Wasdale – Climbing In The Lake District

The Lake District is one of the most important climbing areas in the UK.  Climbers were attracted by the scale and majesty of the Lakeland crags and it was natural that the Valley of Wasdale beneath the greatest of the Lake District Mountains – Scafell Pike, Scafell and Great Gable – was the original hub for Lakeland climbing.

The ascent of Napes Needle on the flanks of Great Gable by William Haskett Smith in 1886 was a landmark in British climbing and is considered to be one of the first proper rock climbs in the country.

Although the summit of Scafell Pike is famed as the highest of the Lakeland Fells and therefore the highest point in England, it is Scafell along side, which has the more craggy features and which has always been the forcing ground for Lakeland Climbing.

It was on these crags that Bottrill made his ground-breaking ascent of the great unclimbed slab on Scafell Crag in 1903.  Incredibly, in total extremis and seemingly climbing for his life, he was still able to raise his hat to a passing lady – history records that he was a true gentleman rather than a serial womanizer. In those days these hardened climbers used to ‘bivvy’ on the fells so they could get an early rise at the foot of the crags, how they must have longed for Lake District holiday cottages to come back to in the evenings for a bit warmth and a home cooked meal. If only they had been thought of back then!

There was another enormous step forward in 1914 when Siegfried Herford made the first ascent of the Central Buttress of Scafell Crag – This was by far the hardest climb in the UK at the time and it wasn’t superceded for many years.

Since then, three generations of Birkett’s have left their mark on climbing in the Lake District.  Jim Birkett brought the extreme grade to the Lakes with his ascents on Castle Rock and the East Buttress of Scafell.

Don Whillans was at the forefront of Lakes Climbing in the fifties and early sixties and with ascents such as Extol in the Ullswater Valley, there was a short period where Scafell was usurped by the Eastern Crags.

Climbing standards in the Lake District were pushed through the extremes in the seventies and eighties by such brilliant climbers as Pete Bottrell, Pete Whillance and Pete Livesy.  Then in the nineties Dave Birkett took up where his grandfather left off, pushing standards through the roof and putting the Lake District back in it’s rightful place at the top of the British Climbing. He set new standards throughout the Lake District – from Borrowdale to Langdale but his greatest contribution was naturally in Wasdale!

Rock Climbing can be great fun for all the family and if you are planning your own trip rock climbing, there are plenty of perfect Lake District cottages which make an ideal base camp!

Mount Kinabalu Climbing Experience

Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia and also ranks the 20th place among the highest peaks in the world, in terms of prominence. This and its impressive biodiversity makes Kinabalu one of the most important and far-famed mountains in the world. It is the main attraction in Sabah, along with the Kinabalu National Park- the park surrounding the mountain, which has a variety of flora and fauna that covers not less than 4 climate zones. You can now see why “Mount Kinabalu climbing” is such an imposing phrase. Most people think about is as a dream. But this is a dream that can come true. Below are some tips that can be very useful if you decide to follow your dreams.

Mount Kinabalu climbing preparations for beginners

First of all, you should know that climbers must be accompanied by guides at every moment of their hike. These are the park’s rules and everyone must follow them. Secondly, if you want to have a total experience then you should allocate 3 days to the climbing, meaning you will spend 2 nights on the mountain. The mountain’s physical properties and its abundance in unique species of plants require that.

If you are a beginner, Low’s Peak is not too hard to be climbed if you are in good physical shape. However, other peaks are not that accessible and require more advanced climbing skills.

Mount Kinabalu climbing- starting points

The hike has 2 main starting points:

Timpohon Gate – located 5 km away from the park entrance. The place is also known under the name “Pondok Timpohon”, meaning “Timpohon Shelter”, because of the large wooden shelter that was built here. The place is peaceful and offers a spectacular view. The place has a check point for climbers, where they can file their permits to the stationed ranger. It also has a shop, providing snacks and refreshments.
Mesilau Nature Resort- a tourist resort built in 1998, which is a great lodging place for ecotourists. It is 30 minutes far from the Kinabalu Park and 2000 meters above the sea level. This is also a peaceful place and its meeting room stands for motivational training, seminars, meetings and retreats for small groups.

The two trails cross two kilometers before Laban Rata.

Mount Kinabalu climbing tales

There are many tales regarding Mount Kinabalu, but one of them is absolutely breath-taking. It claims that “Kinabalu” means “Cina Balu” or “A Chinese Widow”. The story says that a Chinese prince was rescued by the natives of Borneo after his ship sank. The prince fell in love with a local woman and then abandoned her because of his parents. The woman died at the top of the mountain, which she used to climb every morning to see if her husband would return home.

Chimborazo: Climbing Glaciers Near The Equator

Climbing the glaciers to the summit of Mount in Ecuador isn’t highly technical. It is mountaineering, but how hard can it be, considering I went to 20,600 feet the first time I used crampons and an ice axe? Okay, I used them once for practice, on a sledding hill near my house. I climbed forty feet while people walked by with their sleds, telling their kids to stay away from me.

It’s also easier to climb when the guide drives you to 15,000 feet. Don’t get me wrong. Climbing the last 5,600 feet was incredibly difficult, but not for the skill required. The air missing half of its oxygen is what had me quitting twenty times on the way up. It just gets difficult to move up there.

The Chimborazo Graveyard
The monuments near the first refuge weren’t for climbers without skill. The graveyard is a warning of the unpredictability of all high places. Chimborazo is very high, it randomly shruggs off large rocks, and has weather that changes by the minute. While hiking to the second refuge, we could hear the rocks and pieces of ice falling somewhere above. I wore an Ultra Force Sage N-3B Parka to compensate for the cold weather, which I found at a local military clothing online store at home.

El Refugio Edward Whymper is an unheated hut at 16,000 feet, named after the English climber who first summitted the mountain. Okay, it isn’t entirely unheated. There’s a fireplace, and if somebody feels like carrying wood up to 5000 meters, the fire may raise the temperature in the hut by 3 degrees.
We had hot mugs of “mate de coca” a tea of coca leaves, which are also used to make another product – one that’s taken up the nose. We went hiking for twenty minutes – my acclimatization. We ate, and I slept for an hour before starting the ascent at eleven that night.

About Mount Chimborazo
Chimborazo is in Ecuador, near the Equator (100 miles south). The elevation in the center of the country, and the moderating effect of the Humboldt Current along the coast, gives the country near perfect weather. A bit hot in the lowlands, but spring-like in Quito (the capital) , with highs in the sixties to low seventies every day of the year. Great weather almost everywhere–until you get high enough.

The summit of Chimborazo is the furthest point from the center of the Earth. Our planet bulges at the equator, making Mount Chimborazo even further out there than Everest. It has the distinction of being the closest point to the sun on the planet. Unfortunately, it’s also the coldest place in Ecuador.

Climbing Chimborazo
Paco, my guide, didn’t care for the lightweight part of my mountain climbing adventure. He frowned at my sleeping bag, which packed up smaller than a football, and weighed a pound. My 13-ounce frameless backpack didn’t impress him either. It did get below freezing in the hut, just as he said it would, but I stayed warm – as I said I would. No problems so far.

Unfortunately, Paco didn’t speak any English, and I was just learning Spanish. Since our whole group consisted of him and me, we had some communication problems. I thought, for example, that the $ 11 fee for the “night” (a few hours) in the hut was included in the $ 130 guide fee. He thought I was a mountain climber.

I think he said he didn’t like the papery rainsuit I was using, and he frowned at my homemade ski mask. When he saw my insulating vest, a feathery piece of poly batting with a hole cut in it for my head, I just pretended not to understand what he was saying.

I hadn’t intended to go climb Chimborazo with such lightweight gear, but I’d come to Ecuador on a courier flight, and could bring only carry-on luggage. I had12 pounds in my pack to begin with, so by the time I put on all my clothes that night, the weight on my back was irrelevant. The weight of my body, however, wasn’t. Paco had to coax me up that mountain.

Hiking On Glaciers
The glaciers start near the hut, and hiking became mountaineering. I put on crampons for the second time in my life (there was that sledding hill). During one of my many breaks (“Demasiado” – too many, which I pretended not to understand), I noticed my tiny, cheap thermometer had bottomed out at 5 degrees fahrenheit. I wasn’t cold, but I was exhausted at times – the times when I moved. When I sat still I felt like I could run right up that hill.

We struggled (okay, I struggled) up Mount Chimborazo, hiking, climbing, jumping crevasses, until I quit at 20,000 feet. Of course I had quit at 19,000 feet, and at 18,000 feet. Quitting had become my routine. Lying had become Paco’s, so he told me straight-faced that the summit was only fifty feet higher. I wanted to believe him, or the lack of oxygen had scrambled my brain. I started up the ice again.

The Summit of Mount Chimborazo
We stumbled onto the summit at dawn. Well, okay, I stumbled. Paco, who seemed slow and tired down at the refuge, was energetic at 20,600 feet. Dirtbag Joe, a nineteen-year-old kid from California with ten bucks in his pocket, borrowed equipment, and my Ramen noodles in his stomach, was waiting for us, smiling.

The sky was a stunning shade of blue you can never see at lower elevations. Cotapaxi, a classic snow-covered volcano, was clearly visible 70 miles away. We enjoyed the view for a few minutes.

Handshakes all around, and it was time to head down. I was told you don’t want to be on Chimborazo when she wakes up. She wakes up at nine a.m.
Paco kept looking at his watch and frowning. He got further and further ahead, like he planned to abandon me on the mountain. When I finally caught up, at the hut at nine a.m., I heard the rocks falling out of the ice above as the sun warmed it. Now I understood – we really did need to get down by nine. A thousand feet lower my mountain climbing adventure ended with a photograph that mercifully can’t show my shaking knees.

Great Climbing Experience at the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado

The in the state of Colorado is a popular climbing destination. There are different trails for someone like you who wishes to take on a great adventure. The place has stunning granite formations and mountain peaks that would surely increase your excitement once you see the view. It is very favorable when you plan a trip in between the months of June and September of during the season of summer. In order to perform such outdoor activity, you must learn about the following.

If you are a beginner, you must familiarize yourself with the Hallet Peak and Notchtop. They are very easy climbing routes. You can bring your family and friends along especially for those who want to try this kind of outdoor adventure. Since you will be traveling to get on these sites, you can have a stun gun because it can be a form of safety device that will keep you, your family and your friends protected at all times.

You have to remember that there are many areas within the park wherein you can choose the one which suits your level of expertise when it comes to this recreational activity. The Diamond of Longs Peak is known as the highest among all other areas for climbing. The trails can be moderate to hard that is why you must be ready for such adventure. You will need to hike about 5 miles of trail before you will be able to reach this place.

Other spots that is best for this sport is just above the Black Lake. There are many trails that you can follow and they all have different levels of how easy and hard they can be. But generally, they can range from moderate to hard. You can bring all the gear that you need. Be sure to cover your head with a helmet to protect yourself from any rocks that might fall. For more safety especially that this is a famous destination for tourists, rechargeable stun guns would be effective devices.

Another climbing site which is one of the crowd’s favorite is the Petit Grepon. When you will be able to reach the peak of one of its trails, you will surely be amazed by the beautiful view that you will be able to see. Since this is one of the places where it is mostly crowded not only by some locals but also by tourists, you might want to make sure that you avoid going there during the weekend or holidays. But if he crowd is just fine for you, you can follow the trail anytime.

If you wish to camp within the site, you can do so. There are many campgrounds within the area. This would allow you to explore the place as much as you want most especially that you can extend your stay and camp around. Remember to bring all the things that you need on your stay. There are also fine restaurants around the area. You can try the different types of food that they serve.

These are the things that you have to remember when you want to have a great experience of climbing at the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Learn Mountain Climbing When Studying in Santiago Chile

If you are considering attending Spanish school in Chile, this is the opportune time to learn mountain climbing. Many people are at first hesitant to learn to climb mountains. However, the fact of the matter is that when you are in Santiago, this is the perfect time to do so.

This article will explore why mountain climbing should be high on your agenda of things to do during your stay in Chile. Climbing is an Excellent Form of Exercise

Everyone knows that if you are a student, you will be doing a lot of sitting. It makes perfect sense to balance your schedule with exercise. You can get a great workout from learning to mountain climb in a gym. Plus, once you get out in the mountains, you will also have the benefit of the fresh air. Often mountain climbing also involves hiking to your destination, which is a great cardiovascular activity.

World-class Gyms and Mountain Climbing Instructors

Of course, you want to make sure you have a firm basis of knowledge before you go off climbing, as this sport can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Luckily, there are also various qualified guides in the area who can help you. There are a variety of places in Santiago, where you can learn on a climbing wall that has footholds built into it. The Chilean Mountaineering Federation (Federacion de Andinismo de Chile) also offers climbing courses.

Strengthen Your Spanish Language Skills

Another benefit to learning to mountain climb when you are in Santiago is that it will help your learning of the Spanish language. Of course, make sure that you thoroughly understand all the key terms that you will be using to communicate with others while you are climbing.

Team Building

You will make a great deal of new friends during your time attending Spanish school in Chile, and it is a great idea to head off into the mountains with some of your new friends. Mountain climbing is a great activity for team building, and you can strengthen your relationship with others in the process.

Chile is an ideal location for learning to climb, with the Andes Mountains just outside of Santiago. Further, there are a variety of outdoor activities you can enjoy while you attend Spanish immersion program in Santiago including ice climbing and hiking. But don’t miss out on rock climbing, as once you learn this skill, you will be able to take it with you wherever you go.

You will likely be so inspired by the beauty of the mountains in Chile, that you will feel motivated to get out in the mountains and start climbing. These are some of the experiences that you will have during your Spanish immersion program in Santiago that you will hold closest to your heart. Therefore, seize the opportunity to learn to mountain climb. Not only will you have amazing memories, you will have great photographs as well.

Tips For Climbing Kilimanjaro

First of all, you need to plan ahead your trip to Kilimanjaro and be fully aware of the fact that the treks are not available through the entire year. The most recommended period to climb the mountain would be between June and October and you should know that there are a couple of recommended routes up the mountain.

If you want to avoid the crowds in July and August, it would be best to choose a less popular route like Rongai or Machame. While you are on the trek, it is very important that you are fully prepared for probable changing weather conditions. Despite the fact that the Kilimanjaro treks start in a warm and pleasant climate, conditions at the top of the mountain can sometimes get brutal. It is highly recommended to get a full set of waterproof clothing as well as a hat to sleep plus Heat Mate hand warmers for the final and most exciting ascent of the mountain.

What most people don’t know is that the sun rays are considerably more powerful at altitude because of thin air so this is why you should take a hat along with you. It is best to get one that covers your neck too and also pack a considerable amount of sun-screen. It goes without saying that the local guides basically know all there is to it about the mountain and it would be wise to ask them things that you don’t know as they can tell you just about everything regarding the flora and fauna there.

Another consequence of high altitudes is the headaches climbers get. For this reason, it would be very wise to pack a lot good headache pills. In most of the cases, these headaches can be a symptom of altitude sickness so you need to tell your guide if they persist.

When you are planning your day pack, be very attentive and try not to do it in a hurry. Remember to pack everything you need for the daily hikes and don’t forget about the crucial water, cereal bars, fresh fruit snacks because the porters will not carry any type of perishable food. It would be wise to pack also a change of socks, blister plasters and some foot lotion in order to refresh aching feet during breaks.

Once you manage to arrive at the final ascent, it is highly recommended to keep moving in a slow and steady pace. Remember these words: “pole, pole” which mean “slowly, slowly” translated from Swahili. You might as well get some extendable walking poles as they will prove to be very useful with steep portions of the climb and descent.

Don’t forget that porters and their families basically rely on this income so it would be clever to do some generous tipping as they do all the hard work by carrying  the equivalent of your body weight on their heads as well as prepping out meals and camps each and every single day.

One last piece of advice would be to choose your tent-mate carefully as the adventure of climbing Kilimanjaro requires a serious team effort as well as moral support so choose wisely. Try not ending inside the tent with a guy that is a heavy snorer as those sleep hours will prove to be crucial during the adventure. It is best to get some earplugs to have a good night sleep and fill up your batteries.

All things considered, there are many things that can be said about the whole adventure of climbing Kilimanjaro. The adventure can get a little bit difficult but with careful planning and a well-thought plan, anything can be achieved.

Sport Climbing

Sport climbing, or sport rock climbing, is a climbing sport that uses permanent anchors that are fixed into the rock. Climbers can use the anchors and supports for protection and assistance in getting up the cliff face. The use of this protection allows the climbers to fully concentrate on getting up the mountain without having to worry about the dangers of falling.

In Depth Information on Sport Climbing

There are many important terms used in sport climbing. This section is going to be an in depth look at them. The first set of terms and words to look at describe the different pieces of equipment used in sport climbing.

First up is dynamic rope. Dynamic rope is a special kind of rope that is constructed to be stretchable. Because it can stretch it is very different from a static rope which has no give. Because it can stretch dynamic rope is much better at handling extreme stresses and it will lessen the likelihood of failure.

Another unique piece of equipment for sport climbing is a quickdraw. The quickdraw is used by climbers to attach their climbing rope to the bolt anchors and other protection while climbing. A quickdraw has two carabiners connected by a loop of webbing. The webbing is usually less than a foot in lengh. Some climbers manufacture their own quickdraws but there are pre-made ones as well. They come in many different sizes and styles to fit different climbing harnesses and ropes.

While not unique to sport climbing, a belay device is used frequently. A belay device is used as a mechanical break to control the belay rope. The main purpose is to lock of the rope without any effort. There are many different kinds of belays out there each with there own specialization. It depends on the what the specific needs of the climber are to what belay they will get.

A climbing harness works with a belay to anchor the sport climber in. It s mainly a belt with two loops around the legs that you can attach quickdraws and belays to to anchor yourself to the cliff face. In addition to the basic sit string harness there are chest harness and a full body harness. These both offer more attachments and more support. Sometimes used in climbing they are more commonly seen used in rescue situations.

After that a climber needs runners, a helmet, climbing shoes and a chalk bag. A sling is used to hold equipment and sometimes to attach to rocks. A helmet and shoes are pretty obvious in there use, and chalk is used to keep the hands dry for climbing.

Mountain Climbing

A few nice Mountain Climbing images I found:

Grandes Jorasses … 2
Mountain Climbing
Image by TomFahy.com
Looking east from the summit of Mont Blanc (4,810m).

Related: Mont Blanc 2012 | Mountain Diary

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The Hog’s Back
Mountain Climbing
Image by Shaylor
This is near the summit of Mt. Hood in Oregon. Note the bergschrund the climbers in the background are circumnavigating.

Whatever the struggle, continue the climb. It may be only one step to the summit.
Mountain Climbing
Image by symphony of love
Whatever the struggle, continue the climb. It may be only one step to the summit. – Diane Westlake

When using this, please provide an active link, where possible, to: lovequotes.symphonyoflove.net

Original Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/simonov/2353482086

Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro

The ultimate climb, Kilimanjaro also known as the “the roof of Africa” 5895 meters high it is the highest summit of the African Continent. View the snow covered equatorial mountain, and experience a mysticism that defies all. As a result of the altitude, the climate is cooler and moisture is more abundant than the lower lands and as the elevation increases, the temperature drops gradually, Kilimanjaro highest peak can still be seen sporting a white crown of snow.

Treks are non-technical and can be undertaken by any reasonably fit person. The Kilimanjaro Airport is located in Tanzania about 30 minutes from Moshi which sits at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro; there are bus connections to the Hotels. All trekkers must be accompanied by an official guide (and eventually, by local porters): There are five main routes to the top-Marangu, Shira, Mweka, Umbwe and Machame. The most popular route is the Marangu Route which starts at the Marangu Gate at 6000 ft. and has huts and facilities along the way. The other routes are more scenic with stunning views of the glaciers. They are also more challenging for the advanced trekker, requiring special permission and the use of tents.

The best times to go: January, February and September. These are the drier months and there are fewer hikers. Comfortable clothing will suffice for the first two days. However, many underestimate the frigid conditions of the mountain above 12,000 feet. Warm clothing is essential and should include a down-filled parka with hood, fleece shirts, warm pants, waterproof and windproof shell pants thermal underwear, mittens, wool hat. Good walking shoes and socks are appropriate to about 15,000 feet but sturdy hiking boots with warm socks and sock liners are needed to challenge the summit. At this altitude sun protection is necessary to bring snow goggles, dark glasses, suntan lotion and a hat with a brim to protect your face and neck.

A passport, visa, and yellow fever certificate are required to enter Tanzania. There are exceptions to the visa and vaccination requirements but it is advisable to check with the Tanzanian Embassy for current regulations. Try to read all you can about climbing Kilimanjaro before you plan your trip. It will make the planning process easier. Plan to use a local outfitter. It is very difficult to organize a trek without adequate transportation. Your experience will be more rewarding if you do not have to attend to the numerous details required. You will need to bring your own equipment. Accept the advice of your guides. They are trained to recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness and the mountain is no place to take chances with your health.

Challenging yourself on Mount Kilimanjaro is a once in a life time experience. Proper training and planning will create a memory that only a few in the World can share.