Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Alex_Mineev

Intermediate climbing from The Mountaineers

Recommended Posts

well the two samples I saw were a spectra "climb high" daisy and a BD nylon daisy. I did not ask what the sample size was in the testing. The spectra daisy was completely severed at the bottom loop. The nylon was intact, but several of the bartacked stiches were ripped out. I think the test was more to demonstrate you shouldn't fall on daisies, even a very short distance. However, the theory is that spectra's low melting temps are the possible cause for the failure. The test was a factor 1 fall taken by a 80kg weight, so there would obviously be some human body shock absorbtion in real life. But still...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beck said:

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...

 

Yeah, I remember reading those specs, jokingly wondering if they were going to kick me out for my 7mm perlon cordelette.

 

Apparently someone screwed up, because on their website, they had the link to Tom Meyer's study of strengths and fatigue over time, but in their handout, they had the classic Mountie phrase, "If you don't use this brand of 5.5mm spectra or tech cord or whatever the fuck it was, you will die."

 

Above phrase is commonly heard from certain overbearing instructors in similar contexts:

 

If you wear cotton in the mountains...

If you do not use belay gloves on a rap...

If you don't have a candle in your 100 essentials...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
catbirdseat said:

No, Fleblebleb, Toast wasn't referring specifically to you.

 

That's much better catturd. No more whining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished the Mounties Intermediate course. I'd say it is a mixed bag. But it is a whole lot better then the rap on this board. Long post follows, balanced but mostly positive. Ignore if you already know the truth, ok?

 

BTW I lead 5.8 alpine now, am fairly fit with extensive tele and ski mountaineering experience pre-mounties. I signed up originally to get cheap crevasse rescue training. My climb/ski friends include boealps grads and folks with no formal training. Took me Jan 02 to july 03 to do the course.

 

Facts: The course requirements include teaching at about 6 basic course field trips (including crevasse rescue - nothing like teaching people to get that wired), attending about 6 Intermediate lectures, taking several intermediate fields trips (one to demonstrate competency in most basic skills, one on winter camping - sno caves, emergency shelters, avalanche stuff, beacon search practice, one on rescue techniques, a couple on placing pro and lead climbing, and two on ice climbing); you have to be a rope leader on 6 basic course climbs, and you have to complete 5 intermediate course climbs. The climbs are not assigned; you have to sign up for them through a pain in the butt regsitration system. (if you are picky about your climbs it is tough - if you just want to get out and climb it is not so bad). They also give you a copy of Accidents in North American mountainerring to read, and a large list of recommended texts including Long's anchor book and others. The total time is probably 30 to 40 days and they give you up to five years to finish the course. The rope leads on basic climbs help you work on gear management, having to set all the belay anchors and raps, do the glacier route finding, and deal with all of the party dynamic stuff, without being tested at a high technical level at the same time. They are actually trying to prepare you to be able to organize and lead your own adventures, and to be better able to do the kind of mentoring that some on this list advocate. They do push a low impact climbing approach as well.

 

A couple of particular things you can get from the course that friends are unlikely to teach: practice small group rescue techniques, with raising and lowering systems and the like. The Mounties provide MOFA training.

 

One misperception is that the course has only easy climbs. The course challenge level is what you make of it. Alpine ice climb options include Liberty Ridge on Rainier and the the north ridge on Baker. Rock climbs include the north ridge of stuart. You are not required to do these climbs, but you can. This july I climbed the north face of buckner.

 

If you have friends who are good climbers who will mentor you, and you are willing to read, study and practice on your own, then probably only small portions of the course will be useful. Because the course is low cost, you might consider just using those parts and not dealing with the rest.

 

Are the climbs commonly disasters? No. I have been on climbs where the leaders have gotten lost, it is true. I have been on climbs where the party was too large. I have been on climbs where someone was ill-prepared, either physically or skill-wise. I have had an unplanned bivy too. Almost all on basic course climbs and it was miserable. But all of these things have happened to me on non-mounties climbs too. Who hasn't gone up the wrong "obvious gulley?" Have any legendary rock climbers taken fatal falls? What about the best guides in the business leading large ski parties to death in avalanches? If you climb new routes in less then perfect weather you WILL have problems. The mounties get a lot of grief in part because it is very big club and large size means more chances for screw ups, especially on basic climbs.

 

Basic course lectures seemed almost useless, probably because I did study Freedom of the Hills etc. But the intermediate course really is a different game. I don't know why the difference, but there's much more respect for the students and willingness to interact. Treated almost like equals.

 

Re the Mounties having only one way to do anything - not my experience (yes in the basic course but no in intermediate) You learn lots of different ways because you're climbing with lots of different people, all of whom are willing to share. Plus I have been referred by Mounties to resources that most of you know, like Jim Nelson at Pro Mountain Sports, who ehlp me evolve my own climbign style.

 

The Mounties are trying to ensure that strangers can climb together with a reasonable expectation of what the other folks'll be like. Aagin, this is more common on basic climbs. Intermediate climbs tend to reqire leader's permission, so they screen you first. Whether you can handle that process after you finish the course is a personal choice. They have an express climb deal where you can just put your name up as avaialbe for certain dates and climb leaders thinking about a last minute climb can call you. That's pretty cool when you're jonesing for a climb and nobody's around.

 

RE the sheep syndrome, my experience has been almost universally that climb leaders expect and encourage us as intermediate students to study the route, to be accountable for route finding and making input, and are willing to listen and consider what we say. The sheep mentality is almost exclusively a basic course phenomenon. The intermediate students self-select, such that they are excited about climbing and are there to learn and do stuff.

 

I have not found climb leaders to be overly rigid with safety issues. Again, the basic course is very different in this respect. And most of the leaders are good folks who are trying to give something back. Nice folks. Don't know where the ego-tyrant complaints come from. pretty dang rare.

 

If you want to avoid "bad" leaders (or style conflicts), you just need to ask around and keep your ears open and you will find some who suit you. Not too hard

 

I think if you're really just into alpine rock at 5.10 or so, the course isn't the best fit for you. If you just dislike institutions, stay away. If you can't handle a dose of older/retired climbers telling you stuff, stay away. If you don't like people stressing safety, stay away. If you think there are too many people on your favorite routes, try climbing mid week, or move away from this enormous metropolitan area and get your butt over to Lander and go climb the Wind River range.

 

If you have substantial prior experience, you can test out of the basic course by doing a written application and a one day skills test.

 

In sum, like everything else in life, you get out of it what you want and in proportion to what you put in. For example, this site, which is packed with so much great information, requires a consistently painful degree of wading through immature petty name calling and total personal tangents to threads. Many of the people who engage in these practices are the same ones who quickly criticize other approaches to climbing, and especially organized groups. So many ego problems. Do we climb to climb or to make fun of other people? (I enjoy the occoasional good heckle and expect to receive a bunch here. It's ok, I can take it, I have my Mounties helmet on and am anchored to both my desk and file cabinet, tied in with a figure 8) Still, we all do come back here...

 

For sure, nobody has to join the mounties and there are many other good ways to get good climbing training and experience. I got a lot out of it but have been frustrated at many lectures, field trips and climbs as well. Was it worth it? You bet. Do I make fun of the Mounties? Yes of course - and of myself as well. Is there a "mountaineers type?" Don't think so. Many who join are great folks (in many different ways) who don't happen to know climbers and/or mentor types and are the kind of people who are taking initiative in their lives to go pursue something new. Some of my friends from the mounties have climbed and travelled all over the world. So just try to realize that it isn't all black and white. Why can't we all just get along...

 

Peace out.

 

Jim O'Donnell

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gary_Yngve said:Above phrase is commonly heard from certain overbearing instructors in similar contexts:

 

If you wear cotton in the mountains...

If you do not use belay gloves on a rap...

If you don't have a candle in your 100 essentials...

 

Yeah, now that I think of it, this is mostly a basic class thing (as well as the first review fieldtrip for Intermediate). I believe I wore blue jeans and a cotton t-shirt to Rock I and Rescue Methods and didn't get hassled by anyone about it.

 

But an instructor did give me a lot of shit for showing up to Camp Long without appropriate clothing for the mountains.

 

As JimmyO said, most of the folks are laidback and cool...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jimmyo said:

The Mounties are trying to ensure that strangers can climb together with a reasonable expectation of what the other folks'll be like. Aagin, this is more common on basic climbs. Intermediate climbs tend to reqire leader's permission, so they screen you first. Whether you can handle that process after you finish the course is a personal choice. They have an express climb deal where you can just put your name up as avaialbe for certain dates and climb leaders thinking about a last minute climb can call you. That's pretty cool when you're jonesing for a climb and nobody's around.

 

I think this is the most pertinent thing when thinking about the Mountaineers or any organized climbing organization.

 

They're like a standards body. Not everybody likes the standards, and they're not always the only nor best way to do things, but they do lay out common expectations that others can work around.

 

In the same way, just because you're a Mountie doesn't mean you can't climb and learn from friends you trust.

 

Now, can't we all just get along? Geek_em8.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim you crazy Irishman. I happen to know that you are one kick ass dude that would make shorts over polypro look sweet. wink.gif

 

I'm glad that you've had such an awesome experience with the course, but there are as many opinions of the course as there are students. My friends and I happen to be on the sour end of the scale due to frustrating experiences with leaders. And they wonder why their graduation rate (basic or int) isn't closer to 100%?? Do I want to wade through all the climbing styles until I find a leader I feel comfortable with? I've tried, it hasn't worked well, it's not worth it to me. Perhaps some of us are just better suited to do things with small groups of friends whose climbing styles we know intimately, rather than waste more weekends with the herd.

 

As long as we're out doing our thing and facing our own challenges, that's all that matters.

 

bigdrink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jimmyo said:

 

 

For example, this site, which is packed with so much great information, requires a consistently painful degree of wading through immature petty name calling and total personal tangents to threads. Many of the people who engage in these practices are the same ones who quickly criticize other approaches to climbing, and especially organized groups. So many ego problems. Do we climb to climb or to make fun of other people?

 

 

 

 

Amen! bigdrink.gif

 

Do we climb to post, or do we post to climb?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sphinx said:

Holy shit, I'd hate to get stuck behind a group of Mounties on the N. Ridge of Stuart. hellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gifhellno3d.gif

 

Well, it probably wouldn't happen. I highly doubt the Mounties would go up there with more than four people total, and those four would be

competent. NR Stuart is not the Tooth...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that most of us post to climb. This site is for shits and giggles during the week, seems like most people spray at work. That's the fun of this site, if we only sprayed about climbing we would spend about one tenth the time on here.

 

I climb, I spray, and I still think that Mounties suck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chucK said:

GoldTeamTatoosh.jpgimage54.jpg

 

A picture says more than a thousand words. yellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifMounties are so suck. Despite the fact that Petzl makes a bunch of money from them. yellaf.gifyellaf.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that it means anything, but those two pictures are taken from boealps.com. Right-click over each picture, and choose Properties. It shows the web site where the picture is loaded from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All you people who keep saying, "Mounties are so suck" are a bunch of frauds. You even post pictures from the Boealps web site to further your bull shit claims.

 

The truth....You still hold a grudge because the Boy Scouts would let you join as a kid, because of their "No Gays" policy. To you, Mountaineers are just Boy Scouts for adults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gohawks said:

All you people who keep saying, "Mounties are so suck" are a bunch of frauds. You even post pictures from the Boealps web site to further your bull shit claims.

 

The truth....You still hold a grudge because the Boy Scouts would let you join as a kid, because of their "No Gays" policy. To you, Mountaineers are just Boy Scouts for adults.

 

You just pointed out that I'm not gay. Good for you. But if I extrapolate from your statement, I realize your stupidity kept you from writing what you meant. If you meant that "the Scouts wouldn't let me join", then you are saying that the Mounties also have a no gay policy. However that can't be true, ALL mounties are gay! yellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gif

 

Besides, the Scouts suck just as much as the Mounties, even if they do climb better. yellaf.gifyellaf.gif You're just another wannabe Mountie poser. How WAS the Toof? moon.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Sphinx, type=stupidity. So you're saying you never made a typo before?

 

What might I be posing as?

 

I've never climbed the Tooth before. Have you?

 

rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gohawks said:

Ok Sphinx, type=stupidity. So you're saying you never made a typo before?

 

What might I be posing as?

 

I've never climbed the Tooth before. Have you?

 

rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

"type=stupidity" Are you trying to prove my point? Did you mean 'typo'?

 

You seem to be posing as a climber.

moon.gifmoon.gifmoon.gifmoon.gifmoon.gifmoon.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

actually it's idiots such as yourself who think they're Einstein because they can figure out the context of a sentence from a trivial typo, and point it out to the mistyper.

 

i climb, but i don't pose as anything more than that. if you review my climbing-related posts, you'll see that they're either questions for more experienced climbers, or posts for scrambling partners.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gohawks said:

The truth....You still hold a grudge because the Boy Scouts would let you join as a kid, because of their "No Gays" policy. To you, Mountaineers are just Boy Scouts for adults.

 

So are you saying the Mountaineers have a "No Gays" policy shocked.gifhahaha.giffruit.gif?!?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lame, lame, lame....

 

Sheesh, people, who fucking cares. I think the Mountaineers are stupid, but who fucking cares? As individuals (I know many of you are sheep, that's okay), we will gravitate towards the learning style and group dynamic that works for each of us. The Mountaineers have their place, apparently, and they serve a purpose (more than just to clog routes like the "South Arete" on SEWS) for some people.

 

I don't remember why this thread was started, and I don't give a fuck; all this "they're great"..."they suck" bullshit is stupid. Like 'em, don't like 'em; reserve the right to bitch about them, fine. Personally, I would not join the fucking Mounties if you paid me; but that's me. Make up your own fucking minds. Look to the Washington Alpine Club; I hear they have a much better dynamic and aren't so Hitler Youth-esque.

 

Let's move on to something important, like whether or not Mounties are allowed to come to the Rope Up. Bwahahahaha!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×