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By Chris90
From Unity, Maine
Apr 14, 2011

I live in Maine. I interned at IMCS in NoCo last winter and climbed Mt. Washington twice. I have the basics down fairly well for mountaineering, ice, and rock. I plan on doing Mt. Washington a few times next winter and Mt. Katahdin at least once. Where should I go next that I would be prepared for? I am looking for logical progression into bigger and longer mountaineering trips. Lets hear some opinions! ( Lots of details are helpful)


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Apr 14, 2011
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

Since no one else has responded...it looks like you need to get some altitude at some point. I would look at what your long term goals are and select an objective with double-digit altitude that best matches your experience and goals. Possibly a big volcano like Reineer, Shasta, or Hood if glacier travel is important to you, or a big hunk of steep rock like the Grand, Whitney, etc if you're more into rock routes. If you're serious, ultimately international travel will be part of the mountaineering process, so you might consider getting your feet wet with a trip to Mexico or Ecuador to climb a big volcano.


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By Kenny Clark
From State College, PA
Apr 14, 2011

I fully agree about getting some altitude. It's hard to get that in the east. The Fourteeners in Colorado are a great place to do some mountaineering with a lot of variation. Depending on when you go you will get different conditions. There is such a high concentration of tall mountains there. Check out some of the trip reports on 14ers.com to see what people are doing. Or if you want to drop a few dollars, get Gerry Roach's guidebook to Colorado's 14ers.

I've recently been doing a lot of stuff here in the Wasatch in Utah (training for Rainier in July). It's literally in my backyard. So many mountains right next to town. I just decided to head to Penn State for more school, so I will unfortunately be leaving these beautiful mountains for the next 3-5 years. Good luck.


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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
Apr 14, 2011
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on stage

My first experience with real altitude was Ecuador, and I would recommend it for anyone. There are a variety of peaks to choose from, all relatively easy to get to and many are not overly technical where you could get into real trouble. My ten days in Ecuador went like this:

Ilalo - 3185m/10,450 ft
Pichincha - 4784 m/ 15,686 ft
Illaniza Norte - 5126 m/ 16,818 ft
Then you will likely be ready to tackle Cotopaxi - 5,896 m/ 19,344 ft

Me and hubby managed on our own without a guide, but you may want a bit more experience for that or just go with a guide.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 14, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

I like how monomaniac breaks it down to glacier VS steep rock. Most people I talk to about their mountaineering goals go for a well known, high altitude objective. They rarely ever talk about keeping the line 5th class or choosing something with aesthetic considerations. It's always Ranier or Denali or something tall. Hardly ever do I hear plans to do something in the Tetons or wanting to do a peak by a cool route at least 5.7.


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By Chris90
From Unity, Maine
Apr 14, 2011

Thanks everyone for the ideas so far. I REALLY want to climb the Grand Teton. I have also learned a fair amount about glacier travel, but never been on one. That is another objective. I think South America would be a good first international climbing destination. Keep the ideas an advice coming!


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By Chris90
From Unity, Maine
Apr 14, 2011

and I agree with what monomaniac is saying. Its more than just climbing a tall mountain, its the skills needed to get there. There are so many different "types" of mountaineering


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By Mike Yuhnke
From Potsdam,NY
Apr 14, 2011

+ 1 for monomaniac, I am a fellow east-coaster and after training in the presidential range I went for Rainer, then after Rainer went for Whitney and it was a very good way to break into the "bigger" scene


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By Stuart Parker
From asheville NC
May 15, 2011
Wolf's Head, Cirque of the Towers

Tetons!


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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
May 15, 2011
Andrew Gram

For high altitude, Mexico is a really good place to get your feet wet. The mountains are easy and have almost no crevasse danger. Central Mexico is also foreign but easy enough to get around so it is a good intro to mountaineering trips. Ecuador is a good next step, but something like Cotopaxi would be a bit much for someone who has never been above 7K in my opinion.

Climbing stuff like the Grand Teton is fun, but it just feels like cragging with a long hike compared to going to South America or Alaska and climbing a big peak. It is a really good idea to get some mileage in on easy high peaks like Orizaba, Cotopaxi, Denali, Aconcagua etc. before going for a technical line on something like Chacraraju.


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By themessenger2
May 18, 2011

Andrew Gram wrote:
For high altitude, Mexico is a really good place to get your feet wet. The mountains are easy and have almost no crevasse danger. Central Mexico is also foreign but easy enough to get around so it is a good intro to mountaineering trips. Ecuador is a good next step, but something like Cotopaxi would be a bit much for someone who has never been above 7K in my opinion. Climbing stuff like the Grand Teton is fun, but it just feels like cragging with a long hike compared to going to South America or Alaska and climbing a big peak. It is a really good idea to get some mileage in on easy high peaks like Orizaba, Cotopaxi, Denali, Aconcagua etc. before going for a technical line on something like Chacraraju.



I will agree with almost everything you said. Getting altitude is important if you have big ambitions. However saying getting milage on "easy" high peaks like Denali, Aconcagua Cotopaxi etc, is not the best advice in my opinion. esp throwing Denali in there. denali involves glacier travel, crevasse negotiation and rescue, as well as all of the other objective hazards as the other peaks you mentioned. sure if you want to pay a company to take you up any of these you will have a better chance of success. but you will do no thinking, cooking, digging or actual climbing for yourself. Gram--I am not saying that you dont know about this stuff I am just giving my 2 cents, form someone who came from the east coast climbing in N. Comway and the Whites, to heading to alaska and haveing my fucking head blown away...Most recently on Denali, dealing with a mans body falling hundreds of feet down to 17 camp and having to watch helis pluck a dead body off the 18 ridge.

Im not saying done do this. Just keep in mind that even tho the west butt of denali is a slog... its still no joke. and heading there with out glacier, altitude and/or adverse weather experience is a huge gamble....esp without a guide. you definatly have to get out there and do it. figure out what will work best for you.


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