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DavidW

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DavidW last won the day on December 30 2017

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About DavidW

  • Rank
    member
  • Birthday 11/30/99

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  • Occupation
    Artist, Climber, Scuba Diver
  • Location
    Seattle, WA
  1. This is Natalie leading the aid bit. Its just 4 bolts but vertical. If you know how to aid you could do it with some slings and draws. Ive had several people lead it that had never aided anything before and I set them up with real aiders and a fifi hook. They all thought it was fun! I made a little pair of 3-step aiders tied out of 1/2" webbing that will stuff in my pocket. If you Google "Great Bear Snowshed" the highway cam points right at Yak Peak. Gimme a shout when ya wanna go!
  2. Trip: British Columbia - Coquihalla Honey, Clyde & Isabelle Trip Date: 09/30/2016 Trip Report: Two new routes on Yak Peak. Somehow the memory of an obscure Cascade Climbers trip report had eventually soaked into my brain and I realized that Yak Peak in British Columbia might be worth a visit. Google was telling me it was the same drive time as Washington Pass and the internet was telling me that there were oceans of slabs within sight of the road! Despite my general lack of enthusiasm for border crossings I convinced Bill Enger to join me for a look and we dug out our passports, vacuumed the car, and headed for the border. Once out of the Great Bear Snowshed the highway trends to the east and the huge bulk of the thing almost hovers above the little ribbon of road. From the rest area we gaped at it with binoculars and spent our Looney’s on espresso and egg wraps from the welcome food truck! Bill did the bloodhound thing back and forth along the shoulder for half an hour and ultimately sniffed out the start of the west-side access trail. An hour later we stumbled out of the forest squinting at the sparkling little snowfield and sweeping slabs. We sat and grinned in the sunshine like an internet date; trying to decide if the pictures matched the reality. There were no bumps or knobs, no cracks or corners just a sea of low angled granite that gently steepened for a long, long ways! In July of 2015 I returned with Natalie Merrill. I was convinced that there were good routes to be done if I could only adjust my thinking enough to see them. Still, it took three pitches with some wandering before I backed up, removed a few anchors and finally committed myself to the plumbline. For Natalie it must have been like waiting for a fish to speak latin. It wasn’t even hard climbing, it was just blank and looked intimidating. I had made up my mind that we were gonna bolt our way over the roof and hopefully find something I could climb on the uphill side. Surprise surprise but the “roof” turned out to be 12-feet high and more of a short wall than any kind of real roof. It looks like a roof from just about anywhere except right under it. There are four aid bolts and then it’s back to the slabs. Carl, Natalie, Bas, Nick and Zack came up with me in the next month and I managed to establish pitches seven through nine. The off season is long when it comes to Yak Peak. In 2016, I was starting my third season of dancing under a maple leaf. Clyde & Izzy remained one pitch from completion. I got Zack Krupp to help me get the jump on rappel bolting a new line to the right of Clyde’s. We were underway at last! At the end of the weekend we had three and half pitches in place. Nick Roy joined me a week later. This time we climbed Clyde & Izzy for eight pitches and then rapped sideways to find a place for the Honey. A full pitch above the roofs we started down the big black streak so obvious from below. Still later Carl Delica and I again rapped from the same height and I got a chance to take a second look at the pitches before we added the final bolts. I was almost there; two seasons of travel, gas, partners and money and by mid-august both routes stood one pitch from completion. Late in the season we got it done; Natalie led the existing pitches and I jugged along behind with a big bag of bolts, chains, drills and beverages. At 3:30 I was racked up and ready to lead the final pitch on Clyde’s. Ten days later we were back. I lead bolted the last pitch on the Honey and it was done! Thankfully, we got all our gear down before the snow hit. Natalie on Pitch 4, Clyde & Isabelle Clyde & Isabelle 5.8, A1, 10 pitches, all bolts, 2-ropes required Coquihalla Honey 5.9, A1, 8 pitches, all bolts w/optional 1” & 1.5”, 2-ropes required Gear Notes: All protection is fixed on both routes, 11 draws, 2x60m ropes. Approach Notes: west side approach trail
  3. Gym Partner Wanted

    Hey I'm an experienced, senior-age climber (62) looking for a gym partner for the coming dark months. I'd like to visit Vertical World (seattle) a couple times a week at anything other than peak hours. Top-rope, lead certified or both. New climbing friends for this season are always welcome too! Gimme a shout or text me. I'm David at 206-664-1427
  4. next harness

    I have two harnesses as my general go-to gear... If weight matters at all I use my BD Aspect and think its great. (its still not a superlight) when I'm really gonna wear the harness from dawn till dusk I take my Camp Quartz cause its a little cushier around the waist. Mostly I'm doing multi-pitch trad climbing with a fair amount of gear. The Camp Flint harness is also an awesome all-around harness thats a tad lighter than the two I just mentioned and about $20 cheaper too.
  5. Magnetron Carabiner

    I've had the Rocklock Magnetron on my harness for the last two months after using the Rocklock Twistlock for many years... Does it do anything special? No... does it NOT do anything special? No... I found it works just fine... did not take any getting used to and is probably not worth the extra money unless you just like new toys. I also remember back in 1980 that my friends all dissed me when I came back from the Valley with some of those "Friend" things.... damn good thing THOSE didnt catch on!! I will say that if you let the biner live on the front of your harness and hold a compass in front of you it will always point to north as being about where yer belly button is... learn your astronomy I guess...
  6. Rope Wash

    Sterling makes a product called Wicked Good Rope Wash... comes in individual packets for like.. $2.88. Marmot has them all the time.
  7. Clear Creek 2060

    ewwwww! Forest road 2060 is so... last century!
  8. Trip: Squire Creek Wall - Skeena26 III, 5.9, FA Date: 9/17/2012 Trip Report: SKEENA 26 III, 5.9 (12 pitches) Bill Enger, David Whitelaw, Yale Lewis A couple of months back, my buddy Bill and I completed our third line on Squire Creek Wall. It's located way around to the south, past the Illusion Wall, Chickenshit Gulley and all that. We picked the last big chunk on the left and turned up a real jewel at a fairly relaxed standard. Its not like these things are a mystery. The features are more or less in plain sight from the trail. A short, fairly flat three miles and its all obvious. A pair of binoculars and its almost indecent. Its been right there all along, soaking up the famous northwest sunshine. Every once in awhile, basking on our bivy ledges we'd get to talking, passing the bourbon eh? " Well ya know," somebody would begin. "There's that stuff around to the south. We talked about it for years but with no real sense of urgency. Finally one autumn the Rodeo had been completed and we had to stare at each other and blink. Two buttonheads without a cause. At odds with the rest of the world since day-one D-Town has rambled on with the barest minimum of love for just over forty years. Too far, too weird, too low angle, too obscure, too wet. Two-thousand feet tall?? Two ropes?? Two hours from Seattle? Fuck that! Sometime last century, in a sort of cedar-smeared socialist epiphany we peasants smashed our machines and marched into the forest naked save for the hand-drill, and a crown of devil's club. Now the hammer has taken us full circle and despite the cold sweat of watching the tool so arthritically pound out the dust it is indeed the wilderness we have come for. Like Heidi's grumpy grampa, sequestered. By degrees we have been forgetting our old ways; road trips, guidebooks, beta?, campgrounds, this climb or that. No trails, no rangers, no fees, no pools, no pets. You just pay up front and place your bets. The not knowing isnt mearly a part of it, it's the heart of it. So we went around the corner to the south. We had no idea how to even get there. It was after all, the remote side of Squire Creek Wall; fabled for being unreachable. One November we walked up the trail and took pics of the southern ramparts with a dusting of new snow on them. Later,in spring we skiied up the road and attempted to snowshoe up the big hillside beneath the Illusion Wall. We didnt get very far but we learned a few things. The hillside is steep, but the forest provides sufficient cover so that there is little underbrush. It's only as you approach higher elevations that the lowland giants give way to the famous hundred-acre tangles of matted, down-sloping cedars and broken logs. While the sane played at Vantage this last spring, Bill and I thrashed around in the forest and the flies and the melting snowbridges until we found a workable path. It was getting to be a bit over the top! We were many many weekends into it before we even got an unobstructed look at our mail-order bride. In June we cramponed up snow gullies and tiptoed around huge psuedo-seracs and tilted snowblocks until we found a camp fairly near the base of the wall. There was snow everywhere. Cornices along the summit periodically cut loose and sent thousand foot cascades of shaved ice down the rock. The sun came out, the snow blocks fell over, waterfalls spewed out of big corners hundreds of feet above us, and the whole place sparkled. In all fairness we didn't know what to think. At least I didn't. It was different. It wasn't what I had imagined. We gaped for hours and wondered if it would play. The cirque arched around us in the sun like a collosal necklace with waterfalls for jewels and we agreed that the prize was worth the walk. Now with a light load and some solid prior knowledge the approach can be sent in around three hours. There would be no high-ledge bivys this time. Just a shady base-camp with prayer flags and our ubiquitous water cubes. From camp, a ten-minute hike across boulders, grass and wildflowers brings one to the start of the route with only minimal aggravations. What a summer we had! While the rest of the nation struggled with heat waves and forest fires Darrington became our always-sunny summer camp in the Sierras. We baked in the sun and it never rained. As usual, occasional guests and girlfriends joined us in the dirt and the heat and in particular Yale Lewis' hard work packing gear, jugging lines and shooting video helped us immeasurably. The route steadily advanced by a pitch or two per weekend. To our good fortune, the gully below camp held snow until late August, which in turn provided water for cooking and slush for our margaritas. Nobody said this pioneering shit had to hurt ALL the time! Bill on Pitch 1 Pitch 1 Drilling on Pitch 5 Dave on Pitch 5 Bill on Pitch 7 Photos by David Whitelaw, Bill Enger Squire Creek Wall, South Face Skeena26 in blue photo by John Scurlock The south side of Squire Creek Wall isn't as steep as the Illusion Wall or even Slab Daddy it's just that the rock is so exceptional and the setting so perfect. The stone is brilliant white and peppered with textures, bumps and knobs. When it gets a little steeper, the knobs get a little bigger and there are good places for gear on many of the pitches. This is a friendly route of high quality and though the first pitch touches 5.9 at a couple of polished spots most of the rest of the route is 5.4- 5.6 with sporadic freak-outs of up to 5.8. We tried to make a route that a 5.8 leader would find reasonable. We just went with the flow, and followed the knobs for a dozen pitches. Gear Notes: Standard rack to 3 1/2"
  9. Favorite pitches at Darrington?

    I can't believe this thread! Everyone knows Darrington sucks.. it's totally dirty and rainy and nobody cool climbs there.... sheesh! It's happening at Vantage these days gentlemen!
  10. Quickdraws - BD Oz Wiregates - any opinions?

    Sad news, but all the Heliums sold in the US since July have been recalled. There is a batch number on the spine that can be used to determine if your 'biner is among those being recalled. Check with Wild Country or Excalibur distribution in Sandy, Utah. The hook on the carabiner body doesn't engage with the wire gate well enough and the strength is way compromised. The Oz carabiners have a slightly more narrow profile in the area where the rope will run. This means the rope will make a sharper kink right there when you fall on it... does it matter? I dunno.. I'm a big guy... all my sport draws are Petzl Spirits but there are tons of solid choices.
  11. For some years there was a hubcap at the Three-O trailhead. That was where we got the idea in the first place. For a few years we hung hubcaps at all the trail starts as kind of Darrington tradition. Apparently this offended the forest Taliban and our hubcaps vanished. I'm not convinced that cemented in posts with a reader board and wilderness warnings is an ecological advancement over hubcaps but some people do so love to march in step and wear spiffy uniforms.
  12. Nice job getting up there before the rains got you! I've never met anyone other than the Gunstones who have done that route. Back when we were up there often the two approach paths were pretty obvious, alas its probably been almost 10 years since then and the jungle never sleeps. Way to hang in there... thanks for the trip report!
  13. Wow! I knew that line was gonna get grabbed someday. Nice job!
  14. [TR] Squire Creek - Oso Rodeo 9/8/2012

    Nice going! It's great to see somebody give it a go! We thought the little gear crack on the first pitch looked good too... then one day following with a big pack I grabbed the piece and watched the flake expand and spit out the little cam... after that I felt better using the bigger pro. I recognize after 20 pitches you'd like to get somewhere. We talked alot about where it ended. I think you could wander around and get another pitch. I felt that one can wander and thrash in the bushes just about anywhere in washington and very top edge of the wall is a bit shattered. There are blocks hanging in the bushes sometimes and I'd come for the slabs. That's the reason... good or bad.
  15. Cleaning a pack

    I've just taken mine to the Brown Bear car wash and blasted the crud out of it along with my floor mats... worked great!
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