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ptownclimber

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About ptownclimber

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    member
  • Birthday 11/30/99

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    Portland, OR
  1. Looking for recommendations, experiences, etc.
  2. 8:15pm Beer Fabulous prizes Beacon/re-bolting update Madrone wall update Movie night! Wear green!
  3. Thank you mentors

    He and she are heading to Patagonia. I'm one part jealous and 99 parts stoked for them.
  4. Thank you mentors

    This May during the long, slow, cathartic, soul-cleansing slog up one of our local volcanoes, I began reflecting on some of the experiences I’ve had in the past 15 years of climbing. My thoughts moved to the people who have expanded my horizons, pushed me to overcome bigger challenges, and taught me the craft of climbing. I thought about people like Rick Posekany. Within a month, I was shocked and saddened to learn that Rick had passed away. In 2003 I was a young, headstrong climber at the start of my career. I signed up for Posey’s climb of Aconcagua. I was in over my head, even more than I realized at the time. Soon after arriving at Plaza de Argentina basecamp (just under 14,000 feet), I started feeling lousy. Really lousy. Rick took me to see the camp doctor, who confirmed what Rick suspected – I had acute mountain sickness. They put this little contraption on my finger, which recorded the oxygen saturation of the hemoglobin in my blood. While at sea level this would read around 99%, at that time it was in the low 80’s, which somewhat explained why I felt about half as good as normal. Imagine a bad hangover with a dose of heavy lethargy. I was physically, mentally and emotionally wrecked. I was twenty years younger than the other guys, and yet I was the one who wasn’t going to make it anywhere near the summit. I had a deep, sinking feeling about all the time and effort that I had committed to this trip – for naught. They started me on Diamox and told me to rest. In his gruff, terse, gentle way, Rick kept tabs on me and told me not to give up hope. The next day Rick, Mark and John carried loads to camp 1 while I rested. The following day the pulse oximeter read 88%. I was feeling better and cleared to keep ascending. We moved on to camp 1, then camp 2. I moved a little slower, humbled by my own frailty. We got pinned down by a bad storm at camp 2 for 6 days, testing our patience, supplies and determination. We had carried a load to another camp called Piedras Blancas, at about the same elevation but closer to the ascent route. Nearing the end of our allotment of time and supplies, the weather began to clear. We scrapped our plan to move; instead Posey and Mark retrieved our cache of gear from Piedras Blancas. It was a short, flat traverse, but the wind was such that they had to break trail through the snow both ways. The skies opened and camp 2 turned into a bustle of activity as nearly everyone mobilized for the summit. After so much bad weather and luck, I could hardly believe we were actually headed out. It was an incredible day – dark, blue, cloudless skies and no wind – hard to believe after the weeks we’d spent there. On Aconcagua the wind is a nearly constant figure. It blows tents away. You can hear gusts coming, like an airplane. It is visible in the form of lenticular clouds – the viento blanco. I was getting used to the cold, the wind, not eating enough, and hanging out in those stinking tents reading Atlas Shrugged. Rick was exhausted from breaking trail to get our boots and stuff from Piedras Blancas. The trail out of camp 2 was deep with snow. The day seemed long as the sun cut through the high, thin air. The final approach is a dusty slog. We labored slowly up the slope, fighting the thin air. Rick was unselfishly carrying a lot of group gear – first aid, extra food, extra gloves and so on. He was falling off the pace. I waited for him; we fell behind the pack. After many, many rest stops I finally convinced him to switch backpacks with me. There was no way in hell I was going to the summit without Rick. After all the extra work he had done for the team, I would not have made it without him; I would not have earned it. Our pace picked up a bit with the weight redistributed. As we climbed higher, the views opened to the northwest, west, and southwest. We reached the summit around 7pm and spent all of 15 or 20 minutes on top, after two weeks of hard effort. Coming down the sunset was pretty amazing. Rick and I didn’t make it back to camp until after midnight. It took us 19 hours to climb 4,000 feet. I had never felt so physically and emotionally exhausted. I can’t say I was elated that I summited, although I know I would have been disappointed to come all that way, put forth all that effort and expenditure, and never make it past Piedras Blancas. More than anything I felt a great sense of relief about not going home empty handed. Together we made it to the summit. That climb taught me a powerful lesson – that climbing is a team sport. Life is a team sport. The things I learned on that climb helped form the foundation of my climbing experience. We talk about climbing in terms of mountains, cliffs, routes, grades, ratings, buttresses, glaciers, faces and couloirs. New climbers quickly accumulate the latest, most-improved gear, mileage, summits and routes. With maturity we begin to appreciate more and more the importance of partners and community to the climbing experience. To quote Gaston Rebuffat: “the choice of companion is as important as the choice of the climb.” As specific climbs fade in memory and significance, the bonds forged between partners only become more meaningful – and transcend the climbing experience. Very soon two of my mentors will be heading out on an epic adventure. They’ve motivated and inspired me to be a better climber and a better person. Our mentors are not always older or more experienced. Wherever you are in your journey of life, stop and take a moment to reflect on who your mentors have been, and how they’ve influenced your life. Thank them, and pass it on.
  5. [TR] Johannesburg - '57 NE Rib 7/4/2015

    Tom, we were going off Steph Abegg's photos with the ~4,400 start for the '51 route and about 3,900 for the '57. We traversed the snow apron, we didn't really ascend any of the CJ Couloir. I think we started about as low as possible for the '57 route...pretty much at the bottom of the snow apron in this photo: It was a bit of exaggeration to say we'd spent a couple of hours reaching the start of the '51 route, but from that vantage point it certainly looked like the '51 would have been a lot shorter.
  6. [TR] Johannesburg - '57 NE Rib 7/4/2015

    @Ivan We had almost that exact picture. In spite of it, we headed up too far right, then traversed way too far left, then worked back right along the ridge. We were gaining elevation the whole time, but it would have been faster had we followed this beta. And I think we probably went over the ridge below this point (too far left/north).
  7. [TR] Johannesburg - '57 NE Rib 7/4/2015

    I think we crossed at about 7,150. It was pretty good scrambling at first - 3rd class. Then we encountered a rap anchor (really old) and used it (+ backup). We ended up doing a second rappel to avoid loose, dirty 3rd-4th class. Then a third to get over the moat onto the snow. Maybe we were too far north (and too low)...?
  8. [TR] Johannesburg - '57 NE Rib 7/4/2015

    I'd love to hear the RIGHT way to go up and down Doug's Direct. I'm pretty sure we did it wrong.
  9. Trip: Johannesburg - '57 NE Rib Date: 7/4/2015 Trip Report: Like many other people who've climbed in the Boston basin area, I've been wanting to climb this one for some time. I'm glad we got it done. More photos and the full story: http://www.mountainshop.net/johannesburg-trip-report-by-preston-corless/ Approach Notes: Recommend boots over approach shoes
  10. [TR] Jefferson - Jeff Park Glacier 6/21/2015

    Jae, a 35m rope will require you to build another rap anchor. The anchors we found were set up for 60m.
  11. [TR] Jefferson - Jeff Park Glacier 6/21/2015

    Sorry. Got beta not to rap off the EAST side. So we rapped off the SW corner towards red saddle. The snow was firm enough for a good descent there.
  12. Trip: Jefferson - Jeff Park Glacier Date: 6/21/2015 Trip Report: A lot of people are asking about Jeff, so I figured it's time to write it up. What we found was a LOT of melt out from this TR last month... May 15 Jeff Park Or what we saw a couple years ago in a high snow year... June 2011 The approach was snow free but the mosquitoes were out in force. We camped at about 7,200 on scree. Plenty of nice bivy spots. We found running snow melt but there is lots of silt - bring some coffee filters. There was just enough of a breeze to keep the mossies at bay. The solstice sunset and sunrise were pretty epic. We started climbing at 1am. We ascended the far left (east) side of Jeff park, and turned right at the base of the bergschrund. There is a lot of rockfall - streaks of debris and rocks melting into snow. Even at that hour there was running water up at the bergschrund. We crossed the bergschrund with a ~waist high step up into the debris runnel (then immediately out of it). This move will likely be getting higher and higher and may soon be impassible. Once we gained the ridge, we simul climbed from snow onto rock with crampons on. The rock section is fairly easy climbing. We had some rock pro and used it. The ridge turns back to snow, steep in some places. We found a few ice screw placements. The summit pinnacle still had a good bit of ice coverage. We'd gotten some good parking lot beta to avoid rapping off the EAST side. We descended to red saddle with two raps and a traverse, then walked down and around the whitewater glacier. We saw lots of debris and rockfall on that side of the mountain. We were really glad we didn't try that descent. We were back at camp around 3 and back at the car around 5. I was surprised how little snow was left on the mountain, and how much fun it was without the snow. Gear Notes: We had 5 pickets and used 4. Used one ice screw, a small cam, a couple stoppers and tri cams. Also long slings. Approach Notes: long sleeves and bug spray advisable.
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