Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Recommendations for a new climber

  1. #1
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Chugiak, Alaska
    Posts
    759

    Default Recommendations for a new climber

    Hoping to see some action in this forum.

    My 20 yo daughter wants to take up mountaineering and ice climbing, and I'm looking for suggestions and recommendations on good gear to start out with. Any go-to equipment?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member KantishnaCabin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    255

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    Hoping to see some action in this forum.

    My 20 yo daughter wants to take up mountaineering and ice climbing, and I'm looking for suggestions and recommendations on good gear to start out with. Any go-to equipment?

    Thanks!
    I would highly recommend that she check out the outdoor programs and classes at Alaska Pacific University. I'm not 100% sure but I think their clinics and outdoor trips are open to the public. Some require a fee. I did a few many years ago they were a lot of fun. We went Ice climbing on Matanuska Glacier and mountaineering/climbing in the Falls Creek area of the Chugach. We also did a little climbing and repelling along Turnagain arm.

    Paul Twardock used to be the Outdoor Coordinator for APU, I think he is still there and can give her some expert advice.

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,695

    Default

    Lots of good gear, but what's really needed for the new climber is gaining skills and good partners.

    Going to the Valdez Ice Climbing Festival would be a great way to get instruction and try different equipment. It's a catch 22 where you need to get some experience to see what equipment you prefer before plunking down the money as gear that best matches your style and preferences can be a huge energy saver, yet you need some gear to get started. It's surprising how slight differences in the angle and shape of an ice axe shaft and where the tool balances have a big effect on how effective it is. Going to something like the Valdez Festival and getting a chance to swing various axes is well worth the effort, though getting some time on ice before that would shorten the learning curve. Does she have any climbing experience, familiarity with basic rope work, belaying and anchors?

    There is or was a south central ice climbing forum that is a way to meet partners, also a climbing group on facebook.

    Best tip for ice climbing, bring several pairs of gloves, they get wet. You can get by with thinner gloves than you'd think while climbing, and have better feel for the tools. And a big down parka with a hood for belaying.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  4. #4
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Chugiak, Alaska
    Posts
    759

    Default

    Thank you both for the feedback. She is taking an ice climbing class through UAA this semester. We punted and got her a gift card for Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking. She's planning on checking out what gear will be available through the class, but I suspect she'll start by buying her own boots. Sweet Christmas, talk about sticker shock.

    Apologies for not checking in sooner. It's been an up and down holiday, but that's how it usually goes. Great to have folks here sharing their insights. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,695

    Default

    Not an inexpensive sport for sure! There are quite a few on line stores to have clearance prices for year old clothing and discontinued gear. I've used Sierra trading post for years and got both of my pairs of mountaineering boots from them, parkas, technical pants etc. They used to frequently offer addtional 20-30% off codes so you could often get gear for 1/3 the cost of retail for new gear. There are also outdoor specific used gear sites, and always flea bay. I would go new on harness, ropes, carabiners and a helmet, but if you find ice axes and screws at the right price, not a bad way to go.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  6. #6
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Chugiak, Alaska
    Posts
    759

    Default

    I've seen a few listings on CL locally for climbing gear. It looks like a good way to cover some of the equipment items you listed. It's been forever since I bought from Sierra Trading Post. I used to buy from them when you ordered through the mail! Back then, your order confirmation was the package in the mailbox.

    If she follows through and gets totally into climbing, I''ll prod her into looking for more affordable ways to build her climbing kit. As much as she'd like to think that dad's wallet is bottomless, it just ain't so.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •