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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rookie mistakes?

I saw a set of comments today on an Internet climbing forum giving a climber grief over their "style" while climbing ice.

Good laugh that was with all the experts chiming in.   Everyone learns to climb at some time in their career.  The good ones never stop learning how to climb in theirs.

Here is a list of basic mistakes that I have seen some of the best do at one time or another.  GOD knows I have done at least two or three of them myself.   Thankfully most of us don't feel the need to keep track.  But no one immune.   Hopefully you just get better at putting it all together given enough time and the mistakes are fewer.

Boots that don't fit the crampon correctly
Boots that just don't fit the crampon at all
Boots don't fit
Forgot the rope
Dropped...well name it from boots to food it has all been dropped at one time or another
Didn't bring enough screws
Brought way too many screws
forgot to match runner numbers with screw numbers
forgot the runners and or the carabiners (I thought you had them?)
Forgot or just as likely dropped your belay device
didn't bring an insulated water bottle
brought too little water
brought too much water (if you brought water back to the car, you brought too much knucklehead)
didn't bring food
(you can ever bring too much food?)
forgot the stove
forgot the fuel
over dressed
(few ever under dress)
didn't bring a water proof in winter on a WATER FALL
Brought only two tools (drop 'um or break them it's always fun for someone to climb with one)
didn't bring spare parts/picks for the tools they did bring (back to climbing with one again)
only brought one pair of gloves
forgot your hat
everything they climb with is 10 years old...
(and they wonder why now something breaks on every trip?!)
didn't bring a head lamp
didn't bring a spare head lamp
didn't put in new batteries
forgot to look at a current weather forecast
locked the keys in the car
didn't tell the SO where you were going, with whom or when "late" would be
forgot the 4x4, skis, snow shoes, approach shoes, bicycle or trekking poles

feel free to add your own to the list!


Erik W said...

"BINGO!" Seriously, I got bingo on that list - several times over, in fact - what did I win?

Dane said...

Erick, does that mean you have done them all or not done any of them :)

Belcourt said...

forgot the scotch, or brought blended

Tyson geBauer said...

True story Dane!
I am with Erick in so much ans I have hit all of those at least once and sometimes a couple at a time.
One should never stop learning or improving on their systems.

Jessica said...

Crampons that don't fit boot...forgot headlamp...

Remedy for me has been to tape my headlamp on my helmet and get the petzl darts. they work a lot better with my boots.

BTW: there was a rumor I heard that you have some FA in EA wash?

Anonymous said...

*Not taking the time or putting forth the effort to put in good gear, because you're gripped or at a poor stance...

*Setting gear while you are pumped or just a few feet away from a great stance, because you are focused on the fear of falling rather than the joy of climbing...

*Wearing gloves that are too thick (for ice)...too many socks...

Crack said...


*White knuckling my tools! I still have to consciously remind myself not to do this, especially when I am following on a longer climb, and time is an issue...

Anonymous said...

forgot to take the protector caps off the ends of the ice screws before heading up on the sharp end....

Bang said...

Hi Dane,

I wonder if it's crucial to match runner numbers with screw numbers. I'm new to ice climbing, so I am interested in hearing your opinion.

Merry Christmas.

Dane said...

Hi Bang, I generally use QDs or Mammut screamers to clip screws, not full size runners. So yes I generally match the Mammuts to the number of screws and/or carry at least as many ODs. Either way both are set up with two biners for a quick clip.