/ Going light on Denali's West Buttress

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TRip - on 14 Mar 2013
I've written a blog with a load of tips for climbing Denali's West Buttress.

I've tried to put in everything that I wish I'd known before I headed out last May.

Take it with a pinch of salt. I've only climbed Denali twice so I am by no means an expert. The blog is just a few observations which I found worked for me. Take from it what you find useful.

Remember there is more than one way to strangle a cat!

http://www.tomripleyclimbing.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/top-tips-for-going-light-on-denalis.html

Any questions just ask.

Hope this is helpful.
Double Knee Bar - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip: useful post. Thanks.
cb294 - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

Thanks,

makes we want to switch off my computer and go!

CB
ericinbristol - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

Good blog post. And quality blog generally - funny, varied, lots of well captioned pics, informative, not too much route description, certainly not grade obsessed. I like FOMO - Fear of Missing Out. The fact that you are not operating at the highest grades makes it easy to relate to it all. Keep working on the quality of the writing, reflect on what makes it distinctive and highlight that element.
TRip - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to ericinbristol:
> (In reply to TRip)
>
> The fact that you are not operating at the highest grades makes it easy to relate to it all.

Thanks for the feedback. It's good to know someone reads it!

I'm thinking about doing semi-regular gear/technique posts. Or maybe an agony aunt sort of thing.

Obviously I'll only write from personal expirence.

For example I might write a post on building a rack of wires.
ericinbristol - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:
>
> I'm thinking about doing semi-regular gear/technique posts. Or maybe an agony aunt sort of thing.
>

Could be good, or not. It's not what you do though that will be the main thing, it is how you do it - as you already know I guess


TRip - on 15 Mar 2013
Typical I write one tounge in cheek comment and I get some american jobsworth calling me a theif.
Damo on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

Yeh, well, you've been on UKC long enough to know that certain types of humour don't translate easily between all people across all cultures, Tom. When you write a blog purporting to give advice, you probably want to take that into account. It's not a Facebook message to your mates ;-)

Anyway, he's right. Taking them would be stealing, unless you need them to survive. I don't see them as left by 'lazy, guided parties' but an act of community generosity by the first, or early, parties up the route. It's hardly littering, and not exactly exorbitantly wasteful (a few krabs?) in the big scheme of things.

'Windshift'? Is that like a windshirt, but it doesn't block the wind, it just moves it around a bit? ;-) Spellcheckers are 'supper' good, as you would say, but it seems even they have their limits.

If you want your blog to have any currency or authority for advice - and I'm not saying you should - you need to better blend opinion with objectivity. Saying you didn't think it was as cold as 'everyone made it out to be' is a useless comment beyond a throwaway line in the pub. A few measured temperatures, some context, more info etc is needed for such comments to have any value to a reader.
Tyler - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

I thought it was a good article but I've got to admit I failed to recognise that your remark about taking the crabs was humerous - I almost posted a cooment on here about it to clarify. Worth a quick edit I'd have thought?

I disagree with the comment from Damo about 'not as cold as everyone says' being a valuless remark, it actually adds to the impression of what it can be like to be out there, I don't think it will lead to people turning up in Bermuda shorts and a vest.

So can we have some similar articles for some of the alpine routes you've done?
jon on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:
> Typical I write one tounge in cheek comment and I get some american jobsworth calling me a theif.

What are you referring to Tom?
TRip - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Damo:
> (In reply to TRip)
>
> Yeh, well, you've been on UKC long enough to know that certain types of humour don't translate easily between all people across all cultures, Tom. When you write a blog purporting to give advice, you probably want to take that into account. It's not a Facebook message to your mates ;-)
>
> Anyway, he's right. Taking them would be stealing, unless you need them to survive. I don't see them as left by 'lazy, guided parties' but an act of community generosity by the first, or early, parties up the route. It's hardly littering, and not exactly exorbitantly wasteful (a few krabs?) in the big scheme of things.

I don't really buy that. Without going into the right and wrongs of the fixed lines and pickets - (I think it would be a much better mountain if neither were there) - It takes no time at all to unclip a krab and take it with you. Besides I bet plenty of biners get taken by mistake. In case anyone is interested my quickdraws aren't made up of West Buttress booty... I mean they wouldn't match ;-)
>
> 'Windshift'? Is that like a windshirt, but it doesn't block the wind, it just moves it around a bit? ;-) Spellcheckers are 'supper' good, as you would say, but it seems even they have their limits.

I did read the post through, twice. My problem is I just don't see errors.
>
> If you want your blog to have any currency or authority for advice - and I'm not saying you should - you need to better blend opinion with objectivity. Saying you didn't think it was as cold as 'everyone made it out to be' is a useless comment beyond a throwaway line in the pub. A few measured temperatures, some context, more info etc is needed for such comments to have any value to a reader.

Interesting. I'll re-write the bit about how cold it is. The honest answer is I don't know, I didn't take a thermometre. It was cold, but nowhere near as cold as I was expecting it to be.

For example I was worried that my lightweight stitch through Down Jacket wasn't going to be warm enough, when in actual fact I was fine. I'd probably be a bit more careful if I went in early May.

TRip - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Damo:
> Saying you didn't think it was as cold as 'everyone made it out to be' is a useless comment beyond a throwaway line in the pub. A few measured temperatures, some context, more info etc is needed for such comments to have any value to a reader.

I've updated it: It is cold in Alaska, but I didnít think it was anywhere near as cold as folk make it out to be. I don't mean turn up in shorts and tee shirt, just take all the hyperbole about it being the coldest mountain on earth with a pinch of salt. Think Scottish winter plus double boots, puffy trousers, a couple of good pairs of mitts and a duvet jacket (but not one so thick that you'll have to commit goose genocide to fil it).
Some good stuff in there, but tent pegs?

Try these http://www.trailspace.com/gear/rei/snow-and-sand-tent-anchors/
In reply to TRip:

> I did read the post through, twice. My problem is I just don't see errors.

It's very hard to proof your own stuff. I find reading it out loud is the only way to go, and do read what is there, not what you think should be there - but it is really difficult!
abcdefg - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

> Typical I write one tounge in cheek comment and I get some american jobsworth calling me a theif.

The guy makes a fair comment, and you are a little out of order calling him a 'jobsworth'.

If you want to be taken seriously, give other people respect as well.
jon on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to TRip)
> [...]
>
> What are you referring to Tom?

It's OK Tom, stop worrying, I've found it now.

Nick Barnard - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

Thanks for the write up, probably won't ever get out there but I've mentally filed the info and enjoyed reading it!
TRip - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:
> Some good stuff in there, but tent pegs?
>
> Try these http://www.trailspace.com/gear/rei/snow-and-sand-tent-anchors/

I didn't mean conventional tent pegs, I meant snow pegs. I'll change the blog.

Like these: http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Camping-Equipment/Tents/Tent-Accessories/Extra-Large-Alloy-Sno...
Wanderer100 - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip: Tom, I liked your article. I have long mulled over the prospect of climbing the West Buttress on Denali and your personal account means for me it is more achievable than I thought and therefore makes it much more likely thst I will attempt to climb it in the next few Years. Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to share your experiences with us and I would certainly read more of your articles should you be inclined to share more of your climbing experiences with UKC members.
MattDTC on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:
I thought your blog was good - much more interesting and informative than 'we did this, then this, etc...'

You say you are going to Yosemite and Patagonia for 4 months - sounds fantastic - I was wondering how you get the time and money to undertake such mouthwatering trips?
TRip - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to MattDTC:
> (In reply to TRip)
> I thought your blog was good - much more interesting and informative than 'we did this, then this, etc...'
>
> You say you are going to Yosemite and Patagonia for 4 months - sounds fantastic - I was wondering how you get the time and money to undertake such mouthwatering trips?

Hi Matt,

Time is easy. I'm a student at the moment. I graduate in June and I don't have a job. I need to get a temporary one after that however.

Money is slightly more complicated. In the grand scheme of things these trips aren't that expensive. The biggest expense is always the flight. Before Christmas I did a stint of work in the local Asda, which paid for half of the flight. I've just sold a load of kit I no longer need to pay for the other half.

Thankfully British mountaineering is really well supported and if you are young, keen, competent and going to try something new there are a number of grants you can apply for that will give you up to £2000 towards the trip. If you are going somewhere expensive like Nepal then Gore-tex and Polartec also give out grants.

HTH
MattDTC on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:
Cheers for the reply. Enjoy your up coming trip - it looks like a great one!
nufkin - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

> ...thermometre...


For future reference

'metre' = measurement

'meter' = measurer

keep up that proofreading!
L.A. on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to nufkin:
You also need take into account that
Meter = Unit of measurement in USA
Metre = Unit of measurement in most of the rest of the world
Metres= A Mistress in Turkish

It just depends where you are and what you`re sizing up !
ads.ukclimbing.com
Mr-Cowdrey on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip: tom, I'm in the process of planning a trip to Denali to do pretty much what you did (Cassin ridge, west butress, mini moonflower etc). Have you still got any info that you could email me regarding getting there, costs, equipment etc?

Have a good trip too, would love to go to patagonia!

Cheers.


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