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  2. Ptarmigan Traverse - Very Late Season

    Not to mention... "closed". I'd bet it stays officially closed through the winter. Agencies are ratcheting up their closures "for public safety". But the ninja does not care. the ninja is only concerned with the flow.
  3. Yesterday
  4. So great meeting and getting out with you @kmfoerster! You were an integral part of the adventure and anyone would be well served to have you along on a trip! I will try and add a few more of my favorites in the coming weeks, but that was a super memorable outing! I think part of the issue I had with the snaffles, aside from being snaffle bait, was that I didn't have a bivy sack to seal them out. That and I didn't figure out why they were attacking my head until way too late in the evening. They really do like shiny things! I'm sure a headlamp would be a prized midden addition, and a sure fire hit with the snaffle ladies! I so hate snaffles. A respectful hate, but hate nonetheless.
  5. Thanks for the write-up and fine photos! Looks like you had a grand time.
  6. Trip: West Macmillan Spire/Elephant Butte - West ridges via Stetattle Ridge Trip Date: 09/06/2020 Trip Report: Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of getting back into the Southern Pickets with @JasonG and @Trent. We took the eastern high route/approach via Stetattle Ridge. I outlined the route in the approach notes, this will be more for a general itinerary/thoughts/photo dump. Hiking along Stetattle was extremely panoramic and quite pleasant. We setup camp the first night just north of North Stetattle (pt. 6728). There were abundant tarns for water and flat spots to setup at. Not long after unpacking the guys pulled out the whisky and chocolate, a ritual I'm not familiar with having spent most of my time trying to be as ultralight as possible. We shot the shit for hours and listened to tunes on Steve's little speakers. I'm sure now that theres a little room in my pack for some whiskey. I slept really well until the (full?) moon was dead center over the sky and woke me up with its brightness. We got up decently early for the big day of tagging Elephant Butte and and a plan of making it to the summit of West Mac for the nights bivy. We were a bit above an awesome sea of clouds down in the valley. The drop down to the notch above Torrent creek is fairly straight forward and to get up out of it toward the benches at 6200' above the small lake east of Elephant Butte is just a bit more involved, but not too bad. We dropped packs at the notch at the base of the west ridge of Elephant Butte. Was a quick romp to the summit and we were surprised how many entries in the register there were as of late. We toyed with the idea of staying on the ridge crest and tagging the next two high points west of the Butte (Hippo, Rhino). But some hairy climbing/scrambling, lack of inspiration to tag them, and a concern for having enough time to deal with the ridge to get into Terror basin pushed that idea to the side. I'm glad we spent the effort on the more important task of getting into Terror Basin safely and efficiently. We stayed more or less at 6200' from Elephant Butte until we got to the notch just west of pt 6455. From there it was staying very close to the ridge crest. At this point, the route gets very exposed, serious and committing. Scrambling on 4th class rock, heather benches, veggie pulling. It was not too far removed from what you'd experience on the NEB of Jburg. It finally eases off just before Little Mac. A small sandy notch allows entry into Terror Basin. From there we traversed down across snow to get to the base of West Mac, we were able to go up a dry mossy waterfall on the rib extending down from West Mac which cut out quite a bit of travel. We scrambled up the west ridge and made our way up to the summit. Theres now currently three one-person bivy spots up there now. We made dinner, drank whiskey and waited for the sunset. It was an awesome sunset, Highlight of the trip forsure. But after every calm, comes a storm. we settled in for the night in really pleasant weather. At some point the winds picked up dramatically and Steve and I got sand blasted all night. Meanwhile Jason was locked in mortal combat with the snaffles. He said they were trying to take his headlamp off his head. They had told me the night prior that the snaffles really like him. I think the wind that Steve and I were experiencing were keeping the snaffles at bay, leaving Jason as easy prey. Didn't sleep a much that night as you'd guess. Got up and made breakfast and a big pot of coffee in a spot on the summit mostly out of the wind. The sunrise was fantastic and made up for the night we had. Packed up and made out way down West Mac and out Terror basin without issue. This was an incredible trip and thanks to Jason for inviting me on this, I cant say I would've thought to do this kind of trip myself. It was the kind of trip I have been meaning to have for some time now though. And big thanks to Jason and Steve for being SOLID partners. It was really cool being around two guys that have been climbing with each other for as long as you both have. I won't be caught without whiskey on the next Choss Dawgs trip. Myself as we make our way up Sourdough Creek. Jason Photo. Jason and Steve looking at the next two days. North Stetattle. Sunset, Elephant Butte and The Southern Pickets Sunrise, Snowfield group and Davis Peak Sea of Fog. Jason up on Elephant Butte About to make our way into the business end of the traverse. Steve Photo. Steve with the veggie belays. End of the hairy stuff. Jason photo. Into Terror Basin. Headed up West Mac. Up on West Mac preparing for battle with snaffles and wind. Steve photo. Dinner time. Jason photo. Sunset on Mt. Fury Morning light on Inspiration, The Pyramid, Degenhardt and Terror. Kulshan in the distance. Ray of light on Azure Lake. Hopefully Jason and Steve will drop off more of their photos! Gear Notes: Ice Axe, Crampons, Whiskey, Chocolate, Van Halen Approach Notes: Start at Sourdough Lookout Trail, go up along Sourdough creek, Stay on the crest of Stetattle Ridge. From pt. 6154 follow game trails down ramps and ledges to the notch above Torrent Creek. Ascend more ramps and ledges with a bit of steep schwacking up to ~6200'. Traverse westward around that elevation, Elephant Butte is a quick jaunt from the notch west of it. Gain the ridge proper from a notch just west of pt. 6455 (just east of the Macmillan Spires). This is where the scrambling gets extremely exposed. Traverse mostly solid rock and heather benches toward East Macmillan, occasional goat trails and veggie belays. Aim for a small notch to the left of where the ridge meets Little Mac.
  7. Ptarmigan Traverse - Very Late Season

    Good point! Also, the Downy Creek trail has been burned over and is still smoking. Will be spicy/filthy for some time, likely years. Those burns can be spooky, esp. in wind.
  8. current song in your head

  9. Ptarmigan Traverse - Very Late Season

    Downy Creek Fire has closed FS 26 and Downy Creek Trail. Just a heads up. https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7190/
  10. review Footwear in the Cascades

    Excellent write up, creaking old troglodyte here climbed in galiber superguides, habelar wood shanked superlights and realized early on to bring running shoes for approaches and some climbs. Then when the dynafit tlt5 came out got rid of my plastic boots, smaller profile better fit, and could ski well. Do most class 3 and low 5 with running shoes last twenty years now, your legs and feet feel fresher and I feel that well into my 60's that technology has delivered more longevity to my bliss. Like kyle there is times I want to pack running shoes, ribelles,and rock shoes for some adventures. Also a great shoe brand is inov-8, its got rubber that sticks on greasy rock and wears well. In the 90's got passed on a 18,500 glaciated pass by 17 year old sherpani carrying 60lbs smoking a cigarette and wearing chinese converse knockoffs. So sometimes yer engine and tech can only take you so far.
  11. looking for Seattle-based 40-something to long, free and moderate WA rock climbing this fall (WA pass, index, squamish (inshallah), alpine objectives). former mtn guide for many many years; now a desk jockey, but still move fast and light and safely on everything -- please be of same/similar skill set.
  12. review Footwear in the Cascades

    I am a dinosaur and wear boots pretty much always, up and down. Mostly because I'm packing an extra 5-7 lbs of camera gear and thrashing blue collar routes. Unless I am in town, then I wear approach shoes to look cool.
  13. You're right that this would be an obvious next step. May slow them down enough to have an effective response to an alarm trigger?
  14. Thanks for the reminder to always stay on the path!
  15. Nice KK - despite the smoke - any port in a storm
  16. Last week
  17. Fuck land mines. You ever spend time around those, and you will not even want to joke about it.
  18. I personally think Jason's suggestion of land mines is definitely the solution here.
  19. review Footwear in the Cascades

    thanks. great article. I admit that I am the old school that suffered too many dirt trail miles in plastic boots. I thought I was smarter with lighter leather ice climbing boots. time for a real rethink about that and try some of those options given.
  20. well they could make it less easy to get up the pole? install raging honey badgers ontop every pole? or maybe just a guard(with a leashed honey badger) up and down the cable way. or let it run 24/7?
  21. review Footwear in the Cascades

    @genepires on descents the hard, rigid sole just kinda wears down on the forefoot until my feet are quite sore. It's not that I cannot wear them at all, it's just I'm soft and complain if my feet are not in cushy trail runners.
  22. review Footwear in the Cascades

    100% agree that this is the most important gear and agree with most of your observations! Breathability has been very important for me in summer. I am prone to getting immersion ("trench") foot. So trail runners are definitely worth using on a long approach even if I'm going to carry mountain boots. I learned that the hard way on Triumph and Logan. I'd add that ski boot fit, which is probably what I know most about since I ski better than I climb, is super important for downhill performance and comfort. Took me a while to figure that out after stuffing my feet into too-small boots after learning to race that way.
  23. Snow lake? Shuksan arm? Ruby mtn?
  24. [TR] Constance - South Chute 08/10/2020

    What views! Really great trip report. Not sure what you two had planned for the N. Cascades, but this looks like a rather satisfying outing. Prost!
  25. current song in your head

  26. We need it on USFS controlled ground if we are ever to have enough bunks!
  27. Good condition Sony A5100 with the trimmings. To the best of my knowledge everything works as it should and there's no mechanical damage. The zoom lenses focus smoothly and freely, no damage to any of the glass. Feel free to ask questions and I will provide detail shots on request. Not splitting anything out at this time. Glass: 16-50mm OSS. 55-210mm telephoto w/ sunshade. 2.8/20 wide angle Cosmetic damage on the camera body and lenses, but it's 5 years old and primarily used on travel and climbing trips so it's as you'd expect. There's some scratches on the display (see photo) but no damage to the LCD and it's hardly noticeable when the display is on. $700 Shipped to lower 48. Price includes everything shown in photo. UV and polarizing filter, 3 soft/semi-soft cases, 2 batteries and minipod.
  28. This was clearly the work of someone with strong beliefs that the gondola should not exist in Squamish. Clearly it should relocated to Cascade River Road to deliver climbers to a big alpine hut in Boston Basin.
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