/ Hot aches - do you get tougher or weaker?
Didn't Hermann Buhl used to wander around in winter with a snowball in each hand to get tougher?
I can't remember the source, but apparently fishermen have a noticeably improved resistance to frostbite. The theory goes that because their hands are perpetually cold, their bodies limit the natural reaction to shut of the blood supply when their hands start getting cold, thus their hands stay warm for longer.
Perhaps I'm an anomaly but I work in an unheated workshop all year round, admittedly with a duvet jacket on, but with bare hands. When I go climbing in the winter however I'm often rocking backwards and forwards with my hands under my armpits whimpering with pain as my friends seem to have little or no problem. I despise the hot aches, they have bought me both tears and vomiting, it is true though that when I have had them in a day my fingers feel very different afterwards and the hot aches don't come back.
Don't overdo the toughening though. A mate of mine got frost nip whilst skiing and finds he gets the hotaches more frequently than before.
Seems to me there's scope for proper research into this - volunteers, control groups, varied exposure, blood sample, thermal imaging, the works (rather than just the subjects' perception of hot-ache intensity).
Anyone know any Year 10 students who could do it?
Agreed - I've also found that once you've gone through one bout of agony, your resistance seems much higher, for the rest of that day only.
I also found that screaming obscenities seemed to mitigate the pain, best done in remote/deserted locations.
Definitely tougher. I also find that it's improved as I have aged, I used to go through agony when I was younger, but it's rarely a probem now. I do however find that when rock climbing in extreme cold, I loose all feeling in my hands which is disconcerting!! :)
Mostly encouraging replies there.
Also a few of you have said that one bunch of pain early in the day makes the rest of the day less painful. Worth bearing in mind if I manage to get on the grit this winter.
The trick is never to get hotaches in the first place. Use Dachstein mitts and a belay jacket when stationary. This keeps the core warm. Counterintuitive as it may seem, a warm core is the key to keeping the extremities warm.
Sorry off slightly off topic - can anyone find that video of someone having a serious case of these whilst his partner takes the p*ss? The partner feigns sympathy whilst making comic faces...
learning a good 'belay dance' is the key to keep your core warm whilst belaying. Thus the body does not withdraw the heat from your hands and no hot aches.
I used to not suffer with my hands, just wore thickies for most of my winter climbing with little discomfort. About 5 years ago I got caught out lightly in the Alps and got bad frost nip which took a good few weeks for my fingers to fully get the feeling back. Since then I have suffered with cold hands much more.
> I can't remember the source, but apparently fishermen have a noticeably improved resistance to frostbite.
I think that one was from Captain Birdseye.
Elsewhere on the site
Every so often you meet someone in climbing that makes you take a step back. Someone with a fire in their eye, passion in... Read more
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more
Nuts, wires, stoppers, chocks, wedges, whatever you want to call them, have been around for a long time. Initially made from... Read more
Manchester Climbing Centre are showing Brit Rock on Thursday the 27th of November at 7pm. Homegrown adventure comes... Read more
The Grivel A&D Ascender & Descender is brand new for Autumn 2014 and incorporates a revolutionary and innovative patented... Read more