Long mountaineering challenges

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NZSam

 
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Long mountaineering challenges

by NZSam » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:25 am

Hi all - I'm a New Zealand-based mountaineer who is new to this forum. In NZ we have a '100 peaks challenge' that features 100 great routes. These range from very easy to very hard, from easily accessible to quite remote, from long climbs on our highest mountains to shorter climbs on smaller peaks. Any such list is of course highly subjective, but I think it helps get the ideas flowing.

Any ideas for other long (multi-month or even multi-year) mountaineering challenges around the world?

Things spring to mind like climbing the 100 highest peaks in North America, climbing all of the 14ers in Colorado and California, traversing an entire mountain range, and so on.

Elite/rich climbers have challenges like summiting all of the 8000m+ peaks. What are some more attainable goals? If you had a year or two off work and wanted to sink your teeth into a big challenge, what would you try to accomplish?

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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by dadndave » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:36 pm

G'day Sam,

Welcome to Summitpost!

I reckon a traverse of the South Island watershed (ie along its length) would be an amazing challenge. Any idea if it's been achieved? I have a vague recollection that someone was at least planning something along those lines but as far as I know such adventures (while still very creditworthy) have dropped off the Main Divide at times.
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Palisades79

 
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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by Palisades79 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:39 pm

I do not think anyone has ever completed all of Steve Roper & Allen Stecks "Fifty Classic Climbs of North America " .I climbed with Allen at PSOM when he was working on the book in 1977 .

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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by NZSam » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:25 pm

Cheers for the replies!

The length of the Southern Alps has been traversed - a full traverse on skis in winter and a partial one on foot in summer. As you said, some dropping off the main divide in places was required, but impressive feats none-the-less!

I had also thought about the 50 Classic Climbs book, but there seems to be some discontent about that as a tick list. Partially just because some of the objectives have changed a lot since the book was written (rockfall, climate change, etc). I read about a couple (both guides I think) who spent many years and tens of thousands of dollars trying to complete the list and gave up a few short.

The great thing about the NZ 100 classic climbs list is that anyone with some time off could work their way through it, getting fit enough for the harder climbs as they go (which aren't easy, but they certainly don't require being elite). It's very accessible for 'dirtbag mountaineers' like myself.

But, yes, now you got me thinking - maybe a modified version of the 50 Classic Climbs would hit the spot for a North America road trip...

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seano

 
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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by seano » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:08 am

The Lower 48 14ers and Canadian Rockies 11ers come to mind (finished the first, hope to finish the second). I'm also working on a list of 50 climbs in North America that are doable by non-elite climbers.

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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by ExcitableBoy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:24 pm

There are a few great books for North America. The aforementioned 50 Classic Climbs of North America is the original. Another is 50 Favorite Climbs of North America by Bob Kruse and Fred Beckey's Favorite 100 Climbs in North America. I have all of these and they are all pretty inspiring.

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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by Jow » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:43 pm

seano wrote:The Lower 48 14ers and Canadian Rockies 11ers come to mind (finished the first, hope to finish the second). I'm also working on a list of 50 climbs in North America that are doable by non-elite climbers.


Is there an official list of 50 climbs doable for non elite climbers you could provide link to? Heard of other the original version only which is out of my skill set

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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by NZSam » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:16 am

Great idea on the 14ers and 11ers Seano, and well done ticking a lot of those off! I suppose that’s around 125 peaks total? (depending on what prominence you include). The Canadian list must take a lot longer… but I like this idea a lot!

ExcitableBoy – yeah seems like someone could take those three books and create a list of 50 or so that are iconic but also relatively achievable, sort of choosing the best from each book.

Another idea would be for someone to create a list of 50-100 classic/iconic mountains, rather than focusing on specific routes (that is actually the way the New Zealand list is structured). Then a climber can choose an easier or harder route on each mountain, depending on their level.

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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by seano » Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:57 pm

Jow wrote:
seano wrote:The Lower 48 14ers and Canadian Rockies 11ers come to mind (finished the first, hope to finish the second). I'm also working on a list of 50 climbs in North America that are doable by non-elite climbers.


Is there an official list of 50 climbs doable for non elite climbers you could provide link to? Heard of other the original version only which is out of my skill set

"Official?" It's just a list of my own personal favorites over the years, and I've only chosen 40 of them so far, but you can look over the Table of Contents in the linked PDF here: http://www.drdirtbag.com/scrambles/

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Snowslogger

 
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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by Snowslogger » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:24 pm

Here in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. the Cascade volcanoes is a classic goal that's not too travel intensive.

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NZSam

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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by Sierra Ledge Rat » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:55 pm

High Sierra, California:
Palisade Traverse
Minaret Traverse
Evolution Traverse

North Cascades, Washington:
Ptarmigan Traverse

All classics, hard, and well documented in trip reports here on Summitpost.

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by ExcitableBoy » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:12 pm

Here is a pretty comprehensive list of enchainments and traverses in the Cascades. https://climberkyle.com/2020/04/23/wash ... traverses/

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Jesus Malverde

 
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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by Jesus Malverde » Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:32 pm

Late to the party; my apologies..
Here's a couple of mind benders in the lower 48:

Nolan's 14
http://www.mattmahoney.net/nolans14/

Mount Rainier Infinity Loop
https://fastestknowntime.com/route/rain ... ty-loop-wa

JM

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Re: Long mountaineering challenges

by apachedino » Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:47 pm

I like the fan out method for challenges like this. Essentially choose more clustered lists for areas close to where you live and would like to dive deeper and broader more spread out loftier goals for when you can travel.

Here are some for me for example:

10,000 ft peaks in Wasatch (finished) currently loosely working on every last peak of any sort
13,000 ft peaks in Utah (finished)
non Uinta 12,000 ft peaks in Utah
11,000 ft peaks in Tetons (3 left)
13,000 ft peaks in Wyoming (4 left)
Western State Highpoints (1 left)
CONUS 4,000 ft prominence peaks (105/142)

I like exploring my "home" areas in more depth, but really like the adventure in visiting new areas that the 4K+ prominence provides. I combine this with a chance to explore the area more deeply and often combine with other activities (family reunion, music festivals etc.) To just go and check them off the list when so much travel and drive time is necessary gets old, especially if it is a relatively easy peak. Yet I am constantly surprised when I visit new ecosystems and geologies I would likely have never stumbled upon before, and for views, they are always the biggest peak in the immediate area, so you can't go wrong with that. It doesnt have to be strictly peakbagging, for me half the fun is finding a personally aesthetic way to approach the peaks, and as my list of hobbies that distract from peakbagging has grown (bikepacking, splitboarding, packrafting, canyoneering etc) I have found ways to combine them for unique and satisfying adventures. I started with mountain biking some with roads to the top, and splitboarding others that offorded the opportunity. Why just hike Whitney when the East Face and Buttress are within most average rock climbers realms? I even did a 50 mile race over one (Santiago), and a 100 miler over a state HP, (Cheaha).

For example, I have Pikes Peak left as an Ultra, I plan on taking my touring bike on the train from SLC and biking to the top, eliminating drive time while getting the Amtrak experience. For Adams and Saint Helens, the 2 Cascade volcanoes I have left, I will splitboard them, I will backpack Katahdin from the Maine border just to experience a bit of the northern Appalachian trail, Chicoma Peak in the Valles Caldera can be combined with a fun looking bikepacking route with hot springs and rock climbing en route, Emory peak in Big Bend NP looks to be combinable with an aesthetic bikepacking and packrafting combo loop, Stimson has a 50 classic ski descents face, and Stuart has a 50 classic climbs with the North Ridge, when doing Mt. Washington, why not do the Presidential traverse? Or ski Tuckermans ravine? I always try to combine ridge traverses in when they seem aesthetic and time allows.

My point is, I find it engaging to create lists of objectives to pursue, it keeps the drive going for me. I also think that simply checking them off to check them off can lead to burnout, so try to maintain the spirit the got you into peakbagging in the first place and approach peaks in a way that is satisfying to you beyond simply reaching the summit. The fan out method combined with multisport has done so for me.

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