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timy

rock climbing catagories

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Mt. Whitney has a section of 3rd class rock.

What does that mean and is there a site I can look at that defines the differences?

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Are you saying class three terain is equal to the angle of the stairs you've pictured??

What I'm interested in, Mt Whitney,Mountaineers Route, has class three areas. I guess what I'm wondering is what kind of terrain is that. I've climbed Shasta, Adams, and St. Hellens plus some

minor peaks, are any of these mountains considered class 3

terain?? I'm a good safe climber but I mostly solo because my days off are mid week so I don't get a chance to be with people who know the terminologies let alone how to visulize them.

Thanks for whatever you can explain

timy

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Class 3 terrain is scrambling. You will have to use your hands but not a rope. The regular routes on most volcano slogs do not have Class 3 scrambling.

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Ohh blah blah blah assholes, since when did it become okay to dump on newbies in this forum? Rhetorical question, the answer is: it isn't.

 

The Mountaineer's Route on Whitney is pretty dependent on conditions, it's a gully to the right of the summit. Often, it's a casual scramble, but it can offer significant challenges depending on snow conditions. People have died there, and you do need mountaineering and self arrest skills. Isn't the south side slog on Hood considered 3rd class?

 

Typically, 3rd class means you need to use your hands for support pretty routinely. It offers ample opportunity for fatal consequences of mistakes, but it's not usually deemed necessary to use a rope. If the summit alone is your interest, the trail will do just fine, offering some fine windows of exposure between the sub summits and safe situations to hang your head over the relatively sheer east face.

 

The fact that you're inquiring "what is third class" suggests that you should seriously reevaluate your route of choice. This isn't some sort of ha-ha or put down, the inexperienced routinely die in this sort of terrain.

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Timy,

 

3rd class climbing is not usually very technically difficult, although it can expose you to potentially fatal falls. The difficulty is determining exactly where the 3rd class climbing "route" is (since most other options will be more difficult). It is easy to climb off-route into more difficult terrain and end up faced with scary and dangerous downclimbing to get yourself back on route.

 

The Mtrs. route on Whitney, while appearing relatively straightforward, requires some degree of routefinding skill. It is possible to make a mistake and wander off into 5th class territory. Also, if there is hard snow or ice on the exposed section, a fall not immediately arrested has proven to be fatal more than once.

 

The previous ascents you mention require little in the way of routefinding skills if done in good weather, and (if you did standard routes) no routefinding skills on rock. I would recommend finding a partner, it will be more fun.

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off white,beecher thanks for the info. While I have done a small amount of off trail route finding this will be my most challenging adventure. I am going in August, I hope, and when there

if things look too much over my head I will remember what you said. "geting there is only half way"

don't know who said that but it's pretty smart.

thanks again

timy

 

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Have a good time, Timy. I don't know the route, but there should be little if any snow on it by August and rockfall may be the biggest source of danger. On third class terrain it is often the loose blocks that the person fifty feet above you send down, or the one you kick loose and take a ride on which cause accidents. Particularly when climbing in gullies, be watchful for where rocks you may dislodge will go and where you may step out of the firing line when they fly from above. Take any rest stops out of the line of fire, and time your crossing or climbing of exposed areas accordingly.

 

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g-spotter

perfect, thats what I needed, a visual.

I did a couple of climbs like that and didn't know it was class 3

going up is easier than coming back down.

Thanks muchly

timy

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I would say that is more like 4th class with alot of third. Looks to me like you have to climb more than scramble. Either way....cool pic.

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I went home and did some reading (freedom of the hills)and the wikpedia site mentioned above. Both sources stated a fall would

not necessarily be fatal. the pic from g-spotter looks like it would be fatal 99% of the falls taken. Is this more a class 4

that 3. on my climb simular in looks to this, going up I felt very confident but, going down, frankly scared the shit out of me.

thanks for the input

timy

 

 

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I went home and did some reading (freedom of the hills)and the wikpedia site mentioned above. Both sources stated a fall would not necessarily be fatal.

 

 

AKA, stairs. A fall from stairs "would not necessarily be fatal".

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it depends if you land on a ledge or not

 

falling off the sidewalk onto the road can be fatal if you hit your head

 

the difficulty of the climbing, has pretty much nothing to do with the chance of death if you fall.

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or rather than stairs, think of a ladder. you can easily die falling off a ladder from ten or twenty feet up. but no one ever ropes up to climb a ladder.

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Timy,

 

There is no shame in taking a rope and roping up when you feel being unroped is too dangerous. A thin, short (25m) rope can be light and effective. However, this will require some training. You have ample time so go do it.

 

For most climbing routes, the descent route is different from the ascent route. In this case you should probably just hike down the trail.

 

Lastly, Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 at just under 14,500ft. If you have not hiked or climbed at this altitude you will find it harder than you might think. Try some other high routes before Whtiney. You don't want to ruin your trip with the mother of all headaches or pulmonary edema.

 

Good luck,

 

Rad

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Thanks for all the input!!! I will keep all of it in mind during my outings. The main thing I needed to learn was indeed what to expect a class 3 climb to look like and what to expect my abilities to deal with. While I have only been involved in this activity for 3 years I have learned most from those on the same outing. If I get lucky and procure a permit for Mt. Whitney the quota allows 25 people per day on this part of the trail so I expect not only to see the route going up and down first hand but also expect to hook up with others even if it involves following their lead as I have on a few other outings.

Thanks to all who responded. I will travel safe!!!!

timy

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Here's another example of class 3. The Finger Traverse, Mt. Constance. Way exposed, not very technically difficult, but tripping on your shoelaces could be fatal.

6553IMG_1085.JPG

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