The ice hammock is a relatively new invention and although it's a great idea and works well, it's unlikely that any outdoor company is going to start making them commercially anytime soon, so we thought its worth writing an article for anyone who has an interest in making and using them for alpine climbing.
Within our team, we want to standardise the calls we use, so you always know what to expect when you climb with someone from the NZAT. It is good to reduce the calls you use to a bare minimum and not say unnecessary things as these can add more confusion than clarity. A belayer/climber does not need a running commentary and you don't want a shouting match at the end of a pitch. It is also a good principle to acknowledge any calls heard, as often the caller does not know if they are heard. This is normally a simple 'OK' or 'Thank You'. This article describes the standard climbing calls and procedures used when climbing. Sticking to these and only these, will help reduce misunderstandings when climbing.
We are propagating accidents, injuries and deaths. In almost all commercial industries, when multiple near misses or similar accidents occur, they are analysed and methods are instigated to eliminate the causal factors. Even rats in a maze learn not to make the same mistakes multiple times. But it seems the climbing community hasn’t yet learned. All too often I hear of people either dying, being seriously injured, or narrowly avoiding catastrophe due to the same preventable errors.
There is no rope that does every job. Therefore when building your selection of climbing ropes here are a few points to consider.
As an alpine climber I keep quite 5 main ropes or pairs of ropes in my collection for regular use.
These ropes are made up of Tendon Master & Tendon Lowe ropes.
All of us find ourselves city bound from time to time. Here are some tips and tricks for staying mountain fit even during prolonged periods out of the mountains.
Please note that short-fixing is an advanced climbing technique and is not suitable for beginners or anyone new to trad climbing. In using this technique, it is necessary to have sufficient climbing experience to make a sound judgement call as to when it is appropriate to short-fix, and when it is not. This article seeks only to describe the concept of short-fixing and will not help you in making that judgement call. If you have any doubts, you should stick to regular belaying practises.
Ice climbing requires a surprising amount of equipment. First off there is all the gear to actually climb the ice, then there is the gear to protect the climb, and finally there is all the equipment you wear to stay warm in temperatures potentially below -20C. This article details the equipment we found to be most useful while ice climbing in Canada one January. We were generally climbing 3+ pitch routes, but we also spent some time both cragging and doing longer routes. Conditions varied from -25C (In Maligne Canyon) to 0C (On the Weeping Wall).
What to wear for a day's winter climbing is a source for endless debate, and everyone will have different ideas about what constitutes the ideal system. What is undebatable is the end goal - being warm, dry, and actually able to climb, in a range of temperatures and conditions. That means that the basic clothes I wear never change, whether it's 0°C and sleeting in New Zealand or -30°C and dry in Canada.
Alpine climbing is extremely physically demanding. Most other sports have a history and culture of systematic training. Yet in alpine climbing, despite these demands, and the potential benefits that training can bring, few do. Many climbers come from outside this culture of mainstream sports, so do not have the background in training to apply themselves, and there are no coaches out there to guide you. There is good knowledge out there on training for endurance sports and for rock climbing, but not covering the wide spectrum of demands involved in doing long, hard routes in the mountains.