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post #29 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 05:02 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Vancouver, , .
Posts: 171

I agree with most of what Sandy wrote. Don't bother hauling a 10 mm rope up there; go with 9 mm or something close to that. That'll get you up most regular "mountaineering" routes. The "everdry" treatment is great for a while, but after that the rope will be "ever-wet". So don't bother paying a bunch extra for the dry variety (unless you can find it on sale).

Treat the rope with care. Dry, dark storage, no organic fumes around (gasoline, oil, paint thinner, etc.). Those will rot your rope and you won't be able to tell it by looking at it. Use it only for climbing - no towing cars, tying stuff onto cartop carriers, and the like. Pulleys, a few extra carabiners, slings are useful. Crampons are very useful, but it's always a trade-off between wearing them on soft, snow-covered glaciers, where they can be a pain but really handy if you have to get out of a hole, and not wearing them, which can be more convenient (but you might really wish you had them if things go wrong). Each situation is different.

A general-purpose mountaineering ice-axe is essential. Get one with as long a handle as you can for snow and glacier use. No need for ice tools unless you are into ice climbing.

Dress warmly: if you are roping up it means there's a possibility of ending up in a crevasse, and you'll be glad you're wearing that extra stuff. Keep mitts or whatever you are using handy. It's cold in those slots. The best way to stay out of crevasses is with good routefinding and a good eye, but that takes time to learn.

Practice your glacier travel technique on easy snow, or even a big parking lot. Practice whatever rescue system you are using so that you can do it when you really have to. Learn by doing. Take a course.

Contrary to Sandy, I still think Freedom of the Hills is pretty good. Yes, there are better books for rock climbing, ice climbing. But it's a good general text. Lots of good advice in there, even if I don't agree with everything.

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