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Wanting to get into alpine climbing (Go easy on me)

Original Post
a.blair · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 65

Hey everyone!

I am fairly new to the PNW and have been lead sport climbing and have taken a trad lead climbing course. I have been ticking off the peaks from MRNP 100 peaks list but am wanting to get into winter alpine climbing and climb some legit routes. I am completely new to this and want to respect the mountains and approach this the right way. If anyone has any good recommendations of where to start learning/any good books to read/ any good mentors who are learning to take someone under their wing, I would be extremely grateful. I am eager, have completed an advanced survival school, and know how to sport lead and trad lead. I also know how to build basic anchors and can belay 'till the cows come home if you're willing to drag me along for some experience.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

My initiation into alpine winter routes was pretty much, here's some crampons and tools, let's go. Ha ha. It was on a route called Dreamweaver in Rocky Mountain NP.

After having done a few dozen routes similar to that now, I would first spend time finding a good partner with some experience or that is at least as interested as you are. It's worth taking a class in this sort of thing so you can ask as many questions as possible. The objective dangers in alpine climbing are the main issue.

I was connected to a community of people doing alpine routes, so it was easy to get advice and run ideas past people. More often than not, this convinced my friends and I to not do routes given the snow conditions. You'll be encountering a ton of snow in your area and glacier travel will be part of it, so definitely know how to travel in that terrain safely.

Also, ask yourself if you enjoy suffering and being cold. Do you like bitter cold winds and summits shrouded in cloud with no more than a thousand feet visibility? Do you like hands and feet numb weeks after the day out in the wild? If so, you might like alpine climbing.

Marshall Baxter · · Washington/Oregon · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0


If you're new to the NW, definitely pick up Fred Beckey's climbing guides produced by the Mountaineers Books. He's definitely a climbing legend who has pioneered hundreds of routes in the PNW. If you're serious about climbing several places in WA, you won't be disappointed.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Pacific Northwest Partners
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