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Juan

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PLC said:

I climb mountains because I love being up high, in the clean, fresh air, I love the feeling of the sun on my face, I love the feeling of exhaustion after a long day, I love the physical nature of the climb, I even love the marmots and the goats. I just love being outside away from my desk.

Well then, it sounds like the "WHOLE POINT" of climbing is a little more to you than just to "maximize the amount of time spent out-or-doors". I ridiculed your statement because I feel CLIMBING is more than being outdoors. For me the outdoors aspect of it is a large part of it, but it is not the WHOLE POINT. Yours was such a ridiculous statement, or perhaps just sloppy. If one wanted to be outdoors, a better way to do it than climbing might be to be a professional landscaper, perhaps play golf, or sail to Tahiti. Climbing is not unique by virtue of it being an outdoor activity.

 

From your comments and Chuck's, it seems as if you consider the outdoors nature of climbing to be an impediment to your enjoyment and not an integral part of that enjoyment. If that is so, I pity you. How any climber could mock spending a week at a mountain lake "to rot" is beyong me....

You can get outside. You can climb. I prefer to to BOTH. "Rotting" at a lake often bugs the shit out of me because I'd rather be actively enjoying the great outdoors. Exploring, fishing, or maybe...CLIMBING! Where you got that I consider the outdoors an impediment to my enjoyment, I'll never know, but to create havoc among those on/off brains out there, I will state that:

 

I like climbing. I sometimes consider sitting at a beautiful mountain lake to be "rotting"; AND, I would prefer "rotting" at a beautiful mountain lake over climbing in a gym. wazzup.gif

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tex, I dont consider climbing basically a backpacking trip. If you'd read my previous post you would see this. I do lots of car-to-car and fast and light ascents. My point is people on here should stop giving shit to those who don't want to do that all of time. Soloing is more risking than belayed climbing, plain and simple, end of story. If somebody would rather pitch out a climb, or establish an extra camp for a margin of safety, etc. what the hell is wrong with that? I'm not saying I would all the time, or even some of the time, but people around here are so absolutist on everything. I again point out that the whole point of climbing is it's an endevour where you play by your rules, not some crap somebody else forces upon you.

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Josh,

I think this whole tangent started because PLC stated flatly that the whole point of climbing is to maximize time spent out-of-doors. He was being the absolutist. The replies were hammering him because he is the absolutist.

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ChucK, Fern, Dru, etc. - I'll conceed that my statement that the "whole" point of climbing is to maximize time spent outdoors was absolutist if you were to take it literally. Obviously, you could maximize your time outdoors by playing golf all day. I though that the enjoyment of climbing in-itself was implied by the fact that this statement was posted on a climbing message board, and could be assumed in my statement.

 

I guess a more thoughtful statement might have been "for me, the primary attraction to climbing is the chance to spend time in beautiful alpine settings, doing something fun". So, once again, I'll admit that my previous statement was, taken literally, pretty stupid - the idea I was attempting (obviously poorly) to connote, however, I will still stand behind.

 

Based upon texplorer's and others' comments it seems that there there are some people who apparently climb to "distinguish yourself from the masses" or for other "competitive" reasons. To me, that just seems sad. I really don't care what anyone thinks about my climbing style or abilities or the fact that I climb - I climb because I love it, not to impress anyone.

 

from Lao Tzu: "concern yourself with the opinions of others, and you become their slave".

 

So, if you want to think I'm an incompetent slow climber, go ahead, I don't care; if you want to climb car-to-car, have at it - I just can't see what the big hurry is about (unless there are objective hazards to consider, a weather window, or a time-off-work window).

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texplorer said:

I think many climbers I meet today use the "I like to take my time" excuse to hide the fact that they are out of shape, scared, or just plain don't want to push their bodies hard. Those 3 factors and jealousy of those who do push the limits are most of the anti-speed-car-to-car contingent. My point will prove itself most likely when a couple of you respond strongly with a predictable "that's not what climbing's about for me" lame-ass response.

You can smell the testosterone.... rolleyes.gif

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Both styles are cool or somewhere in the middle. As long as your outside enjoying the mountains. I prefer going fast and shit but that's just because I'm high.

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I would have to agree with JoshK, people are climbing for many different reasons and there are no rules to what makes it enjoyable for anyone.

 

Someone might want to climb Glacier Peak in a day, do the full Enchantment traverse in a day or do the Ptarmigan Traverse in a day and feel that it was the time of there life (or a walk in the park). Others may feel trips like that in a day are stupid. There are certain climbs I would much rather do in a day, and others I would rather take a few days on. The thing that comes to mind on some climbs is "we spent way too much time on that route, it would have been funner and safer if we were quicker", but that is just me. Hanging out and enjoying the mountains is pretty damn cool too....

 

However, the original point of this thread was that some people are getting caught up in speed or solo ascents when they shouldn't be and it causes concern for some. It's hard to really judge whether there is a good reason to be concerned unless you were actually there. A good point was made though, take a newbie out climbing and teach them good technique and judgement. It's the best way someone can learn their limits and how to safely approach them. Good mentoring will increase skill and reduce the concern.

 

As far as whether people should be doing car-to-car and speed/light ascents, I love the stories and the possibilities. It's pretty damn cool to do climbs like that. Keep it up!

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Try this on for size; the amount of stuff you carry on the approach doesn't have to have anything to do with how you do the climb. Carrying bivi gear to the base, sleeping, then blitzing without a pack, that's perfect style. There is no sensible motivation to do otherwise... other than showing up for work of course. Should the need to show up for work dictate what's good climbing style, or not?

 

As for the Colchuck area snow and ice climbs, the best, safest, most respectable way to go is clearly to camp at the lake and climb fully rested at the ideal time of the day.

 

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fleblebleb said:

As for the Colchuck area snow and ice climbs, the best, safest, most respectable way to go is clearly to camp at the lake and climb fully rested at the ideal time of the day.

 

Well, I'm just a beginner, so take my opinion with the requisite grain of salt. But respectfully, this statement strikes me as a bit absolutist. I think people will have different ideas of what is "best" and most "respectable". Even "safest" is open to some interpretation. I agree with you that a big advantage of overnighting is that it gives you some flexibility to choose the ideal time of day for the ascent. I don't feel that I was much better rested after humping my overnight gear to 6300' the previous weekend and camping at the base of the north buttress couloir, as opposed to Sunday when we did the northeast couloir car-to-car.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with Tod that it would be great if more people would, instead of just criticizing beginners, take a beginner under their wing. [Fleb, I know you often mentor less experienced climbers so this is in no way a criticism of you].

 

Climb on....

 

-Steve

Edited by Stephen_Ramsey

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Well duh, style is all about being absolutist. Light and fast, leave no trace, bada bimm. Smell the troll.

 

If you're too lazy to hump bivi gear (all 2-3 pounds that are really necessary) then you'll pound the trail in the night instead. If that gets you to where you want to be when you want to be there, then it can't be improved on. That still doesn't make it better - just equally good.

 

I go car-to-car more often than I would really like. It's cost me some climbs too, Triumph NE Ridge and probably Triple Couloirs this season. But I do it for silly reasons like not having time to approach the day before.

 

And Steve, I've never "mentored" anyone. I've taught some people how to belay, that's all. I don't really like alpine climbing with people that have even less experience than I do. It's too scary. Cragging is an altogether different kind of animal. Pretty much all my alpine partners have skills comparable to mine. The climbs I've done with more experienced partners have been very cool, but also quite rare.

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fleblebleb said:

And Steve, I've never "mentored" anyone. I've taught some people how to belay, that's all. I don't really like alpine climbing with people that have even less experience than I do. It's too scary. Cragging is an altogether different kind of animal. Pretty much all my alpine partners have skills comparable to mine. The climbs I've done with more experienced partners have been very cool, but also quite rare.

 

I stand corrected.

 

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Random Thoughts on the Topic:

 

IMO it takes both time and experience to develop a sense of which routes one can safely tackle in a day, and which routes you should take more time with. The same is true for pitching out a climb vs simulclimbing vs soloing.

 

I think it's worth getting at least a climb or two at a certain grade under your belt before upping the ante and trying to knock of other routes at that grade in a more aggressive style.

 

I hope that the folks that are just starting out take the levels of skill and experience that the folks posting the TR's here have before venturing out and attempting the same routes in a similar style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ed:

 

I think you missed my last contribution. I have never said here or anywhere else that one-day climbs are more dangerous. My point was, and still is, that being overtired because you skipped a night of sleep in favor of hiking in the dark can contribute to an accident. It's true on the highway and it's true in the mountains.

 

I've been climbing since 1985 and have done plenty of climbs around here and elsewhere in the so called "fast and light" style. Ask around. You'll see. Some of my most enjoyable routes have gone that way. I'm not a hot shot climber, but do appreciate "good style."

 

The truth is that the busier my life becomes, the more likely I am to do day climbs because I don't get two or more consecutive days very often. I know I am not alone. Others have mentioned it in this thread. It's one reason to go fast and light. Another is the pure challenge. Another is freedom from the pig. And there are more, potential safety being one of them.

 

As for Slipstream, I too read Twight's book, and I know what happened to Mark Bebie. Twight climbed it super fast and lived. Mark apparently pitched it out and didn't. Very sad story. But you're kidding yourself if you think you can always avoid things like cornices and seracs breaking, or avalanches coming down. It's a game of odds. Speed can stack the odds in our favor, but speed, or more particularly travelling super light and for extended periods, can also get you in trouble in a hurry.

 

Anyway, that's my take. Good thread.

 

John

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Likewise John.

 

I've been back a couple of times since you witnessed the tail end of our multi-day ascent of Online, but haven't done a whole lot of climbing on those outings.

 

I can't use the old bolts as an excuse to avoid American Pie anymore so I may have to give that line a whirl while next time I head out there...

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PLC is so suck boxing_smiley.gif

 

If I want to enjoy the outdoors I will go for a hike because enjoyment is severely curtailed by a large heavy sweaty pack.

If I want to do a climb I will go climbing and go as light and fast as possible.

If i want to trip out and expound on quantum mechanics I will fix lines two pitches off the ground and camp on my portaledge for 30 days spouting gibberish and rope-swinging.

If I have a week of time and money to burn I will spend it on a helicopter and get 5 days of climbing in rather than 6 days of bushwacking for one day's worth of trying a route. boxing_smiley.gif

Anyone who disagrees with me is a sissy and a loser boxing_smiley.gif

I like slow climbers because they usually leave booty behind yellaf.gif or you can clip into them for pro while passing them on route meaning you can take an even smaller rack. yellaf.gif

 

 

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This thread is a hidden gem. Some of the guys are adding some great thoughts, but Dru seems to be adding mostly chestbeating. The point is not whether highly experienced and competetent climbers should be doing ultralight climbs, but whether less experienced ones like myself should be doing it. Dru sounds like a guy who seldom will take out a newbie, which would explain why he has so little empathy. My two cents.

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when you're at dru's stage, why the would you want to take a wanker along to ask stupid questions and get on your nerves? (not that i'm sticking up for the cheesehead, eh) grin.gif

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catbirdseat dont make me sober up cause i might remember where i left my whoop ass boxing_smiley.gifboxing_smiley.gifboxing_smiley.gifboxing_smiley.gifrolleyes.gif

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No, I think Dru's got it right: how we climb is usually dictated by what we feel like doing at the time and the constraints we decide to impose (time, money, personal safety margin).

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As for Slipstream, I too read Twight's book, and I know what happened to Mark Bebie. Twight climbed it super fast and lived. Mark apparently pitched it out and didn't.

 

i haven't read twight's book so i'll ask. was twight on the climb within days of mark's accident? i don't see how speed is really relevant to this case. when Mark and partners bought it there were natural releases on 15deg slopes in the rockies.

 

my bias on this discussion of going fast/solo versus slower is that there is a time for every style; however, my personal pet-peeve is with people who systematically run back to the car at the end of the day. this is precisely when i like to take my time and enjoy being out for the sake of it.

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Speed counts in this case because the climb is beneath seracs the whole time. Twight soloed it in 2hrs and Bebie belayed every pitch with a party of three.

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