These notes were taken in order of appearance.
Many of these points I already knew but thought pertinent to remind
I did not include much technical rock climbing information, as I don’t
believe I’m ready for that yet.
P. 29 – the 10 essentials
Flashlight / headlamp with spare bulbs and
First aid supplies
Matches, in a waterproof container
P.77 – Good navigators are never truly lost – but having learned
humility through years of experience, they always carry enough food, clothing,
and bivouac gear to get them through hours of even days of temporary confusion.
P. 83 – walk in a single file to protect trail-side vegetation
P. 85 – Screeing – shuffling
your feet to start a minor slide of pebbles and riding it down, in a standing
P. 86 – When crossing a large stream / river, cross at the widest part,
as it will be the shallowest.
P. 92 – Rope Care:
A rope used daily should be retired within a
A rope used during most weekends should give
about 2 years of service
An occasionally used rope should be retired
after 4 years
After one very severe fall it may be wise to
replace your rope. New ropes are often
certified to take 5 falls, but if your rope is not new, consider all the
factors affecting its condition.
P. 96 -97
P. 124 – Mϋnter Hitch – the only
traditional belay method that provides sufficient friction regardless of the
angle between the ropes entering and leaving
P. 125-126 –The Hip Wrap – It’s
main advantage is the speed with which you can belay a follower who is moving
rapidly over easy ground. It can be set
up quickly and requires no hardware.
P. 135 – The three factors a belayer can control are
Strength of hand grip
Choice of belay method
The angle of the ropes
P. 139 – Proper and improper positioning of gates on double carabiners
P. 147 – To gain stability while rappelling, your legs must be nearly perpendicular
to the slope.
P. 149 – Potential Problems – Shirttails, hair, chinstraps from a hard
hat, and just about anything else that can get caught in the braking
system. Keep a knife handy in case you
have to cut foreign material out of the system.
Down-pressure technique. Place both
hands flat on a ledge at about chest height, palms down, with the fingers of
each hand pointing toward the other hand.
Then raise your body up on stiffened arms.
– is the use of pressure in opposing directions to help keep you in
A counterforce technique that lets you support yourself between two spots on
the rock that may be of little or no use alone.
– The hands, palms up, push up beneath the lip of the rock while the body leans
out and the feet push against the rock.
– Another form of counterforce, uses hands pulling and feet pushing in
opposition as the climber moves upward in shuffling movements.
P. 174 – Dihedrals (inside
corners) may be climbed by pure stemming.
P. 187 – Ethics –
Preservation of the rock is paramount
It’s almost never justified to add a bolt to an
existing route. If you feel you can’t
safely climb the route as it is, don’t try it.
Keep other climbers in mind while climbing, both
in your group and of other groups
P. 213 – Determining the fall
factor: dividing the length of a fall by the length of rope run out from
belay. The higher the fall factor, the
greater the force.
Fall factor is lower when the length of rope run
out from belay is relatively great because a long rope stretches more and
absorbs more energy than a short length.
P. 227 – Hauling packs – You may decide to shed your pack sometime
because you can’t fit inside a chimney with it or because the weight would make
a pitch too difficult. Then you’ll have
to haul the pack up after you.
Trail a rope behind you as you climb, tied to the
pack down below.
P. 259 – All ropes should be different colors
P. 286 – Self Arrest
The hands hold the axe in a solid grip, one hand
in the self-arrest grasp with thumb under the adze and fingers over the pick,
the other hand on the shaft just above the spike
The pick is pressed into the snow just above
your shoulder so that the adze is near the angle formed by neck and shoulder.
The Shaft crosses your chest diagonally and is
held close to the opposite hip. Gripping
the shaft near the end prevents that hand from acting as a pivot around which
the spike can swing to jab the thigh.
The chest and shoulder are pressed strongly down
on the ice-axe shaft
The spine is arched slightly away from the
snow. This arch is crucial: it places the bulk of your weight on the axe
head and on your toes or knees, the points that dig into the sow to force a stop. Pull up on the end of the shaft, which starts
the arch and rolls weight toward the shoulder by the axe head.
The knees are against the surface, helping slow
the fall in soft snow. On harder
surfaces, where they have little stopping power, they help stabilize your body
The left are stiff and spread apart, toes digging
in, but if you have crampons on keep them above the snow until you’ve nearly
come to a halt. A crampon point could
catch on hard snow or ice and flip you over backward.
P. 301 – Couloirs – Safe passage
through a couloir is usually depends on time of day. They can be safe in early morning when the
snow is solid and rocks and ice are frozen in place. It’s often a different story later in the day,
when they can turn deadly. Gullies are
the garbage chutes of mountains and with the arrival of the sun they begin to
carry down such rubbish as well as avalanching snow, rocks loosened y
frost0wedgin, and ice blocks weakened by melting. Most of the debris comes down the
center. But even if you keep to the
sides, listen for suspicious sounds from above and keep an eye out for quiet
slides and silent falling rock.
P. 303 –
P. 306 – Four out of five avalanches strike during or just after a storm.
P. 312 – Traversing snowy slopes
– After you’ve checked your avalanche beacon, put o mittens and warm
clothing. Get set to jettison your gear
so it can’t drag you down in the event of an avalanche. Loosen
the shoulder straps and undo the waist and chest bands on your pack.
When the route lies up a slope, head straight up the fall line instead
of switchbacking (which undercuts the snow).
Only one person moves at a time, and everyone else watches from safe
places, ready to should if a slide starts.
If the climber is on belay, don’t tie the rope directly to the belayer,
who would risk being pulled in if it proves impossible to stop a climber hit by
a wet, heavy avalanche.
Avalanche Rescue: The rescue effort starts even before the
avalanche has stopped.
Someone must pay attention to where a victim is
first caught, where the person disappears beneath the snow, and where the point
of disappearance on the moving surface of the avalanche finally stops, and be
able to relate these three points to fixed objects, such as trees or
rocks. With this information, the search
area is immediately reduced in size.
Then mark these three points and search. DO NOT
GO FOR HELP. This is a critical
principle of avalanche rescue. The
chance of a person surviving depends on everyone staying put, searching efficiently,
and digging the victim from the snow. You
can go for help after all search efforts prove to be futile.
Select a search leader so the operation will be
thorough and methodical. Approach the
scene carefully, posting an avalanche lookout in case of another slide. Start with a quick scruff search of the snow
surface, looking for someone partially buried, castoff equipment, or any
logical spot the victim might have come to a stop against a tree or rock.
The next step is a thorough search with avalanche
beacons, or snow probes.
A probe is anything you can use to pole into the
snow in hopes of finding the victims’ body.
Set up a probe line, probing at every step.
P. 323 – Crevasse Rescue –When
the climber in front of you suddenly disappears beneath the snow, Do not stop and think. Your immediate reflex must be to drop into
self-arrest (facing away from the direction of the pull)in the snow and hold
P. 397 – Expedition Philosophy
– Members of an expedition need a common code to live by during the weeks they
struggle together. A good one is summed
up in three promises you and your teammates make:
To respect the land
To take care of yourselves
To come home again
P. 403 – Leadership –
Leadership starts with each individual.
Individual leadership means being aware of the
group and its progress, whether or not you’re the formal climb leader.
The complexities of leadership grow as a party
size and trip length increase.
The leader cannot do everything, nor is that desirable.
A leader is also a teacher.
Leaders prepare carefully to meet any major
disaster that could befall their party.
P. 427 –
P. 438 – Lightning facts: Current flows because of a voltage difference
between two points along its path. A person bridging two such points with some
part of his or her body presents a second and probably better path for the
Avoid moist areas, including crevices and
Span a small distance (occupy as little area) as
possible. Keep the feet close together;
keep the hands off the ground
Sit, crouch, or stand on insulating objects if
possible – a coiled rope or sleeping bag, preferably dry.
Stay out of small depressions; choose instead a
narrow slight rise. A small detached
rock on a scree slope is excellent.
Stay away from overhangs and out of small
caves. Large caves are very good if one
keeps clear of the walls and entrance.
However, a cave might well be the lower terminus of a drainage crevice,
and should be avoided.
When on a ledge, crouch at the outer edge, at
least 4 feet from the rock wall if possible.
If there is danger of falling off in event of a shock, tie in crosswise
to the prospective flow of current. Make
the tie short and avoid placing the rope under the armpits.
Rappelling when lightning is imminent should be
avoided, but may be a valid calculated risk if it is the quickest way to escape
a danger zone. Dry synthetic rope
presents the minimum hazard.
Contrary to popular belief, metal objects do not
attract lightening as such. However, in
the immediate vicinity of a strike, metals in contact with one’s person may
augment the hazard from induced currents.
Induced currents usually are quite small, but when added to ground
currents may mean the difference between life and death. Thus it is best to set aside all metals, but
to keep them close by (don’t worry about an article buried in the pack). A metal pack frame might well be positioned
to provide a more attractive path for ground currents beside and past one’s
body. At distances greater than 100 feet
from a possible strike there is no need to divest oneself of metal