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Peter_Puget

Rock climbing v Mountainering

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Where does rock climbing begin and mountaineering/alpine climbing start?

 

I consider Darrington, Static, Index (granite) most of Leavenworth rock climbing not mountaineering. Most of WA Pass is rock climbing to me. Leavenworth gets kinda confusing for example: Prusik (sp?) seems like rockclimbing to me as does CBR but Dragontail can be both – some short cracks are definitely not mountaineering but the long routes are. Some of the higher Icicle crags have much more difficult approaches than most mountains.

 

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Jeesh you guys this was a serious question. Someone is always bringing the subject upin some form - take for instance CBS talking about the SCW descent. I'll work on the Venn Diagram later tonight.

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It all begins and ends where you want it to.

 

But who really cares about the taxonomy of a climb?

 

Where does hiking end and mountaineering begin?

 

Why do I keep asking pointless questions?

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I consider most routes that reach a notable summit to be alpine routes. I think of most WA Pass routes as alpine rock routes. This to me contrasts with routes of a broader alpine nature involving an ice axe on the approach/climb, or possibly some technical mixed climbing. IMO in washington, mountaineering explicitly involves glaciers and often occurs on volcanoes.

 

To consider certain rock climbs not alpine (i.e. WA Pass) detracts from the sense of adventure employed by the FAists.

 

I suppose in my mental heirarchy "alpine routes" rank something like this on the Alpinometer.

 

1. Alpine cragging w/o summit (SCW)

2. Alpine cragging w/ summit (WA Pass)

3. Remote alpine rock climbing (Prusik)

4. Short glacier approach climbs (NR Stuart)

5. Extensive glacier approach climbs with some steep snow on routes (Cascade Pass)

6. Winter/Spring Alpine mixed routes (DT, Stuart)

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Here’s an example:

 

Ken4ord wrote:

To me I am not necessarily chasing numbers, but what I saw early on is if I could climb 5.12 cragging then I could surely get on alpine 11's, which mean way more terrain available to climb. Also the great exposure on hard alpine climbs appealed to me as well.

 

If you can climb a 5.12 crag climb there are plenty of 5.12 cracks on Dragontail you could do. They are both pretty much rock climbing, although most would consider Dragontail mountaineering.

 

By the way I have climbed on Dragontail and never considered a route going to the summit.

 

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Darrington - Rock Climbing

Washington Pass - Rock Climbing

Stuart Range - Mountaineering

Enchantments - Mountaineering

Leavenworth - Rock Climbing

Static Point - Rock Climbing

 

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To consider certain rock climbs not alpine (i.e. WA Pass) detracts from the sense of adventure employed by the FAists.

 

Not sure I buy that. For example didn't the AAJ refuse to publish early El Cap routes because they didnt have a summit? Which had more adventure?

 

I would wager $100 that the guys doing the FA of Dream On (Low angle crag for sure that ended in the middle of a slab)had a hell of a lot more adventure than the average FA of a WA Pass "Alpine" route.

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Interesting, because I would disagree with your assesment. El Cap FAists had the luxury of extensive route observation. To me, adventure lies in the unknown. While Dream On was almost certainly more adrenaline pumping climbing, I would reckon (with no knowledge of the route) that it was almost exactly what the FAist envisioned when they saw the line. FAists at washington pass were by and large exploring an unknown canvas.

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Darrington - Rock Climbing

Washington Pass - Rock Climbing

Stuart Range - Mountaineering

Enchantments - Mountaineering

Leavenworth - Rock Climbing

Static Point - Rock Climbing

 

What about routes like the E Face of Cutthroat, it sure looks alpine to me. Or how about the pictures of Burgundy in winter (or any routes in winter for that matter). Is this region really reduced to "just" rock climbing at the onset of summer.

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Interesting, because I would disagree with your assesment. El Cap FAists had the luxury of extensive route observation. To me, adventure lies in the unknown. While Dream On was almost certainly more adrenaline pumping climbing, I would reckon (with no knowledge of the route) that it was almost exactly what the FAist envisioned when they saw the line. FAists at washington pass were by and large exploring an unknown canvas.

 

All the early ascents of El Cap were major achievements. Equipment, techniques and psychological barriers were truly being pushed to extremes. We will simply have to disagree when you suggest routes like the Becky Route on Liberty Bell were at all comparable let alone more of an adventure.

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Part of the allure of "mountaineering" is that it is not just a test of your technique on a particular rock problem. It is dealing with a variety of factors including expected and unexpected difficulties on approach, weather, self arresting on heather, bad shit happening and general self-reliance. This calls for a different mindset than someone hopping out of their car, working a problem for a few hours, then driving off.

 

Thus, I would definatly consider Washington Pass, the Enchantments, etc. to be alpine mountaineering. Exit 38, Index not.

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Darrington - Rock Climbing

Washington Pass - Rock Climbing

Stuart Range - Mountaineering

Enchantments - Mountaineering

Leavenworth - Rock Climbing

Static Point - Rock Climbing

 

What about routes like the E Face of Cutthroat, it sure looks alpine to me. Or how about the pictures of Burgundy in winter (or any routes in winter for that matter). Is this region really reduced to "just" rock climbing at the onset of summer.

 

Some value judgement seems to be coming into play.....

 

The Upper Wall Waterfall has yet to be climbed. Is Index to "just" rock climbing only when it's over 32 degrees or is it rock climbing only because no one has yet had the "adventure"?

 

Is "alpine" merely a location?

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I dont disagree at all that easly ascents of El Cap were some of the most extreme climbs of their time.

 

...but they were still less adventures into the unknown that the Becky route?

Edited by Peter_Puget

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What about when you bouldering with crampons on? Is that mixed climbing? Or is it solo mountaineering? I think the Venn is our Friend for this thread.

 

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When does a rock become a mountain?

If you remove a drop of water from the ocean, it's still the ocean. But if you removed all the drops of water, there wouldn't be an ocean. How many drops of water make an ocean?

What is the sound of one avatar posting?

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