Changing of SeasonSeptember 28, 2016 fmg-adminRock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures Uncategorized
As climbers, we all know those magical months of Sendtember and Rocktober. The temperatures begin to shift into pleasant ranges and we start to spend more time on our projects and trying to squeeze in as many pitches in the day before the glorious fading to dark which always seems to come just a bit too soon. The joys of climbing in the fall are always something I look forward to each year. This year I have plenty of routes on my tick list that I hope to send or at least make some progress on.
With the changing of the season from a risk management perspective this is the time of year, I start to change how I pack for a day out and how I plan for the day. The earlier sunsets remind me to change out my headlamp batteries and have spares in my pack in case I decide that one more pitch by headlamp is worth it. Adding extra layers and a warm hat to my multi-pitch pack also just in case my leader gets off route on that last pitch and we have a longer than intended night. In addition to those things when it comes to warmth I plan for some extra food to keep the furnace stoked. Other items I may try to find room for may include a good size trash bag, thin gloves, and a lighter.
I have spent one night on a forced bivy in Wyoming and can still recall fantasizing about all the items that I had left in camp. Of course one can go over board with bringing all the “what if” gear in the world, so be sure to use some common sense. If I’m trying to knock out the Mummy, Daddy , and Prow in a day I really don’t want a 40 pound pack to lug around. Your greatest safety tool is of course your brain. Knowing what your objective is as well as your current level of fitness and preparation goes a long way to having a fun day versus an experience.
An often-overlooked practice in our cell phone saturated world is filing a plan with a friend or relative. Just let someone know roughly where you intend to climb, who is going to be with you, and when you expect to be back. I hope that you are feeling the stoke and that your fall is filled with great times with friends and awesome climbs. I look forward to seeing everyone out there. Stay tuned for upcoming posts and thanks for reading.
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Fox Mountain Guides
Climbing Specialist North Carolina Outward Bound School
Appalachian Mountain Rescue Team
Wilderness First Responder WMI