winter mountaineering.

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
no avatar
Luke5647

 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:47 am
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

winter mountaineering.

by Luke5647 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:55 am

I am thinking about climbing Shasta this winter, but only have summer mountaineering experience. Would it be safe to climb with people who have only done summer climbs, or is climbing in winter so different that I would need to have someone in the group who has done winter climbs before? Also, what differences should there be in gear for a winter climb (other than to increase warmth)?

User Avatar
Sierra Ledge Rat

 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:14 am
Thanked: 280 times in 182 posts

Re: winter mountaineering.

by Sierra Ledge Rat » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:16 pm

Luke5647 wrote:...is climbing in winter so different...


One word: avalanches.

User Avatar
RickF

 
Posts: 537
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:45 pm
Thanked: 31 times in 26 posts

Re: winter mountaineering.

by RickF » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:00 pm

A few more words:
*Ice axe, crampons, self arrest.
*Hypothermia, i.e. freezing to death.
*Freedom of the Hills, Part 4; snow ice and alpine climbing. read it, learn it & practice it before going off to Shasta with newbs.
*Many good guide books on Shasta, read one before going.
*Spring is better than winter for a first experience on ice & snow.

The following user would like to thank RickF for this post
Luke5647

User Avatar
WyomingSummits

 
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:03 am
Thanked: 111 times in 85 posts

Re: winter mountaineering.

by WyomingSummits » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:43 pm

RickF wrote:A few more words:
*Ice axe, crampons, self arrest.
*Hypothermia, i.e. freezing to death.
*Freedom of the Hills, Part 4; snow ice and alpine climbing. read it, learn it & practice it before going off to Shasta with newbs.
*Many good guide books on Shasta, read one before going.
*Spring is better than winter for a first experience on ice & snow.


Ditto on the spring......go when there has been limited new snow and the current pack is well consolidated.

User Avatar
96avs01

 
Posts: 1554
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:31 pm
Thanked: 53 times in 43 posts

Re: winter mountaineering.

by 96avs01 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:27 am

In addition to what has been mentioned, what are you going to use for floatation? Skis, snowshoes, splitboard...? You will likely need something to increase the surface area of your boots to aid your ascent.

In all honesty, if you truly have no winter mountaineering experience I would recommend you 'cut your teeth' on something less committing than Shasta. My $0.02

User Avatar
reboyles

 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:28 am
Thanked: 46 times in 42 posts

Re: winter mountaineering.

by reboyles » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:54 am

I'll add a few here too.

Longer and usually slower approaches.

Much less daylight to work with and everything seems to take longer in the winter like; getting out of your sleeping bag and getting dressed, melting snow for water, cooking, etc.

Winter gear makes for much heavier loads to carry.

And, can you say "snow cave"? If you don't have a shovel or know how to construct one you'd better learn. Trying to set up a tent in a blizzard on unpacked snow can quickly become a lesson in futility.

As for freezing body parts, check out my piece on frostbite.

http://www.summitpost.org/frostbite/856321


Bob

The following user would like to thank reboyles for this post
Luke5647

User Avatar
BigMitch

 
Posts: 320
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:17 pm
Thanked: 16 times in 16 posts

Re: winter mountaineering.

by BigMitch » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:47 am

Casaval Ridge makes a great winter climb.

Short approach from Bunny Flats parking lot to the camp in the timber at the Horse Camp.

If everyone is new to winter climbing, then hire a guide for the group.

no avatar
Luke5647

 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:47 am
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: winter mountaineering.

by Luke5647 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:27 pm

96avs01 wrote: I would recommend you 'cut your teeth' on something less committing than Shasta. My $0.02


What would be some good mountains on the west coast to get some practice on before trying Shasta?

To give everyone a better idea of my experience, I have climbed Rainier and Adams in summer, and the passes on the JMT in May, so I am fairly comfortable with an ice axe and crampons. I have built and slept in snow caves, and snowshoed in winter.

Thanks for the help


Return to General

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests