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About Climzalot

  • Birthday 11/26/2017


  • Occupation
    Program Coordinator
  • Location
    Bellingham, WA 98225

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  1. For technical routes on the mountain where you are trying to pare down weight and move quickly, this style of tent would be the way to go if you plan to camp on the route. For the Buttress or Muldrow etc, a bigger and more durable tent would offer a higher safety margin and be a lot more comfortable. In 2006 we recorded winds of over 100mph at 14k. A tent like the first light would have probably evaporated in those conditions. I saw several Trango's and North Face tents get shredded, albeit they were not properly protected and anchored. Good luck.
  2. The 30m rando type ropes are super useful for their intended purpose. I use these quite a bit on glaciers where there is a possibility of a crevasse fall, but a low likelihood of that. For ski mountaineering on glaciers, I often have one in my pack, but not necessarily rigged for glacier travel. As wfinley said, having dynamic properties increases the ropes usefulness in being able to belay technical bits. Although a static would be better for one application (hauling), a dynamic rope is more versatile and gives you more options in certain situations.
  3. On a long, multi-day traverse, I would be much more inclined to cut weight and simplify gear+systems, as long as I could still safely and efficiently accomplish my climbing goals. With regard to the safety issues, to me it comes down to one question, can I quickly and safely carry out a crevasse rescue with one rope. In my mind, the answer is yes, and so in most cases, another rope is not needed, nor an advantage. It depends! How big are the slots, how numerous are the slots, at what angle will you be engaging them, do you know how to manage a crevasse rescue with little or no rescue rope left over, how long is your rope, etc. Knowing when, why, and how to do these things is key, and I don't think there is one right answer that can apply to every situation. On most of the volcano routes, about 40 to 50 feet seems about right to me. Rarely less than 30, never less than 20. You might as well be piggy-backing your partner with 10. I have used nearly the whole rope on a few occasions in Alaska. Both of us not going to the bottom was a lot more important than having a convenient rescue scenario. Most of your discussion of systems mentions dropping a loop/2:1. Unless the hauler is super strong, and the fallen climber is super light, a 2:1 is going to be a lot of work, in many cases impossible. The good old C to Z (3:1/5:1) seems to be the standard for two person rescues. It never hurts to remember that the first job of the rope and of course the climbers using it, is to stay out of the hole. In ten years of traveling on glaciers, here and abroad, I haven't seen a climber on my rope go in more than waist deep. Now that I have said that, I am probably in for a deep, dark ride in the near future. Great. Cheers and good luck.
  4. The Twin Sister's Range near Bellingham offers fairly easy access (with some approach beta) to the alpine environment. The west ridges of the North and South Twin's are both great 4th class scrambles with some exposure to make you feel like you are climbing. Probably still a good bit of snow on parts of each as well.
  5. In climbing, the safest option is not always the best. The "safest" thing would be to not leave the house, ever. After that, we all play a balancing act between efficiency, practicality, and safety. Standards for, and definitions of these things will vary from person to person based on personal biases, preferences, etc. In your scenario I am not sure what you mean by "double" ropes. If you mean using two half or twin ropes, hauling and prusking on these ropes is a nuisance at best. Personally I can't see how the advantages, if there are any, in having two ropes would outweigh the cost of carrying and having to deal with another rope. Kiwi coiling is usually reserved for times when you intend to lengthen and shorten the rope often. Otherwise, the mountaineers coil is much easier to carry, access, and employ in a crevasse rescue scenario. Obviously there are thousands scenarios and methods in climbing and mountaineering. Depending on your objective and aforementioned personal factors, the "best" strategy will probably change from outing to outing. Personally, for two person teams on moderate glacier routes I prefer to use a single rope in the 9.0-9.2 range, or a half rope in the 8.5-8.8 range. For alpine ice and rock routes, I prefer using two half ropes. When approaching a multi-pitch rock or ice climb via a glacier route, I will use one of the half ropes for glacier travel. Have fun and good luck.
  6. Bela's company is Alpine Skills International. http://www.alpineskills.com/ Good luck!
  7. Careful on this one Blake. If you don't have a long enough draw on the piece that is attached to the rope and your gear loop (assuming that is where you clip it), you can blow up your gear loop in a fall and lose the stuff you may need to finish the climb safely. Also, a longer draw in this situation often gets hung up on things, and it is easy to screw up and clip above the biner on your rope in a desperate moment. More of a "goal" than a tip or trick, when rappelling multi-pitch ice routes using v-threads, the first person to rap should get to the next rappel point, set the anchor including a screw to back up the v-thread, and have the rap anchor ready to go with rope threaded by the time the second gets there. No one likes hanging belays on ice, and hustling (not hurrying!) can really help minimize time there. Also, practice v-threads often so you don't miss. I nailed 16 in a row and 15 in a row coming off two separate peaks in Alaska, and that saved soooo much time. Time that is much better spent drinking and eating back in camp, not strapped to the ice. Have a look here for other tips, tricks, and advice from some good climbers: http://aai.cc/expert_tips.asp Coley
  8. Scottgg. Nice work on the climb and thanks for the trip report. How was the last pitch of climbing on the face before you got into the 3rd couloir? A friend and I climbed it in lean conditions a number of years ago. The face seemed to funnel up into a narrow gully which eventually turned into pure rock. At the time I remembered thinking that this last pitch just before the 2nd Couloir was one of the spicier pitches I had lead in the mountains. One good stopper right off the belay, and then 40+ meters of slabby, unprotectable, crackless granite and silver-dollar size pieces of frozen turf to a snow seat belay. Did you find anything like that, or was this section fairly snowed/iced up? Again well done!
  9. Awesome report Jay. Thanks for sharing! Coley
  10. Definitely horizontal. Climbing anywhere in the Ruth area requires a lot of glacier travel, and even the so called "ice" routes usually have long sections of snow climbing and/or junky ice where surface area up front is your friend. The Black Diamond Sabretooth crampons are still my favorite for all around climbing from snow slogs to water ice. A headlamp is very useful until mid-May. Good luck.
  11. Wow. That is by far the most ice I have seen on those routes. Hard to believe that Shreddie and Closet Secrets are anemic given the amount of ice close by. Thanks for the photos.
  12. Hey Gene. Andy is headed off towards other opportunities after a long run and many contributions. I am still alive and kicking withing the AAI hierarchy. If anyone would like an insider's perspective into the job or the company, feel free to shoot me a PM, call AAI, or send me an email at cgentzel @ aai.cc. Happy climbing folks. Coley Gentzel
  13. Here is a link to an article that seems to deal with a pretty similar subject matter and approach to the ones you describe. AAI - Physical Conditioning for Alpine Climbing For the working class professional, getting exercise is all about evenings and weekends eh. I get bored to death on the stair master and avoid it whenever possible, but it suits a purpose when outside time is limited. The climbing gym does the trick for staying in shape for the rock. Finding a spot where you can get some cardio and weights in along with a session on the rock wall seems like an ideal combo. Succeeding on long routes and expeditions is often about having the mental strength and fortitude to go along with the needed base of physical conditioning. The only way to train for that aspect of climbing, besides spraying on the internet, is to put yourself into a series of progressively more involved or intense situations, bearing in mind personal safety and appropriate limits of course. Good luck and have fun!
  14. Here is a photo of a Pavehawk just after it touched down on the summit of Mount Hunter. From time to time the military holds "trainings" in the Alaska Range where helo pilots practice their high altitude landing skills. Strange site and experience after a few days of solitude on a peak like Hunter.
  15. The NPS restriction on landing zones isn't based on altitude, but rather the National Park boundary. The landing zone on the SE Fork of the Kahiltna (Denali Base Camp) is just outside of the Park. Once you turn the corner at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill and starting heading up the main fork of the Kahiltna you are in the Park and planes can't legally land there unless asked to do for official business. The NPS Llama has largely negated the need for any fixed wing landings in the Park for rescue purposes. The only thing that shuts down the landing sites is snow/glacier conditions. Cracks start opening up at BC even in May some years. The landing site often slides up the glacier a bit even as the typical season progresses. On the first ascent of the W. Buttress, Washburn and the crew were dropped off at the base of Ski Hill (7800'), well within the Park and near where most people make camp 1 these days. I know there have been a few landings at 14K as well, but I couldn't tell you when and by who. Impressive.
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