Climbing

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Beauty of Unpredictability - the life of mixed-climber Roger Strong

Sport climbing is predictable. In sport climbing you clip into pre-drilled bolts while climbing a rock face. Before starting up a route, you know just how long the climb is going to be, and just how many bolts you will clip as you go. Read more…

Helicopter Rescue: A Story of Survival

The level of outdoor community support in the Pacific Northwest is truly unmatched. As a transplant myself, I know it can be difficult to make connections in a new place. Not so much when you go outside. You can roll up to any trailhead, crag, or mountainside and form friendships to last a lifetime. That’s why it’s only fitting that I should find myself here, working at The Mountaineers, through a lucky connection with a fellow outdoor enthusiast: Miles McDonough. Read more…

BeWild with Colin Haley: From Shuksan to Cerro Torre

Trying to plan event with an alpinist is like trying to pin a tail on a kite already in the air. You’re generally limited to catching up with them in quick email bursts whenever the weather has turned foul, then you can expect radio silence during any fair weather stretches. Read more…

Reflecting on Reinhold Messner's Visit to Seattle

It may sound odd, but Reinhold Messner has been inside my head for more than two decades. His deeds, his remarkable introspection, and his sheer productivity set him in a class all his own. In addition to climbing the fourteen 8000-meter peaks, crossing Antarctica and the Gobi Desert on foot, and researching the roots of the Yeti, he has written some sixty books. I’m proud to note that Mountaineers Books has published translations of fourteen of those books, making us his publisher of record in North America.  Read more…

How To: Extended Rappel with Autoblock

Extending your rappel, when done safely, offers many advantages including improved ability to manage the autoblock, and convenient set up of saddle bags if needed. 

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Check out other climbing how-to guides!

How To: Crevasse Rescue

When a climber on your rope team yells "Falling!", drop in to self-arrest and stop the fall immediately!  Once the fall is stopped, follow the following steps: Read more…

How To: Belaying - A Friction System

 

Belaying - a friction system

One of the first important safety skills a climber must learn is how to belay.  Belaying is a way of managing the rope, using friction created by bends in the rope around a carabiner and either a hitch or belay device, so that should the climber fall, the rope, and you, will halt the fall, keeping the climber safe.  Check out this video from Climbing Magazine which illustrates great belay technique.

How To: Belay Escape

If a climbing partner is seriously injured, and there are limited resources to get help, it may be necessary to tie off the climbing rope to remove yourself from the belay system, so you can investigate, help your partner, or go for help. Read more…

How To: Snow Prep with Triple-Rep Squats

With winter here, and snow in the mountains, your land-based training for the should include strengthening exercises for the quadriceps, particularly if your plans call for snow fun like skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. Read more…

How To: Extended Rappel and Updated Belay Techniques

On a scholarship from the Seattle Climbing Committee, two volunteer Mountaineers leaders attended an American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) single pitch instructor training course. As a result, they returned with techniques and methods that were presented and adopted by the Seattle Climbing Committee: (1) the extended rappel and (2) the pull, break, under, slide belay technique. Want to learn about these techniques? Read what Abby Hunt and Stef Schiller learned.... Read more…