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Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

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Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby drManhattan » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:54 am

I have climbed in Nepal, Bolivia and Russia and I am going to climb Kilimanjaro in February.

I am looking for tips on making climbs more affordable without sacrificing safety.

I live in Australia so already I am looking for $2k flight to go anywhere other than NZ. I am thinking of moving to the UK for 2 years to climb throughout Europe more. The other thing I am trying to work out is how to climb mountains solo/with friends or with a guide so that doesn't cost thousands of dollars.

What are you best tips to keep things affordable?
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby Scott » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:15 am

What are you best tips to keep things affordable?


If you want affordable, don't climb mountains such as Kilimanjaro. :wink:

The other thing I am trying to work out is how to climb mountains solo/with friends or with a guide so that doesn't cost thousands of dollars.


If you want to climb unguided, you'll have to gain experience and have experienced friends. If you want to climb cheaply guided you will have to go places like Asia and South America, but then from Australia, airfare will be pretty high. I'm guessing that you already known that guides in Europe, New Zealand, and North America are expensive.

How much does it cost to get from Australia to New Guinea? I would love to climb several of the peaks in New Guinea.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby drManhattan » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:44 am

The reason I ask is I want to take a 6 month climbing trip, and just climb as many peaks as I can in that time all over the world. I'm happy to leave Europe out of the trip because I plan to finish in UK and live there for a year or two.

I am thinking of going back to South America and just doing the Andes, maybe I should just concentrate on South America and Asia for now?
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby kevin trieu » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:21 pm

Europe should be the last place to look if you want to climb like a dirtbag. South America is the cheapest place for mountaineering. Check out Peru. Kyrgyzstan is cheap. Nepal is cheap if you avoid the popular peaks. You can also come to the Western US and climb a bunch of 4,000m peaks for relatively cheap. Need to buy a car though. So basically all the climbing you have done are popular peaks and guided which is why they are pricey.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby WillP » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:19 am

A six month climbing trip... awesome. If your focus is alpine, three months in NZ (the summer season is just about to start!), then three in South America. Although COL is higher in NZ than Aus, you can dirtbag it reasonably cheaply.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby drManhattan » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:05 am

kevin trieu wrote:Europe should be the last place to look if you want to climb like a dirtbag. South America is the cheapest place for mountaineering. Check out Peru. Kyrgyzstan is cheap. Nepal is cheap if you avoid the popular peaks. You can also come to the Western US and climb a bunch of 4,000m peaks for relatively cheap. Need to buy a car though. So basically all the climbing you have done are popular peaks and guided which is why they are pricey.


Is Lenin Peak in Kyrgryzstan? which others?

I am very happy to go through South America so this is good news. Any recommendations on which mountains and especially which guiding services in these areas? would love to start in Colombia and work down to Argentina.

This was a list I have just jotted down no idea of prices or locations but just mountains I might research and find out if it will be possible for me to climb:

Colombia - Ritacuba Blanco
Ecuador - Cotopaxi, Illiniza Norte, Cayambe, Chimborozo, Antisana, Rucu Pichincha, Ruminahui,
Peru - Huascaran, Pisco
Bolivia - Illimani, Pequeno Alpamayo, (Already climbed Huayna Potosi)
Argentina - Aconcagua, Cerro San Lorenzo

Suggestions?

WillP wrote:A six month climbing trip... awesome. If your focus is alpine, three months in NZ (the summer season is just about to start!), then three in South America. Although COL is higher in NZ than Aus, you can dirtbag it reasonably cheaply.


Definitely Alpine. I am actually a New Zealander but wouldn't it be expensive to climb in New Zealand? (never have) or are you speaking strictly non guided?

I would love to hear more about how to "dirtbag" it!

Does anyone think I should create a thread in another forum section to get help planning out a 6 month trip? would love to get some help with this.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby southerntele » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:21 am

Northern India has very cheap climbing, it is accessible, has stable weather, low peak fees, poor policing of climbing without paying peak fees for anything under 6,500m, lots of peaks in the 5,500 - 6500m range and not many climbers.

You can also climb pre-monsoon and during the monsoon which is good if you are planning on being away for 6 months. Look at peaks in Himachal Pradesh out of Manali or in Ladakh out of Leh.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby kevin trieu » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:19 am

Mountain climbing is not affordable if you go guided, especially long term. So you will have to work your way out of that mentality. Avoid big name mountains like Kili and Aconcagua if you worry about costs. You can climb a bunch of 6,000m peaks in Peru, Bolivia, Chile for the price of Aconcagua. Lenin Pik, 7,000m is cheaper than Aconcagua. You might need to gain more experience and skills or find willing partners for some of these peaks.

These are the few things you want to look for when doing your research:
Peak fees
Transportation, food, lodging
Visa fees
General costs of the country
Accessibility & logistics
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby drManhattan » Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:40 am

Not climbing the popular peaks makes sense from a financial standpoint thanks.

What I don't understand though is transitioning from guided to unguided. How is this done while still remaining safe?

I haven't decided if ill just travel around and climb or base myself in Colombia to also learn Spanish and climb when I have spare time.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby norco17 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:27 am

Some people have never used guides. Just choose things within your current ability. Read. Freedom of the Hills is a good starting point. Find more experienced partners. Time in the hills will build more skills. Just don't bite off more than you can chew(baby steps).
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby rgg » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:38 am

drManhattan wrote:Not climbing the popular peaks makes sense from a financial standpoint thanks.

What I don't understand though is transitioning from guided to unguided. How is this done while still remaining safe?

I haven't decided if ill just travel around and climb or base myself in Colombia to also learn Spanish and climb when I have spare time.


Climbing safe isn't a matter of going guided or not. It depends on the mountains you try, on your own skill set, on whether you go solo or with others, and if so, on the skills of your partners, be they guides or not. In Europe, it's quite common to go with a guide when you don't have enough experience yet, or even if you do but don't have a suitable partner. But after climbing a lot, and taking courses to learn more, I felt confident enough to start going unguided. And that's much cheaper of course.
Apart from things like climbing skills and, for alpine stuff, crevasse rescue techniques, one of the more important skills is to know when to turn around. I'm still fine tuning that, but I've turned around a fair number of times because I wasn't happy with the condition of the route, with the weather situation or with how my own body felt at the time. My most common mistake is to continue when conditions are fine but it's already too late, and as a result I end up having to descend in darkness. So far, it wasn't too bad though, I've always made it back down on easy terrain before the sun went under.

Depending on the route and on the conditions, these days I either go solo or partner up with others, but I still hire a guide occasionally and I expect to keep doing that. During 10 weeks in Huaraz, Peru, I found it relatively easy to find partners and I managed to climb a whole bunch of peaks, and only hired a guide once. If you have enough experience and the route conditions are good, some of the easier peaks in the Cordillera Blanca can be soloed. There is always some risk involved in climbing alone, but that even applies to hiking. Some people don't want to climb alone at all, others have no problems with it. Besides having enough experience, it's also a matter of the risk you are willing to accept. As long as you stick to the more popular routes, then if something were to go wrong, there will at least be others passing by, eventually. On other routes you're on your own. In that case even a small problem can have serious consequences.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby kevin trieu » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:43 am

drManhattan wrote:What I don't understand though is transitioning from guided to unguided. How is this done while still remaining safe?

wow. this is borderline trolling.

how old are you? this is why i'm reluctant to post on Summitpost. some peeps are in a bubble or on a different wavelength. kind of like trying to give Martians advice on baking lasagna.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby kevin trieu » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:57 am

rob, i was just in Amsterdam. heading back to Rotterdam the end of this month. we should grab a beer if you are in town. i was also down in Peru when you and my Norwegian climbing partner Lyngve attempted Huscaran. i climbed it a week or two before you made your attempt. i might have ran into you in Cafe Adino.
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Re: Tips on making mountaineering affordable?

Postby drManhattan » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:24 am

kevin trieu wrote:
drManhattan wrote:What I don't understand though is transitioning from guided to unguided. How is this done while still remaining safe?

wow. this is borderline trolling.

how old are you? this is why i'm reluctant to post on Summitpost. some peeps are in a bubble or on a different wavelength. kind of like trying to give Martians advice on baking lasagna.


Take your holier-than-thou attitude elsewhere mate, I am really not interested in your petty rant.

I am wanting to learn, I am a beginner. if everyone was like you than what would be the be the point of even joining this forum.

Grow up.

Thanks to everyone else for their replies.
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