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Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

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Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

Postby Seanmed » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:39 am

I live in Norfolk, Virginia and have done some hiking, camping, and surfing. About a year ago I watched 180' degrees down south and fell in love with the idea of mountaineering. I've climbed indoors somewhat but sadly haven't gotten to the climbing outdoors. Are there any good mountaineering clubs close to Virginia? Maybe mentors in the area? Should I take a class as well? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

Postby Sunny Buns » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:27 am

Google says try this: http://www.foxmountainguides.com/
or this: http://www.ncobs.org/ I don't know anything about these, so do some investigation of your own.

Each weekend, knock off one of these:

https://www.google.com/search?num=100&site=&source=hp&q=highest+mountain+in+virginia&oq=highest+mountain+in+virginia&gs_l=hp.3..0j0i22i30l9.4273.13911.0.14336.34.22.3.9.9.0.112.2188.10j12.22.0.msedr...0...1c.1.61.hp..0.34.2475.0TjdXpN_zCQ Ditto for North Carolina, etc......

To get fired up for the weekend listen to "Good One": (but don't do the stuff they sing about - not healthy - and you need good health to be a good climber)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tel7yXwtXI8 :mrgreen:

Read every word of this book: (recent versions most current but old ones are OK and cheaper - tells HOW TO do it)
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_19?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=mountaineering+the+freedom+of+the+hills&sprefix=mountaineering+the+%2Caps%2C362

And this book: (come out every year - read all of them you can find - tells how NOT to do it)
http://www.amazon.com/Accidents-North-American-Mountaineering-2014/dp/1933056851/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422523262&sr=1-1&keywords=accidents+in+north+american+mountaineering+2014

Consider moving west. ;)
Good luck.
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Re: Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

Postby HRS Nomad » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:56 pm

If you have the opportunity, there are multiple mountaineering routes in the Northeast- the Adirondack Slides, with the best mountaineering routes being Trap Dike and the number of slides and gullies on Mount Colden, the faces of Gothics, the Basin East Face, Dix Mountain Hunter's Pass Slide, and many other routes and climbs. Not to mention New Hampshire, the original capital of American ice climbing and winter mountaineering with Huntington Ravine being the local mecca. Might be worth a vacation if you can find the time. If you have an opportunity, get a membership at a rock climbing gym and go hiking a lot in your local peaks- the Great Smokey's I believe? There must be some mountaineering routes in the area you can train on. Definitely rock climbing, perhaps ice climbing too.

There are the via ferrata routes at Nelson Rocks in West Virginia that are guided-access only and I believe you may need to prove experience, but of you get to that level, that's a treasure of the Eastern US! If you dont have to, then ok but I wouldnt want to without being comfortable. The 10th Mtn Division trained there in WWII for action in the Italian Dolomites. But it is am incredible feature. Good luck!!!
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Seanmed

Re: Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

Postby Seanmed » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:16 pm

Thank you Sunny Buns and HRS Nomad for the input :D :D :D

I plan on joining the local rock gym and go on a few climbs with those guys. At the moment, I have Steve houses book Training for new alpinism. Read it cover to cover several times and just started the work out plan for the transitioning phase.
Ill be picking up a copy of freedom of the hills as soon as possible, isnt that like the bible for mountaineering? :D
By the end of the year, I plan on taking the 3 day mountaineering course in New Hampshire.
http://www.ime-usa.com/imcs/portfolio-i ... ls-3-days/
Im starting to get my gear in order. Mostly Clothing and a pack.
I thought about getting one of these packs.
http://www.coldcoldworldpacks.com/intro.htm
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Re: Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

Postby HRS Nomad » Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:56 am

Hitting the ground running I see! Good luck! Also look at Cilo Gear packs, I hear good things. I have a soft spot for Gregory myself (the Alpinisto is a great pack, and I'm looking at a Denali for future endeavors)

Consider guidebooks as well, on top of a few manuals and such
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Re: Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

Postby WyomingSummits » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:36 am

If you need any info on VA climbing, I grew up climbing in VA, WV, AND NC....just ask and I'll give you info if I have it. Prob climbed 20 peaks and over 300 trad routes through my mid 20's. It's def a great place to learn trad rock climbing for sure, and New River Gorge in WV is an east coast mecca for sport climbing. Good luck!
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Re: Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:16 pm

Freedom of the Hills is the standard mountaineering 'how to' book. It covers pretty much everything climbing related with a bent towards mountaineering conditions in alpine ranges. I would also recommend Marc Twight's Extreme Alpinism. Climbing High, Fast, and Light. While the gear and training sections are somewhat outdated, the general philosophy is still relevant.

I have used both CCW and Cilo Gear back packs. I am not a fan of Cilo Gear. I find them unnecessarily fussy, expensive, and somewhat fragile. CCW are solid packs and a good value.
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Re: Best way to get into mountaineering in coastal Virginia?

Postby e-doc » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:13 pm

Long drive from Norfolk to mountains. A few ideas. For ice, look at Fox Mtn Guides out fo Brevard NC. I think they may have some ice climbing in NW NC. I did a day with Carsten down near Brevard. There's lots of ice down this way. There's also Granite Arches climbing guides.

Mt Washington is the closest thing to mountaineering in the east. The closest thing to that in the SE is Grandfather. Close behind are Mt Mitchell/the Blacks, Mt LeConte or Rogers. Grandfather is vertical and frozen with bad winds in the winter. The ridgeline is 3-3.5 miles from either side. Mt Mitchell also, trails up are a bit longer. Mt LeConte in the Smokies can be longer hike if US 441 is closed. Rogers isn't very vertical but is open balds from Mt Rogers side trail to Scales. Wind can be bad.

I've had a CCW Chaos for a few years. Its a great pack.

Check out the American Alpine club in DC.
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