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Gully climbing

12th December 2017 | 76 views | 0 comments

The ascent of a gully will often be the first introduction to snow climbing for many mountaineers. By their very nature, gullies tend to take lines provided by natural breaks and seams in the cliffs, and these can often be at a reasonably easy angle. As such, many gullies are in the lower grades of climbing difficulty, and provide an excellent way for novices to start to learn about snow-craft, winter ropework and climbing skills…

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Clove hitch

21st November 2017 | 500 views | 0 comments

This is an extremely useful knot, and it is used throughout all areas of mountaineering. Its simplicity of tying, allied with its ease of adjustment, make it ideal to secure yourself to an anchor system. It can also be tied with one hand, a useful property when needing to arrange an anchor whilst holding on to the rock or an ice axe for security…

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Preparing for glacial crossing

18th October 2017 | 69 views | 0 comments

Preparation for glacier crossing should be meticulously prepared and rehearsed, so that no time is wasted either setting up the basic moving-together system or any of the techniques that may subseqently follow…

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Testing the snow pack

18th October 2017 | 638 views | 0 comments

There are a number of tests that can be done to assess the state of the snow. None of these should be taken in isolation, but used to help build up a picture of what the snow conditions in that immediate area are likely to be…

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Safety on a via ferrata circuit

18th October 2017 | 9 views | 0 comments

Although it may feel that you are in a clinical environment, you need to keep your wits about you when going round the circuit, and knowing how to deal effectively with all possible hazards is essential…

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How to take better outdoor photos, part 1

18th October 2017 | 19 views | 0 comments

The world of photography has changed – digital cameras have removed the mystique from the ‘good old days’ of film photography where photographers had to wait often a week after they returned home to see the results. Now, everybody with a phone or pocket camera can take a photograph, instantly examine it, and take the shot again if it isn’t correct…

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Figure-of-eight knot

18th October 2017 | 20 views | 0 comments

This is an essential knot, and it can be tied in a number of ways. It is the main method that many people use when tying on to a harness, and when tied slightly differently it is a quick and effective method of tying on to anchors…

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Knowledge: How to choose a rope

15th September 2013 | 26 views | 0 comments

IFMGA Guide Alun Richardson runs through the different types of ropes available and what they are best suited for… The increasing popularity and diversification of climbing has led to a broader selection of climbing ropes, each with its own characteristics. This choice undoubtedly has benefits, but it can make it difficult to decipher what’s on offer and how it relates …

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Using fixed lines, part 1

3rd January 2013 | 71 views | 0 comments

On big peaks it’s routine to make use of fixed lines (or ropes), but how do they work? In this series, Tim Mosedale explains the methods he uses when leading high-altitude expeditions… Whether you love or loathe the idea, a lot of the big mountains usually have sections of what we call ‘fixed ropes’ put in place to allow expedition …

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Training for trekking, part 2

30th December 2012 | 15 views | 0 comments

Indentifying and correcting any physical weaknesses or imbalances you have can make a big difference to your performance, says Nik Cook If you’re spending the money and taking the time to embark on a long overseas trek then ensuring you’re in the best possible condition when you hit the trail is a no-brainer. Although many people will argue that you …