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How to Switch From Rock Climbing to Alpine Climbing

By February 27, 2018Banff Rock Climbing

Alpine terrain provides great challenges and rewards for climbers; reaching the summit is an amazing mountain experience. However, moving from rock climbing to long alpine routes is difficult even for experienced climbers. Here are some tips for switching from rock climbing to alpine climbing.

Adapt to the Environment

Broaden your skill set so you have more resources available when faced with unexpected terrain. Skill building courses such as the Mt Athabasca weekends will get you started on alpine terrain including glacier skills and mixed rock and ice climbing. 

Pack Light for Climbing in Alpine Terrain

Give your pack another look and make sure you only take what you really need for the climb. Build your gear around the specific alpine climbing route you plan to tackle. Go light but be prepared for longer days in the mountains, consider hiring a Mountain Guide for harder objectives and training courses

Move Quickly on Alpine Climbs

Climbers often struggle on alpine routes because they take too long. Keep moving and save time by scrambling on easy terrain or eating lunch while you belay your partner. Timing is key for alpine climbing and shaving off a few minutes here and there can make a big difference, these skills can be taught on a Mt Fay weekend.

Be Conservative About Adventures in Banff

You may be able to climb quickly at a local crag, but five hours and 10 pitches into a climb at high elevations is a different story. Respect the mountains during Banff adventures; stick with climbs that are within your ability, which may be below your usual grade.Using a Mountain Guide for harder objectives and training courses is a good choice which will excelerate your skill set aopen the doors to bigger adventures.

Stop Alpine Climbing with Grace

Know when to bail on Banff adventures. Watch the lighting and weather for signs it’s time to turn back and descend quickly when necessary. These skills and insights are lessons learnt from experiencing these adventures first hand.

Alpine climbing is an amazing way to face the challenges of the mountains and reap the rewards. Use these tips to help you transition to alpine terrain.

The change from rock climbing to alpine climbing can seem a little nerve racking but at Alpine Air we can help take you on a climb is both safe, and unforgettable, consider a multi-pitch rock course or alpine training course. Book your next adventure, contact us today! 


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