Monday, September 28, 2009

American Alpine Institute - Alpinism 1

Last week I taught a Alpinism 1 course for American Alpine Institute. It was a great trip with good weather almost every day except the summit day. In this course we start out teaching the skills needed to climb the mountain, and then on the final day we make an attempt at the summit.

Teaching basic mountaineering skills at the base of the Colman Glacier on Mt. Baker.

The Colman Glacier is a huge glacier and perfect for teaching glacier mountaineering skills.

One of our climbers enjoying the weather and figuring out how to use an ice axe.

Angela leads a rope team through some crevasses for a little practice.

Hiking back to camp.





Our complete group practicing working as a rope team.

Practicing snow skills.

A two person rope team crevasse fall is a serious thing. Here we allowed each person to catch a fall and fall in a real crevasse. The two extra ropes in the photo are back up lines in case the fall is not stopped.

A perfectly executed self arrest.

The guides. Me, Angela and Richard.

Baker looking very pretty.

Group photo.

Our headlamps lighting up the fog on our summit attempt. As you can see the weather was not cooperating, and very strong winds were causing a huge lenticular cloud to cover the summit. Due to the strong winds and low visibility we turned the group around at about 9,000ft.

Angela at our high point.

Descending out of the clouds

Negotiating crevasses on the way back down from our high point.

Working our way down.

Crossing a snow bridge.

A nearby crevasse with the Canadian part of the North Cascades in the background.

The second rope team making their way down.

The lenticular cloud sitting over the summit.

--Alasdair Turner, AAI Instructor and Guide

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