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Alpine climbing when you're not a morning person


Original Post
Cara Biner · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 0

Hey all!

I wrote an article on tips I've found helpful for making alpine climbing more enjoyable as a non-morning person.
https://medium.com/@carabinerclimbing/alpine-climbing-for-non-morning-people-b176f7fe44b5 

But it'd be great to hear about any tips or tricks that have worked for you in the alpine. Alpine season's right round the corner - get stoked!

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Suck it up, buttercup. :)

Alpine climbing can be more dangerous later in the day, with the sun loosening rocks in the snow and because of afternoon thunderstorms.

Toughen up! Pretend you have to get up early for work.

shredward · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

I am a morning person some days, and I do all these things!  

Except the good breakfast part.  Its kind of tradition for me to force down oatmeal in the dark before an alpine climb.  Gets me in the right head space for suffering

Also your last name is racist now.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
FrankPS wrote: Suck it up, buttercup. :)

Stole the words right out of my mouth. 

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
FrankPS wrote:
Toughen up! Pretend you have to get up early for work.

I feel like you like your job more than I do mine. 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
mediocre wrote:

I feel like you like your job more than I do mine. 

I'm retired, so you're probably right.

Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 291
Cara Biner wrote: Hey all!

I wrote an article on tips I've found helpful for making alpine climbing more enjoyable as a non-morning person.
https://medium.com/@carabinerclimbing/alpine-climbing-for-non-morning-people-b176f7fe44b5 

But it'd be great to hear about any tips or tricks that have worked for you in the alpine. Alpine season's right round the corner - get stoked!

Maybe just alpine rock in a region with no afternoon storms...

Ryan Pfleger · · North Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 20

Some people can go to sleep earlier if they wake up earlier the day before. Try getting up at 6am instead of 10am for a couple days before your 3am alpine start, and go to bed correspondingly earlier. It also depends what your alpine start is for. Alpine start so you can be up and down an 8 hour route while things are still frozen, or to beat an afternoon thunderstorm? No biggie. You'll function just fine with almost no performance deficit on a bit less sleep. Need to do a 48 hour push? You'll need every minute of that good night's sleep you got the night before. Try a dose of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to conk you out early the night before. 

Dallin Carey · · Missoula · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 157

If you’re not suffering, you’re not doing it right. 

Anna Ferntheil · · ANCHORAGE · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 13

The only thing that gets me out of bed early in the morning is an Alpine start-gotta want it :D

Don Ferris III · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

I just about always hike in the evening before.  I’m the farthest from being a morning person but there’s something about waking up in the cool mountain air with anticipation of the climb that gets me going. 

aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 294

Not a morning person? Then just crank through the night. I've had some luck leaving the house after putting my kids in bed, drive through the night (less traffic), start hiking in the dark, and hit the start of the climb right at sunrise. After getting back to the car, take a nappuccino and hit the road. If I'm lucky I can be home for dinner with the family.

HughC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10

Is it even alpine climbing if you don't have that heady mix of sleep deprivation, that weird dream like state that accompanies it, hunger, and excitement about the day's objective!?

Braden Downey · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Feb 2007 · Points: 105

Tips for getting to sleep earlier:

  • Buff over your eyes, ear plugs, and possibly melatonin
  • Big lunch, small dinner
  • Wake up early the day before and only 1 cup of coffee! 
Tips for making waking up easier:
  • Imagine better friction, fewer falling rocks, avalanches, cornices, storms, and not having to pick your way down a technical descent in the dark (basically, not dying should motivate you to get your boots on more than anything, and if you're going to be playing the odds for many years... you get the idea)
  • Imagine happy hour or hitting the burger barn before it closes. 
  • Via Packets! Bars instead of oatmeal. 
  • wake up to Nine inch nails "WITH TEETH", or something like that. Get PSYCHED! Fake it if you have to.  
Mitch R. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0
FrankPS wrote: Suck it up, buttercup. :)

Alpine climbing can be more dangerous later in the day, with the sun loosening rocks in the snow and because of afternoon thunderstorms.

Toughen up! Pretend you have to get up early for work.


Mitch R. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Very true.   I tell the whiners to “Suck it up because it goes with the territory and this is what you signed up for!”

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,860

Take up bouldering...

Beean · · Canmore, AB · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0

I mainly ski, so I don't have to get up as early as you suckas. But melatonin + 1 beer usually zonks me out. But beware, if you don't end up sleeping you get shitty hangover.

Clarke Conant · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 0

As an older climber, I have a lot of problems with young parties that are fast getting to.the crag, but slow once on it. Why the hurry? Sleep in, enjoy life! Let some fifty-five year old Dad who is up all night peeing anyway get up there first!

Allen Sanderson · · On the road to perdition · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,187

Just do not go to bed ...

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 279
Braden Downey wrote: Tips for getting to sleep earlier:
Ambien 5mg. But you'll have a harder time getting to sleep the next night.

Or else go climbing in Alaska or the Yukon. No need for an alpine start when the sun's up for 20 hours, so long as you're there in late spring or early summer.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
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