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hbrogers

trip advice

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Bottom line is veterans on this board need to be careful about making assumptions about the capabilities of who they’re advising. Even a ‘non-technical’ climb takes basic abilities they might take for granted:

 

 

Thank you for stating this with more tact than I posses. Wasn't trying to start a pissing match with the hardmen on this forum. Sorry to DPS, Alex and anyone else I might have offended by questioning your "wisdom."

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Mt Baker is really an ideal mountain to start off with. It has all of the same challenges as Rainier (glaciers, crevasses, weather, lots of elevation gain, etc) but without the ass kicking of an extra 3,600 ft of altitude.

 

The two most popular routes, and the best for beginners, are the Coleman Demming and Easton Glaciers with the Easton being perhaps a bit easier.

 

The typical season starts in May and runs through the end of September. Starting in May the weather becomes more stable throughout the season and dramatically so after July 4th when the jet stream shifts. As the season progresses, however, crevasses open up, snow bridges shrink and become weaker, routes become more circuitus and icier. The trick is to find the sweet spot when weather is stable and the glacier is still in good shape. My recommendation is July (after the 4th).

 

I don't recommend climbing Mt Baker without some instruction first. You need to know ice axe skills (self arrest, self belay, boot axe belay), cramponing skills, rope work and knots (figure eight, clove hitch, Prusik hitch, butterfly knot, water knot, fisherman's knot), snow and ice anchors (how to place effective, pickets, deadmen, flukes, ice screws, bollards, etc), route finding skills, weather reading skills, and so on.

 

You can get a jump start on your education by buying a copy of Freedom of the hills and practicing what you can, but there are some skills you need a mountain with snow to practice and learn on.

 

Yes, guides cost money but if you go with a good outfit and take a skills course (not just a summit bid) you can learn a tremendous amount. Think of it this way, you are already spending money on clothes, gear, and travel expenses, the guide fees are just a bit more coin you have to come up with.

 

The other option that you mentioned is find a generous soul who is willing to take you under their wing and show you what you need to know and guide you to the summit. With this approach you really don't know the qualifications of your 'guide', they may be really great or just learning like you.

 

Best of luck,

 

Dan

 

Re-read my original response to the OP above.

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Wasn't trying to start a pissing match with the hardmen on this forum. Sorry to DPS, Alex and anyone else I might have offended by questioning your "wisdom."

 

And yet, by continuing to insult folks with whom you disagree, in the form of a veiled apology, you choose to do just that.

 

From your approach, and other posts I've read of yours recently, it seems to me that you've already made up your mind about the "hardmen" on the board and their "wisdom", and all the "assumptions" they are making about Newbies who post here. So further discussion doesnt seem like it would result in you opening yourself up to different opinions at all. I think it is because you do not know the other posters personally. Internet anonymity does not bring out the best in people. I know many who post on this board from - you know- real climbing and real life, so the respect for each others opinions comes from personal relationships, not climbing resumes.

 

To answer your question directly to me, yes, I will stand completely by my position that S Side Hood, S Side Adams, and some routes on Baker are all completely approproiate for flatlanders and noobs with little or no experience. I know many personally whose first mountaineering experiences were those routes. My 9-month old Malamute puppy climbed Mt Baker! Other fine routes include S Sister and Middle Sister in Oregon, Sulphide on Shuksan, Eldorado E Ridge, and other such climbs.

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haha i love seeing people get into it on forums. i think i have a pretty good idea about what is safe and what isn't. mountaineering is foreign to me, but from what i've read/been advised on adams south side, it seems very doable. maybe i'm completely wrong. someone has offered to guide a friend and me up eldorado and then we are probably going to attempt adams. we have been training and do have appropriate gear. i guess we'll find out in a few months if it's too difficult/dangers and i come back broken or don't come back at all haha.

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I think your plan is good hbrogers. You already did two things to make it more likely to succeed: 1) moving to July, 2) ditching the more seriously crevassed Baker for Eldorado and Adams. Best of luck!

 

I learned a ton of what I know from Alex and Dan here. Alex took me on my first multipitch climb, letting me lead the third pitch (my first gear lead!). Later, he soloed beside me on my first ice lead...kind of hilarious in retrospect, but his calm advice about when to place a screw and when to run it out will always echo in my head to good effect. Neither of those guys treated me like a baby. The assumption was that I knew I could get killed doing what I was doing. I think they are assuming that you know that too, hbrogers.

 

Sounds like KirkW wants this site to be an extension of the North Cascades National Park Office, where if you ask about climbing Mt. Triumph you'll get a big lecture and be encouraged to take a guide, and asked funny trick questions about water and stoves, the whole idea being to shame you into recognizing you should just go home, or (even less likely) embark on a multi-year accredited apprenticeship program checking all the dots on a piece of paper. Very few adults have time for that stuff.

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Sounds like KirkW wants this site to be an extension of the North Cascades National Park Office, where if you ask about climbing Mt. Triumph you'll get a big lecture and be encouraged to take a guide, and asked funny trick questions about water and stoves, the whole idea being to shame you into recognizing you should just go home, or (even less likely) embark on a multi-year accredited apprenticeship program checking all the dots on a piece of paper. Very few adults have time for that stuff.

 

Several of my past posts beg to differ with this statement.

 

Glad I'm not the only one making judgments about people without knowing them now! I hope you're OK with the idea that I might have a different opinion than you?

 

Never was questioning Alex's ability to free solo ice either, but since you brought it up what grade of ice should I be capable of free soloing before I post in the newbies forum again?

 

We tell newbies that it's a walk in the park and then flame them when they post a TR.

 

HB, yes I'm acting like a child, I think the newbies forums are supposed to be free of this crap. Sorry.

 

Anyway, hope you have fun on your trip whatever you end up doing. As others have said, read FOTH and practice before you climb. Climbing a volcano is pretty straight forward and I'm sure you're capable of it if you have the drive to do it. Most people are, but you'd be amazed at how utterly simple it is to screw it up. DO IT but don't underestimate it. My point earlier is that some of these guys on here have been doing this so long and are actually pretty incredible climbers who've forgotten more experience than I've had in my 5 years of climbing. Problem is that I think they have forgotten some of what it's like to be new to the sport.

 

I moved to Oregon 6 years ago from the midwest having never been a climber,hiker or anything else outdoors. I knew less than nothing about mountains because most of what I thought I knew was wrong. Maybe you won't be as awestruck as I was but they were way more intimidating to me in person than they were in photos I'd looked at online. 6 years later I've climbed most of them in OR and a hand full of them in other states. If my fat dumb ass can accomplish this I have no doubts most people are capable of it.

 

Just be safe and don't bite off more than you know you can chew.

 

 

 

 

 

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KirkW,

 

Nobody has a problem with you voicing your opinion, however, folks tend to get their backs' up when you act like a dick.

 

Dan

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Get in shape, after that everything else is easy. Not in shape = slips = injuries = death possibly. Everything else is secondary especially if you have no experience.

 

That is the bottom line. In shape, class 3/4 for the inexperienced is perfectly safe. In shape, snowfields are perfectly safe as you won't be slipping and sliding due to fatigue.

 

That is the bottom line. If you are a newbie and not in shape, I won't take a newb anywhere dangerous. If experienced and out of shape, sure, no problem.

 

Being fit is the #1 priority for mountain climbing. Not to mention mtn. climbing SUCKS the BIG ONE if you are not in shape.

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i've been trying to get in shape. i have been using the workout guide for the rainier climb that was in outside magazine, but i wish there was some sort of fitness test to kind of let one know where he stands. maybe one of you could come up with something. and i'm sure there are going to be some smart ass comments to come my way due to the previous sentence haha

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OMG you shouldn't even be within sight of a mountain unless you can hump 120 pounds of crap in the pack at 1000ft vert per 10 minutes while smoking unfiltered fags. (cigarettes for the PC squeemish)

 

No really, what the small rodent said is good. And to that good personal maintenance skills (sun protection, Body temp control, excellent hydration and food intake, keeping the pack weight under control and being very mindful of the weather/subjective/objective hazards and conditions{not in order of importance}) you should be fine. Use your brain even more so when you are tired. Keep aware of where you are for the return trip. Learn and use a map/compass. (backtrack gps unit?)

 

think, be present and enjoy. When times get hard, your body can do more than you think it can. Use your time this spring to train, read and learn.

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What Gene said. I think the 'soft skills' are easily as important as technical skills.

 

I think with favorable conditions most reaonably fit persons can climb Rainier. That said, the fitter you are, the more enjoyable the trip will be.

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ok, officially the worst month i've had in a while. first my gf dumps me after i already paid for a plane ticket to visit her in denver so i fig not that bad i'll change the flight for the climbing trip. now i get a message from the guy that offered to take us up eldorado whom i've been in touch with for several months saying he no long feels comfortable with our lives in his hands. so my question now is, is eldorado that dangerous without previous climbing experience which i'm guessing is a yes even though the guy who was going to guide us said to go ahead and give it a shot by ourselves? i'm not a happy person now

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The standard route on Eldo is not difficult, but if you have no experience with an ice axe, crampons, wilderness travel, etc., you could easily find yourself over your head.

 

When is your trip?

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That sucks that the guy changed his mind. My advice now is to try your best to come up with the $600 that it takes for a 3 day course on crevasse rescue and glacier travel including an attempt on baker from AAI. After this course you will most likely have enough skills to do most of the basic glacier climbs in the area by yourselves including Rainier so long as the weather and conditions are good.

 

A lot of mountaineering is playing the mental game of having confidence in your abilities. Its no fun to climb a mountain second guessing yourself the whole time and wondering if you are doing something dangerous that you don't know about. $600 may seem like a lot but I can almost guarantee that you wont regret spending it if you plan on climbing again in the future like you say you are.

 

Its tough to look at a bunch of trip reports that talk about how basic and easy a climb was and then hear people say that you need proper training to walk on some snow. The truth of the matter is 99 out of 100 climbing parties up the volcanoes or glaciers will not need to use any "special" skills. But if you are one of the lucky 1%ers you will really be glad you have them and your life may depend on having those skills.

 

But don't be worried. Even if you cant afford a guide, there are a TON of really awesome basic snow climbs that you can do if you can figure out self arrest an your own. Hell, even just going to spend a night in the boston basin or on the sahale arm is worth it even if you cant climb the peaks.

Edited by RaisedByPikas

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Hmm, I would volunteer to play tour guide, but I may not be well enought by then.

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Ok, so screw the first climb and just go to Adams. You'll have a blast there. People are friendly and the views are awesome! Climbing up Adams will be a great way to gage what kind of shape you're in. It taught me that I needed to train a lot more for Rainier. Don't under estimate Adams either. When we were out there last September, a father/son summited and the father fell to his death on the way down in some bad weather.

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I meant to ask how you were doing. Sounds like there is improvement?

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Two steps forward, one step back. I am on month three of pneumonia whith a side of plurisy. Antibotics did not work, might be fungal which would be bad.

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