Category Archives: Technique

Hypothermia Sucks

Hypothermia sucks! End of story.  It is even worse when you are stuck on the face of a mountain with absolutely no where to hide from the cold.  American Alpine Institute had a hypothermia post which was drawn from a NOLS hypothermia post. (AAI) (NOLS)

Apparently the best way to treat backcountry hypothermia to try to rig a hyporthermia burrito wrap made out of three sleeping bags, two sleeping pads and a tarp.  Picture below courtesy of NOLS:

Now I don’t know about you but I don’t carry that much stuff when I’m climbing.

If the shit hits the fan and I need to make an unplanned bivy in chilly weather this is what I do after I find a decent bivy site that is sheltered from the wind.  I set up my rope as a makeshift sleeping pad/seat, I put on every piece of clothing I brought, I put my feet inside my backpack straps into the snow and I focus on the saying, “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun”.

I also usually climb with a Cilogear Worksack backpack which has a removable bivy pad.  I’m not sure why all backpacks don’t work in a bivy pad but I’m sure as hell glad the Graham at Cilogear figured it out.

BTW, if you are reading this Graham, your packs rock and I would be more than happy to be paid to say that!

Clove Hitch vs Girth Hitch

On the left is a girth hitched ‘biner, the middle is a girth hitched ‘biner that has worked its way free.  On the right is the clove hitch, which can’t work its way free.  It’s an easy mistake to make so definitely check your clove hitches and stay out of Accidents in North American Mountaineering.

While we are on the topic of clove hitches, make sure that the weighted end of the clove hitch is on the spine side of the ‘biner.