You should be comfortable with significant runout on the easier terrain. 30+ ft of runout is quite common on the scramble/low 5th class sections even if the climb is not labeled as such.


Adding to this, having some extra long runners is always nice for bigger climbs to keep rope drag minimal. You’ll be thankful for any rope-stretching pitches and more secure as pieces will wiggle out of place less. Some people go for the “alpine rack” but I’m always happy to have a few savior pieces like my 0.1 X4–lighter is not always better if you’re reasonably fit. Don’t compromise safety for a few ounces, take some doubles, etc.


I usually will take tricams to help supplement my rack. They work great as anchor pieces when you want to use your cam for the next pitch. I would not recommend learning to use tricams in the middle of your alpine route though, that's just asking for trouble


Similar, be aware that the exit to the route can feel more serious than the climbing. There's no shame in using a rope if you're uncomfortable down climbing "4th class." Particularly the exposed sections may not be technically hard, but may still be life or death.


I came here to say basically this. That before getting into the alpine it’s important to understand how the FA defined “4th class descent.” Could mean anything from scary walking to 5.6 down climb.


\+1 Agree. The walk off is always a load of crap, know the descent beta as well as you know the ascent beta


Hell, I've seen 30ft run outs on 5.8 when it's alpine. Always climb well within your grade and keep in the back of your mind how challenging any kind of rescue would be to accomplish.


I've seen 30 Ft run-outs on 5.8 when it's not alpine!


For sure, those are a lot more likely to have a R next to them though


Not in NC


Bring a headlamp


And extra batteries 🙂


And extra headlamps


And extra legs


To add, flip one of the batteries around in the headlamp until you need to use it so it doesn't accidentally turn on in your bag and drain the battery


Watch out for loose rock. Dont pull out on loose rock. Dont build anchors behind loose rock


Pull down, not out


Sorry noob question, but what do you mean? and why?


Exactly what he said. Pull down on holds, and not in an outwardly direction. If you have no experience climbing chossy rock, aka, limestone, then it's hard to grasp sometimes. Pulling outward could loosen a rock and send it down to your belayer or climbers below.


Ahhh okay noted thanks! I did climb on limestone once.. but couldn’t remember whether it was slippery oooops 😅


- ROCK QUALITY. Check everything and if you must load some sketchy rock try to push in, don’t pull out. - Headlamp, wind/rain layer no matter the forecast, wag bag. Electrolytes. - Understand your bail options, when you will deploy them, and what you need to do it effectively, for ex. I carry a pocketknife on alpine climbs to cut cord, which I generally don’t do in more crag-type environments. - Make sure you understand the descent and are properly equipped for it - Make sure you understand the route. Take photos of the guidebook page/make whatever your beta is available offline for easy access. I find it super helpful to hand-draw a topo even if there is one available; helps it stick in my mind. - Use this knowledge and also be flexible to link pitches or end them sooner if it makes sense based on the terrain and how things are going. - Be realistic about your abilities. Moderate alpine climbing is generally no fall territory, and you should probably be at cruising speed while moving confidently at the grade. You can’t climb thousands of feet while placing gear to protect every move or sequence—on easy terrain it’s pretty normal to run it out so much that you are essentially soloing and the gear is only to keep the rope running correctly/keep you from actually falling off the mountain (…you’ll probably hit a ledge first anyway 😂). Adjust for altitude and fatigue as needed. - Go light. A smaller pack and a lighter rack is better. Moderate long routes are often not very consistent; lots of super easy or basically hiking terrain interspersed with short crux sections so a single rack is more than enough a lot of the time; passive pro like tricams and wired hand-sized hexes can be a great light option for doubles if you want them and are super useful in anchors. You will move faster and be happier if you’re not hauling the kitchen sink with you. - Walkies are super useful on alpine climbs! - Don’t underestimate how long things will take. Be quick and efficient at transitions and keep on moving. Alpine rock is my favorite style. Have fun!!!


Being confident that elevation wasn't going to affect my climbing or endurance or overall feeling throughout the alpine day was a boon to my enjoyment of my first alpine climb. It's a little too late for you now, but I went out for long 10mi hikes at elevation for the two weekends before my first climb, and even scrambled to a 12.5k ft summit the weekend before. Otherwise, it's just like any other trad climb, albeit with slightly more route finding, slightly more vegetation, slightly colder, and more exhausting due to the elevation. If you're already good at elevation, and you are a confident trad climber at the grade of your alpine climb, you'll be fine!


Dress appropriately for the weather! On my first alpine trip I underestimated how cold I would feel on the wall even though it was sunny. The wind really bites when the rock is cold and you're sitting with your shoes off and hanging out for an hour on a hanging belay in between swinging leads. Getting a nice packable windbreaker made a huge difference for me. Anything light would work but I'm now a big fan of the patagonia houdini - stuffs into itself via a breast pocket and you can clip it onto your harness when you're not using it. Other than that make sure you get a good look at topos, descent, and where/if you can bail if things don't go to plan before you head out, even if your partner is handling the route finding. It makes it a lot less stressful to have a good idea of where you're going. Have an amazing time!


Agree completely. Houdinis are the best, hands down


The descent is the hard part


* Check all the tat at rap stations for tears, etc. Check the whole thing all the way around. * Bring extra aluminum rap rings and extra webbing/cordolette to back up said stations if you don't like what you see. * Err on the side of starting early. It gives you more time before it gets dark at end of day, which can sneak up on you. * Make sure you have a solid idea of what the descent route is supposed to be, and a good idea of the topography of the mountain. This is so you don't take a shortcut/wrong turn and get cliffed out/rap down the wrong gulley/side of mountain etc. * Have a way to ascend a rope if necessary in case the above happens. * Make sure someone not coming has your trip plan and expected time of being back in cel service, and don't forget to contact them when you're done. * Carry a satellite communicator (spot, in reach etc) * Get Gaia on you phone, download the map for the area, and run a track while you're using it. Helps so much with navigation! * Carry extra cel battery.


Acclimate. Altitude sickness, even if mild, absolutely sucks and will ruin your day. You’ve probably heard the saying where you either push the climbing (technical difficulty) or the gear, but never both at the same time. Add altitude to that list as well. Everyone is different, so you don’t know how you’ll react until you’ve done something strenuous at that altitude.


If you're gonna get breakfast before driving up a bunch of windy roads to get to the trailhead....don't get Eggs Benedict....and if you do get Eggs Benedict, don't continue eating if it tastes funny.


Also say no to 2 AM Taco Bell before your alpine start


Did you say alpine shart?


That’s what I heard.


the route we were going to climb ..we spent too little time reading the guide and topo and subsequently wasted way too much time on the wall, so we had to abort after a couple of pitches


How to manage exhaustion, food and water. You can't reasonably carry enough water. Your body reacts differently to food when stressed so it's best to work out your systems with something that's low consequence like a big day of hiking. For example, I enjoy peanut butter and jam sandwiches. PB&J on a big day makes me nauseated.


Bring a rope knife and don't be shy of leaving gear if safety requires it.


Here are some things that have helped me and/or I've desperately wished I followed mid-route: * If you get scared, either down climb to a safe position or keep going. Spending too long in an uncertain position wears you out and only increases the chance of you falling. * In that thread, never climb up something you wouldn't feel able to down-climb. * It's tempting to run it out outrageously when the climbing is very easy and there's tons of gear. Place a piece every so often anyways. The gear always seems to vanish the moment it gets exciting again! * Figure out the descent in good detail beforehand. Nothing worse than finding yourself on a sketchy 4th class descent after you've already taken off and packed away all your gear.


Check for your headlamp to have and to be working before you leave the house, before you leave the car, before you get off the ground.


Recommend to often try to be at the base of the climb at twilight. This means the approach is done in the dark. The more time you have in the day the more enjoyable it is. Id rather approach in the dark than fumble back in the dark on an empty stomach, tired and dehydrated.


Know the route inside and out, and have a topo (with line(s) indicating the route) printed or screen cap'ed on your phone, if possible. I'm still *horrible* at route finding, but I'm always trying to get better. Don't be like me. Know the route, know where you're going, know what your belay stations look like and where they are.


Maybe I missed someone else mentioning it, but KNOW SOME FUCKING SELF-RESCUE SKILLS. Too many people get themselves in situations in the alpine that they think warrant a rescue, but could be handled if they just spent a day practicing self-rescue.


One thing I haven't seen mentioned here yet is for any significant climb, have some basic gear to spend the night. An emergency blanket/bivy, an extra bar per person, and some handwarmers don't weigh that much and they can turn what would otherwise be a SAR call into a mildly unpleasant experience (and a good story). If you need SAR, call it. But do everything in your power to not need SAR. And bring an inReach, SPOT, or other satellite communicator.


Along the same lines, some common tricks for unplanned bivys: * It's almost always clear that you're going to need a bivy before it gets dark out. Use the last hour of daylight to optimize your position. Rapping a pitch back down to the party ledge/cave is vastly superior to hanging in your harness all night. Take note of options in the route description/ trip reports/observations from the approach and climb. * Spoon for warmth. * Lay the rope out on the ledge in such a way as to help insulate you from the ground. If applicable, pull the framesheet/back panel from your pack(s) and sit on it to insulate you from the ground. * Put your legs into your empty backpack and pull the the storm collar up as far around you as it will go. All that being said, consider keeping moving. This obviously depends on the routefinding difficulty, consequences of making a routefinding error, and so forth, but it's much more pleasant getting back to the truck at 3AM than shivering through the night. Similarly, bail early and often. Approach took significantly longer than expected? Bail. It took an hour to lead and follow the first pitch? Bail. Thunderstorms building while you're on the second pitch? Bail.


Keep a small quick link on the back of your harness, you never know when you might need it but it doesn't weigh much and could save your life. Also, the mountain will always be there.


Why a quick link instead of an oval crab?


1/3rd of the price I assume


A quick link is only a couple bucks cheaper than a cheap locker, but a quick link is much heavier.


it's usually 3.50€ vs 10€ over here


Cheaper, just as strong, and something I've taken away from reading Down by Andy Kirkpatrick


Thanks for the reply. Yeah, that's a great book, even if Kirkpatrick himself is insufferably up his own ass.


- Bring a roll of tat - Headlamps - Know how to do a kiwi coil to shorten the rope and simul climb over easy terrain - this can save a lot of time


Take plenty of time to study the approach directions! It’s super frustrating to be stoked on a stellar climb only to spend hours trying to find the base of pitch 1. And, like others are saying, always bring a headlamp regardless of when you plan on finishing.


Remember you're there to have fun and send it!


Bring water and snacks


This might go without saying, but since I don't see it here yet: START EARLY. Earlier than you think you need to. Hike in the dark and aim to be at the base by sunrise. You'll avoid afternoon weather, and if it turns into an epic, the more time you have in daylight hours the better. Nothing is worse than having to problem-solve in the dark/ bad weather.


Take some anti nausea medication, and make sure you’re not allergic to it before you leave. Zofran (Ondansetron), Reglan (Metoclopromide), Phenergan (Promethazine), Compazine (prochlorperazine), etc. Acclimate before you push it. Have a sat phone. Take it easy, now isn’t the time to set any records.


Bring 2x the amount of chocolate you first planned to bring.


- You have to win every time, gravity only has to win once. Rope up if you think you could fall. - the mountain will still be there tomorrow.


Be prepared to be behind your planned schedule the entire day. Try not to let it get you too stressed out and try to still enjoy the climbing! Alpine travel for me has always taken longer than expected.