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Dane

Colin "distilled"?

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yes, informative thread, thanks.

 

curious what headlamps you guys use for night climbing? I've found mine barely adequate, looking for a vetted upgrade. any ideas appreciated.

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I also carry a inexpensive and tiny Petzl on me as a spare...weights almost nothing and will work in a pinch.

 

I forgot my emergency lamp so many times after leaving one pack at the base of the route that I decided to always leave it in my pants pocket.

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Getting off a climb just once using a BIC lighter to look for anchors will make a guy a little paranoid :)

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I forgot my emergency lamp so many times after leaving one pack at the base of the route that I decided to always leave it in my pants pocket.

 

Getting off a climb just once using a BIC lighter to look for anchors will make a guy a little paranoid :)

 

One time we forgot headlamps in pack at base....it got very dark, we attempted to take pictures using the flash to detect the drop offs then got "smarter" and droped rocks to find the cliffs. It was an adventure....

 

Someone suggested taping a headlamp to helmet, especially in winter. I need to do this.....

 

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I also carry a inexpensive and tiny Petzl on me as a spare...weights almost nothing and will work in a pinch.

 

I forgot my emergency lamp so many times after leaving one pack at the base of the route that I decided to always leave it in my pants pocket.

 

but you can always count on your partners to bring them, like on the old settler, right?

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More? This time with Steve House. CC.com has all the good guys :)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIkmYiwbZWg

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoACZH2N9gE

 

For a headlamp I currently use a Black Diamond Icon...it rocks in December.

 

I also carry a inexpensive and tiny Petzl on me as a spare...weights almost nothing and will work in a pinch.

 

I had avoided posting in this thread, but mentioning Steve House...

 

He had a really bad fall this past week on Mt. Temple. Here's to his recovery!

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Thanks for the heads up Doug. It should be obvious there are some big risks to the type of climbing we are talking about in this thread. Mtns don't care how good you are. Here is to a quick and full recovery!

 

 

Steve posted this an hour ago on his facebook page .."The rumors are true. I pitched off of the Greenwood-Locke route on the north face of Mt. Temple. I went for a memorable 80-footer. Got rescued by the most-excellent canadian warden service. Injury list: 5 broken ribs, 2 broken in 2 places, collapsed rt lung, 2 minor fractures in my pelvis, and five minor fractures of various bits of my spine. Sounds worse than it is. 100% stable."

 

 

Red line is the Greenwoode/Locke

 

n1099338977_30409799_5506146.jpg

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The knowledge that Mark shared is hard won. No matter what you read on the internet, you need to get out and slowly strip your system down to what works.

 

Steve was rescued in about an hour because he:

1. Had his cell phone

2. Was on Mt. Temple where there is cell phone recption

3. Was in Canada where the rescue is unbelievable

4. Had a heads up partner in Bruce

 

Again, here's to Steve's recovery, that is what's important.

Edited by Doug Shepherd

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"If you are plunging curved tools in snow for support always face the tool picks up hill"

 

Is this plinging the handle or the head?

 

Also, I have a (never used) 70cm ice axe and am curious if there is any reason to keep it if I already have ice tools, and for what.

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"If you are plunging curved tools in snow for support always face the tool picks up hill"

 

Is this plinging the handle or the head?

 

Also, I have a (never used) 70cm ice axe and am curious if there is any reason to keep it if I already have ice tools, and for what.

 

Like most of climbing this is up to debate but ice tools are usually for anything over, I donno, lets say 50-60 degrees or less if there is water ice. Anything less you can use a standard mountaineering ax. Using ice tools, or an ice tool on a glacier climb like the DC route on Rainier would get tiring. It also depends on your height a bit because taller people tend to like longer axes.

And that is plunging the handle.

Edited by summitchaserCJB

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This might just be me but I've personally found that on any terrain that is too low-angle to comfortably use an ice tool, I feel comfortable with just crampons and trekking poles. Consequently I haven't used a longer "mountaineering axe" in years.

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This might just be me but I've personally found that on any terrain that is too low-angle to comfortably use an ice tool, I feel comfortable with just crampons and trekking poles. Consequently I haven't used a longer "mountaineering axe" in years.

Can you flesh that out a bit? What would you do on the DC where you obviously need an ax (or do you like falling thousands of feet?) but where you don't need a tool. Also, for me, as I am tall, leaning over an ice tool on moderate terrain is asinine. Maybe you just don't do snow slogs.

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hey Raph, you are pretty tall but a 70cm axe would be a bit long for you. IMO

 

my thinking for standard mtn axe is that is most useful for slopes of 20 to 35 or so degrees. (as far as using it in the vertical position, piolet canne) So the axe should touch the uphill side with the arm at comfortable level, usually horizontal or lower but no higher than horizontal. For my height and arm length, a 60 or 65cm axe works. For you, I would bet that 65 would be good. That extra 5cm of axe length, while seeming small enough, will build up in the course of the day in unfavorable arm position and make things seem harder. (especially when plunging the shaft in on 45 degree and steeper slopes)

 

Plus that height will be manageable if you have the occasional steep ice bit. But I have seen you ice climb and I bet you could climb wi3 with a single 70 cm alpen stock no problem.

 

I think Steve was talking about plunging the shaft into the snow. I have no idea why to orient the shaft in that way is better than having the widest portion of the shaft face downhill. Maybe it gets into the snowpack deeper due to the curve of the tool. Pick downhill would travel partially horizontal?

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Always cook inside your tent

Always use a cartridge stove

Warm weather use a Jet Boil

Cold weather use a MSR Reactor

. . .

Sit up in the tent while cooking with a stove inside...limits the chance of carbon dioxide poisoning by being lower in the tent, like laying down would.

Or just use a stove that doesn't put out 10-100 times the CO of other stoves. I am sure you've seen the test results on backpackinglight.com but if you haven't... The Reactor doesn't come with the huge CO warning tags for kicks. Be careful.

 

FWIW, I can tell you, having extensively tested both the JetBoil and Reactor stoves, that the JetBoil (at high output) produces far more CO than the Reactor. The Reactor stove at high output (which is how a majority of folks are going to use the stove), relative to competing stoves, produces little CO. While still not per se "safe" to use inside a tent (especially without proper venting), CO wise, the Reactor stove should be your choice.

 

My $0.02.

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"Is this plunging the handle or the head?"

 

Colin is sponsored by BD so he generally uses a Cobra or Viper. In context the plunging was spike first, blade pointed up hill. The idea is to gain more support when you weight the tool in steep snow by the arc of the handle forcing itself farther into the snow instead of the reverse.

 

On the Nomic many of us plunge the tool head first. In that case I generally do it side ways to get as much surface area as possible from the tool's cross section for support. I have also carried one of the super light, short, straight shafted axes to go with my Nomics if I know there will be a lot of snow around.

 

"Also, I have a (never used) 70cm ice axe and am curious if there is any reason to keep it if I already have ice tools, and for what."

 

I have a few straight shafted axes around from 75 down to 40cm.

Although most don't see any use these days. Moderate snow can make a 60 or longer axe, if it is a reasonable weight, worth having and using in the right terrain.

 

"I feel comfortable with just crampons and trekking poles. Consequently I haven't used a longer "mountaineering axe" in years."

 

If I am wearing crampons I generally want a ice axe capable of a self arrest in hand and not a trekking pole. But I have used trekking poles and crampons several times just getting to Source Lake ;)

 

I own a couple of super lwt 50 ice axes for things like DC and the Emmons where the majority of time I'd use a trekking pole. Same axes will work just fine for Ptarmigan or Libery as well in everything but hard fall conditions.

 

Only reason I don't use a 60 or 70 cm axe there now is eveything I own is too heavy to carry. The one axe weights more than a short axe and one trekking pole. And the trekking poles are easily adjustable for size so they get my nod.

 

Big fan of trekking poles on most trips that involves a walk of any length.

 

 

 

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Or just use a stove that doesn't put out 10-100 times the CO

 

You know...argueing with Colin's success rate and his choice of gear is like pissing in the wind as far as I am concerned. I suspect Colin knows more about every decision he makes climbing and with gear than most climbers know about the most informed decision they make.

 

Colin's presentation was for the Mountaineers. To his credit he didn't dumbie down what he had to say for the audience. Most everything he said wouldn't fly in any mountainering school or guided program. It doesn't have to. Using a 5mm tag line and 8mm 1/2 rope when required for his main rope for instance. Or cooking inside a tent with any stove let alone the Reactor.

 

What obviously works for Colin and his partners may well get YOU or me killed in short order. The info I posted is for educational purposes only so you get a glimpse into what it takes to get up the kinds of climbs Colin, Mark and their partners get done year in and year out, year after year.

 

While we might disagree with some of Colin's choices or decisions I understand (or think i do) the context under which he makes those choices.

I agree with you. Hindsight is often 20/20. I don't want to be the naysayer because I've got a lot of respect for the hardcore guys out there. But guys like Dan Osman knew a lot about gear and rigging and all of that.

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Many, many people even here on cc.com doing similar stuff for years that Colin simply admitted to. Good on him for being honest enough to say so in a public forum.

 

Dan...not so many...like none doing "controled free fall.". Todd Skinner died from a harness failure because of its age.

 

"Skinner, a 47-year-old former rodeo cowboy and world-renowned rock climber, fell more than 500 feet to his death Monday after the nylon loop used to attach the climbing rope to his harness broke." "The part that broke, called the belay loop, is designed to be the strongest part of the climbing harness, but Hewett, 34, said Skinner's harness was old."

 

"It was actually very worn," Hewett said. "I'd noted it a few days before, and he was aware it was something to be concerned about." Friends of Skinner said he had ordered several new harnesses but they hadn't yet arrived in the mail."

 

"Dan Osman died on November 23, 1998 at the age of 35 after his rope failed while performing a "controlled free-fall" jump from the Leaning Tower rock formation in Yosemite National Park. Osman had come back to Yosemite to dismantle the jump tower but apparently decided to make several jumps (over a few days) before doing so.[1] The failure was investigated by the National Park Service with assistance from Chris Harmston, Quality Assurance Manager at Black Diamond Equipment. Harmston concluded that a change in jump site angle probably caused the ropes to cross and entangle, leading to the rope cutting by melting.[2] Miles Daisher, who was with Osman when he made the jump, stated that the ropes used in his fatal jump had been exposed to inclement weather — including rain and snow — for more than a month before the fatal jump, but that the same ropes were used for several shorter jumps on the previous and same day."

 

Huge risk of dying in the mtns for guys like House and Haley. (see House's recent 80' fall on Temple or Twight's KISS OR KILL) Gear failures are the least likely cause imo.

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http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/57090/how-to-self-arrest-head-first

 

A link showing how to self arrest with ski poles, basically

you put the pole inside of your armpit and put all your weight

into it. Will not work on ice, actually works pretty well on

somewhat steep snow, be sure to practice. You may be able to dig in one boot toe with the snow pole self arrest method.

 

You can self arrest with your body alone if you use cupped hands

at your face, dig in cupped hands and elbows and dig in toes

hard, works on soft snow pretty well.

 

I thought I would throw this in the thread for those who

would like to use ski poles and don't know how to self arrest

with them. Practice!, I try to do so once a year.

 

By the way you do not have to put your left hand all the way

at the top of the pole, if the pole is too long it works well

by grabbing the pole down lower around the shaft.

Edited by DanO

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Agreed, to original post that was deleted. Boot/axe belay is very effective and very fast.

 

Also...ski pole self arrests? Not all that useful in the back country..but better than nothing. I'd suggest if you are going to ski terrain where a fall might well be dangerious to get the right gear for the terrain. Ski pole grips with the ability to self arrest properly. Black diamond offers them as do others.

 

On even black diamond runs at a ski area a ski pole self arrest is of minimal use imo.

 

51CefSCZjML._AA300_.jpg

 

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Last year, Colin talked about various winter climbs in the Cascades. The tech tips and discussions proved very popular, so this year he will focus on this theme - gear, logistics, food, training, and general tips, for a fun interactive session.

 

Colin will be at the Mountaineers clubhouse on November 10, 7pm. All are welcome (free event). Directions to the venue is here:

http://www.mountaineers.org//scriptcontent/default.cfm?insert=contact

 

 

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