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.
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.
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.
It surprises me how few mountain climbers understand or know a safe and simple method to abseil down a climb leaving minimal gear. Usually if you plan to abseil down a climb either placing your own abseil points or by using old ones already in place you will need a few basic things.
In addition to your standard rack of climbing gear pack some extra 6mm cord. (usually around 10m), a knife, two screamers (expanding quick draws), short prussic, belay device, daisy/safety chain, and your ropes.
In fine weather a unplanned or a planned bivvy generally involves little suffering. Fine weather can also be very forgiving when it comes to small mistakes in gear management. Bivvying can be broken into two categories. Planned and Unplanned. I will start with the planned type, as an unplanned bivvy is more about enduring with what you have rather than planning for something you know is coming.