Author Topic: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures  (Read 5887 times)

SunDummy

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Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« on: October 17, 2008, 11:03:18 AM »
The Ambient Clothing thread was drifting (my fault...), so here's a place to discuss climbing, skiing, mountains, and adventures of all kinds, even a simple trip to the DMV (always an adventure...)

« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 05:33:42 PM by SunDummy »
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solyaris

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Re: Fun in the mountains...
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2008, 11:17:25 AM »
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where (what mountain) you where with skyies ?


That was Mt. Hood, Oregon, on July 1st 2008.  I met some friends there for a weekend of skinning and skiing; I'm not into climbing, unless I have skis with me for the descent.    :)

I like to skin up, so I can enjoy this:




yeah! :)
what does it mean "to skin" ? it's skiing on free mountains ?


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I was there descending Cima Brocan, Alpi Marittime, in Italy;
here the non-trivial transverse (45/55 slope)... (I'm third person from the left):


That would be a faster descent on skis...  ;)  Seriously, that looks like a perfect pitch for some jump-turns; probably a bit icy, though.  What's below you?  A safe slide, or a 'Plunge of Doom'?   :o  I would feel totally safe on skis, but in crampons, I'd want to be roped...


A Plunge of Doom!
that you can't see in photo ...
here a zoom outof same moment:


a bit awful indeed, very psicologically demanding : but the worst passages have been just descending the canal (not in the phote) ... maybe a bit more 45 degree slope ... face to mountain ... steep snow somewhere... ice snow in the tranverse on the photo .. too complex and slow to use rope ... the decision was to descend  untied ... :)


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You are in an alpinist's paradise; get to the Dolomites much?


good point.

In facts I'm from genova in the nort-west of Italy a bit far form Dolomiti (that are in the Nort-East);
Nature are amazing in Dolomiti, especilly if you like verticality and rock climbing....

personally I prefere white mountains (> 4000 meters altitude often) that we have in the North-West indeed.  I like to climb canalas ... like this  (myself climbing with a friend Canale Freshfield this last spring):



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If you ever make it to the Washington State area, let me know, and we'll collaborate on an "ambient climb"!    ;D


If I will come in USA ... thank'you!
In facts in my big ignorance I think I would love so much your mountains ...
and last but not least the Patagonia in South America is a real myth for me.

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Ever bring skis?


another interesting point: no, I'm not a skyier.
My friends do sky-alpinism and tryied to convince me about tehe beauty of that.
But I'm perplex because I'm nevere skyied until now ... and there is also a philosophical point ... I tend to not appreciate all devices accelerate your body ... all in all ... walking is the mouvement I prefer ... also in comparison to climbing ...  I prefer slowness always ... you know ... I'm an ambient music maker me too ;-)

cheers
giorgio

SunDummy

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Re: Fun in the mountains...
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2008, 11:51:51 AM »
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what does it mean "to skin" ? it's skiing on free mountains ?


"Skinning" is skiing uphill.  You stick these self-adhesive "skins" onto the bottoms of your skis; they are made of fabric (often mohair) with a 'nap' that points backwards.  They slide forward easily, but won't slide backwards, so you can point the skis up the hill and climb up without sliding downhill.  In deep snow, they let you climb straight up the hill with better flotation than snowshoes; it's also much easier to climb this way than with the skis strapped to a pack.  In the US, the ski areas are usually pretty strict about allowing you to ride the lifts up, then go out-of-bounds (where the good untracked snow is) to ski down.  Skins allow you to climb wherever the hell you want, and get to the good snow.  We also have a ton of mountains without any lifts, so the only way up is with skins.  Approaches to many of our mountains are also very long, making for a loooong hike.  On skis, I can move much faster.


Here's a shot of Mt. Hood, approaching from the NE, in July 2008.  Many of the high mountains in the Pacific northwest are volcanoes, rising out of relatively flat hills; they're high enough to hold skiable snow all year.


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a bit awful indeed, very psicologically demanding : but the worst passages have been just descending the canal (not in the phote) ... maybe a bit more 45 degree slope ... face to mountain ... steep snow somewhere... ice snow in the tranverse on the photo .. too complex and slow to use rope ... the decision was to descend  untied ..


 :o :o :o  Wow, that does look scary...  but then, that's part of the thrill!   :D

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another interesting point: no, I'm not a skyier.
My friends do sky-alpinism and tryied to convince me about tehe beauty of that.
But I'm perplex because I'm nevere skyied until now ... and there is also a philosophical point ... I tend to not appreciate all devices accelerate your body ... all in all ... walking is the mouvement I prefer ... also in comparison to climbing ...  I prefer slowness always ... you know ... I'm an ambient music maker me too ;-)


I see...  for me, being in the mountains is it's own reward, so I understand your love of the walk.  I have been skiing for 30+ years, and while a good hike in the mountains is always welcome, if I can combine it with skiing, then I'm in heaven.  And I do have a little speed problem; I regularly get warnings at resorts to "slow down".  But as I explain to the ski patrol, "turning is a sign of fear!"   ;)  The slow skin up the hill is nice relaxing ambient; I just increase the tempo for the ride down.   ;D

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If I will come in USA ... thank'you!
In facts in my big ignorance I think I would love so much your mountains ...
and last but not least the Patagonia in South America is a real myth for me.


You're welcome anytime!  And I agree on Patagonia, that place has always intrigued me.  I hope to get down there someday, that would be a dream trip for me.

Cheers!



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Seren

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2008, 12:21:33 PM »
My main danger/excitement period was late 80's and early 90's. I started training as a council tree surgeon 1 month before the hurricane of 87 in the UK. due to insurance concerns was not able to work on the trees in the streets as a risk to the public so spent time swinging up to and above 100 feet in the air on park/churchyard/forest trees with live chainsaws.....Sorry no pictures.

One of the oak trees damaged by the storm was so big we ended up climbing it with spikes and using a four foot guidebar to section it 'small' bit by bit...we did have a chainsaw with a 6 foot guide bar, but we weren't keen on using it as it had a handle at the sharp end that we were understandably reticent to take hold of.

One of the guys got his foot crushed so it was very dangerous, but the climbing bit was really a boys dream come true, especially if the trees were waving about in the winds.

Did forestry for 5 years, much less dangerous and exciting as we were basically planting and keeping the forest clean, landowner got guys in with big tractors etc to do the felling. But it was great fun burning the left branches etc on huge fires in winter.

SunDummy

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2008, 09:48:07 PM »
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spent time swinging up to and above 100 feet in the air on park/churchyard/forest trees with live chainsaws...

You're nuts.   ;D 

I can handle crawling across a sliver of rock on a high mountain ridge, with thousands of feet of certain death on both sides, just to get to a sweet ski slope; I can then enjoy 2000 feet of "you fall you die" skiing, right on the edge of control; but there's no way you'd get me up in a tree.  Not sure why, but that just freaks me out.    :o
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solyaris

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Re: Fun in the mountains...
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2008, 11:11:56 AM »
"Skinning" is skiing uphill.  You stick these self-adhesive "skins" onto the bottoms of your skis; they are made of fabric (often mohair) with a 'nap' that points backwards.  They slide forward easily, but won't slide backwards, so you can point the skis up the hill and climb up without sliding downhill.  In deep snow, they let you climb straight up the hill with better flotation than snowshoes; it's also much easier to climb this way than with the skis strapped to a pack.  In the US, the ski areas are usually pretty strict about allowing you to ride the lifts up, then go out-of-bounds (where the good untracked snow is) to ski down.  Skins allow you to climb wherever the hell you want, and get to the good snow.  We also have a ton of mountains without any lifts, so the only way up is with skins.  Approaches to many of our mountains are also very long, making for a loooong hike.  On skis, I can move much faster.


I understand now! Of course. We call in Italy this style "scialpinismo" (= sky-mountaneering);
going up with sky & skins in approaching, myaby crampons with high slopess / ice.
In recent years there is a re-vamping of snowshoes here, but unluckly temperatures are more and more high :( :( :( glaciers are melting, snow is more and more rare :( :( :( Personally (because my body before may mind ...) I hate this "global" warming; Recently I read a book by great French alpinist Gaston Rebuffat (do you pheraps know who is him ?) and I have caputured by a big nostalgia for this white Alpes no more existent ...??... just watch amazing Rebuffat shoot and movies for see what I mean ...
here below Gaston rebuffat shutted in a very famous photo:



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Here's a shot of Mt. Hood, approaching from the NE, in July 2008.  Many of the high mountains in the Pacific northwest are volcanoes, rising out of relatively flat hills; they're high enough to hold skiable snow all year.


I like the form of that mountain! here a webcam showing that there is a lot of snow now:


do you climbed it with skins ?
do you know the snow conditions now ? ice near the peak?

BTW, yesterday I climbed the North edge of Rocca del Prete (the edge in the extrem left in the photo):


geographically situed here:


there is an "easy" difficulties climbing that I realized mainly as lead ... my buddy rope kindly "granted" me to go up as lead, to demonstrate that I by this time recovered from the fracture at my foot ...
at end of July I fell down (flying for many meters...) when climbing ... sliding in a crack full of water ... and anyways "saved" by the roped blocked by my rope-buddy; It have been an awful story ... I got down that difficult mountain "Corno Stella" ... walking for more than 5 hours to reach my car ( unaware of the fracture ?! ...).  Do even watched "Touching the void" by Joe Sympson ... something like that (in a more light context fortunately) ... :)

here below, myself in the belay, not much before my fall ...

 
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You're welcome anytime!  And I agree on Patagonia, that place has always intrigued me.  I hope to get down there someday, that would be a dream trip for me.


Thanks, but Patagonia is a dream ... difficulties (technical) are above my possibilities and last but not least there is the economical issue, anyways .. who know, in a future maybe?
:)

giorgio
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 11:15:38 AM by solyaris »

Seren

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 01:30:25 PM »
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spent time swinging up to and above 100 feet in the air on park/churchyard/forest trees with live chainsaws...

You're nuts.   ;D 

I can handle crawling across a sliver of rock on a high mountain ridge, with thousands of feet of certain death on both sides, just to get to a sweet ski slope; I can then enjoy 2000 feet of "you fall you die" skiing, right on the edge of control; but there's no way you'd get me up in a tree.  Not sure why, but that just freaks me out.    :o

I found myself more worried about the ropes and man made stuff than the trees. It was helped by seeing two 16 stone guys show me how far up a tree and out on the small limbs they could get with good techniques.

After training I went a coupl of times into a forest on my own, it took me a while to realise why I was unusually scared - if i fell no one was going to come pass and find me. Also did some private work on my own , but stopped that when i was 60foot up a tree in someones garden and watching how rotten the branches were that I was relying on to anchor the ropes on......

Funnily enough I never want to go mountain climbing or learn to ski, I remember a few years back watching the 'raging planet' tv series and loved the volcanoes and earthquakes etc, but the second they showed an avalanche my stomache turned upside down, i felt very nauseas and actually scared - wierd.

Ekstasis

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2008, 03:36:01 AM »
Looks really nice guys, have always been dreaming about climbing the mountains...must be a mind cleansing experience...Some time in future I might do it..

mgriffin

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2008, 10:34:18 AM »
I love being in the mountains more than just about any place, but unfortunately I have a fear of high cliffs, so I love skiing and hiking but there will be no real "mountain climbing" in my future.
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solyaris

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2008, 10:52:15 AM »
I love being in the mountains more than just about any place, but unfortunately I have a fear of high cliffs, so I love skiing and hiking but there will be no real "mountain climbing" in my future.

I love being in Nature more than just about any human beings artifact ...,
but infortunately I'm a man, and I have to make music... :)

"mountains climbing" in the sense to climb high altitudes mountains and/or adventure terrain (what I love) is a very demanding activity: it require a complete psycophisical and physical "control" ... but all your efforts simply mitigate the "risk" that's always present; we call this in moountaneering slang: "objective dangers" ...

Often, where I'm in a not-trivial situation in a climb, I feel to be in a sort of "mistic labirynth" ... I feel just to be in the "zone" of Tarkovskij's Stalker ...

you will return home save and happy pheraps,
you will return home died pheraps ...

Alpinism is not just an activity for heroes ...
It's something I love and hate: nowaday alpinism is not that spiritual research that many people claim; indeed it's too often also what I call "big illusion" on the search of true ...  an extreme egoistic act of the western countries men ... :(

giorgio

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2008, 11:28:41 AM »
Giorgio,

Mt. Hood is indeed a nice place...  The upper part is steep and has lots of challenging routes, while the lower part is a pretty easy hike/skin.  There's usually ice near the top (or sun-cupped snow), while the lower part is freeze/thaw-cycle snow.  Great for skiing in the morning, then mush by the afternoon.  The lower reaches get a lot of traffic, but the upper part only has a few groups each day.  Winter is different, of course; it's pretty much all covered with snow.  pretty risky then, with avvies and crevasses.  I've just begun exploring it all (I moved out here last year); lots to learn!



I know what you mean about modern alpinism; so much of it is ego-stroking.  Most alpine journals focus on these arcane and bizarre rules, who went first, etc. - they miss the point of why we're out there in the first place.

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After training I went a couple of times into a forest on my own, it took me a while to realise why I was unusually scared - if i fell no one was going to come pass and find me.


That's funny, Seren; that's exactly why I love the wilderness!  I'm on my own.

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but the second they showed an avalanche my stomache turned upside down, i felt very nauseas and actually scared - wierd.


I get the same sensation; believe me, we take precautions.  Never ski without an avy beacon (and a partner who knows how to use his), shovel, probe, etc.  Do pit analysis to check stability of the snowpack; stay out of certain 'terrain traps'; know the snow history of the area (when it rained last, etc.)  It may seem dangerous, and people die every year doing it, but you can minimize the risk to near zero.  Funny, I was watching "the Amazing Race" last night; two of the contestants had to climb a tall tower.  I actually got vertigo just sitting in my chair...   :D
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Seren

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2008, 01:14:15 PM »

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After training I went a couple of times into a forest on my own, it took me a while to realise why I was unusually scared - if i fell no one was going to come pass and find me.

That's funny, Seren; that's exactly why I love the wilderness!  I'm on my own.

I love the wilderness too, lived for 5 years in rural north wales, and worked in a 700 acre ancient and semi natural woodland for another 5. My fear was realising that if I had an accident, not only would no one be likely to pass for a few days, but would anyone who happened to be walking that way think of looking up 60 to 100 feet to see if there was an injured and dangling human up there in the leaves and branches? Seeing the odd mild accident and the one major one had made me realise that it was dangerous, plus having my own mild accident when I got blase added to the realisation.

I love being in the wild and on my own, but nowadays prefer to act reasonably safe when in it.

solyaris

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 03:50:04 AM »
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Mt. Hood is indeed a nice place
yes, in your photo, it could be a mountain here in Italy, for example in "Alpi Marittime" North-West side of Italy ... :)

I know what you mean about modern alpinism; so much of it is ego-stroking.  Most alpine journals focus on these arcane and bizarre rules, who went first, etc. - they miss the point of why we're out there in the first place.

yes, "modern alpinism" mean at 99% achieving extraordinary agonistic, athletic, competitive results. It appear to me incredible the egoism I usually experienced in alpinists also in simple "free time / week-end" situations, even if, that could not surprise me: human beings behaviours do not change suddenly when they move from the city to a mountain ...

giorgio



 

solyaris

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Italian autumn leaves ...
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2008, 01:04:38 PM »
Finally a friday of relax ...
far from the crazyness of our stupid cities ...
maybe the last week of fall colours in Italy ...

Here myself in Champorcher, Valle d'Aosta, Italy, 24 October 




hdibrell

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2008, 01:22:09 PM »
Nice pictures, Giorgio! That does look like fall.   I enjoy looking at these mountaineering pictures but I think I'll stay here on the ground. I'm like Mike, the idea of hanging over great heights doesn't appeal to me. It doesn't look much like fall here in San Antonio, yet. But, it is getting cooler. I can't wait. There's nothing quite as romantic as watching the prickly pear turn colors.  ;D     Harry
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solyaris

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2008, 02:39:37 AM »
fall here in San Antonio, yet. But, it is getting cooler. I can't wait.


Hi my friend!
you won't believe but in Texas you have a community of climbers :
http://sanantonioclimbing.com/ :)

anyway, fro me is not so important to climb, but to stay-in natural spaces, to be in peace ...
to climbing rock or snow, to walking or simply to lie down in a meadow ... 

btw, first snow in North-Italy:



giorgio

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Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2008, 06:21:43 AM »
Wow All picture are beautiful. love mountain. :D