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Moving to Germany, Need advice.

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Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby jerome5thousand » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:49 pm

Hello everyone!
I posted this in the General section, and it was suggested to post here as well.

Im seeking advice for the proper way to get into your sport.

About me: Im 32 years old, and currently live in Hawaii. Next May I am moving to Ansbach, Germany. I lived in Western Germany from 2007-2010 and did a lot of trekking through the Schwardwald and some very tame day hikes in switzerland and Austria. I have been camping and backpacking most of my life, just not the last few years here in Hawaii. When I get back to Germany I want to take up mountaineering as a hobby. My physical fitness is very good. I have been to a few indoor climbing gyms throught my life and taken the quickstart type courses that are cumpulsory each time. But, I will be first to admit I know nothing of rock climbing beyond passing familiarity.

So what is the best way to get into the sport?

My plan was to take this course: http://www.alpin-ism.com/courses/summer ... ls4000.cfm
to get a sort of base of knowledge to work from.

Whats next after that? How feasible is it to take a course such as that and then start planning your own trips of slightly increasing difficulty each time?

Is there a better way to go about it, keeping safety in mind? These may seem like dumb questions but I would rather get yelled at over the internet than die on a mountain side.

Anybody know of a mountaineering groups/clubs that may exist in the Ansbach/Nuremberg area?


Thanks for any help.
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby Marmaduke » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:06 pm

Send SPer "rgg" a private message, he doesn't live in Germany currently but he did. I think he would be a great contact for what you are asking and I'm sure he'll give you a wealth of information.
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby jerome5thousand » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:39 pm

Marmaduke wrote:Send SPer "rgg" a private message, he doesn't live in Germany currently but he did. I think he would be a great contact for what you are asking and I'm sure he'll give you a wealth of information.


Thanks Marmaduke! Will do.
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby gert » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:29 am

DAV - Alpenverein - www.alpenverein.de
there are sections in many places, Ansbach : http://www.dav-ansbach.de/ , Nürnberg : http://www.dav-nuernberg.de
They run courses ec. that's probably what you want.
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby rgg » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:05 pm

Marmaduke wrote:Send SPer "rgg" a private message, he doesn't live in Germany currently but he did. I think he would be a great contact for what you are asking and I'm sure he'll give you a wealth of information.


gert wrote:DAV - Alpenverein - http://www.alpenverein.de
there are sections in many places, Ansbach : http://www.dav-ansbach.de/ , Nürnberg : http://www.dav-nuernberg.de
They run courses ec. that's probably what you want.


While I've been to Germany often enough, I never actually lived there. That said, I fully agree with Gert's advice. If I would move there, I would certainly join the local section of the DAV (the German alpine club) myself. It's the easiest way to get in contact with a lot of other people that like to be active in the mountains at all levels. The sections organize trips and courses, where the instructors are usually volunteers from the sections themselves. In addition you can meet like-minded people with which to go climbing. And the only way to learn this is by doing.

Viel Spaß, Rob
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby mvs » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:25 pm

I currently live in Germany and have to say it's a fantastic place for alpine climbing, especially alpine rock climbing if you decide to get into that. There are lots of easy 3000ers with glaciers in Austria, which isn't too bad of a drive for you for the weekend...you may as well take up backcountry skiing too (even if you aren't a good skier). This will extend your range and ability to acquire experience points tremendously, as those peaks are made for ski tours.

The DAV is a great organization. I am a member of course, though I'm not really an "organization man," preferring to climb with small groups of friends, just 2 or 3 people per trip. You might ultimately feel the same way, but it'll be incredibly worthwhile to spend a season or two in more formal trips to gather experience.

I found that one key to enjoying the what the alps have to offer is to be somewhat countercyclical. If crowded summits might make you feel miserable, just be a real mountaineer and start hiking at dawn. You'll just meet them on the way down, and will have seen plenty of wildlife in your day as well. As your experience grows you'll do more in "shoulder seasons," finding popular summits already deserted on late October weekends.

The range of specialty options in the alps is outrageous...just look in the bookstores when you are here. There is a lifetime of hikes and climbs for people who like only ridges, or loop trips, or "forgotten paths." I have friends who specialize in travelling off trail even in the alps, recording nothing of their journeys on the web. Whether long distance walking, skiing, paragliding or climbing, you can drill down into exactly what you like best in a way that is mostly wonderful, though I personally will always aspire to be a generalist in alpine topics (someone here in Germany called me an "all rounder" which I took as a great compliment).

The Alpine infrastructure supports more people doing more things for longer sections of their life spans than wilder places do. That might become valuable as you think about getting kids or a reluctant spouse or even yourself 30 years hence into the mountains.

I've kind of lost the thread here, sorry! Just to say that the world of the European Alps is one that rewards deep exploration of the physical and cultural environment. I've only scratched the surface and love what I find!
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby Marmaduke » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:38 pm

Sorry, my mistake- mvs was the SPer I was referring to (embarrassed).
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby mvs » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:21 pm

Us guys with cryptic 3-letter logins are a bit interchangeable! :D Thanks Marmaduke for the nod my way. jerome5thousand send me a PM if you want when you get specific about hikes, climbs, programs. I think you'll find prices for the DAV learning programs are quite reasonable. This advice may seem backwards, but I'd do an ice climbing course. You'll get exposure to ropes, belays, etc....along with moving over snow and ice, something you'll always want. And if you can climb WI3 pretty comfortably, steep snow won't scare you the way it did me for the first few years of this game. You sound ambitious so I'm front-loading technical stuff, assuming you'll go on many much easier trips to backfill and round out your profile.
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby jerome5thousand » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:29 pm

Wow, thanks everyone! I will definitely hit up DAV upon landing in Germany. The more I find out about this stuff the more excited I am to get there.

In the mean time Im going to be lurking here and trying to learn as much as possible.

Any advice on a reading list for mountaineering in General and/or the Alps specifically?
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby Charles » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:45 pm

jerome5thousand wrote:Wow, thanks everyone! I will definitely hit up DAV upon landing in Germany. The more I find out about this stuff the more excited I am to get there.

In the mean time Im going to be lurking here and trying to learn as much as possible.

Any advice on a reading list for mountaineering in General and/or the Alps specifically?

Do you speak German? If not there are a number of alpine guides published in the UK, for example
http://www.alpine-club.org.uk/publications/guidebooks.html

One thing to keep an eye on is that if it´s an older book, it could well be out of date regarding glaciers and so forth.
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Re: Moving to Germany, Need advice.

Postby mvs » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:58 pm

Kev Reynold's "Walking in the Alps" is a great english language book with excellent descriptions of the different ranges, along with multiday hiking itineraries. It's been a great reference for me.

http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Alps-Trav ... 1566563437
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