Moving Fast and Conserving Energy

You do not necessarily move fast in the mountains by running. A thoughtful choice of route and careful timing, along with a light pack and good pacing, can have many possible benefits, This common-sense approach might save half an hour because you do not have to backtrack through the icefall to find a way out of the cul-de-sac you have blindly wandered into, it might cut the time of ascending a slope in the late morning slush by three-quarters simply because you were there two hours earlier,- it might save energy, effort, and time because you are not carrying your home on your back,- and it might eliminate the need for long rests to "catch your breath," which you never would have lost if you had adopted the right pace from the beginning.

When it comes to equipment, another thing to consider is that light is not always right. For example, 1 have found it less tiring to use a pair of "old-fashioned" heavy leather boots for mountain routes simply because the flexible leather ankle is not constantly trying to throw me off balance when 1 step up onto a boulder, or forcing me to frontpoint on long slopes of moderate ice as do modern plastic boots. Remember, total effort expended is equal to the weight of equipment multiplied by the efficiency of that equipment as exploited by the skill of the climber.

Mmy k« climbs ore positioned directly in avaiandie paths. The Inge bowl above Colorado's Blue Ribbon GuHy tan funnel enough spindrift clone to cause problem* for a (limbing team. (Photo: Jeff Lowe)

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