One definition of fast and light: Colin Haley simu soloing at this point and about to start simu climbing.
Jack aint exactly normal himself (just look at his feet and is past resume in the mtns and you'll understand that statement) so comments like that stand out in a conversation.
Anyway I digress.
These is so much "bull shit" to fast and light. You aint going to go fast if you aren't going light. More to the point and more important to me personally is you aren't going to be going fast if you are too cold. But no way in hell will you go fast if you are too hot.
"Say what? What are you talking about now Dane? Light? Fast? Cold? Hot?"
Here is my thought on it. To go fast you have to go light. To stay warm you have to keep moving. If the climbing is too hard for your skill set or too slow because of your comfort level the idea of fast and light hits the ZERO fun button pretty quickly.
To climb fast and light both climbers obviously have to climb quickly. In the mtns, rock, ice and mixed...the second needs to be half the time of the leader. That takes some effort generally and you have to want it. Better yet simu clim or simu solo. Which is why I pay so much attention to my umbilicals.
To climb fast you can't over dress, but neither can you afford to get really chilled. Add too many clothes and you can't climb in them or over heat instantly when you do start climbing.
Cold will numb the body given enough time, but worse yet it will numb the mind if you allow it to.
And I have allowed it.
Pushing the conditions (climbing in lots of new snow) made several of our recent climbs really slow. Really slow. Seldom have I been so uncomfortable in the mountains, slow. To stay warm at the belays in the shade at 12K feet in -20 temps took some effort. It only takes one of those trips to encourage you to take enough clothes the next time. Having your core get chilled and shivering on belays and then not being able to generate enough heat to warm up on lead or while following can be mentally and physically disabling.
For an old fat guy I pride myself on the speed at which I can climb technical ground and the lwt weight clothing systems I choose to do so in. But to climb fast and dress light I have to be able to closely monitor and control my body core temperature. Which means I have to be able to climb quickly and spend little time on the belays.
Terrain, conditions and the team's skills will define the speed at which you climb. The idea is to hit the perfect balance between those three and your gear selection.
Here is a good comparison:
I am wearing a Atom SV plus an Atom Lt and likely two lwt hoodies under that combo, with NWA salopettes and two pair of longs under them. It took that to stay warm at the belays. The SV would come off mid pitch if we belayed and was in the pack when we climbed together. Even with just an Atom LT on as an outer garment climbing together I was too warm. But if I had stopped for any length of time I would have chilled my core.
Better answer? We should have simu climbed the entire route together (which would have required a stronger and/or more skilled team) and I should have had a lighter outer shell available (my poor gear choice).
For this one I am using a Gortex hybrid shell jacket, a lwt Merino wool sweater and a pair of Gamma LT pants with no longs. If I had stopped or had to belay....no question I would have chilled my core in a very short amount of time. Better answer? One pair of longs would have made this a much more comfortable (mentally) combination. Physically, for this climb, this day it was a perfect combo for soloing. But it was also very obvious to me I didn't want to stop for long either.
I'm still learning. And the best lessons are still painful. But every lesson makes the game easier in the long run.