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.

Backpacker Magazine – November 2011

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Climb to Heart-Pumping Heights

Scramble a class 3 route and claim your own private peak.

by: Kelly Bastone




»
Learning curve (+++*) Even nontechnical climbing requires agility and balance. And good judgment: Going up is easier than going down, which is when novices often get in trouble. 

*(+) = Low effort, low risk  (+++++) = Get a lesson and life insurance

How
» Climb on firm ridgelines rather than in brushy drainages or across loose, exposed rock.

» Avoid scrambling directly above or below others, since any rocks dislodged could pummel those below. Climb on a diagonal instead, or stay close together so falling rock can’t gain dangerous speed.

» Step into holds as you might climb a ladder, ascending with your legs rather than pulling yourself up by your arms. Move only one limb at a time, and rest your weight primarily on your feet. 

» “Maintain continuous balance rather than lurching and jerking,” says Randy Nelson, instructor for The Mountaineers in Seattle. To that end, he evaluates rock size as he goes: Softball-size stones often roll underfoot, potentially spraining ankles, but big boulders on steep slopes can be insecure, too (and even more dangerous). “The TV-set size tends to be more stable,” he says.

» When descending, choose handholds that are waist-high or lower, so you can step down comfortably to lower footholds. Don’t hurry: Secure each hold before you make another move.

 

Top spots
» Washington Nelson likes 8,726-foot Robinson Mountain, in the Pasayten Wilderness. The southeast ridge is a classic scramble route, with views spanning the entire North Cascades. Contact: fs.fed.us/r6  

» Colorado Climb to a cloudlike perch atop 14,015-foot Wetterhorn Peak. The standard route up the southeast ridge includes 600 vertical feet of steep scrambling. Contact: (970) 874-6600 



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

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Gear
Gear help for beginner
Posted On: Apr 21, 2014
Submitted By: Owen571
Backcountry Cooking
Yummers!
Posted On: Apr 20, 2014
Submitted By: TDale

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.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
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