SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – November 2010

How to Do Everything - The Intrepid Explorer

Travel confidently across any type of landscape.

by: Kristin Bjornsen, Illustrations by Bryon Thompson


Over Achieve
with all our "How to Do Everything" articles

 Scramble/Bushwhack | Navigate/Slots/Rivers | Sex/Deserts

Scramble Up Steep Rock
Time to tap into your Spidey senses. First, take deep belly breaths to calm your mind for exposed climbing. Then test each hold by knocking on it (a hollow thump signals looseness) and pulling on it. With handholds, save strength by locking off (hands in a completed chinup position) or locking out (straight arm so that your bones, not your muscles, are holding your mass). Focus on finding good footholds or (on smooth slabs) smearing your entire foot on the rock for greater friction. Always maintain three points of contact. Though people always say, “Keep your hips in,” you actually want your weight over your feet. Unless the cliff is vertical, this will mean sticking your butt out a bit.

Surf Scree
“No matter how big the rocks in a boulder field, test them before skipping across,” says Rocky Mountain Editor Steve Howe (“When Disaster Strikes!,” 10/08), a tip gleaned from famed Tetons climbing ranger Renny Jackson. “If the wrong one shifts, you could break your leg.” To ascend, zigzag up; gather your group at the end of each switchback in case of rockfall. Kick your toe into dirt or side-edge into the slope. Descending, plunge-step with your heels.

Bushwhack Through Dense Forest
Get to a highpoint and plot your course through the least-vegetated area (e.g., game trails, ridges, a south-facing slope). Wear durable, full-coverage clothes and sunglasses (pointy branches tend to zero-in on vulnerable eyeballs). “If you have to punch through an occasional wall of brush, back through pack-first to save your face,” advises John Harlin in his June 2001 “Bushwhacking” guide. Cinch down all pack straps and store any dangling items inside, to prevent snags. Another tip: Sometimes splashing along a mellow creek is easier than battling dense thickets.

Go High
To avoid altitude sickness, average 1,500 feet of net elevation gain per day. The motto: Hike high, sleep low. Drink and eat often, and pressure breathe: Exhale as if blowing out a candle. Descend if headaches or nausea develop.

“When mounting virgin 20,000-foot peaks, I’ll take every lift  I can get.”
—John Harlin (6/02), on Viagra’s aid with altitude acclimatization




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Eric Nelson
Dec 08, 2010

I stronly agree with the scrambling info above. The physics behind pushing away from the rock is that it puts more force against the rock rather than down the slope creating more traction. It's true for any class III through V climbing.

Eric Nelson
Dec 08, 2010

I stronly agree with the scrambling info above. The physics behind pushing away from the rock is that it puts more force against the rock rather than down the slope creating more traction. It's true for any class III through V climbing.

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
There's no trace
Posted On: Aug 19, 2014
Submitted By: big_load
Gear
shoe question
Posted On: Aug 19, 2014
Submitted By: TigerFan

Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

>
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions