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mgetlin

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About mgetlin

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  • Birthday 10/02/1983
  1. HA!!!!! It definitely upped it to a solid V6
  2. Trip: Mt Hood - Not Yocum Ridge (New Variation) Trip Date: 02/10/2018 Trip Report: I had to share this one for entertainment value.... Jacob and I have been poking at Yocum for a couple years now with very little (read none) success. After a very thorough study of weather patterns that lead to climbable conditions in the past, and a close look at my own weather notes over the years etc, I had determined that yesterday (Saturday) was the perfect day. We set out at a leisurely pace from the parking lot a bit after midnight and dropped our skis at the top of Palmer. The entire mountain was covered in a thick sheet of ice. It was PERFECT conditions for the more eccentric Mt Hood routes and we thought we finally had it in the bag. The slope going down from Illumination Saddle to the Reid would have taken bomber ice screws. It was nuts! As we crossed the glacier and looked up at the ridge, Jacob pointed out what he thought were the first, second and third gendarmes barely outlined against the few visible stars on a moonless night with intermittent cloud bands whipping through. I very confidently corrected him and showed him the first gendarme a little lower down the ridge. We soloed up to the base of what I thought was the first gendarme, hacked our a little belay ledge, and racked up. Ready to head-lock this beast, I confidently cruised straight up the gut of the feature in a steep mixed gully. The climbing was moderate and I had run out about 70 feet to a vertical mixed step above which I had spotted what looked like a good cam placement. Just as I was testing a pick placement (that of course failed and pulled a large chunk of rime off), my fancy, fully-charged Petzl smart headlamp died out of nowhere. Dark doesn't even do justice as a description. After about 3 minutes of positive self talk (read "calm the f*&^ down Mike") I blindly grabbed a sawed off 18" picket off my harness and started alternating between hitting it and my thumb. With unsettling ease, I placed it, clipped it, and started down climbing. Back at the belay, after a robust bout of barfies and armed with a working headlamp, I headed back up into the maelstrom. The pitch ended up being superb. Were it on a route, it would be a classic. It was complex and technical climbing on good rock with a wide variety of required skills and decent gear if one is a bit creative. The crux was an overhanging mixed sequence onto fragile thin ice but was reasonably well protected. After about an hour and a half and 65 meters, I set up a belay and brought Jacob up. Thinking we were near the top of the first gendarme, Jacob lead through around a corner to find a 500 foot low angle snow slope...leading up to the bottom of the first gendarme. In my haste, I had charged up the head wall on the south side of the ridge thinking it was the first gendarme. How I did this after years of studying this route is completely beyond me. I pride myself in good route-finding and in being well researched and prepared. But I made a rookie mistake by charging straight up when had I peeked around a corner 30 feet to my left I would have seen the whole route clearly, even in the dark. By the time we got up there the sun was out and the rime was falling. We new we were too far being schedule to send, so we soloed down the easy slope back to our start point. Before you head up, ALWAYS LOOK AROUND THE CORNER! Lucky for me Jacob has a sense of humor and headed back to Seattle satisfied to have done some interesting climbing while wasting a perfect weather window for a coveted objective. Good times! Anyway, I would like to add this new route variation to the annals of Mt. Hood climbing history. It goes at roughly 65M, 100 Degrees, WI-Silly, M-Notpayingattention. We'd like to call it the "Not Yocum Ridge" variation to the start of Yocum Ridge. Gear Notes: Pickets, Pins, Cams, Screws Approach Notes: Across the Reid
  3. I always planned to call it "Pencil full of Lead" in honor of my aging but respectable libido. But alas, the honor was not mine
  4. If I go again, I'm probably bringing a damn tent.
  5. We ran into a police officer heading up the road toward the memorial trailhead. He told us there was a rescue underway up there. We had just been saying the day before what a nightmare it would be to try and longline off of that thing. I am amazed and impressed with those SAR folks. Angels on our shoulders.
  6. Trip: Mount Slesse - N.(D)E. Butt Date: 7/17/2017 Trip Report: Considering my ongoing battle with small arms and big legs, I tend to choose lines that look pretty over those that contain great climbing. Fortunately for me, the NE Buttress of Slesse has both the looks and the charm, so it's been on the list a long while now. Timmy and I decided on a light and fast mission, opting for the carryover descent, a liter and a half each, no bivy gear, no real insulation, a single 60m, and a shamefully thin rack. We nailed the "light" part; it was the "fast" that could use some improvement. Driving up from Portland, we used Steph's beta (huge thanks to the Queen of the Cascades for this...and about a dozen other routes she's got us up), cashed a mountain bike and some bivy gear at Slesse creek, and got an hour or so of sleep before heading out nice and early. We were at the propeller cairn in 1:35 and across to the bypass ramp in just over 2 hours from the car. Pleased with our progress and full of naive exuberance, I proceeded to make a sharp left up some runout slab with a healthy covering of vegetables and grime. Had I looked around a bush and seen the class three ramp continuing for another several hundred feet, I might have saved us two hours, a brand new sling, and our position in front of the three other groups on the Saturday Slesse Send Train. Assuming this would (of course) be the only thing that went wrong all day, we charged ahead with some mild apprehension at the late hour. The climbing was varied, interesting, and spectacularly exposed. It climbs a bit like the north ridge of Stuart, on steroids. With the exception of the usual route finding shenanigans, the climbing went well. We simuled most of the route, stopping to pitch out roughly the same stuff Blake references, using a combination of his beta and the old Becky topo. On the way, we ended up congenially tangled with a competent and strong four pack from Seattle, with whom we'd soon become quite well acquainted. We topped out a few minutes after 7, and were off the rappels from the summit pinnacle by dark with our new friends hot on our heals. Having planned for a long day, we intended to take the easier descent down to Slesse Creek and our mountain bike. They had planned to do the crossover descent, but given the late hour, decided to join us on the "easy" descent. Just as we found the descent trail the weather moved in, and within minutes we were in a less-than-ideal situation, climbing blind on 45 degree wet heather with less than 15 ft of visibility and a nice breeze to boot. It got bad enough that we could hardly see headlamps pointed straight at us from less than 100 feet away...it was creepy being able to hear each other in normal speaking voices over the whistling wind, while being totally unable to see the headlamps that accompanied the sound. After some colorful language and some close calls, we were able to gather each other up to a cave we had passed at the base of the summit pinnacle. It didn't take much discussion to come to the conclusion that we were going nowhere until the morning. So we all made do with our little cave and shivered the night away. As these things go, it wasn't so bad. We had a nice cave and great company, even if we were ill prepared and, of course, out of water. With the sun we rose, moaning and creaking our way down to the crossover descent, which we decided to take given that we were now going down during the day (God help anyone who tries to figure that thing our for the first time at night). The descent felt like a grade IV climb in itself. It was complex, technical, scary, and spectacular. Not the lease unnerving was the significant amount of steep snow climbing in approach shoes with no crampons or axes! A huge thanks is also due to the Seattle boys for the beta on getting down. After all this, we limped back to the car to find that (1.) We had a flat tire, and (2.) Somebody had parked their car ON TOP of the small rock under which I had hid my key. It took about 20 minutes of frantic digging with a nut tool to pry it loose. God I love the Cascades. Gear Notes: Not enough Approach Notes: No problem. It't the descent that sucks.
  7. Wow. Nice work boys.
  8. Trip: Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge Date: 6/29/2017 Trip Report: Hey folks! There has been some good action on the north side of Rainier lately, and we are especially grateful to whomever put in the fantastic boot pack on Ptarmigan! The recent report (last month?) is very thorough, but there have been some notable conditions changes...that said, conditions are near perfect so if you're looking at her, go for it! We left the car at 5:15 am on Tuesday and had a very leisurely day getting up to high camp where we arrived a little after 2. The glacier travel was very straight forward and we almost walked a straight line across the entire ice-scape of the north side. We dropped down at 4:15 am and crossed the ice cliff runout at a jog before dropping the rope to solo the first 1500 ft, which we did in an hour. Two simul pitches with bomber ice screws got us to the mixed pitch, which consisted of about 40 feet of low 5th scrambling leading to a cruxy little boulder problem which was made even more interesting by a half centimeter thick coating of verglas. It was reasonable but certainly not trivial in the conditions we found it, with the only passable line being noticeably overhung. We shuffled and wheezed up and over and floppy-legged our way down the Emmons. All in all we were 5 hours on route and about 14 hours camp to car. It's a long couple days, but one of the truly great routes in the PNW. It's big, complicated, and interesting. We just loved it. The experience was made all the better by the fact that between crossing the Winthrop glacier and when we got down to Camp Sherman, we did not see a single soul. When does that happen on a nice day in June????!!!!???? Gear Notes: 5 Screws 2 Pickets 3 Pins 40m 7.6 Approach Notes: White River to High Camp
  9. Yeah that was me. How was the Reid? I was tempted to do it. Looked fantastic!
  10. That would be a super proud ski! And this is the year to do it. Bring the big sticks up the south side and send the step!
  11. Oh nice! I was looking over at the spire and the Eliot thinking the gully must be fat! How was it? The sandy looks like a great ski once it corns out. It's very similar to Leutholds IMO...just wider. The surface was nice and uniform without much in the way of chicken heads etc.
  12. Trip: Mt Hood - Sandy Glacier Headwall Date: 5/6/2017 Trip Report: Took a spin up the Sandy Headwall this morning. It was my first time on that side of Yocum and definitely worth the trip. There is nothing too exciting on the route itself...it's a bit like a safer (less ice fall) version of Leutholds but it's in a wonderful location and has cool exposure. Left the parking lot at 5 sharp, got to Illumination at 6:35, skied across the Reid to the upper Yocum crossing (maybe 8500 ft) and did some wandering before figuring out the best way to cross the Sandy. Crossed the shrund at 8:25, summit at 10:10, back at the car just before 11 for 5:58 c2c. It's really a pretty quick jaunt but you get the feel of isolation unlike most of the easier Hood routes. Go give it a shot! If you haven't done it, it's a fun alternative when the south side is mobbed. There are some cracks appearing on both the Reid and Sandy. I skied across since I was solo but a bit of glacier floss wouldn't be the worst idea.
  13. Thanks guys! It really isn't that bad. It's intimidating and time consuming but we really felt like it protected reasonably well. (Or at least that's how I remember it a couple weeks later.) That was definitely the first good spectre I have ever placed! But seriously, go give it a shot. There was decent water ice buried beneath the rime and all it takes is a little patience and creativity. And it's very rewarding to climb it in true winter conditions. Not something everyone gets to see!
  14. I cut most of my 24" pickets to 18". I find that if the snow is good enough to hold a driven picket anchor then the extra few inches are not meaningful. If it's not, then an 18" deadman is probably not much worse than a 24" one and I don't have the thing hanging low off my harness and banging my knees all day long. But that's just me.... And yes...there was WAY too much snow.
  15. Trip: Illumination Rock - East Ridge-ish Thingy Date: 12/13/2016 Trip Report: Timmy and I opted for a little winter adventure climbing and got all we bargained for! Our original plan had been to try Iron Maiden but the east ridge was too tempting to pass up. Our route followed the left skyline more or less. You can see me belaying about a third of the way up on a small flat spot. After a leisurely skin up from the lot, we switched to mountain boots and dumped our skis and all but the essentials. I opted for my BD Snagletooth crampons, which proved to be a mistake (more on that later). We also brought every known piece of climbing pro, which proved not to be a mistake (more on that later). We started just west of the foot of the ridge, inside the south chamber. Timmy led a crumbly rime gully up and onto the ridge top where we built something that was clearly meant to resemble an anchor. Staying just a few feet left of the ridge crest, I set out on the second pitch which involved quite a lot of tunneling through vertical/overhanging rime in choked corners. Without enough ice for screws, I did the gopher dance and dug down to the "rock" in search of placements which proved few and far between. My aluminum horizontal front point caused issues as it wouldn't bite in the brittle water ice under the rime. I had a few feet cut superman moments that made for some cursing and introspection about my life decisions. A KB, one stubby, a specter hammered into a seam, and a pink tricam later, I scummed my way to a ledge and built a bomber rock anchor. Looking back down the crux chimney After a good chuckle at the absurdity of our chosen form of recreation, Timmy set off on what became a moderately heinous two pitch top out. Timmy leaving the belay Apparently he meandered onto a large leaning rime cornice which, after thinking better of it, he downclimbed and circumnavigated to the left. This was followed by an unnerving 75 degree rock slab covered in 4 inches of fluff, and a crumbling chimney in which he ran out of rope, triggering a slew of obscenities that I could (fortunately) not hear. It didn't look bad from below...but it was. After topping out, we slung a big pile of snow and rapped off the bollard. The second rap was a rock anchor (and I'm not mentioning what we left cause I want it back). The second rap got us to about 10 ft above the snow slope. Going second, I got to the end, tied off the pull rope to my harness, and let the other slip through the belay device, sending me sailing down into the soft snow and pulling the rope at the same time! I felt so clever All in all it was a great outing if not a little hairy considering the lack of protectable ice. We did find decent gear but it required a lot of creativity and excavation. Go check it out! It's a gem with easy access and the added benefit of all your friends watching you suffer as they ski deep pow down the south side. On top Gear Notes: 6 screws (used 2), stoppers (used several), tri cams (used 2), KB's (used 1), spectre (hell yeah I used it!), hand size mastercams (used 3), chopped pickets (used 2), double 60's. Had we brought the kitchen sink, I'm sure we would have found a marginal placement for it.
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