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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    closer
    Posts
    2,669
    very nice. awesome....although im only a lowly sportscimber /boulderer this looks reeally cool.
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    43,572
    It's only cheating if you get caught.
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    2,858
    Bumping 'coz I love this place and I love this thread!

    Cheers,
    Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    N ID
    Posts
    190
    Very nice TR
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Training carts are for jongs. I remember back when this forum had legit bull-fighters and not a bunch of posers.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    MD/DC
    Posts
    560
    Hey enginerd - rad TR. I was in Cham in 2010 for a climbing trip and decided to bring my normal ice boots and Silvretta 404s. What a disaster. Ski 50 feet, fall, binding explodes, reassemble binding, ski 50 feet, fall.... etc. 4 hrs to approach the base of supercouloir.... should have taken 20 minutes. We were too tired to even think about climbing and bailed after the first pitch. I swore I'd never go back without dynafits. Your trip looked like the trip we dreamt of. Although we did manage a couple good lines - gabarrou-albinoni, modica-noury, frendo-ravenel, cosmic arete. And my partner did the ginat after I flew home. But I digress...

    Can you comment on some gear? How did the Spectres worked out for you as a combined skiing and climbing boot? What crampon? How was the crampon-boot fit? What ski and binding combo? Were you happy with it? Thanks dude!

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    37N 122W
    Posts
    387
    Some Flying-To-Chamonix Lessons Learned:

    1) Rent skis when you get there. They have everything you could ever want. Getting my skis there and back in 2014 cost me $240 in baggage fees and a HUGE headache. Never again. Ski rental is on the order of euro30/day or euro180/week. They have all the new skis and all the new bindings for rent. It's like being a kid in a candy store and you can switch out your skis to suit your intended route. short skinny skis if they're going to spend a long time on your back, big manly planks for the steep or deep descents.

    2) Take your ski boots and climbing boots. This is personal and obviously only applies if you like your boots. Again, tons of rental options so if you're looking for a new pair of kicks, you can survey the market a bit. I spent a lot of time and money with multiple bootfitters and the Spectre climbs incredibly well (I could write a novel here...I dont fully endorse them but for this trip they were PERFECT...lots of other options here including the TLT6). I used the Grivel G20 and G22 crampon and got a wonderful fit. If something is just too techy for your AT boots, it's common to throw your climbing boots in your pack and leave your ski boots with your skis at the bottom of the route. Obviously, descent logistics play a role in making this work, but usually if you can carry your skis up your route with you, you can wear your ski boots for the climb. Pretty much everyone rocks dynafit or it's imitations. Why wouldn't you?

    3) Bring sunny/warm rock climbing kit and alpine climbing kit. Bring decent ski pants/jacket if the lifts are spinning. Basically, if the weather's good, you're going alpine climbing. If the weather's bad, you're going resort skiing or driving to Italy or Southern France and going sport climbing. So, I find that I dont really need the foul weather alpine climbing stuff because if weather is bad I'm doing something else (ie when in the alpine I'm just in softshells with a puffy in the pack). The alpine climbing kit is usually a little overkill for sunny sport climbing. The ultralightweight alpine shell jacket and pants are just downright silly at the ski resort.

    Gotta run. I have some more thoughts on tents/ropes/tools/rack/stove/etc. when I return...
    "Kids today, all they talk about is big air. I say, stay on the mountain, that's where the action is. If you want big air, pull my finger." ~Smooth Johnson~

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Den/Baltimore
    Posts
    5,136
    Regarding the ski-rental situation: is it relatively easy to rent both touring skis with tech binders and downhill skis with alpine binders? I assume the skis are all mounted with demo bindings?

    All this kind of info is really appreciated.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    5,980
    ^^^Yes, you can rent whatever you want including crampons, ropes etc.

    http://www.technique-extreme.com/ on the budget end

    http://www.cham3s.com/ Snell Sports for the best ski store I've ever been in (price excepted)

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    MD/DC
    Posts
    560
    Just as a counterpoint - I took over skis when I went and didn't pay anything at all in baggage fees. Almost every international airline includes a ski bag at no additional charge. NYC to Geneva and back. No issues at all.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    37N 122W
    Posts
    387
    Interesting. I flew San Francisco to Geneva British Air and returned on Air France. Maybe it was because I was using miles? It cost me $100US to get skis on the plane in San Francisco and euro100 to get skis back.

    4) double length runner with locker for belays. Lot's of routes have double bolted belays with chains. I found a really light weight system for quick belays to be girth hitch a chain on one bolt, locker on the other, figure eight to make your power point. Light, fast (lots of reasons why this isn't a good idea, dont blame me if you die).

    5) knotted rope tether (kinda like a daisy chain). This might be personal preference but this system is great for when you have to do multiple raps and time is of the essence (ie you need to make the train). Figure eight a piece of old rope to your harness, tie a butterfly about 10" from your harness and tie an overhand or figure eight on a bite at the end another foot or so beyond that (size the total length such that you can hang in your harness from the end and still reach a locker clipped into the end). Rap device on the butterfly, extra locker stays at the end and use it to clip into the rap station when you get there. You will see most people using this system. Lots of variations of this sold in climbing shops in town if you cant be bothered to tie three knots in an old rope. Use rope, not slings. It's easy to tie your backup rappel knot with this system also. Also, when you're skiing around, clip the locker at the end of your tether up high on your backpack shoulder strap. If it's on your harness and you fall in a crevass, PGHM helicopter has a harder time. If it's up by your shoulder, you'll be out of there in a jiffy (yeah, make sure you and your buddies are proficient at crevasse rescue...and then call PGHM, they're faster). Oh, and on that note, lots of people using rope grabbing pullies (eg petzl mini traxion and micro traxion) for part of their crevasse rescue systems.

    6) Light is right...But In Cham, the balance can be skewed a bit more to durability and useability over absolutely as light as possible. When you're taking a lift up, skiing down to your objective, rapping off and then skiing down to the train, the trade is different. You want to be fast AND light. Sometimes a few grams here or there can make you significantly faster or safer. Of course, there is also a lot you dont need to take with you so if you're doing it right, you're still very light...and then there's the overweight baggage fees...Go light.

    I'm realizing all these points could be fiercely debated...I'll come back when the shouting quiets down :-)
    "Kids today, all they talk about is big air. I say, stay on the mountain, that's where the action is. If you want big air, pull my finger." ~Smooth Johnson~

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    37N 122W
    Posts
    387
    7) Ropes. 60m doubles. What else? You have to be able to do full length raps. Yes a skinny single 60 and a tag line is lighter but I definitely do not think it's faster over all for this application.

    8) Tent. Stove. Pad. This is a tough one. If you plan on a route requiring a bivy, you know what you need. You can get a lot done from the lift or using the hut system which is awesome. For euro30 - 60/night you get a bed w/ mattress and blankets, breakfast and dinner and a lighter pack. I've never used a tent, stove or pad in the alps (because I'm not trying hard enough, obviously) but I did bring just a bivy, bag and foam mat a couple years ago and ended up using it to camp for 4 days while sport climbing in southern France. Lame. I really wanted a tent and comfy pad. Dont know what to say other than when you want them, you want them, but I typically haven't used them...I'll probably keep bringing them since I really do want to use them...
    "Kids today, all they talk about is big air. I say, stay on the mountain, that's where the action is. If you want big air, pull my finger." ~Smooth Johnson~

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    MD/DC
    Posts
    560
    Quote Originally Posted by enginerd View Post
    Interesting. I flew San Francisco to Geneva British Air and returned on Air France. Maybe it was because I was using miles? It cost me $100US to get skis on the plane in San Francisco and euro100 to get skis back.
    Could be the miles? I'm not sure though. I flew United and on the way back I was on Lufthansa (Star Alliance codeshare). I bought a couple pieces of gear while I was there in Cham on end of season closeout deals. So on my Eur-USA flight I had packed my ice tools, spare clothing, etc in my ski bag. Both my ski bag and my geear duffle were overweight but I sweet talked the gate agent into looking the other way. She was maybe 27 and gorgeous. I was haggard from 3 weeks of alpine climbing on a dirtbag budget. Lost nearly 11 lbs in those 3 weeks.

    4) double length runner with locker for belays. Lot's of routes have double bolted belays with chains. I found a really light weight system for quick belays to be girth hitch a chain on one bolt, locker on the other, figure eight to make your power point. Light, fast (lots of reasons why this isn't a good idea, dont blame me if you die).
    This is one of my favorite ways to rig a 2-bolt anchor. Interestingly, I can't recall clipping a single bolt in the alpine at all. All protection was cams/nuts/screws, all anchors were the typical Cham rats nest of old pins and slung flakes.

    5) knotted rope tether (kinda like a daisy chain). This might be personal preference but this system is great for when you have to do multiple raps and time is of the essence (ie you need to make the train). Figure eight a piece of old rope to your harness, tie a butterfly about 10" from your harness and tie an overhand or figure eight on a bite at the end another foot or so beyond that (size the total length such that you can hang in your harness from the end and still reach a locker clipped into the end). Rap device on the butterfly, extra locker stays at the end and use it to clip into the rap station when you get there. You will see most people using this system. Lots of variations of this sold in climbing shops in town if you cant be bothered to tie three knots in an old rope. Use rope, not slings. It's easy to tie your backup rappel knot with this system also. Also, when you're skiing around, clip the locker at the end of your tether up high on your backpack shoulder strap. If it's on your harness and you fall in a crevass, PGHM helicopter has a harder time. If it's up by your shoulder, you'll be out of there in a jiffy (yeah, make sure you and your buddies are proficient at crevasse rescue...and then call PGHM, they're faster). Oh, and on that note, lots of people using rope grabbing pullies (eg petzl mini traxion and micro traxion) for part of their crevasse rescue systems.
    I do the same thing, except tie it with a double-length runner passed through my harness and tied with an overhand knot. I tie it with the ends slightly offset so that one leg is longer than the other. Although I absolutely agree the rope offer dynamic protection, more cut-resistant, etc.

    6) Light is right...But In Cham, the balance can be skewed a bit more to durability and useability over absolutely as light as possible. When you're taking a lift up, skiing down to your objective, rapping off and then skiing down to the train, the trade is different. You want to be fast AND light. Sometimes a few grams here or there can make you significantly faster or safer. Of course, there is also a lot you dont need to take with you so if you're doing it right, you're still very light...and then there's the overweight baggage fees...Go light.
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I don't climb with the tiniest ultralight carabiners or ultralight cams or aluminum-tubed ice screws - all of it is too fiddly or too prone to failure. A few extra grams can go a very long way, as you correctly note. I can't comment on the skiing aspect of it other than to say my choice in bringing Silvrettas and climbing boots was absolutely the wrong choice and an absolute disaster.

    I'm realizing all these points could be fiercely debated...I'll come back when the shouting quiets down :-)
    No shouting here. This isn't mountainproject

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    MD/DC
    Posts
    560
    I should really do a TR...

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    44
    Please do. Good beta in here so far.

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