Exploratory Mountaineering – The Tien Shan Mountains

16 Days and 8 First Ascents in China’s Tien Shan Mountains The Tien Shan range in China is ideal for exploratory mountaineering expeditions. There are hundreds of valleys, each with handfuls of unclimbed peaks and each mountain with plenty of route options. A lot of the routes can be simple mountaineering, but you can choose a line more demanding and direct. Although a lot of these peaks can be easily climbed it’s important not to underestimate the experience needed to safely climb in the mountains, as well as having the correct mountain equipment. I had never experienced exploratory mountaineering before—it had always been daunting. I wanted to make sure I had enough experience to make the most of any unclimbed mountains before an opportunity arose. It had taken me years…

Read More

Paring it Down to the Essentials: A Guide’s Gear for a Three-Day Mountaineering Trip

As a guide with the American Alpine Institute on Mt. Baker, I often end up working with clients who try to bring all the appropriate gear but end up bringing just a tad more than necessary. In this post, I will talk about the gear I bring with me on a 3-Day Baker Skills and Climb trip and how I pared it down to its current amount. I hope this will help you on your fast-and-light adventures! 58 Mountaineering Essentials To start out, here’s a standard list of what I bring on a Baker 3-Day… Climbing gear: Crampons Harness Ice axe 1 ice screw 4 locking carabiners 6 non-locking carabiners 20-foot cordelette 2 double-length slings 2 pickets 1 rope Waist and foot prusiks Helmet Clothes: 1 pair soft shell pants…

Read More

Gear Archives: Diving Deep—The Evolution of the MSR® Snow Fluke

Some people love snow flukes: skiers who want a low-profile anchoring device that fits in their packs; mountaineers traveling in softer or uniform snow conditions; rescue guides or climbing pairs who may need to anchor with only one free hand. As snow protection gear, the fluke definitely has its place, and it’s been part of MSR’s history from nearly the beginning. It goes back to 1969, soon after Larry Penberthy founded Mountain Safety Research, Inc. to support the work he began with The Mountaineers of independently reviewing climbing equipment and making gear that was safer and easier to use. Penberthy published his findings in the Mountain Safety Research newsletter, which also sold third-party and MSR brand gear. The first two pieces of gear featured in the newsletter were Edmont cold-weather…

Read More

Alpine Strongholds: Introducing Remote™ Mountaineering Tents

Feature

“A mountaineering tent is your first line of defense against some of most severe and inhospitable conditions on the earth,” says MSR athlete Eric Larsen. As a record-setting polar explorer, mountaineer and guide, he knows. “I’ve literally spent years of my life living in a tent on one adventure or another. A well-designed tent is integral to your safety, and even survival.”When MSR set out to redefine what a mountaineering tent could be, we worked closely with Eric. The result? Our new Remote Mo

Read More