Solo or Partnered???

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Solo or Partnered???

by Hyadventure » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:00 pm

Every year I try to plan at least one solo trip. It’s great to be on your own schedule, and not have to make any compromises. I often get frustrated with my partners, but sometimes it’s good to have a back-up.

Last weekend I climbed Thunderbolt solo. On the trip I had at least a half dozen minor incidents that could have soiled the trip, but I was able solve each of the problems and the trip ended-up going down flawlessly. Some of the incidents would have been helped by having a partner; some would have been just been worst.

Which do you prefer solo or partnered??

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by rhyang » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:08 pm

Usually if I can do a trip solo then that's what I do. It's just easier to do basic mountaineering, scrambling, etc. by myself and not worry about someone else's schedule, preferences, etc.

Sometimes though I do trips like these with friends. That's fun too.

Obviously if I need to rope up (for whatever reason) then I'll try to find a partner. Simple as that. See thread in ESS about 'climbing partner attributes' :)

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by fatdad » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:24 pm

While partners can sometimes have competing interests, I prefer having a partner, particularly on technical stuff and in remote areas. If something happens and you're by yourself, you're pretty much toast. Most of my solo trips have been by necessity.

Also, now that I'm family guy, my risk comfort level has really gone down in ways I didn't expect. I did Mt. Tyndall last year and did kind of a more direct ascent of the N. Rib and got kind of freaked out by the exposure, which has never really happened before, at least not on something relatively easy like that. When I have a buddy with me, that exposed 3rd and 4th class stuff just doesn't seem that bad. You have someone who can give you a spot or even a little positive energy. That goes a long way.

Life in general is a lot more fun when you have someone to share it with.

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by Luciano136 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:41 pm

I do both. I really enjoy good company but I have been doing more stuff solo (or just with the wife) over the past year orso. When you keep a tight schedule, it gets harder to meet up with people.

Oh yeah, and I have actually met up with a number of people from this site with pretty much always a great experience.
Last edited by Luciano136 on Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by apachedino » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:48 pm

I agree with DMT, I just don't plan everything far enough in advance to get enough people together sometimes. I have the time off so I am gonna make the most of it.

I have next Mon-Sun off and so am going to Yosemite. Hopefully a friend is gonna come through for at least a couple days as I REALLY want to do the Matthes Crest while I am there.

Every once in a while it is good to get out by yourself, really calming on the mind. Normally however I prefer partners, both for safety and because it is just more fun. It is just hard to find enough partners at my skill level (so your not frustrated going slow, or vice versa) that have coinciding time off.

That said if anybody wants to get out to Yosemite this next week let me know, the weather looks great. I want to do Matthes Crest, Conness both the North and West ridges, (possible combined with N ridge North Peak), Mount Clark, and Clyde Minaret while I am in the area.

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by lasvegaswraith » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:19 am

Dingus Milktoast wrote:
However I have a solid loner streak and no one seems perfectly aligned with my moods and whims (not even myself). So often I simply want no company.

Much of my solo time is spur of the moment impromptu 'I think I'll do that" from desert jaunts in the summer to high mountain solo ski tours in the winter.


I'm with Mr. Toast. Most of the time, I usually end up solo, as I can't plan ahead and others won't tolerate me for more than a certain length of time.... but partnering is definitely fun on certain types of outings.

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by fossana » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:36 am

Good topic.

I'm highly selective about my climbing partners, partly because I don't mind climbing alone. A lot of times I prefer climbing solo for the meditative aspect or to avoid the hassle around negotiations of logistics or whether we'll need to rope up and on what sections.

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by MoapaPk » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:54 am

I love the social stuff. But often I wake up at 5AM Saturday or Sunday and think, "say, if I left within an hour, I bet I..." Those moments often lead to trailless 5000'-gain days, with me coming back home at nightfall, bruised and bleeding, and aren't conducive to group outings.

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by phydeux » Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:57 am

Used to do a lot of technical climbing in the Sierra Nevada, but that died when my regular climbing partners moved on in the late 1990s.

These days its almost always solo. While others say its too dangerous, I say its safer that you'd think; I believe I become more aware of my surroundings (snakes that could bite me, protruding roots or rock that could trip me, sounds in the brush), whereas a partner(s) would distract my attention and increase my risk of injury. Much more enjoyable when you can quietly 'blend in' with nature rather than noisily warn it of your impending arrival.

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by apachedino » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:34 am

I was also thinking about how much more I appreciate some people whenI return from a solo trip, be it a day or muliple days. It is similair to returning to running water, microwaves, AC and a soft bed. You realize how nice these things really are only when you don't have them. Not that I have a bad time alone, but I get excited to see my friends and family once I return more than I would if I was with them, know what I mean?

Agree with Moapa, its just hard to find people to bushwack for hours and then take on 4th-5th class ridges for hours on end, with somewhat rediculous amounts of elevation gain. Or maybe I have not met enough of the right people. My group like that is limited to 3 people. and of course they don't always have my schedule.

Phys point is also right on, I am much more aware of the consequences when I am alone and act accordingly. Despite the inherint dangers.

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by dan2see » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:12 am

I love nature and the outdoors, so I find myself wanting to explore and observe more than most. I can pick a ridge or creek or peak, and go out to see where it takes me. It's kinda educational, sometimes exciting, and very satisfying.

Well the goals become agenda. But it's really hard to find somebody who's ready to head up on an unknown ridge that might not lead to a destination. That's when I end up going alone.

So the "solo" is not a choice, it's a necessity.

Mind you, I'm not foolhardy about this. Going alone, I take extra precautions, and I adjust my limits knowing that nobody will come to cover my butt. Initiative and responsibility adds a dimension or two to how I learn how to travel in the forest and on the rocks.

Recently I've attempted to solo some 5.easy rock sections along my routes, and succeeded or not, according to the situation. Before the snow flies, my project is to tune-up my skills on slab, solo -- well once again it's really hard to find somebody who's ready to head up on an unknown slab that may or may actually have a route.

Meanwhile I'll be going out with some friends on group mountain adventures, as well.

It's all good.

Solo or Partnered??? It's situational.

But I always have fun.


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