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  2. [TR] Dragontail Peak - Triple couloirs 03/31/2019

    That is surprisingly bare for this time of year @specialforest. Must have been cooking!
  3. [TR] Dragontail Peak - Triple couloirs 03/31/2019

    There was not much ice at all.
  4. Yesterday
  5. Greetings! Cleaning out the garage and its time for some stuff to go! Let me know if you have any questions about the following... La Sportiva Spitfire AT Ski boot, mondo 265 - $300 MSR Snowshoes - $50 (2) 22cm black diamond ice screws - $30 each Black Diamond quick draw probe tour 240 - $40 Arva Evo 3+ Avalanche Beacon - $150 Black Diamond cyborg crampons & bag - $100
  6. Hey all, A local Bellingham nonprofit, Vamos Outdoors Project, is holding an online auction, and FF down booties are one of the items. There are some REI tents/sleeping bag/pad as well. Lots of local art and brewery goodies. Feel free to check it out! www.32auctions.com/Vamosoutdoorsproject2019 Vamos Outdoors Project (VOP) works to create opportunities for Latinx and English Language Learner youth to participate in environmental education and other recreation activities. We also work with local outdoors organizations to help them connect with the Latinx/ELL population. VOP incorporated in April 2018, here we are one year in! We are serving over 40 youth in our current programming , and have worked with over 60 throughout the past year. We also work with families, holding outreach sessions and community education events about the benefits of healthy lifestyles and the outdoors. We are a volunteer dependent organization, our work depends on the long term commitment of volunteers to help run programming and build positive relationships with the youth. If you know a Vamos volunteer, give them a big thanks! We are based out of Bellingham, Washington. If this seems inappropriate for CascadeClimbers, I can take it down. I received great support last time I connected with people here, so hoping it works again! Andy
  7. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    Mountaineering in the cascades: Dec-March: Resort skiing, maybe ice climbing, very wet hikes. March-June: Volcano climbs and back country ski tours/ascents. Often long approaches. July-October: Cascade rock and high routes. November: Stay home and drink beer.
  8. Ultimate Lib Bell group enchainment?

    Lexington and Concord both seem to make more sense going north to south, as there are straightforward rap stations on their south faces. When I did it, we started with the Beckey Route, climbed routes on the two north faces, then did the chockstone route on NEWS and finished with the south arete on SEWS. What would probably be the best true traverse but also a much bigger day would be the NW face of liberty bell, the two north face routes, northwest corner on NEWS, rap the chockstone route, and finally up the southwest rib and down the soiuth arete of SEWS. You can't read the whole thing unless youre a member, but the supertopo page has some great beta. The useful stuff is about rapping off of lexington and concord which is before it gets cut off.
  9. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    If you want rock climbing objectives in good shape in the Cascades, this is a tough time of year. July, however, is primo.
  10. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    You can always get a cheap pair of bindings and cut the highback down to the right height for your boots. I did that to make my board "cool" back in the 90's.
  11. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    Thanks Needtoclimb (and everyone else). Seems understanding the real conditions is the key (deep snow v. boot-tracked, etc.). My entire question stemmed from the disappointment of finding last summer, during the last week of May, that many objectives I had in mind for me and my 16 year old on a three week trip were basically off the table because of road closures (Sahale, for example, where the road was closed 6 miles before the trailhead!). We didn't realize how much snow would still be there east of the crest end of May & early June. Even when we climbed S Early Winter Spire on June 2nd, we found ourselves post-holing wallowing in deep snow, with very little boot tracks to follow. Add to that a last Xmas trip with a 2 hour snowshoe to get to a climb of a mixed route couloir on Broken Top in Oregon, which was my first such - and hopefully my last - long snowshoe approach and hike out (it was awful!). So I've had in my that head skis or something else like drift boards were the answer (and probably are given conditions?), but now I'm not so sure. I'm guessing the best advice is to call the area Ranger's office to get a clear scoop on approach conditions for any climb?
  12. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    My story: I used to ski a lot as a teenager, but then got out of it for a while. After climbing Hood and Helens and hiking all the way down in boots, I decided that I was done hiking down snow. I picked up some AT skis and never looked back. I use skis mainly to make the descent faster, even if that means they are on my back most of the way up. Also, they give me good flotation when needed. Look at Facebook grouips "PNW Ski Classified" and "Washington Hikers and Climbers Gear Swap." I am not a fan of Facebook, but it seems that more and more stuff is moving away from forums and going there to sell. A good forum for AT gear is https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/forumdisplay.php/9-Gear-Swap-(List-View). You can pick up a used set of skis, bindings and boots for pretty cheap. For a first set, you can pick up a whole set up for under $500 if you look long enough. I have a pair of Scarpa F1's that walk like a dream. They feel like a slipper. Even my ten year old AT boots walked very well. I covered many miles of road and dirt in them. Another option that I often employ if I have road or dirt walking is to wear running shoes and carry the boots attached to the skis. So much more comfortable. As said above, I also tailor my outing to the approach. If there is enough snow to skin up and ski out, the rock might still be too wet or covered. Also, if there is that much snow, roads are usually closed miles before hand (8-mile road) and I don't want to shlep all that rock gear and deal with snow in the cracks of the rock, and post-holing all the way down. I will wait until it melts out to do long rock excursions. I break my AT ski season into three categories: Winter outings where I want to get into the back country, but nothing so daunting to risk avalanches. These can be tours off of the passes, side-routes on Mt. Rainier, etc. Less focus on peak bagging or climbing, more focus on just getting out for the day. Spring ascents of peaks where skis give me flotation and quick access down. Stuff where the roads are still closed. Sahale is a great example, walk on the closed road until snow, then skin up and ski down. Ski's give me greater access and speed that boots and snowshoes. This category only lasts a month or two until the roads open and the trails melt out enough that i can boot up. Ski-specific outings: These are spring/summer ascents where half the ascent will be on foot, the other half on skins, and ski down a few thousand feet before having to boot again. All the volcanoes fall into this category, and tours up Muir snow field and Heliotrope ridge for exercise. I am taking the skis for the purpose of skiing.
  13. [TR] North Early Winters Spire - Early Winter Couloir (III AI3 M4+) 04/20/2019

    Thanks Jason, seems like C-W is best done very early on a cloudy day. DPS, sounds sporty! I was very relieved when I saw we’d be able to sneak past the cornice.
  14. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    Hmm...I have never noticed that issue but you bring up a great point. I have definitely ridden a lot more in Spantiks than Nepals. I also think your suggestion to just walk is a great one. Especially to many of the popular routes there is a great boot pack this time of year. Here are a couple comparison pics. On the Spantik you can see the highback doesn't quite come to the top of the boot so definitely not a problem. On the Nepal it does come up higher than the boot by about 1 1/2". Again I have never noticed my calfs being sore or rubbing but I also have only done short decents like Aasgard Pass, Mt. Adams lower mountain and stuff in the Cabinets with them. I wonder if you could just flip the lever on the highback to give you more room? You would sacrifice performance but then again we are talking about efficiency of snow travel. This picture shows the lever flipped which creates several inches of room. Also I believe that Burton made a Lo-Back Binding that was significantly less than a traditional highback. Not sure they still do but maybe you could find an old used one.
  15. I think, after speaking with Dan Cauthorn and Jim Nelson, that @Nick andI made perhaps the second ascent (who knows) of this route in '97. It was excellent fun. The cornice was a monster when we did it. I aided the left hand wall, off a cam, then nailed a flake with a KB, which broke and fell in my lap. I nailed the stump and watched the KB rotate from 90 degrees to straight down. This got me high enough to bypass the super overhanding cornice to where it over hung only by 10 degrees. I made four aid moves off of pickets and flopped down the back side.
  16. Thanks Jason, I suspect given the number of Grade IV routes, it would be non-committing (easy to bail) Grade V and require a bivi. What did you climb on Conchord Tower, it is the only one I haven't done? That and the Minute Man.
  17. Ultimate Lib Bell group enchainment?

    I went with all easy routes and started with Liberty Bell, Beckey Route and finished with South Arete on SEWS. It was pleasant and not overly committing. Still, it took us all day and I was tired. Hey @jon....looks like the photo links are busted in the TR linked above? They should be on the cc.com server.....
  18. I've enchained a few of the Liberty Bell group towers, but never all of them. I'm thinking about what would be the highest quality moderate enchainment of the Liberty Bell group. Here is what I've come up with -Park at hairpin and climb SEWS, East Buttress Direct -Descend SE Arete -Climb NEWS, NW Corner -Descend via rappel route -Rappel NEWS-Lexington gulley to get to bottom of Lexington, East Face - is this even possible? If not, I guess descend back around SEWS -Lexington Tower, East Face -Something on Concord Tower - Cave route? Suggestions? - Liberty Bell, Beckey Route Thoughts? How would you do it?
  19. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    NBC or 3Cs could easily be climbed in AT boots, though typically ski conditions are very poor when these are in good shape (as Gene points out). I climbed both in plastic boots after walking in during good spring conditions. I wouldn't want to climb a long rock arete in AT boots and haven't. I save those routes for after the ski season. I guess I'm a firm believer in climbing routes when they are in the "best" shape, i.e. the most enjoyable. This can mean other parties, but I'm OK with that. If you want solitude during the busier season, you can always go during the week.
  20. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    Gene brings up a very good point. I typically try and tailor my objectives to conditions, including approach conditions. When things are snowy and soft, I stick to lower angled objectives easily done on skis. When conditions firm up you can usually ditch flotation and just walk, greatly simplifying everything.
  21. That glacier keeps looking sadder and sadder every year..... damn. nice work!
  22. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    the few times I used leather climbing boots for splitboarding, I got pretty annoying pain on the calf muscle. the highbakcs are higher that the boot and would dig in on heal side turns. Did you find a really low highback (a lowback?) to not have this problem? I didn't know that they could be found that low. I shoved a small patch of foam from a ground pad back there but did not really that great.
  23. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    why bring anything at all? most times you can just do them by walking in. the two routes listed has a standard bootpack going in to lake which is a pain to ski anyway, often in in late winter. I have seen alot of people packing skiis up to the lake. so for colchuck and dragontail, you would have 30 minutes of useful snow slide time before getting on route. The reality is that the snow is so deep that you need floatation, you really need to reconsider the route choice due to avi concerns. chair and baker often have bootpacks approaches also. Being able to walk on the approach without flotation is a good sign that the actual climbing route is in good condition. Things usually get more difficult the higher you go. If you are wallowing down low, expect more wallowing up high. steep wallowing is a good way to die.
  24. Trip: Mt. Stuart - Ice Cliff Glacier Trip Date: 04/20/2019 Trip Report: Jacob Krantz and I climbed the Ice Cliff Glacier (AI2, 60-70 degree snice) on Stuart on April 20th in 21+ hours car to car. We climbed three pitches of mostly steep snice and a little AI2 on the left side of the lower ice cliffs. The upper couloir was sustained and exposed at 50+ degree snice with a short bit of true WI2, but very secure climbing. The right hand exit had no cornice issues, although massive cornices still loom over the majority of the couloir. We chose not to go to the true summit since it was in the clouds and we were tired. The descent down the couloir to the Sherpa Glacier was extremely icy and grabby on skis and we actually chose to downclimb some of it. Lower glacier was awful breakable crust. All in all, about 24 miles, 8000-9000 ft gain, and one wild day of suffering and adventure in the mountains. For a more detailed, TR, see https://climberkyle.com/2019/04/20/mt-stuart-ice-cliff-glacier-ai2-60-70-degree-snice/. Entering the broad basin at 5400 ft. Looking up at the Ice Cliff Glacier. Starting up steep snow to the base of the cliffs. Leading up through steep snice and easy ice. An incredible setting! Looking up the exit couloir. We took the notch on the right. Soloing a nice AI2 bulge in the constriction in the couloir. Topping out on the route! Our little "summit" for the day. Sherpa Peak. First few turns into the couloir. It only got steeper and icier... Spooky loose wet slide that took out our skintrack through the woods, on a NW aspect in the basin around 5400 ft. Must have happened during the late afternoon at some point. Gear Notes: Used 2 pickets, 5 screws. One might want more pickets if you want to protect all the steep snice. Approach Notes: Road was skinnable a little before the Eightmile trailhead, but melting fast. We kept skis on all the way to Stuart, although just barely in places. Creek crossings were generally easy to find. The section after you leave the Stuart Lake trail is brushy. Be prepared.
  25. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    I have had good luck with my mountaineering boots on a splitboard. If you get a small enough binding a La Sportiva Nepal works very well (definitely put in a dozen or more trips with that setup). I even used La Sportiva Spantiks with my splitboard up on Denali. I wouldn't want to ride those in the resort but as you stated you aren't looking for beautiful backcountry riding just efficient snow travel.
  26. Long snowy approaches - equipment recs???

    Thanks Jason! I have many questions because this snowy climbing idea is relatively new to me, despite years of rock climbing and doing many Mexican volcanos - I live in central Mexico. Curiously, Becky's books and the Nelson/Potterfield books give grades to the approaches but never really list gear needed on approaches (nor give suggestions). Skis seem the way to go for early season approaches (no surprise there) but my confusion still lingers as to say a route like Colchuck's N Buttress Couloir or Triple Couloirs - would you climb those routes in AT ski boots? I'm guessing so, but what if instead you got onto some long rock arete climbing? Would that change your choice?
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