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  2. Cains can be very helpful navigational tools in complex terrain, particularly when they guide travelers to the best route past a dangerous obstacle such as a cliff band, steep gully, or river. They can also be helpful in open terrain where a lack of natural features makes navigation challenging. In well traveled terrain, cairns can help keep people on the proper path and prevent alternate trails or other environmental damage. That said, some cairns serve no clear purpose and can even cause problems when placed off the preferred route through an area. Superfluous cairns in wilderness are an unpleasant reminder of the presence of people, much the way stacks of stones in a river detract from the natural beauty of the river itself. Like Jason, I knock down far more cairns than I build.
  3. @JasonG Thanks so much for your reply, its super informative and much appreciated. Could I get your permission quote you in the story if it comes up? If so, is there any information you would like me to include for you like your years of experience or your occupation?
  4. Last week
  5. Cairns can be amazingly helpful in steep alpine terrain, especially when you are trying to link weaknesses to keep the grade below what you would need a rope for. Hidden ledges, crack systems, chimneys....they can point the way to an easier path that is otherwise not obvious. That said, cairns get abused and are often put in places where they aren't needed (scattered willy nilly across boulderfields for example). I tend to remove cairns more often than I leave them, but they do serve a purpose when used correctly. Good luck with the article!
  6. Hey there! My name is Alex and I am a journalist for an environmental magazine at WWU in Washington state. The issue we are covering is the difference between cairns and regular stacks of stones, as the latter not only harms the environment but essentially can have no helpful purpose. Whereas cairns are often memorials or, more commonly, guide markers for travelers alike in the outdoors. If anyone would like to offer any stories or statements about their experiences with cairns, maybe even experiences getting confused or misled by stacks of stones that were not guide markers, that would be much appreciated. With your permission to quote you, you may end up in the story. I'm on a bit of a deadline and would love a response before the weekend, but this post is already a bit of a stretch on time so don't sweat it. Thanks anyways and have a good day to all who see this!
  7. So awesome @Bella Walz, glad you are here and looking to connect with folks. I have met some of the greatest partners in the world through this site and I wish you luck. This winter I have been scanning old prints from decades ago when I was a new climber- full of the fire I can see in your face in the photo above. Hold onto that for as long as you can!
  8. Very cool report did something similar with road to paradise being closed, some great skiing in those upper basins and in those open trees below eagle peak.
  9. Jason may be a nerd, but he's hardcore. Hardcore choss dog.
  10. Hello everyone, Last summer I took the American Alpine Institute's Leadership and Mountaineering course (Part 1) and I would love to connect with some fellow mountain climbers in the area. Unfortunately, all of my peers in the class were from out-of-state, so I have been left partnerless. We summited Baker and Eldorado Peak (pictured below). Fire season kept us from finishing some of our other pursuits along the North Cascade HWY. I would love to join a rope team this spring/summer on some entry-level climbs if anyone has room. My experience so far has been on three and four-person rope teams. I work as an ICU nurse, so my work schedule is flexible. Although, week-day trips work best, as I work every-other weekend. I am also looking to get together with a peer, or a group of peers, on a once/twice a month basis to review different skills (self-rescue, anchor building, knots, etc.) Would anyone else be interested in meeting up in Seattle to exchange some knowledge and review some skills?
  11. Medium (30 - 33) Sorry for the delay on my response, I somehow missed your message.
  12. Hey man are those blue skis still available?
  13. In between Eagle and Wahpenayo is Chutla also good little scramble. Nice job catching the weather and getting to the seldom visited end of the Tatoosh.
  14. So fun! I concur with Jason. Need less desk jockey time. Thanks for sharing @Alisse
  15. As someone not local to WA state (I'm from Vancouver, BC) - I'm curious to hear opinions on the snowpack (or lack thereof) this year and how it compares to other drier years...will routes on Rainier, Shuksan and Baker have an earlier and shorter "prime" season before the glacier travel gets complicated? Have been thinking about N Ridge of Baker since the road has been repaired, as well as a route on Shuksan or Rainier, but I fear the lack of snow this year will impact the flexibility of trip planning with a shorter season, or forcing complex glacier travel and more calf burning bare ice?
  16. Whatever sort of bouldering ice climby thing you did up there, congrats and thanks for sharing!
  17. "...which gained traction on cascadeclimbers.com, a site that congregated a small-but-hardcore collection of dirtbags, rock nerds and adrenaline junkies, all devoted to the region’s peaks and valleys."
  18. Trip: Wahpenayo Peak - West Ridge Trip Date: 02/23/2024 Trip Report: Alex and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and ventured out to an area that I've wanted to visit for a few years: Wahpenayo Peak, in the western part of the Tatoosh range. It was amazing and I will definitely be back! The basin was beautiful and held fantastic cold soft snow on the north facing slopes, we had clear views ranging from the Olympics to four volcanoes to other Tatoosh peaks, and what I think was Tookaloo Spire. The ridge travel was certainly engaging and the mountain let us pass safely to and from the summit -- and not another soul in sight all day! The tour starts at the Eagle Peak trailhead outside of Longmire (no pesky gate concerns) at a whopping ~2800'. We carried skis up to around 3800' and then were able to continuously skin the trail and then it was up the avalanche debris to the saddle south of Chutla Peak; still in the shade, we had great skinning conditions (soft debris but very supportable snow). Some of the first fantastic views Skinning up to the saddle Cool rock feature Other Tatoosh peaks (Lane and..?) Woohoo! Yahoooooo! Alex gets sick airtime With huge smiles, we made our way around and up... we weren't feeling much time pressure so took a sort of roundabout way, fully enjoying the scenery, to the NE ridge that one source suggested as the best (maybe with a ton more snow? ...it might have been easier to have just gone in with no beta for this one). After booting the ridge, using the trees to our advantage and an undercling, plus a short in-your-face steep snow climb, we decided that we'd reached an impassable notch for our gear and headed back down and around to the other ridge. This ridge did not go. That one was also engaging -- decided to go up a short gully after soft shallow snow on heather and rock seemed pushing the limits of what made sense. After a bit of large tree assistance, we were on the summit (6,231')! Amazing views.... From the summit looking west From the ridge looking east toward the summit We headed back down the ridge carefully to where we'd left our skis and skied more fantastic dry snow back into the basin, then headed back up to the saddle, and made a long traverse which resulted in only a short section of side stepping/shuffling to get back to the trail (felt like spring for sure), back to skis on packs, and back to the car, in base layers, vents open, no gloves. Felt so much like a spring day. Special place! I'll be back! Gear Notes: Skis. Brought sharp things but did not need them! Approach Notes: Enjoy!
  19. Earlier
  20. Today we did what would have been a fun gully on the east crater wall. I don't know what number it's supposed to be. v4? Or is it between v3 and v4? Anyway it would have been more fun in firmer snow/rime. But we were wallowing in deep snow, and the rime was so fragile it could barely support itself. Though that did make all the excavation easy. Took WAY too long to get up there and we dealt with a lot of hollow snow. Went down v4(?) instead of finishing the traverse. The soft snow made for an absolutely blissful ride down to the lot. Beautiful day 🙂 Also saw a pretty massive avalanche crown on the west crater.
  21. Still remember vividly my flight with John. I was pretty lucky. Heck, I'll even plug his book again. https://www.jaggedridgeimaging.com/snow-spire-the-book
  22. https://craftmtn.com/features/above-alpine nice article about @John_Scurlock and the small hardcore group PNWers on cascadeclimbers.com
  23. Well I upgraded the site to the newest version. I'm not sure about the image thing @JasonG. I can try to reproduce. D
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