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  1. 6 points
    Trip: Summit Chief - Standard Scramble Trip Date: 09/21/2019 Trip Report: I'm normally not one to hike in and out in the rain, but desperate times call for desperate measure and the end of summer is one such occasion. So, armed with a glimmer of hope in the forecast we marched in to Vista tarns last weekend with our sights set on Summit Chief and Little Big Chief. The former was a Smoot and the latter, well, it looked cool. Spoiler alert, we got the Smoot (straightforward Cl. 3 once you deciphered the description correctly) but not the little one, which proved to be more time consuming in late season than we had the desire for. Still, the area has much to recommend, as you'll see in the photos below. It isn't nicknamed Snoqualmonix for nothing- probably the most rugged terrain south of Hwy 2 is found in this area, and not a lot of peak baggers....yet. Judging by the summit register on Summit Chief, this area is rapidly becoming popular. Going from 1-2 parties a year to 11 this year. So, I guess, I'm part of the problem. And so it goes. Lucky shot: East Face of Chimney Rock: Summit Chief on the left and Middle Chief on the right: Stuart and Waptus Lake: Rainier, Chimney Rock, Overcoat Peak (L-R): Summit of Summit Chief: RIP Franklin: Glacial recession is a bitch: Little Big Chief: We opted to scramble up here and enjoy the afternoon, rather than rushing to climb LBC and arrive at camp after dark: Last dip of summer in an unnamed lake on the way back from LBC : This one: LBC: Three Queens: Bear's Breast (L) and Mount Daniel behind on the right: Overcoat: Chimney Rock and Overcoat in early morning light: Chicken of the Woods: Cooper River in the rain on the way out: Gear Notes: helmet, ice axe, crampons Approach Notes: Pete Lake Trail to PCT to Vista Tarns. We cam out the Escondido ridge "trail" but I wouldn't recommend going up that way.
  2. 4 points
    Trip: Observation Rock easy ice + Flett Glacier skiing - North Face Trip Date: 10/06/2019 Trip Report: This past weekend, Aaron and I had a great trip with amazing weather, excellent conditions, and spectacular views! Spray Park trail On Saturday we set off into Spray Park and then in alternating snow/low clouds and hot sunbreaks we bumbled around looking for a supposed three-sided shelter that the ranger had told me about (not the one near Cat Eye lake and not the one just east of there...) but ended up finding a pretty great spot anyway. Things cleared up by the evening, beautiful sunset! Woke up Sunday morning to two-inch needle ice in the pebbles around our tent, and set off to the base of the north face of Observation Rock. We roped up, Aaron took us up the first third or so of the face (moderately steep snow), leaving two pitches of moderate alpine ice that we pitched out (alongside three pairs of Mountaineers...). Fun stuff! Fun! Photo: Aaron We slogged up to the summit of Observation Rock with Tahoma wearing a lenticular, got our views of the glacier down below we'd be skiing, Baker, Glacier, Stuart, MSH, and the littler ones... Walking up to the summit of Observation Rock Then descended around and east, finally put the skis on our feet, and had lots of glorious wind-packed pow turns! Aaron: "I've seen you excited, but I don't think I've ever seen you *this* excited..." Yahoooooooo! Photo: Aaron Photo: Aaron A spectacular way for Aaron to climb his first ice in Washington and break in his first pair of AT skis and for me to get my 24th month of TAY and lead some ice! Gear Notes: Tools, pons, skis Twin/half ropes, screws Approach Notes: Spray Park trail and onward/upward
  3. 4 points
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  4. 3 points
    Trip: Mount Edith Cavell - North Face (Chouinard/Beckey/Doody) - Attempt Trip Date: 09/22/2019 Trip Report: Climbers: Jeff and Priti Wright, and Dane! High Point: Bergshrund at the base of the wall, above the Angel Glacier One of North America’s great mountain faces. The original North Face route on Mount Edith Cavell (near Jasper, Canada) takes the central line up the face to the summit. This was a Smash n Grab attempt from Seattle after watching weather and conditions for a month. I think we nailed it on both counts, which alone was a good lesson. We were joined by our friend Dane who has been climbing in the area for a month long trip and whom we met while climbing All Along the Watchtower this August. We got up to the base of the wall above the Angel Glacier bergshrund and were forced to turn around due to a crampon toe bail failure. None of us had brought spare crampon toe bails (lesson!). We're stoked to come back and try it again, now that we have the approach beta dialed. It was still a grand adventure! The typical style (which we followed) is to do the approach in a few hours by daylight to practice the routefinding on the complex 5.6 rock route up to the Angel Glacier to get around the hanging seracs. Then, come back to the car, sleep, and start over again at O-dark thirty to go for a car-to-car push in a day. This avoids bringing bivy gear up the wall. It was humbling and awesome just to get up to the base of the wall, stand on its bergshrund, and look up into the dimly moonlit vertical darkness with packs full of metal and desire. On the attempt in the dark, it took 4.5hrs to get from the car to the bergshrund. We had left two fixed ropes and top rope solo'd to avoid re-leading it. If I came back with a single rope, I would fix the 60m single rope from above the chimney (leave an anchor) to get all the way to the bottom of the 5th class start, then re-lead the final 25m again in the dark. The route is commonly climbed in July and August, which brings two hazards: 1) rock fall, and 2) a band of exposed, loose, unprotectable shale near the summit ridge. By waiting until late August-October, the rock is more stable, and the band of shale is covered in snow and/or ice. The downside is that snow on route makes the climbing mixed, and icy cracks can make it difficult to find protection. By late September, the approach is still dry, 5.6 rock climbing (which we did in boots). The wall, however, was all snow-over-rock, which makes the 5.7 rock on the wall a mixed experience in crampons and ice tools (instead of rock climbing with rock shoes in the summertime) . This TR only describes the approach. The original route took 3rd class terrain to the left of the Angel Glacier ice flow. But hanging seracs now threaten much of the wall, and a new 5.6 approach route goes way right of the ice flow to gain the Angel Glacier. This route is totally safe and stays well away from the hanging seracs. The picture above is our high point along the Angel Glacier to the bergshrund, and the approximate North Face route is a dashed line (which we didn't get to do). We followed the hand-drawn topo on Mountain Project, and it was REALLY useful! https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107268014 From the parking lot, cross the small stream and immediately gain the lateral moraine (shown above) which eventually leads up to the wall. As you approach, take note of 25m tree rappel (above your head) shown in the topo which is an alternate descent to down climbing the 3rd/4th class approach. Continue traversing on a 3rd class path for quite a ways, step across one stream from a waterfall, and continue until it forces you to start ascending up and right to a large ledge (shown in the topo). This is the same ledge which leads to the optional tree rappel descent (this tree is easy to find and is all the way climber's right along this ledge). The approach is left of a small waterfall and right of the larger waterfall (as shown in topo). Below is a picture of the tree from which you can make a 25m rappel, if descending. From the large ledge, continue up 3rd/4th class terrain (unroped) and look up for two sets of double roofs. The lower set is orange and you belay just below this. The upper is black, and has and a white cord hanging from a pin just to the right of it. This white cord is a crummy anchor, or (more likely) a redirect to the better anchor further right (one pin, one bolt). There are two options for the start, if you take the easier option (right), you won't pass by this white cord at all. Two pitches gain the upper 3rd/4th scramble. Recommend making the 1st pitch a short, 20m pitch and stopping at the bolt anchor to avoid an awkward belay further up in the chimney. The second pitch goes up a chimney (no actual chimney moves, nice feet and hands abound), and is a 60m rope stretcher with a short overhang section. Both pitches are just left of the corner waterfall shown in the picture below. The picture below also shows Priti and Dane on the big ledge (the same ledge where the tree rappel is). We had twin ropes and fixed one long 60m rope from the top of pitch 2, then fixed a short 20m rappel from the bolt anchor. This allowed us to top rope solo the route in the dark the next day with a micro traxion and skip having to re-lead it in the dark. Watch out for snafflehounds in the summer! The picture above is looking up from where you first rope up. Above is the bolt/piton anchor above the first pitch on a good ledge. If you take the right variation on the first pitch, it leads directly (and obviously) to this anchor. The second pitch looks a little different than what the topo describes (beware). Start up a chimney (shown above) for 20m to a scrambling section. Then cross right on easy terrain under large orange roofs (don't keep going up a ramp straight up, shown above). Then a short overhanging move with good feet and hands (5.6) to a large ledge with a 2-pin anchor (may require a few meters of simul-climbing to reach this anchor). You can add in a good black Totem to this anchor to back it up. From this ledge, you can unrope. You are not yet on the large ledge shown in the topo which crosses the waterfall; this is still above you. Continue straight up from the anchor on easy 4th/low-5th until you find the large ledge. Cross back right across the waterfall and continue to a large left-facing corner. Easy ledges take you well up the corner system until you can exit right on easy 3rd class steps. Don't leave the corner too early! Pass through a patch of small trees, then across a grassy patch to look up and see a large, obvious notch (easy to pick out in moonlight). Continue up scree slopes to this notch. Once at the notch, the topo recommends descending 15m, then ascending a gully. We did this, and we do not recommend!!! Loose, hard, and scary. Instead continue up a right-facing corner straight up from the notch; this looks difficult, but there are good feet to stem. Once above the corner, traverse way left to get onto the Angel Glacier. Whew! Water plan: Here you will find an optional bivy site and running water. Allegedly there is also running water at the East Ridge col. You can start from the car with just half a liter of water, fill up a couple liters at the bivy site, then fill again at the East Ridge notch (maybe). The Angel Glacier is heavily crevassed near the seracs (obviously) so you can make a wide sweep to get away from the edge. It gets a little steep when you approach the wall, but not too bad. Some reports mention that it gets tricky to cross the bergshrund in summertime. The East Ridge (recommended) is way shorter and takes you straight back to your car. This is the descent recommended to us by the Smileys. The West Ridge is much longer, with complex routefinding on easy 3rd class terrain, and forces you to walk back up the road to get back to your car. The East Ridge is mostly 3rd/4th but stays mainly on the ridgeline (shouldn't be too hard to find your way in the dark) and has a crux 5.2/5.3 section that some parties rappel. This 5.2/5.3 section is located just above the shoulder, halfway up the ridge. Below is the easy descent from the East Ridge col which takes you along the lateral moraine to a trail and back to the trailhead. Gear Notes: Pickets for the summit snow field, 4 screws (various sizes), rack to #3, nuts, 2 KB's, 2 ice tools each Approach Notes: Read above
  5. 3 points
    Trip: Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys Trip Date: 09/21/2019 Trip Report: Missed this mountain over the summer. Fortunately the snow has returned and it will be time to ski soon. I had never been on Shuksan in the summer before and it was pretty wild to see these glaciers without a thick coat of snow. Winnie's Slide was melted down to ice and two tools were nice. Upper Curtis was broken up but still easily navigable. Substantial fresh snow above 7.5k. S gully of the summit pyramid had an inconvenient amount of snow so we decided to try a circumnavigation of the summit instead. Couldn't find a reasonable way onto the Crystal Glacier so we made a short loose scramble up Point 8165 and called it good. Got back to the car right at dark for a 14 hour day. Photos: 1. Winnie's Slide 2. Hell's Highway 3. Spooky S Face of Nooksack Tower 4. Jagged Ridge and Seahpo Peak with the Pickets behind 5. Sulphide 6. Pika All photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/mETUJJNBMGku3Tdr7 Gear Notes: 2 tools, a few cams, ice screws, 60m rope Approach Notes: Lake Ann to Fisher Chimneys
  6. 3 points
    Trip: Mt. Triumph - NE Ridge Trip Date: 09/21/2019 Trip Report: On Saturday @willgovus and I climbed Mt. Triumph's NE Ridge in a day, roughly 16.5 hours c2c. Camped at the trailhead and set the alarm for dark and early. Only two other cars there, possibly camping around Thornton Lakes. Approach went pretty smooth through the brush around the lakes, felt like hiking through a car wash. Took about 4 hours to get to the base of the ramp before the notch at the start of the NE Ridge. The only snow travel was a ~50yd patch after the notch above Thornton Lakes. After that it was walking along mostly dry slabs. We made the mistake of staying little too high initially on the slabs only to get cliffed out, but found a mellow mossy ramp down lower on the slabs. I'd recommend staying low on the slabs until after crossing the big gully in the middle of the cirque. Climbing on the ridge was almost entirely done simuling, with pitched out sections at the cruxes. I thought the rock quality from after the vegetated beginning to the high gulley towards the top to be really good. The rock was damp here and there and keeping the soles of our shoes dry was a challenge. The 5.7 "off width" crack was pretty fun and protected well, even though a bit moist in spots. I imagine other, easier variations exist on the north side. After the high gulley we traversed the south side on heather ledges and scrambled up to the summit. The scrambling near the top it quite loose and nerve wracking and doesn't get any better when having to down climb. If doing this again I would bring the rope up to rappel down this section. It took us about 3 hours from the notch at the base of the ridge to get to the summit. It took about 2 hours to get back down to the notch at the base, mostly rappelling and simuling the lower angle sections of the ridge. Cant remember how many rappels we did exactly, though enough to make me glad we were only a group of two. Some rappels with a 60m rope ended up being just short of the next station which we delt with just by down climbing 5 to 10ft. Reversed the long hike out and got back to the car around 6:30pm. This is easily one of the more amazing ridge climbs I've ever done. This thing is long and delivers the false summit effect a few times along the way. Very happy to sneak in one more big outing before things get even more rainy around here! Gear Notes: Cams .3 to 3, set of nuts, 7 alpine draws and 5 double length runners. 60m rope is fine if you don't mind down climbing a bit of easy 5th to get to the next station a few times. Otherwise, if you have a 70m that's somehow lighter I'd bring that. Approach Notes: Approach shoes, aluminum crampons and a light axe
  7. 3 points
    Trip: North Cascades - Isolation / Inspiration Traverse Trip Date: 09/21/2019 Trip Report: Isolation/Inspiration Traverse in Late-Season 2019 My wife, Julie, and I recently completed the Isolation/Inspiration Traverse over eight days beginning September 3rd and ending on the 10th 2019. After our return, I realized that our trip was almost exactly the route described by Doug Walsh in an excellent trip report titled “Isolation Traverse - Thunder Creek Alternate Finish 7/10/2013”. I debated submitting this report because of the route similarity. However, it seemed that our trip was also very different from theirs due to the late season of our trip, as well as the greater glacial retreat in 2019 vs 2013. I hope you will find value in the following. On Sept 2nd, we flew from our home in Wyoming to SeaTac, rented a car, purchased stove fuel, picked up a permit in Marblemount, and camped in the Colonial Creek Campground. The following morning, we parked our rental car near the Thunder Creek trailhead (in the Colonial Creek Campground) and hitched a ride to the Pyramid Lake trailhead (note: this was recommended since there have been a number of break-ins at the Pyramid Lake Trailhead). After the ~2 miles of NPS trail to Pyramid Lake, we climbed the boot trail (photo 1) to Colonial Glacier and Lake (photo 2). FYI: the boot trail is similar in nature (steep and long) to the Lucky Ridge Boot Trail, although we found it easier to follow. From “Colonial Lake” we forded the outlet (photo 3), ascended the low hills to the east and then followed a nice trail to access the glacier. In late season the lower part of the glacier was rock covered and blue ice. The upper portions were somewhat crevassed but easily negotiable. We found decent campsites along the western shore of Colonial Lake, excellent campsites atop the low bounding hills of Colonial Lake (photo 4), and superb campsites at, and near, the pass. The late-season descent from the pass to the Neve Glacier was over rock and boulders but still pleasant even for my worn-out knees. The Neve Glacier was a jumble of broken and very wide crevasses (photo 5). It took considerably more time than anticipated to negotiate--but it was beautiful and fun! We ended up at the western-most and lowest pass between Snowfield Peak and The Needle. We backtracked to the next col east to descend. In hindsight, the furthest pass to the east (adjacent to Snowfield Peak) would probably provide the most pleasant descent--especially in early season. The descent from the Snowfield-Horseman col was mainly over rocks and heather--again, very pleasant for the most part (photo 6). In early season this descent would be over snow. The descent trends to the SW and then turns back to the SE to gain the ridge between Snowfield Peak and Isolation Peak. Our objective was a prominent boulder-filled gully--which proved to be easier and more stable than it appeared from a distance. There were several lovely campsites along the top of the ridge. Once on the ridge, we enjoyed easy hiking towards Isolation Peak. The descent to the lake NE of Isolation Peak was largely thru heather and again, quite pleasant (photo 7). There is a trail atop the low hills bounding the NE lakeshore that crosses the lake outlet and heads up the steep draw east of Isolation Peak. This draw was okay without snow cover, but with some unpleasant sections. From the top of this draw (photo 8), you’re on the E shoulder of Isolation Peak (photo 9). We followed a trail south around the shoulder, through a boulder field, and continuing down through very steep and slick meadows (apparently the same route that Doug Walsh and Robert Crouse took--with similar results (lots of falling on our butts)). After some light ‘schwacking, we gained the beautiful and isolated ridge above Wilcox Lakes (photo 10). In late season there are several fine campsites in dry tarn beds along this ridge. The no-snow ascent to “Wilcox Pass” was pleasant. The descent was hellish 'schwacking--but mercifully short. Before leaving Wilcox Pass we inspected the ascent chute leading just N of The Coccyx. It was largely free of snow and looked confined and dangerous. We elected to climb directly W up the bowl S of Newhalem Peaks to a vegetated ledge system that led us back the the upper portions of the dangerous-looking chute. During our circuitous detour, we heard a number of large boulders bounding down the chute--confirming our cautions. The top of the chute was better (photo 11) but, still quite steep and difficult to the top. The descending traverse below The Coccyx was pleasant with some potential campsites at the base of the small glacier below the NW face of The Coccyx. Gaining the ridge SW of The Coccyx was easy. Once gaining the ridge, we had to walk back towards The Coccyx to find the descent. The crossing below Backbone ridge was delightful. We referred to the basin as “Bear Basin” after seeing six (or was it seven?) very well-behaved black bears feasting on blueberries as we hiked through (photo 12). Suitable campsites were not readily apparent to us at the start of this crossing but, we noticed several nice spots near the end of the crossing (on the slopes SW and below Early Morning Spire). The crossing into Marble Creek drainage was reasonable and allowed fairly easy access to the moraine N of Marble Creek. The moraine was steep but, had excellent footing and was stable--providing an efficient pathway to the upper reaches (photo 13). We had to do some tricky routefinding (and backtracking in several places) to gain access to the lower portion of the glacier (name?) leading to the col SE of Dorado Needle. To this point, we had enjoyed very pleasant weather. However, we were blasted by a very active thunderstorm--including welt-inducing hail--during our ascent of this glacier. As we ascended, we looked at the two options for crossing to the McCallister Glacier and chose the right-most gully (as recommended by Doug Walsh in his report). However, instead of being “elegant, scenic, zero stress and quite pleasant”, it was a nightmare for us in late season. The glacier ended several hundred feet from the top of the gully and the gully was full of steep mud and loose boulders. We frontpointed through this dangerous mess which sometimes felt like swimming. We were totally stressed by the time we reached the top--and we felt anything but elegant. Getting onto the McCallister Glacier was straightforward, although we had to descend a small boulder field in crampons to reach the ice. Fortunately, the sun came out and we enjoyed the warmth and fantastic views (photo 14, photo 15, photo 16). This was the last we would see of the sun for the remainder of our trip... I believe the remainder of our trip followed the typical Inspiration Traverse--we did most of it in dense fog (photo 17). We traversed E just S of Tepeh Towers then along the W face of Klawatti Peak to the col leading to the Klawatti Glacier. We did a short rappel off a bollard to get off of the McCallister Glacier and into the moat below the col. Then we did a 40 foot rappel to get from the col and onto the Klawatti Glacier. To avoid the heavily crevassed lower reaches of the Klawatti Glacier, we traversed almost to the base of the Austera Towers before descending. After leaving the glacier, we had a long descent over glaciated bedrock overlaid with loose “ball-bearing” scree. My old knees were starting to lose their mojo. We rounded the corner of the Austera Towers onto North Klawatti Glacier. The route to Lucky Pass (between Primus and Tricouni) didn’t look promising because of the breakup of the lower North Klawatti Glacier. To avoid that section, we decided to continue up North Klawatti Glacier--which then necessitated going over Primus Peak (photo 18) to reach Lucky Pass. The descent from Primus was complicated and slowed by the lack of visibility but, we eventually made it to Lucky Pass. We totally messed up on the descent from Lucky Pass down the Borealis Glacier--and, to my chagrin, it was my fault. Instead of traversing N across the upper portions of the glacier, we headed straight down. After some tricky routefinding, we managed to gain the rock rib that separates the upper Borealis from the lower. We spent a couple of hours scrambling around on this rock rib until realizing that it wouldn’t work for us--ugh! Julie identified the correct route which involved climbing back up to the upper portion, crossing to the north and descending the drainage back down to the lower portion of the glacier. After some exploration, we found the Lucky Ridge Boot Trail (note: if you’re looking at Borealis Lake from the south (above), there appear to be three small hills above the north shore of the lake. The trail is on the easternmost (right) hill). The trail isn’t hard to lose. I highly recommend downloading the GPS track referenced in a trip report titled "East Ridge of Primus Peak via Thunder Creek and Lucky Ridge" on Summit Post .org (link). When we would lose the trail, we always found that we could use the GPS to relocate the track. After descending the Lucky Ridge Boot Trail, we couldn’t locate a log crossing over Thunder Creek, so, we forded the creek near the old bridge site. We’ve since learned there is a log crossing upstream of the old bridge site. The hike back to the campground was uneventful but spectacular (photo 19). The trip took us eight days. We had planned for seven. We missed our flight as we were hiking down Lucky Ridge. There were a lot of great times and experiences but, with more type II fun than we anticipated. Of course, now that we’re back home, it was a totally wonderful trip--you know what I mean... The lessons we learned about a late season traverse (especially with continued glacial retreat) are to expect less snow cover, slower travel through rougher terrain, more difficult entrances onto and exits from glaciers, and more circuitous route-finding as glaciers break apart. These may be obvious lessons to every Cascade Climber (and maybe that’s why we didn’t see anyone else for seven of our eight days) but they were hard-earned lessons for us boneheads from Wyoming. Stay safe, have fun. Following is a link to our annotated gps file (gpx format): IsolationInspiration.gpx Gear Notes: Nothing special Approach Notes: Delta Airlines from Jackson, Hertz from Seatac...
  8. 2 points
    Trip: Araucanía, Bio-Bio, Ñuble (Chile) - Lonquimay, Llaima, Antuco, Nevados de Chillán, et al Trip Date: 10/01/2019 Trip Report: I enjoyed two great weeks of skiing in Central-South Chile with Joe recently. We left Seattle on the evening of 9/29, skied our first turns on the afternoon of 10/1, last turns on 10/10, and I started my travel odyssey the next day, arriving back home on the 13th. This is the usual prime volcano season, but, as in the PNW, storms can come through at any time. The mountains received a strong and unusually cold storm right before we got there, so rather than skiing the corn we thought we would, we had to make do with dry powder. Luckily the weather was stable enough to get in a number of good summits. As we headed North, following the better weather, the snowpack changed into more typical spring conditions. Big highlights were skiing in the Araucaría (monkey puzzle tree) forests, the quality of the snow, some excellent food finds, and spending time with Chilenos. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. Lonquimay & Corralco ski area Lift-served pow at 5 pm Pow off the top of Lonquimay 4000 ft later Llaima Big graupel from thunderstorms the afternoon before Llaima's impressive summit crater with Lanín (left) and Rukapillán (right) Thousands of feet of moderately steep pow Tolhuaca (which we did not ski) Pucón vibes Antuco Freezing rain crust, Laguna del Laja, and peaks E Views of Sierra Velluda (right, near), volcanoes Callaqui, Lonquimay, Llaima, and Tolhuaca (left to right in distance) Great chalk transitioning into corn The road to Antuco Nevados de Chillán Antuco in the distance, "mountaineering" snow Alpenglow & ash coming from the Chillán Nuevo, Nevados left and Viejo right. View from Onai Thanks, Chopo & Fran! For those of you interested in making a trip like this happen, the detailed beta is pretty easy to come by. If you are perhaps interested in a guided trip, Joe will be offering one next year through Pro Guiding Service with similar dates. The focus will be on keeping it budget friendly and focused on good skiing. Some other little plugs: Coni at Masajes Pucón did an excellent job helping my tight muscles on our down day, highly recommend if you're in Pucón Onai hostel, run by Chopo Díaz, who is one of the most decorated freeriders in Chile, is an awesome place to stay in Las Trancas, near Chillán Gear Notes: Standard + ski lifts at Corralco Approach Notes: Aeromexico -> Santiago, Sky Airlines -> Temuco, rental Subaru XC
  9. 2 points
    Thirty years ago I took part in an attempt to ascend an unclimbed route on Mt Everest (NE Ridge). Our trip was during the post monsoon period (August-September). While we did have a period of good weather, snowfall became mostly non stop. At the end of August jetstream winds descended. No expedition attempting routes on the northern side of the mountain was able to summited that season. The route we attempted was the same route Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker died on. In subsequent years I believe climbers have made it through a series of pinnacles, but no one has summitted via this route. Article: https://lmtribune.com/northwest/last-men-on-the-mountain/article_962a9909-5920-52f9-9413-3a857cf43f3f.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share&fbclid=IwAR3eywumm7VM5nSMLcUJQRzbyt_KQ2tlTbKcSZPQW9Qb9u2Tdf13X6XHLbs It was interesting/depressing to see how some of the Chinese liaison officers treated Tibetans. When we new we were not going to summit, two brits and myself did a 20 mile walk down the road. We told others not to say anything to the main liaison officer until trucks scheduled to drive us to Nepal showed up. Once the liaison officer caught up with us, he was a bit pissed.
  10. 2 points
    There's a new webcam and weather station at Plummer Hut giving a direct feed of Wadd. Don't have the website address yet though
  11. 2 points
    Trip: North Cascade National Park / Lake Chelan National Recreation Area - Triple Rainbow High Route Trip Date: 09/21/2019 Trip Report: @thedylan and I did a fun fall high route from Bowan Mountain to Stilleto Peak. It had three distinct off trail sections, the most stunning of which was Rainbow Ridge, so we decided to call it the Triple Rainbow High Route. Even though the larches were not quite full on, it was still just such a beautiful and inspiring day, with miles and miles of larches and carpets of red. We found the off trail travel to be generally very easy, with some more annoying north facing moraine descents, but nothing really over class 2 or so. In total, it was 30 miles (about 12 "off-trail") and 9.5k ft gain. It took us just under 13 hrs c2c, but we didn't always chose the optimal path, took some wrong trails in the dark, and took hundreds of photos. This is really an underappreciated area, and magnificent in the fall time! Cool rock on the McGregor Massif. Dome Peak and larches. Looking across Rainbow Ridge from the shoulder of Bowan. Lovely Rainbow Ridge. Cruising through larch groves. McAlester Pass. Another nice meadow. Looking at Twisp Lake from the south. Endless larches and red carpets. Another marvelous basin beneath Switchblade Peak. Getting towards Stilleto. Looking down to Rainy Pass. Stilleto Lookout Site. Beautiful meadows on the way down. @thedylan looking like a running star or something. Fun route! Gear Notes: Running shoes, poles. Approach Notes: PCT down bridge creek, then Rainbow Pass trail up to Rainbow Pass.
  12. 2 points
    I remember Chuck very fondly as a classmate and friend in graduate school. He was a very curious and deep thinker, and a good poker player. But, what I will remember him for the most was his love of music and introducing me to the Seattle grunge scene. Watching Mudhoney in concert I experienced my first mosh pit and slam dancing. Chuck saw me lose my balance and start to fall and he quickly grabbed my arm, pulled me up and advised me to always stay on my feet. Before going to see The Jesus Lizard, he loaned me a tape recording so I could become familiar with their music in advance of the concert. I did not feel my untrained ear could recognize a single melody on the track yet at the show, halfway through the set, they started to play a song that I recognized from the recording. I looked at Chuck with excitement that he returned with his big knowing smile and slow nod of his head. It was the same smile that appears on many of the wonderful pictures posted on this site. I am forever grateful to Chuck for his gifting me these experiences and creating these fond memories of Seattle in the 90s. I will always remember him for this.
  13. 2 points
    Trip: Mt Cleator - Tubby Needs Cheese 5.8+, 9 pitches, 1,000'+ Trip Date: 09/01/2019 Trip Report: It's been a spell since my last report; I offer a tale of an ascetic and a hedonist climbing yet another irrelevant obscurity in their quest for entertainment and raw truth. The weather forecast pointed them east, and Mt Cleator appeared to fit the bill. After a pleasant trail tramp past Buck Mtn and establishing camp, the dialectic duo scouted and debated a number of lines available, and provisionally settled on the cleanest looking one. The line emanates from near the main summit (not the N tower), and is a NW jutting rib that appears to share the granitic character of the pluton on nearby Berge--very little schist encountered. (Other options abound on the N side of this peak up to the N tower, but even these impaired codgers reckoned unappealing the primarily grubby schist on these longer lines toeing down more directly to Buck Cr. They agreed to buy beer for any whippersnapper climbing one of these lines.) For the full Cascades sub-alpinism experience, approach directly from a camp near Buck Creek, where the trail passes close to the creek. Romp up pleasant alp slopes to a band of cliffy terrain, then bunk-jungle up steep alder to pass a waterfall. This approach grants access to the upper basin and the several lines available on the northwestern quadrant of the mountain. For the descent enjoy the scenic trail tour return via Buck Creek Pass. Lots of wildlife encountered--bear, coyotes calling at each other (probably about the bear), deer, etc. The climb's more-technical and mental challenges are concentrated in pitches 2, 3, 8 and 9. (Unfortunately, not many climbing pics taken.) Pitch 2: while the self-styled epicurean showered his pathetic self with sod digging for pro and holds, the wannabe stylite laughed derisively. Pitch 3: the ascetic got his come-uppance, "I wanna go home", but eventually pieced together a lead to the crest of the rib. The middle pitches were more scrambly, mostly mid-fifth and easier. Pitch 8: a sweet, relatively steep and juggy corner. Pitch 9: interspersed short splitters and varied climbing, beautiful and exposed ridge rambling with steeper steps. P1: P3: P6(?), climber low center: On average, the over-indulger and the self-depriver make for a balanced human. In an alternate universe the roles could be switched, and maybe the pair would climb splitter cracks on impeccable stone; but in this one, they reconcile themselves to seeking new lines on inconsistent rock with their mercifully impaired memories. On this climb, a somewhat dirty beginning becomes more enjoyable higher (and with distance). It's difficult to get a well-defined shot of the line. Here's a flavor: Tubby Needs Cheese begins to the left of the shaded red streak on far right, a few hundred ft below that tiny spot of sunshine on the ridge, and continues up to and then on the right skyline. Tubby tops out in the horizontal strip of sunshine, or perhaps just out of view behind the pyramidal feature to the left of it. (The sunlit tower is in the foreground relative to the main summit.) Beckey's CAG vol 2 (2nd ed.) has a good pic of it along with Buck on page 160, swooping down from the main summit clearly marked MT CLEATOR. And from the west, hiking toward Buck Pass: A shot on the way home on Labor Day, TNC in the shade on right toeing down just left of the snow in the basin: More pics (recommend click on 'info' to see descriptions for many): https://photos.app.goo.gl/P2U5SJgB8jU1eQBo8 Gear Notes: Double rack through 3, a 4, some nuts. We didn't use our pins, but some folk might want to. Approach Notes: Park at Trinity. Buck Creek trail, etc. -- see above.
  14. 2 points
    Trip: Monte Cristo Area - Columbia, Kyes, Monte Cristo & Cadet Peaks Trip Date: 07/21/2018 Trip Report: Last Friday evening and Saturday I explored the Monte Cristo area by connecting four of the major peaks in a big full value alpine loop. I left the office early afternoon on Friday and found myself biking the old Monte Cristo road around typical quitting time. First view of Columbia set my spirits sailing: Couple hours later below the upper mountain: I made quick work of the scramble up Columbia and scouted Saturday's peaks. I wasn't sure if Kyes was going to be on the itinerary tomorrow, but the 5400' west face snow ramp was mostly connected and it all looked like it would go. Better yet, it looked as though their would be a snow traverse to Monte Cristo Peak high on the west side of Kyes: After descending down to 6000' on the west shoulder of Columbia I settled into my bivy for the night: I was up and moving across the 76 glacier towards Wilmans Pass and then Monte Cristo Pass early on Saturday morning. Looking down the Columbia glacier and Blanca Lake from Monte Cristo Pass: I descended to the glacier and on towards a large right facing gully and made my way up to the South Ridge of Kyes. Cresting the ridge gave this view of Kyes summit: Class 3 scramble on the left got me to the top. View towards the next course, Monte Cristo Peak: I descended the Kyes summit block back to the south ridge and found a short cliff leading down to the west face snow slopes. Two loose 15m raps got me over the cliff and traversing the steep snow of the west face, eventually leading to some rock scrambling and finally to the Kyes/MC col and then the north side of Monte Cristo Peak. From there I found the short fifth class pitch leading to class 3 scrambling above. A large moat blocked access to the rock, but the moat had caved in ~100' north of the rock pitch and I was able to scramble down in the moat and get to the rock pitch, now an extra 20' tall out of the icy hole. I self belayed the short fifth class pitch: And scrambled to the top. Immediately looking forward to my next peak, Cadet: Another couple raps and I was back on the snowy north face of MCP. Traverse to the north col, descend towards Glacier Basin. At ~EL 5800 I started a hard traverse towards the south face of Cadet. A perfect goat path led me across the bottom of the face where I eventually picked up the climbers trail to the top. The first trail of any kind I'd seen since Friday evening on the way to Columbia. Up the trail to the summit of Cadet, then reversing the trail down and into Glacier Basin with a view back up towards Monte Cristo Peak: Finally hustling back to the ghost town, my bike, and my truck, my home, and my family. Passing this on the way out. James Kyes was an interesting man. His memorial deserves some maintenance: The Monte Cristo area is a great compact alpine playground! Gear Notes: 30m rope, a couple pieces for Monte Cristo Peak Approach Notes: Bike the Old Monte Cristo road with the log crossing. I took the new old Wagon Road on the way out and it just adds extra mileage and worse, extra elevation gain.
  15. 1 point
    Can you keep the gear you find at a climbing area or not? That is the question. Apparently, some people don't understand this important part of climbing culture, so here is a reminder in the form of a case study. BOOTY = Finder may keep it without guilt or return it at their discretion. Loser should not expect gear returned. NOT BOOTY = finder should attempt to find the loser and return his/her gear, a finder's fee or some other form of gratitude is generally appropriate. Single biner or quickdraw and/or piece of removable protection on a climb that was probably left by someone who bailed because it was too hard/scary. BOOTY. 1-2 cams/nuts on a route, probably by left by someone who bailed or a partner who couldn't clean them or some stoners who just forgot them. BOOTY. Biner on slings or otherwise in an anchor where it looks like people belay and/or rappel, particularly in the alpine. NOT BOOTY. Quickdraws or perma-draws on every bolt of a steep sport route where it's difficult to clean/place quickdraws. NOT BOOTY. Nut or other removable protection in an anchor in the alpine. Probably NOT BOOTY unless the rest of the anchor is super solid. Gear left in a bucket/bag under a rock/tree near climbs where route development/maintenance is happening. NOT BOOTY. Someone's cute ass. Definitely BOOTY, but you need consent to grab it and/or take it home. Feel free to add your own cases and spread the word.
  16. 1 point
    I saw some pics from a few days ago, and from a distance a couple of lines look to be forming well. This is perfect time of the year to do them, as they usually get buried by mid winter snow.
  17. 1 point
    Trip: Columbia Peak - West Spur Trip Date: 10/06/2019 Trip Report: Sunny skies = had to get out. Light snow cover = nothing "in" season Solution = scramble! Columbia Peak from the Monte Cristo area, standard route. 21 miles, 5700' vertical, 11.5 hours. We had a great time I believe. It's always good to get out and get some sun in October and it felt extra sweet this year with all the crappy early fall weather. Columbia was a good choice, mellow, but with a couple of spicy spots to make it feel real. There were 3 or 4 places where a fall would have been gnarly and we had to introduce some mixed skills, but no ropes required. A bit more snow would make it better/safer still, so feel free to be inspired to hit this up yet this year. It was a fun shoulder season trip. @Albuquerque Fred please contribute some photos if you would. Max McHale is a lurker and thus will not be @mentioned. Fred and Max taking a break at Monte Cristo: An easy step below the gully: Fred descending the gully: Max downclimbing: Gear Notes: Axe, crampons, poles, bikes. Approach Notes: Bike wagon road 5 miles to Monte Cristo. Trail is in great shape, hit snow at the 4820' saddle and switched from runners to boots.
  18. 1 point
    Wow! A brilliant and erudite analysis Rad. I was checking in to see where the man was yesterday, Ujahn, Ryan and I had it to ourselves all day.
  19. 1 point
    I feel like we are watching Groundhog Day for Beowulf, who sets out each day to slay the dragon, returns in drunken triumph each night, and in a curious and cruel twist, each morning wakes to learn that the dreaded dragon yet lives, and the epic battle must be fought all over again. The cycle must repeat until our hero finally learns that the dragon is not his true nemesis, the battle is not the real battle, and victory, it seems, is simply the act of getting out of bed each day, drawing in a lungful of clean air, and yet feeling the beating of his heart, a metronome in flesh and bone, counting the seconds to his eventual death.
  20. 1 point
    10/9 - day 44, lap 108-9 - fall moves further and subdues the fervor of the season that preceded it - wicked work until the sun was perilously low in the western sky but undeterred shot east-wards w/o question once the querulousness of tomorrow was at least clearly defined - dave post dump n' prior to my own, once in sequence we shuffled down the still sodden trail and achieved the base in the brisk yet damp air - a first lamp by the long way we felt another in order, and soon enough it was 2, a couple copper-ales to cement it all - groceries on the gambol home n' soon enough it'll be tomorrow and the three day what-have-you
  21. 1 point
    Solo climbing isn't a problem. There, fixed for you.
  22. 1 point
    I think you'll enjoy @Colin's take on hard solo climbing: http://www.colinhaley.com/a-brief-visit-to-patagonia-and-reflections-on-hard-solo-climbing/
  23. 1 point
    I was surprised that two alder logs lay across the Squire Creek Trail #654 all summer long. They interfered with my bike ride. So on Thursday, 9/12, I brought up my old Boy Scout hatchet. After the cut, I dragged them off the road. Sadly, a big hemlock log remains, bigger than the hatchet could handle in a day! As tall as my bike frame, it has been there for two summers. I have some nice photos of this, but I can no longer upload photos here. I'm asking about that in the "cc.com news" forum. Bill Enger
  24. 1 point
    Actually, Darin is just reposting the topo he made for Mile High Club....
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    Beautiful photos--thanks for sharing. Looks like a fun trip (but multiple days for me!).
  27. 1 point
    Thanks--If I've enticed anyone to venture to this area, it's all anyone could ask. I wish you the best.
  28. 1 point
    Not that helpful Mr Berdinka, since it only gets you partway through pitch 5. Did you even climb/finish the route?
  29. 1 point
    Wow. Looks fun. So many adventures, so little time. Nice work on the marathon+ in a day. Wish my knee could handle that kind of “love” again. 😁
  30. 1 point
    Trip: Pickets - E & W Fury, Luna - Standards Trip Date: 08/15/2019 Trip Report: @Albuquerque Fred and I teamed up again... West Fury as the main event, East Fury happened to be in the way, Luna was convenient. Day 1: We took the water taxi to Big Beaver, leaving pretty late at 10:30am on Thursday. In about 4 hours of really good trail we were at the good log crossing right where it was supposed to be. A GPS was clutch here as there is no indication along the trail of where to turnoff and really no trail to the log. After thrashing some brush on the other side of Big Beaver Creek we wound up on the wrong (south) side of Access Creek. It is misplaced on the map by about .1 mile, shown to the south of reality; there is a tiny creek about where Access is shown on the map. After some bushwhacking upward we eventually found the climber's trail which was surprisingly good. I guess people heard about the 4G on the summit. We walked into Luna Col camp at 8pm, just in time to get one picture of the northern Pickets before they dissapeared for the next 3 days. Water is acceptably ample on BB trail and the traverse to Luna Col, lacking at the Col however. There is snow in the col and a tarn below the snow patch a 10 minute walk to the north of the col. Obligatory boat ride photo: The lake was a little low: Only good view of the southern Pickets, from the traverse to Luna: Our best view of the Furys: Day 2: We awoke at 4:45 am to lots of clouds. Onward to the Furies! Over 3 major humps and down into the basin SE of E Fury. It was all snow free which made for tedious travel. We found a ledge system at 6800' to round the SE buttress of Fury, then turned right and scrambled a talus and slab slope near a stream (last water!) We gained the east edge of the glacier at about 7400' due south of point 7820'. Crampons were required for the bare ice and moderately steep firm-ish snow ascending the east ridge of E Fury. There seems to be some mixed scrambling required at both the east and west approaches to the snowfield just below the summit. (We went up the east and down the west). Onward to West Fury! Down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up. Three towers and the summit block with loose crappy gullies between each. Tower 1: on a tip, we descended 100' on snow to a talus ledge, then scrambled up, left and up some more, then left again (you'll figure it out) to wrap around the tower not quite summiting. We soloed this. Oh, by the way, I should interject that since the lower glacier we were in total whiteout conditions and would remain so all day. This made route-finding challenging and despiriting. Tower 2: we climbed directly. Descending was trickier; scramble down an eroded dike/gully, when you approach a notch and a filthy gully on skier's right take to the arete and downclimb into the filthy gully. Legend has it descending the dike to the bottom leads to 5th class no holds traversing to get around the arete. Soloed all this. Tower 3: climb directly up a chimney just right of the obvious one. Easy soloing by now. Then we scrambled to the summit! Three times in fact; the whiteout kept making us think we were there just long enough to get excited, then another rise would loom in the white. Eventually we did make it and signed in as #22 in the register. We descended by rapping all 3 towers. Tower 1 required a 60m rope. Long and tedious trip back over E Fury, multiple basins, and many towers and rises back to camp. 12 hours round trip going hard, but with slow route finding. Morning right out from camp: Outrigger Peak and the south Fury Glacier: Mixed step on the east side of the summit of E Fury: Fred on the final summit ridge: Me descending somewhere between the Furies: Fred descending somewhere between the Furies: Gloruous summit photo on West Fury! Worth it for the views!!: Register: What, you dont mountaineer with manhattans? I left the shaker at home so we had to drink them warm, but it was pretty chilly out anyway: The rest is history. Sleep, lounge, climb Luna. We descended to Luna Camp day 3, then hiked all the way to the car day 4. Victory pose on Luna summit: Lots of this on the way out: The summit register on Luna was totally full, please replace it if you go there. 3 summits 49 miles 14,000' 12oz of manhattans Gear Notes: 60m rope for rappels Crampons Axes We took some rock gear but didn't use it. Manhattans Approach Notes: Big Beaver to Access Creek, cross Big Beaver Creek at 2520', cross Access Creek to south side at 3900'. Trail was great, trail into Access basin was decent climbers trail, good even, in places.
  31. 1 point
    Going to Chile in 1.5 weeks for volcano shredz, will report back
  32. 1 point
    He must have run out of Grape Nuts; otherwise, no way this happens.
  33. 1 point
    Last week in Tahoe City. Fred’s doppelgänger........
  34. 1 point
    Really love that Square Lake sunrise photo! Cool area, so many nooks and crannies to get to in the Cascades.....
  35. 1 point
    Trip: Snoqualmie Pass - Commonwealth Ultimate Ridge Linkup (CURL) Trip Date: 07/28/2019 Trip Report: Anthony and I did a fun enchainment of Guy Peak (south side), Snoqualmie, Lundin, Red, Katwalk Peak (north of the Katwalk), and Kendall. There was some exceptional scrambling, hours of exposed "Beckey 4th class". We tried to stay on the ridge proper as much as possible except for when it was simply too sketchy in trail runners or it was too vegetated. Here's some beta: - Guye Peak: approached from underneath the west face, we climbed a rib to the left of the South Gully, this offered some amazingly steep, hero juggy scrambling. - Snoqualmie to Lundin: There is an incredible knife edge just after Snoqualmie. West ridge of Lundin is cruiser, bypassed the impassable gaps on the left with some low 5th. - Lundin to Red: There is an optional gendarme (which we took) partway down the ridge which was probably the crux of the entire route for us. We left the Red Pass trail and the talus field and climbed a gully system to the summit. - Red to Katwalk Peak: The descent off Red was nowhere near as bad as people describe. Partway along the ridge, we ran into "The Cleft", a vertical impasse that splits the ridge. We had to descend a few hundred feet before finding a fourth class weakness through it, then climb back up to regain the ridge. - Katwalk Peak to Kendall Peak: mostly vegetated at first, but with some fun knife-edge right before the Katwalk. Kendall North Ridge is cruiser. It totaled 12 miles, 6.5k ft gain, and took us 8:23. Apparently it has been done in four hours . https://climberkyle.com/2019/07/28/commonwealth-ultimate-ridge-linkup-the-curl/ Scrambling steep terrain up the south face of Guye. More fun higher on Guye. Full view of the CURL. The middle summit of Guye. Awesome knife edge after Snoqualmie. West Ridge Lundin. Red mountain and the ridge. Crux gendarme. Some loose scrambling on Red. Fun slabs on the downclimb of Red. The 4th class weakness through the Cleft. \ Above the Kendall Katwalk. Red mountain with the Cleft visible on the right. Nearing summit of Kendall Peak. Gear Notes: Helmet, running vests, approach shoes. Approach Notes: Start up the neighborhoods beneath the west face of Guye, climb talus to the base, then curve right to the south face.
  36. 1 point
    Thanks for the inspiration. I did a lite version of this yesterday with the standard route on Guye, only E summit of Snoqualmie, and no Kendall. Great way to climb some peaks which I have tried (and failed) while skiing in the area. Felt pretty maxed out in my trail runners and wished that I had brought approach shoes.
  37. 1 point
    DOE takes no prisoners!!! Glad to see folks getting after it, not an easy route...! On the 2nd ascent of the route Jens and I broke the headwall into 3 pitches and he onsighted from a semi hanging belay near the wide section thru the roof to the belay your using on the upper headwall. No way in hell we could have freed that upper bit without the scrubbing we did on our next mission.
  38. 1 point
    It was a truck not a van. They said they were investigating, but not "as a crime". Just investigating. It was "Jesse James" (Internet pseudonym). He lived in his truck. He either fell asleep with a candle or a joint burning, set his mattress on fire inside his truck, and burned himself to death. That's the simplest explanation. Why isn't the case closed? He had deliberately destroyed all his ID. No one really knows what his real name was. There are no dental records on file. Skipping out on a debt or criminal charges elsewhere, who knows? But until they find out who he really was in his previous life, they can't prove that the body was him, just a "John Doe". So the case stays open. Not because "the real killer is still on the loose", OJ Rogoz.
  39. 1 point
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Jefferson - Jefferson Park Glacier Trip Date: 07/05/2019 Trip Report: Jefferson Park Glacier was in our sights, but warm weather in the forecast made us a bit wary. The freezing level was around 13k with overnight temps on the summit in the low 40s. Glacier Peak was also on our list, so we opted to play it safe and plan for that instead. However, as the weekend approached the weather forecast was improving slightly for Jefferson and turning poor for Glacier Peak. Jefferson it is! I was excited since this would be my first climb in Oregon. On Friday afternoon, five of us met up at the Woodpecker Ridge trailhead. On the drive in we took note of conditions on the north ridge and the summit block. The ridge looked completely covered and the northwest face of the summit pyramid was a mix of snow and rock. Now the question was what the Jeff Park Glacier looked like and what we would find on the narrow ridge connecting the top of Jeff Park Glacier and the north ridge. At around 14:45 we took off on the trail in the direction of Jefferson Park. We considered camping at Jefferson Park, but discussed knocking off another 1000' and camping higher on the ridge so we could get a better look at the glacier in daylight. The skies were clear with the occasional cloud and the absence of trees on the trail made for a warm approach. Shortly after reaching the Whitewater Trail junction, we turned uphill for the ridge that sits east of Russell Creek and leads up to the toe of Jefferson Park Glacier. It seemed like 6800' was a common area to camp so that's what we aimed for, though there were also accounts of camping at 7400'. At this point we were still unsure of our descent route (Russell or Whitewater), so we planned to camp lower to avoid any unnecessary climbing back up to camp if we returned too low on the ridge. There was the occasional patch of snow on the way up the ridge and eventually we found a good spot around 6900'. It seemed like we were the only group up on the ridge. The lower shrund was long and extended well east under the active rockfall area, but looked easily passable. It was hard to tell what the upper shrund looked like so we would have to until morning to find out. With warm weather still in the forecast, we planned for a 0200 departure time so we could start getting some daylight as we approached the cracks on the glacier. The forecast also called for some breezy conditions the next day which we were beginning to experience at camp. After melting some snow we retreated to our tents with alarms set for 0100. It was 50°F when we woke up with clear skies and a light breeze. We gathered our gear and at 0200 were off, heading up the ridge. Shortly after, we passed a small bivy site at 7400' and then were standing on the glacier where we geared up as a team of 2 and 3. Still all by ourselves, we picked a direction and started uphill in the dark. Not too long after, we saw headlamps appear on the ridge to our left. A team of 5 was moving along the ridge and I thought they were heading up the north ridge route, but eventually they descended and joined us on the glacier at nearly the same elevation. We found out later they were camping in Jeff Park. They were moving pretty quick and passed by. The snow was in great shape, not too soft and not too hard which made for easy steps and good purchase with the crampons. There was a thick enough crust that you wouldn't punch through but it was still possible to drive your axe shaft all the way in to self belay as the grade steepened. As the other group reached the crevassed area below the shrund with a hint of daylight, they roped up and began placing pickets and simul climbing. This slowed their progress a little bit and we climbed to their left to avoid any ice debris from them, but unfortunately we didn't give them a wide enough berth. A large dinner plate sized chunk of crust released from their party and started falling between the two groups. We tracked it in the low light and at first it looked like it would miss us like some smaller ice pieces that fell before, but this chunk moved differently. The piece whizzed by me (2nd to last) less than 10' away and struck the last person in our party. He saw it coming and was able to somewhat shield himself where it hit his chest and arm, but it still took him off his feet and knocked the wind out of him. After a short rest and assessment, he just had a sore arm and ribs and nothing appeared to be broken. It could have been a lot worse... We continued towards the lower shrund, moving a bit further climber's left to avoid another incident while keeping an eye out for rocks above. The grade steepened to about 35° as we skirted around the lower shrund, but with the great snow conditions we felt very comfortable. The 2nd tools remained stowed and we didn't place any pro. Once we were above the lower shrund and traversed under Mohler Tooth we finally got a good look at the upper shrund to find a small crack that was easy to cross. Here we took a break while we waited for the other party to climb this section since it would have been a little crowded. After the other group was clear, we crossed the shrund and cruised up to the saddle between Smith Rock and Mohler Tooth. It was around 0700 at this point. The ridge looked to be snow free, so we stowed our crampons and waited for the group to get out in front of us so we weren't right on their heels. The ridge climbed nicely. Our lead did place a few cams and slung a few rocks along the way since we brought them, but it really didn't feel entirely necessary if you're comfortable with scrambling. I feel like I've climbed more exposed terrain that was classified as 4th class. The last part of the ridge before joining the north ridge was still covered in snow/ice, so maybe that portion is the low 5th class climbing I read about once it melts out. We put our crampons back on and finished the ridge to reach the north ridge. The group in front of us decided to descend down a snow gully to the glacier instead of finishing the snowy part of ridge, so we were finally able to get past. Now on the north ridge, we started the trek south to the summit pyramid. The snow was still firm and there was an old boot pack, so we made quick work of the ridge. The summit pyramid was a mix of snow, ice, and rock like we saw the previous day from the drive and it looked like the route to the summit was all snow/ice. At this point we grabbed our 2nd tools and the group of 3 lead the way. The first portion was a fairly steep (~60°?) mix of snow and ice, but we were able to make good purchase with the tools and crampons. A couple cams were placed and there was good ice for a screw. This first portion topped out at a rappel station at the base of the large snow patch, about a third of the way up the summit block. This was probably the toughest section to climb, but looking back at the pictures we likely could have made things easier by traversing a short ways under the summit block before heading up. But it was still fun climbing nonetheless! We then hiked up the snow and began a traverse south, underneath and to the west of the summit. The route would continue south and eventually turn east to wrap around the south side of the summit. This was the second portion of steep climbing, albeit easier than the first. Once again we protected this with a couple cams and a screw before reaching the plethora of slings at the summit. We made it! The summit was just big enough for the five of us to hang out and take in the views. From here we contemplated our descent route. The Whitewater Glacier was our default and there looked to be a nice rappel off the south of the summit down to snow which could then be easily downclimbed to the Whitewater (compared to making the traverse underneath and to the west of the summit pyramid to Red Saddle). The Russell Glacier was also an option, and with the still firm snow conditions and a good bootpack heading down the Mill Creek Glacier, we decided to give that option a go. We rapped off the west side of the summit, down to the snowy traverse section, and then downclimbed to the rappel station we first encountered on our way up. At this point the other party was beginning their climb up the summit pyramid. Another rappel and we were off the summit pyramid and heading down the Mill Creek Glacier. We followed the tracks and had a rough idea where we were heading based on views from the summit and a GPS route, but soon the tracks disappeared and we were left just making the steep snow traverse toward the Russell. We took the path of least resistance and soon found ourselves crossing a scree field before eventually reaching the Russell at 8600'. I think we took a pretty good route to the Russell. Perhaps earlier in the season with more snow one could traverse higher and enter the glacier at a higher point, but with the current conditions we found ourselves at a good spot on the Russell. Higher up there was a lot of exposed scree and the rockfall was very active. The next challenge was to descend the Russell and find a good traverse back to camp to avoid hitting the ridge too low and having to climb back up. Scree was the theme of this portion. We descended the Russell on snow, but soon had to start traversing which led to plenty of scree fields separated by snow patches. Again, we took the path of least resistance while aiming high. Eventually we found ourselves to the west of our ridge with only about a 300' climb back up to camp. Not ideal, but I think we took the best route we could all things considered. If we did it over again this time of year, I think we would opt for the Whitewater descent. I think the Russell earlier in the season with more snow coverage would be a good option, but once the scree starts to show it makes it a bit of a pain especially since most of it is a traverse. After a rest at camp, we packed up and headed down the ridge and out to the trailhead. It was a long day but a great day! A good mix of glacier, rock, and ice. Excellent weather and stellar conditions. I'm happy to put down Jefferson as my first Oregon volcano! Time Stats: DAY 1: (time, duration, split time, elev, total gain, leg gain) 14:45, 00:00, 00:00, 4500', +0', +0', Woodpecker TH Start 18:10, 03:25, 03:25, 6900', +2400', +2400', Arrive Camp Day 1 Splits: 03:25, TH to Camp Day 1 Total: 03:25 ----- DAY 2: 02:00, 00:00, 00:00, 6900', +2400', +0', Leave Camp 02:30, 00:30, 00:30, 7450', +2950', +550', Start Jeff Park Glacier 06:50, 04:50, 04:20, 9950', +5450', +2500', Top of Jeff Park Glacier 09:05, 07:05, 02:15, 10180', +5680', +230', Gained North Ridge 11:00, 09:00, 01:55, 10495', +5995', +315', Summit 14:50, 12:50, 03:50, 8580', +4080', -1915', Gained Russell Glacier 17:00, 15:00, 02:10, 6900', +2400', -1680', Arrive Camp 21:00, 19:00, 04:00, 4500', +0000', -2400', Woodpecker TH End Day 2 Splits: 09:00, Camp to Summit 06:00, Summit to Camp 04:00, Camp to TH Day 2 Total: 19:00 Day 2 Splits (excluding major breaks/waits) 06:20, Camp to Summit 05:00, Summit to Camp 03:00, Camp to TH GPS Route/Track: Our route can be seen and exported from here: https://caltopo.com/m/GB6S Photos: Woodpecker trail approach: Jeff Park Glacier: View from camp: Other party ascending Jeff Park Glacier (below lower shrund): Skirting lower shrund (Mohler Tooth to the right): Upper shrund (Smith Rock to the right): Smith Rock: North ridge and summit: Summit pyramid: Looking back (north) at the north ridge: First pitch on the summit pyramid: View from summit: First rappel: Traverse to Russell: Heading down the Russell: Gear Notes: Glacier gear, 2nd tool, light rock rack and a few screws. We had one 60m rope and one 30m rope. The 60m was nice to have for the rappels. Approach Notes: Woodpecker Ridge Trail
  43. 1 point
    Trip: Colfax Peak - Cosley-Houstan Trip Date: 11/10/2018 Trip Report: Yesterday Peter and I took a spin up the Cosley-Houstan finding excellent conditions. There is a lot of info on the route out there so I'll just detail how we climbed the route and anything others should be on the lookout for. With cold temps and a clear sky we left Bellingham to 5:30am. We left the parking lot, with race skis (aka suffer sticks), at about 7:10. We cruised up the trail and decided to start skinning just bellow the Coleman glacier. Here, we have always gone straight up toward Colfax in the past but there was a highway of a skin track headed west. We decided to take the highway and ride the ridge to colfax, this proved to be a waste of time. Upon traversing the ridge and taking one short ski run in excellent snow we started breaking trail up toward the route. Conditions looked good and the whole north face was holding a bit of rime. We got to the base of the climb around 11:45 and started transitioning. I went to put on my crampons and realized I'd made a mistake. I had dartwin toes with camp nanotech heels, the problem was that I had a semi auto toe bail that needs a normal crampon strap but the camp's have an elastic strap with a plastic buckle. Improvisation was needed, 30 minutes and some cordage later my crampons were on, but still not perfect. The first pitch looked easy so we opted to simul though a few screws to a belay at the base of the vertical ice. With my cold hands and janky 'pons, I opted to let Peter "have" the money pitch (thanks Peter). He launched up the steep water ice. Cold temps (~20F) led to brittle, chandelier ice. His first real swing into the pillar lead to a deadening thunk as the ice under my feet shifted. Peter stitched up the first steep section and pulled out over the top with a single screw left. (We brought 7 and I was belaying from 2). He brought me up to the 1 screw and 1 axe belay. After reinforcing the anchor he led the next 40ft of sub vertical ice to a picket belay. From here I led around the corner to the right to see the second curtain of ice, it looked far too thin to climb. I attempted to place a 13cm screw at the base and bottomed out half way in, and it didn't look any thicker up higher. I wasn't about the try it because at this point we were simuling with 2 mediocre screws between us. I chose a line up a sub vertical section of snice to the right of the steepest ice, this proved fruitful and positive but was protection-less. Above this I dug into a small cornice and gave Peter a meat belay through this steeper section. At this point we were on terrain we had climbed a few weeks prior on the west ridge. We opted to put the rope away and just climb to the top (taking the correct/left line this time around). We topped out around 3:00 or 3:30 and knew we had about an hour of light left. But we also had skis... The descent was rapid and we were able to down climb instead of rappel to get back on the Coleman. We moved as quickly as possible through a combo of skiing and booting around some very large cracks (the largest requires a long end run the the east). We went from summit to off the glacier in a bit over an hour in mostly excellent snow. After wandering around in the dark for a bit we found our shoes and started the walk back to the car. Total time was 11hrs 50min. I think this a reasonable time, we likely climbed the route faster than most as we only did 3 real pitches but we also took a very circuitous route to the base of the climb. I'd say get out there and climb it soon but freezing levels are going up to 11k so... Maybe just enjoy my cell phone photos for now. Fighting through some wind Wallowing up toward the first pitch. Peter gets the goods. Peter on the best neve around above the last ice step Pulling though on to the top Crampon shenanigans Beta photo of the polish route Gear Notes: 7 screws (would rather 8) 3 pins, didn't use any. Approach Notes: Skinny skis on fresh pow.
  44. 1 point
    First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Jefferson - Jefferson Park Glacier Date: 7/4/2016 Trip Report: I suppose Steve and I shouldn't have been surprised. By now we've both climbed enough routes out of Alan Kearney's "Classic Climbs of the Northwest" to know that the man knows what he is talking about. Still, after topping out on the Jefferson Park Glacier route on the 4th, we were impressed. A pleasant approach, comfortable camp (~6800' below the glacier- no water except snow), interesting glacier travel (including a deceptive 'schrund crossing), a spectacular knife edge, and excellent steep snow and rime on the summit tower made for a memorable ascent. Even more so since we had the entire route and mountain to ourselves on a holiday weekend! Initially we were a little disappointed that our first choice in the North Cascades was weathered out, but we shouldn't have been. Besides a long drive, there weren't really any drawbacks to the trip. I especially like the wilderness nature of Jefferson, more akin to Glacier Peak than many of the Cascade volcanoes that have roads high on their flanks. However, I can see how this mountain has a relatively narrow window for when it is in the best condition. I think we managed to hit it perfectly- snow-free hike to camp, the 'schrund was passable, the knife edge ridge mostly snow-free, summit pyramid mostly snow and ice (until the last bit on the east side of the north ridge), and descent down the Whitewater straightforward. A few weeks earlier or later and it likely isn't nearly as pleasant as we found it. Mount Jefferson is amazingly steep for how impressively chossy it is, and I have no doubt it could be terrible when it is in poor condition. We dubbed it "Chosso Torre". The only slight SNAFU was on the descent off the summit. We rapped blindly off the established station right on the summit and couldn't find the second one we had heard was there (likely covered in rime). We made a new station with a nut and tri-cam and did another short rappel to reach easy snow. Steep now traversing to Red Col led to easy slopes and the Whitewater. For being the easiest route on the mountain I was a bit surprised. It certainly gets your attention. I can see why some say it is the hardest of the major Oregon summits to climb. From the register it looks like 15-30 parties sign in each year, much fewer than I expected. As an aside.......We had planned ahead and left beer in the truck, but a kind, older gentleman at the TH walked over in his camo pants with two ice cold Coors in his hands (it was 10am). "I was wondering if you boys could use an ice cold beer?" pointing at the Stone IPAs in our hands, he continued "My Daughter says I need to drink real beer, but these are real enough for me!" We thanked him for the Coors and he happily sauntered off on his hike, after finishing his beer. It was the highlight of our final day in Oregon. Looking down from the summit on the upper part of the route, you basically run the ridge: Chosso Torre: Gear Notes: Helmet, second tool, steel crampons, half rope, light rack to 2", long runners. Approach Notes: Whitewater TH to Jefferson Park. We left the trail just before the major stream crossing on the west side of Jeff Park and headed up to the glacier
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