Completely New to Mountaineering - Please Advise

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
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herot

 
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Re: Completely New to Mountaineering - Please Advise

by herot » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:50 pm

Well, we just returned from the trip a few days ago and it was great. We went with Pro Guiding Service and we were very impressed with their service. The guides were great and very informative. Crevasse rescue and the Munter method for time calculation were just some of what we learned. We also learned how to walk uphill in the snow without crampons before they would let us put them on. Pro Guiding is big on solidifying basic technique. I am rarely on the summit of a tall mountain at sunset but we were on this trip. Because the weather was perfect the guides said the risk involved in a late ascent/night descent was minimal. So, we all opted to watch the sunset from the summit of Mount Baker. It was amazing to say the least. We rented almost all the technical gear and also rented boots. Pro Guiding really hooked us up with gear. When we first got to the store the manager brought out 2 pairs of boots and said "OK! This is what we have!" they were like 2 sizes two big for either of us. For a minute it looked bleak. Then Martin (the owner) brought in some of his personal boots but ended up pulling two brand new La Sportiva Trango's off the shelf for me to take. They were a full size too big. My cousin landed in a similar boat. However! with 2 Tom's teflon powder and a liner sock, medium sock AND a heavy trekking sock, I am proud to report that in 5 days of usage, neither of us got any hotspots or blisters. YES, I know how lucky we were!

I ended up not buying much technical gear but I did replace some of the backpacking gear and clothing I have had for a while. Notables are: HMG 4400 Windrider pack, OR Cirque pants, OR Ferrosi jacket, OR gaiters, OR Arete gloves. The OR clothing performed amazingly and I never got wet even when I would plop down on my knees in the snow for a break. I tore a hole in each pant leg with the crampons (damnit). The holes are smallish and we are having them sewn up. I am going to sew velcro strips on the cuffs of the Ferrosi so that I can tighten them down to my wrist better. Speaking of crampons, the rentals were used Black Diamond lever locks. We all forgot to get anti-ball plates, so I made my own with a fellow climber's backpacker pantry packaging and duct tape that I always keep wrapped around my trekking poles. It worked WELL. My cousin put insoles into the crampons before strapping them on but he said he didn't think that worked quite as well. The gloves were fine but the tips kept getting caught in the biners. They may be a bit big (I did measure my hand before buying) but otherwise, I'm not sure what to do about that. The HMG pack was great and it will be what I use from now on. I hauled 42 lbs in it and it was slightly less comfortable than my old Kelty Coyote 78 litre (the HMG is a 70 litre). The HMG is about 3.5lbs lighter though. We used Julbo Colorado's for Sun glasses they were fine and stay on really well. They are super aggravating to get on and off though.

My cousin and I each carried 10lbs of food! We ate well :) I am not sure where I will go next but I am eager and even more excited than before. Thanks for all the tips so far. I'll post pictures of my handmade anti-ball plates when I get to them.

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pvnisher

 
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Re: Completely New to Mountaineering - Please Advise

by pvnisher » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:59 am

I think renting boots is a great thing to do for your first few times. Give yourself a chance to see if you like it before you jump in and spend loads. More than one person has bought Nepal EVOs thinking "I know I'll love this!", only to never wear them again. At least the other clothing can double for your around-town stuff or general camping. But those pricey boots are a little harder to wear while shoveling snow without feeling like a complete tool.
Oh, and the new Nepal Cube is either out soon or already out, it's considerably lighter. You might want to wait for that, or that might cause the EVOs to drop in price considerably. I haven't followed prices for a while, but that's a big change since I don't think the Nepal has been changed for something like 8 years or so, and has a (well deserved) rabid following.

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Kai

 
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Re: Completely New to Mountaineering - Please Advise

by Kai » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:16 pm

Glad to hear that you had a great time.

Sounds like an awesome trip.

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Completely New to Mountaineering - Please Advise

by ExcitableBoy » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:53 am

I'm happy the trip went so well for you. Can you explain what the Munter method for time calculation is? I've not heard of it.

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herot

 
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Re: Completely New to Mountaineering - Please Advise

by herot » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:22 am

Handmade anti-ball plates
Image

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