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Winter Journal

Ben

A decision making and reporting tool for practicioners

– Look up and refresh fundamentals
– Plan trips based on the forecast and your own observations
– Take your decisions based on the latest know-how

In case you lost your pen or filled the worksheets already

Download basic trip planning tool: coming soon
Download advanced decision making tool: coming soon

Available in German and English (from 2020)

 

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Chamonix Alpine weeks

Ben

Les Courtes, l’Aiguille du Chardonnet, Les Dorées, l’Aiguille du Plan: these names ring a bell?
Granite spires around Mont Blanc rise like needles to the sky. They turn heads of climbers’ who walk the streets of Chamonix. Alpinists point upwards like Balmat once did. In 1786 he showed Saussure his route to the summit of Mont Blanc as the monument in town tells us. Together with Paccard he had climbed Mont Blanc for the first time and before Saussure who had studied glaciers and atmospheric conditions in the area, but hadn’t reached the summit, yet. Captivated by the view of the white mountain from his house at the Lake Léman Saussure returned to complete his project of climbing Mont Blanc.
In the calm wake around his busy majesty we could close some of our projects. Thanks for tieing in guys!

 

let's ski the backside

Steep at Lofoten

Ben

The other Norway adventure. Well, we all heard about Lofoten. But let’s do it different style.

This adventure takes some tough guys with wild dreams iconic peaks in the Arctic. Good, they don’t fear the bushwack. They’re ready for multiple skinning. They got the legs for the backside runs – and they don’t mind to take the long way home.

In the end it all wasn’t that bad, and we found time for great evening cookouts. Thanks chefs!

Here we make memories.

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Simplon unite

Ben

Boarders and Skiers unite to enjoy fun freeride days and Italian cuisine. As usual work comes before pleasure and so we work our way up towards Capanna Leone. A steep finish challenges our skinning skills just before the mountain pass where we descend towards the hut for an italo-dutch apéro on the porch. Only the next day we get to ride all the meters we climbed the day before – some fresh snow in the morning and some slush in the afternoon. We arrive in the small town of Simplon Dorf and wait for the connection towards Italy at the historic square. A great dinner at Locanda Diei in San Domenico and good night’s rest allow to recover. In the bright morning sun we climb in an ancient chair lift and leave behind the village. Our loop around Pizzo Moro offers views towards Monte Leone, where we started the adventure, but also extends to where we’re headed: Alpe Devero. The day’s second climb we finish with crampons – great job guys! A gap between sheer cliffs leads down into a slush bowl. We’re crusing wide open fields into marvellous trees scattering low sunlight. Finally we feel some life between the ancient stone huts. ‘Voilà!’ – we fuel up with charcoil burgers and beers for the last climb. A winding road climbs between pines. Around the last bend we spot a faint light within a cluster of stone huts. What happened there remains secret.

 

love the finish

Gallatin Swing – a farewell to the Bozeman cragging

Ben

“Let’s head out bros” we gotta finish the “fall project” before winter,
but, are we “ready for the check”?

This one is the “organic rock line”,
“All in” – time to bring on your skill set!

“6b+ (6b+ obligatoire)”
The “Gallatin Swing” is all “no bacon – no flavor”

So “bring some pro”, but no worries …
Ben bolted, it is “a padded line”!

Split the “191 ft” at a halfway stance and enjoy
“Euro-sytle” sweet little pitches.

Feel free to “climb to the end of rope”
Feel free to “leave the rope at home”
But “have fun”

Approach:
Follow Strom Castle Road from the camping with the “no overnight sign” for 3 min.
Sticks, cairns, slings and signs and a little “mounatain feel” will take to the base.
A fixed line comfort the last feet through “Bozeman style choss”.

Route (no fun here):
Pitch 1: 6b+, 28m, 6 bolts, little cracked buttress (.4″), dihedral, steep face.
Pitch 2; 6b+, 30m, 4 bolts, traverse, short buttress, crack (doubles .4″ – .75″), steep face.

Descent (keep it serious):
Anchors equipped for rappel (2x25m)

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Back country risk assessment

Ben

— A Merging of Theory and Practice —

ISSW reaches out to practioners. What can projekt:berg contribute apart from nerdy articles?

Check out the first risk assessement framework that includes terrain and snowpack information alike.

Download basic trip planning scheme: Version 2018

Download field decision making scheme: Version 2018

Should I go or should I ....

GKMR – Risikobeurteilung 2.0

Ben

Gefahren, Konsequenzen, Massnahmen & Risiko

Grundtenor: „Baah, das ist kompliziert.“ Wir wissen, draussen muss es schnell gehen. Die wichtigsten Punkte. Aber nichts vergessen. Drinnen auch. G->K->M<->R bringt’s auf den Punkt. Das schicke ist, GKMR bietet ein Gedankengerüst. Und mit dem kann man das Risiko beurteilen. Drinnen oder draussen.  Das Gerüst begleitet uns also bis vor den Einzelhang. Die folgende Herangehensweise steht auf den Grundlagen, sonst nichts. Und bergundsteigen hat’s gedruckt.

Die Zettel zum ausfüllen mit Kurzanleitung zum download:

Tourenwahl  Version 2018

(Für’s grobe: Gefahren erkennen, Konsequenzen abschätzen, Risiko bewerten)

Von der Planung bis zum Einzelhang  Version 2018
(Die Feinheiten: Gefahren erkennen, Konsequenzen abschätzen, Risiko bewerten)

 

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Snow instability – what does that really mean?

Ben

Hard to say what it is?
No kidding!
However, in recent years researchers found some answeres to that question.

We put it together,it’s not that big of a deal. You can get an answer, if you choose one particular pit on the hill to look at. Nevertheless, it’s getting more complicated if you want to know if a slope is stable. Then all the variations across the slope come into play. That’s a different story, we tried to address in “sinking in white chaos“.

Briefly, a snowpack is called unstable if  a skier can break the weak layer and the initial crack starts spreading spontaneously. In other words, if the slope comes down – no seriously, this is excatly what would happen next if the slope is inclined more than 30 degrees.

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Schwierige Frage?
Definitiv nicht so einfach.
Die letzten Jahre brachten uns ein paar Antworten.

Lest selbst, so kompliziert ist es nicht, so lange man einen Ort im Gelände betrachtet. Kurzum, mit “Schneedeckenstabilität” beschreiben wir die generelle Schichtung der Schndeecke und ihre Neigung zur Bruchbildung.Geht’s um einen Hang spricht man eher von der Auslösewahrscheinlichkeit. Wie wahrscheinlich ist es, dass man ihn auslösen kann? Die Auslösewahrscheinlichkeit hängt natürlich von der Schneedeckenstabilität ab, aber eben auch von der Belastung die zur Auslösung nötig ist und von der räumlichen Variabilität der Schneedecke.

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Desert season – Red Rocks

Ben

The desert season’s on!
The long sunny periods handed over to more changeable weather patterns.
We’re headed south. Nevermind the long drive it’s all new and exciting. Really.

Salt Lake City is so quiet on a Sunday morning. A spot in a coffee bar at 9 is easy to find.
Right, the Mormons are at church.
Same thing in Las Vegas. Almost 9 am and no one’s up for a coffee? What about Nevada’s religion and coffee?
Right, it’s 6:50 am. We missed daylight saving and pacific time.
But, we’re wearing flipflops – this we got right!

The first climb was on mediocre rock. The second a chilly outing on rather tiny holds for the grade.
Why are people crazy for this place?
– “So tonight we go out and play?”
– “I’m not sure I want to see the lavish splendor.”
– “A city build on ripping people off? I mean that’s what it is, isn’t it?”

In wait to finally discover the sandstone jewels we decided to hang out.
People at the campground were so generous to share their site.
So the next day, we spend a happy day on the south faces of the Juniper Canyon.
Birdland put a big smile on our faces: what a varied rock climb on good gear!
– “Should we check out downtown tonight?”
– “A enormous city in the desert that just feels weird.”
– “I mean the Colorado river delta in Mexico is dry and here the lawn is bright green … ”

After Y2K we were not sure whether we wouldn’t extend our stay.
Maybe a reason to put the topo online.
We loved it. And we almost passed downtown on the way home.
In the end we decided not to.
So, we no nothing about that place – time to stop the charges.

 

High up on the Mountaineers (our 6th pitch)

The Elephant’s Perch – a jewel lies in wait

Ben

The sharp ridgeline looks like a sawing blade – despite the dense haze that is in the air. Too many wild fires currently are burning not too far away from the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho – and elsewhere in the U.S. Northwest. This mountain range holds some of the rock climber’s wildest dreams of unspoilt faces, perfect granite and  remote adventures at no more than a couple of hours walk.
As we’re in it for the fun, we took a shuttle across Redfish Lake, set up a camp and enjoyed 2 light daytrips to the Elephant’s Perch – rather than committing to a long roundtrip. What makes this trip still an adventure is that there is no guidebook on this area. We sketched a topo of the Mountaineer’s route – to the best of our memories and photographs.
This first small dose got us motivated … we’re coming back!