Due to the winding nature of alpine routes we commonly carry a multitude of longer slings to reduce rope drag and to prevent the rope from binding on horns, flakes, or loose rock. Our favorite way to carry these slings is as “alpine quickdraws”. The alpine quickdraw is a shoulder length sling that has been shortened to be carried as a quickdraw on your harness. It’s a very efficient way to manage loose slings, and it gives you the choice to use the sling in the shortened configuration or as a true shoulder length runner. Check out the video below to see how to rig an alpine quickdraw.
I have had the pleasure of using the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover in my layering system this winter. After using it extensively for backcountry skiing and ice climbing in a variety of conditions, I am giving this garment a rating of 4.5/5 stars for its incredible versatility, minimal weight, and thoughtful design. In the following post I’ll describe the merits of this fine piece and offer my opinion on its ideal uses.
Yesterday Tracy L. and I climbed the classic San Juan ice route, Whorehouse Hoses. This climb consists of two outstanding pitches of ice as well as several pitches of snow climbing, making it a great all-around alpine outing. The forecast called for warm, above-freezing daytime temperatures so we planned to leave the car at 7:30 am and be finished by early afternoon – before the surrounding snow slopes would become unstable in the heat.
Yesterday Megan W. and I went out for a ski tour near Red Mountain Pass. Following is a description of the great tour we did and the outstanding skiing we enjoyed.
The recent sunny weather had created crusts on sun exposed aspects so we knew the best skiing would be found on north and northwest facing slopes. There was also a “considerable” avalanche danger for the day as forecast by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center so we decided it would be best to ski lower angled terrain. Given these factors, we chose to visit the moderate terrain below the West Face of Ohio Peak, a seldom visited area just south of Red Mountain Pass.