STAGE 4: Gain Technical Ice & Rock Climbing Experience
Getting familiar with the vertical realm while climbing with crampons and ice axes is more experience for you to draw on as you move along The Road to Everest. Days like this can serve as a way to have fun with training while keeping skills fresh in between big mountain expeditions. After all, we’re doing this because we love being in the mountains both big and small.
Practicing rock craft is another great way to keep skills fresh between expeditions during the summer months. You’ll begin to get familiar with rope systems and transitioning at belays. While belaying and anchor building aren’t essential skills for Everest, having that knowledge will give you a comfort level with jumars (aka ascenders) for the moment when you’re climbing fixed lines on high altitude peaks across the world. You might also want to toss in a specific day for fixed line practice so it’s not your first time sliding an ascender along a rope when you arrive in the Himalaya.
Another beneficial skills course to consider during the fourth stage is the Avalanche Level 1 course. This 3-day course helps to familiarize you with avalanche terrain, avalanche rescue techniques, and terrain analysis. This course can also be completed in stage 1, but if you haven’t crossed this one off the list, now is a good time to do so. Moving forward, you’ll now have a strong potential to incur avalanche conditions if a storm sweeps over the mountain, and being able to make strategic decisions about avalanche conditions is a necessary step along the way.
We recommend spending at least 3 days on any or all of the following outings: Lake Tahoe rock climbing, High Sierra rock climbing, Tahoe ice climbing, High Sierra ice climbing or equivalent. You can find comparable courses and options across the United States and Europe.