10 Tips for Your First Summer Alpine Climb

Alpine climbing combines all climbing types and tangles them up with long approaches, bigger hazards, more committing circumstances and camping (on a mountain).

Be prepared for climbs that take long than expected

It doesn’t take long to know if alpine climbing is for you. By the time you finish your first run-out pitch, have to deal with ice in a crack, get snowed on or experience an open bivy, you’ll know.

It’s recommended that before you head into the alpine, you get professional training. Hiring a guide to learnt the ropes is a great idea.

Below are 10 tips for newbie alpinists hoping to scale those lofty Canadian peaks.

1. Find the right partner: Alpine climbing is as much about partnership as it is about your sending skills.

You need to climb with someone you trust, who has the same goal, who will share leads and who won’t complain when you run out of food. Like any healthy relationship, communication is the most important part.

Partners Fred McGuinness and Will Meinen post-bivy. Photo Brandon Pullan

2. Start small: To fine tune the skills you need in the alpine, start small and on a route well below your comfort level.

If you climb 5.12 and have good cardio fitness, then start on a grade II 5.5. When you factor in the approach, descent and route finding, that “low” grade can pack a punch.

Most alpine climbs include some glacier travel, so select routes with low-angle and uncomplicated terrain to start. Stay roped up on the glacier.

3. Research and plan: Don’t just pick a route in a guidebook and head out. Many alpine routes change over the years.

As glaciers melt, approaches and key section of the climb might have changed since the guidebook was published.

Check online and ask around for any updated information. You’d be surprised how many alpine climbs require using a a forestry service road (FSR), which may or may not be open. Have a plan B and C, which might be a cragging day or less committing multi-pitch.

4. Don’t think light and fast: Over the past few years, the light-and-fast style has trickled down from the top climbers using it to bag big one-day climbs to amateur climbers who like how it sounds.

Bring everything you need and if you start on a route below your comfort level then you won’t have to rush. As you get more comfortable then you can think about shedding gear and moving quicker.

Well-packed alpine bag

5. Print a topo, use the topo: No one ever regrets bringing a printed topo. While many climbers now use phones to show them the way, having a printed topo as a backup can save your day.

Alpine climbs are complicated and route finding can be difficult. You don’t want to be wondering where the rappel station is on the top of a mountain when you’re phone dies.

6. Be prepared to walk away: Being keen is what got you to the base of an alpine route, but being smart will up the chance you’ll climb another day.

Weather, routes conditions and psych are three of the biggest factors that stop your climb before it starts.

More than one top alpinist has approached for hours only to turn around and walk back to the car for one reason or another. Go with your gut feeling and listen to your partner.

7. Don’t solo: Over the past year, dozens of climbers have died in the alpine because they were soloing. If you’re new to alpine climbing, go with a partner and stay roped up.

Loose ledges, shattered ridges, slippery slopes can all send you flying. Stay clipped in to each other and the mountain. All of the great solo climbers spent years perfecting their skills before ditching the rope.

Barry Blanchard and partners in the Rockies.

8. Understand systems: Alpine terrain is complicated. Unlike the crag where the routes are clean, chalk marks the way and beefy chains let you rappel with ease, the alpine often feels untouched. You’ll be clipping rusty pitons, backing up old fixed gear and using often-manky rappel anchors to get down.

You need to know how to equalize a three- to five-point anchor made of marginal placements. You need to know when to extend protection and how to protect a second on a traverse.

9. Bring a hammer: It’s 2017, but you might find yourself clipping into a piton from 1970.

Hopefully you’ve selected updated alpine climbs for your first few days out, but if you do come across a piton you want to make sure it’s in the rock solid. Many pitons can wiggle out due to freeze/thaw.

10. Manage your time: Tip number 10 could easily be “have fun” but managing your time is more important.

Factor in the fact that you’re approach will take longer than you think and the descent never goes as planned. On the route, don’t stop to have long lunch breaks.

Always be moving or managing your equipment. You and your partner need to be a well oiled machine of efficiency. And don’t forget to have fun.

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Ongoing Canadian Results/Photos from Youth Worlds

The IFSC Youth World Championships will be taking place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 10 in Innsbruck, Austria. There are over 1,000 registered climbers.

Bronwen Karnis between burns. Photo Shane Murdoch

The big event will have 24 category rankings where climbers from the around the world will compete head to head. Visit here to watch the live streams.

You can find all of the competition information here.

Ongoing Canadian Results
Male Youth A Lead: David Trudeau
Male Youth B Lead: Victor Baudrand, Brennan Doyle
Male Juniors Lead: Tosh Sherkat, Lucas Uchida
Female Youth A Lead: Bronwen Karnis, Chloe Earle, Dana Montieth, Sophie Buitendyk, Alejandra Contreras
Female Youth B Lead: Riley Galloway
Female Juniors Lead: Mika Hosoi, Eva Thompson
Male Youth A Speed: Sam Bouchard
Male Youth B Speed: Brennan Doyle
Male Juniosr Speed: Alex Closset
Female Youth A Speed: —
Female Youth B Speed: Sonya Johanson, Teyha Rogers
Female Juniors Speed: —
Male Youth A Boulder: Zach Richardson(31), Manh Ellis(54), Aidan Doyle(55), Mitchell Haight(61), David Trudeau(75)
Male Youth B Boulder: Owen Gambling(73), Kindar McNamee(19), Guy McNamee(23),
Male Juniors Boulder: Rahul Sapra, Lucas Uchida, Tosh Sherkat
Female Youth A Boulder: Madison Fischer(23), Bronwen Karnis(41), Sophie Buitendyk(49), Cat Carkner(51), Aggy St-Jacques(59)
Female Youth B Boulder: Indiana Chapman(Semis), Babette Roy(29)
Female Juniors Boulder: Elizabeth Vince, Eva Thompson, Justine McCarney, Mika Hosoi
Male Youth A Combined: Aidan Doyle, Manh Ellis
Male Youth B Combined: Guy and Kindar McNamee
Male Juniors Combined: Kyle Murdoch, Alex Fricker
Female Youth A Combined: Aggy St-Jacques, Cat Carkner
Female Youth B Combined: Indiana Chapman, Babette Roy
Female Juniors Combined: Zoe Beauchemin

Day one photos by Shane Murdoch of Youth A Boulder:

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Alex Honnold, the climber who brings electricity to the poor

The Sacramento climber donates a third of his income to the
Honnold Foundation, through which it provides electricity to communities of
African countries such as Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania or Zambia.

Privacy Policy
– Thursday, August 31, 2017 – Updated at 3:00 pm

The figure of Alex Honnold is well known by the
Community climber. Its ascensions in integral integral have carved one
Notoriety well deserved, that at the end of last spring got the cherry
With the first ropeless climb of El Capitan through the Freerider [1945910]

Your history
Of large ascensions in single integral began to stand out in a remarkable way in
2007, when he repeated the ascensions in integral integral of Astroman and Rostrum that
Made the mythical Peter Croft in 1987. Since then, his activity in the
Vertical terrain was on the rise: Moonlight
in Zion and Regular Northwest
al Half Dome (2008), Original al
Rainbow Wall (2010), Cosmic debris The
Direct north buttress al
Middle Cathedrat and several others (2011) …

In 2014, Alex Honnold completed one of the most
Media repercussions have given you, Sendero
in Potrero Chico
(Mexico). The images that were recorded in that
Then the hairs of many thousands of people all over the world
Through networks. Although all of the above paled when it was made public
His last and greatest achievement: the aforementioned ascension into integral solo of El Capitan .

Honnold Foundation

This trajectory, has given to Alex Honnold a popularity
Which has gone even beyond the world of climbing. Your character has been
Glossed by means as transversal as the program 60 Minutes or the newspaper The
New York Times
and has been home of National

Part of the mystique of Alex Honnold that many of his
Followers know well, lies in the way they live: they have no fixed address,
But resides in his van often parked in the vicinity of
Yosemite . It enjoys important sponsorships with brands like The North Face, Black
Diamond, La Sportiva, Goal Zero, Stride Health or Maxim Ropes, and has performed
Advertising campaigns that have reported some extra income.

But Alex Honnold does not exercise his professionalism in the
Climbing as a way to make money
. And this statement does not remain as a
Simple slogan or marketing phrase, but it shows it in your day to day,
by donating a third of its income to the foundation that
Bears his name.

The Honnold Foundation is an NGO founded by Alex Honnold in
and dedicated to helping poor communities by providing solutions
Creative, sustainable and affordable energy sources that enable them to access
Electricity and other basic resources. On its website, it points out that
Institution "seeks simple and sustainable ways to improve lives around
of the world. Simplicity is the key; Low impact and better life is the goal "

"LED bulbs that help a girl see her books
school? Solar panels or biosensors to generate
Electricity and clean water? A local library of tools that connects
A neighborhood and reduces its expenses, or a public transportation network that helps
That a community moved safely and cleanly? The Honnold Foundation
Supports projects like these and others and works for a bright clean future,
Healthy, efficient and global
", explains the website of the foundation.

Alex Honnold himself summarizes his way of thinking about
Next reflection: "In what I have thought a lot is the idea of ​​giving only
Tiny steps towards a larger goal. When you have a long target
Term that seems insurmountable, but then, once you start to chew it
To small bites, becomes something possible "


Alex Honnold's exploits are staggering, hairs on end


Alone on the wall

by Alex Honnold

«Alex Honnold's exploits are staggering, they make the hair stand on end. Reading his ascents left me physically touched. However, as this fascinating book highlights, Honnold is neither mad nor reckless. 'Solo on the wall' reveals him as a completely unique and extremely interesting young man. "(Jon Krakauer)


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Festival in Bosnia-Herzegovina 2017 for the development of climbing



Bosnian climbers make a
Called the international climber community to attend a
Festival of climbing and highline that seeks to publicize its zones,
Share experiences and promote the opening of new ways.


Thursday, August 31, 2017 – Updated at 3:00 p.m.




                     Climber at the Drill & Chill festival in Bosnia, 2015 edition

Climber at the Drill & Chill Festival in Bosnia, 2015 edition (Sebastian Wahlhuetter)



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Simon Richardson and Micha Rinn debut the southwest face of the Monarch Mountain



The Scottish and the German open Game of Thrones (1,250 m, ED2, 6a) in
An impressive slope of this mountain of 3,572 m of the Coast Mountains
(British Columbia, Canada).


Privacy Policy
– Thursday, August 31, 2017 – Updated at 12: 03h




                     Micha Rinn, on the summit edge of the Monarch Mountain

Micha Rinn, on the crest of the Monarch Mountain (Photo: Simon Richardson)



This story began at the end of century XX, when Simon
first climbed the Waddington (4,019 m), the highest peak of
The Coast Mountain of British Columbia (western Canada). About 70 km more to
North, stood alone the figure of the second summit of this mountain range,
The Monarch Mountain (3,572 m).

That peak had been first scaled in 1936, but
No one had done it for its most impressive slope, the southwest face.
In fact, little was known of that wall until 2007, when the pilot and photographer
John Scurlock shared on the internet a large series of photographs
Air transport.

That was the trigger for several expeditions to perform
Attempts, which were met with the usual bad weather of the area and with the problems
Logistics derived from their remoteness. This summer, came the turn of Simon
who allied with Micha Rinn to carry out his own attempt.

Three days on the wall

The Scotsman and the German moved by helicopter to the
Coast Mountains on July 28th. Once there, it took a few days to
Analyze the wall before launching to climb its compact volcanic rock . Before
They, a wall of 1,250 meters of unevenness divided into three sections,
Marked respectively by two spurs and one edge. A wall that did not give
Option to withdrawal once exceeded approximately its midpoint.

On August 4 they began an ascent that would keep them
During three days on that slope. They had to climb a total of 32 long
of rope, in addition to other 400 meters simpler in assembly . They found
Some technical difficulties up to 5.10a (6a) with difficult stretches
Protection, especially in the upper part, where the rock is more solid.
They made the descent through the western face route more affordable and open
In 1953, in the second absolute ascent of the Monarch Mountain .

and they opted for one
ED2 grade proposal. In general, they compare the itinerary with the Ram Walker to the Great Jorasses ,
But with a higher level of exposure and an extra dose of isolation.


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Mount Dag in B.C. 5.11d Big Wall Repeated

Mount Dag has a nearly 1,000-metre north face with at least three big routes. One of those routes is the all-free 950-metre Riding Skinfaxi at 5.11d.

B.C. climbers Jasmin Caton and Cam Shute just made an ascent of the big grade VI wall. There’s no way to know how many ascents the route has had since the first ascent in 2002, but it’s not many.

Mount Dag is a rocky peak in the Valhalla range in B.C.’s interior. The mountain has a number of sub-peaks, including Little Dag and Batwing. The traverse of Mount Nott, Batwing, Little Dag and Dag is a Kootenay classic.

The first ascent of Riding Skinfaxi was by David Lussier and Alan Jones in August 15 years ago. Lussier noted in his 2003 article in the Canadian Alpine Journal that there were no pin scars or gear on the route when they tried it, but that John Roskelly recalled a possible attempt back in the day.

Lussier noted in his article that, “It’s a sheer, aesthetic alpine big wall. As the saying goes, the rock here is gneiss, but don’t take it for granite.”

And that the wall is divided into three parts, with an easier start that led to a broken mid-section and ended in 12 pitches of steep climbing on splitter rock.

The other two routes on the north face of Dag are Ankles As Far As the Eye Can See VI 5.11 A1 and Ankles Me Boy VI 5.9 A2, both climbed in 2000.

Approximate line of Riding Skinfaxi VI 5.11d

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Gord McArthur on His World’s First D16

Gord McArthur is one of Canada’s top winter climbers, with ascents of hard drytool routes around the world.

This summer, he made the first ascent of his monster 85-metre Storm Giant in southeastern B.C. He has given the climb a D16 grade, making it the hardest drytool route in the world.

A number of top international climbers are making their way to try the big line. We touched base with McArthur after his send.

When did you start projecting Storm Giant? I saw the line over three years ago, but it took some time to bolt it. Actually working on it took about two years.

How does it compare to other routes like it? I’ve spent a lot of time on routes around the world, recently this winter on Tom Bollard’s A Line Above the Sky D15 in Italy. It was the longest and hardest in the world at about 50 metres. It’s an amazing route. Storm Giant is around 30 metres longer.

What makes a drytool route difficult? There’s a bunch of different variables, but mostly the length, angle and difficulty of moves, like how powerful and technical.

What was your training like? It was very specific with a lot of endurance training, which is just time spent on tools. I spent countless hours on the route, working the moves, trying to build the movement into my muscle memory.

What did you do to celebrate? I sat down and drank beer and ate chips with friends. It was a great celebration.

What’s the future of drytooling in Canada? I think drytooling has certainly become more popular, but the future of the sport depends on those who are keen. If there aren’t

What was the determining factor for you to send on that day? I decided to skip a number of quickdraws through the crux. That saved me enough energy to make it through and get to the last rest before the chains. That’s when I knew it was the right day.

How many international climbers are on their way to try it? Top Korean and Russian climber are on their way. It’s always fun to watch people climb your routes.

Click to watch McArthur on Storm Giant below and stay tuned for a longer film.

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Climbers Shot At in Little Cottonwood Canyon

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a gunman opened fire on Monday evening on climbers in Little Cottonwood Canyon, a popular Utah climbing area.

Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

Samuel Clairmont and partners were rappelling from the fourth pitch of Pentapitch, a well-travelled 5.8 multi-pitch, when a man in a sedan started shooting from Vaults Road before driving away.

Clairmont later posted a warning on the local forum Mountaibuzz.com that read, “Warning to all climbers in SLC area.

“Today, me and two friends were on the upper ledge (rapping fourth pitch) of Pentapitch when multiple rounds were fired at us from a green sedan on the side of the vaults road, near gate B.

“Of the 15 Shots, five to seven whistled past us and hit rock around us. The other shots were fired and nearly hit climbers on Stiffler’s Mom.”

The climbers on Stiffler’s Mom were Brandon Wilde and Nate Lamb. “We were about 250 feet up or so on the third pitch,” Wilde said. “Nate was climbing, I was belaying. I kind of thought they were fireworks at first.”

No one knows if the shots were meant to kill the climbers or scare them. “One witness stated a green passenger car with approximately three occupants could have been involved,” noted a police report.”

Little Cottonwood Canyon is a busy place with hikers, paddlers, cyclists and climbers in the summer.

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Arc’teryx Recall on First-Gen Procline Ski Boots

Arc’teryx has announced a voluntary recall on their first-generation Procline ski boots. The rear axis pin failed in some boots, which could lead to a fall hazard.

The boots were introduced two years ago and became popular with backcountry skiers and climbers.

The recall affects all boots manufactured between Nov. 1, 2015 and March 31, 2017. Arc’teryx’s Equipment President Jon Hoerauf issued a letter on the recall:

To Our Loyal Consumers,

Today, we’re announcing a voluntary recall for all first generation Procline Ski Boots sold by Arc’teryx Equipment.

We are all deeply committed to the safety of our users and while there have been no injuries reported involving any Procline Ski Boots, our commitment to our users’ safety leads us to issue this recall to make the required axis pin repair. In a small number of boots, the axis pin has dislodged which could cause the skier to lose control or fall and suffer injuries. All 2016 Procline Boots will be repaired to secure the axis pin and allow the boot to function as designed.

If you own a Procline Ski Boot, please visit recall.arcteryx.com for more information and instructions on how to return your boot free of charge for the required repair.

On behalf of Arc’teryx, thank you for your patience as we bring this new technology to market. Innovation and quality are foundational building blocks of our brand design culture. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this issue has caused and wish you to know that over our 25 year history of making climbing equipment we have been and remain committed to creating products that enable consumers to move safely in the mountains.


Jon Hoerauf
President and GM

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New Game of Thrones on Monarch Mountain in B.C.

Simon Richardson and Michael Rinn made the first ascent of Game of Thrones up the southwest face of Monarch Mountain in the Coast Mountains between Aug. 4 and 6.

The 1,250-metre route was climbed in 42 pitches with difficulty up to 5.10a and involved some simul-climbing.

The alpine wall was one of the biggest unclimbed features in the range. The 3,572-metre mountain was first climbed by Henry Hall and Hans Furer in 1936.

The face had been attempted a number of times of the years, but the weather is typically bad. The 2017 summer has been a prime one for alpine climbing, as the west has gone weeks without rain.

Richardson and Rinn used a helicopter to approach the mountain, which is located about 70 km from the nearest road. For more on their new route, read Richardson’s trip report on Planetmountain.com here.

Approximate line of Game of Thrones. Photo John Scurlock

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