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 Mountaineering with dogs...?

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rileyflorence
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PostSubject: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:27 pm

Do any of you do any mountaineering with your dogs? I've been thinking Appa will have to sit those adventures out. Something about dogs in avalanche territory and anchoring and belaying doesn't sound like a place for a pup. Thoughts?
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harrise
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PostSubject: Re: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:16 pm

Since I don't even own micro spikes, my opinion is kinda worthless. From what I have seen, people usually post their couloir climbing reports in late spring. And of those reports, maybe two or three include dogs. I assume you are talking about more than a typical trail busting ridge romp.

If it were me, I would sacrifice a couple of potential climbs to see if the dog in question can stay steady at those angles on consolidated snow. Then go from there. I think Ridik could do a real snow climb, but I'm not even close to ready myself. Finding a nice low angle obscure route sounds kind of hard though for colorado.

Might take me a bit, but I will throw a link or two up of some of those crazy couloir dogs.
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rileyflorence
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PostSubject: Re: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:54 pm

Hrmmm... alright. I just feel like he might be a variable I'm not sure I want to introduce - and finding a good spot to test him on might be a challenge here as well.

If you're interested this is one of the destinations of the season:
http://www.summitpost.org/everest-ridge/163152
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jalepeno
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PostSubject: Re: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:09 am

The important thing is to keep the dog leashed.
Here's a link to a post about two dogs rescued after falling.
http://www.itsahuskything.com/t2234-dog-rescue-on-grays-peak?highlight=grays
That traverse would give me pause with a dog attached to me.

You'd have to consider could you self arrest with a sixty pound sack of flailing dog attached to you?
And anything with crampons, imagine what damage you could do to a dog if you fell.

I've seen unleashed dogs that came up the trade route on the south side of Mt. Adams in WA.
Then they were running around on the summit.
It gave me the willies because the east face is a precipitous drop.


Last edited by jalepeno on Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:09 am

I'm not sure I would chance it with mine. Have a hard enough time lifting them up rocks let alone trying something on packed snow at a angle. They do ok on flat trails or soft climbs when we snowshoe.

Eddy what are the size of dogs you have read about?

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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:45 pm

I've done a few beginner mountaineering stuff back in my younger years. Remembering back then, my opinion would be 'No, not a good idea'. If you were an excellent in mountaineering, and knew the angles of the slope you'd be hitting, then maybe, but still, with snow pack always different at angles, you'll be reading snow pack and having a pup tethered to you makes it difficult.

But that's jut my beginner mountaineering opinion...

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rileyflorence
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PostSubject: Re: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:19 am

This just affirms my opinion. Maybe one day Appa can come for the fun, but for now he can stay at home with Sydnie and wait for snowshoe days.
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Polar
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PostSubject: Re: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:12 pm

Dan Howitt set a speed record up Mt. Hood with his lab Caddis.
http://speedclimb.com/node/89

Ultimately, I think you need to evaluate the risk as a climber/mountaineer. Mountaineering is never 100% safe. If you want 100% safe, then stay home. However, since you are obviously a climber at heart, that's not really an option. Then it all becomes risk management, and different people will manage their risk differently.

I've done a mountaineering trip with my dog Polar, and I plan to do more with her, but I will only stick to easy terrain, nothing class 3 or above. She had climbed to the top of the 17000-feet Haba Mountain in southwestern China with me. It's an easy climb, snow and icy slopes no steeper than 40-degrees. My partner and I carried a rope and belay devices in case we need it, but it turned out that we didn't.

Looking at the summit you want to climb, it's class 3 and class 4. Without knowing your climbing ability, I'd say it's quite a steep climb to start out with your dog. Maybe try something much easier, like a snow slog, see how your dog do, then work your way up.
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rileyflorence
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PostSubject: Re: Mountaineering with dogs...?   Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:53 am

That's just one of many summits I want to do, sadly most of the easier stuff around here is all in a water-shed so no dogs allowed. It's a bummer, but fine.

I've decided that he's not a liability I want to have to manage while engaging in serious mountaineering for at least a few years more, if ever. This year has been a crazy snow-pack year so I haven't even gotten out much (3 times total ... sad), so Appa hasn't missed out on much. He got to come with us one of the three times because it was such an easy outing.

However, I've been seriously considering getting some SAR training in, specifically avalanche, with the pup. If not with Appa then with our next Mal (whenever that may be).
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