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Alex_Mineev

Intermediate climbing from The Mountaineers

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I tried it and thought that it was a total waste of time. I can honestly say that I learned NOTHING! The leading instruction can be useful if you have no experience placing pro, but the ice climbing field trips were so lame I hardly know what to say. I hear the Boalps class is much better.

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I personally am not taking the class but I climb with two people who are. I trust both of them. Personally i think its like all things in life your going to get out of it what you put into it.

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Alex_Mineev said:

Has anybody tried that? Does it worth the time?

It will be one of the greatest endevours you will do, at least with the Tacoma branch, unless of course you know everything already. If you are sketchy on what constitutes a safe anchor, absolute bombproof protection, and want to climb with a bunch of great people, then the intermediate class is for you. Have heard that the mothership of Seattle has a big class, not so personal. Wouldn't recommend for experienced climbers unless you want to lead for the club.

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obsydian said:

Alex_Mineev said:

Has anybody tried that? Does it worth the time?

It will be one of the greatest endevours you will do, at least with the Tacoma branch, unless of course you know everything already. If you are sketchy on what constitutes a safe anchor, absolute bombproof protection, and want to climb with a bunch of great people, then the intermediate class is for you. Have heard that the mothership of Seattle has a big class, not so personal. Wouldn't recommend for experienced climbers unless you want to lead for the club.

 

Interesting; I wouldn’t call it the greatest endeavors of one’s life (unless you lead a rather boring life); all that you have to do to graduate the class is do a few easy rock and glacier climbs (some in the winter). I don’t dispute that it can be a lot of work, especially for novice climbers, but “the greatest endeavor”—hmmmm.

 

I’m no fan of the Mountaineers for several reasons that I won’t get into now, but, trying to be as objective as possible, I would watch out for what the instructors teach you. Indeed, some instructors will be quite knowledgeable; however, when I wasted money on the class (opp, must stay objective, sorry), there were several instructors that I felt didn’t know jack shit about creating bombproof anchors and/or placing good pro.

 

If you’ve placed gear and done a bit of leading I’d say go buy yourself John Long’s anchors book, read it a bunch of times, practice creating anchors on the ground, and then go climbing with (some of) the people you meet on this site; IMHO that would be a better investment.

 

If, however, you need hand-holding and step-by step instruction (which there’s no disgrace in), maybe the class is right for you. In general I think that the term “intermediate” climbing is deceiving; what the hell does that mean? It’s not really an “intermediate” class, as the skills taught are the most basic; however, the class does teach more than the “basic” class. Hmmmm.

 

Also, I must say that I really haven’t cared for most of the mountaineers members that I’ve met. Of those I’ve met, perhaps I’d climb with 10%. Mountaineers members have quite a distinct personality—you’ll either like them or hate them.

 

 

 

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If you're an alpha-male with a deficit of meaning in your life whose only fulfillment is the power trip you get from competing with other members of the class and bossing around Basic students, and demeaning other more subduded, albeit better, climbers than you.....then you'll fit in just fine.

 

My experience (this is the Seattle group) is that the really cool people you want to climb and have fun with are NOT in the Mounties class, esp the Int class. Any remotely good natured climbers learned what a sham the club is and got out after the Basic class. I'll second what thelawgod said. Get a book, practice with some friends, and go have your own fun. You won't have to suffer under the horrendous decision-making their egotistical and often dangerous "leaders" make. Do not fall victim to their dogma that their methods are the only way to climb. If you enjoy being on a route with 11 other people and being a lemming, then go for it.

 

"One of the greatest endeavours you will do" - give me a f-ing break!!! The only comment I agree with obsydian is that the Int class is perfect if you want to be a leader with the club. See above statement for personality requirements.

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trustyredalien said:

If you're an alpha-male with a deficit of meaning in your life whose only fulfillment is the power trip you get from competing with other members of the class and bossing around Basic students, and demeaning other more subduded, albeit better, climbers than you.....then you'll fit in just fine.

 

My experience (this is the Seattle group) is that the really cool people you want to climb and have fun with are NOT in the Mounties class, esp the Int class. Any remotely good natured climbers learned what a sham the club is and got out after the Basic class. I'll second what thelawgod said. Get a book, practice with some friends, and go have your own fun. You won't have to suffer under the horrendous decision-making their egotistical and often dangerous "leaders" make. Do not fall victim to their dogma that their methods are the only way to climb. If you enjoy being on a route with 11 other people and being a lemming, then go for it.

 

"One of the greatest endeavours you will do" - give me a f-ing break!!! The only comment I agree with obsydian is that the Int class is perfect if you want to be a leader with the club. See above statement for personality requirements.

 

yellaf.gif

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It depends on what you want to get out of it. It is probably most useful if your goal is to participate in the club. If you are not real interested in participating in club-level climbs and such, it is probably not worth it. Even so you would probably get your money's worth learning rescue techniques which are taught early in the course. You will meet cool people who climb and like anything else in life, you will meet people you don't care for either. If it helps you to get out more, then go for it. If you already are getting out plenty, but want a specific set of skills, you should probably seek a different (shorter, easier) place to learn.

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You can find idiots anywhere if you look hard enough. It's not too hard to find a few on this board. Look around.

 

Yes, the Mounties do attract a certain personality type, but that's not universal and not an absolute. You'll find plenty of cool people that have gone through the Basic and Intermediate Climbing programs with the Mountaineers. In general, I'm more apt to trust somebody who has gone through a structured program like theirs. It's not that their training is so superior... it's not. However, I know that anybody who has gone through their Intermediate Climbing program has covered the basics and knows rescue systems. Those climbing actively have hopefully grown a bit, been exposed to other methods, different systems, and integrated best practices into how they climb today. Yes, there are those numb minds who are the notorious ones referred to on this site, but they tend to dwell within the ranks and stay there. That doesn't mean you have to.

 

The Mountaineers Intermediate Climbing Program is a good thing if you want a structured program that covers the basics of leading on rock, building climbing anchors, rescue systems, alpine ice climbing, and mixed climbing. I'm in the Everett intermediate program even though I live in Seattle. I'd give a big thumbs up to looking at the smaller branches if you're really interested.

 

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THe Mountaineers's classes are for sheep and people who need validation from a group. Find some friends and learn from them; that's what I did. thumbs_up.gif

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Toast said:

You can find idiots anywhere if you look hard enough. It's not too hard to find a few on this board. Look around.

 

Yes, the Mounties do attract a certain personality type, but that's not universal and not an absolute. You'll find plenty of cool people that have gone through the Basic and Intermediate Climbing programs with the Mountaineers. In general, I'm more apt to trust somebody who has gone through a structured program like theirs. It's not that their training is so superior... it's not. However, I know that anybody who has gone through their Intermediate Climbing program has covered the basics and knows rescue systems. Those climbing actively have hopefully grown a bit, been exposed to other methods, different systems, and integrated best practices into how they climb today. Yes, there are those numb minds who are the notorious ones referred to on this site, but they tend to dwell within the ranks and stay there. That doesn't mean you have to.

 

The Mountaineers Intermediate Climbing Program is a good thing if you want a structured program that covers the basics of leading on rock, building climbing anchors, rescue systems, alpine ice climbing, and mixed climbing. I'm in the Everett intermediate program even though I live in Seattle. I'd give a big thumbs up to looking at the smaller branches if you're really interested.

 

8=) Suck it Toast! hahaha.gif

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It's all hand holding in the intermediate class, books and experience are the best IMO. The knowledge I have gained in the past year has been from other climbers that I look up to, and others that are learning as well and we share information.

 

They told me how they screwed shit up, what not to do, and shoved the john long books in my face.

 

Find a mentor and learn from them and their mistakes.

The intermediate climbs are pretty stupid from what I have heard. You really want to go climb "Gaper Rock" and lead "Sabre" with the Mounties?

YUCK!

crazy.gif

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I didn't do the intermediate course, but I'll bet it's a good way to find partners. The people in the intermediate course have graduated (or tested out) of the basic class so, while they may be nowhere near proficient in any sort of technical climbing, it is likely that they are reasonable fit, capable of finding their way around the woods, and are pretty serious about getting out in the mountains.

 

If you got a lot of time, not tons of money, want to be able to have climbs set up every weekend, I'd say the intermediate class might be a good thing.

 

You can find partners on this board, but your partners and amount of responses can be quite variable. Plus you have to write and read "f**k" a lot.

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chucK said:

...it is likely that they are reasonable fit, capable of finding their way around the woods...

 

Oh buddy are you naive. The tales of leaders getting lost and climbing the wrong route or peak (yes I'm serious) are ENDLESS.

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I've never gotten lost, climbed the wrong route. Uh uh never noway hellno3d.gif. Never climbed the wrong peak. Nope not me. hellno3d.gif

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I looked into it a few years ago and was told I'd have to start in the beginner's class and didn't want to spend a season filling the prerequisites to get into the intermediate. Is that still the case?

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You're right Chuck, we've all done our share of dumb stuff wave.gif, but I'm talking trips where leaders do not listen to other people on the trip when things begin to go haywire. When you're out with 12 people it's dangerous to think so myopically. To be a real leader means to know when to ask for help, admit when you've fucked up, and to deligate accordingly to alleviate the situation. That has not been my experience in 2 years with the Mounties and many people I know share this viewpoint.

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Bronco said:

I looked into it a few years ago and was told I'd have to start in the beginner's class and didn't want to spend a season filling the prerequisites to get into the intermediate. Is that still the case?

 

Probably not, they just saw you coming and you had 'Rope Gun Hooker with big checkbook' written all over you. Bwahahahaha!!!!!! yellaf.gifyelrotflmao.gif

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Toast said:

You can find idiots anywhere if you look hard enough. It's not too hard to find a few on this board. Look around.

 

Yeah what is it with all the Mounties posting here lately, eh? They're just painfully obvious.

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.. will reserve comment on intermediate class and mountaineers, other than its a large and old mountaineering organization that are exemplary in the outdoor publishing industry.

 

an observation from this last winter/spring... at some point in the last season, the shop I work at was completely sold out of a certain type of spectra cord- other shops were calling us, asking if we had it... we were calling REI, PMS, FF, etc to try and find some for customers...

it seems the entire intermediate class from the seattle branch were in possession of some written course specs, that stated that "brand x is the only acceptible material for cordalettes.

 

Hmm, a stiff cord that doesn't hold knots well, needs to be retired sooner due to material fatigue, and besides being a completely innacurate statement about cordalette materials...very interesting...

 

the shop contacted the steering committees, SEF, etc and found out they were aware of the error, and we believe they corrected this innacuracy during the lectures...

we were honestly worried the mounties were going to misinform climbers, that would in turn misinform everyone else they ran into

 

(including, presumably, some mountie at rotowall or barnies rubble with a ton of gear, and gaiters, screaming up at climbers they were "doing it wrong!")

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interesting to note that in factor 1 drop tests (i.e., I climb up to the anchor and fall back down on my daisy chain), the "strong as steel" spectra daisy chains broke when the nylon ones survived.

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