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  1. 6 points
    Trip: Vesper Peak - No Colusion with the Russian on Ragged Edge Trip Date: 07/27/2018 Trip Report: OlegV (The Russian) and I climbed Ragged Edge (Original start) on Vesper Peak Friday. Thanks a lot to Darin and Gene for putting up such an enjoyable route in a truly splendid setting. They are wonderful, tremendous, people! We had debated whether to bring ice axe and crampons. Our man Tom came to us and emailed us saying he had gone in there in June, and there was still a lot of snow. Tons of snow in June, folks! So we would want to take the axe and pons. But the Russian was very powerful in their assertion that there would be no snow, and that we'd want to go light. Now, my sources are very good people, and I trust my sources very much, but I can say this for sure. I didn't see why there would* be any snow up there! But the Russian tore his old trail running shoe on the approach. SAD! (image by the Russian) When we got to the lake in the bowl below Sperry and Vesper on Thursday, it was still covered with snow. There was just about one small patch of dry flat ground by the side of Vesper creek for us to bivy (image by the Russian): We were worried we'd be screwed by the snow. Lots of snow up there still, folks! Lots of it! But we had made the best approach from the trailhead - of all time! No one before us has made such a tremendous approach!! *I wanted to make a small clarification about my previous statement. I meant to say "I didn't see why there wouldn't be any snow up there". That should clear it all up, folks. I was in my Nepal Evos (don't have a lighter shoe that's as comfy ).That came in handy the next day to deal with the snow. We followed the trail up the East shoulder of Vesper. Where we wanted to cut across to the gap, the snow angle was not too bad. I cut steps, and the Russian was able to follow just fine. Luckily, the North side was all snow free! Who would've known?! Nobody knew, folks, nobody knew! There was just a small patch on the approach ledge, which we bypassed easily: Since we wasted enough time dealing with the snow, we decided to go for the original start as soon as we came up to it. The climb was a lot of fun. Thanks much for the bolts and the fixed anchors - just at the right places! And we could get a bunch of gear in otherwise. Here are some pics from the climb: The last pitch, with Copper Lake in the background: (At) The Summit with the Russian. Notice the Russian looks a lot more calm, composed, and in control ! The Russian made a bunch of video recordings. Who would record their partner? SAD! But in all the recordings, my voice is there in only one of them! It was great to get my fat ass up in the hills again after two years. But trust me folks, it's all a witch hunt, and there was no collusion with the Russian! Your favorite CC.com-er has done nothing wrong! We took our time lingering in the 'pine (wanted to avoid traffic driving back to Portland). But then we got delayed for almost an hour by construction on I-5. SAD! The 24-hr espresso drive-thru in Everett, and lots of fun conversation with the Russian kept me awake for the drive home. Among other things, we talked about obesity, epics in the mountains, Dan Smith, Maria Butina, etc. But there was no colusion! Gear Notes: We brought too much, placed much. Leave the axe and pons at home. Approach Notes: The 2.2 miles of dirt road to the trailhead (from the Mountain Loop Highway) is in bad shape for compact cars. I had to be super careful not to bottom out my Impreza! A highe(er) clearance vehicle is recommended.
  2. 5 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.
  3. 5 points
    Trip: Pickets - North Buttress of Fury (during Pickets Traverse) Trip Date: 08/04/2018 Trip Report: Lani Chapko and I were planning on climbing Mount Robson via either the Kain Face or North Face, but weather looked iffy so I came up with a new objective that I thought would be equally challenging. We totally sandbagged ourselves on this route. Neither of us looked to closely at beta or trip reports, we just knew that the buttress was often approached from glaciers on the west side and the rock was supposed to be 5.6 or easier. I figured it would be like the DNB of Stuart with a long approach but no 5.9 climbing... The initial plan was to do a full Pickets traverse from Hannegan to Newhalem, climb Challenger, Fury, and maybe a Southern Picket. We set up the hella long car shuttle and started hiking to Hannegan Pass on Thursday afternoon. I screwed up big time and crossed the Chilliwack at the wrong point, and we traverse for an hour through steep trees to finally arrive at the faint trail up to Easy Ridge. ^ Getting lost on the way up to Easy Ridge As the sun set we set up camp at Easy Ridge and hoped for a dry night despite a wet forecast. On Friday we traversed over to Challenger in low visibility conditions. The Imperfect Impasse was snow-free, making things quite a bit more challenging than when I crossed it in May. On the way back up out of the Impasse, we hauled packs for a section. ^ Crossing the impasse We then crossed the Challenger glacier, also without any visibility. Lani was a route-finding pro somehow, and we didn't dead-end on any crevasses. Arriving at Challenger arm, the clouds cleared and we got our first look at our route up Fury *insert swallowing and stomach knots here*. ^Our route up Fury. Keep reading to know what NOT to do. We set up camp in Luna Basin and talked a bit about life and death (mostly death), and whether or not we should draw a line somewhere with regards to alpine climbing. We woke up at 4:30am and started up the west side of the buttress. ^The North Buttress in early morning The first crack at the base of the buttress we avoided by going to the right on mid-5th, loose, unprotectable rock. We soloed up without packs and then hauled them up with our rope. This became a common theme on the "approach", the glacier-carved rock was largely devoid of cracks and it seemed futile to use a rope without gear. The next rock band was harder and longer, we mostly went straight up from the top of the first snowfield and I found just one gear placement in about 130 ft of climbing. I think going further left and clipping trees would have been a better option. From here we excitedly got back on the steep snow and headed up toward the rock chute of doom. ^ rock chute of doom There was a big 'schund that extended out to the rock chute of doom (RCOD) forcing us to quickly cross the chute and head up the snow to the right. Throughout the approach so far we had noticed a couple small rocks coming down the chute but nothing worrisome. We climbed the snowfield and crossed the RCOD at a big boulder back onto the left snowfield/glacier. At this point it started raining lots rocks and ice, both down the chute and to the left and right of it, we quickly got under a big boulder at the base of the next rockband. We climbed the next rockband via the left side of the large boulder we sheltered under to avoid being in the shooting gallery. We looked down with distressed as more rocks and ice rained down on our approach path, meaning bailing would be a dangerous proposition as temperatures rose. Finally we scrambled up toward the buttress crest and excitedly put on rock shoes. We encountered a difficult 5.8ish step almost right away, which was not very well protected. We wanted to simulclimb a lot of the ridge, but with only a few cams and some nuts it was hard to climb for a long enough time to make simuling efficient. So we ended up doing a mixture of long pitches and soloing/scrambling. ^ Lani after pulling a 5.9ish roof and finding a hand crack, one of very few sections of good climbing on the route. We climbed up rock for a while before arriving at the "snow crossing". We were able to skirt the snow on the right side, however, and avoid putting shoes/crampons on. ^ "Is it hands?!?" - Me ^ "It's friggin hands Tyler!!" - Lani More scrambling intermixed with 5th class led us up toward the snow arete. We noticed the skies were getting dark to the east after a remarkably clear day. After finishing a long pitch, I looked up at the rest of the route. At that moment, electricity rained down from the sky. The thunder and lightning occured simultaneously and sounded like a bomb, striking the mountain a stone's throw away. I looked down at Lani, "On belay?". We continued climbing to find a better spot to hunker down. By the time the storm looked like it was subsiding, it was about 7pm and we weren't sure if we would be able to top out in daylight. We found an almost tent-sized area with just a few thousand feet of exposure off the eastern edge of the buttress. After moving rocks to make a vaguely flat platform, we decided we would take up landscaping afterward and setup the first light as the rain started to fall. ^ Setting up camp in a rather precarious position I slept comfortably despite having my feet over the edge, and we woke at first light with a plan I was not excited about. It was Sunday morning. Our car was in Newhalem and I was supposed to be at work on Monday morning. We had a bit of extra food but not enough to continue through the Southern Pickets. I told Lani we'd take the "fast" way out via Access Creek to Ross Dam. She didn't know what that meant luckily. We climbed up the half snow-arete, half choss ridge. ^ On the second section of snow near the top of Fury ^ The final section of climbing to the summit area/false peak. I felt pretty maxed out in my approach shoes on this gradient Topped out at about 7:30am. All we had to do was traverse steep heather/talus/snow to Luna Col, then up and back down to Access Creek, shwack out the creek to the trail, and then hike 17 miles out to the highway, and then hitchhike back to Newhalem to pickup Car #1, drive back to Hannegan to pickup Car #2, and then back home. Our splits roughly: 4:15am - Wake-up from thunder bivy camp 7:30am - Topped out on Fury, called boss to tell him I may not be at work on Monday 1:30pm - Arrived at start of gully down to Access Creek 6:30pm - Arrived at Big beaver trail, made dinner 12:00am - Arrived at Ross Lake, made breakfast 4:00am - Arrived at HWY 20 6:00am - Got hitchhike to Newhalem 9:00am - Arrived at Hannegan trailhead 11:00am - Ate huge pizza in Glacier, WA 2:00pm - Crashed on a beach in Seattle, WA We weren't moving particularly fast, but we kept moving! The Pickets are rough but soo addicting, I'm headed back this weekend Gear Notes: 60m rope, a few cams, nuts, 1 axe each, crampons Approach Notes: In via Hannegan, out via Ross Lake Dam (not planned)
  4. 5 points
    Trip: Johannesburg Mountain - NE Buttress Solo Trip Date: 08/01/2018 Trip Report: I overheard some friends talking about Bill Amos' solo of Johannesburg and was immediately inspired. The allure of the mountain and style of climbing was too much to pass up. Before I start my senior year of high school I wanted to do something really fun. After binge reading trip reports and training for a few months, I felt psyched and ready. I already have a decent bit of soloing under my belt so the climb just seemed right. Fast forward to Monday night, I got in my car and drove out to Cascade Pass. I set my alarm for 7:00 but woke up at 6:30 (probably due to the anticipation). The sheer beauty of Johannesburg is impossible to ignore; its imposing face shows so much promise. After scarfing down a breakfast bar and some pop-tarts, I locked my car and began the arduous approach. A grueling .2 miles down the road lead me to a dirt mound with access to the river. Crossing over rocks and walking up a talus field put me at the first snow on the route. The snow was rock hard so my crampons begrudgingly came out of my pack. I was careful to move fast across the snow because I didn't want to get taken out by an avalanche. A rock ramp to the left of the second waterfall provided seemingly easy access to the buttress. Looking up at Johannesburg After some easy slab and low 5th class I arrived at the second snowfield. Here's where I made my first mistake. Once again, the snow was rock solid. I put on my crampons to walk the 100 something feet across it to the rock. Thinking more snow was soon to come, I clipped my crampons to my harness. Looking for a good line through the trees, I decided to go straight up some 4th class rock and then traverse right later on. This beta absolutely sucked. The initial 200 feet or so was smooth sailing. I soon encountered more and more trees, eventually reaching an impassible rock band within the brush. From here I traversed right until I found a gully within the trees that allowed me to climb up. It was hot, steep, and heinous bushwhacking. Finally I could see the third snowfield. At this point I was well above it but had a clear view of the 1957 route. This snowfield basically cuts the buttress in half until they join up again high on the vertical rock. Tired, I took off my pack to eat a probar and drink some water. Looking at my harness I realize only 1 crampon is clipped on. My other must have gotten eaten by trees earlier in the bushwhack! Thinking about Jean-Christophe's rescue on Annapurna reminded me that I'm probably not going to die if I'm short one crampon. Slabs before second snowfield. It's hard to describe how much the trees suck. I found no evidence of a path and basically pulled on branches, heather, and devil's club the whole way up. Things would frequently get caught on my rope or ice tools during this section. Another hour or so of this put me at the heather slopes. For about 800 feet I walked up some easy 3rd class slopes covered in heather. The 70 degree heat made me really thirsty. I brought 2 liters of water and realized it probably wasn't going to last all the way to the bivy. Rationing out water was uncomfortable but that's life. More scrambling finally put me on the rock. What a relief! Soon 4th class rock turned into low 5th and life was peachy. It felt absolutely euphoric to move well on the steep slopes. I didn't find loose rock to be that big of an issue. I checked my watch and realized I was about 400 feet from the bivy. Up ahead of me looked to be the "crux" rock section. I traversed right from the 1951 route on to the approximate 1957 route. I think this allowed me to skip some hard sections because I encountered maybe 5.6 rock up to this point. Though the glacier was still obscured by rock, I knew I was close. Rock face. I stayed in the middleish left My fatigue meant I wasn't climbing at my best. I elected to take off my pack for the next 200 feet or so and just haul it up. Some 5.8 face climbing through loose rocks put me on top of a small ridge. I was at the glacier! After bringing up my pack, I scrambled up some 4th class rock and was at the bivy. I drank straight from the glacial runoff. This was the first time in my life I was happy to see mosquitoes. The struggles of the day melted when confronted with the beauty of the mountains around me. After a warm meal and some relaxing. I was sound asleep in my bivy sack. Bivy of the decade Me stoked to be fed and hydrated Waking up at 6:30 was kind of cold. I didn't bring a sleeping bag but was pretty was comfy nonetheless. After some packing and eating, it was time to get on the glacier. This part was less than ideal. The snow was luckily much softer than at the base of the mountain. Despite only having one crampon, climbing up the snow to the arete was easy. After carefully walking on the arete I decided going straight up the headwall would be hard. I downclimbed a few meters to the rock ridge. The rock actually went! Easy scrambling and some short traverses on the snow allowed me to skip almost all of the glacier and headwall. At the summit ridge I scrambled up right to the biggest peak. I made it! It turns out I was the first person there in almost a year! The log could also use some more paper if anyone is going up there soon. The feeling of being up there is indescribable. Signing the summit log and snapping a few photos, I was ready to head down. Headwall. I scrambled on the rock to the left Obligatory summit selfie Signing the climber's log Staying to the south side of the gendarmes, follow a loosely marked carin path to the East face. I opted to rap instead of downclimb initially. 8 bomber rappels brought me to some low angle heather. It's important to aim straight for the CJ col. There looks like other paths would be better but they cliff out. About 600 feet of downclimbing brought me to the col in one piece. Looking up from the col Now sidehilling ensued. Going close under the buttress and heading straight toward Doug's Direct seemed to work best. Walking through all the brush isn't fun but the ascent to mix up peak was easy. About 1000 feet 3rd and 4th class scrambling down the north ridge of Mix Up brought me to Cache Glacier. The climbers trail is visible from the top of the ridge; go there. Walking down the climbers trail felt like one of those flat escalators at an airport compared to the rest of the climb. 3.7 miles of running and I was back to the parking lot. Looking down from the top of Doug's Direct. This was a climb to remember. The beauty of the North Cascades is hard to forget. I don't think I'll be back to Johannesburg for at least a few more months. I would really love to try and get up it in the winter. Shoutout to Steph Abegg and everyone else who has previously made trip reports. I have mad respect for anyone who has done this climb. Don't let your guard down when you get to the summit. Johannesburg is the mountain that keeps on giving. Now its time to get ready for Bear Mountain. Here's the general route I took. I could have screwed up but I'm pretty sure this is where I went. Gear Notes: Took climbing shoes and chalk but didn't need them. Approach Notes: Walk .2 miles down the road. Cross river.
  5. 5 points
    Trip: Goode - NE Buttress Trip Date: 07/22/2018 Trip Report: I've had this route on the calendar every July since 2012 and every year something has thwarted me (partners dropping, rain or thunderstorms in the forecast, etc). Last year was the only year I actually had boots on the trail and we ended up with a late start and making a route-finding mistake after crossing the N Fork of Bridge Creek that cost us the climb. This year the stars finally fucking all aligned and it was glorious! The view of the final approach after crossing the knee-deep N Fork of Bridge Creek. Follow talus between the lower slide alder up to the waterfall on the left, climb slabs to its right, then ascend talus through "magic tunnels" and onto open terrain. We bivied at 5600', just below the glacier. Last year we neglected to check out these slabs next to the left-most waterfall until it was too late. This year we went right to them. The slabs are exposed and a bit butt-puckering with full packs, but not enough to motivate us to get out a rope or give us pause about this endeavor. Opportunities like this (4 days of clear weather, motivated partners, time off work) are not so easy to come by in mid-to-late July, and I am not getting any younger. Ascending the Goode Glacier in the morning. It was broken up and we had to navigate crevasses and seracs. Nothing too serious. We all wore approach shoes, which worked well enough with crampons (I had my Grivel G1's that I got via a gift certificate from cc.com a few years ago, purchased at Jim Nelson's store). From TRs we knew that the higher up you gain the buttress, the less pitches of loose shittiness you must climb. Lower down you might get up to three pitches and up high as few as one. We opted to try for a snow bridge up high and found this one at about 6800'. It involved one face in move with a low step to block of ice. It might not go now, but there appeared to be a few other place to gain the rock below this that might last longer. We did one pitch of low-mid-fifth class rock then simulclimbed until about 8000'. I think we had a total of 3 simul-leads, with transitions only due to rope drag. I did not place much pro on these. When the buttress steepened we pitched 4 or so pitches and got to the bivy alcove at 8600'. From there 3 pitches to the ridge crest. It was lat-ish (6:30 pm) and 4 people were ahead of us and going for the summit. Figuring they would all bivy on the limited space there and seeing a nice snow patch at 8900' right next to a small bivy site we stopped, made dinner, drank water, drank whisky, and enjoyed a spectacular sunset: In the morning we waited for one of the parties to rappel. We saw them around 6 am. They said the other party was still hanging out so we headed up. After two pitches we were on the summit. We stayed on the summit for well over an hour, savoring the views. Having had been on the S side two years ago to climb Storm King, I knew we had a long day ahead. We started down. Truth be told the SW couloir and the trail down to the Park Creek trail was unsavory, and we got several blisters in our approach shoes. There is a nice spot to camp at about 7200'. Having been here before, we headed for it and looked for a stream out of the snow pack. We took a long break here to get water and savor views one last time. The views of Sinister and Dome, the rest of the Ptarmigan Traverse and Buckner are spectacular. From here it took us 3 hours to get to the "nice" trail. The length of the day and this trip with full packs was starting to take its toll. A few hours on the 4 miles to the base of this trail, then a connector (2.5 miles?) to the PCT, and about 3 more to the N Fork Camp where we had stashed food and a fuel cannister. We arrived at camp at 9:40 pm. I have never enjoyed a Mountain House more. Sadly, I had no whisky left. In the morning of the fourth day, we hiked out the last 10 miles, where beer awaited in the truck. Gear Notes: Ice axe, crampons, appoach shoes, helmet, small alpine rack with several double slings Approach Notes: Long, brutal
  6. 5 points
    Trip: Noisy Diobsud/Stephen Mather Wilderness - Bacon-Hagen-Blum High Route Trip Date: 07/20/2018 Trip Report: From July 20th-23rd Dave, Darren, Matt and I traverse from Anderson Lakes to Blum Creek summiting Bacon, Hagen and Blum along the way. The route is characterized by excellent views of the Baker and Sister Range to the west the the National Park to the east. Awesome camp sites and outstanding alpine lakes make this a most memorable route. Brush bashing wasn't all that severe save the walk down Blum Ridge to Baker River. You won't find me walking up that route anytime soon. I have been doing trips with these guys for nearly 20 years and I am ever thankful for the friendships and the adventures over the years. I would like to have an intense conversation with the douchbag that left a pile of trash shoved under a rock and shitty TP strewn about at the high camp SW of Bacon. Beer cans and mountain outhouse bags don't decompose and it doesn't seem that difficult to pack out your trash. Alpine eye candy Gear Notes: Ice axe, light crampons, and glacier rope. Approach Notes: Anderson Lakes to north side of Mount Watson.
  7. 4 points
    Trip: Mt. Slesse - NEB Trip Date: 07/19/2018 Trip Report: Anyways went up and climbed North East Butress on Mt. Slesse with friends Chuck and Yale on July 19th-21st. Great trip full of adventure. Went up on the 19th, on the way up got the truck stuck and had visions of spending the weekend digging the sucker out. Luckily after a half hour of piling rocks and digging out the undercarriage we were able to drive away and continue as planned. The plan was to hike to the view point today and check out pocket glacier, there was word that it was still in place. Which it was, we hung out for a while listening and watching and all seemed good and stable, but not completely reassuring after hearing tales of it sliding from the likes of Otto. Anyways we decided to give it a go and check it out. The next day we were up at 2:00 and hitting the trail at 2:30, from the parking lot. The plan was to get to the glacier before the sun hit it. It appeared our plan worked out since we arrived before the sun and things seemed quite stable. After a quick crossing we were finally on the climb proper and we could put all the apprehension about the glacier behind us, though I kept thinking what if we need to retreat. Luckily that didn’t happen. Not much to say except it was a stellar climb with lots of pitches. Chuck led the crux 10a in good style with an big overnight pack on. We were running short on daylight towards the end so motor out the class 4 scramble at the end, but we’re still benighted and spent the night on the summit. Since it was a planned bivy I was quite comfortable I had a sleeping bag, even had coffee and muesli in the morning though cold. It was by far one best bivy I have had on a climb. The crossover descent was sort of uneventful, though there was still a lot of snow slopes in place, which probably slowed things down, but we eventually back down to the car around 4:00pm on the 21st. Can’t stop thinking of the climbing and can’t wait for my Upcoming Matterhorn trip. Gear Notes: Alpine rack Approach Notes: Missed the parking lot on the drive in. Basically where there is a sign pointing to Mt. Rexford is where the parking is for Slesse.
  8. 4 points
    Trip: Forbidden Peak - North Ridge Trip Date: 07/15/2018 Trip Report: From July 15-17, Tom and I climbed the beautiful North Ridge of Forbidden in a slow but safe/deliberate fashion. The ridge was the longest alpine rock route either of us had attempted yet but we hoped to be able to pull off all the technical climbing in two days. We left the Eldorado Creek parking lot around 9 AM and reached the base of the Sharkfin Col bypass gully around 1:00 PM. The gully is in great shape, still filled with lots of snow. We crossed to rock below the top of the gully and made the mistake of climbing to a notch that was too high and too far east along the ridge. We found no sign of a rap station and had to downclimb to the notch to climber's left of this higher one to find a spot to rap over to Boston Glacier. The Sharkfin Col notches & Bypass Gully Right now a single rap brings you safely to a large pile of icefall debris that you can navigate to get onto the Boston Glacier without difficulty. There were multiple other rap stations along the way down to the debris from the notch. The traverse to the North Ridge from the rap was easy and took us about an hour. The Boston Glacier is in great shape. The gully to access the bivy notch on the North Ridge is almost completely melted out but the moat is still passable. We crossed to the rock and found a third class move and then a short second class scramble to gain the notch. Bivy Notch center-left We found another pair of climbers enjoying the afternoon at the notch. Their goal was the NW Arete and we had a great time watching them fly up that route the next day from our positions on the NR. Great meeting you guys! After a quick dinner and a birthday cookie for me, we settled into the two smaller bivy spots for the sunset and sleep. I did wake up around 2:30 to find a snafflehound gnawing away at the brim of my hat so be careful out there with your salty things, kids. We think the same little guy took a pair of socks that mysteriously disappeared overnight. Sunset on Buckner from the bivy notch We started off the next morning at 7:50 AM and quickly moved through the 5.6 crux left-leaning corner that rises almost straight out of the bivy notch. It was just fine leading it in mountaineering boots with an (overly) heavy pack. From there we encountered mostly moderate, super fun third class scrambling all the way to the lower snowfield. We simul-climbed to the lower snowfield, but there were stretches where the rope didn't feel necessary. Tom follows shortly after leaving the bivy Both snowfields are still completely covering the ridgeline, so a bypass on rock on climber's left isn't available. We put crampons on to cross the first snowfield, which was pretty flat and easy to get across without an ax. The climbing above the first snowfield felt harder than the lower ridge and we climbed mostly on the left (east) side of the ridge on ledge systems and in gullies. We almost exclusively simul-climbed and placed a lot of cams and slings. I felt there was at least one low/mid fifth class move to get back up onto the ridge crest from the left side of the ridge. Once back onto the ridge crest we found lovely, exposed, knife edge climbing on solid rock all the way up to the second snowfield. The ridge between the lower and upper snowfields We reached the upper snowfield around 12:30 PM and stopped to melt snow to refill our 6L of bottles. This turned out to be a good move because we didn't encounter snow again until midday the next day. The upper snowfield has a much steeper angle and an ax and crampons were definitely nice. The climbing above the upper snowfield felt like a significant increase in difficulty from what we'd encountered along the ridge between the lower and upper snowfields. We slowed down and pitched out the climbing in short pitches several times. We carefully considered our route-finding decisions. Teams with more simul-climbing experience in fourth class terrain could move through this section much faster than we did but we felt better with a belay on several occasions. We climbed on both sides of the ridge as well as on the ridge crest itself following good cracks and solid rock. The climbing was steep but mostly third/fourth class with a few moves that felt like low fifth. We watched the pair we'd met at the bivy notch dance up the upper pitches of the NW Arete which was great entertainment as we slowly but surely moved up our ridge. Just below the summit we left the ridge to scramble up a third class gully on the right (west) side of the ridge before reaching the top at 6:20 PM. The North Ridge from the Summit We quickly began our descent of the West Ridge with three single rappels from obvious rap stations. After the third rap we lost all sunlight and stopped to bivy for a second night about halfway down the West Ridge. We found two relatively flat spots to lay out our packs and some rocks to make for a surprisingly enjoyable night in a relatively precarious spot. Some trail mix and beef jerky served as dinner but we fortunately had plenty of water left. We watched a beautiful moonset and headed to bed. West Ridge Bivy We were up by 6 and could already see several teams starting off up the West Ridge from the notch. After a Clif Bar, we made one more rappel down to ledges that we could scramble along to get down to the West Ridge notch. Two full 60m rappels got us down the Cat Scratch gullies to Boston Basin. Gear Notes: Two half ropes (only used one, except in the Cat Scratch rappels) 9 cams from 0.3 to 2 with alpine draws (used every one) Rack of nuts (used two, didn't need them) 8 slings (used every one) Mountaineering boots Approach Notes: Don't climb to the highest notch in Sharkfin Col
  9. 3 points
    Trip: Juno Tower - Clean Break Trip Date: 07/30/2018 Trip Report: It seems like Gabe and I have had a track record this season of finding the most marginal weather in the state, then choosing to go for it anyways. From plenty of wet and cold days in vantage last winter to an early season one day climb of prusik in a Blizzard, and a very cold and rainy day in the liberty bell group. This climb was no exception. On Sunday we drove over from Seattle and after cragging a little in the shady icebox canyon we stashed a bike and some Gatorade just off the road at the wine spires pullout. On our drive down to Winthrop for dinner we stopped by the Cutthroat lake rd to chat with the ranger who was stationed there. He informed us that the fire was under control and that it likely wouldn't impact our climb the next day. The next morning we woke up at 3am and left the car at 3:30 in an attempt to get to the base at first light. With a weather forecast of 90 on the summit of Silverstar we knew it was going to be a hot one. It was. Gabe trying to get us un-lost on the approach. The route basking in some nice alpenglow as we cross some slabs below the base. The first pitch is the stellar tight hands splitter on the right side of the blank wall. We got up to the base by scrambling up the chossy gulley to the left of the snow. There was an exciting 5th class mantle at the top that some might want to rope up for. No need for snow gear! I quickly learned on the first pitch that 1.)over 3 liters of water is heavy. 2.)warming up on 10c with a heavy pack is hard. And 3.) it's already damn hot and i'm sweating a lot. Somehow I managed to pull off the OS and was glad to have triples in .5 & .75. The rest of the route went pretty smoothly despite feeling like shit while baking in the sun. Luckily our packs were getting lighter really fast! Gabe styling the 10a roofy slabs. Gabe fighting with a tree on the 5.6/5.8 traverse pitch Pretending to be having fun while trying not to vomit from heat exhaustion. Moments before Gabe threw a hissy fit because our friend Jeff told us we didn't need a 4 for this pitch. The perfect rack would be one 3 and one 3.5. We had 2 3's and the crack gets wider than a 3 at the lip. Gabe didn't like that. Some of the first shade encountered on route. Trying to use the cold rock to cool down. More shade on the big ledge before the simul block to the summit. This was a real life saver though a big time suck. You're apparently supposed to stay right of the ridge crest here for more enjoyable climbing. I think we passed the only spot to get over so were forced to climb the lame sandy gullies to the left. Can't say I recommend them, but they get you to the summit. Summit stoke! We topped out at 1pm for a time of 9:30 C2S. Not too bad for how crappy we were feeling. Looking up Vasiliki ridge. One hell of a traverse! The descent follows the "obvious gully" then traverses left and down A LOT back to bench camp. There is plenty of kitty litter on slab skiing along the way to keep it exciting. Overall Clean Break is a stellar route with high quality rock and not a whole lot of routefinding issues to be had. This makes for a relatively fast 15 pitch 5.10 in a rad location. We really learned our lesson not to climb big routes on such hot weekends, and to bring a filter, not iodine if we end up doing it anyways. Half an hour is far too long to wait when you are that thirsty. Gear Notes: Rack: Doubles .2-3, Triple .5 & .75, A few nuts, 2 microtraxions. Either replace the second 3 with a 3.5, or just bring a 4. We brought 4 liters of water each. We should have brought a filter, chugged water at the base, filled up 3L, then refilled at bench camp. 2 UL poles, no axe Approach Notes: Silverstar creek trail is not super straight forward to follow in the dark so I definitely recommend having a GPS track on your phone to follow, it helps speed things along a bit. Same goes for the descent.
  10. 3 points
    Trip: Watson - North Ridge Trip Date: 08/07/2018 Trip Report: Obscure, short and slabby with one of the mellowest approaches you’ll find in the North Cascades. Gloriously beautiful as well. Maybe not the highlight of your summer but possibly of your Tuesday evening. From the buttress toe a 150’ of 3rd or maybe 4th class rock leads to a more pronounced buttress. The original route climbs the obvious corner system on the north side (5.4 Kloke 1970’s). It’s also possible to move up left to the very crest and climb a full rope length of 5.6 on ridiculously clean and solid rock. A bit runout but gear (and/or fixed pins) show up where you need it. Continue on the crest, slightly dirtier rock, to the summit in one more pitch or wander off to either side. We descended east which involved some downclimbing, a rappel, a loose gully, a moat and some moderate snow. Supposedly a more straightforward descent might exist to the west if you carry over. Gear Notes: Small rack to 2.5”. 60m rope. Ice axe and possibly crampons. Approach Notes: Find you way to Upper Anderson Lake then faint path up gully at east side of first lake.
  11. 3 points
    Best climbing film I've seen in a while. You might want to wear a diaper while watching the sequence starting around 28:00. Lama is the real deal and it seems like he's maturing well while still pushing the limits.
  12. 3 points
    Trip: Mount Stuart - Girth Pillar Trip Date: 07/31/2018 Trip Report: After having a good time doing the Center Stage/Flight of the Falcons linkup in Darrington last month, I convinced my friend Kevin to climb the Girth Pillar c2c. I've got 3 little kids at home in Seattle and Kevin lives in Oregon, so we like to pack a lot of adventure into our infrequent climbs together. Turns out this adventure was heavy on the walking and scrambling, but the novelty of doing a new route (for us) on a big mountain made the effort worth it. We left the parking lot at 4am and hustled to the base of the North Ridge. Roped up and simulclimbed 6 pitches until the ridge narrows and flattens out. At this point the access ramp (easy walk down) breaks left and deposits you a few meters above the seracs on the upper Ice Cliff Glacier. We walked down, scoped the rest of the approach, and put on our crampons while watching RV-sized ice chunks tumble down. The upper glacier held soft snow with the only difficulty requiring a climb into and out of the massive crevasse that spans the width of the glacier. We hopped over the moat onto the rock (red) and proceeded to climb up through 500 feet of choss, death blocks, and grit. Up to 5.9X and time consuming. Pretty sure we were not on the recommended approach, but rather climbers right of it, as we had to move back left to finally access the bivy ledge. The actual pillar pitches (green) were quite good and the overall position is incredible. Route finding is obvious because it follows a single crack system the whole way. Mostly hand jamming mixed with flake pulling, although nearly all of the pitches lean to the right so they can feel a bit strenuous. Kevin led all 3 pitches onsight. I offered moral encouragement and tried not to short rope him despite our fuzzed out workhorse and GriGri2 combo. We topped out the pillar and simuled to the false summit. After taking time to eat and refill our water bottles with drips from snow patches, we started down the Cascadian Couloir for the long slog back to the car, finally arriving a few minutes before midnight. Just about 20 hours total on the move. Gear Notes: singles to #3, 2x #1, 3x #2 60m rope approach shoes, aluminum crampons, 1 technical tool per person Approach Notes: Standard southern approach via Ingalls Lake. Access upper Ice Cliff Glacier from ramp on lower north ridge.
  13. 3 points
    You were well ahead of us. We didn't start hiking from High Bridge until about 3:30, arrived at North Fork around 6. We both had absolutely perfect weather. Not a cloud in the sky for days on end, no smoke, not too hot. Truly magnificient. On our trip, I snapped photos of 31 different types of wildflowers in bloom.
  14. 3 points
  15. 3 points
    Trip: The Tooth and Pineapple pass - South face Trip Date: 07/14/2018 Trip Report: My friend Summer texted me asking if I wanted to ski over the weekend. She's been trying to get turns all year and I've been going along for the ride. She has also spent the last few months talking about climbing the Tooth and skiing Pineapple pass and suggested that as an objective. I was pretty skeptical there would be snow but figured "why not?" Arriving at the trailhead we prepared ourselves mentally for the onslaught of "are you really going skiing?" but mercifully we seemed to arrive after the early morning crowd but before the late morning crowd and the gasps of disbelief upon seeing a couple of people with skis were pretty minimal. Are you really going skiing? The hike and approach were fairly straight forward - there was minimal snow until we reached the bench ~700-800 feet below Pineapple pass. We put on skis and managed to skin most of the way up to the Tooth. Eventually we needed to traverse over some talus and took the skis off. I ended up falling into a hole in the snow. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a photo while I was underneath the snow, but managed to get a photo of the hole once I extracted myself: The snow ended at the notch and the approach gully to the Tooth was completely snow free: We swapped leads and made it to the summit fairly quickly. On the way down we met John (from Alaska) and Hank who were also descending. We ended up tying our ropes together so we could get down in two raps. I'm a Disney Princess It was time to ski! This was ~650 vertical feet later we reached the end of the snow. This was the most work I have ever done for the least amount of skiing I've ever done. But Summer was super stoked to finally climb and ski the Tooth and honestly it was a very enjoyable day in the mountains! Gear Notes: Single rack from .3 to 3, nuts, tricams, skis Approach Notes: Continuous snow started ~700 feet below the notch. It's almost certainly no longer continuous.
  16. 2 points
    Trip: Bugaboos - Beckey-Chouinard and Surfs Up Trip Date: 08/07/2018 Trip Report: My wife and I took a quick trip to the Bugs last week, primarily to get on South Howser’s Beckey-Chouinard which has been on my dream list for years. We also climbed Snowpatch spire via Surfs Up. Both were great routes, and we had a blast! The crux was leaving the one year old at home with the grandparents, but I think that was just on our end. We were also lucky to have stellar weather and great travel conditions for the duration of our short trip, though I expect this to change very quickly. The Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col was melting fast, and may already be a bit sketchy from a rock fall perspective. I won’t share a ton of beta, since it is all over out there. We decided to camp at East Creek so that we could check out the approach/descent the day before and potentially get a jump on the multitudes (and there were a lot of folks!) marching in early from Applebee Dome. I think this worked out pretty well, but it’s a bit of a hump carrying a heavy pack over the BS col and down the Pigeon-Howser col. The PH col has some unpleasant loose scrambling which is a bit unnerving when there are multiple parties tromping around. BS Col PH Col and East Creek PH Col We woke up early and scrambled up to the split rock (a bit tricky in the dark). We headed up a bit too early through blocks, where I think you are supposed to continue traversing on slabs, but it all worked out. We simuled 3 pitches, then climbed pitch after pitch of 5.8-5.10- awesomeness that was both fun and tiring. The dihedral pitches are really fun. We did the standard squeeze chimney, which was a bit of a thrutch with a pack/ice axe on, but was well protected and certainly doable. The 5.10 cracks to the left looked inviting, though I heard from other parties that that are a little rounded and sustained relative to the other splitter cracks on the route. Pick your poison. I’ve never really done tension traverse purposefully, and I’m not really sure how the leader would avoid the 5.10+ traverse on the last pitch before the rappel. Luckily it is just really one short committing move and you’re to easy ground. I’m sure you could figure out a way to aid it, but it wasn’t that bad, and it is very easy for the follower to tension across if you wait a while to place your first piece in the easy chimney/gully after the traverse. The rappels are great, and get you down fast (single 70m). I would stick to the descriptions for the rappels that are available online and posted at the Kian Hut. They are right on, and very literal. We got down to the snow as light was fading and romped back to the Pigeon-Howser Col. I did not bring crampons, which was fine with the exception of a glacier ice traverse just above East Creek Camp. This was a bit spicy, but probably avoidable earlier in the year. We got back to camp around 11:00, which felt relatively civilized, though I was certainly a bit tired. It was a great route, and worthy of the hype! Of course this has led to route crowding, and most days there were several groups that retreated because they were too far back in the conga line. We took a rest day, and then humped our heavy packs over to Snowpatch Spire on the way out. We decided to go for Surfs Up, as it made logistical sense and we had heard good things. The first few pitches were meh by Bugaboo classic standards, but the following pitches were stellar! The position from Surfs Up Ledge onward is really amazing, and the climbing is fun! Again, the rappels are great (single 70m) and get you down fast. A beautiful place that is now very popular! I’ll be back! Gear Notes: Doubles to 3" single 4" Approach Notes: Up BS Col, Down PH Col to East Creek
  17. 2 points
    Trip: Enchantments - 7 Bulgers in a day Trip Date: 07/14/2018 Trip Report: Since moving to Seattle last September I haven't yet visited the Enchantments (except N Ridge Stuart), and I had just one day off this past weekend so I figured I should whip up something unreasonable. My initial plan was to thru-hike the Enchantments and tick the more accessible peaks (Mclellan, Prusik, Enchantment, Little Anna, Dragontail, Colchuck). But as things often go, one friend insisted I scamper on over to Cannon Mountain, and another friend posted a cool TR from Argonaut... I like hiking uphill and biking downhill, so starting at Snow Creek and ending at Stuart Lake was the obvious choice of direction. I stashed my road bike (I should really get a MTB) at the Stuart trailhead and started from snow Creek at 1:30am. The goal was to get up near Mclellan by sunrise, but I was a little late. Here's a GPX track of my trip: And here's a timeline of the peaks: It would seem silly to go through route conditions/beta on these uber-popular peaks. But I had an incredible time with this little challenge and am really curious what other similar or even bigger trips have been done. Some notes: - All in all: 31 miles, 16,800 ft gain, 20.5 hours - Averaged 1 bulger every 2.9 hours. I feel like this is a pretty difficult rate to attain even with a single mountain, what's the fastest bulger out there (c2c)? - I brought axe/crampons and only used them on the descent down Colchuck glacier (and they were much much needed on a section of bare ice). - West Ridge of Prusik was my first real free-solo (and down-solo). The slab bit definitely felt exciting, although at least downclimbing slab is about the same difficulty as upclimbing. I brought a harness, rappel device, and a beer just in case I freaked myself about the downclimb. I was thinking I could bribe another group with the beer to let me rappel with them. Nobody was on the route though, and the downclimb was fine. And I forgot about the beer until arrived back at my car. It exploded all over me after biking down the bumpy-ass road without suspension (or daylight). - The Southwest peak of Enchantment is awesome! Really cool summit block and some airy 4th class to get there. - Argonaut peak felt like an even headier solo than Prusik, but that was because I think I got a bit off route on the East face. I found a squeeze chimney to climb on the way down luckily (squeeze chimneys are the best when soloing!) After doing the Three Sisters + Broken-top traverse in Oregon the weekend before (holy choss-muffins!), I fell in love with the ease at which you can travel off-trail in the Enchantments. And once you suffer through the approach, all the peaks are so close together! I'm guessing others have completed similar trips, but I'd be psyched to hear what variations they did! I'm also interested in the possibility of doing all 9 Bulgers starting and ending at the Stuart Lake trailhead in 24 hours. I think it could be done (has it been done?) but the Stuart-Sherpa-Argonaut terrain looks pretty slowgoing. More pictures: Gear Notes: Axe/Crampons Approach Notes: Snow Creek to Stuart Lake Thru-hike
  18. 2 points
    Trip: Waddington - Bravo Glacier to SE Chimney w/ Right Flank Trip Date: 07/24/2018 Trip Report: Fern, Vance and I climbed the standard route (& official Beckey Favorite) over the July 24 to 29 interval. We drove up on July 24th and spent the night camped at the end of the Whitesaddle airstrip at Bluff Lake. On July 25th we got an early morning flight to Rainy Knob. Conditions were ideal. We built a basecamp, stashed unneeded gear, ate, and spent the afternoon reading and kibitzing. We got an early night, got up at 11 PM, and started the climb, carrying three-day packs. Negotiating the Bravo Glacier at night required some intuition as well as info gleaned from a quick overflight while coming in to Rainy the day before. We got around most crevasses. One near the base of the east spur of Bravo Peak required some extensive overhead shovelling at its lowest point , on a mound of recent debris, by Vance to turn it from a slushy overhang to a more solid vertical wall. We hauled the packs on that one and got on top just at sunrise. Several hundred meters higher, we had to make a long horizontal traverse across a 65-70 degree shelf above another crevasse, where the lip had sheared off, to reach the upper snowfield. Easy scrambling and a snowslog got us to Bravo Col by about 9 AM. The snow had started to turn from firm to breakable crust by then, so after some crawling and knee-walking, we gave up, dug a snow hole, and spent a few hours napping and watching jet fighters do loop-de-loops up and down the Tiedemann and thru Combatant Col. Zoom, zoom. The sound of freedom! Around 4 PM we figured the crust was all gone, so we roped up once more and slogged through the slop to Spearman Saddle, where we set up ABC. The next day the alarm went off at 1:30 and we left camp by 3:15, not wanting to start the rock climbing in the dark. We had firm snow up to the base of the Tooth and found a traverse across the lip of a randkluft to get onto the actual Tooth traverse ledges at a prominent brown slabby scar. There wasn't much snow on the ledges, just lots of loose rock, so we pitched it out to the notch, and to the base of the actual SE chimneys. The actual chimneys had lots of loose rock and a little wet slush masquerading as ice pitches under the chockstones. We chose to take the Right Flank variation (169B in Don's guide) which provided mostly solid rock climbing with two avoidable rime gargoyle remnants to add spice. Two pitches of the Right Variation (which felt like 5.8 to me btw, but then again, we were climbing in boots and crampons, but mostly with bare hands) led to one more long easy pitch up the scree- and snow slope above the Chimneys and a 2 PM summit. There was a Seattle/Colorado party on the NW summit at the same time, which was entertaining because they gave a sense of scale to our photos. We hung out on top for almost an hour (complete with a horsefly - where do these things come from?) before heading down. The first rap was 60 m to the top of the Chimney. We made another 60 to below the first chockstone but managed to get the knot stuck. Vance tiblocked up the stuck rope, unstuck it, and made two shorter raps - 30 m to above the second chockstone and then 30 m back to us. We elected to continue back down the Tooth ledges rather than the Harvard Notch line because it was so dry that there was substantial loose rock visible down that route and you rap in the fall line there whereas rapping and downclimbing the ledges traverses, giving one some protection. We made a couple 30 m raps here, then tried a 60, hoping it would reach the snow, but it didn't and the rope got stuck again, this time just due to slab friction near the anchor. Fern freed it up, and we made one more 60 m over the schrund and were down on the snow by sunset. We got back to ABC around 11 PM, for around a 20 hour day. The next day we lazed until 3 pm and then set off down the Bravo. We rapped twice (from rock anchors) on the Cauldron headwall to avoid the serac-lip traverse, and once more at the overhanging serac, where we used a bollard plus picket to take a 30 m rap/cimb/rap shortcut through two overhanging crevasse walls and an intervening tottering ice fin. We got back to Rainy Knob basecamp at sunset. There is a ferocious snafflehound at Rainy Knob. She tried to eat my socks but I'd worn them for three days straight in my boots and they stank so bad she not only gave up, but left our Mountain House dinners alone too! On Sunday, we got a morning pickup by Mike King and were back in Bluff Lake by 9 and back in the Lower Mainland by dinnertime. Gear Notes: Three pickets, crampons (dual horizontal front points worked best), two tools each, nuts and cams to 3" (doubles 1" and 2"), six tricams, six pins. Many slings and webbing. Left pins, nuts, tricams and slings behind on the descent. Took four screws and didn't use them. Superlight 3-person tent for advanced base camp. Two stoves (one canister, one white gas). Double 60s. Four or five light jacket layers, softshell bibs. Temps varied from below freezing at night to 25C in the day. Approach Notes: Save yourself the extra two weeks of walking in and out and fly Whitesaddle. Vance had previously kayaked and skied from Vancouver to the NW summit so he had a fair comparison of means. He says the helicopter is much faster.
  19. 2 points
    Trip: American Border Peak - SE Traverse Chimney Route Trip Date: 07/14/2018 Trip Report: Cascade Pass Road was still closed past the Eldorado parking area. Well shit! Time for plan B. Or Plan A if you like an epic climb for the ages! I texted DanO and asked if he was ready for some pain, he said sure. I see several reports of American Border Peak being climbed in September and I thought, "Why not try it in mid July and take one for the team?". Twin lakes parking was packed because the weather was perfect and it was the weekend. We arrived at the trailhead and were on the move at 11:30 am. There were several patches of snow to cross along the way to High Pass which was a bit tedious but it was part of the glory of early season. Once to High Pass we started down into the 1st gully. A word of advise, stay low in the gully and wrap around the bottom of the rib through the trees to the 2nd gully. We went high in the 1st gully to cross to the 2nd gully and it resulted in slow travel and a skinned ass, again adding to the glory. 1st Gully from High Pass 2nd Gully looking toward 6300' Gully to Col The second gully was quite pleasant, less rock and lots of green. We aimed for the notch at 6300'. Getting up to the col and down to the 3rd gully required some patience with the loose rock. We reached camp at the base of the talus slope in the 3rd gully at 6:00 pm. 3rd Gully from 6300' Col Camp at the base of the talus in the 3rd Gully DanO decided he was fine with hanging out at camp for summit day so I left for the summit solo at 5:45 am. It has been said that this route to American Border Peak has lots of loose rock and that is the absolute truth. Make peace with slipping constantly or it will drive you insane. Rocks will be falling so if you are climbing in a group, keep it tight or spread out. The terrain is steep to go along with the loose rock so make sure of your footing or pay the piper. I topped out on the 6900' col at 7:15 am. I was happy to see the snow was not an issue for the SE traverse to de Gaulle's gully. After getting to the top of de Gaulle's gully, I had to take some time to figure the best option for crossing the snow covered, steep hillside as well as the snow filled gully up to the ledges. It was gut check time. I decided to climb down and diagonal to the base of the snow and edge along to the base of the snow gully. The snow gully was steep and the snow was not in the greatest of conditions. I followed some goat tracks up the snow gully carefully kicking steps and planting my ice axe. I love mountain goats! They always seem to be looking out for me on the mountain, like guardian angels. I was very happy to make it to the top of the snow gully without incident. Once to the top of the snow gully I could see the route had very little snow remaining. The ledges leading to the chimney were wide enough to move fairly quickly. There are 3 chockstones wedged in the chimney. The bottom chockstone requires the most skill to climb. Since I was going solo, I decided to do the 4th class work around to get above the bottom chockstone. The rest of the chimney is still solid 5th class so take your time. Once to the top of the chimney you will have to go under the top chockstone and wiggle through a hole commonly referred to as the keyhole. It is a tight fit so you will probably need to push or pull your pack through separately. There is a great camp site below the summit after the keyhole. The summit from the keyhole is class 3 to 4. I finally reached the summit at 10:45 am. The view was great and I was feeling good. Time to head down. I started down from the summit at 11:20 am. There was a new rappel sling around the top chockstone complete with a donut, very nice. I had a 40m static rappel rope that worked perfect for the rappel down the chimney. There is a second rappel station halfway down the chimney. I rappelled the majority of the way down the snow gully then worked my way across the ledges above the snow to get to the top of de Gaulle's gully. The rest of the descent to camp was loose rock slipping and sliding but controllable. I arrived at camp at 4:00 pm. DanO was happy to see me alive and in one piece. The summit and back took a lot of time. I needed to be back home the next day so we decided to pack up camp and head out. We made it back to the car at a midnight exhausted and happy to be done. The night was beautiful and full of stars. This is a challenging climb and I am glad that I waited a few years to get more experience on other climbs before attempting it. This will go down as one of my favorite climbs. We are not freaky fast climbers and we are not super slow either. Taking that into consideration, here are the times for the climb. Day 1: 11:30 am (left car) to 6:00 pm (camp) - 6.5 hours Day 2: 5:45 am (camp) to 10:45 am (summit) - 5 hours, 11:20 am (summit) to 4:00 pm (camp) - 4hr40min, 5:30 pm (camp) to Midnight (car) - 6.5 hours. Total time for Day 2 - 18 hours Doing this climb earlier in the year is a lot slower than later in the year. If I had to do it again, I'd do it in 3 days and enjoy the experience. We brought crampons, ice axes, trekking poles and a 40m static rappel rope and we used everything. Gear Notes: Crampons, Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, 40 meter static rope, Helmets Approach Notes: Started from Twin Lakes parking lot.
  20. 2 points
    Trip: Denali - Cassin Ridge (Alaska Grade V, 5.8, AI4, 8,000ft), Alpine Style* Trip Date: 06/09/2018 Video: Between June 2 and June 11, Priti and I climbed the Cassin Ridge on the South Face of Denali approaching via the NE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier (the “Valley of Death”), spending 6 days on route (including 1 rest/weather day at 17,700ft), summiting on June 9, and descending the West Buttress route. The whole trip was 10 days 7 hours door-to-door from Seattle. The Cassin Ridge is the second most popular route on Denali, with an average of 9 successful climbers each year, compared to an average of 584 successful climbers each year on the West Buttress route over the past decade. We carried everything up and over, climbing Ground-Up, with 38lbs packs each at the start, no sleds, and moving camp as we climbed, without caches. It was a Smash ’n’ Grab, meaning we decided to go at the last minute when we saw a good weather window. We watched Denali weather every day since early May until there was about a week of good weather. It took 24 hours from being at work on a Friday afternoon deciding to pull the trigger to being at Kahiltna Base Camp (including packing, Ranger orientation, flights, etc). We climbed Rainier 3 times the month and a half before our trip (Gib Ledges, Kautz, and Liberty Ridge), sleeping in the summit crater the weekend before. Still, we took Diamox while on Denali and had 2 weeks of food/fuel in case we felt altitude on route. Luckily, we had no altitude issues, and were only bounded by our own fitness, weather, and desire to move only when the sun was on us. Overall, weather was windless, clear, and sunny during the days with a few flurries at night. It was an “old-school” style of climbing, slow and heavy, while most folks nowadays opt to acclimatize on the West Buttress and climb the Cassin Ridge starting from 14,000ft camp on the West Buttress, then climb light-and-fast via the Seattle ’72 ramp or the West Rib (Chicken Gully) in a few days — this was our plan for our attempt last year with Ilia Slobodov, but didn’t get the weather window. Overall, a very successful trip, and we’re so excited to have pulled it off, after 3 years of dreaming of this route. *Alpine Style: The route was completed Alpine Style with the following exceptions: -Snowshoes were cached at Camp 1 in case the lower Kahiltna Glacier was sketchy on the way back. Didn’t really ever need snowshoes. The NE Fork was boot-able. There weren’t tracks going up the NE Fork, but it was wanded to the base of the West Rib. -We clipped into the existing fixed lines on the West Buttress descent above 14k, but this was unnecessary since it was basically a staircase. We didn’t clip into the existing pickets on the Autobahn above 17k. Google Street View: Apparently, nobody had done a 360 Photo Sphere Google Street View of the summit of Denali, so we obliged https://www.google.com/maps/@63.0690675,-151.0060278,3a,75y,78.91h,50.18t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sAF1QipOR4OLfMm5iBn15nn4OdiMbVTWa7lwk40pPUlnH!2e10!3e12!7i8704!8i4352 Itinerary: -June 2: Arrived at Kahiltna Base Camp at 3:00PM and moved to “Safe Camp” in the NE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier (“Valley of Death”). We cached snowshoes at Camp 1 and took a right turn up the NE Fork. This “Safe Camp” is the widest part of the NE fork, where you are least threatened by avalanches and serac-fall sweeping the entire valley floor. -June 3: Hiked from "Safe Camp" halfway down the Valley of Death and climbed the Japanese Couloir and camped on Cassin Ledge with a sweeping view of Kahiltna Peaks and the entire NE Fork. -June 4: Climbed the 5.8 crux, Cowboy Arete, and Hanging Glacier, camping at the Hanging Glacier Bergschrund at the Base of the First Rock Band -June 5: Woke up to Colin Haley strolling by our bivy site on his 8hr7min speed ascent of the Cassin Ridge (he approached via the East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier). This was a total surprise and very inspiring see him up there! We climbed the First Rock Band that day and bivied between the First and Second Rock Band just next to the rib. -June 6: Climbed the Second Rock Band and found the crux to be the sustained "Hidden Rock Couloir" at the entrance, which is sustained mixed 70-80deg for about 50m. At the end of the Second Rock Band, a Chilean Team of 2, plus Colin Haley, plus our team of 2 all took the wrong (harder) exit. From the overhanging triangle, we all traversed right about 40ft then went straight up, finding difficulties to M4-M5. We should have traversed right another 40ft or so to find the 5.6 slab pitches and the 5.6 dihedral as described in Super Topo. This ended the technical difficulties of the route. That night, we bivied at Mark Westman’s “excellent bivy site” at 17,700ft. This turned out to be very hard to find and we spent several hours looking around for it. It is way further up and right on the col than expected. -June 7: Lots of snow! So we decided to sleep all day, acclimatize and waiting out the weather. -June 8: So much snow accumulated on the upper mountain the previous day that it took us over 12 hours to ascend the final 2,500ft to Kahiltna Horn. We were knee to waist deep almost the entire day. Mark Westman told us later that he was watching us all day through the high-powered scope from Kahiltna Base Camp and he could see the long trench we left in our wake. Presumably, many day-tourists at Base Camp watched us in our embarrassing slog to the top. This was by far the hardest day of the trip! When we reached Kahiltna Horn at 10:30PM, we had no energy to go to the summit, so we slept on the “Football Field” at 20,000ft. The night was beautiful, calm, and cold! -June 9: Went back up to tag the summit, then descended 12,500ft to Camp 1. -June 10: Got to Kahiltna Base Camp from Camp 1 at 10:00AM but it was overcast all day so TAT could not come and pick us up. -June 11: TAT finally picked us up around noon, after we endured the most miserable and wettest night of the entire trip! Left to Right: Sultana (Mount Foraker), Begguyya (Mount Hunter), Denali Denali, the High One Heading into the NE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier (the "Valley of Death"), the West Rib visible up the center of the peak The West Rib in the Center, The Cassin Ridge roughly up the right skyline Closer up view of the Cassin Ridge. The Japanese Couloir is the gash on the right. The Cowboy Arete (Knifedge Ridge) is above, followed by the First and Second Rock Bands Looking back at the West Rib and the Chicken Couloir Looking up the Japanese Couloir and the bergschrund at the base of the Cassin Ridge Looking back at the NE Fork Looking up at the crux of the Japanese Couloir (AI4) The Cassin Ledge. Razor thin, great views fo the whole NE Fork, Kahiltna Peaks, and Sultana! The 5.8 Crux just off the Cassin Ledge The Cowboy Arete The Base of the Hanging Glacier, the Cowboy Arete behind A short overhanging step to get over the bergshrund Colin Haley approaches! The crux of the First Rock Band, just above the M-rocks Somewhere near the top of the First Rock Band The South Face! Looking up at the "Hidden Rock Couloir", the beginning of the Second Rock Band, and the crux of the route, in my opinion Just below the V-shaped overhang in the Second Rock Band Slog to the top Denali Summit Ridge Summit Marker The Football Field on the West Buttress Route and our bivouac Heading down the Autobahn, 17k camp below on the West Buttress The Cowboy Arete Base Camp with Moonflower Buttress behind (North Buttress of Begguyya, Mount Hunter) Gear Notes: -6 screws (1x21cm, 2x17cm, 3x13cm) -40m rope -Small Rack of nuts -5 cams (.3-1) -2 pickets (didn’t use on route; just for glacier travel) -5 single alpine draws, 2 double alpine draws (no cordalette) -2 ice tools each (Nomics for him, X-Dream for her) -Monopoint crampons -Boots: Olympus Mons for him, G2SM+overboots for her -MSR AdvancePro2 Tent -Feathered Friends Spoonbill Sleeping Bag -2x Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm + 1x shorty closed cell foam pad (for emergency) -MSR Reactor + hanging kit + 3 medium cans of isopro Approach Notes: Approached via the NE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier
  21. 2 points
    Unfortunately I think most people post in the facebook group now. It's really too bad because whereas a forum like cc.com serves as a useful repository of information and trip reports for years/decades, on the Facebook group the posts that people make about their trips are essentially impossible to find after the first few days. I can't count the number of times I've found a key piece of information about some bit of navigation from some trip report here that is 5-10+ years old. Facebook is a terrible terrible medium for this kind of information, and yet people gravitate there because that's where they can get more "likes" on their reports. Sigh.
  22. 2 points
    Pretty cool stuff! Pretty amazing how far climbing has come. http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web18c/newswire-first-female-free-ascent-of-city-park
  23. 2 points
    Trip: Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier Trip Date: 07/22/2018 Trip Report: Bonanza has been on my list for a couple of years, and I was so happy to find two smart, fun, competent human beings that wanted to check it out, too. There are lots of trip reports and beta and route descriptions everywhere, but this was an amazing trip! I want to share photos and inform you that the glacier/bergshrund/moat is still very good to go (or was a few days ago)! One thing that made this climb so great was that our party was three women; for no specific reason, I had only climbed with dudes or mixed parties before. I really enjoyed the fun and collaborative atmosphere of this trip C and I got over to Lake Chelan on Saturday morning and dodged swarms of cyclists from the CHELANMAN. Z showed up just in the nick of time for us to get on the Lady II at Fields Point Landing and head uplake. Met one another party headed for Bonanza, and they informed us of two other parties heading up (!). Well, that number of people was a little unexpected...(we later found out it was just one group of five). Got to Lucerne and got on the Holden bus to get up to Holden Village. What an interesting place! Read about it here: http://www.holdenvillage.org/ Sort of a spiritual commune learning retreat that was bought by the Lutheran church in 1960 (I think) from a copper mining company that had first developed it and shipped a bunch of copper out to Tacoma (!) Hiked out to Holden Lake where Z and I took a refreshing dip (objective #1 complete) and then applied the DEET in good amounts. Getting up from the lake to the talus field below Holden Pass was not too bad, with just a minimal amount of schwacking. Stay between the swampy bits and the alder and trees. The views of the glacier (giant icefall and crevasses) and the waterfall slabs everywhere were amazing.... Holden Pass still has a snow patch (otherwise dry) but there's the creek coming down from part of the glacier you can fill up at right before the Pass. During the night, we heard the 5 people coming down; they approached, climbed, and went back to Holden in the same push They have a TR on NWHikers... We got going around 5:20 AM the next morning. The waterfall slabs were fine, the glacier was in great shape with good snow conditions and a smart bootpack, the snow finger felt fine, the step from the snow to the rock was easy, and about 3 hours from the pass, we were headed up the rock. Geode thing that C found Luckily, the two-person party that had left a bit before us was just coming down as we got to the final stretch before the summit -- I was a little concerned about them rapping above us as we came up. It worked out perfectly! The summit views were incredible, and we hung out for awhile. I especially loved seeing Lyman Lakes and Cloudy Pass, since I had hiked the Spider Gap - Cloudy Pass - Buck Creek Pass loop from the Chiwawa River Road last summer. We did a combination of down climbing and some careful rappelling and then back onto the glacier, where we definitely noticed crevasses and bridges looking different from the morning... We were back to the Pass by around 4, and the mosquitoes were terrible. Z and C set up "the princess fort" which was Z's mosquito netting hung on the rope strung between two trees, it was excellent! Another group showed up, and it was a guided party! We spoke for awhile with the guide, who hadn't climbed Bonanza before, and he left us a very nice note the next morning! I later found out they were successful, too Z left after a semi-alpine start so she could get back in time for a bit of rest before heading off to Goode, but C and I hiked out in the hotter weather, we found a cairn in the talus field below where we had approached from and that made it easier, I ate about 60 thimbleberries , back to Holden, back to Lucerne, I went swimming in Lake Chelan (objective #3 ticked), back to Fields Point Landing..... So great! Gear Notes: 60m rope, light axe Approach Notes: Get a copy of the informative newspaper on the Lady II, go swimming at every opportunity, bring a mosquito net fort, eat thimbleberries
  24. 1 point
    Trip: Rogers Pass Ridge Running - Avalanche, Eagle, Uto, Sir Donald, Asulkan Ridge, Tupper Trip Date: 07/25/2018 Trip Report: It's no secret that Rogers Pass has some of the best moderate alpine rock routes anywhere. Still, I was surprised by just how great the climbing is up there. I had been to the pass in 1999 on an attempt of Sir Donald (verglas turned us around low on the NW ridge) and driven though it many times on my way further east, but I had never spent much time there until a few weeks ago. Wow. And so few people! When we ran into a local midway through the week and asked him about this, he shrugged his shoulders, grinned, and said "this is as busy as it gets." I think we ran into two parties on 11 peaks over the course of the week and nobody actually on a route we were climbing. Even on the uber "popular" Sir Donald, we were the only party on the NW ridge. Of course, thunderstorms were building and we did have to run away from 3/4s of the way up it! Oh well, a good reason to go back. But the trip has hardly a failure, overall. Using the newish Jones book as our guide we managed three trips totaling five days: 2 days on Avalanche, Eagle, Uto, and Sir Donald (strenuous, camped at Uto-Sir Donald col); The Asulkan Ridge Traverse (Abbott, Afton, Rampart, Dome, Jupiter with camp at Sapphire col); and a day trip up the west ridge of Tupper - All five star outings (there are many other excellent traverses and routes detailed in the guide). If you haven't been up there, put it on your list! Speedy at the Top Sekrit HELLACAMP! A different sort of alpine hazard: Looking up at the impressive Illecillewaet Glacier: Steve starting up Avalanche, en route to Eagle, Uto, and Sir Donald: The incomparable view from Eagle of Uto and Sir Donald: Looking back at Avalanche. Swiss Peaks in the background, right: Ummmmmmmm.....That's quite a North Face Sir Donald has: Steve, putting our names in the Uto register: Descending Uto: We scored the best site at the Uto-Sir Donald col: Steve leading the charge up the NW ridge of Sir Donald: Crap! Watching as the summit slowly disappears into the approaching thunderstorm. We bailed about here and traversed around to the South ridge to descend: Steve on the descent of the south ridge of Sir Donald: Looking back at the summit of Sir Donald, between cells: We descended the South Ridge and walked off the Terminal side of the mountain. Here Steve is on his way to Pearly Rock: Trip #2. The Asulkan Ridge Traverse. The Illecillewaet Neve from the Abbott ridge trail: Abbott, Afton, and Bonney: Summit of Abbott I think. You can see the Avalanche, Eagle, Uto, and Sir Donald ridgeline we traversed above Steve: The North ridge of Swanzy is supposed to be uber classic. In the foreground is part of the Asulkan ridge traverse: Near the summit of the Rampart. Jupiter above Steve. Dawson Range in the distance: Trying to find a way off the Dome: Sapphire Col hut! Moonrise over the Dawson Range: Classic scrambling up Castor (summit of Jupiter): Summit of Leda (another Jupiter peak): Mount Fox with the Dawson Range behind: Approaching the Asulkan Hut: The Johannesburg of the Selkirks, Mount Macdonald: Hermit meadows, looking back at the Asulkan Ridge: The summit block of Tupper! Tuppertoe: At the summit of Tupper, looking at the Swiss peaks: The incredible SW face of Tupper: The Hermit Gendarme on Tupper: Looking across the highway from the summit of Tupper at the huge north face of Macdonald and Sir Donald in the distance: North Face of Tupper: The bugs were as impressive as the views from Hermit meadows: North Face of Macdonald: South face of Tupper! Gear Notes: half rope, medium rack to 2", approach shoes (which I didn't have), ice axe, Al crampons, helmet Approach Notes: Trans Can and walk
  25. 1 point
    I'm obviously a bad influence with those pretty pictures. There's nothing but choss in my footsteps @Daphne H But, if you can't be dissuaded, I too use a combo of Boulder X (low tops, which they still make) and Trango Alp (discontinued). I think that the Trango Tower is a good alternative to the Alp that I will buy this winter. I find that the Trango boots climb up to 5.6 pretty well and are more supportive in the talus and steep forest than the Boulder X. If I am going to have to wear rock shoes and carry over a route, then the Boulder X seems to work OK enough. And, since I'm about comfort and not climbing hard, I wear the mythos on harder (for me- 5.7+) rock routes. So, there you have it- the full choss dawg arsenal.
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    congrats you guys; looks awesome! I've been staying off cc.com since rotator cuff surgery has me sidelined 'n sedentary until ski season and hanging out here is just a little bit a bummer right now, but Ken told me about this report so I had to check it out. Killer.
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    Not for our descent (typical scree down the Cascadian couloir)
  31. 1 point
    That one is a feather in your cap. Been on my list a long time - with two fails due to weather and needless wandering. I'm racing the clock on this one - good job
  32. 1 point
    Trip: Sloan SW Face - Fire on the Mountain (FA/FFA) Date: 8/30/2009 Trip Report: Short version: Fire on the Mountain: FA/FFA on the SW face of Sloan. 8 pitches, 5.10+, III+ (1100ft of technical climbing on steep, clean rock plus 500ft of scrambling to the summit). Blake Herrington and Rad Roberts. Long version (photos and video by Blake Herrington): Descending Sloan after a moderate jaunt up its West Face, AlexK and I gaped in awe at the sheer Southwest face of the mountain. Alex later commented, “Walking along the base of the SW face was like walking along the base of the Upper Town Wall at Index...line after line of really awesome steep granite rising directly from the steep slope vertically for many pitches!” Alex looking up at the SW Face of Sloan, 2006 (new route starts just off the frame to the right.) With a bit of hype and a few Scurlock photos, I was able to convince Blake to take a shot at this worthy objective. Morning mists enveloped us as we coaxed my old car up FS4690 to the Bedal Creek trailhead. We walked through old growth forest and followed the cascading creek to the base of the immense West face of Sloan. Although this impressive face surely holds more good lines, we continued on to the SW face. The mists burned off as we left the forest for heathery meadows and ripe blueberries, wasting precious minutes on the jaws of a giant. Upon cresting the final ridge, I was pleased to see that the SW face looked just as steep and clean as I’d remembered. Several lines looked good, though they would need some gardening on the first pitch. We chose a prominent left facing corner leading to a chimney (upper right in the photo below) and some thin cracks up a face. Blake getting dressed for work. We should all be so lucky I asked for and was granted the opportunity to lead the first pitch. I did a little gardening at the start, but the rock was quite solid and protectable. My calves started to burn as holds ran out and the corner turned into a chimney, but an exit onto a small stance provided a rest and revealed a series of spectacular, clean finger cracks soaring straight up the wall. Working up these, I felt the fire spread to my forearms. I rested when possible and carefully contemplated each tricky section, hoping to honor this fine line in good style. Blake was very patient. Fortunately, the rock and gear were solid so it was easy to go for it. I cranked through the crux and savored juggy moves over a final bulge to a belay atop a pillar, whooping with delight on completing the onsight. Blake joined me, casually shooting video just after the crux. [video:vimeo]6387846 This would prove to be the hardest pitch of the day, perhaps 5.10+ or 5.9++ or 5.11-. Ratings reflect only one aspect of the experience, and often they distract from the essence of a climb. For me, this pitch alone was worth the price of admission, with 45m of sustained, outstanding, well-protected (I placed about 13 pieces!) climbing on solid rock, with multiple 5.10 sections and a really fun crux. Blake then headed up the next pitch, linking clean vertical and horizontal cracks and a few face moves to a belay at a ledge. [video:vimeo]6387982 This section was reminiscent of the upper pitches of Loving Arms on the Upper Town Wall at Index and various routes on Lover’s Leap. I let Blake take the third pitch as the second pitch was rather short and I’d poached the best pitch from him on Tower a year ago. P3 started in a finger crack and then headed up a series of golden flakes, dikes, and buckets. I did a hand traverse left under a large roof to move the belay and then shot up a steep right-facing corner, brushing lichen off key footholds along the way. The angle eased a bit and I cruised up to the giant heather ledge that splits the face. Lots more steep, clean, featured rock loomed above us, and we were shocked to see it was already 4pm. Go time. Blake floated up a left-leaning crack system and a perfectly clean OW corner to a belay on a pillar. There we found two old pins. Someone had come this way before (see comments below). I danced up a steep face peppered with protruding dikes, managing to sling a giant knob and slot a cam in a small crack. The end of this pitch featured a steep finger crack in a corner with an old pin. I clipped this piece of history, but images of it failing motivated me to crank through without weighting it. Entering the crux of p6 (note slung knob in foreground) Sunshine, silence, and sweeping views of the Mountain Loop and Monte Cristo peaks enveloped us. We savored the pristine wilderness setting. Blake then lead a 60m rope-stretcher to a stance just below another large ledge. Dehydrated and fried from hours of exertion in the sun, I offered Blake what we hoped would be the final lead of the day. It didn’t disappoint, with a hand crack around a roof bulge and a rising traverse on positive flakes to a final corner. We unroped. It was 7pm. Our water was long gone, and my moxie had long since moseyed. Although I had descended Sloan before, I didn’t relish the idea of rappelling and down climbing in the dark with one headlamp between us. But Blake had never been to the summit, and we needed to complete the route, so we stashed our gear and scrambled to the airy summit. We signed the register, snapped a pic, and turned to head for the stable. Note moon in background. I staggered heavily (Blake scampered lightly) back down to our packs and we admired a stunning sunset as we started the rest of the descent. We rapped to the sloping ledge as twilight turned to night, but the moon cast its gentle glow on the descent slabs and the air was perfectly still, as if Sloan were gently ushering us back down to safety. Our ropes just barely reached the snow, but it was quite hard and our tennis shoes, one ax, and lack of crampons didn’t inspire confidence. Blake chopped a bollard and we rapped down to lower angle snow. The sound of running water drew us to a small waterfall of snowmelt where we drank deeply and split a Theo chocolate bar, smiling in the moonlight. We retrieved our packs, including my headlamp, and headed toward the trailhead. But there was still one more obstacle: BLUEBERRIES! Evening dew had started to collect on the blueberry bushes at the top of the open slopes of the Bedal creek basin, and our feet skidded out each time we tried to take a step. Glissading seemed possible, but test runs showed the acceleration rates would be more like hard ice than soft snow. The ground was very hard and there was no way to hang onto the wet plants. Self arrest would be impossible. Death would be swift and sure. I could see the headline already, “Climbers die on blueberry slope.” I pictured the deadly rabbit in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. We’d climbed a striking new route but been bested by some damp blueberry bushes. Actually, I’m OK with that. We decided to stick to the dense, prickly evergreen shrubbery on an adjacent ridge. We thrashed down that and rapped off a 4ft pine when we got cliffed-out above more evil blueberries. The remainder of the descent went smoothly. The Darrington payphone ate my quarters while trucks of teenagers cruised the minimart in the wee hours. We drove to Arlington through misty fields, wolfed down tasty food at Haggen, and headed back to Seattle, arriving after 3am. My body attended morning work meetings, but my spirit was still in the mountains. When the rains settle upon us and sun-kissed alpine rock is removed to daydreams, this is the trip I will replay again and again. Thanks for a great outing Blake, and for giving me the first pitch, the last swallow of water, the only ice ax on the hard snow, and good conversation to pass the hours on the trail. ……………… Fire on the Mountain, 5.10+, III+, 8 pitches, 1100ft of technical climbing and another 500ft or so of scrambling to the summit. All free, ground-up, onsight. The route starts in a prominent left-facing corner that turns into a chimney. This is about a hundred feet right of a prominent right-facing corner, and 200ft right of a vegetated crack leading up the diamond feature in the photo with Alex. Pitch 1: Tinderbox. Start in the obvious left-facing corner below a chimney. Stay right to avoid vegetated cracks at the top of the chimney, and step right to a small stance. Climb straight up finger and hand cracks to a belay at a decent ledge. 45m, 5.10+. Pitch 2: Lightning strike. Move right to a pair of hand cracks in a corner, ascend the right one and hand traverse right to a small stance. Link face features and small cracks to a good ledge and a belay. 33m, 5.10-. Pitch 3: Bucket brigade. Start up a thin crack and then move onto a face with golden buckets, flakes, and edges. Ascend a prominent corner under an OW roof crack and then hand traverse left under a giant roof to a belay stance out left. Future parties may choose to link p2 and p3. 34m 5.10-. Pitch 4: Controlled burn. Delicate moves up a right facing corner lead to friendly flakes and dikes and a giant heather ledge that bisects the SW face. 40m, 5.8. Pitch 5: Firebreak. Ascend a left-trending crack system near the top of p4. This leads to a clean ramp and a stellar golden dihedral with an OW crack (one #4 useful here). Finish on a pedestal near old pins and some cracks. 45m, 5.9. Pitch 6: Alpine ladder. Scale a steep face on amazing dikes, follow the ladder leftward up hero climbing, and finish up a steep corner with a pin. 40m, 5.10. Pitch 7: Smoldering embers. Shoot straight up the featured face to a giant heather ledge. 63m, 5.7. Pitch 8: Final flare-up. Ascend a hand crack that jogs left around a small roof. Continue up cracks, trend left on positive flakes, and finish up a corner to a ledge. 45m, 5.10. Scamper up to the obvious corkscrew route trail. Change into comfortable shoes, stash gear, and scramble unroped to the summit. Beckey lists a route on the SW face, but what he calls the SW face is more like a route that starts on the South face, crosses a ridge mid-height onto the SW face, and follows easy ground to a shoulder. This is very different from what we experienced. Based on the position of the few pitons we encountered, we believe someone climbed p5, p6, and p7 at some point, aiding through the steep finger crack crux on p6. We’d be interested to hear if anyone knows more about the nature of that route. The condition of p1, p2, p3, p4, and p8 suggests they had not been climbed prior to our ascent. I've attempted to draw our line on a classic Scurlock shot. Red is roped climbing on p1 to p8 and green is unroped scrambling to the summit. Gear Notes: Stoppers work particularly well, including a few micronuts. We brought double cams to #3 camalot and one #4 camalot and used it all. We took a few pins but never needed them. The OW on p5 might take a #5 or #6 but Blake did fine without them. A single 60m rope is sufficient. An ice ax might handy for the snow. Go get some! Approach Notes: Approach: Bedal Creek trail to the basin below the West Face. Ascend Blueberry Hill to a treed shoulder, traverse shoulder briefly, enter the basin below the SW face. The route starts in a prominent left-facing corner that turns into a chimney. This is about a hundred feet right of a prominent right-facing corner, and 200ft right of a vegetated crack leading up the diamond feature in the photo with Alex above. Perhaps 2 hrs from the car to the base of route. Descent: Follow the corkscrew trail around to the South face, and down climb or rappel an obvious gully to a giant ramp. Descend eastward down the ramp until able to do a single rope rappel to the snow. Traverse toward the South shoulder, cross over this, and descend back to the base of the route. Retrace the approach back to the Bedal Creek trailhead.
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    You'll get more hits if you re-post 'want to buy' rather than 'for sale'. Good luck!
  35. 1 point
    Slesse's pocket glacier is way less dangerous than this though:
  36. 1 point
    For future info @samueleley...I've found that putting everything in a large, heavy duty, plastic bag deters most . It appears that they don't like to chew on that type of plastic. Just a few days ago I watched one crawl all over my plastic bag (with salty clothes and food in it) before losing interest and going off into the night to terrorize something else.
  37. 1 point
  38. 1 point
    I posted in the cc.news forum and JasonG reached out to the site admins. Hopefully they will updated their cert soon
  39. 1 point
    Whether you want to or not you just earned membership in Team Danger! Climbing a route that obviously just fell down is worth 50 points, the same amount that you get for continuing to solo a route you decide you want to not be soloing anymore. Keep track of your points! You might be racking them up quickly.
  40. 1 point
    For the sake of future googlenauts, I thought I'd bump this with info on an alternative approach (not discovered by me) that avoids the swamp creek schwack, and is thus strongly recommended. The attached picture is really all you need, but: continue past swamp creek for a few miles, turning left off trail at a distinct opening/flat spot where the trail abuts the river at a gravel bar, with many very large chainsawed logs strewn about, and a very large boulder on the right (river) side. Head more or less straight up hill, following your nose and sticking to the largest trees, and there's essentially no bushwhacking or scrambling (the red line is approximate). Upon reaching the col you could presumably cut left in order to start at needle, as above ^, but I can't say for sure.
  41. 1 point
    Nice work dude! Looks like you've been getting some good mileage up there this summer.
  42. 1 point
    Several guide services are flying out all their shit on Denali, and have been for the last two seasons, at this point it may be all of them.
  43. 1 point
    Trip: Les Cornes - Springbok Arete Trip Date: 06/17/2018 Trip Report: I'm not the trip report type, as evidenced by the fact we went out there weeks ago, but the approach to Les Cornes and that whole group of peaks has changed a bit since Cascades Rock so wanted to give a heads up to anyone heading that way. Cattermole Timber and Chilliwack Natural Resources don't really go out that way so don't count on calling them as a way of getting current road beta. The road getting there is pretty much impassable at 12.1 miles - so plan on an extra ~3.7 miles of human powered travel each way. I don't see this changing anytime soon, as there's a couple back to back washouts, with the remaining roadbed being off-camber and partially blocked by small boulders. Mountain bikes or dirt bikes would be great. The final road (the turnoff at 15.1 miles in Blake's guide) is overgrown to the point that we second guessed ourselves when we turned onto it. Didn't really look like it was driveable any time in the last decade. But, it's marked by flagging at the entrance. It's also washed out beyond repair not long after the turnoff but the stream that did the deed is crossable on a good log. The route was stellar. We did the direct start and half the first pitch was under snow. Not sure the slung block belay at the end of the awkward 5.9 OW horizontal pitch was still there, but there is a fair bit of choss in that sector, I belayed at the start of the 10+ wide hands cracks above. The rappels are feasible with a 70m just by following Blake's double 60 rap beta in Cascades Rock and finding intermediate anchors on the longer raps. Some rope stretchers. Doing this in the dark may lead to shenanigans - the sunset was nice though. Ibex/Les Cornes/Chamois S T E I N B O K - would love to talk with someone who's climbed this name those peaks? Gear Notes: hefty - doubles tips to #4 (both 4's were placed on at least two pitches). 70m rope. Approach Notes: long.
  44. 1 point
    Trip: Cutthroat Peak - South Buttress Trip Date: 06/17/2018 Trip Report: I had a nice day out on Cutthroat Peak on Sunday. I’d recommend crampons and an ice axe for now. Check out the full report at Spokalpine. Gear Notes: Medium rack, many slings Approach Notes: Easy to follow, except the creek crossing
  45. 1 point
    Trip: eldorado peak - Inspiration Galcier Trip Date: 06/23/2018 Trip Report: We started 12 AM in the night to push for one day summit C2C . The starting of route was to cross the tree logs over the streams few of them in night it was quite a challenge but after that it was easy to navigate using headlamps. Boulders field were dry so we were easily able to cross them just following bearing We hit the snow around 4000ft and from there just straight up at this point mist started. We reached the base of summit 7600ft around 6:00 AM when weather changed quite a lot windy, cold and no visibility (this was not a forecast . We waited under rocks safe place 30 mins to get clear weather but it didn't change so we continue to tag the summit , we had no views we stand for 1 min on summit no one was there and then we started descending and reached cars around 1:30 pm. We saw 2 parties coming up on glacier and then on boulders filed more climbers were coming up for 2 day summit , we noticed it was not easy to assent/decent boulder field with heavy packs. Overall it was awesome climb. Gear Notes: standard glacier travel Approach Notes: wet boulders filed is a challenge
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Lovers Leap Road Trip - Corrugation Corner and others Trip Date: 09/18/2016 Trip Report: In honor of the new software, here's the last TR I tried to post over a year ago, before giving up after 17 failed attempts to cut and paste. Anyway, this was a 9-day road trip to Lovers Leap near Lake Tahoe. Despite the epic drive, we managed to climb something every day. Day 1. Crossed Snoqualmie Pass in a monsoon and continued south to drier Central Oregon. Snacked on some crappy Safeway potato salad and headed to Smith, where we were greeted by sign saying ‘all parking full’. Not true, but very busy indeed! Headed off to Voyage of the Cowdog (3p 5.8). With parties of three ahead and behind us, it was a collective voyage, though plenty congenial. At the top, we ditched the rappels for the ledgy walk-off, arguably as adventurous as the climb. Pleasant enough, but a bigger change in scenery was required. Final pitch of Voyage of the Cowdog at Smith Day 2. Headed southeast through the dry lake country, passing Lakeview, Susanville, Reno, and South Lake Tahoe, reaching the Leap in late afternoon. The local store provided us with a new Supertopo guide and beta from uber-local “Squirrel”. We got right on Ham and Cheese, a 3 pitch 5.7 on the Hogsback. Squirrel assured us all we’d need was “8 draws and two beers”. Good beta! High desert near Lakeview Oregon During the 10 minute return to camp, it sunk in how sweet this place is. Excellent walk-in campsites 15 minutes from multi-pitch classics, with a rustic lodge, bar and gear shop nearby. Giant food/gear bins at each site, great bouldering, no RVs, all for $10 per night! Sweet walk-in camping at Lovers Leap Day 3. Monday morning and the crag was quiet, so we jumped right on Bear’s Reach, a super-classic 3 pitch 5.7 on the East Wall. After a taste of dike-laced slab, several hundred feet of steep flake grabbing and intermittent cracks. In the running for the best 5.7 I’d ever done, at least for the next 24 hours. An easy walk-off led back to lunch and Preparation H (the climb, not the ointment!) and upper Haystack at 5.8, which was more of a true crack climb, with small overhangs to spice things up. East Wall of Lovers Leap (borrowed from the web) Day 4. Hit the supreme 6 pitch link-up of Surrealistic Pillar to Corrugation Corner. The Pillar (3 p. 5.7) wanders up steep dikes with sections of crack climbing. A classic in its own right, it was quickly overshadowed by Corrugation Corner, surely the most awesome 5.7 anywhere! The first pitch is nice corner climbing with a couple bouldery spots and a fingery traverse. From there, we craned our necks back to assess the nearly vertical corner of pitch two. Holy shit – that’s 5.7?! You follow the corner 20’ then traverse left to an extremely airy arête, with positive knobs and fixed pins keeping it sane. Pitch 2 finishes with the fabled Beached Whale move. Pitch three has a bit of chimney climbing then a looong sunny corner, high on the wall. Just an amazing climb, every pitch a classic. Approaching the supreme link-up of Surrealistic Corner (center) and Corrugation Corner (upper left) Crazy dike hiking on Surrealistic Pillar Corrugation Corner next! (right above Andy's head) CC, Pitch 2 arete. Sooo much fun! All smiles at the top of the link-up Day 5. Wetness, WTF? Andy’s bag was soggy, so we headed to So. Lake Tahoe for a laundromat and hot breakfast. The showers cleared so we checked out the Luther Spires – tiny pinnacles with a not-so-tiny approach. Good way to stretch the legs anyway Luther Spires, pretty but a little....underwhelming Day 6. Clear but chilly. Foolishly jumped on the shady Better with Bacon (5.8). The first pitch is 5.6 slab climbing with tiny pro. The second pitch was also nice but freezing. Checked out the original Pony Express trail, which runs right through the campground, then packed up and headed north. Day 7. Graffiti along the Pony Express Trail, which runs right under Lovers Leap Welcome to Lassen Volcanic Park, sort of a mini-hybrid of Mt St Helens and Yellowstone. We checked the climbing box by bagging an actual summit. And though Lassen is a sizable mountain (~10,500’), it boasts a nicely engineered summit trail with interpretive signs every half mile! It’s obviously popular, based on the Wal-Mart size parking lot. From there, we checked out the thermal area known as Bumpass Hell. Steaming, hissing, sulphury mudpots with boardwalks and scary warning signs, just like Jellystone. Trail and summit of Mt Lassen Bumpass Hell, Lassen Park Day 8. Mostly an I-5 day, but with a short stop at Skinners Butte in Eugene, one of the formative crags of my youth. Great basalt climbing and fairly quiet, given the Duck game going on across town. Heck of a week! Skinners Butte Columns in Eugene, one of the best urban crags in the PNW! Gear Notes: Honda Pilot, camping and cragging gear, SuperTopo Tahoe guide Approach Notes: Road Maps
  47. 1 point
    An inability to find "adequate" protection on your part should not constitute a need for bolts on the part of every other climber who goes there forever and ever. Anyway, if you guys insist on putting your opinions out there, I will put mine out there. We will never agree. Feel free to let this stupid "debate" die.
  48. 1 point
    Alpinfox, tell Preiss thanks for the reminder courage and vision aren't measured in volts or recharged from a wall outlet.
  49. 1 point
    Did I mention that he drove and that was my way home? Believe me, the thought did cross my mind on more than a couple of occasions. You can call it passivity, but I'd like to think I was trying to keep my wits in a stressful situation. But also in a wierd way it got to the point a being a little bit of a adreneline rush wondering what was going to happen next.
  50. 1 point
    This past weekend Mark Bunker (Marko), Wayne Wallace (Wayne1112), and I finished off a long standing project of ours. Our goal was to enchain all of the peaks in the Southern Pickets East-to-West (the East ridges are generally steeper than the West ridges). Mark and I made our first attempt last summer, and got to the Terror-Blob col before being thwarted by weather. Wayne and Jens Klubberud made an attempt earlier this summer, and were defeated by weather after making it to the Inspiration-Pyramid col. The first day we hiked in, and climbed Little Mac, East McMillan, and West McMillan, to a bivy at the col between West McMillan and the gendarmes to its West. The second day we climbed Inspiration, Pyramid, Degenhardt, Terror, and the Blob, to a bivy on the West (lower) summit of the Blob. The third day we climbed East Twin Needle, West Twin Needle, the Himmelhorn, the Ottohorn, and the Frenzelspitz, and then descended to a bivy in Crescent Creek Basin. Along the way we also climbed the named but less significant Blip and Dusseldorfspitz. Today we climbed the Chopping Block as a bonus, descended the Barrier, and hiked out. We believe that the East ridges of the Blob, East Twin Needle, and Himmelhorn are all new routes. The Blob went at 5.9 and the East Twin Needle (on which we actually climbed more of a SE rib) at 5.9+. The East ridge of the Himmelhorn comprised the crux of the entire traverse, with a steep, exposed pitch of 5.10+ (bold lead by Wayne the ropegun). We all agree that it is one of the best climbs we have ever done, and highly reccomend it to those seeking a fantastic alpine adventure!
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