Goto Chockstone Home

  Guide
  Gallery
  Tech Tips
  Articles
  Reviews
  Dictionary
  Links
  Forum
  Search
  About

      Sponsored By
      ROCK
   HARDWARE

  Shop
FREIGHT FREE
in Australia

DMM: DMM ALLOY "Offset" have arrived!!! #Sizes 7 - 11. (5 piece) Range: 12 to 23.5mm. (Great Compliment to DMM Wallnuts. (Refer Peenuts for Profile) Awesome Pro!  $95.00
14% Off

Chockstone Photography Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints





Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
Mountaineering Courses.

Rock Weasel
2/11/2008
12:31:43 PM
Was just wondering if anyone could recommend a good mountaineering course to get started with...I have a solid foundation in trad climbing (anchors, rescue, pulley systems, ascending, etc...) but have hardly set foot on snow. I'm looking at a course that will give me the skills I need to have a crack at just about anything...from glacier travel to ice climbing.

Initial options include:

- Alpine Guides (NZ) - Technical Mountaineering Course & Advanced Alpine Skills Course
- Patagonia Mountain School (45 day course)
- Colorado Mountain School

Any other suggestions are more than welcome, particularly from those with experience with these or other courses...thanks in advance.

Epic Steve
2/11/2008
5:31:57 PM
Best option is to do either a 10 day TMC course (Alpine Guides @ Mt Cook are good) or 10 day Private Instruction Course with a single guide (and a couple of mates to make it cheaper!!!)...otherwise go the TMC and hope you don't get stuck with a few fat, lazy, couch potatoes for fellow team members...! Make sure you tell the guide(s) what you want as an outcome (future plans and goals and tell them of your previous climbing experience) otherwise they'll be more than happy to sit back, read an FHM magazine and cruise as they are getting paid for it anyway...

As for Patagonia, on't know why you'd want to do a 45 day course...anywhere!!!

Once you have some skills, get out on the easy stuff and climb with someone you trust (with similar if not better alpine skills than yourself!!!)

Remember the golden rules:

1/ Gravity ALWAYS wins...so #1 is to ALWAYS be in control...a small slip = a BIG fall...

2/ Nothing slides like GORE-TEX...softshells are great as they stick to the snow better...

3/ Rope up for glaciers (reasonably flat but crevassed), unrope for low to moderate terrain if possible (if not using any running belays that are attaching you and your rope to the hill) and pitch it (fixed belay anchors and runners) if moderate to steep or if there is a large cliff/drop below you on a traverse...know when to be roped up and when to go solo is THE most important thing to learn from your course...the other stuff like cramponing, building anchors, self arrest, weather forecasting, etc is easily picked up over time with practice, practice, practice...

4/ Glissading might look cool but unless you are SUPER experienced...it'll kill you (see # 1)

5/ Self arresting doesn't really work on ice (hard) and in late afternoon soup (slushy snow) so again see point # 1...

6/ Cover up or you'll get your ass (nostrils, ears, roof of your mouth, under your chin, etc) fried on a blue sky day...heaps of sunscreen and white zinc cream (even if overcast!!!)

7/ Try not to die...we Ozzy's get enough stick from the sheep shaggers when in the hills!!!

8/ Have fun...build your skills...learn slowly and remember the top is only half way!!!

Steve
dmnz
2/11/2008
6:49:40 PM
On 2/11/2008 Epic Steve wrote:
>Best option is to do either a 10 day TMC course (Alpine Guides @ Mt Cook
>are good) or 10 day Private Instruction Course with a single guide (and
>a couple of mates to make it cheaper!!!)...otherwise go the TMC and hope
>you don't get stuck with a few fat, lazy, couch potatoes for fellow team
>members...! Make sure you tell the guide(s) what you want as an outcome
>(future plans and goals and tell them of your previous climbing experience)
>otherwise they'll be more than happy to sit back, read an FHM magazine
>and cruise as they are getting paid for it anyway...

Agreed. Alpine Guides seem to be the cream of the companies in NZ. Don't even consider the other courses as a first course.

Even if you tell them they'll still read the FHMs, or rather check out all the Australian ladies in it! Cmon, they're used to sheep!

>
>As for Patagonia, on't know why you'd want to do a 45 day course...anywhere!!!
>
>Once you have some skills, get out on the easy stuff and climb with someone
>you trust (with similar if not better alpine skills than yourself!!!)

AGain, Steve is right. If you want to do stuff on your own, learn the basics then just get out there. Unless you want/need someone to hold your hand, that is.


>
>Remember the golden rules:
>
>1/ Gravity ALWAYS wins...so #1 is to ALWAYS be in control...a small slip
>= a BIG fall...
>
>2/ Nothing slides like GORE-TEX...softshells are great as they stick to
>the snow better...

Yes, just try bum sliding in your softshell pants. Not recommended especially if it's hard as your pants and your bum will soon get torn up.


>
>3/ Rope up for glaciers (reasonably flat but crevassed), unrope for low
>to moderate terrain if possible (if not using any running belays that are
>attaching you and your rope to the hill) and pitch it (fixed belay anchors
>and runners) if moderate to steep or if there is a large cliff/drop below
>you on a traverse...know when to be roped up and when to go solo is THE
>most important thing to learn from your course...the other stuff like cramponing,
>building anchors, self arrest, weather forecasting, etc is easily picked
>up over time with practice, practice, practice...
>
>4/ Glissading might look cool but unless you are SUPER experienced...it'll
>kill you (see # 1)

I think there is a time and place for glissading like all things. But yes, treat with caution, although don't discount it altogether.
I still can't believe that some people glissade with crampons on!!! Do you have a death wish or sometihng?
>
>5/ Self arresting doesn't really work on ice (hard) and in late afternoon
>soup (slushy snow) so again see point # 1...

Yes, don't fall.
>
>6/ Cover up or you'll get your ass (nostrils, ears, roof of your mouth,
>under your chin, etc) fried on a blue sky day...heaps of sunscreen and
>white zinc cream (even if overcast!!!)
>
>7/ Try not to die...we Ozzy's get enough stick from the sheep shaggers
>when in the hills!!!
>
>8/ Have fun...build your skills...learn slowly and remember the top is
>only half way!!!

Ok, you're not quite correct there. The half is not quite halfway yet esp if it's winter and it's dark. But we all know downclimbing is harder than going up. I'd like to add #9. Don';t automatically rap on steep ground. Downclimb first if you can. It's faster and safer.

And #10. There are no stupid questions. Ask climbers you meet in huts, the guides whoever. If you show you are truly keen they will give you an honest answer even if it's not one you want to hear. Often you will need to hear it tho.
miss crag
3/11/2008
12:00:32 AM
i'd contact alpine guides with your experience and get them to suggest best way of spending time in
their lovely playground with your experience and what you want to get out of it. went last year and
while we had hideous weather (rule no. mountaineering = be patient) the guides we had went to a lot of
trouble to get the course topics covered (eg took us ice climbing at franz joseph glacier scaring
tourists ha ha, then climbing down at queenstown), they kept close eye on the weather then as soon
as it cleared we jumped in the next chopper and were lucky enough to be based out of plateau hut for
a couple of days.

the group i was in was all strong so it was good (no potato couches). but sounds like some of the stuff
they cover (to make sure everyone knows the basics) might be a bit of a waste for you if you're
already experienced.

hope that helps - can guarantee whatever course you choose it will be well worth it if you can't find
someone experienced to tag along with.

dmnz
3/11/2008
8:00:22 AM
don't forget some of the local clubs that run courses too.
probably a bit cheaper and membership is real cheap plus they need all the financial support they can get.

http://www.cmc.net.nz/instruction/courses
http://www.tnc.co.nz/adventlog/ServicesWinter.htm

miss crag, wow, you got to go into plateau for your tmc. thats awesome. what peaks did you lot go up while you were there?

Rock Weasel
3/11/2008
9:28:00 AM
Thanks guys...leaning towards doing the TMC in NZ in a couple of weeks...looks as though there are not many slots booked yet, so hopefully I can get a guide all to myself!
adrian
3/11/2008
10:33:03 AM
I'm in a similar boat to you (been climbing trad for years) and have booked a 10 day TMC with Alpine Guides in January. Hopefully it works out well with other people on the course.
miss crag
3/11/2008
9:27:55 PM
ahh well dmnz that's a good question - we had 2 days good weather from plateau:
- flew in late arvo, built snow cave (threw more snow than building cave but we got there).
- full day self arrest/crevasse rescue/snow anchors.
- next day we had a choice to cruise up the anzacs and fly out or walk out.

i recall hanging about in a crevasse when the question was posed what i wanted to do - fly or walk. i
decided to walk which made it perfect ratio for the guides splitting the group 50/50. i also figured i
could use the downclimbing, moraine drudgery etc experience.

admit while it was good to save some $ walking out it was quite the learning curve and i sure earned a
bevvy that night - got some respect from locals after they found out we'd come via the freshfields.

dmnz
3/11/2008
10:21:01 PM
cool, how did you find the walkout?
im looking to walk IN to plateau first this summer if things come right this season
havent been in there
only viewed it from up high-in the back seat of a plane and from up on Lendenfeld

Epic Steve
3/11/2008
10:33:02 PM
Not wanting to sound wimpy but the walk out from Plateau is bad enough....the walk in with loaded packs and a week to 10 days food sucks the big one...save that for the Himalayas where you need to acclimatise and have pretty much good, stable weather...

For Tasman and Cook in a months time, we will be going in by chopper or ski plane with a sh@t load of good food, only taking 50 + 10 litre packs as these are much better for climbing the longer routes with, and only when we are down to our last days food will we walk out via Cinerama Col which should take about 8 hours. Anyone who walks into Plateau gets the gold star from me...ha!!!!

Climb safe in the hills,yall!!!
dmnz
3/11/2008
10:37:37 PM
Well I'd like to walk in with a decent forecast then climb a peak and walk out. Weather probably wouldnt last longer than that. I wont start the chopper/no chopper debate. I would personally like to walk in/out if conditions and my partner allowed.

Which is the way in/out for those who've done it?

Robb
3/11/2008
10:39:15 PM
yeah . dont waste any good weather windows by walking in to plateau. bring some good food and climb
stronger for it.
dmnz
3/11/2008
10:41:48 PM
On 3/11/2008 Rock Weasel wrote:
>Thanks guys...leaning towards doing the TMC in NZ in a couple of weeks...looks
>as though there are not many slots booked yet, so hopefully I can get a
>guide all to myself!

Yes I hear it's one of the quietest seasons they've ha din a while. I reckon it'd be best if you had one other person that you got on well with then you could do stuff after.
miss crag
3/11/2008
10:46:28 PM
i found the walk out challenging but a great gauge for what i needed to work on to spend more time in
the mountains.

my prominent memories - i'd changed from hired plastics to leathers before we flew in (smart move).
take note fellow course newbies - tape those feet like a mummy if you're hiring boots! also had some
pea soup conditions about an hour after we left so that was interesting. the worst bits were getting
down the moraine wall, nice fat boulders you'd put your foot on and wallah - unstable! and the next
one! and the next one! hurry up coordination! faster! not what i'd class as 'fun' at the time, definitely
wasn't my strong point and i just wanted to be back on the 'oh so stable snow'!

obviously i've not walked in to plateau but i think i'd much rather going up then down :)

oh, and walking across looking back up the hochstetter was just awesome. stunning.

hope your conditions this summer are better than our's last december.
dmnz
3/11/2008
10:52:04 PM
>hope your conditions this summer are better than our's last december.
>

pretty hard not to be last summer was pretty bad. there was no ice by jan on the west coast.
the word is that there's a lot more snow than last season but not much ice around. the ice if any is quite late summer in appearance already from all reports
miss crag
3/11/2008
11:01:05 PM
that'd be right!!!

have fun.

rock weasel let us know how goes your course.

There are 16 messages in this topic.

 

Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.



Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints