NEClimbs.com forum

General => General Climbing => Topic started by: SA on February 03, 2014, 08:26:17 am

Title: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: SA on February 03, 2014, 08:26:17 am
I was pretty amazed to see the hoards of climbers at this years Ice Fest. I'm not the oldest climber on the block, but to give some perspective, back when I started climbing, it was not unusual to find only one car parked at the base of Cathedral Ledge on a fine weekend. There were no guides when I started, and perhaps one climbing magazine.

The game has certainly changed in 50 years. I wonder where the sport will be 50 years from now? Will there be a gate-keeper at the base of the popular routes?
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: strandman on February 03, 2014, 09:16:40 am
Gatekeeper ? maybe you and JB ???  Collect the $$ and get some beers !  Wasn't the first "ice" guide part of Paul's '78 rock book ?
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: DGoguen on February 03, 2014, 09:36:10 am
Wilcox and Cole "Shades of Blue" pre dated that one by a couple of years.
The grades are Easy, moderate and Hard.

Ross and Ellms guide in 78 used the NEI numbered system.

Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: eyebolter on February 03, 2014, 09:46:35 am
Wilcox and Cole "Shades of Blue" pre dated that one by a couple of years.
The grades are Easy, moderate and Hard.


Yeah, the first "moderate" I did from that guide was Waterfall at Frankenstein.  Straight wood shaft ice axe, crappy hammer and no wrist loops, and flexible crampons.  A couple of crappy screws was all I got in and I crawled over the top in a panic all drenched in sweat. 

Not a single other party at Frankenstein that weekend.  I'm guessing that the new equipment might have something to do with the crowds. 
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: Jeff on February 03, 2014, 11:40:04 am
" I'm guessing that the new equipment might have something to do with the crowds. "

No question about that--EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING-- wool knickers, or air force flight pants, wool sweaters and shirts, Dachstein mitts, Sierra Design 60/40 parka and wool balaclavas were a lot heavier, bulkier and more "manly" ( and a lot less waterproof or windproof, although once the knickers, parka and dachsteins were snow saturated and frozen stiff they were windproof  8))-- the funk while trying to dry out later in the Harvard Cabin or a bar was a rare delight that had to be experienced!  Many of us also wore cotton T-necks under all that, even before LL was around to advise us! lol I wonder why there were so few women in the sport then!!
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: pappy on February 03, 2014, 01:03:49 pm
The biggest difference is the screws. Clothes are clothes, and I would still be as comfortable leading 5 with my Chacal and Hummingbird (or just about) as with my Prophets or any of the newer tools. Being able to stop on vertical ice and place a screw you know is bomber with one hand? Priceless.

If we could just go back to our old Chouinards and Snargs it would weed out all this riff raff in a hurry, and worth it, too. I'm pretty sure I still have one of those ratchets around here...
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: kenreville on February 03, 2014, 02:53:15 pm
The biggest difference is the screws. Clothes are clothes, and I would still be as comfortable leading 5 with my Chacal and Hummingbird (or just about) as with my Prophets or any of the newer tools. Being able to stop on vertical ice and place a screw you know is bomber with one hand? Priceless.

If we could just go back to our old Chouinards and Snargs it would weed out all this riff raff in a hurry, and worth it, too. I'm pretty sure I still have one of those ratchets around here...

Snargs. Now that's funny. I've still got a few of those badboys.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: pappy on February 03, 2014, 03:00:31 pm
I still use them.  ::)
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: markvnh on February 03, 2014, 03:28:49 pm
Damn I had a whole rack of those Chouinard's with the ratchet! And I use to carry a Yosemite hammer just to bang in snargs - get a starter hole and a couple whacks with that hammer and you were good to go! But what a PITA for the second to get out!
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: strandman on February 03, 2014, 04:17:34 pm
You pussies using ratchets...pick of the tool for screws....Oh that's right I gaveup ice in'82..Terrors, Chouinard hammer and leather boots....i wonder why ?
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: markvnh on February 03, 2014, 05:16:53 pm
...once they came out with real good tubular screws we dumped the ratchets as even using your pick the new screws went in better! And there were always the fall back snargs!
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: ralbert20 on February 03, 2014, 05:36:45 pm
Oh man! Who let the geriatrics out of the nursing home?

Just kidding - I probably can't even keep up with you guys. I wish you had some go pro footage of those ascents back in the day...  ;)
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: strandman on February 03, 2014, 06:23:21 pm
if i remember right,Bouchard did the Dike with a 70cm bamboo axe and an alpine hammer '71..and the lowe's ascent  os Ames ice Hose (still grade 4 ) was similar stuff. in NH guys like Rainsford Rouner and Bryan Becker among many were WAY good in the 70's
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: eyebolter on February 03, 2014, 06:50:22 pm
Oh man! Who let the geriatrics out of the nursing home?

Just kidding - I probably can't even keep up with you guys. I wish you had some go pro footage of those ascents back in the day...  ;)

Hey, I still have all my teeth and get a woody every morning, so ease up on me! 
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: pappy on February 03, 2014, 07:39:51 pm
But what a PITA for the second to get out!

That's why I still use them. Bitch at me about climbing slow and I'll find a crevice between two bulges, hammer that sucker in, and laugh like hell while you have to chop half a ton of ice away to screw it out. Don't f#ck with the old dog.
Title: Re: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: DGoguen on February 03, 2014, 07:42:56 pm
Hey, I still have all my teeth and get a woody every morning, so ease up on me!

Damn,  I'm battin' .500 again.

Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: smartpig on February 03, 2014, 10:53:40 pm
Here is some fashion for you all:
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: Admin Al on February 04, 2014, 06:54:48 am
It's still surprising to me how many new folks are entering this sport every year. After all, the $$ barriers to entry are pretty darn high. It's really easy to be walking around with over $1,500 in clothing and gear - probably over $2k if you're a leader! It's a pretty affluent community. Maybe the economy is doing better than I hear...
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: old_school on February 04, 2014, 08:30:17 am
I loved placing the snargs....cleaning them sucked donkey..which provided enough incentive for me to always stay on the sharp end!!  ;)
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: ralbert20 on February 04, 2014, 09:49:37 am
Al- I think it is more the type of crowd this sport attracts. Look around and ask, and you'll see we are mostly engineers, doctors and scientists. Usually those types have plenty of cash on hand...
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: old_school on February 04, 2014, 10:38:36 am
Al- I think it is more the type of crowd this sport attracts. Look around and ask, and you'll see we are mostly engineers, doctors and scientists. Usually those types have plenty of cash on hand...

We were just talking about this at ice fest! I am an artist...no mathematical mind whatsoever..can only count to 21 when I am naked!! By far more mathematically and science minded folks in both rock and ice climbing by far! I think my creative inclinations are what attract me to the sport and I tend to do things a bit differently than my counterparts...outside the box I suppose?? ;)
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: lucky luke on February 04, 2014, 12:35:55 pm
Usually those types have plenty of cash on hand...

plenty of cash???? where???

I think it is one of the problem of climbing, those who earn plenty of cash and have less time to climb . Before, the climber climb and those who want to pay for a guide learned with climber who study to climb by skipping there courses to go in the mountain. When you belay for an hour on a shitty anchor, you are less stress by two good nuts in a pitch with a clean fall. No guide can teach that, but you can bring a person to his limit and see what will happen...and protect him from his mistake when he do one.

Today, with the emphasis on accessibility to every one and technology, many climber think that it is better to pay for a spot device and spend the day on a route that will show how good they are than to train for safety. We don't see very often people working out arrest at each years or before going to a place where it can save the life of a climber.

Conclusion, follow the sign: avy post and spot device is your back up...instead of knowing the mountain, playing in the snow/ice and bringing the team together.   
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: DLottmann on February 04, 2014, 01:18:27 pm
New and Exciting, that's for that very original view Lucky Luke.

Al- I think it is more the type of crowd this sport attracts. Look around and ask, and you'll see we are mostly engineers, doctors and scientists. Usually those types have plenty of cash on hand...

Back to the topic instead of LL's drivel I definitely notice this. I'ld even say most ice climbers are lumped into 1 of 3 categories:

1) Business professionals that can afford the gear (despite paying off high education loans).

2) Hard working blue-collar folks like Firemen/Military who spend their earned vacation time wisely.

3) Climbing Bums who earn low wages working retail but enjoy lots of pro-deals on equipment and climb after or before work 150+ days a year, outside.

Oh, then there is us, the evil "guides", or "Guides"... not sure which one LL has me classified as...
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: WanderlustMD on February 04, 2014, 02:53:12 pm


We were just talking about this at ice fest! I am an artist...no mathematical mind whatsoever..can only count to 21 when I am naked!!

Aaaaannnnd that just about made me puke.

 ;D
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: strandman on February 04, 2014, 03:57:44 pm
Grammy- if it's really cold, is  that 20  or a minus 1 ?   :o

LL i know plenty of people who pay guides because they are short of time ('cause they work) and want a quality day or 2 out...they are experienced and  know what they are doing as well.
Unless your a thief,you pay for your gear and ice gear is $$$,,,so yes, money is afactor
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: old_school on February 04, 2014, 07:13:40 pm


Aaaaannnnd that just about made me puke.

 ;D

Oh you love it brother!!!! ;D
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: eyebolter on February 04, 2014, 07:14:13 pm
Here is some fashion for you all:


High tech was the foamback!  You sweat like a pig on every lead, then it turned to ice on the belays.  Oh, and it wasn't really waterproof either.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: old_school on February 04, 2014, 07:15:02 pm
Grammy- if it's really cold, is  that 20  or a minus 1 ?   :o

-3 if you get my drift  :P
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: darwined on February 04, 2014, 09:49:54 pm
I think the return on investment is what's drawing so many climbers into the sport.  Most people only get to see the mountains through the window of a car or on the calendar hanging from the fridge.  We get to see them from the end of a rope.  That's worth a bunch.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: sneoh on February 04, 2014, 09:57:03 pm
Wear cotton, Ward.  You had it wrong.  LL/Champ knows best :)
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: OldEric on February 04, 2014, 10:13:56 pm
Here is some fashion for you all:


High tech was the foamback!  You sweat like a pig on every lead, then it turned to ice on the belays.  Oh, and it wasn't really waterproof either.

I bivied in my foamback after doing the Diamond 40 years ago - never been the same since.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: Jeff on February 05, 2014, 01:06:15 am
That explains a lot-- I bivied in mine on Cannon in October and on a couple of ledges in Cham in July--luckily , on all occasions I had a wooly balaclava!
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: ralbert20 on February 05, 2014, 10:23:38 am
I think the return on investment is what's drawing so many climbers into the sport.  Most people only get to see the mountains through the window of a car or on the calendar hanging from the fridge.  We get to see them from the end of a rope.  That's worth a bunch.

No doubt! It has taken me to the most amazing, beautiful places I have ever been!
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: old_school on February 05, 2014, 10:26:10 am
No doubt! It has taken me to the most amazing, beautiful places I have ever been!

100% !!!
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: JBro on February 05, 2014, 12:32:37 pm
What is a foamback?
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: OldEric on February 05, 2014, 01:06:27 pm
What is a foamback?

foa back was a "waterproof" technology that Choiunard developed in the mid 70's (pre Gortex).  Basically a laminate of thin (~1/8 inch) closed cell foam on the inside and a heavy duty waterproof outer - coated heavy duty nylon or something.  It didn't breath - no vapor could pass through - but the theory was that the foam would absorb your sweat and keep your inner layer(s) dry. 
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: JBro on February 05, 2014, 03:57:53 pm
Arhggg that sounds miserable lolz.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: strandman on February 05, 2014, 04:48:23 pm
A foam back was a piece of shit.. but it was better than a 60/40
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: sneoh on February 05, 2014, 05:41:04 pm
I've never heard of Foam back either.  Interesting.
The first time I learned about Gore Tex was '81 or '82.  I guess it was relatively new then and maybe only commonly known in and around Seattle (where I lived '81 to '85). 
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: strandman on February 05, 2014, 07:15:13 pm
Foam back was a round a while ..it was from Chouinard or maybe even Great pacific iron Works !! They also brought us the infamous Tump Line  (don't ask)..I think Gore was around the same time as Koflach's came out..or Why are people wearing ski boots ice climbing ?  '81/82
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: lucky luke on February 05, 2014, 09:34:05 pm
A foam back was a piece of shit.. but it was better than a 60/40

They try to increase the efficiency of cotton with a vapor barier and cell foam. So, t-shirt have good roots.

I must say that if Chouinard took the idea, it was because some thing was good in it. Gore tex appear and for 400$ you can have the best Jacket...but still just a jacket is cold, you most have different layer under it. The use of cotton need a good knowledge of weahter and of our metabolism to prevent over heat.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: kenreville on February 06, 2014, 11:48:21 am
Are you seriously gonna continue with the cotton t-shirt shtick?

 
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: strandman on February 06, 2014, 11:50:22 am
You sweat because your body is overheated..period.  If what ever you are wearing gets soaked, you have too much on.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: lucky luke on February 14, 2014, 07:10:22 pm
You sweat because your body is overheated..period.  If what ever you are wearing gets soaked, you have too much on.

The problem if you can overheat for 200 feet and froze after. an overheat again.

I was waiting at athe bottom of a route that my partner belay me, it was very cold. When I began to climb, I used a lot of eenergy. All the cold blood of my arms was going to the heart and brain, creating a mild hypothermia: sick, shivering, finger too cold, etc..
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: sneoh on February 14, 2014, 08:16:11 pm
All the cold blood of my arms was going to the heart and brain,
I cannot speak for its medical/physiological accuracy but I think I can turn this into one of the best excuse ever for failing in anything.  If I ever use it, I will give you 100% credit, LL.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: pappy on February 15, 2014, 01:25:10 pm
I had this happen. Greg and I had gotten bombed off of the N. Face of Edith Cavell and the NE buttress of Howse in the C. Rockies, and we were getting annoyed and decided to redeem our manhood we would on sight a big moderate classic (E. Ridge of Temple) with the rope, rack and Gore Tex on the back thing, even though this is considered a very long day. One tool each and no screws for the snow/ice sections. Then we got near the summit ridge and the exit gully slid right in front of us, leaving several hundred feet of blue ice. Screwed. Time to go down, a long way. Got to a ledge about 1AM with no obvious non risky rappels and decided to hunker down. With nothing. It was fucking cold. I was mildly shivering  when it got light because every thing had shut down to retain heat in the core, but when I started moving the blood from the limbs started circulating and I collapsed from the cold, shivering violently and really non-functional. It was a very strange sensation.
Title: Re: Is this sport exploding or what?
Post by: strandman on February 15, 2014, 07:22:39 pm
pappy- this may happen again to you soon when the NC gang arrives !