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Anybody know anything about mountaineering?

BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
A friend and I were thinking of taking up backpacking or hiking, and I remembered that an old guy at work (how old? Worked mission control during the Apollo days) was planning to climb Mt. McKinley. I decided that sounded kinda neat and did some research and learned that was maybe not a great idea for a beginner.

I did some more research and found: http://www.mountainmadness.com/namerica/baker.cfm

Does that seem like a good deal? Do you think it'd be fun? I'm in decent shape, and could be in better if it's necessary, and I've had "dangerous" hobbies before. My friend said he's game if I think it's a good idea. Let's say I make McKinley a goal, how long until you think we'd be prepared?

BlochWave on

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    ಠ_ರೃಠ_ರೃ __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2010
    Probably about 25 years or so. Isn't McKinley one of the highest mountains in the country? Even most mountaineers never climb it.

    ಠ_ರೃ on
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    PracticalProblemSolverPracticalProblemSolver Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The mt baker trip seems too short, I would rather stay another day but other than that it seems fun. I would expect that after five or so serious, glacial summits you would be technically ready for a guided trip up McKinley, with excellent fitness. You can probably do it at any time but I doubt it'd be any fun. I'm sure any of the guide programs will have an example program of what kind of technical skills and fitness level you need to have a good attempt.

    So if you do three summits a summer, two or three years from now.

    PracticalProblemSolver on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Probably about 25 years or so. Isn't McKinley one of the highest mountains in the country? Even most mountaineers never climb it.

    Differentiating between tallness and height, it's taller than Mt. Everest (but a lower summit ASL)

    It's not a technically advanced climb though (neither's Everest compared to some, but everything is hard over 20000 feet). Note that most people familiar with it call it by the local name Denali, and you'll find it in the "intermediate" section of that site I posted.
    The mt baker trip seems too short, I would rather stay another day but other than that it seems fun

    That site/company has another option for a 4 day trip instead of 3, but then the price goes up to 900 something. I guess it's probably like $150 for that extra day, so maybe that's not a bad deal either.

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    clam2000clam2000 SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    You should find a local group of climbers in your area when you're starting out.
    First, they will be cheaper than packaged tours.
    Second, you'll be able to make friends and go on additional trips with people who already have a bunch of experience doing this stuff.

    You mentioned Baker and I assume you're somewhere in the north west.
    If you happen to be in Seattle, look at The Mountaineers (http://www.mountaineers.org) They offer climbing courses, hiking groups, and the like.

    If you're anywhere else that's remotely outdoorsy, there is certainly an equivalent. You should look for those guys, they'll be just as cool as the old guy your know from work.

    clam2000 on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Well unfortunately I'm in Houston, TX, about as far away as I can be from Washington, just about, and still be in the US. Googling finds lots of rock climbing groups (which may also be neat, and cheaper!) and obviously there are no big mountains in my vicinity. I'll keep checking though.

    BlochWave on
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    Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Get out and do a little backpacking and hiking on your own before spending money on a trip. Check out local trails, mountains and hills and get a feel for climbing. Even a 1000' elevation gain will give you some idea of what you're in for.

    If you decide that it's definitely for you then this trip definitely looks like a great experience, a place where you can learn a lot in a relatively forgiving atmosphere in a good amount of time.

    As far as how long it will take to Mt. McKinley, well that will depend on how much you actually enjoy alpine hiking and then snow climbing. Not everyone is a fan and they don't usually know that until they try it.

    Uncle Long on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Look if you can afford it it says you don't need previous experience.

    Just make sure your fit.

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    JRoseyJRosey Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I climbed Baker with a friend and it was only our second summit, the first being sissy Mt. St Helens. I've gone on to climb bigger and badder and I acquired almost all of my knowledge from the internet and a few select books. I see those guided tours as pretty big money sinks. They basically run you up and down, and you miss out on a lot of things. However buying all your own gear is incredibly expensive.

    Read, read, read. Find locals that have climbed and talk to them. Get a climbing buddy and start single day hikes with a 50lb pack. When that is easy as getting out of bed go to two day hikes, etc.

    As for mountaineering being fun; I wouldn't rather be doing anything else in the world. Once you do it, you realize there is nothing greater for man to accomplish. Good luck and stay safe!

    JRosey on
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    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Always take friends and always tell people where you are going.
    Try out some local ... oh its Texas, so uh try out some local plateaus? or something
    get some little hiking in before you go after the big ones

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
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