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  1. 6 points
    Trip: Bolivia - Cordillera Real - Pequeño Alpamayo, Cabeza de Condor, Huayna Potosí, Illampu, and Illimani Trip Date: 05/26/2019 Trip Report: I just returned from a 3-week climbing trip to Bolvia and figured some folks here would be interested in hearing about the climbing down there. We stayed mostly healthy, had perfect weather and conditions, and the logistics went smoothly, which made it possible to pack in a lot of climbs: May 26 - Arrive in La Paz May 28 - Pequeño Alpamayo (17,618') - West-Southwest Ridge (III, AD) May 30 - Cabeza de Condor (18,530') - Southwest Ridge (III, AD+) June 2 - Huayna Potosí (19,974') - French Direct Route (III, AD+) June 6 - Illampu (20,892') - Northwest Headwall to Southwest Ridge (III, AD/AD+) June 12 - Illimani (21,125') - West Spur / Normal Route (II, PD) June 15 - Depart La Paz My partner and I had previously done similar trips together to Patagonia and Peru, so we felt comfortable designing our own itinerary and climbing alone without guides. I'd recommend this for experienced climbers who appreciate a "faster and lighter" mentality (and only if you have at least one person who can speak enough Spanish to get by). We bought Yossi Brain's 1999 Bolivia Climbing Guide and found enough beta online as well. We did a healthy amount of Google Earth scanning to identify camps and approach trails too. In my trip reports linked above, I've included Strava links with our GPS tracks to save others some trouble (just ignore if you want more suspense : ). In terms of logistics, we flew into La Paz, which is crazy city of nearly a million people in a valley with another million or so on the sprawling altiplano called El Alto. The city is an interesting experience in contrasts, with everything from folks living in dirt-floored huts to a shiny cable car system. La Paz is about 12,000' depending on where you stay and El Alto is about 14,000'. We opted to rent an Airbnb in La Paz for the whole trip as a basecamp (at ~$30/night, this was pretty economical). We started in La Paz for 3 days / 2 nights to acclimate before our first objective, which we deliberately chose to be one of the shorter peaks (Pequeño Alpamayo at 17,618'). This worked well for us. We slowly ratcheted up the elevation over the course of the trip and never felt worse than headaches and throwing up breakfast once. You can hop into the links above to hear more about our experiences and the routes. I've put a few pictures in here to whet your appetite! - Jeff Gear Notes: We brought 5 pickets, 8 ice screws, some nuts, and some pins, just in case. We ended up placing pickets only once or twice on the trip and simul-climbed or simul-soloed almost all of the terrain. Approach Notes: See each trip report for some details on how we got there and a GPS track.
  2. 5 points
    Trip: Mt. Hood - Infinity Loop Trip Date: 06/21/2019 Trip Report: After a hard day and a half in the mountains, I'm stoked to report the Mt. Hood infinity loop goes! The past few weeks I was busy with graduation stuff and couldn't get on the mountain. Finally, on the 20th, the weather looked alright and I decided to head up to attempt the loop. My plan was to climb up Cooper Spur, run half of the Timberline trail, climb Cooper Spur again, and then run the other half of the Timberline trail. Knowing how much gear I needed, I cached some food, water, and clothes by Timberline Lodge before I started up. The rest of the supplies I would hike up with and stash at Cloud Cap Campground. At around 4 or so I arrived at the trail head to go to Cloud Cap Campground. The gate was still closed so I hiked up the trail to camp in about an hour and half. The weather was pretty nice despite some wind and clouds surrounding the summit of the mountain. I was all alone at camp which is always welcome. After eating some dehydrated pad thai, I was asleep before the sun set. The beautiful approach hike 4 am rolls around and my alarm goes off. I throw some food in my small pack and head up trail. Everything is going pretty good until I start the switchbacking up to the route. Visibility could have been better, the wind was howling, and I was pretty cold. The tee shirt plus R1 was probably not the best clothing choice for the conditions that day. When I got to tie in rock, I hid behind it and warmed up for a few minutes. Having never been on Cooper Spur before, I was surprised at the type of climbing. The first few thousand feet were basically a moderately steep snow slope, however, the last 600 or so involved thin ice climbing, mixed moves, and lots of exposed rock. I was glad I decided to bring 2 tools. After about 3 and a half hours I was on the summit. There still wasn't any visibility but the wind was gone. I cruised down the old chute and was at Timberline by the early afternoon. Part of the trail up Summit selfie When I got to my cache, I put on running shorts, ditched the boots, crampons, and stocked up on more GU and water. I decided to take the west side of the Timberline Trail first, the west side was longer and would provide less down time before the second summit. The first few miles of the trail were pretty snowy but after Paradise Park it was largely dry. It was pretty wet and fog obscured any scenic view. I think I made it to camp around 7 pm that night, the first climb slowed down my pace on the trail significantly. At camp, I was no longer alone. Apparently the gate opened that day! I was stoked because I could hitch a ride down after my trip instead of hiking back out. After eating some apples and changing into climbing stuff again, I was off on the second lap. This time conditions were absolutely perfect. Clear skies and no wind allowed me to enjoy the stars and see the lights of the city. That view will never get old. This time it took me about 6 hours to reach the summit. I took liberal breaks because I didn't want to be tired for the mixed section. At 2:30, I was on the summit for the second time in 24 hours. It was quiet, clear, and very enjoyable. This time, the descent was harder. The hard snow put a number on my knees during the descent. At this point, the lack of sleep was catching up to me. Cool rock I saw The stunning, but haunted Ramona Falls Creek crossing with huge carin Enjoying better conditions later in the day When I made it back down to Timberline, I had 16 more miles to go. My legs felt surprisingly fresh when I headed out. The first 6 miles or so were cruiser, however, intermittent snow slowed me down on the last little bit. I made it back to the parking lot after 32 hours, 28 minutes, and 8 seconds. This trip was one of my favorites in recent memory. I hope the infinity loop catches on on Mt. Hood. I would love to see some hardmen knock down the time. In total it was 56.65 miles and 20,445 feet of elevation gain. Get after it Gear Notes: Tee shirt and R1 Approach Notes: Road to Cloud Cap is now open
  3. 4 points
    Trip: Mount Constance - Finger Traverse Trip Date: 05/23/2019 Trip Report: This past Thursday, Zorina and I climbed Mount Constance via the Finger Traverse. I know there's a lot of route info out there, but this website needs trip reports and maybe someone wants a conditions update The trip was great: the route was interesting and in the conditions when we were there, a little taste of everything: talus, steep snow, scree-skiing, slab, class 3/4/5 scrambling, and sweet ridge-walking. And an improbable-looking giant summit block! Wednesday we made the approach to Lake Constance. We didn't want to mess around with bikes, but it wasn't a big deal. It's about 5 miles along the Dosewallips from where you can park to the turn-off for the unmaintained trail up to the lake. The trail is flagged/marked the entire way and easy to follow. Cool trail: burned out steep section, flatter middle section with crazy moss and enormous boulders (glacial erratics?!), and then some root pulling up top. Lots of blowdowns the whole way. Saw lots of wildflowers and trees in bloom, including rhododendrons, lupine, indian paintbrush, and a dogwood. Lots of some big beetle and an interesting black and yellow millipede-like insect. At the lake, we did have to cross some sections of snow to get around to the north side where there are a few camp spots. Bear wire and toilet intact! TONS of fish, wish I had a fishing setup! (I think we saw a sign that said after June 1, fishing is allowed.) The snafflehounds were out in full force, and it appears that one gnawed a hole through Zorina's water bladder (of course, right at the bottom...) In the morning, we got going around 6 AM and were on talus then snow and a bit of scree gully up to the notch with a rainbow behind us. Descending traverse over to the next gully system, and then up scree or more solid rock scrambling. Not bad! At the next (E-W) notch, a rising traverse and some steep snow. Working our way over, finding a few cairns, we finally found the finger traverse, which is exposed but manageable; it was still under snow for probably half of it (I think?) so it might be harder once all that melts out. As it was, there was a nice moat for your feet for part of it. Then some more ridge walking, some steep snow traverses, then a descending traverse to the base of a gully in these crazy choss pinnacles. Ridge scrambling fun, then to the summit block -- spiral scramble staircase up the back, and then you're on top! I really should have brought my skis... Photo by Zorina A pair of bald eagles soared on thermals for a good 3 or 4 minutes while we were up there. Spectacular summit views including Puget Sound and islands, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, The Brothers, Jupiter, and Olympus! Photo by Zorina Photo by Zorina The descent was uneventful, with some down climbing and plunge stepping and boot skiing (both on snow and scree) and some glissading. The steep descent after the lake was not for the weak-kneed. Owch. Luckily, no one had broken into Zorina's car! A great ending. Times: 6ish hours up from lake, 3.5ish hours back to lake. Gear Notes: Light axe, light pons, 30m rope and a few nuts if you want to protect the finger traverse Approach Notes: Dosewallips River Road to road end; walk/bike road to well-signed turnoff for Lake Constance
  4. 4 points
    Trip: Prusik Peak - Stanley-Burgner + Solid gold Trip Date: 05/29/2019 Trip Report: AKA the "It could be worse" road trip When weather in The Valley, Red Rock, Moab, Tahoe, City of Rocks ect. looks heinous for the week you have off, what do you do? You stay close to home and go for some earlyish season ascents of some of the cascades best alpine rock routes! The original plan: Spend a few days in Trout creek waiting for weather to improve. Get a permit for the core, plan for 2 days up there climbing Solid gold and Stanley-Burgner one day, Valkyrie and Acid Baby the other. People said we need snow shoes, but we'll probably be fine. What we actually did: Hike up to Colchuck, hang out under your fly waiting for the thunder storm to pass. Talk to some guys who tried Valkyrie, turns out the route is wet. Rad. one route off the list. Post hole the shit out of Aasgard pass and keep post holing your way through the core in some of the worst spring snow conditions I have personally experienced. Wake up late the next morning to find splitter weather and already slushy snow. Post hole your way over to Prusik. Start up the first pitch of Solid Gold only to find the crux soaking wet, and water dripping down onto the belay. Lower off the spooky chock stone and move over to Stanley-Burgner. Post hole your way up to the base of the route in rock shoes. It seems like some fluffy clouds are starting to form. What did I read yesterday about the warning signs of t-storms? P1/2: Mostly dry except for the crux. Awesome. P3: Mostly dry except for the crux. Cool. P4: Mostly wet except when I try to climb around the wetness and get off route. The added lubricant probably made the squeeze a little easier. P5: Mostly dry except for a few wet jams. At the crux. P6: Pretty damn wet and now there is a full fledged thunder storm baring down on us. Layback around some sketchy new looking loose blocks as it starts to rain. Good thing the route is already wet. Pull up onto the normally awesome summit block only to have my ice axe and entire rack start to buzz. Flip my shit and throw my pack across the summit. Hop over the other side of the summit and start belaying my partner up in a full on vertical sprint and the longest six minutes of my life. There is now a BD .4 on that pitch if someone wants some easy booty. Get the hell off of the summit. Get our rope stuck. Clean it and continue to rap. Post hole our way through very wet waist deep slush over to the base of the west ridge. Run down to lower ground and laugh about how its already sunny again. Try to dry out our gear in camp and decide that this weather cycle is not worth climbing tomorrow. Hike out and get a burrito at South. Drive home and start repacking for WA-Pass. I still have three days off of work. Now for the photo dump. No more pictures till we were back to the base and the storm had passed. Gear Notes: Double rack .2-2 single 3 and 4. Hand full of nuts Approach Notes: Post hole your way up Aasgard pass and down through the upper core. Snow shoes probably aren't worth it.
  5. 4 points
    Trip: Mt. Baker - Coleman Headwall Trip Date: 05/30/2019 Trip Report: Trip dates: 5/30 - 5/31 Party size: 2 Met couple parties did NR with good conditions feedback. We camped at ~6525ft on the way to NR with a clear view of our right side route. We were the only party camping in that area. We can see boot path going towards the base of our climbing route, but just up to the last crevasse close to Roman Nose and it was turning left. We started our approach to the base of the climb following boot path and latter we were on our own. Met a family of crevasse around, like we were on some kind of an island. We had to set up a belay while one of us jump over, otherwise approach to base of the climb was navigating around few other crevasses. Our climb started crossing a bergschrund on the right of the big alpine ice walls that was having a nice bridge. After crossing, we went up straight on a mix terrain of snow & ice until we got another bergschrund and a vertical ice of ~7ft on the other side. The bridge was a block of ice ~2.5ft in length and ~1ft in width and the narrow gaps around. We crossed setting up a pitch with 2 pickets and 2 ice crews. We got semi soft snow above the ice wall, we were able to get over the wall. We continued going straight up close to the rock and went on right side, continued going up weaving around the rock until the only snow exit was on the left. We went on the left and continued going up and looking for a way to go over right side between rock bands. Once we got our way to the right side, we continued traversing and going up the slope, got on the ridge and to The Summit! We put on 2 pitches, the 2nd pitch was just with pickets. We simul-climbed the climb otherwise until little after we gain the ridge. The whole climbing route was a fun sustained steep! Descending Coleman Deming route was postholing. There are 3 easily visible crevasses on the route. Glissade was fun. It was a great day to seldom climb this beautiful Coleman Headwall route. Gear Notes: Used 2 ice screws, 4 pickets, 2 ice tools, 60m 8mm single and standard glacier travel gear. Approach Notes: Trail is clear of trees. Snow on trail starts little after toilet & camp signs.
  6. 4 points
    Trip: Mount Stuart - Direct North Ridge Trip Date: 06/01/2019 Trip Report: Disclaimer: in 2019 snow melted very fast. At least three parties made it to the summit last weekend. All crux pitches are dry. Some running water on easy pitches below the notch. The slab pitch is partially covered with snow. Need to cross patches of snow on the upper mountain from time to time. There are four scattered bivy spots on a ground after pitch five, a few spots higher up along the route that are not covered with snow but can fit one or two, a large snow ledge about 400 ft below the end of last pitch towards a false summit. Descended via Sherpa glacier. Left side (skiers) of it gets early sunshine and snow was soft to descent without crampons at 9am. Though my partners used them. Right side that stays in a shade was hard as rock. Gear Notes: BD .1, .2, .4 to 4.; Metolius 0&1; small nuts (placed one nut just because I can); 6 singles & 6 doubles, cordelette, ice axe, bivy, 1/2 crampons Approach Notes: ticks are swarming
  7. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Adams - Adams Glacier Headwall "Ice Extension" (IV, AI3+, 55 deg snow) Trip Date: 06/09/2019 Trip Report: @nkimmes and I climbed a variation of the Adams Glacier Headwall "Ice Extension" June 8-9. First ascent by @wayne and @YocumRidge July 4, 2011. Approach was straightforward from Killen Creek TH. Open air bivy at 7,000'. Minor glacier travel with little to no crevasse danger to base of the route. A long, moderate snow slope began at about 9000'. Some rock and ice fall as the sun hit the cliffs on the upper headwall. We solo'd a short WI2 pitch on the left side of the lowest cliff band at 10,400'. The WI3+ pitch began at just below 11,000'. In this case it climbed in one 60m pitch to the upper snow slope. Ice was a bit thin in spot but took 10 and 13cm screws well. From there we ascended a bit more to the rime at the base of the upper cliffs. We checked for an exit to the right but this is a no go. As mentioned in the FA report, the traverse to the left is sketchy with hardly any pro (hollow screws and some makeshift rimy/snow horns that I chopped out and slung). Unfortunately, the AI4 pitch in the left corner looked nothing like 2011, and was mostly rotten rock. Instead, we opted to traverse all the way left to the spine which divides the headwall from the next snow ramp over. We solo'd this to 11,800'. From there it's a long flat slog to the summit. We had initially planned a ski descent of the nf of the nw ridge. However, we watched another skier drop in and climb back up after about 1,000'. He joined us on the summit to report that it was completely bulletproof. We opted for plan b and found cruiser corn all the way down the north ridge to our bivy. 13 hours camp to camp. View of Rainier from the bivy. Ascent in red. Descent in blue. Solo'ing the WI2 pitch. Approaching the base of the WI3+ pitch. First moves of the pitch. Noah following the ice pitch. Route zoomed in. We actually stayed more left on the snow slope. Sketchy traverse. Summit! S Noah on the ski descent. Gear Notes: 2x10cm, 4x13cm & 1x17cm ice screws; 2-3 pickets Approach Notes: Approached from Killen Creek TH.
  8. 3 points
    Trip: Colchuck Balanced Rock - West Face Trip Date: 06/23/2019 Trip Report: Some people use the solstice for really long days from sunrise to sunset, getting in as much adventure as possible. We used it to sleep in and still get in a full day of awesome climbing. Leaving the trailhead at 9am we made quick work of the hike up to the lake. From there it was uncharted terrain for the both of us. The climbers trail was way easier to follow than we expected, very well cairned and worn down. The wall looking very very good Two guys crushing Let it Burn. They looked very cool from our route. Such a cool looking route! The corner had one serious wet patch that thwarted my OS. Not bad at all though. I got very cold at the belay under the corner, making for some numb tips on the traverse. Sean about to onsight the freaking crux! Unfortunately I got no photos of the chimney. I thought it was fun. Sean did not. The descent to the base was pretty cruiser. About 50/50 kitty litter to snow. A fall on the snow could be pretty bad if you don't stop but definitely not worth bringing an axe on route, just be careful. There are currently no bugs at the base or on route. Overall the route is in great condition. Only one small wet patch up near the top of P4 and the only fixed gear is the nuts and pins at the top of P4. I cleaned a fixed nut out of the crux thinking my partner had placed it. It came out very easily. Our time came in around 11.5 hours C2C giving us enough time to go get some dinner in town. Gear Notes: Double rack .1-2 single 3&4. A bunch of slings and a single rack of nuts, mostly small. There is no longer a fixed piece at the crux. Sorry. Approach Notes: All snow free and in good condition.
  9. 3 points
    Trip: Chelan Mountains - Pinnacle, Cardinal, Emerald, Saska - 3rd class routes Trip Date: 06/13/2019 Trip Report: Tessa and I scrambled up the four tallest mountains in the Chelan Range on Wednesday and Thursday. I'm glad she's working on the Bulgers, otherwise these may not have been on my radar. The "Chelan Slam" was super fun: no rope or skis to carry, great weather, easy scrambling, snow still covering lots of the scree, lots of flowing water for drinking and shirt/hat dipping, good snow conditions for travel, amazing views, and a good amount of up and down. My summary: Pinnacle: 1 star Cardinal: 3 stars Emerald: 3 stars Saska: 0 stars We met up in Wenatchee at a park and ride a bit before 11 AM on Wednesday, and Tessa drove us up the Entiat River Road. We set off along the Entiat River and it felt like it was about a million degrees out. The turn off for Emerald Park Trail is marked by a burned up sign post. This area is neither brushy, snowy, nor emerald -- it is charred, ashy, and really frickin' hot in the sunshine. The trail is easy to follow though! We turned off this trail, away from Snowy Brushy Creek (flowing well), up toward Borealis Pass, before getting into the guts of Pinnacle. Looking up toward Borealis Pass A few marmots were spotted. I think Summit Post says it's 13 miles from the TH to Borealis Pass. We ended up going up a narrow talus/scree gully (not the beta, but it went OK other than the loose rocks...) to get up to the broad basin (snow here) on Pinnacle and then wrapped around the choss pile to get on top. Very sedimentary/slate-ish/exfoliating rock. Not much 3rd class at all. Great views of our other three objectives to the southeast. Panorama that Google Photos made me From there, we descended the proper way which was further west than where we came up, went back down over the pass, crossed the creek, then set out on the very charred/ashen landscape up toward Saska Pass. Luckily we found the somewhat difficult-to-follow burned out trail relatively quickly. The plan was to get up to the meadow camp described on Summit Post/Klenke for our bivy/setup for the next day, but daylight was going quickly and there weren't lots of great bivy spots (steepish terrain, dead but standing trees everywhere). We decided around 9:45 to stop at a slabby bench that had some tiny flat spots and was surrounded by some of the only green trees around (lots of larches in there!). I slept between a rock and a conifer, more comfortably than I expected! The moon, mostly full, was bright and the sky was full of stars.... Good enough The next morning we set off a bit before 6 AM up and over the pass (some snow, no crampons needed) to the side of the living, found the trail pretty quickly, and made quick work over to Cardinal. This North Fork basin was beautiful! Getting up to the sweet basin below Cardinal was quite straightforward, and then from the saddle over to Main Peak was easy, pretty solid rock, friction slabs, and a fun steep snow traverse with full-hilt axe plunges and solid feet. Minimal scrambling, great views everywhere! The descent included lots of fun snow running! From a bit above the saddle on Cardinal, can you spot Bonanza? We went back down to the trail, and next was Emerald. Emerald turned out to be a little more complicated (so many gullies, so many depressions between them, which one?!) but because of the minor shenanigans, we got a bonus summit (the north NORTH summit) and a few actual 4th class moves including an unexposed VB boulder problem up and out through a hole, which was fun. All that only cost us about a half hour total, and luckily it was very easy to get down and over to the correct gully and up the correct summit. Great views! Some peak identification: Bonanza, Maude, 7FJ, Goode. More fun snow running and boot skiing on the descent! Damn, that one is definitely taller.. Last was Saska, which sounded like the easiest of the group... but it also ended up being a choss pile of unimaginable proportions. UGH. Highly do not recommend. The best part of this one was that there was still a fair bit of snow on the lower third. This did not make up for the stress induced by the shitty, shitty rock everywhere on this thing. Interesting to notice about 5 different types of rock, 4 of which were really crumbly/peeling/disintegrating/etc. Pretty windy on top and we knew that we had a slow descent in front of us, so we didn't hang out long. I'm waiting for Tessa to get out of firing-line range Looking toward Saska Pass, I believe We headed back over the pass and picked up our sleeping bags/pads, I unloaded my last muffin onto Tessa, and we headed out in much cooler weather (thankfully). We played a few rounds of hanky panky, an interesting name for a pass-the-time word/rhyming game I learned going up to Bungundy Col in 2014. Tessa came up with a great one: her clue was waterfall, and the hanky panky was MOUNTAIN FOUNTAIN. Yesssss! So charred My feet were ready for the Chacos when we got back to the car at 9:45 PM. Great trip, thank you Tessa for this idea, and I highly recommend at least Cardinal at this time of year! Did you know?! You probably already did, but according to Wikipedia, the name Chelan derives from the traditional Wenatchi name Tsi-Laan meaning "deep water". Gear Notes: Brought light axes and crampons -- got out axes a couple times, never used pons. I was glad to have a helmet on Saska. Approach Notes: We took Entiat River -- you could also approach via the North Fork Entiat.
  10. 3 points
    Trip: Eldorado Peak and Dorado Needle - E Ridge and NW Ridge Trip Date: 06/16/2019 Trip Report: Conditions are quite good in the Eldorado area right now. We made a casual ascent of Eldorado on our approach day and climbed the NW Ridge of Dorado Needle on Sunday. The climbing was easy but damn... that descent to the car was pretty punishing. Full trip report and photos: Spokalpine Gear Notes: Crampons/Axe for Eldorado. Light rock rack for Dorado Needle. Approach Notes: Wear a knee brace
  11. 3 points
    Trip: Mount Baker - Watson Traverse Trip Date: 05/27/2019 Trip Report: Me, my buddies (Fred, Dylan, Max, Tim) and Josh (whom we met on route) did the Watson Traverse up and over Baker on Memorial Day. We left the Heliotrope trailhead at 4 am and arrived at Heather Meadows at 4 pm. It was a lot of work after skiing the Park Glacier, but a way cool route. We summited at 10 am in blasting gusty conditions, but the Park was soft and buttery, pretty much perfect. The crevasses took some thought to navigate, but no real issues. On the miles of traversing I learned that you can skin without skins with sufficiently sticky snow by just switching to walk mode and keeping the angle moderate... pretty cool, and a lifesaver on this route. Coleman Glacier skinning: Kicking it on the summit: Tim ripping the Park Headwall: I wussed out and took the Cockscomb Ridge down a ways, though this doesn't lessen the angle, just the distance you ski 55 degrees above crevasses: Park Headwall: Somewhere west of Coleman Pinnacle: You could see our tracks from as far as Artist Point, pretty rad: Photo credit goes to Tim, Max, Fred, and Dylan. It was great skiing with everyone! Gear Notes: Ski mountaineering gear. Used axe and crampons. Running shoes. Approach Notes: Running shoes to the bottom of the Hogsback, then skis to Heather Meadows. Car shuttle.
  12. 2 points
    Trip: Royally Smooting - North Ridge of Clark, Deception, from Royal Basin Trip Date: 06/15/2019 Trip Report: Who else out there is working through the Smoot book? C'mon, it's OK to admit it, Jeff came up with a great list of peaks that will get you to the corners of the Cacades and the Olympics. Take Royal Basin, for example. I wouldn't have thought of dealing with the hassle of ferries, permits, and bear cans if it weren't for that long out of print tome. And, I would have missed out on a great adventure with @ZakG. I'm continually reminded that there is a lot to recommend in that book. If you do go Royally Smooting though, you may not want to haul all the gear necessary to climb the North Ridge of Clark (as recommended by Smoot). While supposedly the "best" climb in the Needles, Zak and I thought that it wasn't THAT classic. The regular scramble route is interesting enough and easily passable with no rope, harness, or pro. On Deception, you'll want enough snow to cover the amazing amount of loose rock that this peak is known for. Shoot for when Royal Lake is snow free but the upper basin is still snowed in....like we did. It was just about as good of conditions as you could ask for. Captions refer to the photos below...... You know you're hiking in the Olympics in the spring when you see rhododendrons on the trail: Shelter Rock is aptly named: First look at the Needles, Johnson and the Sundial (L-R): Hiking up to Clark with Deception behind: Clark. The North Ridge is the right skyline: Mount Johnson: Leading up the North ridge of Clark. Lots of lichen and mediocre rock. Good, I guess, for the Olympics: Summit views from Clark looking across Royal Basin to Warrior, Constance, Inner Constance, Stone(?), Mystery, and Deception (L-R): Descending Clark, don't go this way. Up and right from where the photographer is instead: The regular route on Clark is impressive and actually pretty pleasant, despite appearances: Mount Mystery: Gray crested rosy finch, lord of the high alpine: Heading up the regular route on Deception with Johnson behind: Gilhooley Tower: Last look at Deception leaving upper Royal Basin: The classic finish to an Olympics trip. Waiting for the ferry at Kingston: Gear Notes: Light 40m rope, small rack of nuts and tri cams, helmet, crampons, ice axe. Approach Notes: Royal Basin, the permit is key. Go early in the season before they allow for advance reservations. We had no problems securing one, although we started on a Thursday and finished on a Saturday.
  13. 2 points
    Trip: Mt Hood - Cathedral Ridge (via bike approach) Trip Date: 06/22/2019 Trip Report: Ever since I encountered this excellent-looking bike ride on the interwebs, I've been scheming to combo it with a climb of Hood. http://bestrides.org/lolo-pass-back-road/ I left the town of Zigzag (at a painfully low 1500 ft elevation) on my bike at 4:30am, and began the ascent up to the trailhead via FR 1828. The pitch was quite reasonable, I was worried about the bike ride with all my gear, but after popping it in my lowest gear I was able to putter up without too much effort. I reached the trailhead around 6am and began the hike up Timberline trail. Pretty fantastic misty-light-through-trees action on the way up. I downloaded a trip report of Cathedral Ridge onto my phone, but hadn't started reading it until I got up to McNeil shelter. The TR made it seem quite convoluted and exciting, which gave me a bit of pause since I was just going up solo in my approach shoes. The route turned out to be quite straightforward though. Between 7400 and 8800 it stays more climber's left of the ridge, and ducks right of the ridge around a big cliffband at 9200. At least the way I did it. I took crampons on & off a few times when nice snow slopes appeared, but I encountered nothing steeper than 40 degrees. And it probably goes without saying, but the rock was pretty shitty and loose. I summitted around 11am, and saw my first humans of the day. Largely uneventful on the descent, other than a few exhilarating glissade runs. The road surface on FR 1828 was a bit iffy, so I instead descended East Lolo Pass Rd, which just consisted of open straightaways at relatively mellow grades. I was really psyched on this trip! Really cool part of the mountain, although this was my first time up Hood so I can't really compare. Route: Gear Notes: Ice axe, crampons, bike Approach Notes: Zigzag --> Timberline trail
  14. 2 points
    Trip: Mount Baker - North Ridge Trip Date: 06/15/2019 Trip Report: Climbed the North Ridge of Mount Baker on Saturday morning, awesome day. Hiking in we met a climber we knew who said the snow bridge across the Coleman/Deming had collapsed the night before and parties were turning around. But they saw someone who had rapped into the crevasse and walked out, so we figured one way or another we had a way down. Ran into some skiers on their way down who warned us very emphatically that the bridge was out. We were like, okay thanks. Then he repeated "its out, the bridge is OUT". Okay thanks, we got it. Got to the snowfield and found a large group of about 6 who were bailing out because they heard the Coleman was out. Okay, on we went. Got camp setup around the 6600ft football area and had the place to ourselves early afternoon. Not much in the way of tracks we could see so we hiked about another 1000ft up to the base of the ridge to log a track and make a bootpath to follow the next morning. We did start to pickup some previous bootprints around the base of the ridge. Started up around 3:30am on Saturday and got to the base of the climb around 7:30. Saw previous tracks that came up both the left and right sides of the ridge. Most went lower around the base so we took that path which worked out great. As I was leading up the ice pitch saw a pair coming up behind us. First people we saw that day. A guide and his client we leapfrogged the rest of the route with. As I was belaying up my wife another pair of climbers were getting to the base of the climb, but we never saw them again. We also saw 3 climbers much further down the ridge but never saw them again either rest of the day. Got to the summit around 10:30am. Steep in sections but there was a cruiser bootpath already there. We only had to kick back in part of the path traversing over toward the base of the climb that had melted out quite a bit. On the way back down the Coleman, as expected, people had figured out the end run and the Coleman/Deming route was just fine. Back at the trailhead ran into another group heading up for the North Ridge who had just left a car shuttle at the Easton trailhead to do a carryover because they heard the Coleman was out. Bummer they had to do that. Gear Notes: 60m rope, 3 pickets, 6 screws. Approach Notes: While the snowbridge at the end run was in (where I was standing in the pic above) and is the way across it does look like it could collapse further. And rangers are saying its the worst conditions they have seen in 25 years. Just an FYI to check your route options before you go.
  15. 2 points
    Trip: Mount Cruiser - Southwest Corner Trip Date: 05/26/2019 Trip Report: Note that the road was opened by the park service only for Memorial Day weekend and has otherwise been closed for construction. Check ahead of time with NPS about the road access to the trailhead. Mount Cruiser YouTube Video Also, some beta such as on Summit Post says NWFS pass is needed. If you park at the trailhead you need an Olympic Park pass (can pay cash or credit card in the envelopes) if the booth is closed. Could also park on the road outside the park booth and walk in. NFWS pass may be needed at that point? Weather was wonky everywhere this weekend. Olympics had a potential window for Sun/Mon so we changed our plans 4 times before deciding on a 2-day Cruiser trip. Plan was to hike in Sun and camp at Gladys Divide (note a camping permit is needed for either Flapjack Lake or Gladys Divide, they are in the same zone). So we got permit by phone from the Hoodsport WIC on Friday. (view from camp up the approach to Beta and the Needle) 5hrs from trailhead to Gladys Divide and pitched camp around 1pm. A couple guys came down from Beta right about then said the weather in all directions looked great. Originally there were slight chances of thunder starting around then. So since weather was shifting and Monday was looking potentially worse we geared up last minute and decided to make a run for the climb right then at 2pm figuring we would be coming back to camp around dark. (3rd class scramble up Beta from the Needle) Only took us 1:45 from camp to the base of the 4th class scramble up Cruiser. (2nd rap anchor, there's a tree anchor as well a bit further left, a 60m rap will get you to the snow from the tree, we didn't use this one). The 2 gullys were a mix of snow, rock and moats but were navigable. (the "4th class move", just a step down) There were a pair of minimalist climbers ahead of us. Picking out their footprints in the snow in a few places sped up our routefinding of the gullys. So, whoever you two were Thank You. First one with the "4th class move" was easy, finding the 2nd gully would take a bit of poking around if you didn't know where to look, we stayed high on the ridge where the snow topped out, then dropped down the ridge. From there it was a mix of rock scrambling, crossing the snow, and navigating moats to the base of the climb. (navigate down the 1st gully, skirted the moats and then find the next long gully, which was a mix of snow, rock and moat navigation) From there another 2 hours for the first of us to climb the 4th class pitch, up the 3rd class through the cannon hole and then climb the standard route to the summit. That put us there around 6pm. Probably around 8:00 to 8:30 before we had all 4 people back down at the base of the climb and ready to head back. (first view of Cuiser from the top of Beta before dropping down the 1st gully) Another 3 hours to get back to the camp at 11:30pm. With the sun going down we were going back up the 2nd gully in the dark then taking it much slower down the 3rd class scramble of Beta. Did a double rope rap from the tree anchor on Beta which got us a bit down the snow slope. Snow conditions were easy enough to run down the entire slope to camp. Around 19 hours actual moving time car-to-car for the climb with 4 people (with overnight packs). There is a mouse or snaffulhound at Gladys Divide sporting a new neon green nest. Woke up to a shredded rope the next morning. One of the minimalist climbers we met also had a chunk taken out of his climbing glove from a snaffulhound that bit his hand at the top of the 4th class gully scramble rap station. I saw a couple of them running around the climbing route. Gear Notes: ice axe, 60m rope, crampons (not really needed), light rack (.5, a couple microcams, #2 cam, a few slings, cordellete for belay anchor) - brought more pro but didn't use it. Approach Notes: 5hrs trailhead to Gladys Divide, bit of snow starting below the divide, snow covered approach to base of Beta, Beta is snow free, mixed snow/rocks/moats in the gullys but navigable. 4th class scramble and route are snow free. 1:45min from Gladys Divide to base of 4th class pitch.
  16. 2 points
    Trip: Mount Adams - Adams Glacier Trip Date: 06/11/2019 Trip Report: Went for a night out to the Adams Glacier for a go at things. Just wanted to share a few notes. The road between Divide Camp TH and Killen Creek TH is nearly melted out and has one rutted snow patch passable with a decent clearance ride. There's still decent snow cover for most of the second half of the approach to High Camp. From the base of of the Adams Glacier we noticed a disconnected block above the left traverse exit out the top of the route. As the sun rose we saw light shinning through the sides and underneath the block. So we opted for climbing ice in some crevasses instead. There was a decent amount of ice fall and rockfall activity while we hung out on the glacier yesterday until about 1300hrs. If anyone heads out here over the next year for the Adams glacier any notes on the block above the left exit traverse would be appreciated. Gear Notes: Pickets, ice tools and screws, rope, harness, no snow flotation devices, suncreen, hot tub. Approach Notes: Walk trail to snow and then find your way.
  17. 2 points
    Thanks for doing the write up Joe! Good to get out and climb with you again after all these years.
  18. 2 points
    There are a number of lovely Seattle neighborhoods that I personally like; Queen Anne, Freemont (Adobe, Google, Tableau and the center of the universe), U-District (University of Washington), Mount Baker (easiest access to I-90 and the mountains in Seattle), Montlake, Ravenna, Ballard, Wallingford, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Laurelhurst (Bill Gates Sr.), Madison Park (Tom Skerrit), The Seattle Highlands, and South Lake Union (Amazon). All of these neighborhoods have a different vibe than each other and you could find one that appeals to you but unless you earn a fuck ton of money you will not be able to afford to rent a house with a yard. Also, access to the mountains is more difficult than the east side (of Lake Washington), but there are a number of climbing gyms throughout the city and some nice parks for trail running. Traffic is as bad as the media makes it out to be. Renting in Bellingham is tough because it is a college town, but certainly less expensive than any of the Seattle neighborhoods. If you can work anywhere, somewhere like Preston, Fall City, Carnation, North Bend (Twin Peaks fame), Wenatchee, or one of the smaller towns near Bellingham like Ferndale or Mount Vernon would offer better affordability and great access to the mountains while being plenty close to climbing clubs and guide services. I live in Issaquah, which in addition to being an easy 20 minute bus ride into Seattle is a great location for all outdoor recreation: world class trail running from my front door (the Issaquah Alps), 20 minutes to rock climbing in North Bend (Exit 32 and Exit 38), and 40 minutes to Snoqualmie Pass for lift serviced skiing, back country skiing, ski mountaineering, alpine rock climbing, and very accessible winter mixed alpine climbing due to the proximity to the ski resorts. It is, however, very much the 'burbs. Think Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW SUVs, families with young children, good schools, and no singles scene to speak of. It is more affordable than Seattle or Bellevue, but not inexpensive either. If I were not tied to a job in Seattle I personally would look hard at the Mazama/Twisp/Winthrop, Leavenworth/Peshashtin/Cashmere/Wenatchee, and Bellingham/Ferndale/Mount Vernon/Anacortes metropolitan areas.
  19. 2 points
    Trip: Sloan Peak - Corkscrew Trip Date: 06/01/2019 Trip Report: My partner Alex and I climbed Sloan Peak via the Corkscrew Route yesterday. We left the parking lot on the North Fork Sauk River Road at 8:30 am and with a fairly leisurely pace made it back by 9:00 pm. This is a great shorter alpine trip with all of the fun elements - wacky river crossings, a cushy footpath most of the way, some glacier walking, heather ledges, and a short scramble to a pointy summit with an amazing view. Highly recommended. The approach is fun this time of year! Plenty of slippery logs for the initial crossings over the Sauk River. We crossed 4 braids of the river by walking across the logs Man on Wire style! After this, the trail is in great shape and makes for easy walking. We stepped over a few patches of snow starting at 4500 ft and then put on our boots at 5000 ft. We booted through the soft but supportable snow up to the edge up the glacier and crossed fairly close under the east face. No issues with the glacier, few cracks are open at this time. I would not want to be there when the face is shedding much rock, but there was only a handful widowmakers embedded in the glacier when we passed through. The heather ledges have quite a bit of snow on them still but are passable. The gully next to the south rib is still entirely filled with snow so we went up and around a heather covered ramp with no-fall type exposure. Once there, it was a short 3rd class scramble on clean warm rock up to the summit. Glorious! The glissade down was a hoot! We hustled back down to the Sauk and managed to cross 7 braids of the stream?!? My partner gave up at some point and started marching directly through the river and soaked his pants and shoes. Ha ha. Then it was merely schwacking through devil's club, alder, and stinging nettle until we regained the hiking trail to the parking lot. Apparently we haven't yet honed our Cascades approach/deproach skills yet Gear Notes: boots, crampons, harness, ice axe Approach Notes: North Fork Sauk. River crossings were....
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    No problem. Happy to help. I think we nailed the season. The snow was stable and firm, the guide companies had been sending clients up on most peaks already, and the weather was great—dry pretty much the whole time. Three weeks actually bordered on too much for us. After two weeks, we'd climbed everything on our initial three-week itinerary and we even considered flying home early or heading to another destination, but decided to just do one more peak. This was partly due to weather, conditions, and logistics all working out really well for us. My three-week trip to Patagonia felt too short due to difficult weather. Two-and-a-half weeks in Peru was also bordering on too short, given getting sick there. So three weeks is a good duration if you can swing it to buffer for the unexpected. We left Bolivia feeling like there wasn't much unfinished business. Other options for us were the West Face of Huayna Potosi and the Grand Traverse of Illimani. We would have done the latter if we'd been a bit more healthy and confident at the end of the trip. We considered Chachacomani, but it didn't sound terribly interesting. Ancohuma was a similar story. Sajama didn't sound interesting to us at all. I think Peru might have an edge if you're choosing between the two for a first trip: Huaraz is more of a mountain town with a scene focused on climbing, there are more route and peak options, and the climbing can be more technical (but there are easier options as well). La Paz is a big city and the peaks are generally less technical. Transportation is similar. Some approaches in Peru are bigger and make more sense to do with support (donkey drivers, etc.), which is an interesting experience. We did like the faster and lighter approach in Bolivia having experienced both, though. It's pretty cheap in both countries once you're there. I believe Bolivia has the edge on cheapness. We didn't hire a guide in either place, but we heard that Peru has "European rates" while Bolivia was surprisingly cheap for guides, porters, donkey drivers, and cooks from what we heard. Hotels were easily bookable online for both places in advance and costs were pretty reasonable. Bolivia was downright cheap. We found it was worth spending a bit more in Huaraz—our first hotel smelled like sewage and had a lot of street noise. Basic supplies where cheap in both places. For example, we bought standard butane fuel for our stove at 20 Bolivianos per canister in La Paz ($2.90). There are normal grocery stores in La Paz with staples. Huaraz had some smaller ones and you could buy things like oats, dried fruit, salami, etc. in the markets. Taxis worked in both places and were pretty reasonable (3-hour drive from Illimani was 450 Bolivianos / $65) and some transportation made sense to do in Collectivos in both places, which are dirt cheap. Looking forward to hearing about your adventure down there. - Jeff
  22. 1 point
    Thanks for the info! I have a few more questions: Did you feel like you scheduled your trip for the optimal time? In retrospect would you have planned an earlier or later trip in the season? Did three weeks feel rushed for acclimatization, travel, and all the peaks you climbined? If you had an additional week in Bolovia are other peaks you would have liked to climb in the Cordillera Real? For an Andes newbie, (but no stranger to big, cold peaks), would you recommend Peru or Bolivia for a first trip? Can you comment on the relative expense, booking accommodations, obtaining basic supplies (stove fuel, food), and transportation to the mountains between the two countries? Thanks, DPS
  23. 1 point
    Would be me and my associate. We followed the same line you took up the cliff, summited at 1:00. We didn't learn about the snow bridge collapses ourselves until we were almost upon them on the way down
  24. 1 point
    Trip: Colchuck Peak - North Butress Couloir Trip Date: 06/09/2019 Trip Report: The NBC is in fine shape right now, go get it! morning light on Colchuck Peak and Colchuck Lake: on the approach: looking up the couloir: there is one melted out rock band down low: enjoying the climb: on the upper face: summit city: goat-ville: Gear Notes: small rock rack; no ice screws necessary right now Approach Notes: trail is in good shape
  25. 1 point
    DUDE, CAN'T YOU LISTEN? The entire Coleman glacier is OUT! Interesting that it is that close to being problematic this early in the year....
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    Everything is "inspired by" now. Needs more Jzaing. "Our five became six one morning when Herbert Stencil walked into camp. "I've been sleeping in ditches" he said apropos of nothing, and began eating my breakfast. Mr. Stencil is the world's oldest climber. He's been climbing so long, everyone he's ever climbed with is dead; his one claim to fame is that he once stepped in a pile of Fred Beckey's shit in an alder thicket in the Bugaboos." "
  28. 1 point
    Olympia is a good area, though with the same cost increases afflicting much of the west coast. Similar to Bellingham as a city, but further from the Cascades, and for the most part further from good rock climbing. I do like living here though.
  29. 1 point
    This was one of the funnier TRs I've read recently. Your suffering is my entertainment, many thanks!
  30. 1 point
    Both Whatcom and Skagit counties are getting pretty expensive, unless you are on the outskirts, but I think that is just true for the entire west coast at this point. Bellingham area is a pretty amazing place to live; I wish I had moved here much sooner. There is a lot of construction going on in northern Bellingham which I'm hoping will eventually decrease the cost some.
  31. 1 point
    Cascadeclimbers is old enough to get drunk (at least in Canada) and have its own kid by now.
  32. 1 point
    Gene and I went to school together in Bellingham (along with Justin Sjong, Dberdinka, Jason Martin, and many other strong climbers) and yeah it is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the cost of living has increased dramatically since we were in college 25 years ago, but so the Seattle metropolitan area in general For some perspective, I went to high school in Washington D.C. during Reagan's first term 1980-1984. Seattle, while having grown dramatically in the last 10 years, is very different than metropolitan D.C. Similar to NYC, it is a city of neighborhoods, most of which are not affordable for me, and I work as a software developer, my wife as a civil engineer. We live in the 'burbs with a very convenient commute via mass transit. I also agree with Jason regarding Wenatchee/Leavenworth. I know people who work in Seattle and rent apartments but have homes in Leavenworth. There is an excellent guide service in Leavenworth, so if by education you mean climbing, you would be covered there. I also know a number of Microsoft employees who live in Mazama and telecommute. Mazama would be pretty awesome and is more affordable than Seattle, Leavenworth, or Bellingham. The downside is that is remote, particularly in winter with Wenatchee being the closest city of any real size.
  33. 1 point
    bellingham. damn I love me some bellingham. you can find careers there. Educational clubs courses? they have a bellingham mountaiineers club. for solid internet remote location crew, there are lots of them in mazama. damn fine place that mazama. What about requirement for winter skiing/boarding? that could make the choice easier.
  34. 1 point
    I have friends who really like Wenatchee. But that is further from the classical mountaineering photos that has likely drawn you to the PNW, and I'm not sure if they have much in the way of clubs or instructional courses. Or, there is always Bellingham, because they're looking for people to support the baristas who have graduate degrees but can't leave the town they went to school in. And they have lots of mountain guides who could use your instructional $$.
  35. 1 point
    Here is a picture of June 14th, 2010. What a difference in snow levels. Below is the ice stop. It looks like the ice step has lost about five feet of ice. That right variation didn't exist nine years ago.
  36. 1 point
    Says who? Melting of ice off the mountains significantly added to risk factor. North Faces in the Cascades were routinely done mid summer, now they would be nearly suicidal. Because of climate change, risk factors went up. It was showing in the Alps already since the 90's, but it's showing now here as well.
  37. 1 point
  38. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Pilchuck - Mt. Pilchuck Trail Trip Date: 05/11/2019 Trip Report: First trip report here. Hi everyone! The road near the Heather Lake trailhead is terribly potholed. I drove a small sedan up there and made it without too much trouble, but if you're not used to swerving around potholes it could be difficult. The way back down was worse because of the all the cars parked made for less maneuvering room. Once past the Heather Lake trailhead, it's smooth sailing though; the road is clear and in fairly good shape all the way to the Pilchuck trailhead. Breaking out of the forest is where the snow begins. It could be skinned, but I ended up booting the whole thing since the snow was conducive to hiking and it was quicker to do that than take off my skis again to get over the rocks higher up near the summit. I started my descent down the Gunsight around 10am. It was mostly melted out near the bottom, but there was a small amount of snow left on skier's right that allowed me to ski down to the bottom. Judging from other trip report photos from earlier in the week, I'd expect it to be melted out entirely not too long from now. From there, I hiked up to the left through the trees and headed down Larrison ridge to meet up back with the trail. Gear Notes: Ski touring basics Approach Notes: Rough road to the trailhead. Trail is snow free until breaking out of the trees.
  39. 1 point
  40. 1 point
    Trip: Dome Peak - Dome Glacier - Main Summit Trip Date: 05/23/2019 Trip Report: Dome Peak, May 22-24 2019 A mid-week hint of a break in the weather tempted us to Dome Peak. We chose Dome from several alternatives since the UW’s GFS model consistently showed it staying dry, in what was otherwise forecast by NOAA as three rainy days in the Cascades. The gamble worked! The Downey Creek trail is just glorious to “6-mile” (seems closer to 7 mi) camp - easy-going, soft trail bed, old growth forest. From there, travel and route-finding up the Bachelor Creek trail was easy enough until the notorious slide alder section. There, Beckey vol. 2 describes crossing to the south side of Bachelor Creek at ~4000 ft (as do a report or two on this site) and Nelson / Potterfield vol 1 describes the crossing at ~3,750 ft. But some Mountaineers' trip reports describe an alternate approach that worked well for us. In short, still following the trail on the north side of Bachelor Creek at about 4,100’, cut uphill (north) into the slide alder. A straight-forward, low-grade bushwack takes you up to the timber. We did our part to improve it by sawing out a couple dozen 1- to 2-inch branches that made the trail difficult to spot or pass. Currently a pink ribbon marks where the slide alder bushwack gives way to timber, and from there the trail is but a whisper, but it doesn’t really matter because the way is easy going on an uphill traverse until about 4,500 where there is a log to cross to the south side of the creek. 4,500’ also marked the start of continuous snow. In the open valley bottom, the snow was soft, which made for very slow going (post-holing) and covered any signs of the trail. In the timber, the snow was firmer and easier going, so we headed uphill, gaining the ridge between Bachelor Creek and Itswoot Creek at a col at 5540’ that is just above the word “Skagit” on the USGS Dome Peak quad. Once on the ridge, we traversed to the col above Cub lake, with nearly continuous views of Dome Peak (see photo), and large bear tracks. The way was mostly snow on the ridge, interspersed with patches of steep heather and a third class move or two to round the high point on the ridge (on the south side). The descent to Cub lake was about half snow, half heather and rock. We camped in snow on a knob just beyond the lake (see photo). There were wolverine tracks nearby. The climbing route up Itswoot Ridge and over to Dome glacier was almost entirely snow, and straight-forward, but for bad post-holing at the lower elevations where the snow hadn't frozen overnight. Higher up, the crampon conditions were perfect. The summit ridge was mostly snow, and though we continued out on it with a couple pickets, a delicate cornice blocked the way at the true summit block (see photo, looking SW). With huge exposure on the right, 45-degree softening, wet snow on the left, building clouds and a thunderstorm in the forecast, we called the exposed snowy ridge 'good enough' and began descending. By now the snow had softened considerably, and postholing made the way fairly slow-going. But the clouds retreated (temporarily), and we were still all smiles. We returned to camp just before the rain started, and the lightning plus thunder. The next morning the rain eased at about 7 am, and we began our drizzly hike out. We liked the ridge traverse so much we repeated it on the way out, and the rest of the way as well. Gear Notes: Took two pickets (used both on summit ridge) and one purple link cam (didn't use, couldn't access rock) Approach Notes: Downey Creek trail glorious, Bachelor Creek route getting clearer with greater use
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    That's fast! Dwight would be tickled to know that this route has become popular. It was one of his favorite adventures. When he relayed the story of it to me in the 90's it was obvious the details were still fresh in his mind, nearly 60 years later.
  43. 1 point
    Excellent photos and TR, Constance is on my list. I'm thinking this time of year might be optimal for less talus and more glissading?
  44. 1 point
    Hey all, I'm volunteering on a week-long backpacking trip with youth this summer through Big City Mountaineers, and thought maybe some of you would be interested in going on one of their trips. Feel free to pass along this information to others you think may be interested! Spoiler alert: there is no mountaineering. Just backpacking. Here is the email I got from the volunteer coordinator: * * * * Greetings PNW Friends and Big City Mountaineers Supporters, I am emailing you because I am still in need of 6 more male volunteers, and 1 female volunteer for our Big City Mountaineers trips this summer. Our volunteer mentors are integral to our mission and to a successful trip, and if you have given your time before on a BCM trip, or already plan to volunteer this summer, I want to express my deepest gratitude! Below are the dates of the trips and the associated youth agencies that still need volunteers. If you think you may be interested in making an expedition fit into your summer this year, please email me and we can start the process to registering you on a trip. If you know others who would be impactful mentors and willing to give a week to this experience, please pass this email and my contact information along. Portland-based Trips: POIC—Rosemary Anderson High School June 25-July 1 Male trip: need 1 volunteer Female trip: waitlist Ant Farm July 11-17 Male trip: waitlist Female trip: need 1 volunteer Police Activities League July 16-23 Male trip: need 1 volunteer Female trip: waitlist Seattle-Based Trips: Seattle Nativity School Juy 21-July 27 Male trip: need 2 volunteers Female trip: waitlist Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue July 30-August 5 Male trip: need 2 volunteers Female trip: waitlist Volunteer Training: June 1, 2019 in Portland, Oregon * it is very important to attend this training, but if you cannot, and would still like to volunteer on a trip, please reach out to me regardless and we can work something out. Below are the steps to volunteering on a Big City Mountaineers trip if you have not before: Here is a link to a presentation that will give you more of an understanding of Big City Mountaineers and the experience as a mentor. I have also attached the Mentor Position Description. For more clarification and details please call me (phone number below), and I’ll be happy to talk to you more about the volunteer experience. If, after watching the presentation and reading the description, you feel like this is an experience for you: • Submit an application through this link: https://formstack.io/59DD8 o At that time I will reach out to you to set up an informal phone interview o I’ll check your reference, and get you set up with an expedition date • Submit a registration and $150 volunteer fee (to help cover expedition costs) • complete the background check • Get stoked! This is truly a wonderful experience spent with inspiring youth and like-minded adults! Participate in a Volunteer Training June 1st, at the Mazamas in Portland, Oregon Thank you so much for your support and for passing this along to people you feel are—or could be-- passionate mentors! Sincerely, Anne Hayward anne@bigcitymountaineers.org * * * * Alisse
  45. 1 point
    Lesley I'm very sorry to hear of John's passing. I barely knew him - we were referred to each other by Bryce Simon, I believe - and we did only one climb together, the 1977 first ascent of the East Buttress of Mt. Slesse. I just happened to run across a recent routes guide to the East side of the mountain online and found our names, which led to wondering whatever became of John, and here I am popping out of the past, late as usual. I'm afraid I have little to add to his remembrance save that he was comfortable to be with and held up his end of the rope, saving my 24-year old ass with a smooth belay when a little nubbin crumbled under a skyhook and a #1 hexcentric about 8 ft below held (barely - the cord was halfway broken). This was on the thin face pitch above the point where the buttress dies into the East Face - a very airy, hairy crux to be climbing in alpine packs. A haul line would have been a nice addition to our skimpy equipage - and a couple more bottles of water. Fortunately it wasn't too long for us and the terrain eased into a series of shallow steps, all rounded but with good holds. It was still a fair ways before I found any decent anchor. We descended via the North Ridge with a couple of rappels through the cliffs. John got a little testy with me when I tied off and dangled in a blueberry patch for a few minutes while he waited below ignorant of my bliss. All the best Dennis Attached photo may be from the same descent route on an earlier climb of the N.E. Buttress route I did with Dave Tucker in '75 or '76.
  46. 1 point
    Thanks for pointing this out @ivan. This is a known issue (some of my TRs also) that @jon is going to take a stab at when he can.
  47. 1 point
    Trip: Colchuck - Colchuck Peak, DragonTail Peak, Enchantments Trip Date: 05/04/2019 Trip Report: Decided to do a long 1-day solo trip of Colchuck Peak and Dragontail. Last minute decision to exit through the Enchantments. 22 miles, 8000ft gain, 21 hours. Started at 10:30pm on Friday, timed it to get across the slopes to Dragontail before they got much sun. Temps through the night were in the 30s. 5 hours from Bridge Creek to the far end of Colchuck Lake, pretty good snow conditions, minimal postholing with boots. Colchuck glacier was in great shape, easy walk up to the col. Colchuck is melted out more than I've seen before this early. Mix of snow and rock. Gully from the col to Dragontail was in great shape, climbed the rocks to exit to the ridge. Started across towards Dragontail peak around 9:30am. Summit of Dragontail by 10:30am. 12 hours on the dot. Being that early figured I had all day to go through the Enchantments instead of Aasgard Pass. Glissaded down the slope from the base of Dragontail into the Enchantments. Snow was firm and fine for hiking all the way across in boots. 14 hours in was almost to the exit down to Snow Lake. Took 6 hours to finish the exit out to the Snow Lake trailhead. Posthole hell. Figured that would be a popular enough route there would be some kind of bootpath kicked in to follow out. Nope. Only saw 3 people camped at Colchuck Lake on my way in, didn't see anyone else till coming across a couple pair of skiers on their way up from Snow Lake. And a big thank you to the awesome couple from Canada who I hitched a ride from for the 3.5 mile ride back to my truck at the end of the day as the sun was setting, I was nodding off and I lost the last bit of cell service. Gear Notes: ice axe, ice tool, crampons Approach Notes: Gate closed, started at Bridge Creek Campground. Road is snow free till trailhead, mixed snow and trail till branch to Colchuck lake then snow. Was fine with boots, minimal postholing.
  48. 1 point
    Trip: Bear Mountain - North Buttress: Beckey Route Trip Date: 07/15/2018 Trip Report: Bear Mountain: Two new dads trying to keep a 10 year dream alive For me, mountains can become obsessions, sometimes to the point of irrationality. In my life, no mountain, or route has been more indicative of this than the North Buttress of Bear. I stumbled upon Bear in 2007 in my early days of climbing WA by devouring each page of the Beckey guides like they were some gripping novel. Trip reports from this site only further set the dream of someday ascending this monster objective. Being nothing but a budding sport climber at the time, this peak seemed out of my grasp. As the years went on, I honed my mountain skills. I learned to trad lead, sent my first few alpine rock routes, got on my first glaciers, and began developing the mind for the rigors of schwacking in the cascades. By 2011, I began thinking this dream could possibly become a reality for me. I even found a climbing partner, Andrew, who shared my dream. Each year we'd talk about making our dream a reality but each Summer would come and go without an attempt. For 5 years in a row we'd try to make plans only to see them fall through. Timing, schedules, obligations, weather, forest fires, and work all conspired against us. Fast forward to 2016, and each of us became fathers of our first children. Yet another reason to push Bear farther from our grasps. During the first year of fatherhood I discovered, although not surprised, that being a father does not easily co-exist with committing alpine objectives. My fit physique, lead head, and drive for summits began to recede like the glaciers surrounding the peaks I had grown to love so much. Over trail runs, occasional crag days, and family outings, Andrew and I still spoke of our mutual dream contrasted with our diminished abilities. One thing was clear from these conversations: the dream, and our stoke was still alive for our beloved Bear. Spring of 2018 came around. It had been a dismal Winter of training. Trips to the crags confirmed, family obligations and our lack of training over the Fall and Winter had left both of us less than prepared to crush in the coming Summer, but we began to discuss plans for Bear as we did every year. We settled on the dates of July 13-15 and began attempting to play catch up with our training. As the dates drew closer, one thing became certain, neither of us felt strong. But the week of July 4th came and still nothing looked to foil our set plans. So early July 13th we made the early morning drive to the end of the Chilliwack road along Chilliwack Lake in British Columbia. The bushwhack across the border and out to bear camp lived up to its dreaded hype. Six hours of magical, rarely touched old-growth forest contrasted with the torturous efforts required to navigate and move through said forest left us bewildered and uncertain. This uncertainty as well as the contrast of beauty and torture would be a reoccurring theme over these 3 days. From bear camp to the bivy on the western shoulder of bear is 4000 vertical feet up. A quarter of the way up, late afternoon, and we were beat. I am on liter 5 of water, schwacking in my underwear due to the heat and effort. Both of us are bonking and cursing ourselves for thinking we could pull this objective off. We were not fit. We had not trained enough. Doubt began to dominate our thoughts. It has already been 8 hours of this shit and we still had 3,000 feet of trail-less hell ahead of us. Who were we kidding? There was no way we were going to make it to camp before dark. We sat, uncomfortably, on a steep slope, in the middle of nowhere and began talking of retreat. "Squamish isn't too far away, is it?" "I guess we could always just crag at Mt. Erie on our way back to Seattle." Inside, a voice screams at my exhausted brain, "MT. ERIE!!!!???? Are you fucking serious!!?? I am never coming back into this valley again. It is now or never for Bear. The dream either lives or dies on this shitty, viewless, insignificant slope." My senses kicked back in. Remember, anything too big to fathom all at once needs to be broken into digestible chunks. The decision to push on grew from this and we decided to at least try to make it to the lake for the night and we would make the next decision from there. Two hours later, after 1,000 feet of extremely steep blueberry bush pulling, we broke out into the alpine and our spirits began to soar like a vulture in a thermal updraft. It’s amazing how something as simple as alpine views can change the mindset and determination of a climber. I began to feel rejuvenated. Maybe we could make the bivy site before dark. A heather-strewn meadow on a gentle shoulder gave us the first real physical break of the day. Panoramic views of remote North Cascade summits rose all around us. A mother Ptarmigan and her brood of chicks sprinted out of the bushes, snapping me from my alpine daze. Discussions of a potential closer bivy site gave us a closer goal. Running on fumes, past the lower bivy spot, and we still have light. Must, keep, moving. At last, 12 hours after leaving our car, we collapsed at the col. We had made it. I promptly gave the double middle finger to the valley below, clearly showing the shit-show we just wallowed through. We promised ourselves we would not make a decision about what to do about the next day until after we ate. Dinner went quick. As we crawled into our bags, we listened to the cacophony of a thousand tiny flying vampires trying desperately to find a way through our netting and into our skin. Twilight lit the sky with a rainbow of color. We both agreed that since we had overcome the uncertainty and brutality of what many, including us, consider the hardest approach in the Cascades, we felt obligated to throw ourselves at the North face the next morning even as our bodies screamed in opposition. We awoke with the sunrise. I shook the heaviness of last nights sleep from my head and felt somewhat shocked that yesterday wasn't some dream/nightmare. I was here. We were about to start our summit day. A day we have both been dreaming of for at least 10 years. With each sip of coffee, my stoke began to rise. We strapped on our crampons and make a quick and pleasant descent onto the north side of the mountain. We turned a corner to catch our first glimpse of Bear's north buttress. Ominous, glorious, stunning, perfection on ice. Words cannot really describe the feelings I had, but these are close. Upon seeing both the direct north buttress and the north buttress couloir, we checked in. The direct looked safer as the couloir looked broken up near the top, but our energy levels and dismal cumulative rock pitches for the year had us thinking that the extra rock pitches might not be reasonable. We settled on following the couloir and Beckey's footsteps. In hindsight, this might this might have been a bad idea, but I am pretty sure I would have said the same thing if we had taken the other option. Either way we felt the collective weight of our dreams, the debilitating approach that we vowed never to do again, and the sheer power of what we were trying to accomplish. I felt as if every step upwards tightened the grip of the vice we were in. Committed, for better or worse, to move upwards. We switched back and forth from approach shoes to crampons a few times and quickly found ourselves in irreversible territory. There is terror and clarity in realizing the only way out of a predicament is forward. We broke out the rope to lead our first pitch out of the couloir. A shit show of snow, poor pro behind detached blocks, and slopey ledges littered with rocks of all shapes and sizes. My rope skirted across a ledge and sent a microwave down towards Andrew. Our years of work together in the mountains gave us the foresight to expect such events and was glad Andrew had set himself out of harm’s way before I led. We had reached the 4th class ledge system that would get us up to the North buttress proper. Kitty litter, slopey ledges, and the exposure below made for careful, calculated movements while simuling, often without adequate gear between us. Trust in each other became paramount and again I found myself thinking that I was thankful to be climbing with such a trusted partner. At last, we reached the first real quality pitch of the route. Beckey's glorious left facing 5.8 corner. Andrew led and we both laughed at the idea of "5.8" at the top. It felt like index 5.9+ but would be an instant classic if situated at the lower town wall. We were finally finding some type 1 fun. I linked the next two pitches of fun and deposited us at the base of the infamous 10a offwidth. DE8DD876-06ED-4585-BEE2-4CF80B5ED29B.MOV It was at this point that we began to feel the efforts of the pat 36 hours. Dehydrated, low on energy, and stoke, Andrew reluctantly agreed to lead the next pitch and quickly made the decision to take the 5.8 bypass pitch. We ended up breaking this pitch into two because the lower portion of the offwidth took most of our small cams and the upper 5.8 portion looked to take nothing bigger than a .75 BD. Crap. We swapped leads under the only stance Andrew could find conveniently under a car sized detached block. I was tasked with leading over it and him without touching it. Yikes. I led to a nice ledge and brought up my partner. Both of us feeling both physically, mentally, and emotionally drained, we began to flounder. Neither felt the desire to lead the next pitch. Bonking hard, I finally took the sharp end. Staying on the crest I mantled to the base of a steep featured, but unprotect-able face. I began to lose my cool. 15 feet above a ledge and my last piece and seeing committing climbing and no cracks above me, I retreated. Reversing the mantle had me nearly hyperventilating but I, somehow, safely made my way back to the anchor. We discussed our predicament, spied a horn with rap slings 30 feet down to our right and consulted our beta. We both thought that this was the Beckey rappel that would take us to a 4th class gully exit but our position would not allow us to confirm it. Below us, the gullies looked vertical, smooth, and crack-free. Committing to the rappel felt serious. Andrew rappelled at a diagonal across ribs, at times placing gear as directionals to reach the farthest gully. Upon reaching the first gully, Andrew looked up. There is no way that is 4th class. Second gully. Sweet baby jesus! It goes! Relief washed over us like a warm caribbean breeze. I rappelled down and we quickly began to lead. We both just wanted to be done with this endeavor. How quickly a dream becomes dread. My mind screamed, "Get me the fuck off this mountain!" After two rope stretching pitches and some mid fifth climbing (another sandbag) the Sun hit our darkened spirits and the tomb I'd climbed myself out of was no more. A few hundred feet of 3rd class was all that separated us from the summit. Elated, exhausted, and emotional, we hugged. I looked over the edge, down the north face and wept. Tears of joy, relief, and sadness fell hundreds of feet down the alpine face of my dreams. I always pictured myself feeling triumphant at this moment, but instead all I felt was relief and the intense desire to hug my wife and two year old son. We had done it. We had fought through constant moments of fear and uncertainty to obtain our dreams, but I felt far from dreamy. As we began the descent, I turned around and gave one last look at the summit of my dreams and gave it the double middle finger. I was done. I could close this chapter of my climbing pursuits. Fatherhood has changed my drive, my dreams, and my abilities. I am unsure if I will ever climb anything like this again, but much like any overwhelming obstacle, I will take it one decision at a time. Who knows how I will feel about such commitment and risk taking in the future. We hit a mellow snow slope and just like any decision we made that day, we assessed the terrain and made the best choice for moving forward. The joy in the glissade took me by surprise and I burst out into a giggle fit. Type 1 fun!!!! What a wild ride of emotions. We reached our bivy a half an hour before sunset. We smiled and laughed as we recapped the day. Feeling thankful and shocked to have pulled the ascent off, we crawled into our bags, passed a joint back and forth and fell into philosophical ramblings about life and reality. What a life we live. The next morning we made the long march back down to bear camp and through what felt like endless old growth shenanigans pushed by the thought of a dip in Chilliwack lake and the beer stashed there. Upon reaching the lake we found the beer gone, hoards of people on what I thought would be a secluded beach, and leash-less dogs aggressively charging us while the owner continued to flirt with some bikini-clad girl. WTF. I thought that was the shit-cream on top of a long and miserable day, but oh no. Upon reaching the trailhead I saw my car in the distance but somehow it did not look like my car. The back window was missing! Someone had broken into my car! Son-of-a-bitch! As we got closer, the horrific reality set in. My car had not only been broken into, it had been set on fire. The tires, the windows, the interior. Everything that could have burned did. My car was a hunk of metal and nothing more! I was in disbelief. How was this possible!?? How are we going to get out of here? Is this a nightmare? Am I still in the mountain sleeping in my bag and this is some horrid hallucination fueled by the joint and exhaustion? Nope. This was reality. Whoever did this also nearly set the entire forest on fire based on the completely burnt cedar behind my car. Jesus Fucking Christ! We could have been trapped in that valley if they had succeeded in doing so! As my mind swirled with the gravity of our situation, the last car in the parking lot approached us and gave us a ride into town dropping us off at the Chilliwack police. After reporting what had happened, expecting surprise, they just smiled and said, "Yep, this has been happened a lot this Summer and there was little they could do about it. They gave us our police report number and directed us to a local bar and motel. I called the border to confirm they would let me back into the states without my passport (burnt in the car) and made arrangements for a friend to come pick us up. ”the urban mountaineer” This trip will live in my mind till the day I die and will hopefully entertain many. Journeys like this are great reminders for what is important in your life and just how lucky I am to be apart of this amazing planet. Get after what fuels your soul people! Gear Notes: 60 m rope Double rack tops to fist. Single 4 and a set of stoppers. Lots of alpine slings Approach Notes: Follow the tape till you can’t then turn on your zen and be one with the forest.
  49. 1 point
    I'm honored and surprised you would dump my route overlays right into your website. But then again I learned everything I know from (imitating) you.
  50. 1 point
    Trip: Johannesburg Mountain and Cascade Peak - CJ Couloir to East Ridge and NW Chimney Date: 7/27/2013 Trip Report: I've really been in touch with the telepathic climbing universe lately. A coupla weeks ago I thought, "Man I should get up that Adams Glacier." Ten minutes later I get an email from a friend asking me to go do it. On that trip I started thinking about what I wanted to climb next. Nothing really is calling to me at the moment...except motherfuckin' J-BURG!! As soon as I get back into cell range I receive a message from Brad, the best climber I know, tapping me to join him for a Johannesburg. Um, hell yes!!?!? It's ON! I get my friend Jeremy on board so we can justify bringing doubles for longer raps and the trio is set. Since Brad is an overachiever he also wants to bag Cascade Peak the same weekend. What is Cascade Peak, you ask? I didn't know either. It's the mountain on the other side of the C-J Couloir, the 'C' if you will. Brad scoped it out on his first JBurg attempt and Beckey claims there is a '5.8 NW Chimney' route. Photo from my friend Derek who was up on Forbidden the same weekend. That is tiny Cascade Peak to the left of the CJ Couloir. We followed the east ridgeline of JBurg to the summit. Just because you're so lucky as to climb with the best climber you know, don't assume that means he's going to drag you up everything. It could be quite the opposite, where instead you solo everything, because he simply can't imagine why anyone would need pro right there. I got to sample both sides of the coin this trip! Drive up Friday night. Get to Cascade Pass TH, pass out on the ground in the picnic area with everyone else. There is a group exodus at 4 AMish. Everyone else is doing Sahale. We tell them we're doing Johannesburg. They peer up at the massive 5000' menacing face, then look back at us with a tiny bit of awe but mostly horror. Maybe pity. Classic pleasant climbs with good clean lines and good pro are wonderful but there is something compelling about hideous gnarly choss piles that scream extreme alpine adventure. Brad chugs a 5-hour energy shot which kind of annoys me because he's goddamn too fast as it is already, I do not need anymore disadvantages! The best thing about Johannesburg is that it has zero approach! You walk 1/4 mile down the road, then at the hairpin turn clamber down 30', cross the stream (which can be raging early season, but was nothing for us), bushwhack 15 minutes and you're at the base of the C-J Couloir. 3400' above it is the col, our bivy spot. We start two-tooling upward. The Becky book says 5 hours to the col, Brad says we'll do it in 3. I laughed, but we actually did do it in three, once Brad takes the rope from me after the first 1000'. The couloir gets a bad rap it doesn't deserve. It's quite scenic, not that steep till the last few hundred feet, and for the most part is pretty wide, not this death funnel of rock and ice fall that everyone assumes it is. There is a silly patch of easily avoidable ice which the boys climb through for shits and giggles and to break up the monotony. We reach the col and there is a beautiful bivy spot there perfect for 3 people. I'm glad we didn't take a team of 4 because that would have not worked! We take an hour to drop bivy gear and melt snow and then it is time to tackle J-Burg via its East Ridge. Not-so-harrowing stream crossing. We should be teddy bears and this scene should be imprinted on a Hallmark greeting card or perhaps an old lady sweatshirt. CJ Couloir = 3 hours of endless two-toolin' We cross the snow up a finger to the '5.2 white staircase'. It's granite, and the most solid thing we get to climb. Brad calls out to 'let him know if anyone wants a belay.' I can see already see that simul-climbing isn't going to be a viable option. Good spots for pro are few and far between, and there is so much loose choss that a rope would just knock more shit down on top of us. No matter, time to man up and simply trust in my abilites. I was quite late getting into the roped technical vertical world, choosing to instead scramble up easy scary stuff my early climbing career, so I should be a pro at this, right?! We traverse north across 'heather benches', a bit unnerving because I don't know how well I can trust the veggie belay of a handful of heather. It seems pretty strong...but it's kinda small...and just a plant. Up another 4th class gulley with a few exposed puckering moves to another loose awful gulley and we're on the false summit! Time for some ridge running, the real summit looks awfully far away. We get down on ledges on the southside down from the crest and damn the exposure is huge. After endless precarious clinging to the side of the moutain we turn up a pinnacle and we're on the summit! Topping out of the white staircase: 4th classin' it, Cascade Peak in the background: Ridge running! It's choose your own adventure. I choose the easiest least scary way, Jeremy chooses whatever he sees first. Brad being...Brad. We carried up crampons and ice axe but never needed them, fyi. Summit at 12:30. 7.5 hours after leaving the car and a stop to brew up at that. I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVE BAGGED THE ALMIGHTY J-BURG!! I remember climbing Forbidden West Ridge as a n00b and being so in awe of Johannesburg, not even daring to be so pretentious as to think I would ever climb it. I happily open the summit register like it's Christmas morning and delight in the fact that there are only a handful of signatures since 2006, and we're only the second ascent of the year. ERMAHGERD WE JUST CLIMBED JERHANNESBERG!!! The downclimb back to the col took us a coupla hours longer than the ascent. There is a lot of downclimbing traversing but all the steep gullies have rap stations. You rap below the heather benches directly onto the col rather than going back down the white staircase. We're back to the bivy site at 6:30. I left the bivy bourbon in the car cuz the container is leaking and I hate myself for it. Luckily Jeremy has some sweet bluegrass on his phone to play and make it feel more homey. We melt snow and our brand new steri pen stops working randomly so we give up and brave the red death. I keep looking over at the Fred Beckey '5.8 NW chimney' route on Cascade Peak. It looks GNARLY. Does Brad really want to climb that tomorrow? Is he really going to make us climb that? Hmm there are three of us. I could bail and sleep in. I joke about bailing but then Jeremy says HE was thinking about bailing. Nope, we're in this bitch together. Mt. Formidable makes a great alternate to a tv set. I think he may be my next crush... We're in bed at 9. Jeremy slept good but a rodent tore up the zipper on the brain to his pack and ate half of his bagel. I froze to death because I'm a tiny girl yet I keep trying to be an ultra light crusher by bringing only a 45 deg bag everywhere. Brad's neo-air popped in the middle of the night, prob because we were on a slope and slipped down into the rocks. Which is good, that will make him angrier and therefore better at leading us up Cascade Peak. Morning arrives and I try not to move, not wanting to wake Brad, hoping he will decide to sleep in and not to climb Cascade Peak. Brad doesn't make us get up till 7:30 (10.5 hours of sleep on an alpine climb, when does that happen!!) and we head over to the base of what Brad thinks is the route in the moat around 9. Brad, shoes wet and cold from the snow, fingers also cold from the snow, starts off on what we think is the first pitch, Becky 5.8. His rack consists of 7-8 nuts and some slings. It's a horribly broken, loose 5-6" crack. Brad climbs 5.12 trad and he's working hard for this pitch so I know it ain't no 5.8. I think he places 2 nuts total. I have to give it everything I got to follow, I call it 5.10. Jeremy calls it 5.9+ or 'Beckey 5.9'. The next pitch I think we are back on route, a somewhat aesthetic 'Beckey 5.8' chimney. Of course Brad has to lead it with no pro as we didn't bring a big bro. I don't get to chimney very often so this was pretty fun! Jeremy is carrying the pack so his life sucks even though he hangs it from his belay loop hahahaa. The last roped pitch should be easy but is completely horribly loose so we're required to use thinner solid holds. We simulclimb from the false summit and reach the summit. No summit register here! In fact, I see no signs of humans anywhere. No rap slings no pitons no nothing. Are we the first ascent in decades?? We make all of our rap stations and rap back down the route. Brad on the heinous first pitch. Perhaps it is an FA? Probably an LA too. No good photo of the kewl 5.8 chimney, but here's Brad on the third pitch: SUMMIT! I would love to hear from anyone else who has climbed Cascade Peak. We're back at the col at 4:30 PM. I do not relish downclimbing the couloir. 3400' of two-toolin face-in downclimbing sounds like hell to me. We did see some huge rockfall/icefalls off JBurg although they stopped on the Sill glacier and never entered the couloir. It's late in the day, the snow is slushy. Every other TR recommends something called 'Doug's Direct'. I must wheedle and cajole Brad into doing this descent, as he was super excited to be so close to the car. I claim I have 'used up all of my mental bravery and would just like a nice easy way back to the car even if it's long.' Brad relents, and that my friends is where I get PUNISHED for being a PUSSY. Who is Doug? EFF YOU DOUG! Doug will tell you a good way to get to Seattle from Portland is through Los Angeles! This descent should NOT be listed as a possible descent at all. The only option is the couloir. After the circuitous unpleasant not any safer 'Doug's Direct' I realized the couloir isn't bad at all. I would rather die in the CJ couloir than do Doug's Direct again. Endless heather sidehilling, up 1000' through 3rd-4th class rock mixed with heather, sketchy 3rd class downclimb on the other side (where it started thundering and all I could do was constantly exclaim "I'm STRESSED OUT!" to make myself feel better), endless traversing on snow and navigating through rock bands to 5 miles of trail back to the car. With all our bitching it did only take us 4.5 hours to reach the car from the col but we were also practically running, fueled by anger at Doug. At least DD is pretty, if you're into that sort of thing. Thanks to Brad and Jeremy for the awesome alpine twofer adventure!! Gear Notes: JBurg: set of doubles for longer raps. There is nowhere for ice screws in the couloir so leave those at home. Leave crampons and ice axe at base of east ridge. Rap stations are plentiful. Cascade Peak: doubles, 7 nuts, mank for rap stations, 1 crazy ass ropegun Approach Notes: None! Approaches are for suckers!!
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