First introduced by John Long in Climbing Anchors 2nd Edition, the quad anchor is basically a doubled equalette applied to two protection points, most commonly bolts. This anchor has the benefit of a wide range for the direction of pull while still maintaining a large masterpoint to clip/remove multiple carabiners, even when weighted. Additionally, this anchor has proved to be extremely strong in pull-tests, due to the equalization of forces to both points. This anchor is also simple to dismantle, clip to the back of the harness, and adjust appropriately for the next anchor.
Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous. -Reinhold Messner
While on a guide training course with American Mountain Guides Association, I was told a very pertinent story for guides and climbers alike: At the edge of a glacier in Canada, a group of aspirant guides were discussing mitigating objective hazards. Meanwhile, an independent party of two climbers passed the group of guides and proceeded to follow the “trail” leading directly under an impressive section of seracs, which are large blocks of hanging ice waiting to collapse at random times. Still under these widow-makers, the independent party came onto a flat section of firm snow and stopped to take a snack break. Bewildered, the aspirant guides commented to one another about the blatant recklessness of this scene. The instructor calmly explained “These climbers will never return to this glacier and it will likely be several years before they even return to another. You, as guides, on the other hand will return again and again to pass under these same seracs, continually loading a bullet in the chamber and playing a game of Russian Roulette.”
In an alpine environment, it is essential to be able to stay warm and dry. Depending on the season, location, length of route, and altitude your layering options will vary slightly; though in most cases, the layering system will have a similar process. In the book, Extreme Alpinism, Mark Twight coined the term ‘action suit’ to refer to a simple layering system that can be functionally worn on the approach and on the climb. This action suit is a versatile system allowing a climber to exert energy on the approach/climb without developing moisture buildup and quickly retain the heat the body has developed to stay warm at a belay or rest. Use the following guideline to build the appropriate system for you, based on how much heat/energy you expel on a climb and where you plan on climbing.
The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody weighs 14 oz and has a down baffle look to the exterior. This boxed-sewing method adds style but is also a source for condensation to attach to, in addition to adding weight. The thin outer material is unfortunately not very abrasion resistant so I choose to use it as a layering option under my shell rather than on the outside. Due to this, the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover may be a better option, due to the lighter weight at 10.2 oz and reduced bulk under a shell. Both models have 60g of PrimaLoft One insulation. The Nano Puff has an elasticized waist and cuff closure that tends to pill and the boxy cut makes this jacket easy to throw on/off but does not look as clean cut as other jackets on the market.