The use of helmet in alpinism

The use of helmet in alpinism

"The helmet, our great friend in the mountains"


Why do alpinists and climbers worldwide use helmets? Because of the risk of rock fall(caída de piedras in Spanish, chute de pierres in French, Steinschlag in German).


One of the major hazards of alpinism is the fall of rocks, be it individually or in small avalanches. The stones fall at the speed of a missile; it is frightening to hear them pass by.


The fall is usually caused by the warming sun setting loose stones which were previously stuck to the mountain by ice. It can occasionally also be triggered by fellow climbers.


How can we be safer up in the mountain?


1) Use of a helmet is mandatory. Your chances of survival are exponentially higher. Even if you are hit by a rock, most chances are that you will only be stunned, not injured.


2) Get off the mountain as early as possible, before the midday sun has warmed the upper slopes of the mountain.


3) Use a descent route that gets you out of the foreseeable rock fall path.


4) If regular rock fall is already happening, as it is the case in Mont Blanc’s Grand Couloir, position one of the climbers as a lookout, while the others descend. When a falling rock is seen or heard, he or she will cry out: “rock fall, hit the ground !!!!”, and the mates will immediate jump to the facedown position.


Pachi Navajas, Director, AdvenCulture


AdvenCulture is a company specialized in Mountaineering, Culture and Leadership. We organize expeditions in Mexico, the Alps, the Andes, the Caucasus and other wonderful places on the planet.

Secrets for Elbrus

Success factor in climbing a five-thousander


In August 2016 we led an expedition to Mount Elbrus, 5,642m, situated in the Caucasus, and considered Europe’s tallest peak.


This mountain is only six meters taller than Pico de Orizaba, and is of similar degree of difficulty. Therefore, the tips offered in this blog apply to the Mexican volcanoes above 5,000 meters.


These were the factors that made our AdvenCulture-led climb successful:


-We devoted five full days to achieving the best acclimatization possible. We started with a simple trek to 3,000 meters, and gradually increased our altitude to 4,300, 4,700, etc.


-We took two full days of rest before the summit push. We make a point of going to bed early the previous night (we were lying down at 18h!).


-We checked the weather forecast closely, and chose a day with almost no wind and mild temperatures for our summit push (the lowest was -10 Centigrade).


-We drank and ate at every stop on the glacier. We made short pauses, so that we would not get too cold.


-During the descent, we took advantage of favorable terrain to slide down from 5,100 to 4,700 meters, thus saving considerable time and energy.


The result was great: all three German customers made it to the summit of Europe, and returned safely from our South Face climb.


Wir haben es geschaft!!!

Latin American Summit: Great Place To Work

AdvenCulture was present at the 2016 Latin American Summit of Great Place to Work, which took place between the 18th and the 20th of May at the Fairmont Mayakoba, in the Riviera Maya.


Pachi Navajas, Director of AdvenCulture, y creator of the “Leadership & Mountain” program, interviewed Eduardo Strauch, survivor of the 1972 Andes crash. The main goal was to learn from an experience that represents an extraordinary example of leadership and team work, which enabled several people to survive in desperate conditions.


The Exit conference by Eduardo Strauch is an account of the orator’s experiences during 72 days on a remote glacier at the Andes, within the world famous “Alive” story.


From this story Eduardo’s book “From the Silence” was born. It was first published in Europe and in South America in 2012, following the fourtieth anniversary of the rescue.


“Alive” is still today, 44 years later, the most famous survival story of the 20th century, and a great source of inspiration for activities of leadership, team work, personal growth, crisis & risk management, creativity, etc.


This conference followec the format of an interview, in which Pachi Navajas, Director de AdvenCulture, and the attendees, asked Eduardo questions regarding the managerial and coaching aspects of this odyssey.


The use of poles in mountaineering

The use of poles in mountaineering

is now widespread, due to its benefits.

What do they offer us?


Reduction of the work load

Research has proved that poles reduce the work load on our legs while ascending about 14%; during descents, it is close to 20%. For that reason, the use of poles enable us to prevent muscular and joint injuries, speciallly on knees and ankles. It also minimizes accident and falls due to exhaustion.


Our balance improves, as we have four support points. The probability of falling is lessened, particularly in descent, so our safety is enhanced.



All this translates into higher performance; energy is spared, which will enable us to complete our climbs or expeditions.


Upper Body

Naturally, the use of poles implies a slight effort on our upper body, if used properly. Poles are not meant to be leaned on with our full weight, they must become a part of us. Except when on ocassion they help us not to lose balance, we must follow this rule: if the pole were to suddenly disappear, we wouldl still keep our balance. It is a subtle support.


By observing experienced climbers, we will notice that the pole accompanies their motion, resulting in a gentle, harmonic stride; the poles become an extension of their arms.

An alpinist who uses poles consistently, will be at the end of his/her career in much better shape that someone who hasn’t used them.

Leadership and Mountain

Today we present you Leadership and Mountain, our experiential program for personal development in the nature.


At AdvenCulture we believe that the mountain is a great teacher, which forces us to be better, motivates us, helps us overcome fears and build stronger teams.


True to our philosophy of an adventure company, we take you to a beautiful natural environment, the volcano La Malinche, where we will not have the comfort of our daily city lives. We will have to get used to sleeping at an altitude of over 3,000 meters, to eat cold food, and to orientate ourselves in a woody, unknown terrain.


The fascinating thing is that we will have instructors who have survived to extreme situations, who will help us learn in such a way that we will not forget the experience.


We have developed four programs, directed to companies that want to develop the potential of their associates. In the next blogs we will tell you all about each program.