American needs European beta

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Europe. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Europe Climbing Partners section.
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Tinnik Tinnik

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Tinnik Tinnik » Tue May 24, 2005 12:31 am

LOL, this is the eternal question...! My advice go to Chamonix, all types of routes and levels nearby + excellent apres-ski etc for all budgets - the real expert here seems to be Mr. Fralich - who will no doubt have ideas!

Mike in Czech certainly has a point too - lol - though perhaps impractical, on this ocasion !!

Alternatively, yeah Dolomites Ferratas et al + cheaper food and accommodation has its advantages...but I have yet to go there...At least it's Italy and has romance in the air - which I guess is half your mission....... !:o( DN.

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Tom Fralich

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Tom Fralich » Tue May 24, 2005 1:10 am

An alpine route with 5.4 equivalent climbing is probably going to scare the shit out of her, mainly because of the exposure. I've seen people who have done some trad climbing (following up to 5.8) get freaked out beyond belief on 3rd-4th class terrain in the mountains. I recommend you go for something really easy. If she hasn't done any climbing at all...and perhaps not even much hiking...just being in the mountains may be stressful for her. Don't throw serious technical challenges on top of that, if you want to keep her happy. If you decide to go to Chamonix, I can make some recommendations. There is lots of stuff in the Aiguilles Rouges (traverse of Aiguilles Crochues or Aig du Belvedere). I was scared following on Aiguilles Crochues when I first started climbing...repeated the route 5 years later with a beginner and had a good laugh (he was scared and I ran along like it was a NYC sidewalk). The normal route on Aig du Tour (easy hike to hut, glacier travel, and easy scrambling) could also be a good choice. Also, normal routes on Aig de l'M and Petits Charmoz are short scrambles. These could be good warm-ups for something like Aig des Pelerins (also easy, but longer). Be careful with her...it is really easy to overestimate the comfort levels of others when you've been climbing for a long time.

David - thanks for the compliment. I really love Chamonix and have spent a lot of time studying the routes and their history. It is really an amazing place. I am always happy to pass along whatever information I can.

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Diego Sahagún

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Diego Sahagún » Tue May 24, 2005 2:56 am

Marc,

I think that Romania and the Fagaras Mountains should be a good choice because is near Moldova. Moldoveanu and Negoiu have pages in SP. However, if you you choose Spain we have beautiful mountains in the Pyrenees: Aneto, Monte Perdido, Posets...

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Noah (Oregon)

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Noah (Oregon) » Tue May 24, 2005 3:14 am

Habicht is still my choice for a doable, 10,000 footer with no need for equipment and views of the Dolomites! - NOAH

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Stuart Buchanan

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Stuart Buchanan » Tue May 24, 2005 9:27 am

Given that she's never been climbing before, taking her to an alpine area, backpacking, and attempting to do a 10k peak seems a bit steep and probably overwhelming.

I introduced my fiancee to camping, rock-climbing, hiking and winter in that order, one at a time over a period of years. Doing too much too fast would have been a big mistake. Next year we might go alpine rock-climbing.

I agree with Tom take 5.4 is going to be a very scary experience in the mountains for someone who isn't used to it. We forget that just being in the mountains is going to be enough of a challenge.

My suggestion would be to do some walking between low-altitude hotels/huts in an alpine area that have private rooms rather than dormitories, and possibly doing some easy sports-climbing.

The key thing is not to think of it as a climbing holiday - more of a "mountain" holiday where you might get some climbing in.

You might get frustrated that you can't get out climbing anything big, but it is far better for you both to have an enjoyable holiday, than dragging a tired, scared, soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend up some high peak. I'm sure we've all seen that scenario, shaken our heads and been glad it wasn't us. But, I'll bet the boyfriend in each of these cases thought they were taking their partner up an easy introduction to climbing.

BTW, it is always boyfriends who drag the girlfriends up something. Female climbers are much more considerate in introducing others to our sport.

Best of luck - I'm sure you'll have a gret time.

-Stuart

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Tom Fralich

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Tom Fralich » Tue May 24, 2005 4:15 pm

One of my ex-girlfriends (also a "girly" girl) used to always bug me about not taking her to climb any "big mountains." She thought it would be nice to climb something like Rainier, since it would be something to impress people with. So I decided to take her to the Adirondacks and hike up some of the 4000 ft peaks in winter (only day-hikes). We went up <a href=http://www.summitpost.org/show/mountain_link.pl/mountain_id/435>Giant Mountain</a> (4,627 ft), nothing more than a hike, but with some icy sections where we needed crampons. She got really, really tired, but refused to turn around, since she wanted to make it all the way to the top (very stubborn she was). When we finally got there, she informed me that she was too tired to go down and asked if we couldn't "call the helicopter." I told her that there was no helicopter and that she had elected to keep going and now we had to go down. On the way down, she was really scared on the icy parts and later told me that she "feared for her life." After that, she never bugged me about going to climb something like Rainier. I knew it would be a physical challenge for her, since it was like 3000 ft of gain to the summit, but I never imagined that it would be a terrifying experience. She was never in any danger, but it is a good example of how people with no experience may react to something which seems very basic.

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marcminish

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by marcminish » Tue May 24, 2005 9:50 pm

Mathias - Yep, I can rent a car if I need to, but I prefer to use public transportation if its available. She's never had any ascent experience at all... not a bit. She's never even spent the night outdoors, poor girl. I'm guessing not more than 4,000 feet in one day.

Diego - Romania is beautiful. Do they have huts too? I heard stories about some less than pleasant things happening in some of the remote parts. I know I wouldn't go out in the boonies in Moldova no matter who wanted to go. They still take pot shots at each other there.

Tom - No worries on her getting summit fever or being stubborn. So what ever became of her? She dump you when you got home?

All - Thanks for the advice gang. I'll take all you guys want to give. Really.

I definitely need to keep it toned down. An alpine-"ish" route might be better I guess. Is there privacy in the huts? Do you have to bring your own food? Are they nice or are we talking a tin roof over some logs?

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Mathias Zehring

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Mathias Zehring » Tue May 24, 2005 10:37 pm

A good basis for a week of hiking is Badgastein in Austria. It is easy to reach by train and you have at least 4 cablecars that can spare some ascent. Also more demanding trips are possible.
I spent a week there with my girlfriend in 2003. She doesn't like difficult climbs nor sleeping in huts. We did fine daytrips, each day with a picknick including some wine in the backpack, preferable at a lake like <a href="http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/photo_link.pl?photo_id=64008&object_id=2517&type=mountain&mountain_id=2517&route_id=">this one</A> or <a href="http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/photo_link.pl?photo_id=156610&object_id=3248&type=mountain&mountain_id=3248&route_id=">this</A>. I enjoyed this week very much.

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Noah (Oregon)

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Noah (Oregon) » Tue May 24, 2005 11:41 pm

Mathias is right about Bad Gaststein. I also still think the Habicht (in the Stubai) would be fine if you want to have a nice drive, a nice town (Innsbruck), a great hut (yes, you have to stay in the huts because they are awesome!), and views of the Dolomites. If you feel like the climb is too hard, just bail and enjoy the good food, views and the via ferrata that is located near the hut (it is like a place to just scramble). You can have a great time as long as it doesn't rain.

As far as privacy, no, not really. Huts, unlike tents mean that a bunch of Dutch climbers, some Germans and a few Austrians will be under the blankets with you. However, some huts have private spots, but you will have to email them for more info. Don't bring your own food if you have a hut, I have always had great food! These "huts" are amazing.

NOAH

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Tom Fralich

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Tom Fralich » Tue May 24, 2005 11:52 pm

<i>She dump you when you got home?</i>

No, but she dumped me a year later when I went off to climb in New Zealand for 6 weeks :-) Told me four days before I came home...over the phone.

Relationships and climbing...it's a tough one. Good luck to you.

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pingzingr

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by pingzingr » Wed May 25, 2005 9:25 am

Well since Bavaria was thrown out there earlier I will toss in my recommendation for Garmisch and Berchtesgaden. In Garmisch you have the Zugspitz and Alpspitze that can both be done in a day and are nice hikes / scrambles. Berchtesgaden is more secluded than Garmisch and in my opinion nicer. There you could do either the Watzmann trio (nice trip with a stop at the Watzmannhaus or Wimbachgrieshutte) or Hochkalter (Blaueishutte). I have never done Badgastein in the summer but the winter ski months it was a nice area and looked very promising for a summer hiking and climbing season.

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Diego Sahagún

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Diego Sahagún » Wed May 25, 2005 12:27 pm

Marc, I'd go there regardless of the gossip about remote places. There are some pages on Romanian mountains in SP

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marcminish

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by marcminish » Wed May 25, 2005 3:55 pm

How much do the huts cost? Can you still pitch a tent nearby or do you have sleep in them if you're up there? Do you have to make reservations or do you just show up?

Tom- Bummer. Have you found a replacement? Yeah, I had it made when I was dating a climber girl. It was perfect because I always had somebody to go with, I got to lead hog and she always let me pick the route. Morever, it was much better than sharing a tent with a smelly dude.

Diego- Thanks, buddy... I'll check them out.

Noah- Thanks for the email. I'm going to formulate a plan in the next few weeks and then put it on the thread. I'm at a disadvantage having never climbed in Europe at all. I don't know all the rules and how it usually works.

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Noah (Oregon)

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by Noah (Oregon) » Wed May 25, 2005 5:15 pm

The hut system is very well developed and though you can camp, imagine what would happen if everyone did. The huts started out as a resource and have become a salvation for a lot of these routes as they would be trashed otherwise. Just the idea of a million climbers a year going to the bathroom at the base of every climb... yuck. This doesn't mean you can't camp, it just isn't that common on normal routes. If you like the tent, go for it. Still it might be best to move a ways away from the hut.

They don't cost much (maybe 20-30 bucks) and this varies from hut to hut. Call or email these guys and you can get tons of information. They probably speak English.

You do need to call ahead a reserve a place if you are on the weekend but they almost always have room. Still, play it safe and call.

If you are still unsure about the Habicht, go to this <a href="http://www.almenrausch.at/bergtouren/touren_tirol/stubaier_alpen/habicht_stubaital/habicht.htm">page</a> and click the picture to see some average shots of the mountain. Notice who the people are, what they are wearing and what gear they have...

<a href="http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/photo_link.pl/p/photo_id__156797__object_id__1076__type__user__mountain_id____route_id____user_id____order_by____limit__"><img src ="http://www.summitpost.org/images/156797.jpg">
Here is the "hut" if you can call it that...</a>

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marcminish

 
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Re: American needs European beta

by marcminish » Wed May 25, 2005 7:40 pm

Nice pic... Will do!

Man... I've been surfing around the mountian pages for different areas. It looks almost like heaven... a combination of everything I love: mountains, scenery, climbing and the holy grail of them all... access to beer while doing it.

Do the huts have showers too? Do you have to have a permit to camp if you don't want to sleep in the hut? Can you take a shower or eat if you don't stay there overnight?

I like the hut idea, especially the food, but I'm not sure just how much the girlfriend will cotton to group sleeping quarters. Plus, our hut mates might not appreciate the late night PDA. ;)

I sent her a link to this thread. Guess I'll soon find out.

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