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  1. 3 points
    Trip: The Pickets - Himmelgeisterhorn - Wild Hair Crack Trip Date: 08/25/2017 Trip Report: Well, it would seem that I completely missed larch season this year as we were gone yanking on tufas in Greece and now ski season seems to be well on its way. It was another fine year of climbing, the hustle was put on in the spring to tie up some loose ends on larger Cascadian objectives which was immediately followed by a great deal of Mountain Loop cragging in Darrington and a lot of heavy packing and choss chucking to bolt a new route up by Mile High Club. Amongst all of that I did accomplish a long standing goal in the Pickets with my good buddy Imran, a tick of the Wild Hair Crack on Himmelgeisterhorn. Wild Hair Crack is a route that was established by Silas Wild, John Roper, and Russ Kroeker in 1981. For all the information you really need to know about the route and the hilarious story of it's conception go to John Roper's site Rhino Climbs. There's a lot of other great info there too if you look around a bit. Years ago, on a short and brutal traverse of the Pickets from the Chopping Block to Luna with the Running Dog we briefly stood in the notch of Otto-Himmel Col and gazed up slack jawed at the crack, knowing that we knew what it was but not being able to summon the name. Regardless, we figured we should probably come back and climb it and headed off down the Mustard Glacier to Frenzelspitz Camp where we immediately got smacked by a standard Picket thunderstorm on an otherwise bluebird day. A few years of shameless peakbagging had gone by since then as well as other trips into the Pickets but I had not yet focused up to get back to that beautiful piece of rock. Imran and I set a date early this year, weather window permitting and waited for the weekend to arrive. We've done so many trips together at this point that communication went as it often does these days, we knew which guy was in charge of what and which version he decided to show up with was completely up to him. Park and Ride time was decided upon and the supply of whiskey was double checked, the weather was looking bomber. Northgate, Arlington, Darrington, Marblemount, and Newhalem all in a row, we snapped pics of guidebook photos and headed up the trail just about 8AM. We made our way down into Crescent Creek Basin past the Chopping Block a little after noon passing one tent at the divide. The clouds had lifted as we made our way across the Barrier and now we suffered the sunny choss as we contoured around Crescent Creek and climbed up below Terror, making our camp at the obscenely beautiful promontory at 6300'. We gutted our packs, piled rocks over the important stuff and took advantage of our lightened feet by scrambling up the West Ridge of Terror, tagging the summit right at 5PM. Back at camp we rolled cigarettes, set up the tent and sipped Laphroaig telling jokes and watching the sunset. The next morning we dropped a little elevation right out of camp and then contoured old terminal moraines towards the hidden couloir that leads to Otto-Himmel Col. Last time I had been through here it was early season and we had just strolled to the top, this time it was a whole different animal. We predominantly stayed in the moat on the left stemming between ice and rock until being forced through a portal in the snow to the right side. Below the huge chockstone we scrambled up the rock on the left side and then back across smallish ledges right until back in the gulley above the chock. A few more feet of vert brought us to the Col and a bit of a breeze so we added some layers and got our gear on. I started up the righthand of the two large cracks and climbed for a ways until it appeared as though the rock might be of better quality over in the left crack. Imran was shouting at me to stay in the right side but I figured I'd go check out the other one at about half pitch. I liked what I saw so I continued up, I suppose following the right side is what is shown in Red Fred but both variations were climbed in the process of seeking the first ascent by Silas, Roper and Kroeker so I figured I'd split the difference on the first pitch. Both lines will take you to the base of the next pitch in a little alcove/cave below the offwidth chimney. If memory serves me there was a small slung chockstone here with what must have been some tasty cordage that a varmint had chewed through as well as some other old webbing that was in slightly better shape. I threw in a cam as backup and made an anchor to bring Imran up. Once he arrived all smiles as usual I set about getting my nerve up for the next lead. It looked big, slightly overhanging, and I could not see anywhere that took gear less than eight inches; 5.7? I'll bite. Up I went, the holds were...amazing! All the stances, everything was like a dream. I almost forgot about placing gear, which wouldn't have mattered anyways because unless you have a Big Bro or a length of 2X4 it doesn't matter until you are at least 20' out. The first placement is a small cam in a horizontal crack to the right of the crack, the next, about 5' higher is a bomber #1 or #2. The angle eases off after this and the pitch rambles up a ways nearing the ridge. Instead of heading over the ridge to the left we opted to continue up towards the subpoint angling slightly right to a weakness and chocked chimney just below the subpoint. I belayed Imran up while sitting on the chockstone and we unroped for the next bit of 3rd and 4th class terrain up and over the subpoint and across the ridge towards the true summit. There is a nice flat col before the final pitch up to the summit and we threw our packs down here and put the rope back on for safety sake. I placed a 0.5 or 0.75 in a feature to protect a bit of exposure but that was it. We had reached the top of the "Horn of the Sky Spirit" and the horizon was smoke free, giving us views for days. The summit is pretty small, we looked around for a summit register but could not locate one despite Jason and Tim reporting on it during their FA of Stonehenge. We hung out up there for quite a while but eventually decided we were hungry and we needed to figure out how to get down. We knew we didn't want to rappel the lower three pitches of the Wild Hair due to a lack of anchors for our single 70M rope (FA was with twin 50M ropes) and we didn't want to end up too far down the N face and have to come back up the Mustard Glacier. We had spotted a pretty nice looking anchor backed up with a nut and some fresh looking webbing just below the subpoint on the north aspect so we figured we'd start there. I ran the rope through, tied knots and chucked each half into the unknown. Looking down the face everything looked pretty ledgey but also decked out with areas of obviously loose rock so I exercised considerable caution keeping the rope free of debris. At about 25M I came upon a double piton anchor joined together with some old webbing but decided to try and angle off back towards a large boulder out right (skier's left), suspecting a possible anchor in that vicinity. I came up on the knots right as I touched on a ledge above the boulder, I unweighted the rope removed it from my belay device and scrambled around the boulder to find a nice looking rap anchor. Imran came down and we set the next rap angling hard back over the ridge towards Otto-Himmel Col. We found another anchor over the ridge and were able to rap into a small depression almost at level with the col with a slight ledge leading back to the col, I believe this is the depression and ledge described in the N. Face route description. Stoked to have made it back down on our single 70 with relative ease we rapped down past the chockstone and continued to rap most of the gulley on old suspect singlepoint anchors composed around sketchy rock or attached to jiggly pitons in jiggly rock. Eventually we emerged back in Crescent Creek Basin and rambled back to camp encountering a rather large and healthy set of mountain goats along the way. Somewhat begrudgingly we packed up camp and made our way back across the hot red choss to the Chopping Block where we set up camp for the night and encountered a curious Stoat for a split second before it went back to hunting down Pikas and other alpine morsels. Sunset was amazing in all directions and the nice view of Teebone Ridge had Fallen Angel stuck in my head for the rest of the trip but thanks to 4G service at the ridge I was able to scratch the media itch. In the morning we climbed the NE ridge of the Chopping Block staying generally on route but adding in a few short harder sections at the bottom and top for fun. Rapping this route with a single 70 is a bit of a rope stretcher and requires attention to detail. Finally, we packed up for good and headed down the Barrier gorging ourselves on blueberries the whole way back to Terror Creek. Another trip in the Pickets with a head full of ideas for the next time. I had the good fortune to talk to all the members of the first ascent team at this years Bulger Party and I think they got a kick out of the kids taking such pleasure in their route, it is a real gem! Thanks to Silas, Russ, and Roper for putting up the line! Okay, Pictures! Coming up the Barrier with clearing skies Crescent Creek choss heat. Terror! With Luna in the background. Camp life. Sunset from camp. Highly recommended accommodations at ca. 6300' Himmelgeisterhorn Starting up the right crack, the chimney of P2 can be seen above the left crack near the top of the rock in the picture. Imran climbing towards the top of P1, minimal gear was placed on ascent but lots of opportunities existed. Last Pitch Sky Spirit! Taking the ledge back to Otto-Himmel Col Super Crack! Late season gulley shenanigans. Sunset from Chopping Block camp. NE Ridge of the Chopping Block Picket Stoke! Gear Notes: Single rack of cams #00-#2, medium nuts, long runners, 70M rope, crampons, ice axe, whisky Approach Notes: Terror Creek to the Barrier to Crescent Creek Basin
  2. 3 points
    Woohoo! I like the new look, thanks guys for the work! I've only been poking around a few minutes so these thoughts may change, but my initial comments: The front page looks good and snazzy. It highlights the blog posts and articles, but TRs are not mentioned at all except in a tiny box at the bottom (which leads to error code: 1S160/2 BTW). IMHO the best part of this site as a regular user are TRs and the Forum, I would love to see recent TRs and Forum posts highlighted up front. Or maybe TRs should be considered like articles/blog posts? That and I really hope my and everyone elses old TRs are accessible again eventually. I'm still figuring out this whole "recent activity" thing, not quite as easy to browse as the old "past 24 hrs" list, but I'll probably learn. The font and layout makes for a lot of scrolling there, maybe that can be optimized to not show "in the last hour" as it's own category (until we have a crazy busy site)? I am guessing this was a ton of work, so props to everyone!
  3. 3 points
    Thanks a lot for the work. One thing I really liked before was the ability to see all new trip reports at a glance. I like to read them all and don't necessarily click on each region. Thanks again for all the effort, maybe TRs participation will pick up!!!
  4. 2 points
    Me, Andy, Joel and Fred climbed Shuksan via the Sulphide Glacier route the weekend of the 9th-10th. We took skis (and a split board) to within a few hundred feet of the summit, carrying them for only the first 2 miles of trail walking. It was strange to travel up into such warmer weather with the inversion going on. It was winter at Baker Lake, the lower parts of the mountain were spring like, and the summit was wintry again. We camped at the normal glacier camp on Saturday after getting an alpine start of 10:45 am from the TH. With the winter darkness setting in I think we went to bed about 6 or 7 pm, it was sweet to sleep for so long. Up at 5, moving at 6 we skinned up wind crust and crud to maybe a third of the way up the summit pyramid before switching to crampons and axes. Fred led the booting all the way to the top through wind crust on top of pow on top of verglas. The summit was amazing, quiet, lonely, and calm! After a somewhat mediocre upper portion the bottom half of the Sulphide was pretty good skiing due to the sun having warmed the wind crud. My light mountaineering skis were sub par in the crud, but everyone had fun. Back at camp at 11:30 for lunch and water in t-shirts. We did a combination of strategies on the descent, but two of us skied all the way to the dirt on the trail traverse below 3000' before booting it to the car. I think it is safe to say a good time was had by all! It was amazing to have the mountain to ourselves for like 28 hours. Views were fantastic and weather/conditions darn good. I was particularly glad to make it since I was 0-2 on ski attempts on this route. Hiking in wearing long underwear: Skinning up the ridge: Sunrise: Summit gully: Summit views:
  5. 2 points
    Trip: Mt Thompson - West Ridge Trip Date: 12/09/2017 Trip Report: Jake and I took advantage of the high pressure and big inversion to climb Mt Thompson over the weekend. We hiked in Friday night and camped on a flat spot on the ridge below Kendall Peak and before the Katwalk. Hiking up in the dark was easy, with the bonus of shortening up the long winter night sleep. We arose at dawn and made our way along the surprisingly easy to follow PCT. Snowed over Kendall Katwalk: First view of Thompson: From Bumblebee Pass: The route was mostly dry, although moves on the north side of the ridge had some snow/ice on them. The very first move of the entire route perplexed us for a bit as we debated on boots/gloves vs crampons/tools. In the end Jake led it with the steel assist while I gingerly followed without: The next three pitches were quite good on warm rock with a bit of snow/ice on ledges and in cracks. Spring like climbing in December! The easy pitch from the false summit to the summit is on the north side and was full on winter conditions and added nicely to the climb: Views for days on top: Two raps and some slogging back had us drinking whiskey at the tent by 9PM. Easy hike out Sunday morning. The inversion layer was startling, especially with how defined the temperature line was. ~5000' temps dropped 10-15 degrees over the course of a few steps. Gear Notes: tools & crampons, snowshoes for the approach Approach Notes: PCT
  6. 2 points
    Trip: Canadian Rockies - Virtual Reality, Elliots Left Trip Date: 11/25/2017 Trip Report: Starting out to be a decent season so far in the Rockies, but they haven't gotten that deep freeze yet, so the pickins are slim. There are some rarely formed routes that came in well though. Virtual Reality is one that I have been waiting a while to get, and boom the pics on social media sent the crowds up there for it. It wasnt picked out though when we did it Thanksgiving weekend, but we did end up in a footrace for it! Worth the long drive and cough I had for the next few days from burning-out-of-shape-lung-stress. More on personal journal..https://waynewallace.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/canada-ice-11-17/ Gear Notes: screws Approach Notes: 1 hour 3 minutes
  7. 2 points
    Trip: Ulalach - via Squire Creek Pass Trip Date: 10/24/2017 Trip Report: Long live the mighty Cascade Climbers! My first TR on the new software, so we'll see how this goes..... Remember when it hadn't rained in months? When summer just didn't seem to end? This harkens back to that time, when the call of the fall spirited us away from work midweek. When nobody but us and the wolves roamed the high country of the Darrington hills (see below). It was also an excuse for Scott and I to harass the rest of our crew from a North Cascades summit via modern technology. This is becoming increasingly important, I hear. In case you're wondering Ulalach (think Ooo la la- Chinook for "onion") has great cell service. But more importantly, it is lonely up there. We didn't see much in the way of evidence of passage, and we honestly had to think a bit to puzzle the way to the top. It helped that I've started to not research climbs as thoroughly as in years' past. In this age of ridiculous beta, tuning out is a great way to increase the adventure, even on a day trip. Even if I had done some research, I wouldn't have found out that we could expect to see wolf tracks superimposed upon ours on the descent. Apparently this was news to the USFS, NPS and tribal wildlife bios that I consulted upon our return. Hopefully the Darrington locals can tolerate their new neighbors. Viva la mystery of the North Cascades! And the new software makes captioning WAY easier..... I'll actually label these, where it makes sense to: Darrington's version of the deepwater solo: Whitechuck from the trail below Squire Creek Pass: Ulalach!: Scott admires the mighty east face of Three Fingers from Squire Creek Pass: Whitehorse: Three Fingers: Salish Peak! North Peak of Three Fingers: Del Campo (L) and Big Four (R): Put Jumbo on your list!: The upper Squire Creek Valley, with Liberty on the left and Three Fingers on the right: Squire Creek Wall: Scott breathing deep the oniony glory of Ulalach: The hills are alive! There were pup tracks with the mama. They followed our tracks for a half mile or so, just below the pass.: Exfoliation Dome, perhaps the toughest summit to reach in WA under 5000': Gear Notes: Helmet. Ample opportunities for 5th class climbing off the scramble route. Approach Notes: Squire Creek Pass trail from Clear Creek road. From the pass follow your nose north. Stay on the east side of the ridge at first, until you can traverse into a saddle just south of the peak. From here, you will want to stay mostly on the ridge until forced to a right side ledge at a step. Follow weaknesses up and left back to ridge and finish on the west (left) side, pulling on shrubbery.
  8. 2 points
    Trip: Glacier Peak NF Beartooths - Catch-a-Sunrise 5.9 PG First Ascent Trip Date: 08/18/2017 Trip Report: This was an exceptionally memorable climb that I did with Elaine, which was her first trip into Montana's Beartooths. Myself; I have been coming to this mountain range many times since 2012, and have seen enough corners of it to hold my own against any of the local Montana Beartooth stompers, however this climb was exceptionally significant because it was on Glacier Peak. This was the last Montana 12er I had yet to summit, and I had been putting it off until the right time came where I could climb the North face Beckey Couloir Route. This is a rarely climbed route straight up the rugged north face of the mountain. I could have easily tagged its summit by walking up the talus from the Aero Lakes Basin, however I wanted this peak to be something more than that. Knowing the conditions dictating everything for this route, I had to find the perfect time, and as chance would have it, Elaine and I had that chance in mid August this year just a few days before the total solar eclipse (which we saw in Wyoming!). As an aside, for anyone wondering, yes I am still working on that Beartooth Guidebook. We had both just finished a successful climb of the East Ridge of the infamous Bears Tooth earlier in the week (see link above) and we were ready to tackle the main objective. The trip started on August 16th by driving up to the Goose Lake 4WD road from Cooke City and parking at the start of the 4WD road. It was a 4ish mile walk along the road to Goose Lake. We were hoping we would run into someone heading up willing to give us a lift but since that never happens, it didn't happen haha. Our late start of about 2:30pm also probably didn't help. We however hiked around the beautiful Goose Lake, and onward to the broad saddle between Iceberg and Sawtooth Peaks under beautiful sunny skies. Looking at Sawtooth Ridge from Goose Lake really inspired both of us to return one day to traverse that ridge. At 5pm we reached the saddle, and I remembered the last time I was here on a quick solo venture to Iceberg Peak and to get a firsthand look at the west face of GlacierPeak. The wind forced us to continue the cross country walking over loose talus and the occasional snowfield east towards Glacier Peak. We passed alongside the stunning Iceberg Lake until we reached the point where we started descending steeply down loose scree onto the large rock glacier that extends off to the north of Mount Wilse. It was a long and mostly uneventful walk as the sun was setting into the boulder strewn valley at the base of Glacier Peaks west face. The ankle twisting loose rocks on the rock glacier was somewhat slow going, and I knew we would not be able to reach the base of the Beckey Couloir before dark, so I began looking for a place to sleep for the night. The towers and monoliths that surrounded us in this valley were awe inspiring, with the added sunset effect really making the evening magical in an otherwise heinous walk, which now exceeded 10 miles. As my luck would have it though, right as dusk set in and headlights would have become mandatory, we got to the edge of the rock glacier, and shortly after dropping off found a beautiful little flat grassy meadow, with a small stream nearby that we could lay down for the night! This wasn't the first time this year that I got extremely lucky finding a place to camp right as total darkness was setting in. To save weight on what we knew was going to be a carry-over, and since we each already had ice tools, crampons and big boots, we didn't bring a tent. We simply threw the pads and sleeping bags down on the grass (or sedge, as it is apparently properly called according to Elaine) and cooked a nice dinner and quickly went to bed. With the perfect weather, we couldn't resist stargazing and looking for meteors for quite some time that first night, and thinking endlessly about the climb that lie ahead. I admit I was a little nervous mainly because I had been waiting to do this climb for years. Little did I know I was about to make probably the worst navigational error I have ever made in my climbing career. The next morning we started as soon as enough light broke the darkness of night, and continued hiking along the bottom of the west face, traversing the large talus fields until we could round the corner to the right and enter the basin below the north face. We hiked around a small tarn along the steepest part of the face below the northwest flank, and ascended once again until we reached a large snow couloir. It was roughly 8:30 in the morning when we reached the start of the couloir, and we took a nice snack break and switched into our mountaineering boots, put crampons on and layered appropriately. The climb was about to begin. We started soloing up the snow, and actually both felt comfortable remaining solo until we reached the upper end of the steep couloir, which felt like it had a max steepness of about 60 degrees. For her first steep snow climb, Elaine did amazing and felt confident the whole way. I recall thinking the couloir ended rather quickly as it felt like we only ascended about 600 feet before we hit rock but I didn't think much of it. All I knew is I was looking for a rib that bisected the couloir and it was 5 pitches of rock up to 5.7 up this rib directly to the summit. Well, as we were standing in the small moat at the top end of the couloir we were in, I saw what looked like a rib heading just above us, but the couloir didn't extend to the left of it, only continued up to the right. I figured the left side finger had dried out and started scrambling steep and loose 4th class up this feature as Elaine carefully followed. After maybe 100 feet we reached a nice ledge system and traversed leftward until I hit a 5.7 rock section. We finally busted out the rope and cams and I led this short pitch in my boots to a "ready to explode" ledge just below a 5.8+ hand crack that I wasn't comfortable leading in my boots. To save weight, I left my rock shoes thinking the route was only going to be 5.7, and just in case, Elaine brought hers, so she led up this 20 foot 5.8 crack and cut right into a large chimney. Since I didn't have any idea as to what each of the 5 pitches of the Beckey Couloir route entailed, I assumed we were on route, since the chimney wasn't too hard. Halfway up the chimney, Elaine made an anchor and belayed me up. She then continued up another pitch in the chimney to a huge ledge, which upon reaching myself, I really started to get confused. I still didn't know we were WAY off to the right of the actual Beckey Route, but upon looking up at how much more rock climbing we had to do, I was beginning to wonder. So we decided that moving left looked better, and Elaine led another pitch up somewhat runout 5.6 slab to a ledge, then I led up a somewhat garbage pitch on loose 5.4 to another ledge. We were now 5 pitches up from where we started roped climbing, and no end in sight. Rather than worry about how we might be off route, I continued focusing on the task of safely getting up this face. Elaine continued up our 6th pitch on now more difficult 5.8 terrain with less pro. I was glad she brought her rock shoes and she led these pitches beautifully. As she started up a short 5.8 7th pitch, we started seeing considerably harder, slabby terrain above us, and she found herself in an alcove with nowhere to feasibly climb. I climbed up to her to scout out what lie ahead and it didn't look good. Up and left was impossible, and a delicate traverse to the right was the only feasible way. I took over leading, leaving my pack with Elaine and started making the traverse laterally to the right, where it appeared we could enter a long easier ramp system that would hopefully take us to an easier looking rib off above us that appeared to go towards the summit. Lots of speculation I know, but knowing we only had one option at the time we had to traverse right. I managed to safely traverse across, but not without plenty of cursing, and make a good anchor. There wasn't much pro though so Elaine was rightfully hesitant to make the traverse knowing a fall would impose a large pendulum swing, especially doing it with two packs! I was able to talk her through it, despite not being able to see one another, however one move that required every bit of my long reach was very scary for her. I am amazed she pulled through. Once we both got past the traverse, I led up a long 60 meter pitch up an easy 4th-low 5th ramp and kept a watchful eye on any climbable spots above up to our left. I was able to definitely confirm that the easier looking rib above and left of us would lead to the summit area, however we needed to get on that rib, which was 70 feet above us and looked improbable. We decided since we couldn't see what was at the very top of the easier ramp we were currently on, as it curved left, it would be best to go as high as we could and see what was up there. Elaine continued up a right facing dihedral in a seam along the base of the steep wall that blocked easy access to the rib above. It was easy until she entered that left curving area, where she continued to mention small car sized loose blocks. At this point I couldn't see her, and after she spent 15 minutes or so contemplating it she went for a move, then fell. All I remember is hearing screams and watching her slide down the ramp on her pack popping two cams then stopping on her own (rope didn't end up weighted) as her pack got wedged into the dihedral she had climbed. Amazingly, she was ok despite taking a 30 foot fall, and after talking things through, she was able to calm down enough to build an anchor where she was, and allow me to go up and see what we were up against. When I got to the place she fell, I could see the large blocks she was mentioning, and found a spot to put one small nut and a 0.4 cam. That was going to have to do as I belayed her back up to me. I could see easier terrain and a ledge merely 20 feet above us, but that 20 feet was the scariest moment in both of our climbing careers. Since neither of us wanted to or was able to climb this section (mainly because we could not feasibly touch anything) I straddled the open book weighting the two pieces I placed, and with Elaine on belay, I pushed her up as high as I could until she could grab a solid hold above the two 7 foot long loose blocks. Thankfully she found something solid and was able to crawl onto the ledge just above. The scariest part of all this was that as this was all happening, I watched the nut I placed start to come loose, so as Elaine was midway up with huge rocks teetering right at my chest I also had to re-set that nut. This should have terrified me to absolutely no end, but I held my composure incredibly well...almost too well now that I look back. With Elaine now on a good ledge, I climbed up to her, which was a solid 5.9+ when I wasn't able to touch anything along the seam of the open book we were in. It was even harder in boots. We took a nice rest here, and realized we were not out of it yet. Another 25 feet of vertical improbable terrain was left until we got to easier ground. I saw three seams above me, and none of them looked good or offered much pro, but around a bulge to our left looked like a potential route, so I left my pack with Elaine and led out stepping out over some serious air and around the bulge, and found a beautiful 20 foot 5.8 hand crack that I just told myself I will climb regardless as to what was on my feet. I mustered up the energy to basically pull up on just hand jams with next to no help from my feet since those huge boots were not jamming in any crack! It was right when I reached the top of this crack that I realized we were going to actually top out on this face. I let out a huge sigh of relief and walked back right to a point where I was directly above Elaine and pulled my pack up, then belayed her up. I was very thankful I remembered to take a few photos of the sunset because it was truly spectacular, especially with Granite Peak (Montanas highest) staring at us from across the valley. Elaine continued on past me since I wasn't perched in the most comfortable of spots. It was quickly getting dark and I was really hoping we could get to the summit before dark. I led up one more pitch (now about 12 total), hoping this would be the last one, and I did reach the crest of the small rib we were looking up at all afternoon and was immediately blown away as to how suddenly it dropped off into a deep gash on a different part of the north face. It was very eerie coming up to this narrow, wildly exposed rib crest right as near darkness was setting in. Then I looked across this gash and saw another 200 feet of dead vertical rock silhouetted against the twilight and yelled out a loud "Oh sh##" Then I looked to my right and saw the rib continued up on easy terrain, and was thanking the heavens lol and I continued until I ran out of rope, hoping I would find some kind of flat spot to bivy for the night. When the rope ran out I came to a spot on the rib that was at the very least flat, but not very big. I didnt take a very hard look at it yet and quickly belayed Elaine up this last pitch. When she arrived, it was too dark to see what remained of the climb, and upon further inspection, we agreed we could both fit in the spot we were in for the night. We doctored up the area a bit and made a spot long enough for me and a second spot right next to it just big enough for Elaine to fit. I built a small rock wall on my outer side to keep me from falling off the rib at night, secured our packs with a couple cams, and put down the sleeping bags (thank goodness we had them!). We were not planning to spend a second night on this trip, as we originally were planning to climb up and over Glacier Peak and hike out the second day, so we didn't have any food to make. We both ate one clif bar from our snack reserves, and stared up at the starts for a long time, contemplating what we were doing. We were both thrilled and relieved to have mostly completed the route, and were confident there wouldn't be much more climbing to reach the summit. We gazed at the dark, moonless night sky contemplating life and admiring the stars. It was a crystal clear, warm and calm night...perched on a very narrow rib with huge drops to both sides of us. We were alone, free and in a state of euphoria. At this point I was nearly 100% sure we were doing a new route, and were walking on untouched ground. That was one of the best nights I have ever known, and made even more amazing to share with someone as amazing as Elaine. To add to the incredible nature of our bivy, as the night waned, and twilight gazed over the mountains, we watched a sunrise for the ages right over Granite Peak. We could finally really enjoy the views that surround us, as we were too intently focused on the climb the day before. We emerged from our perch shortly after sunrise and packed up our gear, which I then led up just one more 4th class pitch which dumped me onto the summit plateau!! I couldn't believe it, and let out a scream of joy. Elaine came up and we congratulated one another, had a quick break and packed away the rope. I looked up to the left and saw easy class 2 boulders that led to what looked like the summit just 40 feet above us. However, when we saw that the summit was a 10 minute walk to the south, up an additional 200 feet, I was at that point 100% sure we did not do the Beckey Route, and more than likely put up what would be both of our first, first ascent. When we finally reached the summit, I saw the top of the Beckey Couloir, and the whole route leading down directly below us. Elaine commented something along the lines of "Matt, that route looks so much easier!" along with a few joking criticisms that I have no idea where I am going etc etc...after all it was my fault we climbed the wrong route. I simply assumed the first couloir we came across on the approach was the Beckey Couloir, but take note...that is NOT true. The Beckey Couloir is much, much wider and longer than the couloir at the bottom of the route we climbed. My friend Vince from Bozeman pointed out after we returned from the climb that the couloir we climbed is called "Catch-a-Fire" Couloir, which had actually been skied some time ago, but after consulting with a few local climbers no one had known of the route we did above the couloir so we believe it's safe to claim this FA. In respect of whoever named that couloir before us, we named the route "Catch-a-Sunrise" to remember that gorgeous sunrise we witnessed from our bivy. See the topo below, and notice the much larger couloir well off to the left. THAT is the Beckey Couloir! k Back to the summit...I pulled out my bag of Oreos that I was saving for the summit, which was the only food I had left. We shared them and celebrated as I had finished my last Montana 12er in spectacular fashion. I knew we had a long walk out though, so after a 30 minute stay, and some awesome photos, we started down the south slopes towards Upper Aero Lake, and hiked all the way out and getting back to Bozeman in time to meet up with my friends Josh and Vince. Josh had taken a Greyhound over from WA to join us for the Eclipse in Wyoming, and we ate a nice dinner at Montana Ale Works. Shown below are photos we took from the summit and on the descent. A couple days later on August 21st, we had a group of 7 people atop Union Peak in the northern Wind River Range to watch the total solar eclipse, which capped one of the best weeks of my life. The experience of the solar eclipse was unlike any other experience I've ever had. During totality, you really are drawn to it in a non-explainable way, to the point where it was kind of mesmerizing, and mind-altering. Awestruck might be a good way to put it, but in a way that you cannot fathom unless you actually witness it. In the seconds leading up to totality, the lighting on the landscape turns a very strange, mostly colorless grey with a very off level of brightness. When the last rays of light do finally disappear, it turns way darker than I would have thought. There was actually sunset lighting in all directions, and a black hole in the sky. All I know is that I cannot wait to see the next one! Gear Notes: One alpine ice tool per person, crampons, mountaineering boots, rock shoes would have been nice to have... Also had two racks to 2" (one ultralight), single 60m rope, helmets! Approach Notes: From Cooke city, up the Goose Lake Jeep road to Goose Lake, over pass between Iceberg and Sawtooth Mountains, down valley below west face of Glacier Peak and around into basin below North Face. Lots and lots of talus!
  9. 2 points
    Thanks all. Look forward to seeing what's new. If entering TRs is much easier than before, then perhaps more will be posted, which may lead to more visitors and more posts and more TRs. That would be a nice virtuous cycle. More free beer at pub clubs might be the next step? Sadly, no more Fred there.
  10. 1 point
    Trip: Ireland - South Peak of Skellig Michael Trip Date: 08/23/2017 Trip Report: Back in the summer I made a Hail Mary request for a partner to join me in Ireland to climb on the island of Skellig Michael. This is the place that was featured in the climax of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and will receive considerably more screen time in the soon-to-be-released Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. That's right, I was seeking a partner to fly with me across the Atlantic to Ireland, in order to climb a two hundred foot crag of undistinguished Class 4 sandstone. Not for the climb itself. Because high on the peak there is a secret hermitage, a series of ledges where an extremely badass monk (or more likely a succession of badass monks across several centuries) lived out his life alone on a crag, on a tiny sea island, full in the teeth of the Atlantic wind. It would certainly be technically possible to do this climb solo, with an acceptable margin of risk, except that access to this peak is strictly regulated, and in order to get approved, you have to have a partner - - although the agency in charge expects both of you to climb unroped. Strangely, no one at cc.com took me up on the offer. So 'I joined two mountaineering clubs across the Atlantic, one in Ireland and one in the UK, and posted on their partners forum. I got a couple of responses and worked out logistics with one Peter O'Toole. I had a three day weather window, and ended up needing all 3 days. On the third day, conditions were iffy. Peter was short on funds. It costs 75 Euro for a boat ticket to and from the island. At the last minute he bailed. But this was OK, because by then I'd come to know the guides on Skellig Michael (not climbing guides, guides to the heritage site there) and I knew they'd probably let me climb it alone. The head guide Claire said the rocks were still too wet. But before she could refuse me access, Brendan O'Connor from the lighthouse road crew stepped up and offered to join me as my guide. He had done plenty of high-angle rope work on South Peak and knew its routes by heart. I made it to the summit and, more important, was able to see the dwelling place of a real-life, historic Last Jedi. It's all here. First image = Skellig islands from the mainland. Great Skellig is the larger of the two. South Peak is the high point. Second image = view from the summit, looking eastward across Little Skellig toward the mainland. If you look closely you can see the drystone huts of the monastery on the right skyline across the gap. Gear Notes: Helmet Rope used in a few places, one person tied in by the waist and the other using natural pro, no anchors; mainly to ease the mind of the guide that granted us permission Approach Notes: Apply for permission to climb through Ireland's Office of Public Works Wait several months Fly to Ireland Drive several hours to village of Portmagee, County Kerry Take a boat to Skellig Michael -- tickets sell out in advance, but if you book at The Moorings, a B&B in town, they sometimes hold tickets in reserve for guests While you wait for the weather to clear, enjoy the freshest seafood you've ever eaten
  11. 1 point
    This is quality stuff! I don't remember when EB used to be local boutique brand that made really great stuff locally, but my dad was telling me about going into the store back in the day.
  12. 1 point
    Trip: Big Snow! - Jefferson Smootship Trip Date: 10/31/2017 Trip Report: Calling all Smooters! You don't have to hide any longer, list motivated peak bagging is all the rage now. Just look at those thousands of Bulgers out choss polishing each summer......and many of those peaks are pretty unpleasant and would hardly ever be climbed if it weren't for the hallowed list. In contrast, Mr. Smoot has compiled a list based on nothing other than WA peak bagging for the sheer joy of it. Such a good list, I might add, that I was more than halfway done with it before I'd even heard of "Climbing Washington's Mountains". But even an ardent Smooter has their limits, this ain't the 50 Classics after all. So, I typically pace myself, ticking off a couple a year in the shoulder seasons when I am looking for straightforward, yet interesting, diversions among the lower elevation summits of our home ranges. Which is why I found myself with Scott and Kit at the end of this past October hiking up the Dingford Creek Trail, en route to Snowflake Lake at the base of the north side of Big Snow. The gating of the Middle Fork at Dingford Creek has meant that the north side approach is the shortest route to the Big Snow summit these days. While likely not as dramatic as the Hardscrabble climber's path, it is still more scenic than I would have thought. I think it took us about 4-5 hours to camp or so, where we quickly set up camp at Snowflake Lake (where you can be yourself) and set off for the summit in the late afternoon. A bit of brush wrangling just about the lakes (would be snow covered in early season) found us on a minor rib scrambling surprisingly decent rock upwards to the broad summit ridge, less than two hours from camp. A quick check of our phones revealed that the indomitable Fred Beckey had passed away peacefully that morning while we were walking to camp. Gazing out across the Middle Fork at the Snoqualmie Alps (Lemah, Chimney Rock, Summit Chief, etc.), we raised our flask to Fred and his incredible life. We were all lucky enough to have run into him over the years and all felt standing on a Cascadian summit was a fitting place to remember a legend. After all, the brown guide was what had gotten us to that very point. Crag on the NW side of Big Snow, I've heard someone has been up to this wall an climbed a bit: Kit on the interesting approach to Big Snow Lake: Scott surveys Big Snow Lake: Snoqualmonix! Gear Notes: ice axe and crampons Approach Notes: Dingford Creek to Myrtle Lake. Leave trail and stay low until right below Big Snow Lake. Go up cool talus gully to lake and follow your nose to Snowflake Lake, where you can be your very own snowflake. Up and left from the lake to a minor rib then directly up mellow slopes to summit. Would be doable in day with longer days of early summer and more snow. Great relaxed fall trip.
  13. 1 point
    Trip: Mt Hood - Reid Headwall - Iced up solo Trip Date: 12/09/2017 Trip Report: Went for a solo outing on the Reid Headwall last Saturday and found AMAZING ice conditions! Got lucky with great weather, no wind, and sick ice. By far my favorite route, and the best conditions I have found. I could tell you about it...but seeing is way more fun! Check out the climb in 4K! Gear Notes: Petzl Quarks, Petzl Lynx crampons Approach Notes: Timberline to I-Saddle
  14. 1 point
    from the time i could talk i was ordered to listen
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  16. 1 point
    This is what is to be had on the Eliot right now. Have at it.
  17. 1 point
    The routes on the back side of I Rock are in great shape right now. They looked a little bony from below, but there was ice where you needed it, not too much snow, and fun mixed terrain.
  18. 1 point
    Hey Fellas, The roads to get to these ice venues are very tricky 4x4 only jeep trails. If you decide to come out here and visit keep in mind that you will need a sturdy 4x4 with high clearance, chains for all four, skills in driving off-road style steep rocky tracks and tools to get yourself unstuck if you fall short. Living here and climbing in those mountains for decades has given me the opportunities when conditions are good to choose a mode of transportation that works. Later in the season we will switch to snow mobiles but those too are tricky to operate in that terrain and there are MAJOR slide paths that have to be negotiated. At one point the pine creek road crux is just below a restriction near the base of a 2200 foot slide path and this is where you will end up stuck and digging nervously as there is no escaping if it slides. The routes can be fun, almost always form but if I did not live here, I would go to Canada as the climbing isn't really that worthy for the effort; short. Hope this helps! Mark Hauter-
  19. 1 point
    this is the first year since 1981 - year I moved to Leavenworth - that the Funnel (main line on Hubba Hubba hill), has not been climbable by mid-December. Walked in to Eightmile Lake yesterday, and noted a half-dozen or so climbable flows, including one that stair-stepped up for five pitches. I'm aware of no beta for any of these. Sorry, too lazy and digitally illiterate to provide photos. "if ya wanna know, ya hafta go" -Haireball
  20. 1 point
    wow that was easy. once again thanks for the upgrade guys!
  21. 1 point
    On Saturday I went to Alpental to check on Practice Gully. It is not in.
  22. 1 point
    Road's a little rough from the fall rains, though not too bad. Bottomed out the Corolla at one of the dips, so bring a pickup or SUV. Lots of 3 O Clock Rock is dry and nice, at least the east and southern exposures! Northern slabs still a bit wintery!
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  24. 1 point
    Thanks Oly; the database "beta" search tool was the one item I used the most often. Thanks for all the work you're doing!
  25. 1 point
    Spitting Cobra ~200 m WI4, the "previously unclimbed" line left of Tradewinds
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    Yeah, no fucking guides... err unless they just need a solid partner:) If our goals and skill levels align, I am also looking for 2018 Denali/Ruth partners. Yeah, Ham and Eggs, but also want to get up high, Cassin ideally.
  28. 1 point
    always nice to see places you've pissed before funny, i don't think any 13 continuous minutes on any el cap wall i've done didn't featured the word "fuck!" at least once - these fellas are choir-boys
  29. 1 point
    Second the tarp idea. The last couple of years I have been using a tarp and a light bivy sack combo for good weather. If the forecast is close to 100 percent clear and if your not camping up super high during the summer, a tarp works good. You will need extra bug protection if the bugs are bad. I suggest a silnylon tarp 9X9 or 8X10 or 10X10 and SOL breathable bivy sacks. There are three models to choose from all are good. Do not get the SOL non breathable bivy sacks, the breathable ones are good to use for camping until they fall apart which can take a long time. My system is a feathered friends Vireo sleeping bag, a SOL bivy sack and tarp with my goose down jacket for near perfect weather forecasts. If any significant percentage bad weather forecast I take a synthetic jacket (around 20% and above chance of rain). I have been using 8X10, 1.5 lb tarp (including 6 stakes) along with a 8 oz SOL bivy sack with a 17oz, Vireo sleeping bag. It would be hard to get a much lighter system. I have a particular way of setting up my tarp so it is like a tent with a open front. For my set up you need a tie in point under the center of the tarp. Look at CCS tarps, Cooke Custom Sewing. Tarps they have a quad loop center tie under the tarp to attach a trekking pole. Also I use a tie in point at the front of the tarp. I use two trekking poles for set up. It is cheaper and better to use a simple rectangular or square tarp for climbing as you can find places to set up that you can't hardly use with a tent or a tarp that can be set up only one way. The bonus is a simple tarp is cheaper and often lighter than the fancy tarps. I sometimes carry a bug jacket if I think the bugs are going to be really bad. If you can get above about 5000+ feet to camp the bugs are not so bad in camp. Cheapish square tarps can be found on Ebay. However most do not have the quad loop sewn under the tarp, you can ask it to be added or sew it on yourself. CCS tarps are set up perfect and a USA made product The CCS 8x10 or 10X10 tarps are good for two, especially with a light bivy sack. One can find lighter Cuben tarps but cost much. Best for the money is a 1.1oz per square yard silnylon, one can look hard for a silpoly tarp for about same cost maybe a little lighter depending what you find. I rode out some mild weather with a tarp and bivy combo and it is safe unless your pushing your luck with altitude or weather forecast or very windy areas. Here is the set up I use most every time, a quad loop tie in under the tarp center is needed. I usually put the length at 8 feet and width at 10 feet which gives tons a of room for two guys and gear, much more than a tent and plenty of protection for good weather. One can also use a 9x9, or even 10x10 for lots of protection from rain. Do not camp in a depression. If weather gets really bad a pyramid set up is possible, or drop the open end down close to the ground. You can spend more money for a bivy sack than for the SOL breathable bivvy sack but they are hard to beat in performance only a little small. The SOL escape pro is the most expensive but gives a little more room that the SOL escape, the SOL escape lite is a little lighter but no way to cinch up the head area. The big bonus is being able to carry a light water proof bivy sack up high on the climb. This set up is not that expensive compared to others. One can sew their own tarp but the cost savings is really not there for the first go around as compared to ordered tarps. However sewing a tarp is fairly simple and fun project if into that sort of thing.
  30. 1 point
    outstanding! as you may know, this route is John Roper's all time favorite. We wanted to climb it this summer, but were out of juice after our Ottohorn climb. Here is a shot of Wild Hair from atop Ottohorn:
  31. 1 point
  32. 1 point
    Message received @Lowell_Skoog @jon says that it was supposed to redirect those links, so he may need to make a script to address that....
  33. 1 point
    Jon fixed this this morning...
  34. 1 point
    Ah, it's just the antioxidant power of the blueberries, that or the need to find water in the parched landscape that is the late season Barrier. Also, big kudos to the new site format! This is way easier to navigate and use, the ease to drag and drop photos when writing this TR was a game changer. Way to go team!
  35. 1 point
    Sumitted Terror in 9 hours from the car? Did I read that right? If so, I am clearly doing something very wrong. Nice work you guys and thanks for posting the TR and photos!
  36. 1 point
    Very strong work John, Oly and Porter! I must confess, I looked at the website a couple of times yesterday morning thinking that it was down again (sigh) before I realized it was just a new, awesome website!
  37. 1 point
    Guys: This is truly awesome! I love the new look! Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and work over the years! You've put up with a lot of BS and stayed the course, for the love of our sport(s) and community. Fuck yeah!
  38. 1 point
    Right On While late to the party it's nice to see this guy I'll have to explore more new format features
  39. 1 point
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  41. 1 point
    Cheers to the admin and mods .... nicely done. Does this mean the end to the jumping, turgid sausage?
  42. 1 point
    Thank you for the system update, it looks like a big improvement over the ubb software! I went to message someone privately regarding an item on the yardsale, and it said my message inbox was full. If I go to my profile, I do not see an inbox anywhere or place to delete messages... is there something I am missing here?
  43. 1 point
    Can we still get pagetops?
  44. 1 point
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  46. 1 point
    holy shiite muslims, has the hc-luv emoji been relegated to the dustbin of history?!?
  47. 1 point
    red rawks is pretty sweet in march and there are big mountain feeling things there fo'shizzle - desert alpine's pretty cool...
  48. 1 point
    If Jon can upgrade/convert the board soon, I'll find it or recreate it...i promise.
  49. 1 point
    Fred was and will ever be THE cascade climber. He made it a thing. His yearn for adventure in the mountains eclipsed everyone's. He created a whole new lifestyle and inspired a whole generation, and generations to come: The Dirtbag Climber. And he showed the way, up that obvious gully, to so many classic routes now known in the climbing guides as the "Beckey Route" on so many mountains. His colored climbing guides became the bible for climbers in the Cascades. As Megan says on Facebook..."off belay" Fred. If only any of us could live a life 1/2 as well lived, we would be lucky.
  50. 1 point
    No problem..... I just tend to get mad cuz i feel like the older guys pick on me for my lack in special gear and 'stylish' climbing clothes.... I just do my best to get out and climb so when im older and can go to more extreme places I will have more experience...
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