This post was a long time coming. Thought about it on Thursday. Started it and lost it twice now. Community and alpinism.
Alpinism, from what I understand as a newbie, is the next level to mountaineering. Less gear, less time, and often solo or with the smallest team possible. Alpinism is a spiritual journey of self then? The true aspect of any solo venture of this nature is not just the, “I am leaving my car here and will be back on…”. It is about a community of like minded individuals, that you trust and know. Actually know. These people need to count on your judgement as much as you trust theirs.
Beta sharing is the start of it, then outings with others. You begin to learn who you can trust and who can learn to care enough to be safe in the backcountry. Route finding is not necessarily a key factor in someone’s ability to survive. Mountaineering is about survival first, technical climbing second. The majority of the objectives you would want in our Canadian Rockies are obtainable with a 5.6 rating ascent. That being said, climbing a 5.6 in the gym or crag is far different than doing a 12km approach, then scrambling and that 5th class wall with all your gear, possibly including a bivy. Weather condition not mentioned.
Community is necessary to have the support needed to stay safe. Information on conditions and routes is essential in order to be successful. Being sucsessful is also important due to that fact that being unsuccessful can mean death. Ultrathon runners need support more than any other, yet are on their own the most. There is a balance to be found in any venture of this nature.
The balance to what I am saying here is that, I, Happy Alfano, am a person who shares. And that sharing is necessary. When someone in a community gains experience, the resulting understanding of the world around us is not added to our conciousness, it is multiplied. Conditions, routes, safety tips, training, ect., is only the start of it. The inspiration that can spark the life in others is immeasurable.
I hope that my new understanding of community while venturing on backcountry ventures allows me to be safer and help others in a sustainable manner. I know that your support in your mind for solo athletes will be in a new light as well.