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      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   12/08/21

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newbee

Newbie progression

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hi, I'm lurker for a while, but thought that I'd post a few stupid newbie questions to take advantage of the experienced climbers that hang out at cc.com to spray.

 

Im not brand new to the sport, but my partner and I are self-taught in climbing with the exception of a crevasse rescue course we took with RMI. Have done moderate alpine climbs, easy to moderate trad multi-pitch, lots of sport climbing, and some top-roped WI. We hae summited Rainier a couple of times and did the Ptarmigan Traverse and climbed the easy routes on most of the peaks.

 

My question is how to progress from here? Not looking for answers like "just go out and do it" or "hire a guide".

 

Want to know what specific routes will get me from the slogs on Rainier to a route like TC or Lib Ridge. Where is a good place to start covering steep snow/ice routes easiest to harder?

 

Any advice is appreciated.

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Pick up a guidebook and start climbing well-established routes that look a little harder than what you're doing now. For example, NBC on Colchuck, White Salmon Glacier on Shuksan, NF Buckner. Look at Steve Ramsey's website. He's been writing TRs for a lot of moderate steep snow/ice alpine routes lately.

 

"Just go out and do it" is pretty damn good advice, though.

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when i started climbing seriously i had the benefit of several disastrous relationships along with alcohol and substance abuse which fostered a general disregard for personal safety and allowed me to climb harder. now i am sober but angry at the whole fukin world so i still hang it out there from time to time. it was that bald fuker who used to shag brooke sheilds that summed it up: attitude is everything.

the_finger.gif

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I find that trying routes that are pushing my limit or past my limits are the best way of progressing. If i try routes that are near my limit it makes me realize what I can and cannot do. If i don't try the harder routes i won't know what I can do. I end up failing on a lot of routes but the success' (though fewer) boosts confidence and skill. The plus side is that i'm quite good at retreating! Start leading easy WI and get good at aid climbing (Squamish). I feel if I can lead WI next to the highway I can do it 2000ft up some face. (Lillooet has a lot of easy/moderate ice. Aid climbing allows me to get on bigger routes and cheat on sections if it gets to hard thumbs_up.gif, it's also great for getting used to exposure and gear managment.

Edited by salbrecher

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Schweet. Thanks to all, esp for that list from Jason. That's the kind of route suggestions that I was hoping for although most of those are on the easier end. Any other must do moderates?

 

Now, I just need to get out there and put in the time. Thanks again.

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newbee,

 

if you are looking to get from slog to technical winter/spring alpine, here are a few routes that would be worthy to try. bear in mind that most times success on these routes is completely conditions dependent, but learning what makes good conditions is part of the learning process

 

Moderate alpine snow and ice routes - all these are day trips

--------------------------------------

N Face/NE Buttress of Chair Peak - tried and true

Sandy Headwall on Mt Hood - longer day trip with lots of terrain

N Buttress Couloir on Cochuck - moderate with plenty of exposure and easy decent

N Face of Maude - moderate just about any time of year, with a real alpine feel, easy decent

Ice Cliff Glacier - not the scetchfest it used to be, at least on in Spring. more complicated decent

N Ridge of Baker - very short section of difficulties. easy decent

 

Attitude is everything. Build your alpine skills and don't get psyched out by any routes "reputation". Go check it out for yourself, and retreat if you get too far outside your comfort zone (all these routes can be retreated from pretty easily before you commit to them). You'll find often that the routes seem better/easier than what you anticipate based on their "reputation".

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hi, I'm lurker for a while, but thought that I'd post a few stupid newbie questions to take advantage of the experienced climbers that hang out at cc.com to spray.

 

Im not brand new to the sport, but my partner and I are self-taught in climbing with the exception of a crevasse rescue course we took with RMI. Have done moderate alpine climbs, easy to moderate trad multi-pitch, lots of sport climbing, and some top-roped WI. We hae summited Rainier a couple of times and did the Ptarmigan Traverse and climbed the easy routes on most of the peaks.

 

My question is how to progress from here? Not looking for answers like "just go out and do it" or "hire a guide".

 

Want to know what specific routes will get me from the slogs on Rainier to a route like TC or Lib Ridge. Where is a good place to start covering steep snow/ice routes easiest to harder?

 

Any advice is appreciated.

I'm just a gumby, so take this advice with the requisite grain of salt.

 

Some great suggestions of routes have already been made above. I'll just add some observations and a few more route suggestions.

 

Winter alpine climbing is a really good way to gain experience and push your limits. Lots of north-facing routes that are are mere scrambles in summer, become good moderate alpine climbs in winter. With the few winter alpine climbs that I have done, I've found the pro to be generally sparser than on spring/summer climbs. Furthermore, those winter climbs forced me to become creative in finding ways to move upward (e.g., hunting for hidden cracks under the snow to torque the pick into, dry-tooling on little rock features). It also forced me to be really disciplined about testing the strength of a pick placement before committing to it. Spring and summer climbing are a lot of fun too, of course, and can be just as runout and challenging as winter climbing if you find the right route.

 

Some other moderate alpine climbs that might be a good stepping stone:

 

* NE Couloir on Colchuck Peak (II-III, AI2)

* North Ridge of Pinnacle Peak (II, class 4, AI2)

* Entiat Icefall on Mount Maude (III, class 4, AI2)

* Northeast Slab on the Tooth (II, class 4, AI2+)

 

The two winter routes above (Tooth & Pinnacle) are highly condition-dependent. Bring a few pins.

 

The Colchuck climb is more of a spring thing. It is quite moderate, but speed is essential because of icefall hazard. There is potentially a large cornice at the top of the couloir. Bring a shovel. Some variations are possible for the couloir exit.

 

The Maude climb is probably most interesting in late summer, when the schrunds open up, and the icefall becomes more challenging. Basically the schrund crossings and the initial 80' of rock climbing on the east ridge, are the hard parts. The rest is fun cruising.

 

Will the above routes get you to the point where you're ready to tackle the Triple Couloirs or Lib Ridge? Hard to say. Certainly, they haven't done it for me. On the other hand, they are fun and a good experience.

 

Good luck and have fun. wave.gif

Edited by Stephen_Ramsey

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Getting ready for Lib. Ridge:

NF Buckner

NF Maude

Fuhrer Finger Rainier

NF Shuksan

Adams or Mazama Glacier Adams

NR Baker

 

 

Getting ready for TC:

Entiat Ice Falls

NF Chair

NR Baker

NE Slab Da Tush

Some WI3 climbs

NE Buttress Colchuck

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the best thing for makign progress, i think, is climbing w/ a mixed group of people; sometimes w/ folks doing stuff more difficult then you're used to, sometimes w/ folks more a novice then yourself. you acquire knowledge from the former and make it permanent by demonstrating it to the later.

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The obvious answer is, "climb alot". No smartassing intended. You will learn more from doing than from following a book. And later, when the book is poorly written, it will not affect your climb.

Just as an example, I grew up in Missoula MT. The Bitterroots are right there at the south side and extend southward for another 100 miles. They had plenty of easy terrain to backpack in and as I got more and more comfortable in steeper terrain, I ventured on harder routes that I would pick out on maps. I never had a guide book and my father and older brothers only came with me in the first few years. As I gained experience, I was able to see routes that would have looked like death zones before. When I was 14, I got my first set of heavy touring skiis and started winter mountaineering. Same story. Wait, watch, go. I spent a lot of time in the same general area the first year. This helped me see how avalanche potential builds and releases. I also pushed harder routes between sections of familiar terrain.

Go to the Enchantments or someplace similar and stay off the trails. Run the ridges or traverse the plataue taking in several peaks. Don't be chagrinned by having to back off and find a different way. If that doesn't happen, you are either not pushing yourself hard enough or are pushing past your respectable limits.

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now i am sober but angry at the whole fukin world

 

Isn't there a "Get over your anger at the whole fukin world" step? wink.gifthe_finger.gif

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now i am sober but angry at the whole fukin world

 

Isn't there a "Get over your anger at the whole fukin world" step? wink.gifthe_finger.gif

black eyes to you. the_finger.gif

if it werent for anger i woulnt feel anything. evils3d.gif

and i dont know any other way to deal with traffic. moon.gif

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