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  1. Today
  2. Thanks Toast! Bookmarked it! Cheers!
  3. Left the cam on accident. Weather was getting bad and was moving in a hurry. I'll definitely buy you a six pack :-) here's what the sling looks like. It may have had a brassy on it as well but all of the gear was marked with black and red nail polish cheers! Ahren Swett
  4. Trip: Sherpa Balanced Rock - West Ridge Trip Date: 06/15/2019 Trip Report: ***WARNING: This Trip Report contains mega beta spray for free climbing Sherpa Balanced Rock (and will take all the fun out of figuring it out for yourself)*** FA: Dave Mahre and Gene and Bill Prater, 1955 (shoulder stand + 5.7) FFA: Jens Klubberud & Scott Gg, 2006 (5.10c) The epic debate over whether the traditional summit of Sherpa Peak or the Sherpa Balanced Rock is the "true summit" remains legendary. I can tell you that it is true that whether you sit on the "summit" or the balanced rock, your head is surely higher than the other. They are within feet of each other in height. Having stood on both, I still can't tell you which is higher. Someone needs to go out there and shine two laser levels between the high points to find not only the true summit but measure the difference in height (you'd only need a 3ft roll of measuring tape). Still, climbing the Sherpa Balanced Rock is an adventurous and worthy goal since it is just so dang fun! Note: whenever I use the word "summit" in this TR, I am referring to the traditional summit (not the Balanced Rock). Fred Beckey's infamous "shoulder stand" beta seemed way too spicy for my blood. The base would lean at a 45 degree angle over a 5ft deep chasm on a shaky pile of human-made rocks from which the leader would climb on their arched partner and mantle onto a narrow ledge. The free variation is WAY more fun! (However, I'll give it credit that the shoulder stand pictures are probably way more entertaining). First free'd in 2006, it still sees very few ascents each year. From the summit, we made a short rappel down to the scrambly ledges on the south side which leads to the base of the Sherpa Balanced Rock. There may also be a scramble route on the East side of the summit block to avoid having to rappel. We left a 60m fixed line from the rappel anchor to the base of the Balanced Rock. If you want to descend via the West Ridge, you'll need to go back up to the summit and reverse the West Ridge route from there (which is what we did). This meant that we jugged back up our fixed line to get back to the summit on our descent. Picture above is looking up the West Ridge route. Two pictures above are looking back (from base of Balanced Rock) at the fixed line and rappel from the summit. View of the Balanced Rock from the summit. We made a belay anchor at the base which came straight out from under the lower rock. You can see the human-made pile of rocks on the ledge (we belayed from here). If you do the Beckey handstand method, you stand on that pile of rocks and lean wayyyyy over (over the scary gap). The leader then mantles on to the ledge. A fall would be really bad. Once at the pile of rocks, scramble down (climbers) left (South side) to start the free variation. We opted to do a rope toss over the southern horn, since a lead fall would be an ankle-buster at best. From the pile of rocks, toss the rope over and pull it into the wall. I found some beta that said you can place a #1 under the first overhang. I didn't see a good place for a #1 myself, but a #5 or #6 just under the overhang would be perfect if I were to free it ground-up. This is a committing move, but it's trivial with the top rope throw. 5.10c seemed accurate (an easy bouldering move). Grab a right hand hidden undercling/sidepull in the overhang (shown above) and extend left to grab a left hand 3 finger pocket (amazing!) just above the overhang (shown above). Find a critical, little edge for your left foot out and above the roof (shown above). Then, step up with your left foot (committing) and find a high right hand incut crimp (bomber!). Bring your right foot up to the sloping edge (shown above), and reach your left hand for bad crimps and slopes. Match your right foot with your right hand on the bomber incut edge and reach for great jams between the blocks. Mantle up to the ledge. You can then clip the old bolt (which is at head height). I placed a #1 in the crack at my feet between the two blocks in order to back-up the bolt if it failed. The upper block (shown above) is "5.7" if you can reach the jug. The wall overhangs slightly and there is a huge jug if you are 5-10 or taller. I'm 5-7, so the free climbing required tricky crimps to make my way up to the jug. Once at the jug, you have a good right foot and you're home free. I found the upper block MUCH harder than the lower block (for a shorter fellow). You can, of course, pull on the bolt and easily reach the jug no matter how tall you are (easy). For the top anchor, you can sling the top horn (shown above). The existing anchor is an old bolt and a bomber nut with new tat, which we only used for the final rappel. Jugging back up the fixed line to the summit. Enjoy! Gear Notes: #5 or 6 to free it ground-up (or do a rope toss). #1 to protect between the blocks (backup to bolt). Cordalette to sling the summit horn. Approach Notes: Scramble down (southward) from the summit. If you climb the East Ridge, you pass the Balanced Rock on the way to the summit.
  5. Was up there last weekend and the Ladder's future is considerably brighter than poor old Good Food. Very direct (though steep) approach under timber, then that long, scenic rib make for a great outing. Way more sensible and aesthetic than coming up from 39 Mile Camp, as the red Fred suggests. If you want to avoid schwacking entirely, head off the trail just past the major bouldery creek crossing well before Luna camp - the drainage to the right of the route. Follow the timber north of the creek for about 500' past some monster firs and angle left toward the highest ground, avoiding several mossy slabs. If you manage to get confused on this one, you should probably stick to top-roping at the Exits. Cool route, guys!
  6. Thanks y'all. Lot of fun rock out there. Next time I think I'll check out some lesser traveled areas such as the towers along Crystal Creek and stuff behind The Temple.
  7. Yesterday
  8. question HMG 4400 ice pack vs Osprey Aether Pro

    IMO the whole lack of a top pocket sucks. I bought an HMG 3400 Porter and just can get use to the crinkly fabric, bottomless tube and lack of top pocket. If you're a hard ore alpinist or whatever, great, get the stripped down newest greatest thing. But since you're "a backpacker the majority of your life" I would stick to Osprey.
  9. [TR] Colonial Peak - Watusi Rodeo 2/23/2015

    As someone alluded to above, Colin Haley and Mark Bunker climbed it in 2009. Here's the TR: http://colinhaley.blogspot.com/2009/01/watusi-rodeo.html Returning home from rock climbing at the Pass yesterday, we stopped at Diablo Dam. The view of northern aspect of Pyramid Peak nearby was impressive. Colonial Peak is out of view to the left of Pyramid, hidden by the forested ridge.
  10. Washington Pass Conditions

    Thanks guys!
  11. Climbing Partners

    Hey! I have partners this Wed and weekend but am looking for a multi pitch partner next week if the weather's nice.
  12. Washington Pass Conditions

    blue lake TH has that pond that harbors breeding of bugs but after a couple minutes walking, you are beyond those little bastards reach. We did not see any bugs up at the rocks but I have been assaulted badly before up high. It is rare but there is some kind of special combination that lets them live up high but not right now. no snow on approach o any of the bells or spires. there is a couple snow patches that some desperate TAY gals were making turns on this last weekend. (like they make 5 turns in one patch) that is dedication.
  13. Bob $100 Deuter $100 Crib $40 in Seattle/Tacoma area
  14. Washington Pass Conditions

    Just came back from there. Tons of bugs in the parking lots and on the approach. None once at the rocks. (Did both Kangaroo Temple and Liberty Bell,) No snow at all on any approach. Snow level is pretty sad.
  15. Last week
  16. Any snow on the approach to the Liberty Bell Group (e.g. SEWS South Face, Becky Route...)? How about the trek out to Kangaroo Temple? How about bugs? Just looking for a little beta. TIA
  17. Climbing partners

    I'm interested in Eldo and Glacier Peak (either or both). I'm also in Seattle -- generally limited to weekend trips but can sometimes take a Friday with advance planning.
  18. Pink Snow

    Saw a bunch out already a month ago on July Mtn near the Coquihalla
  19. Climbing Partners

    I’m available Wednesday (after 6pm) and all day Thursday and Friday.
  20. review Sleeping bag for the cascades

    Surprised Valandre bags dont get a nod.
  21. Where oh where did all my sprayers go?

    omg, you fuckers are still here!!!
  22. Single Malt Scotch

    Back to the Important things About to kill off a bottle of Talisker Dark Storm
  23. Climbing Partners

    Cant get out during the week, but am looking to get out to Exit 32, 38 or Index this weekend, weather permitting. 8s to 10s is perfect, as is a mix of sport and trad. If weekend works let me know. Cheers Josh
  24. Marmot Kompressor Star 28L for sale. Used for about 5 days, in almost new conditions!$65, pickup in downtown Seattle
  25. Mammut Trion Light 38L Backpack for sale. Good condition!$100, pickup in downtown Seattle
  26. Mammut Trion Pro 50+7L Pack for sale. Great condition, light use, brought out for around ~14 days.$100, pickup in downtown Seattle
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