What Climbing Gear to Take for Alpine Climbing
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
3M ago
Carrying on from my blog on Expedition and Alpine Climbing - Information and Beta written in 2022, I’ve created a concise list of what climbing gear to take alpine climbing. This is obviously subjective, and you might be happy to run it out without much gear. I find it useful to have this as a checklist. Rack for Granite Multi-day Alpine Climbs This is a standard-to-big rack for alpine climbing on a big granite route in winter, with an average amount of mixed, ice and snow climbing. Granite takes cams well, so the rack reflects this. 2 sets of cams, from Totem black (‘0.50’) to size 3 (BD Ul ..read more
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Patience, Perseverance and Pleasure
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
9M ago
As the autumn days became shoulder-barged and compressed by longer nights, and the snow line slunk down the mountains, there was one saved article which I re-read many times: Korra Pesce’s write-up of climbing Direct de l’amitié with Martin Elias. This route forces a straight line up the north face of the Grandes Jorasses, one of the most impressive walls in the Alps, and according to Korra, was 'the most challenging route up the Jorasses and the line that satisfied me the most.' I also liked the humour in Korra’s writing: ‘Martin patiently starts up the pitch and then asks me whether this mi ..read more
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The American Desert
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
1y ago
Spot the crack. Christelle on Anaki, Indian Creek. Photo: Ryan Balharry There’s no phone signal in the desert. Christelle and I couldn’t contact anyone - but that didn’t matter since we had no desire to. I just left my phone at the bottom of my bag and after a few days, I realised I’d lost it. I figured it’d turn up by the time we gave back the rental car at the end of our 3-week climbing trip in the US. When I finally found the phone again the battery was dead, so it just tumbled through my belongings like a slow-motion washing machine. It’s funny how something so ‘essential’ to modern life ..read more
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Young Alpinist Group 2023 - 2025 Application Form
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
1y ago
Applications for the 2023 - 2025 Young Alpinist Group will open on 1 November 2022 and close on the 30th. See the information below, and the application form is at the bottom of this article. All applications are welcome providing you meet this criteria (also on the website www.YoungAlpinistGroup.com under Get Involved): •Between 19 and 30 years old •UK based or UK nationality •Plenty of UK trad and winter experience •Alpine experience in both summer and winter, in a variety of countries/areas/ranges, climbing technical routes •Able to competently travel through the mountains on skis Please no ..read more
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G is for Gasherbrum
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
1y ago
G is for Gasherbrum. The thin air steals our breath. Camped at 7000 metres, Aleš and I stare at the summit of Gasherbrum 3. We’re hypnotised by the clouds which race across the sky and crash into the 7952-metre mountain. ‘It’s basically 8000 metres,’ says Aleš. The winds are a sickening, constant roar. What would life be like up there? I suspect you’d be numb within minutes, chasing slings around your harness, and risk being blown into China. We shout short words to each other over the noise. I really want to be gunning for the summit, 1000 metres higher… but I also want to keep my toes and fi ..read more
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Shadows
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
2y ago
A long shadow chased me through the park. My legs circled in the last of the sunlight, the shadow lengthening and contracting with every step. My smoking breath trailed in the frigid air as I ran through the winter equinox, my shadow stretched over the grass like a puppet. ‘That sun’s got no warmth in it.’ People say there’s no power in the sun’s rays during the winter. But I think that sun is magical; it’s what makes the brief days and breaks the long nights. It’s such a relief to see it hovering just above the horizon - a sunny day at last! Where am I running? The people in the park are spe ..read more
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Voie des Guides (Guide’s Route) - Les Drus - First Free Ascent
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
2y ago
Over two-and-a-half days in March 2022, I made a free ascent of the Voie des Guides - an 850 metre mixed route on the north face of Les Drus, in the Mont Blanc massif. I climbed with Tom Seccombe. I think it’s one of the harder alpine routes I’ve done. The route has been attempted by strong mixed climbers like Jeff Mercier and Korra Pesce in 2012, and the Groupe Militaire de Haute Montagne (GMHM, a dedicated group of French military alpinists). However, nobody (to my knowledge) had made a free ascent. The GMHM drew a topo and gave several pitches ‘M8+?’. Aside from these pitches, the route wa ..read more
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Expedition Beta
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
2y ago
This article details most of my knowledge about alpine climbing expeditions which I’ve gained over the last 12 years. It features information, tips and tricks which I’ve learned or have been taught from others. I’m no expert but here you go… This article is broken into: Introduction Objectives Logistics Preparation Grants Fitness Gear Base Camp Living Example Climbing Gear Acclimatising Staying Healthy Climbing Sleeping The Mind Timings Expedition Reports and Articles Country-Specific Information To Do Beforehand Introduction By ‘expeditions,’ I mean going to a remote or adventurous area to ..read more
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Tengkangpoche Part 4 - The Aftermath
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
2y ago
The north-east pillar of Tengkangpoche (6487m). Photo: Francois Cazzanelli Part 4 Click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 Thengbo Tea House, Khumbu Region, Nepal. October ‘21 Matt and I lay on a boulder outside the tea house, soaking in the warm sunshine. The light prickled my burnt cheeks and fatigue washed through me. ‘Urrrghhh,’ I grunted, opening another packet of biscuits. We were exhausted; it was only last night when we'd returned from our seven-day trip on Tengkangpoche’s north-east pillar. We both thought the climb was finished, that we’d weathered the storm. However, we were soon ..read more
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Tengkangpoche Part 3 - Energy Deficiency
Tom Livingstone Climbing
by Tom Livingstone
2y ago
Part 3. Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 Of all the reasons to bail from climbing a mountain, I didn’t think this one would be so bad. Storms have rolled in, heavy spindrift pushing my head down into my shoulders. Drilling a v-thread into ice is a lot harder when you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Doubt has clouded my head and heart. Could this really be possible? I’ve thought, looking at the ground. My partner and I have reached ‘unclimbable’ features, devoid of holds to climb or cracks for protection, and felt the sting of defeat. But to cut my little finger? Of all the reas ..read more
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