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  1. 6 points
    Hey CC.com! I'm proud to announce the release of Snoqualmie Rock. After 5 years of research, writing, and review, this comprehensive guidebook for the I-90 corridor is finally complete. It covers well over 700 routes from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass at over 60 crags. You'll find it in stores this June, but you can pre-order your own copy now at www.snoqualmierock.com See you all at the crags!
  2. 5 points
    Trip: Mt Baker - North Ridge Trip Date: 05/20/2018 Trip Report: Quick conditions update for Mt Bakers North ridge for anyone interested. Peter, Lael, and I left Bellingham, skimo gear in hand, at 4:15 Sunday morning. We left the car (.5 mi from trail head) in running shoes at 6:00am and cruised up to heliotrope, past a big group of guided skiers. We continued in our comfy shoes (in the rain) up the snow to the last flat before the steep face leading to heliotrope ridge. Here we left the shoes and booted up to the start of the Coleman glacier. With light skis on our feet and rain only getting harder, we zipped across the Coleman, motivated to stay moving quick by crashing in the fog above as seracs fell from the Coleman headwall. After crossing by an unnervingly fresh debris field we were at the base of the north ridge and threw the skis back on the packs. It was decision time and with a few sucker holes in the clouds (and a knowledge of the forecast) we decided to continue moving upward. Our choice proved fruitful (despite post-holing in the deep slush with no boot pack) and we began to feel ourselves nearing the top of the clouds as we approached the ice step. Peter led a full 30 meters and made an ice screw belay at the top of the ice step, he then dropped the rope so I could lead it too. From the belay I pushed upward in the first firm snow of the day (more on this later) as Lael followed up the ice. We gained the ridge proper and were living large as the sun came out. We the saw what appeared to be another ice step which was confusing because Peter soloed the route the week before and saw no such thing. Upon closer inspection the 5ft high vertical face that stretched across the North West face of the ridge was clearly an avalanche crown (probably several days old). With no where to go but up we chopped a step and bouldered up this small face onto snow we now knew was somewhat unstable so we stuck to the ridge proper from then on. Again post holing we pushed for the summit, anxious that we would be too late for firm snow to ski. We arrived at the summit around 1pm and wasted no time skinning over to the top of the roman headwall. Skins ripped. Boots locked. Dropping in! Slushy mank... The skiing sucked but it sure beat walking. We skied back into the clouds and cruised down as fast as our quads could to heliotrope ridge then back down to the trail. Skis back on the pack and running shoes on, we jogged down the trail to the car. Whole ordeal took just a bit under 10hrs. Lael hauls up the Coleman Post Holing up the Ridge Cruising up... Ice pitch near the top of the clouds Ice Pitch Ridge Selfie! Steep ridge after the ice pitch Spicy crown proved to be a V3 boulder move Clouds Breaking Sunshine on top! Back in the fog after the ski Thanks for reading, hope this helps someone! Gear Notes: 5 ice screws, glacier stuff, 2 tools each Approach Notes: Road is open almost to the parking lot
  3. 5 points
    Trip: Eldorado Peak - East Ridge Trip Date: 04/22/2018 Trip Report: It's a bit late but me and Fred skied Eldorado on Sunday 4-22-18. We did a TH bivy in the car Saturday night (after helping dig a guy out of the snow 100' from the parking lot). There was a tiny bit of snow lingering in the shade at the lot, but none in the woods. The log crossing wasn't nearly as bad as I had heard (though the water was low). Pretty typical Cascade stuff: We were off at 0600 carrying skis wearing ski boots for about 2100', man is it nice to start under sunny skies and not with headlamps. At the start of the boulder field there was enough snow to skin but not by all that much. The snow was pretty variable, wind affected, but it went pretty fast. We crossed into the Roush Creek drainage at 6200' after a brief attempt to do so at 6500' (there is a cliff there). The drop down was only about 70' of easy plunge stepping until we put skis back on. Skinning to our lunch spot at 7500' went smoothly from there. Skinning the boulder field: Shitty views towards Cascade Pass: Crossing the creek divide, this was 6500', too high: Lunch spot: I think it was around noon when we took a long break to melt snow and have lunch at the plateau. Sun-screened up we headed up again. On the ridge the snow was firm and wind affected, it didn't warm up at all despite the hot sun and pretty warm air. We skinned to within about 150' of the summit where we switched to booting with crampons and axes. The ridge was a piece of cake, wind packed snow made for bomber steps and solid cramponing. After obligatory ridge photos we took some time to identify peaks and enjoy the clear spring views, planning future trips, then back to the skis. Looking east toward Forbidden, Goode, etc. Summit ridge: I had thought that the snow on the ridge would be a horrid ski but it was more powdery than anticipated and was actually lots of fun. We shot as far across the snowfield as we could, then shuffled and boot packed a little over the hump. The ski down from about 7000' was horrid sticky sludge, but views and silence were pretty amazing. We spoke to another group that was headed for the NW Couloir at the divide ridge. How did it go? From there more horridly awesome sludge down to the boulder field where the steeper angle made for suuuuper sketchy traversing causing the entire slope to slough off as wet slides. Way dangerous, though its probably all sloughed off to firmer stuff now. From there we hiked out for a round trip of 9.2 miles, 7100' in 12 hours. Gear Notes: Axe, crampons, helmet, ski touring gear. Didn't take a rope, glad of it. Approach Notes: Hiked about 2100' in ski boots from the TH.
  4. 4 points
    Trip: Mount Temple - Greenwood Jones Trip Date: 08/03/2017 Details: Given the reputation and lore select Canadian Rockies north faces hold I've always wanted to climb one but never had the opportunity minus a failed attempt on GCC on Kitchner way back in the late fall of 2008. High my list was/is any route on Mount Temple but avy conditions in the winter and grizzly conditions in the summer/fall had prevented me from ever trying. My understanding is most years the CAN parks require (communists ) a minimum party size of 4 for anyone entering the area below the north face or risk BIG fines (and possibly a grizzly encounter ). As finding another team of 2 keen on an alpine start that was also willing to climb a different route was pretty much impossible I never have had a chance to try. However in August of 2017 I heard they made the party size a recommendation and not a requirement. Lucky for me Daniel Harro was also keen so we pointed it north. Based on dawn & sunrise times and our plan to filter water at the lake we settled on a 3:30 departure. We started the face slightly later than I had hoped and wandered around trying to make sense of the beta before settling into the route. Everything you heard is true: choss to perfection and everything in between. Not the worst rock I have climbed but Oregon volcano climbers have a high threshold. Managed to climb it without placing pins but we definitely clipped a few along the way. All in all an awesome route and deserving of the status. I definitely want to come back for Greenwood Locke (in colder temps) and the Cardiac Arete on the Grand Sentinel looks awesome. We found this TR in conjunction the most useful for route finding but even then we scratched our heads more than once and I had to reverse/downclimb a few false starts. Pins can show the way as well as get you way off route If you try to do it in a day (which I recommend as it makes the packs more manageable) you need to save as much daylight as possible for the descent; I would expect attempting to follow the cairns down in the dark even with a headlamp challenging at best especially if you go back to your car via Paradise Valley. A google search will turn up more than a few TRs that detail a night spent out high on the mountain. Gear Notes: Standard rack. Took pins but didnt use them. Crampon and mini ice axe. Approach Notes: Opted for the car to car option
  5. 3 points
    Trip: Mt. Rainier - Liberty Ridge Trip Date: 05/14/2018 Trip Report: Hello! The climbing rangers on Rainier wanted to know about conditions on LR, and since we did the route the long way we did a lot of movement on the mountain and the Carbon River Trail/Wonderland on the way. I had to work last night after pushing the last 14 miles out in the morning, and have to work again today so I am trying to crush this and I’ll addend it later to get all the pictures as I get them. Here we go! Valerie and I met on Monday early and discussed more in depth our gear selection, ended up being 4 pickets and 5 screws. Fortunately the 1000 ft of hero ice and my trips to the Canadian Rockies worked well as two screw belays and one screw for pro saved time, and the extra picket helped set up the tent quickly! Be aware that if you start from the Carbon River, you cannot purchase your Rainier Climbing Pass there, it must be done somewhere else or online first! I swear I’ll send in my money on Monday, thank you to the Park Service for accommodating us. We left the Carbon River TH at 11am, and made it to 6800 ft at Curtis Ridge camp. We camped on dirt and used rocks as anchors to set up the Betamid, which it the first time I have used one and it was AWESOME. This seemed to be fine for accessing the Carbon Glacier. There is a crossing on the trail to which we had to on the way up take our shoes off and wade a little as several of the log walks are washed out. It is kind of an adventurous approach as you can imagine this time of year, but as someone mentioned to us on the way out “They probably didn’t find the trail too difficult if they climbed LR” Haha! On the way back, we chose to leave our boots on at a crossing because the water was even higher. If this happens, I’d suggest one person using shoes to wade across and attach a rope and ferry dry packs across, there’s a hand line across the way. Day 2 we found the Carbon to only have a couple of bridges to navigate, and Valerie deftly led us safely across to the right side of the Ridge. At this point Valerie had reservations about leading the route, and I assured her I would lead all of it if I needed to. This is in no way a detriment to her contribution to completing the climb, I needed her to help in all the glacier travel and navigation, positivity, and her extra pizza. The woman brought in 2.5 fully cooked pizzas. She knows her stuff. It took us 3 or so hours to move across the Carbon to the right side base, probably because of the long approach and our increasing lack of sleep and long days. At 1030 or so I started up the third snow band and over a very easy covered shrund, and the snow to Thumb Rock was pretty shitty ranging from ok to plunge step to wallowing in crotch deep sugar. Our anticipation was that it was supposed to get colder the next evening and we would have good conditions to the summit. It took us a whopping 9-10 hours to get to thumb rock, as we had to pitch out some sections because of the warm snow and I started taking the rock bands to save energy. Occasionally I could protect the rock bits with a deadman picket, but all other anchors were quite marginal and I ended up using seated hip belays or terrain belays off of boulders. I assume if the snow is good this time could be halved and soloed. Start very early or when the snow freezes. We sat in the sun and tried to dry out as best we could at thumb rock and hydrate. We dug a platform with a shovel, it would likely fit a 2-3 person tent well and just out of way of the rock falling off Thumb Rock. There’s enough dry rock to sit on and relax up there. Day 3 The Business. We awoke to still and excellent conditions. I started up at 330am to the left as it looked more direct, the WI3 straight up is completely non-existent. We simuled in 800-900ft blocks with a picket every 190-230 ft, I have never mid-daggered so much in my life. Occasionally whenever we needed to simul solo to get to a good picket or resting spot, I would end up in a sugary 10 ft band of garbage. Vertical pickets were pretty good today. Somewhere after the second block to pass over to the left, we came over a lip of snow and built a belay with an axe while standing on dirt and rock. From this belay I did a traverse of rock for 30 ft or so with a marginal picket to get to the left. I believe we did a rising traverse lower than usual to the left to access a wide long gully with some rockfall when the sun came out. Miraculously, as I had to chose my path the clouds covered it just until we were both out of harm’s way and then the sun came out and the rocks started falling again. My suggestion is if you go this way that you go up and right a bit around a few small rock outcroppings then cut immediately left to avoid rockfall if the sun is out. Either way move fast. We pushed this simul up to the ice face, and I belayed off of two screws in the bottom of the ice. At this point Valerie had some issue with her toe, and she may have stubbed it hard somewhere, and was feeling a bit rough. Valerie is pretty dang tough, so it might have even been broken. We had not stopped and ate or hydrated much, as we kept having some serious routefinding and objective hazards and that distracted us. The ice looks shorter than it is! I led 3 200 ft pitches, at the first belay I hammered her adze in to the hilt and connected it to the anchor and left her with a one screw anchor. I didn’t know what the next pitch of ice would feel like, she trusted me but expressed some concern with this. My standard mountaineering crampons were great and single swing half or to the hilt swings had me moving very efficiently up the pitches, placing a screw half way and two for the anchor. After 3.5 full pitches of ice, I belayed Valerie up to a flattish area and she was doing poorly. Albeit she rallied each time with courage since we were in a very committing position. The hanging belays sucked and her toe was hurting. At this point this got a bit colder, and the clouds would come in and out and obscure our view. We discussed bivying early around 13100, but she expressed from her experience is better to camp near Liberty Cap and I thought having the difficulties behind us would be better. I led up through the clouds as we spied at a moments clearing the correct way, traversing far right for a bit and up a very easy filled in bergshrund, travered up 45 degree snow ocassionally protecting with pickets while simulclimbing. I was out of pickets but started finding ice to place screws in every 150-200 feet up the last headwall to Liberty Cap. This was technically the crux, but it was hilariously fun for me and should not concern anyone really in it current state. Two hero ice tool placements above shrund, cut feet heel hook left foot and swing tools higher up 150 ft of mixed snow and ice to ice screw belay. Just before this belay Valerie got the screaming barfies on the overhang, and as she arrived to the anchor most of me was covered in rime and snow. 300 feet up more ice/snow to low angle terrain and Liberty Cap. At this point if we had stopped for longer than 20 minutes we may have been hypothermic with 30-40 mph winds. We were moving too slowly at this point to reach anywhere else, we quickly set up the Megamid pickets and tools, and I set to work digging in the sides. We slowly recovered and feet and hands warmed up, and the mood became a bit less serious and the awesomeness set in we were doing fine at 14k and howling winds, and we had made it up a very proud objective. As it turns out the Zip Jet boil is a bit finicky about being warm, but we passed out until midnight until we got the thing working or even cared about it. Imporant points before I leave you hanging... Descent of Emmons, boot path done to Shurman. When crossing Winthrop if doing LR, be careful of following our tracks, we were in a complete fog and were trying to go down not over. Might be looking to do the Kautz May 28-30 if someone is down, or whatever route is fun. TBC... Need to go climb some granite. Be Back out Wednesday night. Gear Notes: 5x screws, 4x 24" pickets, slings. 3 pickets and 6 screws might be better since theres more ice than i anticipated. Approach Notes: Carbon River is fine if you're in shape and want better conditions on route VS shorter approach if that is the current time of the season. Coming back down from Dick Creek. Valerie showed me how to wade, I was a little unsure of how to do it. Valerie's skillful untracked descent of the Emmons Above the 800 ft. ice face, still a pitch of ice above this. First full pitch of ice. Day 2 headed up to Thumb rock, conditions not the best. Entrance to the ridge from the Carbon Glacier
  6. 3 points
    Trip: Strobach - Jatinga (FA) Trip Date: 01/30/2018 Summary: First Ascent of Jatinga WI4 35m John Frieh and Joel Campeau January 30 2018 Details: Joel and Jen did a recon trip the weekend prior and baited me with photos of what appeared to be unclimbed ice climbers right of "First on Right." Even better it looked extremely similar to the Hyalite classic "The Thrill is Gone." Two days later Joel and I returned and made good time to the base drafting the trail he and Jen had punched in a few days prior. I saddled up and with a cool head and creative ice screw placements was able piece it together before finally getting good rock gear higher up. Finally "interesting" thin climbing (classic Strobach) guarded the top out. We rapped off a tree climbers right of the top out. Joel followed and we then ran a lap on what apparently was the very first route ever climbed at Strobach "First on Right" which we both found to be very steep off the ground before easing higher up. Joel and I did some recon hiking after that and found some other possabilities that Jen and he climbed the weekend after that. Hopefully they post a TR soon! Shout and a BIG thanks to Alex Krawarik for always being willing and able to answer all my Strobach questions! You the man! Gear Notes: Rock gear + stubbies recommended (required?) Approach Notes: Washington Ice: A Climbing Guide
  7. 3 points
    Trip: The Brothers - Brothers Traverse Trip Date: 05/13/2018 Trip Report: Our merry band of chosstronauts climbed both of the summits of the Brothers on the 13th of May. There’s enough beta out there already on the traverse, so I won’t get much into blow by blow of the climb, but I wanted to share some pictures and info I would have found helpful to know before doing it. The trail up to the lake is a highway and very well maintained. On our way up, we passed a friendly WTA work group who was working on blocking switchback cuts. If you haven’t hiked this trail, there are 19 switchbacks in the first 1700ft vert. We were thankful for them on the way up, only to curse them on the way down. Such is the duality of climbing… The next few miles through the Valley of Silent Men was just as memorable as the first time I hiked up the S. Brother 8 years ago, and even more so! There’s a section of fierce blowdowns and mandatory schwacking for about a mile shortly after leaving the lake. Lots of log hopping and trying not to fall into the river all while fighting devil’s club and other pointy foliage. There is a “path” that is flagged through the wreckage, but it’s pretty much a choose your own adventure affair. I didn’t remember this section from my last ascent, so I wonder when all of it occurred, or if it’s just been a deteriorating trail for many years? Anyway, once navigated, the trail again becomes easy to follow to the Lena Forks/climbers camp. Swapping shoes at climbers camp. We stashed our trail runners and swapped into mountain boots here, but you could probably belay that for another mile or so until after you get through the burn. I’m sure there’s a path through there somewhere, but we didn’t find it. There is a snow finger that follows climber’s left of the burn that we used to bypass some of the bullshit, but this is melting out fast and should be trodden with care. It’s quite thin in places and the river flowing underneath is cold and fast. I punched through on the way down, but was lucky to land upright with my feet on a big rock and my hands out of the hole, keeping me from being swept underneath too far. Be careful! Don't fall in a hole The snow eventually widens into the large south couloir at the top of the burn, and it’s easy going and continuous up the slopes. We chopped a bivy around 5500 ft at some relatively “flat” spots and settled in for the night. In all, from TH to camp was about 5000 ft of vert and 10 miles. Not having done this sort of approach in quite a while, we were all pretty knackered and settled in pretty fast. The night was uneventful, save from the massive stomach cramps my dinner gave me. I usually don’t do dehydrated meals anymore for these climbs, but I found one in my kitchen and the convenience of it won out over going to the grocery store. All I’ll say is that there was a very different sort of alpine aire happening all night in my sleeping bag, which made for a very restless night. Good night south sound Woke up at 430AM the next morning to aim for the 6100” notch in the S Brother SE Ridge with the goal of gaining the Great Basin, the North peak, and then traversing to the South peak. There’s no real good description of what to aim for, and each TR seems to gain a different notch. So here’s a picture of what to shoot for, unmistakable marked. This notch seemed to match the approach notes on the Mountaineer’s website, and we found some rappel tat while climbing it, so I think it’s the correct way to go. There was only a thin finger of snow up the gully when we did it, so it may be gone by now. I’m not sure what climbing up the rock of the gully would be like, but the short sections we had to do were attention grabbing. The backside is steep snow down to the Great Basin, but nothing five minutes of face-in down climbing can’t dispatch. The great basin is quite beautiful, and it’s a really cool feature to traverse across. This is the prominent snow slope visible from far across the sound. It’s amazing to be able to look at from far away and know that you walked across there. Decent to the basin from the notch The ascent couloir to the North Brother was dispatched quickly on slightly mushy but continuous snow all the way to the ridge top. The snow will probably last for a little while longer at least. This deposits you almost right at the summit; a quick few rock moves away. The summit register on the North Brother is gone, but the anchor chain is still there. Wonder what happened to it? From here the traverse begins. Follow all the other beta that’s out there along with your own intuition and you won’t go awry. Every feature that looks impassable or sketchy from afar has options aplenty when examined up close. The climbing was all very straight forward and wasn’t difficult; if you’re doing 5.7+ moves you’re off route. I will note that we went an alternate way to finish the traverse. Instead of going through a cave/moat, and then up the steep NE face of the South peak as described in the beta, we continued to traverse to the NW face, over a rock rib, and up the NW couloir. The route described in other TRs wasn’t in for us; the snow was too unconsolidated and thin at the steepest section and it would have been asking a little much of it to hold on for 4 climbers to pass through. Our alternate way worked well with an exposed move or two of 5.choss. There’s a semi-decent crack to build a quick anchor to protect the leader during these moves here. Be careful if going this way; there are a few very large loose blocks on this portion waiting to take out a careless climber. From the top of the exit couloir, a short 100” scramble puts you on the summit. The traverse took us about 3 hours from the time we roped up to the time the second rope team topped out (2:15-2:30 moving time for each group). We simul climbed almost the entire route, with one static belay over the 5.choss rib. From the South summit, we were back at the TH in 6 hours, including picking up our camp on the way out and lounging around at Lena Forks swapping shoes. Overall, it was fun and a great first climb of the season. The route holds a lot of alpine challenges which all felt real, but never felt too sketchy. It’s a long way back in there though, so bring strong legs and good shoes. Gear Notes: 30m rope 2 pickets 2-3 small cams deez nutz Approach Notes: Too many switchbacks.....
  8. 3 points
    Trip: Jack Mountain - Nohokomeen Headwall Trip Date: 05/12/2018 Trip Report: Well, I am back from 4 months in south america, and didn't waste any time starting my quest to finish the Bulgers this summer. After hearing Fletcher's report for Jack mountain via this route, Jake, Josh Lewis, Elaine, and Steven joined me to climb the Nohokomeen headwall knowing the conditions would be good. In short, we had a very successful, fast ascent of the route and topped out on number 79 for me. Now for the slightly longer version... I picked up Josh in Lynnwood in my van and met Steven and Jake at the Highway 20 closure late Thursday night May 10th. Elaine was with us as well. Around 630am we started biking the 4 miles up the road past the closure, passing by a line of cars waiting for the road to open for the summer at 10am. Too bad they couldn't open it 4 hours earlier! In the cold fog, we biked along, and after just 25 minutes or so we reached the east bench trail, locked up the bikes and began the 8 mile walk. After a few hours we reached the point to leave the trail and started up the steep slopes towards the upper Nohokomeen Creek basin. at 4500 feet we hit continuous snow, and everything below was not too bushy thankfully. We crested over the ridge at 5000 feet and put on our snowshoes here to finish the approach traversing into the basin, and making our way up to where Elaine, Josh and I decided to camp at about 6000 feet elevation in a small snow gully sheltered from the wind just above the base of the glacier. Jake and Steven, who would climb the route as a separate team of 2, decided to continue on all the way to 8000 feet to camp on the glacier...something I had no interest in doing haha. It was a beautiful afternoon with amazing lighting on the Pickets directly across from us. East Fury and Luna stole the show from our tent view! Elaine decided to skip the remainder of the climb, but Josh and I woke up at 3:30AM, ate a quick breakfast and by 4 we were off, following Jake and Stevens tracks 2000 feet up the glacier in the glow of twilight. At 6am, we reached their tent, and awaiting us was Jake and Steven, who were just about to begin up the route. At this point the sun was just rising and our eyes were glued to the red glow lighting up the landscape. Mount Baker was particulairly stunning along with the Hozomeen Spires and the Pickets. Jake and Steven decided to sleep in a little, which worked out great with timing as all 4 of us began climbing the route together. Unfortunately for Josh, one of his crampons broke at the beginning of the headwall, so he was forced to wait it out and return to our tent. Jake, Steven and I then all solod the route, alternating leads and kicking steps. It only took us an hour and a half to climb the headwall from their high camp at 8000 feet and we reached the summit at 7:30am. The snow conditions were nothing short of perfect as we easily kicked great steps the entire way up the headwall. Steepness averaged 50 degrees with a couple short spots at 60 degrees. Once on the ridge, it was a beautiful ridge run to the summit only 150 feet further. On the summit we ate our snacks and enjoyed the spectacular views for 30 minutes or so. There was a brisk wind but not quite enough to chase us down real quick. This was my 79th Bulger, and the first one in 2018 for me. I couldn't really do any while in South America lol. We made quick work of the descent and was back at the base of the headwall in an hour. We used our same steps on the descent which made it feel very secure. We packed up and were snowshoeing back down in no time. We reached the east bench trail around 2pm, at which point my feet were in serious pain from wearing the mountaineering boots so long, and I was glad to switch back into trail runners. The 8 mile hike back was uneventful, and Jake offered to run ahead and drive my van back so we could all get a ride back to the Ross Lake Trailhead saving us the bike back on the road, which now was full of cars. Once we were all back, Jake and Steven returned to Seattleland, while Josh, Elaine and I proceeded to Winthrop for Mexican food, and to prepare to climb Robinson Mountain the next day. More on that climb in just a bit... Gear Notes: Brought 30m rope and pickets but didnt need them. Crampons and one quark were all I needed. Approach Notes: East Bench Trail for 8 miles. Continuous snow began at about 4500 feet
  9. 3 points
    Trip: Indian Himalaya - Unicorn Bugyal Trip Date: 05/13/2018 Trip Report: Have you ever wondered if that huge meadow at 13,000 feet below Bandarpunch peak and across from the Gangotri range had a sheep trail access to it? Probably not, as you're likely still in the Pacific Northwest, where I used to be, and still miss desperately, but as I'm here in the foothills of India I have been putting some effort into finding mountain experiences reminiscent of the Cascades to pass the time until I can be back. One would think it would be easy to get into the mountains when living in the Himalayan foothills of India. It is not. Permits are required even for hikes, they are not easy to get, and neither are maps. Trails are not marked, and trail heads are many thousands of feet below the talus. Permits for actual peaks are amazingly expensive and complex. All of these barriers to entry, as well as working on weekdays, make me miss the North Cascades something fierce. I would rather schwack through a mile of devil's club than to endure again the 6-hr drive to the mountains, so I thought I might share my latest trip here as you all are my long lost mountain people. We left our home in Mussoorie at 5am, arriving in the hill town of Bhengali at 7500' at 11, where we secured for 5 dollars a guide to show us the correct trail to the big meadow. He turned back after 2 hours and left us with general directions. We found seasonal herders of goats and buffalo luxuriating in this amazing setting on the way up. After some wandering, about 6000' of ascent, and trail finding guesswork we arrived on a ridge above our destination at 13000' where we set up camp. This is not a place frequented by tourists, and the few herders, Muslim Gujjars who migrate seasonally from the plains, give us directions and buffalo milk. The next morning we dropped into the meadow on fresh snow, crossing a drainage and proceeding up an elegant looking ridge. How invigorating to be kicking steps again. We, two Americans, a Kiwi, and a Colombian, all felt relatively strong up to our summit, really more of a high point, which we coined Forman Top at 16000'. The new snow softened through the day, and we made the final scramble to the "summit" just before authentic slogging would have set in. We sloshed our way back down hill in giant loping steps and tumbles, descending the 3000 feet to the drainage which bisects the meadow in about 45 minutes, arriving back at our tents at about 2 pm after a rewarding 8 hour day. We made some coffee then observed that our water source, a tea-colored collection on a grassy depression, had almost entirely drained. What was left would be suspect in any country in the world, let alone a place of such diverse intestinal fauna as ours, so we decided to descend the 2000 feet to a green meadow below us. This turned out to be a good idea, as some powerful afternoon convection arrived around 5pm and all hell broke loose over our heads, right on the ridge where we had been set up. The next morning we followed the same route out, more sure of our bearings, and saw some of the same Gujjars and buffalo, had some milk. We were advised by the Gujjars that the ranger had followed us up. When we ran into him he gave us his phone number so we can call next time, let him know, and get a permit. We mapped the whole route for future travelers in our position, and now seem to at least have part of the permit puzzle identified. All this just to keep a cultural thread from me here to the PNW community and to remind everyone, even with the fickle weather, what an amazing place the PNW is to live. Maphttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZLXZZrtswVDsgDV3WZiqgwki6-IBdod4&usp=sharing Gear Notes: Skilled driver, Vomistop, passport copies, water treatment, basic Hindi. Approach Notes: about 3 hrs from Uttarkashi
  10. 3 points
    Trip: Sahale - South side - Ski from the summit tower Trip Date: 05/08/2018 Trip Report: Does the database need yet another Sahale TR? Maybe not, but the views are still as good as always up there. As is the ski down Soldier Boy creek. And if you go midweek, you'll have nobody to disturb your wanderings. Well, except for the locals. They eyed us warily but didn't break from their routine as we glided past. North Cascades National Park turns 50 this year and it is every bit as grand today as it was in 1968. Next time I'll bring enough gear to tag the top. CJ condition photo for you extremo types Hey bear (not telephoto) I bet you knew the CJ was named for Cascade (L) and Johannesburg Mtns We saw some Ptarmigan feeding on last year's berries, clothed in their winter plumage (telephoto) We stopped at the rock of the summit block The dragon was awakened this spring. Gunsight (L) and Sinister in the distance. The Triplets The summit ridge of Spider peeking out Time to go down! Spring is here Gear Notes: skis. Rope and tiny rack if you want to climb to the summit Approach Notes: Road open to gate at MP 20 (one past Eldo parking area).
  11. 3 points
    Trip: A week at Fairy Meadow (Bill Putnam hut) - Pythias, Damon, Enterprise, My Little Pony, Pioneer (ski peak) Trip Date: 04/18/2018 Trip Report: Last year a bunch of my friends and I won the lottery! Well, more accurately, Bingen won the lottery and invited us to share in his prize- a week at the Bill Putnam hut up at Fairy Meadow. Wisely, he convinced to us to spring for a cook for the week, a luxury on top of the helicopter ride for us and our gear to the hut. And what a week it was. Storm, sun, wind, and fantastic food- It was my first taste of the more refined side of backcountry skiing. We had the whole hut for our party (20, including Patti the Mo's Mountain Cuisine cook). Each day the weather gods were consulted and plans hatched for whatever objectives seemed reasonable give the avy conditions and visibility. Some days this meant tree skiing below the hut. Others were spent chasing 10,000'+ summits ringing the valley dominated by the Granite glacier. Views down the spine of the Adamants are quite impressive, along with far away views of Sir Sanford (highest of the Selkirks) and Sir Donald (Sentinel of Roger's Pass). The hut is carefully situated at 6,800' meaning that a huge variety of ski terrain of all complexities is right outside your door. Steep chutes, mellow glaciers, treed glades and everything in between are comfortably within reach in a moderate day. We were moderately successful with weather, having one bluebird, three OK, and two storm days, managing to ski or boot up Pythias, Damon, Sentinel, Pioneer (ski peak), Enterprise, and My Little Pony (glaciated bump above the Unicol). All fairly easy, but each with it's own uniquely spectacular view. You're only limited by the conditions and your imagination at Fairy Meadow....Just don't be late for appetizers at 4pm! View across the Gothics Gl.: Skiing late season powder below Friendship col: Go big or go home: Heckling people on the "practice slope" right above the hut: Sauna Fairy, she points the way to cleansing warmth: Hut diversions (High Country Christmas is now at the hut for your reading enjoyment): Sentinel keeps watch over a trio battling high winds near the hut: Cycle Peak across from the hut: Granite Gl. Icefall: Skinning up to the Granite: on the Granite below Unicol: S Summit of My Little Pony: View of storm clearing on Austerity and Ironman: Shoulder of Colossal above the Unicol: Skiing the very mellow Granite Gl.: Skinning over to another part of the Granite under Pioneer Peak and the Stickle: The Stickle! Heading to Friendship Col on our best day of the week: Almost at the col, Gog and Magog above the skinning skiers: Friendship col: The Black Friars from Pioneer ski peak: Ridiculous peaks all around: Mount Columbia (?) in the distance: Adamant and Austerity: Our tracks on Pioneer: Adamant North Face: On the summit ridge of Sentinel. We fixed a line in case the slope slid: On the Gothics Gl: Skinning over to Enterprise under the watchful eye of Adamant: Just below the summit of Enterprise: We tried a different way back to the hut, coining the term "Adventure Suck Tour". It worked to cross the lower Granite this season with a 4m snowpack, but don't count on it every year: Bye bye Fairy Meadow, until next time: Gear Notes: Harness, rope, ski crampons, axe, whippet, rando ropes, avy gear. Plenty of beer/whiskey. Hire Mo's Mountain Cuisine for your cooking needs! Approach Notes: Alpine Helicopters out of Golden
  12. 3 points
    Trip: Mount Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier Trip Date: 05/05/2018 Trip Report: Went up Shuksan via the Sulphide Glacier route this past Saturday. We drove out towards Shannon Ridge trailhead Friday night and hit patches of snow around 0.5 miles from the trailhead that prevented us from making it all the way there. After helping another party get their car un-stuck from some snow we packed our bags and got to trying to sleep around 10:30pm. We woke up at 2:30am and after a cold breakfast we were headed down the road by 3. Where the trail wasn't fully exposed there existed some nice boot pack and then skin track after the snow became continuous after ~30min of hiking. We made it up to the top of Shannon Ridge and we were headed for the notch at approximately 6:00 am. Heading up to the notch the grade steepened and we encountered more difficult skinning conditions. About half way up to the notch a member of our part slipped and fell, and as she was on her side I shouted down to her, "Don't lose your skii!". Sure enough, seconds later her ski popped off and went rocketing down towards a gully on the east side of Shannon Ridge. The 3 of us watched it in dead silence, until it fortunately came to a stop in some avalanche debris 2 or 300 feet below us. I was feeling like I had energy to spare so I volunteered to go get the ski while the rest of the party generate some bootpack up to the notch. After fetching the skii I caught up to them roughly 3/4 of the way up. Once in the sunlight at the notch we took a break and eyed up the traverse that would take us over to the Sulphide. We opted to continue bootpacking, not wanting to repeat the earlier debacle, and made our way over to the more gentle slops of the Sulphide. Here a few additional parties caught up and thanked us for the bootpack. We graciously let them pass us, looking forward to leveraging their bootback on the summit pyramid. The softer snow on the west edge of the Sulphide provided easy skinning and we just put our heads down and slogged towards the summit pyramid. Around 7200 a member of our party opted to descend due to sever blisters and foot pain. We made it to the base of the summit pyramid (~11am) just as the other parties were starting to head up. After a snack and some water we headed up as well. Snow conditions were good, the majority of the axe placements were very secure and the steps felt solid. Despite our lack of familiarity with steep snow we made good progress and did not feel the need to use the pickets or rope we had along, although we were glad we had two axes (other individuals only had a single mountaineering axe and seemed fine). We stood on the summit at about 12:00 and then descended in slightly mushier snow. Down at the base of the summit pyramid we melted some snow for extra water and began our ski descent. The snow on the descent was OK. It was a little heavy at this point in the day but still very enjoyable. The descent isn't entirely continuous as there are some sections where you need to shuffle uphill a bit to get to the next elevation drop. After many turns and only 1 face-plant, we made it to the notch then Shannon ridge and ultimately the location where I started skinning earlier that morning. We threw the skis on the packs and made it back to the car at 4pm. Good day out! Gear Notes: Skis, Ice axe, extra tool, - pickets and 30 rope brought but never used. Approach Notes: Snow 0.5 miles before the Shannon Ridge Trailhead stopped our vehicle. This snow shouldn't last long.
  13. 2 points
    Trip: Moose's Tooth - Shaken, Not Stirred Trip Date: 04/15/2018 Summary: Ascent of Moose's Tooth to the summit via the route "Shaken, Not Stirred" 19 hours camp to camp with Doug Shepherd April 15th 2018. Details: Alaska. Finally. After multiple trips to Alaska every year since 2009 life priorities had forced me to take a "leave of absence" since my last trip in March of 2016. It was nice to finally return and with Doug Shepherd, someone who I've done numerous trips with including my very first trip to AK in 2009. Various existing commitments limited us to a 3 day trip but weather and temps the week leading up suggested we would likely find something we could climb during the short window. I grabbed Doug at ANC early Saturday morning and we blasted for Talkeetna. After the usual shenanigans (weight in, repack) Paul zipped us in. After looking at possible objectives on the flight in we settled on Shaken, Not Stirred on the Moose's Tooth. Though I had climbed the Moose's Tooth in 2010 it was via Ham and Eggs. I'd always wanted to climb Shaken but had never seen it in. A SLC team was coming out at the same time we were getting dropped off and had attempted it the day prior. They had bailed at the crux due to lack of ice but after quickly looking at their pictures we thought we should at least give it a try as it appeared like it would go with some mixed climbing. We departed camp later than normal on Sunday (~6 am) to allow temps to warm slightly; this allowed us to wear single boots. I took the first simul block to just below the narrows where Doug took over. Doug fired a few amazing pitches that took us to the crux which was ice free but Doug was able to safely protect and find a mixed way through the crux. Following the pitch I have to say it was a very impressive lead. Some more climbing took us to the Englishman’s Col where we enjoyed an extended hydrate + coffee break before heading to the true summit. I will say the terrain between the Englishman’s Col and the true summit is a lot of up and down with at least two rappels and nearly constant crevasse and cornice danger. "Enjoy" We tagged the summit sometime after sunset but before dark; Doug's first time and my second. We managed to start the rappels down Ham and Eggs before it got truly dark so at that point it was just hitting rap anchors and/or making naked threads as needed. We arrived back at camp ~19 hours later and flew out the following day, Monday, before heading back to the lower 48. Good times. Gear Notes: partial set of nuts, single set 00-2 c3, double set 0.4 -> 4 ultralights, 10 laser speed light ice screws, 3 micro trax, single + tag line Approach Notes: Talkeetna Air Taxi is the best
  14. 2 points
    Trip: Kulshan (Mount Baker) - Coleman Deming Trip Date: 05/14/2018 Trip Report: The pollen is flying and the snow is melting fast. So much so that I think a scraper and a can of WD-40 might be the ticket for those headed up later this week or weekend. I'm not joking. By the bottom of Grouse Creek I felt as if I had velcro for a base (see the last photo). Ah well, the views were great and @sepultura got his annual tick (#29!). The Coleman is nicely filled in at the moment and pretty smooth. We were able to skin the Roman Wall with the aid of ski crampons, but plenty of others thought that was too easy and carried their skis. To each their own. I always marvel at being able to ski up and ride down Kulshan in a day from my bed (I can see the summit from my roof here in town). So cool! Upper Thunder Gl. @sepultura setting his usual mean pace: Don't linger here long: on the Roman wall: The home stretch: Fire and Ice: Across the Easton to Sherman on the way down: Skiing down the Pumice Ridge: Why don't you ski this part quickly @sepultura? Ah, the Twin Sisters: Slogging back to the road: Spring is not for speed skiing: Gear Notes: skis, ski crampons, harness, light rope. Crevasse rescue kit. Approach Notes: Grouse Creek was in, maybe for another week or so. You can drive to within ~ a half mile of the TH
  15. 2 points
    Trip: Dragontail - TC Trip Date: 05/01/2018 Trip Report: Quick conditions update for anyone looking to snag some last minute ice...there isn’t any! Jacob and i climbed TC yesterday and the runnels were mostly dry with small bits of delaminating ice and rotten snow. It was pretty heady and took a while. Theres Gear Notes: We used a stubby twice. Lots of pins and cams. Approach Notes: Open the stinking road already!
  16. 2 points
    May 13 2018. Road is currently washed out at about 4 km, (passable by quad but not by regular 4x4 truck) so add on about 2 km of hiking to get to the trailhead. Snow begins at the memorial. Looks like lower part of North Couloir is melted out. Pocket Glacier seems small this year. Big seracs below the east Face and Nav Wall. Large cornice on the summit.
  17. 2 points
    Nesakwatch Spires/Rexford looking much drier if anyone's looking for some alpine rock.
  18. 2 points
    Trip: Eldorado - Standard (Eldorado glacier) Trip Date: 05/13/2018 Trip Report: Went up Eldorado this past weekend (05/13-05/14) with one partner. First time for both of us. We had planned on giving the NW couloir a shot, but ended up bailing after an unexpectedly tiring approach day and late night getting to bed. Log crossing is quite in, look right after coming across the first bit. You'll know you've found the trail on the other side when you see the signpost. Trail is easy to follow (albeit steep and full of down trees) up to the boulder field. At the boulder field you more or less just go up. Starts being snow covered around 4800ft. The snow coverage is quite spotty with lots of holes forming. Crossed the arm into the Eldorado basin at 6,200ft - there is a clear path and two trees marking the crossing spot. Not sure how much longer it'll be in for. Crack is starting to break through at the bottom of the chute. Long, long, slog up all the mushy, slushy snow to the inspiration glacier. Ate dinner, melted snow for water and headed to sleep around 9:30pm. Took us just shy of 9 hours to get from the car to the camp: 2 hours on the trail, then a slow time through the boulder field, stopped for lunch and then pushed up, kicking slush the rest of the way. After a loud night of tent-flapping-in-wind, we woke up at 5:30 to harder, but not solid snow (didn't need crampons, wore them anyways / just in case) and followed the boot pack up towards summit. When we came over the ridge right before the knife edge, the wind hit us much harder than lower down, literally knocking my feet out from under me. We both wound up crouching, in self belay with axes to avoid being blown all the way over. We tried to find a route out of the wind, hmm'd and haa'd for a bit, and decided to turn around. Very frustrating, but when you need to balance on a ridge, you can't have wind knocking you off the ridge. Heading back down to camp I fell through to a crevasse (one leg and just hip deep, was able to roll over onto stable snow) which runs parallel to the boot pack. Watch out! Walking parallel to a crevasses does not give your rope team much opportunity to arrest your fall. The crevasse is somewhere between 20 and 30 feet deep, probably. There is another one open, but perpendicular to the path, just above the rocks. After all that adventure, we packed up and headed home, after screwing up the exit to the boulder field. All together a disappointing but fun, and beautiful weekend. Gear Notes: Rope for glacier travel and gear for (thankfully not-quite-necessary) crevasse rescue. Approach Notes: Snow starts just below 5,000ft. Boulder field is annoying. Snow bridges are failing and crevasses are opening above high camp.
  19. 2 points
    Thanks all! Here's some pics from the day's events PS. 8,000 feet in a day...let's just say I was a little more wobbly than usual on the skis! ha!
  20. 2 points
    Here's something that might give you pause closeup: warning explicit language!
  21. 2 points
    Trip: Ingalls Peak - South Ridge Trip Date: 05/05/2018 Trip Report: Slog is a four letter word. With rain and thunderstorms in the forecast my buddy and I headed up to Ingalls peak this weekend for an attempt at the South Ridge. The road is still snow covered 2.5 miles from the trailhead with downed trees and some minor washouts to boot. It will be a while before that trailhead is drivable. We debated crampons or snowshoes at the trailhead, and opted for snowshoes. Boy, was that a good idea. We booted up towards Longs Pass before strapping on the snowshoes and traversing towards Ingalls pass around 5600'. Fresh light slides were visible everywhere and the traverse was a slow going at ~one mile an hour. We reached the pass after five hours and didn't see any other tracks. Running water at falls right before the pass. Ingalls and Stuart were magnificent and Ingalls lake is still snowbound. We setup camp in the basin just west of the pass and soon hail and rain drove us into tent and bivy for the next ~12 hours. In keeping with the true Cascade experience my air mattress deflated and I learned the value of twin ropes and a pack as insulation. One party came past us following in our tracks without snowshoes and headed down towards Ingalls creek. I have great respect for the frustrating knee plunges it took for them to get there. The next morning, expecting worse weather we awoke to mixed weather. Having come all this way, but expecting more rain, we opted to go check out the route "just to see." In what I will hereafter refer to as "hem-haw point" in the basin below Ingalls, we assessed the dark clouds in the distance, the soft slides all around, and discussed our options. We decided to just get a little closer just to see what we could see. After some careful traversing and avoidance of slides we were suddenly at Dogtooth with sunshine and no clouds moving in. Fortunately we brought our climbing gear. The "first" pitch of the route is all snow covered with maybe 6-8 feet of snow that was very soft and won't last much longer. We took snowshoes and ice axe up it, hugging the left side. We then scrambled to the base of what most people consider the 2nd pitch (ledge belay) and roped up. After a brief attempt, the 5.6 crack was not happening with wet numb toes in mountaineering boots on that slick serpentine. The 5.4 crack on the left was fantastic as my buddy lead it in sunshine. He belayed me up to the bolts and then lead the last pitch to the top. Old piton! The scramble to the summit was the spiciest bit of the climb, with shallow snow on slick serpentine on the left, cornices on the right, and a small bit of dry rock in between. We opted to skip the slab on the summit as it was snow covered. I'm going to venture we were the first ones up this season.....at least that's what I'm telling my friends. Twin ropes brought us to the two bolts for the first rap. I backed up the perlon that was already slung through the bolts with some cordellette. I didn't like the way the perlon creaked when weighted and didn't know if it sat there all winter. A second rappel with twins brought us all the way to the top of the snow ramp (or first pitch) where we slung a boulder for a final rappel on the snow ramp to the dogtooth. The thunder politely waited until we slogged back to the car. ~3 hours up and down for the climb from dogtooth. ~4.5 hours from base to camp to car A fantastic alpine climb! Gear Notes: snowshoes, rack, ice axe, no crampons Approach Notes: Teanaway Road snow covered 2.5 miles from Ingalls trailhead. Multiple downed trees and minor washouts.
  22. 2 points
    Trip: Mt Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall Trip Date: 05/05/2018 Trip Report: This was a fun alpine solo alongside my buddy Kyle. Conditions were really good. Here's a link to my full report: Spokalpine.com Gear Notes: 2 tools, crampons Approach Notes: 2 hours to illumination saddle.
  23. 2 points
    5/7/18 - helped put a tad of that lad affectionately known as krazy-ken'z mortal remains into the ground today out at the beacon-wand - beautiful day, a bit breezy but cloudy and warm - a crowd of kith and kin by the dock - jim n' sal n' me n' for a bit dave representing the beatard community our fallen brother came from - beers and bullshiting by the rushing waters, the dock all drowned - good times n' guffawing - ken had an ample crew, and i doubt my passing will be equally celebrated - a brief walk and then a big crowd of us were crawling up the trail - those of us who were able spread ashes in the duck blind, then atop the top of the se corner - grey my hands and such is that which is left behind when the person is gone - giddy w/ drink n' good feelings we gamboled on up to the summit and then back down - may all of us meet such a marvelous end, measured in abundance by family and friend wise sir do not grieve it is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning for every one of us living in this world means waiting for our end let he who can achieve glory before death when a warrior is gone that will be his best and only bulwark
  24. 2 points
    Thought I'd give an update since I finished my trip yesterday: conditions as of May 1 ...... 1) Very first snow patches on the road show up around Elev. 4000' (this is where I chickened out and parked my Civic at a nice turnaround) 2) If you're willing to drive through some pretty OK looking snow patches with tire ruts packed in, you can get to about Elev. 4300' 3) The truly committed Jeep drivers could get to Gotchen Creek area (although I still wouldn't recommend it, tough to turn around and the road is really sloppy in the afternoon) 4) At least one snowmobiler made it to the South Climb trailhead recently! LOL I started skinning at Gotchen Creek where it's pretty much continuous snow to the South Climb trailhead. Because it was dark and Morrison Creek sounded like it was flowing pretty good, I decided to follow the road all the way to South Climb trailhead. I was worried about falling in the creek, and there were some downed trees from the burned area sticking out of the snow here and there. Otherwise I could definitely see why heading north from Morrison Creek area would be a good idea. It was a cooler day yesterday, and snow near the summit and Pikers Peak was kind of icy, crusty, windblown....difficult to ski! I booted down one section since I skied right into a thick cloud and couldn't see a damn thing. But after going below the cloud, it was truly epic corn skiing for like 5000' of vert, down the south spur route, and back to the trailhead area. So good! (I was on the summit around 2:30pm for reference)
  25. 2 points
  26. 2 points
    I've got a support message into the forum software company about why these images are not showing correctly. Here they are..... https://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/509/945Morning_Star_to_Big_Kid_anno.jpg https://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/509/945Ditney_to_4240_anno.jpg https://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/509/945Frozen_to_Bandera_anno.jpg
  27. 2 points
    Books should be ready around May 1st. Pre-orders are now being taken https://www.leavenworthrock.com/
  28. 1 point
    Trip: South Sister - North Face - Ménage à trois Trip Date: 05/22/2018 Trip Report: Sometime ago I noticed a blank spot on the map on the north face of South Sister. If one looks at Oregon High on page 109, there are two routes on the face, the Silver Couloir (22) and North Face Couloir (23). Further to the west is the Northwest Ridge (24). The blank spot is between the North Face Couloir and the Northwest Ridge. As such, on Monday I decided to ski over for a look about. I started up via Green Lakes and the Prouty Glacier, traversing at around 8200-8400 foot level of the glacier til the North Ridge. Unfortunately, it did not have as much snow as I hoped so I carried my skis for the last bit til I reached the Skinner Glacier which sits below the face. The lack of snow was an issue because I had planned to ditch my skis and bivy gear, descend the north ridge, and ski back out. As such the option was now to carry everything up and over. Which in hindsight worked out but at the time I did know if such idea was going to be amicable given the route was a blank spot. In the morning after a crack of dawn start, I skied up to the base of the face, swapped out skis and poles for crampons and ice axes and started up. Initially it was nevé and canning, then plunging picks, to eventually swinging tools. Overall the slope was 45-50 degrees with a short 10 foot ice step just below the gap. The gap is the critical bit and cannot be seen on some photos. After the gap, I traversed up and left until it was possible to gain the Northwest Ridge which I followed for the last 300 feet or so to the summit rim. Had there been more snow one could probably continue up and left even more. But given I was climbing solo (in tele boots) and carrying skis I did not want to have to deal with crappy rock or rotten rim ice. After reaching the summit, I hung out for a bit before going down the south side. I descend til I was on the Lewis Glacier where the snow soft enough to be enjoyable skiing. I skied out until about the last mile. Where a couple picked me up and shuttled me back to the Green Lakes Trailhead. So there you have it a blank spot is filled in. Being the third route on the north face of the third sister I have named the route Ménage à trois. One photo of the routes and one from my bivy - sorry there are not more. I have marked all three routes on the face. From left to right Silver Couloir, North Face Couloir, and Ménage à trois. As you can see for May there is not a lot of snow.. Gear Notes: Crampons, two tools, screws and pickets if climbing roped Approach Notes: Via Green Lakes and Prouty Glacier
  29. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Hood - Cooper Spur - Climb and Ski Descent Trip Date: 05/19/2018 Trip Report: I’ve been tossing around the idea of starting to write up trip reports for a while, and finally decided to start. Jake and I had skied together once before, but hadn’t been able to put together a trip for a few months. When the weather and schedules finally aligned, we decided to go for a route we’d been chatting about for a little bit. The forecast looked OK for Saturday AM, but there was another front blowing in later in the day and Sunday was supposed to be worse. We met up for some pre-climb burgers and beer in Government Camp Friday night, and decided to try the approach from Meadows and then crossing the Newton Clark glacier instead of the hike up Tilly Jane. I had been up to ski Wy’east face the weekend before, and figured I couldn’t get lost in the dark since I had my GPS track. We slept at the Meadow’s parking lot, which apparently is closed at night even when the resort is closed. Fortunately, the security guard there let us crash for the night, but not before giving us a radio to use “so that he felt more comfortable”. I think both of us slept with our ice tools nearby. The sky was clear and we were feeling pretty good about our chances with weather the next day. We got a 2:00 AM start and started skinning up the resort. There was still enough coverage that we could skin right from the base, and we made it to the bottom of Cascade in no time. Somewhere after that I decided to take a more “direct” route up instead of hanging a left to go toward Vista ridge. That went well enough until we ended up on a steeper snow slope that quickly became loose boulders mixed with the soft ashy dirt that that makes up Mt. Hood. “I’m pretty sure we’re right near the top of Cascade… somewhere around here”. After some exciting scrambling up the loose dirt and managing to kick down only a few large boulders we got onto vista ridge proper and hiked up to where we were going to cut across the glacier. The snow had frozen pretty well at this elevation, so we decided it would be faster to rope up, put on crampons, and just walk across the glacier. Jake was more than a little excited about his homemade second whippet, AKA a big old ice axe strapped to his second pole with a ski strap. Crevasses have started to open up, but we found a straight line across Newton Clark and stashed the rope and started climbing up onto Cooper Spur proper. By this point it was light enough to see, and clouds were staying pretty low so we had pretty decent visibility. We had great climbing conditions, with firm snow covered in a thin layer of rime. We were feeling pretty good that the snow would soften up enough to ski down in a little while, but would have been comfortable skiing the lower angle part of the route in the current conditions. On the way up, we spotted a group of climbers coming up from the Tilly Jane approach. If you squint you can see them in this photo. By the time we topped out, the weather had fully blown in and the summit was wrapped up in a cloud. We hiked over to the true summit and decided to wait out the weather. We stayed up there for about an hour, and though the sun teased us with little breaks through the clouds we never got the break we were hoping for. Eventually we ran out of optimism for the sun and jokes for other people on the summit (“Wait, this isn’t Rainier?”) and decided to head down. Our plan was to ski Cooper Spur if everything looked good, with a backup plan to ski the south side and cross over the White River glacier. Even though the weather wasn’t great, we decided that worst case we could just downclimb Cooper Spur and that we didn’t really want to do the traverse over the White River glacier. We downclimbed the first three hundred feet or so and took a break in a large platform that had been dug out by some prior party at the steepest part of the whole route. After a bit of discussion if we wanted to downclimb a bit more, Jake responded with, “Well, I’d like to ski some of it at least”. We tested the snow (it hadn’t really softened much, but the rime looked like it would take an edge decently) and decided to go for it. It was a little treacherous transitioning from crampons to skis, but before long we were all locked in and ready to go. The sun still refused to shine, and I got one quick photo before dropping in to the descent. Its always a good idea to have your first turns of the day be the steepest, and so a few slightly puckering jump turns got us warmed up. We picked our way through about 1200 ft of jump turns until the angle cooled down a bit for some more relaxed skiing. We passed the group of climbers from earlier on the way down, who were short-roping their way up with pickets and a running belay. We definitely lost whatever karma points we got for making them a nice booter by raining rime down on them from above. As we passed them one of the climbers asked “Are we through the steep part yet?”, to which the leader of the group gave a chuckle. They were friendly and we let them pass before finishing up the descent. The visibility decreased the lower we got, and we had to ski pretty close together so we didn’t get separated. We skied down off skiiers right of the ridge and tried to find our tracks from earlier. We knew we had some crevasses on this edge of the glacier to navigate around, and our visibility had gotten even worse. Here’s a photo of what it looked like crossing back over the Newton Clark. Fortunately we had our GPS track from the way up, which made it marginally easier to find our way back. Crevasses had a nasty habit of popping up a few yards in front of our skis, which prompted many “Do you remember this one? I think it’s bigger than before”. It took a while, but we eventually found our tracks and found our way to the base of Wy’east face. Of course, once we were out of danger, the weather cleared and we spotted a few skiers coming off Wy’east. Harvested some nice corn on the way through Superbowl and dropped back into the resort through A-zone. Dirty slush back to the car for some Fresh Squeezeds. Overall, great trip. It would have been pretty cool to ski the spur when we could actually see our position, but the snow ended up being decent and we got good turns in. The next day I was biking in Post Canyon and caught a glimpse of Hood. Of course, it was perfectly clear. So it goes. Gear Notes: Crampons, one axe, one tool (didn’t use), one whippet. 30m rope and glacier gear. Approach Notes: kin the resort, cut over the Newton Clark wherever looks best.
  30. 1 point
    Greatest hits? I prefer Wayne's B-sides
  31. 1 point
    Jason, here...you'll make more headway with this:
  32. 1 point
    Trip: Silver Star Mountain - Silver Star Glacier Trip Date: 05/19/2018 Trip Report: Current conditions on Silver Star Mountain are pretty good for Skiing. Unfortunately, I booted my way up SS Glacier on 5/19 via Silver Star Creek! It was a lot of work in bad conditions. Snow coverage became consistent around 5000 feet. Full trip report: Spokalpine Gear Notes: No crampons needed Approach Notes: Silver Star Creek
  33. 1 point
    I might be into this, but not sure of my schedule in the latter half of next week. Just sent you a message.
  34. 1 point
    Hey Gene, we think alike. Biving below the ice cliff would be a really nice alternative. There is enough flat real estate for a tent or two and you would beat the crowds. Last time I went up to the North Ridge we got a late start from the trailhead and ended up behind 22 climbers.
  35. 1 point
    maybe with some pre planning, you could find another pair of people going for the north ridge that you could make a team of 4 for the approach, then split into two teams of two for the climb and descent. I have been on that part of the glacier (approach to n ridge) in different seasons and I can say that you will be walking over Monster crevasses. That place is so broken up under the winter snow pack. the crevasse patterns sometimes don't make sense either. definately a place to be prepared. The last time I was on it, we did a different than usual tactic. instead of stumbling around on a crevassed glacier in the dark, we approached the ridge in the afternoon, being able to work the way through the maze in daylight. Yes the snow bridges are weaker in the afternoon, but being able to see where we were going was a bigger benefit. (I got a pretty good crack radar) We climbed up the ridge to about a couple rope lengths below the ice cliff where there are several dirt campsites and bivied there. good long restful sleep and climb the cliff at sunrise while the groups are just approaching the ridge itself. not so bad if you can keep your bivy kit light, like light sleeping bag, pad and small stove. the ambience and experience itself is worth the extra weight. ditch the skiis and bivy on the ridge instead.
  36. 1 point
    By June the skiing won't be that great at this rate, so the safe bet is to not split the team @Alisse, esp. if you partner hasn't done a lot of glacier travel. While the Coleman isn't terribly gnarly by glacial standards you can easily get into trouble, especially if the weather turns. Also, you'll want him to go over two person rescue and be very familiar with what to do, for your own benefit if nothing else. Getting to the NR is often involved with lots of bridges (looks OK right now though). I did very realistic two person practice last Saturday with a partner who jumped into a glide crack. It was fairly exciting, and I knew it was about to happen. You need to be prepped and dialed to pull it off without incident. I skied the Coleman on Monday and the cracks are starting to open.....I'll post some pics tonight or tomorrow....
  37. 1 point
    Solo glacier travel by a newbie in June on the Coleman Demming is a definite NO in my book. Check out google earth.
  38. 1 point
    Trip: Silver Star Mt - North side Trip Date: 05/12/2018 Trip Report: Celebrated Hwy 20 opening by heading east for a wonderfully beautiful trip up Silver Star! Had to carry skis for ~40 minutes from the pullout but then great skinning conditions all the way up! Put on the ski crampons around 5200' and kept them on until the col. Ultra mega hyper super happy place Views just got better and better and it was fun and interesting seeing Vasiliki Ridge, Burgundy Col and the Wine Spires from the east -- I'd been on that side just once in an aborted attempt to climb the East Face of Chablis in July 2014 (meeeemories....🎶), it was very cool to be on skis this time! Booted up on snow from the col to the final summit block, a chimney move with a useful rap station to yank on. Fantastic views, I think I saw the Twin Sister Range? And Black and Goode and Glacier and what I think was Dome? Oh yeah, then the skiing. Skiied from the summit block (ok, mostly side-slipped but did make a few turns between rocks).. The snow was AMAAAAZING, truly, for most of the descent, and then it got heavy and slushy. I kept my skis on for perhaps too long, having fun in the woods trying to stay on snow and avoiding logs and dirt. Finally after I hit the second rock I decided to give up. A wonderful day in the mountains, love the blue skies and sweet snow! 😍 Gear Notes: Ski crampons and whippet 👍 Approach Notes: Follow the creek!
  39. 1 point
    WADDINGTON RANGE TRIP - July 2018: 2 more people needed for helicopter. Hello, My fiancée and I are planning a trip to the Waddington Range sometime in July. We're looking for 2 more people to fill up the helicopter. Our plan would be to fly into Plummer Hut or Dragonback Camp and spend 2 weeks in the range. This allows for weather windows, rest days, etc. Helicopter flight is approx. $1000 / person (obviously expensive but it's worth it). I've been in to the range once before. For those who aren't familiar with this world class alpine area, check out the guidebook: http://www.highcol.ca/downloads/preview-waddington-guide.pdf If you or any other climbers you know would be interested in going, email me at mike.gudaitis(at)gmail.com me or give me a call at 6(zero)4-616-4758. Cheers, Mike Gudaitis
  40. 1 point
    You might be reading about the access couloir, which is snow until later in the season and then can be climbed on rock. The glacier just below Forbidden is about as tame as they come. It is disappearing and won't be around much longer. Poke around for photos of Forbidden "Unnamed Glacier" (actually the name) to get an idea.
  41. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Pilchuck - Summer trail variation up, NW descent from summit to TH Trip Date: 05/03/2018 Trip Report: cut n paste from TAY: Hiked in from Heather Lk TH, gated; skinned last 2 or so miles to Pilchuck TH. The winter up-route from the TH is in good shape still but it's going fast.. Was on top of the se gulley around 10am, a foot of pole pen, and I don't think it would have made a big difference if I had been there at 5am. Little to no freeze. I made one ski cut towards the right side, found it tricky to lift the leg and let snow drain; was solo so.. bailed and skied the wnw ridge a ways and dropped onto the N slopes, then NW down the open rolling terrain to the TH- fun turns in the sun all the way to the TH. The glop is getting faster at least.. When I got back to the pilchuck TH I looked up and noticed a really large crown, about 6+' is my best guess.. on the N slopes @ 5000', underneath the lookout and east of where I skied on the north slope. It spanned a huge portion of the slope. Likely the result of recent cornice-fall. Deep instabilites still exist in the region, and this is also noted on the latest nwac north-central bulletin. Ran into one other skier while walking the road back to Heather Lk th, he was cruising down on his MT bike (bring this!) and slowed to chat briefly.. Never saw him up there but I guess he watched me ski from the ridge. Nice bumpin into you whoever you are. Photos: (rolly ridge photo is Larrison Ridge) https://photos.app.goo.gl/9RQNU6PwqZuf9gpW6 Gear Notes: Bring a mountain bike Approach Notes: included in TR
  42. 1 point
    Thanks @Off_White! And, just to keep the party going, here are a few more photos I forgot to include! In case you're wondering, Sir Sanford is a beast! I really need to climb Sir Donald and Uto this summer: So, so many rad mountains in the Selkirks. Waldorf Towers, Whiteface Tower and Serendipity Spire (I think):
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    We just climbed the Southside route today and conditions were excellent. Snow was firm crust with good traction. Hogsback is very wide, no issue with the bergschrund, and the Gates was solid to the summit. There is a lot of ice in it that will have to start falling as the season goes. Forecast is changing now but I would go at the next chance of good weather.
  45. 1 point
    If you have something you want to share with Megan, please do so. If you want to talk but don't feel comfortable talking to Megan, please contact me anonymously and we can explore ways so your story can be heard. If you don't want to tell your story but need help healing and finding closure and need assistance in doing that again let me know and we can see how we can assist you in that. I'm a victim of harassment. I've also reported sexual harassment in the work place on several occasions. None of these instances were "misunderstandings" and variety of other lame excuses, it was a product of selfishness and a culture that fosters it. I refuse to be part of that. I'm closing this thread as there is nothing to be gained by any further discussion.
  46. 1 point
    You mean pop up in a Internet forum and make a bunch of heavy accusations about someone, provide no proof, and then disappear? Is that an "opinion"? Or unless you're talking about what is going on over at NWHikers...I don't know the truth of it. But I don't think accusations of sexual harassment or whatever is being said over there is an "opinion". It is either fact or isn't. The truth is known by those party to that, or witnesses to it. I think the real problem is that some people are treating the matter like an opinion, when all parties (especially victims) deserve a discussion based upon facts.
  47. 1 point
    Trip: Mount St Helens - Worm Flows Trip Date: 04/22/2018 Trip Report: One million of my best friends and I were on MSH today. We left the Marble Mountain SnoPark at 3:30 AM, able to ski from the parking lot! I got a whole lot of practice with my ski crampons! Up to the crater rim a bit past 9, hung out in the sun for about an hour and a half, then skiied some amazing AMAZING snow -- ah yes, this is what they call corn -- under a bluebird sky!!!!!!! I love spring skiing!!! I got to ski most of it in a tank top and rolled-up pants. 😁😁😁 Got a little sticky toward the bottom of the fun, but not too bad. On a few of the steeper parts we skiied, we saw some rollerballs and one very small wet loose slide. What an amazing day!!! So much better than hiking Monitor Ridge in August! Gear Notes: Sunscreen, ski crampons, patience Approach Notes: Snow from the TH!
  48. 1 point
    kukuzka1, his brother, and I were Team Motrin on an Alaska trip a few years back; I think graduating to Team Centrum Silver is appropriate!
  49. 1 point
    You'd love it dude, next year you can guide me up it 'cause by then I'll forget that we even did it!
  50. 1 point
    Thanks Wayne! Your work on the drip got me really stoked on that face.