


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