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  1. 5 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
  2. 5 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 to celebrate Nathan successfully completing another trip around the sun. 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. 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; the snow traverse is quite steep and the rock is very loose and not trivial. There are a few very large loose blocks on this portion waiting to take out a careless climber and a fall here would be catastrophic. It goes though! 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.....
  3. 5 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
  4. 5 points
    Trip: Mt. Rainier - Sunset Ridge Trip Date: 05/25/2018 Trip Report: Geezers on the Go or Fading into Sunset Ridge. Having done routes from Carbon River, White River, and Paradise I have always wanted to do a west side route. Two of my partners from many years joined in on the fun. The average age was 62 with a combined over 120 years in the hills. We did the usual hike from the West Side Road via the no longer maintained Tahoma Creek trail. From the along Emerald Ridge which we never saw cause we ascend into the clouds we gained the terminus of the Tahoma and crossed it somewhere. Eventually we broke out of the clouds and camped below Puyallup Cleaver at around 6800 feet. In the morning we gained the cleaver and followed it to around 8500 at which point we bailed left and crossed until the South Mowich. We roped up but the crossing was very straight forward and we headed up initial lower slope to 9500 feet. At this point there is a bergshrund across the whole of the lower apron/ridge. We crossed more to the left. Again straight forward but sloppy snow. We bivied at the bergshrund. The next morning hoping to have an overnight freeze which did not occurred we launched upwards. The climbing was at around 45 degrees. The higher up the firmer the snow got. We pretty much side stepped the vast majority of the route. We stayed mostly to the climbers left and found several places to rest. Including one great spot with 60-70 foot high conglomerate walls just waiting to pitch bowling ball sized rocks down. From here a few hundred feet more of climbing and we gained the ridge proper and had great views of Sunset Amphitheater. Until this point we had climbed roped or unroped sans any gear. Once on the ridge proper we followed it until we need to down climb around a short 30 foot section of bare rock (by passed via snow). This lead to the finial pinnacle which forces one out on to the Mowich Face. Here again the climbing was straight forward we stayed more climbers right (two pitches), traversed left (~one pitch), then gained the ridge (~one pitch). Overall 45-55 degree climbing with pickets. My one partner did most all of the leading, my excuse for not contributing was being tired having climbed S. Sister a few days before. Our other partner is just a geezer. After that we traversed the ridge to Liberty Cap which was good fun cause we could see where in the past we had topped on either the Central or North Mowich headwalls, Ptarmigan (including an infamous bivy), Liberty and Curtis Ridge. So it was a bit of nostalgia for all. Especially for me since Sunset Ridge was my 10th different route on the hill and exactly 35 years to the weekend since my first attempt on Rainier. Overall conditions were a bit soft at the mid elevations. The approach was manageable even in the clouds. Route finding was straigtforward. On the other hand, we slept warm - including the last night less than 100 feet below Columbia Cap. I'll add some photos soon. Oh, being from out of the area we stayed at Gateway Inn and Cabins which is right before the Park entrance before and after our climb. The folks are very accommodating so I'll give them a plug. Gear Notes: 3 Pickets and 3 screws (the later not used). Two tools 60cm axe and 50 cm hammer. Approach Notes: West Side Road via Tahoma Creek
  5. 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
  6. 4 points
  7. 4 points
    Trip: Jack Mountain & Crater Mountain - NohokOmeen Headwall & South Ridge Trip Date: 05/26/2018 Trip Report: Fred and I had amazing plans for a (for us) heroic trip... The Great Jack Off. Along the East Bank Trail, up the Nohokomeen Headwall of Jack, down the south face, with Crater to boot. The trip reports we read from the party on the Nohokomeen on the 12th helped with the scant beta a lot, thanks! This route isn't even in Beckey if you can believe it! For purity of the trip we hiked car-to-car the loop starting from the East Bank Trailhead at Panther Creek. Other reports have enough info on the approach I figure so I'll keep it to the basics. Not much brush - none really by Cascades standards; the hillside to gain the May Creek Basin was brutal though. We pushed on and camped at about 7600' on the Nohokomeen Glacier. This made it about 12 miles and 7100' vert of gain on day 1... whew! Forest uphill from the East Bank Trail: Our first view of the headwall from near the toe of the glacier was not encouraging, but we knew we had to take a look at least. Headwall from camp: Hozomeen from camp: It got cold that night, there was frost on the tent and the snow was very solid. We left camp at 0600 and had only a short walk to the base of the wall. We found a route up, over a bridge in the 'schrund and through the manky rocks. My calves were killing me so Fred led the whole wall both of us soloing. It felt steep! It's amazing how the slope changes when the snow is frozen and you can only get front points or an inch of boot at the most. It was definitely about 600' of "don't look down" terrain for me. Softer snow would have mage it a lot more secure and easier, but we made it. Approximate route, it looks like a lot more traversing than it felt like. Maybe it's just perspective: We were on the summit by 0800 I think. It was breezy but not bad. We were worried the downclimb on the south face would be too solid so we waited around for a while identifying peaks and enjoying being off our feet. Down climbing the much softer snow on the south face was a piece of cake after the Nohokomeen; until we got to the cliff band at about 8000'. We didn't know the route and had only a 30m rope so it took some looking but we nailed it. We did two 15m rappels off a crappy loose boulder with like 10 pieces of tat on it down onto snow again where we could traverse out to easy ground on the SE ridge. We took a loooong lunch break and rested our brains in the warm sun. Basically all the ground from there until 4800' on the Crater Mountain Trail was snow covered with the exception of the Crater scramble section. We camped at Jerry Lakes early on day two and had a leisurely afternoon. Day three was a tame snow walk and easy 3rd class scramble up Crater and a slog out down the trail and along Ruby Creek to the car. We could have hitchhiked the last 3 miles or so but we are purist and completed the loop - my shoulders were pissed. Tarn near Jerry Lakes camp: Lake and waterfalls below Crater Mountain. We gained the trail shortly after here: Maybe Fred will post some more photos, he was a lot better about taking them than I was. Gear Notes: 30m rope glacier gear 2 axes aluminum crampons trail shoes celebratory brandy Approach Notes: All the trails in the lowland were in good shape, a bit of blowdown on the Crater Mountain trail. Lots of creek crossings, all dry on the East Bank Trail, one ford on the Crater Mountain Trail. Crews were out working on the trail near Granite Creek.
  8. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Hood - Old Chute Trip Date: 06/16/2018 Trip Report: I know what you're thinking: "Old chute? Lame". Yeah, I'll tell you what's lame: How dead this forum is. Old chute will have to do (and I want to see more lame reports!). I'd been feeling extremely itchy for an interesting outing for a while. I was encouraged by the weather forecast and looking forward, but then this happened I caused this: Remember to drive with not bald, well aligned/balanced tires, especially if you go (tastefully) over the limit after fresh rain. It's much worse than it looks: the frame deformed about two inches and one of the engine mounts failed (though, very surprisingly, the engine still runs fine). The displaced engine broke a CV joint. Oh well, cars are for wussies. Invigorated, I eventually settled on using the bus to climb a new to me route on Hood: west crater rim. I started walking toward the transit center at 11:30 on Friday. Soon, civilization fades and I get my first view of the mountain: The slog was great. I don't get how people can be disappointed with it. Do a little zigzag on your way up, there's so much to see! I get AMS at the drop of a hat (literally, dropping a hat decreases air pressure around it and makes me sick) and I'm generally weak so I shared Illumination Saddle with a hardcore duo that just did Reid, a mountain rescue person and his bro, and a big group of energetic residents from Legacy who surrounded me with tents and snored all night and played my least favorite music and didn't offer me any of their alcohol despite me doing minor favors for them. Bless everyone's souls. The weather forecast called for calm clarity followed by PM clouds, wind, and snow, so I was a little surprised to emerge from my tent at 5:00 and find the upper reaches encased in angry clouds. Seemed foolish to try a new route off the beaten path above fumaroles in a likely white out, so I very loosely decided to try the Old Chute instead: familiar terrain. I hastily packed up my stuff, imagining that the visibility would only decrease (the clouds were usually about 1000 ft above us) and navigating back to the saddle would suck. Seems like I was correct, as I could hardly see anything when I left my tent and sleeping bag on some random rocks at 9300 ft somewhere between the saddle and the edge of White River glacier. I talked to a few unhappy climbers on the way down, but for some reason every interaction bumped my inclination from "prolly not" toward "this'll be extremely fun". Visibility remained about as bad as it could be up to the summit (well, it can be worse when the wind blows ice around your glasses into your eyes, thankfully none of that), and the snow conditions were excellent. It took an unexpected amount of mental energy to stay on the boot path, but it worked and it made for my favorite mountain experience so far. The contrast was so weak that I had a scary moment realizing I had to stop climbing at the summit ridge. On the way down once I was near the bogshack the clouds lifted very dramatically every now & then. Anyway, that's my hyped up ho hum story. My loveliest climb yet! Gear Notes: I think I get curved axe handles now Approach Notes: Watch out for house centipedes on your way out the basement apartments
  9. 3 points
    Trip: Northern Pickets - East Fury and Luna in a weekend Trip Date: 06/16/2018 Trip Report: Intro pic from the top of Luna: I did a solo trip up Mt Challenger a few weeks ago and enjoyed myself so much I decided I needed another dose! I've become a huge fan of weekend sufferfests. Doing stuff in a day is cool and fun, but you don't get as much of an alpine experience. I like making oatmeal at 4am in a rock bivy, waking up before sunrise at high camp, etc. etc. My pack weight for these trips is probably only 30 lbs or so anyway. I wanted to get to Luna on this trip, and figured East Fury would be a good stretch goal. I'm too cheap to pay for the water taxi, so I schlepped it 13 miles around Ross Lake and up to 10 mile shelter after work on Friday (I couldn't actually find 10 mile shelter, does it exist?). Saturday morning I started the much-not-looking-forward-to slog up Access Creek. I used the log crossing at 48.8395, -121.2090, although I could not find any kind of trail from Big Beaver trail to the river crossing. From the log jam, I headed up and right toward Access Creek (I found the higher I went the less bushy it was), and crossed Access Creek at 3k ft (thanks to the people who did Luna in a day last summer for this beta). Took about 3 hours from turning off Big Beaver trail to the headwater of Access Creek (was way faster on the way down once I improved my route-finding). The chutes up to the 6,100 ft notch were firm snow which was awesome. ^ Looking down at Access Creek The traverse to Luna Col was quick and painless with all the snow. Arrived at Luna Col at 1pm, decided to be ambitious, drop my bivy gear and try to bag East Fury. ^ East Fury from the 6100 ft notch below Luna Col. I took the right-leaning snow-ramp to the left of the major rock formations. Not sure what the standard route is. It took 3.5 hours from Luna Col to top of East Fury, and some micro-storms starting rolling through as I approached the summit. Raised my heartbeat a bit, but made for some good pictures. ^Southern pickets from Fury Back to Luna Col by 6pm and pretty exhausted, but the sky started clearing so just before sunset I couldn't resist scrambling up Luna. ^Looking north from Luna at sunset. The final ridge scramble was spicy! No snow whatsoever, but thought-provoking nonetheless. The last summit log entry was from late last summer. ^Southern Pickets and Fury from Luna Probably should have brought a headlamp up Luna. Best weekend trip to date! Gear Notes: Hiking poles and crampons Approach Notes: Ross Lake Dam - Access Creek - Luna Col
  10. 3 points
    Trip: Colchuck Peak - Colchuck Glacier Trip Date: 06/17/2018 Trip Report: We started at 6:30 AM from Stuart Trail Head and reached to Lake Colchuck at 8 AM and then base of Colchuck Glacier . Snow was hard in the morning so we put the crampons on and started ascending the glacier. There were other parties mostly skiers were heading up for dragon tail . Weather was beautiful and little cold breeze over the upper portion. Going up we had one big rock passed us some how it was lose and dropped from the right side of ridges .We reached on the the pass from where we took off the crampon and start scrambling towards right Colchuck peak, it took another 30 mins to reach the summit . . Summit was short ledges but good enough to accommodate 8-10 climbers. We spent good amount on summit and took pictures. It took us 6:30 hours to reach summit views were beautiful we took our good time and stops along the way. Once we started heading down we see more ski parties heading up , we took the same Glacier route to go down . Snow was still hard on top but almost 1000ft down snow becomes more soft easy to do plunge steps. On way down skier and snow boarder we met on summit passed us . Over all beautiful day and trip . Gear Notes: Crampon, ice axe , helmet and light Sportiva Trango Boots Approach Notes: Trail was
  11. 3 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
  12. 3 points
    Trip: Mt. Torment - Torment-Forbidden Traverse Trip Date: 06/02/2018 Trip Report: Having just returned from school in Colorado, I was itching for a challenging alpine venture in the North Cascades. I and my equally stoked partner decided on giving the Torment-Forbidden Traverse a go in a single push. We caught the 5 something boat from Bainbridge Island on Friday night, hoping to arrive at the trailhead around 9. Horrible traffic and a couple stops in Seattle delayed that by about 2 hours. After about 1 hour of sleep, we started hiking on the road at about 12:15. The road was gated 1.5 miles from the trailhead probably because of some questionable conditions at the stream crossings. We popped out of the trees about 1.5 hours later, and started heading towards the Taboo Glacier. Good snow conditions, albeit a little soft for the time of night, allowed fast and easy travel. We were at the base of the gully that marks the beginning of the South Ridge route in another 1.5 hours. To our surprise, the Gully was completely filled with snow. A short section of steep climbing and some tricky moves to surmount a moat brought us to the notch. From the notch, we scra mbled up a couple hundred feet of fun class 3 or 4 rock. We closely followed Steph Abegg’s beta and it worked out for us quite well, until we ended up a little too high and had to rappel back down to some grassy ledged that looked much more friendly than where we were. We reached the gully as described by Steph on the north side, which looked quite solid. Our hopes of moving quickly through this terrain quickly diminished upon starting our ascent of the gully. The rock was very loose, and the climbing surprisingly steep. We ended up climbing all the way up to the notch at the top of the gully one at a time because of rockfall concerns. Before reaching the saddle between the two summits, we had to navigate around a large snow finger, which further delayed us. The rest of the climb was straightforward and on better rock. We reached the summit at 8:30, which was far later than we hoped. From the summit, the ridge looked menacing, to say the least. The thought of bailing after our slow summit crossed my mind, however, we were both feeling good and decided to keep going. A free hanging rappel from the second lowest notch on the east ridge brought us directly onto a small glacier. We roped up and traversed at down and east, aiming for a ledge system. There were some open crevasses but thick snow bridges allowed for an easy crossing. The snow was soft and the huge steps that Matias kicked allowed secure crossing of the steep sections. We belayed a short snow section near the end of the traverse because of a tricky looking moat, but it ended up being safe and easily passable. More class 3 to 4 scrambling quickly brought us to the beginning of the infamous snow/ice traverse. After some debate of whether or not to take the rock bypass, we decided on taking the snow traverse because of the heavily favorable conditions. Matias once again lead the traverse and we completed it in in 30 minutes or so. There was perfect soft snow for the whole traverse and no ice. The traverse starts in the bottom right of the photo and tops out just before the cornice at the saddle. From the end of the snow traverse, we dropped down to the south side, hoping for the friendly grassy ledges as described by most of the beta we read. We found the ledges, but there were many snow patches that covered the route, which yielded very slow travel and some scary scrambling on wet rock. The first half of the second half mile of the ridge was slow going. Snow impeded the route numerous times and the scrambling was tedious. The last bit of the ridge, the true knife edge, was spectacular and secure. We had decided that we wouldn’t go for the west ridge if we didn't reach the col at the base by 4:30. We arrived at the “sidewalk” at exactly 4:30, and contemplated our next move. The west ridge looked in, and there were two parties on it. Easy, beautiful climbing on the West Ridge was tempting, but we decided not to go for it. The gully was fat, almost all the way up to the top. Four single rope raps put us at the base of the gully. We took our time on the descent and ended up walking most of the trail by headlamp. Beautiful views of Eldorado and company. We were finally able to see the ridge in full on the descent. 23 hours after leaving, we arrived back at the car, delusionally exhausted. Matias drove us to Marblemount and decided he was too tired to drive safely. He woke me up and I took the wheel until Darrington, at which I made the same decision. We pulled over at some trailhead on Mountain Loop Highway and slept until 6. We caught the 7:55 boat with about 10 minutes to spare. I'm new to writing trip reports, so please ask if you feel like there is anything of importance I left out. Gear Notes: 2 Pickets 60m rope (needed for rappels - 30m+ tagline would be best option) Half rack of rock pro (did not use) Two axes each (tool/axe) Strap on crampons We both decided to wear light boots. I wore my salewa alp trainer mids, which handle rock very well, but the snow we climbed was just about at the limit of what I would do with them. Approach Notes: Road is closed about 30 minutes from TH. All snow after tree line.
  13. 3 points
    SP is dead to us. There is only Cascade Climbers.
  14. 3 points
    Trip: Glacier Peak - Sitkum Glacier/Gerdine-Cool Trip Date: 05/28/2018 Trip Report: We set off from N Fork Sauk Trailhead buzzing with excitement at 8:30. Making short work of the easy trail to Mackinaw Shelter, we stopped to work the tightness out of our shoulders, adjusting to the awkward load of skis and boots on the pack. After many switchbacks, we soon departed the well-established bootpack at around 5000 ft and Dustin set a skin track straight toward Red Pass. Reaching the ridgecrest, I felt isolated. There were no other tracks as far as we could see–a stark change from the crowds of Memorial Day weekenders we had passed on their hike out. We were venturing into a totally wild and remote route which has seen few ascents since the 2003 flood which destroyed the road. We found a skiable line a quarter mile east of Red Pass on the ridge, so we made a direct descent into the White Chuck River drainage. It probably would have been better to suck it up and climb 100 ft to reach the PCT rather than trying to follow the river, as we eventually got squeezed into a bottleneck and had to pick through the trees and slog through slush to reach trail. The snow ended abruptly at 4700 ft as we walked right by a spot where I camped in 2016 during my thru hike. Changing back into shoes, I checked the PCT app, which I still have on my phone, and saw that we had about 4 miles until we left the trail. Time to cruise. My heart soared with PCT nostalgia as we made our way along perfect dirt trail and fantasized about tranquil forest camping the next night. We hydrated at the many streams and only had one interesting crossing where I moved a log to give us a path across with dry feet. Our fantastically easy travel soon came to an end, though, as we encountered lingering snow patches in the flat, dense forest around 4000 ft. Not enough to ski, but just enough for some miserable postholing. Until this point, it was our plan to climb the Sitkum Glacier on the West side, do some skiing on the South, then re-ascend and return to camp on the West. Dustin had the idea that we should carry our overnight gear over the summit and return via the standard route, but I was still holding on to the original plan for whatever reason. That stubbornness was soon broken by a terrible section of bushwhacking through slide alder as the trail became a rushing stream of meltwater. “There’s no way we’re doing this again.” I decided I’d rather carry all the gear to the top as bushwhacking with such a giant pack was miserable. At nearly 7PM, we finally reached the ridge which was the site of the old climber’s trail up to the Sitkum Glacier, which was only evidenced by a few remnants of switchbacks between overgrown sections. I was enjoying the steep but sparse forest as we quickly gained the 2500 ft of elevation needed to make camp. This didn’t last long, though, as the ridge got narrower and narrower and our skis and boots caught on more and more tree branches and shrubs. We clambered over countless fallen logs and wondered, “When will this end? Why do the trees go so high??” With no daylight in sight straight ahead, we consulted the map and noticed that we could probably access the glacier from the northern slopes of the ridge, which were beautifully snow-covered and devoid of thick forest. Much better. After emerging from the trees scratched and worked, I suggested we camp at the first relatively flat spot on the snow with an excellent view of Mts. Pugh, White Chuck, Whitehorse, and the whole White Chuck River valley. We immediately set to work chopping a platform, making, dinner and preparing our gear as the sun set. After eating, we both promptly passed out at about 10PM after a 12 hour day on the move. After hearing the alarm at 5:30, I peeked out to notice the cloudy but calm skies. We successfully completed our forest-avoiding linkup with some treacherous skinning–our skins had not dried and were not sticking well. At around 6500 ft we decided to just pack the skis and rope up for the remainder of the ascent. After all the tedious route finding and off-trail travel up to this point, 4000 ft of easy snow slopes was an absolute dream. This was my first time walking on an active glacier, but we saw no open cracks on the Sitkum, just on the fearsome-looking Scimitar Glacier to the north. A few golf ball sized rocks whistled past as we made our way to the right of the large block at 8600 ft. Dustin led as I practiced my roped travel techniques and we soon gained the saddle behind Sitkum Spire and started up the pumice ridge, which was mercifully covered in firm snow, toward the summit plateau. My energy started to waver as we slogged up the final 1000 ft, the 10000 ft of accumulated elevation gain starting to catch up to me. Before long, we once again met up with the weekend bootpack on the south side of the summit block and pushed up to the summit. After a windless morning, I got cold in the wind on the top and quickly enjoyed the views of half of Rainier, the Stuart Range, and some peaks around Chelan. Eager to get down, we were soon rattling our bones down crunchy snow in the cloudy afternoon. Within an hour, we were down in the cloud deck that we had been staring at all morning, and some light snow pelted us as we followed a ridge to the standard base camp. At this point, my feet were very unhappy at being squashed into ski boots for a so many hours, and I even thought about just spending the night at the camp, groaning at the thought of continuing the long descent. Since it was only 2PM, we took an extended break huddled behind a rock wall and Dustin made some re-percolated coffee to boost morale. I was feeling much better after that and 600mg of ibuprofen, so we marched on. The upper White Chuck Glacier basin was a gorgeous snow-covered fantasyland and made for easy skin-skiing and traversing. Before I even felt the climb in my legs, I was back on top of the ridge eyeing the traverse to White Pass. As soon as I turned back to discuss the route, we were blasted by wind and huge, wet snowflakes. The possibility of spending the night and hiking out in the morning was looking less attractive. After some more delicate skinning on late-afternoon mush, we reached a high point on the traverse and started the rolling descent to White Pass. The clouds cracked and showed us some rare blue sky as I tried to rip some telemark turns during the ski-skin to the pass. The mood of the death march started to lighten as we left the harsh alpine behind. Back to bootpacking, we downed our good snacks as it became apparent that we were getting to the trailhead that night. We skied a 1000 ft section to skip many switchbacks which we had scouted on the way up. Although it required a 100 yard bushwhack back to the trail, we had a laugh about how easy it felt compared to the trials of the previous day. For the last of many transitions, we packed everything away, downed the rest of our snacks and water, and started hustling down the trail. As my shoulders and feet hurt more and more, I kept accelerating knowing it would get me to the car sooner. I marveled at the variety of rainforest-like plant life knowing that we were on a glacier just hours earlier. We hiked uninterrupted for 2.5 hours and I dropped my pack with a groan just before 9PM. Success. The Sitkum Glacier was a true adventure–not really worth it as an early season ski trip, but it could be a viable summer alternative if you're looking to put in some extra work and avoid the crowds. Gear Notes: Skis, ski crampons, glacier gear, approach shoes Approach Notes: Terrible bushwhacking with skis
  15. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Rainier - Liberty Ridge Trip Date: 05/28/2018 Trip Report: Below is the text of my trip report for Liberty Ridge. To see the full trip report with photos and strategy/gear notes, please visit my site: Spokalpine. Kyle, Zach and I climbed Liberty Ridge on May 26th-29th, 2018. Together, we achieved a collective dream - a dream that felt too intimidating for me to imagine just years ago. Liberty Ridge is an exceptional line in an absolutely wild setting, splitting the North Face of Mt Rainier between Willis Wall and Liberty Wall, two of the most dangerous alpine walls in the lower 48. According to the National Parks Service, the route sees around 100 climbers making attempts each year, with a 30-60% success rate depending on the year. We found varied conditions on consistently steep, varied and technical terrain. After getting our permits at the White River Ranger Station on Saturday morning, we casually started hiking toward the mountain. Today was going to be a easy day, and conserving energy was a key part of our strategy. We lollygagged up the trail, through snowfields, and over St. Elmo's Pass. Once we dropped onto the Winthrop Glacier, we roped up. Crossing the glacier was straightforward and we did not need crampons in the soft snow. Soon we found our way onto Curtis Ridge, where we caught our first view of the route. All three of us sat down on Curtis ridge and gawked at the climb. It is huge, steep and scary looking! The first thing I noticed, however, was how broken up the Carbon Glacier looked. There appeared to be no access to the right side of the ridge - where the route normally goes, given that the right side of the ridge is lower angle than the left. We could tell that the Liberty Ridge itself was already in mid-late season conditions, with significant rock melted out low on the route and blue ice glaring in the afternoon sun above the Black Pyramid. This was not going to be a snow slog. After a nap, we set up camp and watched a team start up the Carbon Glacier alarmingly late in the day. The terrifying seracs (ice cliffs) that cap Willis Wall threaten the Carbon Glacier with significant avalanche hazard, and the wall itself is constantly shedding rock. The team placed their tent on the Carbon Glacier, directly in the path of anything that came off the wall, but at least they weren't right underneath it. At one point, I poked my head out of the tent to watch a D3 (massive) avalanche rip off of the Willis Wall - the debris cloud came very close to the bivy site that the team chose. That seemed akin to playing Russian Roulette, but I guess that everything is a matter of degrees. There were two smaller avalanches later in the evening. In the morning, we dropped onto the Carbon Glacier at about 7200' and started moving toward the ridge. This was a gnarly glacier! I could see hundreds of crevasses, and you never know what's lurking under the surface. There's always a moment when you step or jump over a crack when you can see into its depths - many of these crevasses simply faded to black because they were so deep. Thankfully, there was a good boot pack from previous teams, which we followed in a circuitous path to the toe of the ridge. Here, we scrambled up a "boulder problem" that felt spicy given that we were wearing crampons, had 30 pound backpacks, and still were roped up for glacier travel. What really made this exciting was the extremely poor nature of the rock on Mt Rainier - I don't think any of the holds we used were actually attached to the mountain. A high right foot was key. Finally, we were on Liberty Ridge! Once we gained the ridge proper, I coiled up the rope and stuffed it in my pack. We cruised upward on alternating snow and rock. Normally, climbers take snow slopes on the right side of the ridge, but we stayed on or near the ridge crest. There was another exciting boulder problem before we reached Thumb Rock on snow slopes. We arrived at Thumb Rock around 9:15am - it had been a short morning of climbing, but we knew the next day would be massive. We ate, drank water, and napped like it was our job. Eventually, we had dinner and went to bed early. Unfortunately, my inflatable sleeping pad popped and no longer held air - so I slept on the rope, which I coiled onto the floor of the tent. To add insult to injury, the winds picked up and kept me awake all night. When the alarm went off at 2am, I was ready to get up. We packed our bags and started soloing upward on the steep, hard snow. The wind was absolutely blasting but the skies were clear. After passing through the constriction above and to the left of Thumb Rock, we encountered more easy mixed climbing. The sun was starting to rise and we realized just how high (and exposed) we were. Soon, we had covered 2000 vertical feet and climbed around the Black Pyramid. We roped up here, agreeing to simulclimb the consistent 55-60 degree ice. Kyle did a fantastic job leading 800+ feet of ice in two simul blocks with one ice tool and one ultralight mountaineering axe - beastly! As we were nearing the top of the ice, we heard a massive rumble. We glanced over to the Willis Wall and watched an absolutely massive avalanche rip. Zach actually saw the serac collapse that started the event - he estimated that the ice block that released from the serac was 300 feet by 100 feet in size. This was without a doubt one of the most impressive things I'd ever seen. Kyle, Zach and I could hardly believe that we had a front row seat to such massive natural destruction. We spoke with an avalanche trainer on another climbing team who called it a D4 avalanche - huuuuge. Humbling. We stayed roped up after the ice pitches, climbing steep snow and névé through the bergschrund which offered no technical challenge. The wind was getting especially brutal at this point, making it even more difficult to breathe than normal at 14,000 feet. Several times, I was knocked off balance by a gust of wind - classic Mt Rainier conditions! Finally, we reached Liberty Cap (14,112') which is the logical end of the Liberty Ridge climbing route. We discussed going to the true summit at 14,401', but we'd already done what we came to do. I led us down the Emmons Glacier to camp Schurman with only a few helpful suggestions from my partners on route finding and glacier safety - thanks guys. They both have experience on the Emmons glacier, but it seemed like a good opportunity for me to practice glacier travel and navigation. I feel like a pretty knowledgeable climber, but there is always more to learn. This was a worthy outing for my first climb on Mt Rainier - an undisputed classic. Gear Notes: Extreme Alpinism Approach Notes: Don't fall in a hole
  16. 3 points
    Trip: Little Tahoma - Fryingpan Glacier Trip Date: 05/27/2018 Trip Report: Did a ski tour of Little Tahoma on Sunday, May 27 on one of the most spectacular May days I've had in a while. Thought I'd post so information for those considering making the trip. Approach via Summerland trail is basically snow-free for the first mile and then switches to snow with sections of dirt thereafter. From the final bridge, snow is continuous. On the ascent I booted and did not bother with skis. From the flats beyond the bridge it's a straight shot up to the left to gain Meany Crest. Meany crest is snow free and lots of good camping available. No running water at this point, so plan to melt. I booted to Meany Crest and then skinned up Fryingpan keeping to the right of the glacial bulge. Crevasse problems are minimal, though there is one crossing that could probably be avoided by trending to climbers right and downhill. Despite the warm weather and soft snow, I skinned the bridges without issue though I could see where someone had punched through earlier in the day. From Fryingpan kicked steps up to Whitman Crest and then set out across the Whitman Glacier. There are two open crevasses on the Whitman that can be avoided by skirting them to the right. Whitman is ~30 degrees up to a bench on the ridge at 10,300 feet. From there you can ascend on steeper snow (~40 degrees) either to the left or right of the ridge. If you go right, expect steep, crappy, downward sloping rock at the exit onto the ridge. Descent was same as ascent, but on skis. Yay! Travel Times: Left car at 7:15 AM Meany Crest at 10:45 Summit at 2:00 PM Car at 5 PM Gear Notes: Ice axe, crampons, helmet. Glacier gear if desired Approach Notes: All snow after the last bridge Meany Crest Camp Fryingpan Glacier Mt Adams from Whitman Crest Little T and Big T from just past the final bridge
  17. 3 points
    For a full report go to my website: http://stevensong.com/lincoln-peak This is my first ever post on Cascade Climbers and figured some of you might be interested in this trip. Matt Lemke and myself timed it right and climbed Lincoln in perfect condition on the morning of last Saturday. Approached from Middle Fork and drove to the second switchback. Camped at the last flat spot with a strip of moraine of dry ground. Cloudy whole day on Friday but cleared at evening and temperature dropped (just as expected). Snow started to freeze only 10 minutes after being out of the sun and by the time we started at 3 am the snow was rock hard so crampons from camp. Crux being the first bergschrund where the only possible attack required a pitch of 70-80 degree jug of snow piece. Matt soloed it and kicked in some steps. I used his steps and soloed it afterwards. Then we had to solo another short pitch of serac type of ice before able to traverse 45-degree towards the pillbox. Lots of front pointing and at least 10 smaller runnels had to be hopped across. Another couple huge runnels as we traverse a steeper pitch into the first gully and the first gully was easy by comparison. Just front-point up the middle of an "ultra runnel". Then climbed the snow arete to the top, traversed the uber-airy upper bowl and into the upper couloir. Another couple gigantic runnels and two patches of rocks had to be crossed. I asked for a belay on the second patch of rocks. Front-pointing again all the way to the col and then scrambled rock to the summit. 10 double-length rappels to get off. We did 11 because we screwed up teh second-to-last rappel and had to climb back up the rope. The last one, waterfall rappel was quite an interesting one... 5.5 hours up, 6.5 hours down, 0.5 hours at camp, 2.5 hours hike-out something like that. 15-hour Day 2. Matt's trip report: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8027164
  18. 3 points
    Trip: Nesakwatch Spires - SW ridge North spire Trip Date: 05/27/2018 Trip Report: Thanks to G-Spotter's Slesse Conditions report from two weeks ago, Tess and I were inspired to skip the Squamish crowds and go check out the Nesakwatch spires over the long (for us Americans) weekend. On Saturday morning we made the surprisingly easy drive in to the valley after nearly being sent to secondary for trying to take an apple over the border. Thanks to my mediocre off roading skills we almost got stuck twice in the first washout we hit along the road, but Zoe the 2011 forester pulled through. Not wanting to get stuck in the next real washout we opted for the road walk instead. The washout in question. From there the road is pretty manageable all the way to the actual bad washout. Which lasts for about a quarter mile and would need a pretty serious rig to navigate. There were fresh tire tracks so clearly it is not impossible. This new signage is pretty sweet, though i'm not sure it's totally necessary. After the road walking the trail pretty much just goes straight up. The trail was pretty much snow free up to the base of the rock wall at 5100ft. Tennies were really nice up to that point. Two guys were working on a new line on the rock wall below the spires. If anyone knows them I'm curious to hear how the route turned out. The snow made for very easy travel through the boulder fields. And it also made camping much much easier. The Bivy boulder is almost completely snow free but we didn't find it until we had already set up camp. So we used this boulder instead. The clouds gave quite the show on Saturday night, nothing beats this view. We woke up to grey skies and a cold wind so decided to wait a bit in hopes that things would warm up a bit And warm up it did. The splitter headwall cracks. Felt like easy 5.8 to me. Wish they had been longer. Summit! There was quite a bit of snow sticking around on the NE faces and some decided to rip loose from the ridge in the left of this picture. In order to avoid steep rotten snow on the standard descent we found a rap route down the S face. This particular station was a little cramped. There is still a lot of snow up there but that shouldn't discourage anyone from making the trek. Most of the easy routes appear to be holding a lot of snow but the steeper stuff like Dairyland looked to be in great shape. Go out and get it folks! Gear Notes: 2x .4-2 1x 3,4 nuts Boots & axe may be nice but no need for crampons Approach Notes: Tennies up to the rock wall (5100ft) Boots the rest of the way. Washouts at 2.3mi and 3.3mi depending on your vehicle.
  19. 3 points
    Trip: South Sister - North Face Trip Date: 05/22/2018 Trip Report: Edit: See post below by Drocka on a June 2011 ascent which I believe should be credited as the FA. 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. 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 what I did. 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
  20. 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
  21. 2 points
    We went in late June precisely because we were able to cross Bridge Creek on snow. It was great (no real snow on route, easy to navigate the glacier), and we had a snow patch at the summit bivy to melt for water. I agree that it should be fine. Or, ask @John_Scurlock!
  22. 2 points
    Trip: Curt-Gilbert - Meade Glacier Trip Date: 06/16/2018 Trip Report: Made a quick trip up Curtis Gilbert to ski the Meade Glacier yesterday (6/16/18). Route was fine, but really only skiable from from 7,700 feet to 6,250 - so a long walk for a few turns. It might be a better ski earlier season, but so much of the trip is up a flat river valley and wooded ridge that you'll never get a lot of vertical from a single run. If you're going to do CG, I definitely suggest doing it as an overnight so you can score a few more runs. Plus, it's a long way back in there. Car to car was like 24 miles (not completely sure because my garmin died - but I think it's a good bet). Snow starts at 6'000 feet Gear Notes: Ice axe, crampons, skis, Mt Bike (see approach notes) Approach Notes: South Fork Tieton road is washed out 1.2 miles before Conrad Meadows CG. From the CG, it's another 2 miles to the trailhead. I brought a Mt Bike and was able to cycle up the road, saving myself about 6.5 miles of walking in total. A note about navigation - I was using some older maps that showed trails allowing shortcuts to trail 1120. I don't recommend these. There are all kinds of trails snaking around from hikers, game, and livestock. 1120 is barely maintained, and the others not at all. I had numerous times in my day even on 1120 where I lost the trail in blow-downs and had to backtrack and search - super annoying on a long day. Also - the trails are not marked so take care to know where you're going or you'll find yourself floundering in blow-down hell. If there is snow all the way to the meadow, overland travel would not be a big deal, but if it's melted out you'll want the trail. Take trail 1120 from the trailhead. There is a passable bridge over the Tieton, but it's not in great shape. After about two miles the trail forks. It's unmarked. Take the right fork. If you take the left fork and come to a bridge after which the trail starts ascending - you've gone too far. Go back and try again. Ascend the ridge via trail. At about 5600 feet the trail forks again - it's easy to miss. You'll be able to see the cliffs of point 6250 above you and to your left. Take the right fork and ascend to the ridge top at 6000 feet. Stay on the climber's left hand side of the ridge and follow a faint path until the ridge broadens out and meadows appear (6,250'). Hike the meadow West dropping up and down until you get to a steep moraine/cliff. Ascend snow to a large bench at 6,350'. Fabulous camping here. From 6,350 ascend the glacier - for me on the right hand side and the traverse to the obvious notch at 7,700 feet just to the left of the summit pyramid. Scramble to the top and ski on back down Everything you need for a trip on the Meade Washout 1.2 miles before camp ground. It's passable on the right Meade Glacier on Curtis-Gilbert - snapped it from the bench at 6,350 during a rare moment of visibility. Most of 6/16/18 was fogged in
  23. 2 points
    Nice job on a weather window and slogging it out. BTW the two old guys with me on Sunset Ridge, we did the Cassin in 2000. Our group was called "Old and in the Way." We took 5 days on the route but had stellar weather the whole time.
  24. 2 points
    And here a GPS tracks! Cassin_Ridge.gpx And a couple extras: IMG_9713.mov IMG_9702.mov IMG_9659.mov
  25. 2 points
  26. 2 points
    Trip: Kulshan - North Ridge Trip Date: 06/07/2018 Trip Report: Ever since I moved to Seattle three years ago it's been a dream of mine to climb the North Ridge of Kulshan. Last year I climbed the Coleman-Deming route and stared longingly at the north ridge on the way up. Finally this year I felt ready - physically, technically and mentally. Unfortunately all my usual partners have either already climbed it and were not interested in going back, or did not have the requisite skills, so I turned to cascade climbers to search for a partner. After some back and forth with a few people I was able to make plans with Casey - we were going to attempt the north ridge on Thursday and Friday June 7th and 8th. However the weather didn't cooperate with our plans - the forecast called for snow/rain starting on Thursday night. We decided that we would just attempt it car-to-car on Thursday instead. As the day approached I started having more and more anxiety. I had yet to even meet Casey much less climb with him. I considered calling it off or changing our plans but instead suggested we meet up to discuss the climb. We met up in Seattle on Tuesday and discussed our goals, abilities, gear and strategy for the climb. With my anxiety [mostly] allayed we decided to leave Wednesday night, sleep at the trailhead and start heading up around 3am. I estimated that it would take us around 15 hours car-to-car, giving us 5 hours to approach the north ridge, 5 to climb it and 5 to descend. Casey more or less agreed estimating that we would take between 12 and 16 hours. I picked up Casey after work on Wednesday and started driving north around 6pm. Somehow we managed to not hit any traffic and got to the trailhead around 8:45pm giving us plenty of time to eat dinner and get to sleep at a reasonable hour with a 2:30am wake up time. After a quick breakfast we were on our way. While signing the register we noticed that there was at least one other party heading up the north ridge. After about 2 hours and a little bit of faffing (I had forgotten my avy beacon in the car and ran back to get it, fortunately that was after only 5-10 minutes of hiking) we got to the hogsback where we stopped to take some pictures of the mountain and get roped up for glacier travel. Casey took the lead and we followed the bootpack across the Coleman glacier. The glacier was pretty mellow and there were minimal route finding issues so we pretty quickly found ourselves at the north ridge. We saw a party of two heading up the shortcut but it looked pretty steep to us and I don't think either of us were quite ready/awake enough for that level of commitment. We decided to continue around to the toe of the ridge and take the easier way up. Here I took the lead up the first steep section which consisted of soft but consolidated snow. It was pretty phsyical work as it was a bit too soft for easy front pointing and required a couple of kicks per step to get a solid stance. Maybe halfway up the toe we swapped leads so I could get a break. Eventually the angle eased off and we found ourselves on a relatively flat slope. Looking up we couldn't see any crevasses and decided it would be a good time to unrope. From here it was mostly just a slog until the ice cliff appeared in our sights. We could see two parties of two at the base of the ice cliff - one on the left side variation and the other on the right. Access to the ice cliff was guarded by a couple of long crevasses that ended just before the right side variation. We discussed which variation we wanted to do - the right looked a bit easier and quicker to approach, but the left promised more ice. We decided we would get closer and make our final decision when we could get a better look. In the mean time we headed towards the right side variation as that provided the only path around the crevasses. As we got closer the angle gradual steepened. Casey ended up climbing up some crumbly rock while I ended up a bit to his left on some steep snow. We were both starting to get sketched out as the angle kept getting steeper with no respite in sight. Eventually I made it to the base of the right side variation where I was able to put in an ice screw and get the rope out. I tied in and tossed down the other end to Casey. The mountain had made a decision for us and that was to climb the right side variation. After racking up I took the first lead. The right variation started with some thin ice climbing which quickly turned into traversing on crumbly rock with poor to non-existent tool placements. Fortunately the protection was good and I was able to get in three screws in the seracs we were climbing beneath. After the traverse was another short section of ice ending in a flat, sunny belay stance. Casey took the following lead which was mostly steep neve with a little bit of ice. I think he managed to place one screw and one picket in a full 60m pitch, building the final anchor using two pickets. When I got to the belay we discussed how we wanted to proceed. I was feeling pretty tired and didn't want to switch to soloing just yet so we settled on simul-climbing the next portion. We left one picket at the belay and I took the lead. I placed two pickets and one very marginal screw before reaching the avalanche crown mentioned in a previous trip report. I found some steps cut into the crown and continued up a bit before building an anchor out of the remaining picket and my ice axe. At this point it became clear that we did not have the time to continue protecting the route so we switched to soloing. Casey took the lead, navigating the remaining crevasses and seracs until we reached the summit plateau. Casey had never summited Kulshan before so we traversed the plateau to the true summit where we spent all of ten seconds enjoying the top. It was 3:30pm, we had spent over 12 hours ascending the north ridge and we were exhausted. This is when we made our biggest mistake of the day. Casey started heading down and asked me where to go, as I was familiar with the descent route. I said "head across the plateau and go left." We followed the bootpack that trended left and began our descent. As we were descending I remember thinking to myself "the route sure is different this year, there must be more snow." After maybe 1500 feet of descent I looked over to Sherman peak and thought to myself "Wow, Colfax looks really different...". I took out my phone and looked at the map. "Casey - we royally fucked up. We are descending the wrong side of the mountain! We have three options - we can climb back up, we can descend and try to hitch a ride or we can try to traverse the Deming glacier to the col between Colfax and Grant peak." We decided to traverse. Fortunately we were able to more or less follow the 9200ft contour line across the Deming glacier, neither gaining nor losing much altitude, and arrive at a notch in the ridge between the Coleman and the Deming glaciers. From here it was a pretty standard descent. We made our way down to the hogsback where we unroped, refilled our water and packed our bags. We made it back to the car a little before 9:30pm, for a total time of around 18 hours and 10 minutes. We had underestimated the route, but survived. Gear Notes: 7 screws, 4 pickets Approach Notes: Standard approach from the heliotrope ridge TH.
  27. 2 points
    Trip: Black Peak - NE Ridge Trip Date: 06/02/2018 Trip Report: Planned on a two day approach instead of a longer one day push. Weather (snow/rain) forecast for Sun 1400, decided for an early Sun and try to beat the clouds on the summit. Left TH at 1300, Sat. Easy enough trail looking down on Ann Lake, from Heather pass you see your objective and walk, loosing about 400' elevation to Lewis Lake and then up to Wing Lake. Recommend doing this hike early season, the snow was great and those talus fields would add hours to the hike. We found the bivy camp nicely melted out and dry. There are a couple benches to choose from. Sunday, 0620 left camp, hiked up easy snow, final push was straight up tot he right of the notch. The later season route goes to the left, but that looked more treacherous than needed, with a steep snow traverse over a cliff band. After gaining the saddle we wondered over to the rock, de-cramponed, and looked at crossing left in front of the melted out cornice, but chose to go right, behind. This was the way to go, placed a picket, not really needed and began simuling mixed snow and rock. Stay on the ridge unless it is obvious that you can walk, traverse on the left or right. We didn't wander more than 10 feet laterally from the ridge. Just trust it and keep going forward and up. There was a surprise right before the summit block, a mostly melted out cornice. It'll probably be gone by the time this is posted but be aware. Summit, there are 2 ways a scramble right in front of you as you step across to it or follow the left path and you'll see a cordelette. I used it to down climb, but use you best judgement. Follow the south ridge for the walk off. "Follow the Carins" that's all, don't dive down to soon, it all seemed to go but walking further around seemed more pleasant looking back at it. Snow was in mid way down the ridge so we glacaded back to camp, but the weather had come in so we had a wet walk out. Actual Time: Sat 1300 leave TH 1500 Heather Pass 1715 Wing Lake - Bivy/camp Sun 0620 Leave camp 0710 Arrive at notch 1430 Summit 1630 Back to camp 1940 Back to cars We we're 2:30 behind our expected time. Gear: Crampons, Ice ax, 60m (Kiwi coiled), 2 pickets, Nuts, Offset nuts, .3-1 BD cams, 2" Omega (because ok). Climbed in boots. Gear Notes: Simuled a lot of it, 80/20. Brought 10 doubles and 6 singles, could have brought a little more of each to make simuling carry farther. Rack .3-1 Plus a 2" omega and nuts. Approach Notes: Most of the approach is in the snow. The bivy is melted out and pretty nice. Lots of mud slides, but no major snow activity. We lost the snow trail briefly coming in and out, but low near the hairpin that starts you towards Ann Lake. Lots of ski tracks and boot tracks leading everywhere.
  28. 2 points
    Trip: Graybeard - South gully Trip Date: 05/20/2018 Trip Report: You'd think, looking at Graybeard from multiple angles, that there isn't a reasonable ski line on the peak. But a clever wee gully splits the south side and deposits one a few meters from the tippy top (some loosey goosey 3rd in ski boots to keep the finish spicy). On a clear day (which we didn't have) the view is not too shabby either, esp. the gulp inducing perspective looking down the north face. Yowza. It has been off my list for a long time but this only reinforced why. Descending back to Easy Pass in the afternoon brought us back to the crowds that are now unfortunately common in the North Cascades on weekends (3 people). Go midweek. This report is a bit late for the photos to be useful, but there is always next year. Summit ridge: Agnes! (L), Gunsight, and Sinster: The entrance is a bit steep: Across to Hardy (a great ski as well, with a bit more snow): Time to pack 'em: Gear Notes: skis, ski crampons Approach Notes: Careful on the side hill from Easy Pass. Cliffs below!
  29. 2 points
    For you adventure types. https://youtu.be/Uh9SQh8-y4I
  30. 2 points
    Trip: Sahale Mountain/Peak - Quien Sabe and Sahale Glaciers Trip Date: 05/27/2018 Trip Report: What a trip! What a day! We got excellent conditions and fantastic weather, we got Boston Basin all to ourselves, and we got to ski from the bottom of the snow-free summit pyramid to within a 3-minute walk to the Cascade Pass trailhead. Amazing! Cascade River Road is still gated, so we parked at the gate and at 4:15ish in the morning, set off up the road to the Boston Basin trailhead. Carrying skis through the downed trees and minor bushwack was not the best part of the trip. Crossing Midas Creek was not bad. Got up onto the ridge right before Boston Basin and switched to skinning (finally!). The morning's low clouds began lifting, creating some beautiful effects. Skinning conditions were perfect, styrofoam snow with good ski crampon bites. The Quien Sabe Glacier was in great shape, very few open crevasses (especially our route) so we picked a line that never had us above any open ones. We felt comfortable being unroped until we got up to where it steepens before the Boston-Sahale col; here we switched to crampons/axe/rope/glacier mode. Definitely some more open ones up there, although peering over the edge, it appeared to be more like a big sink-hole with a not-too-deep bottom, but I wasn't about to jump in and test the "floor." Up at the col, we were dismayed to see the giant cornices. Hmmm. Hmmm. We've seen the diagrams of cornice "roots" and we know the danger of cornices. Cornice on one side, steep snow on the other with moats and scary things down below. We weighed the options and talked about the risks, the concerns, the (excellent firm) snow conditions, the (now over the horizon) sun. In the end, we chose what was not the absolutely most conservative decision. I'm still thinking about this one. We picked our way up and as far away from the cornice as possible, getting excellent axe and whippet bites, excellent secure feet. We took our time -- no-fall zone. We got up and over that slope, and could clearly see the summit block now with some less-steep snow and the rock scramble. The snow here was less firm and so I deadmanned a picket before stepping up onto a snowpatch, and then used my 5 slings to protect the rocky section as we continued up. I think we summitted around 11:45 am. The summit views were AMAZING!!! We hung out on top for around 30 minutes, then made the one rappel down to the soft snow of the Sahale Glacier. It was a full 30m rappel to the snow. Few crevasses, nice snow, and some fun terrain had us hooting down the glacier and then the Sahale Arm. Saw my first marmot of the season (!) lounging and enjoying views of Johannesburg. We were able to stay in the drainage out Cascade Pass and there was continuous snow almost entirely to the Cascade Pass parking lot! Incredible. Got back to the car around 2:50 and drank beers and smorgasborded. The worst part was finding out at home that my skis now, too, have become victims of the sticky pollen! I had just waxed them, too. Gear Notes: approach shoes, ski crampons, aluminum axe and crampons, crevasse rescue gear, 60m half rope Approach Notes: Boston Basin trail with skis...type 2 fun
  31. 2 points
    Trip: Mt Rainier - Liberty Ridge Trip Date: 05/27/2018 Trip Report: Finally ticked off a climb that Peter and I had been eyeing all winter. On Thursday we were trying to decide between Liberty Ridge and the Tantalus traverse in BC. Given the good forecast and knowing the route was doable we opted for Rainier. After a late arrival Friday night, we leave the car around 4 in the morning from the White River Campground (4200ft). Three miles later we are post holing so we opt for skis and start skinning up toward St. Elmo Pass as the sun rises. We crest the pass (7,500ft) and can see the Winthrop Glacier below us. After a fun slide down with skins still on we rope up and skin across and down the glacier. Skinning downhill while tied together and surrounded by crevasses is very difficult... Eventually we get off the Winthrop and skin up Curtis ridge to where we can see the Carbon Glacier. It is brown cracked up mass, we also can see Liberty Ridge and it looks to have less snow that we hoped. The bergschrund on the west side of the ridge is also open meaning we will have to gain the ridge at its toe. We drop all the way down to the Carbon Glacier and began skinning toward the toe of the ridge. After some tense hops over open crevasses and nervous glances at the seracs above us we reach the place where it appears people have been gaining the ridge. The rock is a loose combination of glacial till and basalt blocks. As we debate where the best place to gain the ridge is, about 400lbs of rock pour off the ridge and on to the snow a ways up ridge from us. With the cliffs around us looking like jenga towers we decided it would be best to get on the ridge line asap. After 30ft of steep loose scrabbling we are on the ridge and relieved. We progress up hill through thousands of feet of loose rock, finally reaching thumb rock around 3pm (10,800ft). It feels like a longer day than it really was. We dig out a snow bivy pad and put down our pads and sleeping bags and crawl in. We sleep from about 4 till 7:30 before getting up, restless. We realize that the snow in the bottles in our sleeping bag are melting slower than we had hoped. We bum some water off the other group camped at thumb rock, which saves us from snuggling with quite so much snow (thanks!) After a spectacular avalanche rips down the Willis Headwall next to us we crawl into our sleeping bags with soft bottles full of snow to melt for the following day. We sleep soundly until at 12:40 I awake to crashing rocks. Moments later I hear a whirring of something flying through the air and a slam as something hits my sleeping pad, inches from my head. Peter and I are immediately awake and looking around. We find a baseball sized rock, wedged under Peters backpack, between our heads. Hearts pounding, sleep does not return. We lay there, tense, until 1:30 as we hear the other party starting to move. Already awake and knowing we move faster than them we pack up camp and head uphill by 2am. Cold temps brought solid snow and we move efficiently unroped through a firm bootpack on 45-55 degree snow. This continues through the hours of dawn and as the sun rises we pass under the black pyramid and find a spectacular sheet of ice ahead of us. We get the rope (30m) out for the first time of the day and tie into each end. My hand are cold and Peter takes the first block. As the rope runs out we start to simul climb. We simul for a few hundred feet before Peter uses his last two screws the belay me up. From there I lead out the next few hundred feet until I am down to 2 screws and belay him up. He leads from there to where the angle is so low we feel good soloing again(12,600ft). Rope back in the pack we start up toward Liberty Cap, thinking we still have as far to go as we have already gone. I still feel good but Peter, normally faster than me, is not moving like his normal self. We take a break at a safe spot and finish the last of our water, Peter is out of food so we share some gorp that was nibbled by a mouse at the trailhead and I was saving for last. He complains of some headache and nausea, I learn here that he hasn't been over 11,000ft. With no way down except up, we moved slowly upward. Over the top of Liberty Cap (14,100) we skin down to the col between Columbia Crest and Liberty Cap. Having no interest in more ascent we decide to boot across the Emmons to meet up with the standard route there. Once on the standard route, we unrope and switch back to skis to ski perfect corn down to Camp Schurman(9440ft). A little boot up to the top of the Inter Glacier and we ski through calf deep slush (ACL snow) to the bottom of Glacier Basin (6,000ft). Shoes back on our feet and Peter feeling better, we walk/jog the last 4mi to the car (4200ft). Together we consumed almost a gallon of water from the car, next time we know a stove is worth the weight. Route from Curtis Ridge Really fun volcanic junk... More fun low on the ridge Aesthetic bivy Some time between 2am and sunrise Sunrise a few hundred feet form the ice Perfect stairs as we approach the ice Easy, fun, solid ice Peter feeling like a champ on the descent Gear Notes: 6 Ice screws, 2 pickets, quick reaction time Approach Notes: Road open to White River CG, gained ridge near toe on the east side.
  32. 2 points
    Stove is always worth the weight on a Rainier overnight.
  33. 2 points
    Glad to hear you'd take a stove next time. Hard to keep reasonably hydrated without one and really cuts your margin for error.
  34. 2 points
    Trip: Mount Shuksan - Price Glacier Trip Date: 05/27/2018 Trip Report: A little more content is up on my site here: https://www.jeffreyjhebert.com/adventures/price-glacier-on-mount-shuksan The 50-classic Price Glacier on Shuksan had been high on my early summer alpine climb list for a number of years, but conditions, weather, and logistics hadn't yet aligned for an attempt. With Owen flying up to Seattle for a long weekend of climbing over Memorial Day weekend, it seemed like a worthy objective. During our research and planning, we were concerned that most trip reports had been from later in the season (typically July or even August), but it had been such an unseasonably warm spring that I figured the timetable was accelerated by roughly a month. I'd also been on Shuksan a few weeks earlier via the Sulphide and gotten a feel for the conditions. Our other concern was the recent wet slab activity on the persistent weak layer in the area (and even on the White Salmon—a similar aspect and at a lower angle) and the potential for warm temperatures and sunshine making the snow wet at best. About a week before, Eric decided to come up as well and we made it two parties of two on the adventure with Kelsey joining as well. We had a good group debate about the route selection as well as whether or not to bring skis—there was a good possibility of walking the skis in, carrying them while climbing technical ice in ski boots, and then 'schwacking them back out. In the end, we decided to do the Price and bring skis. Game on. We left Seattle on Saturday morning at 6:30am and stopped at the Ranger station in Glacier for our permit where we learned that the first log across Ruth Creek was out. Not the best way to start things off... We drove one car up to the gate just outside the White Salmon Ski Lodge parking lot and then headed down to the Nooksack Cirque Trailhead where we geared up and started off just shy of 11am. We immediately forded the river barefoot in shorts. It was invigorating, but not terrible. Just over an hour on the trail got us to a faint climber's trail heading down to the North Fork of the Nooksack. We followed flagging tape to the river and saw the famous log crossing upstream. After a nice lunch, we each shimmied across the log, which is nicely angled downhill and relatively smooth. Really well-set flagging tape marked the whole way up to Price Lake. We were expecting this portion of the approach to be pretty painful, so when we made it from the log crossing to the opening at Price Lake in only an hour and a half of pretty open, steep trail, we were pretty surprised and happy. We stuck to the moraine and started getting intimidating views of the mountain and Price itself, though a ceiling of clouds shrouded the top of the mountain and route. Kelsey fording Ruth Creek, the famous log crossing, and entering the trees on our way up to Price Lake After a ways up the moraine, we got onto consistent snow and decided to start skinning. At the first major rise on the ridge, we were worried that the snow wasn't continuous staying low as was suggested in some reports, so we headed up to the crest with skis on our backs again. This worked, but proved to be a bit of extra energy as we gained and lost some vert following the crest. At about 5,400 feet, we ran into a party of three also approaching for the Price, but without skis (we weren't expecting company on this route), and ended up following them across and down to gain the glacier at about 5,200 feet on what were likely rock slabs in the summer, but was continuous snow for us. After booting a ways, we switched back to skinning and went up to a nice flat area on the glacier at about 6,150 feet where we set up shop for the night after being on the move for about 7.5 hours. Ascending the moraine on the approach, catching our only views of the route before it got socked in for the rest of the day The cloud cover which had been covering the top of the route during the approach had slowly lowered during the afternoon and eventually socked in our campsite as well. Over dinner, we discussed our options and decision points in the morning. We also celebrated my birthday, including a pan of brownies with candles that Kelsey had hiked in. They were awesome! It was decided that we'd wake up at 3:30am and have a look. If we were still socked in, we'd snooze for an hour and then at least pack up and go to the saddle to see if it'd clear before bailing if we had to—none of us thought it wise to attempt the route in a whiteout after not being able to fully scope it out on the approach. At 3:30am, the sky was much clearer and, while there was a decent amount of cloud cover, it seemed like it'd go. We took our time packing up, hoping things would improve a little and knowing that the clouds would help keep the snow in better condition. We started moving at 5:30am and gained the saddle in 30 minutes from camp. We descended and traversed from the saddle, getting across some steep snow and broken ice to reach a patch of low-angled blue glacial ice that we'd scoped out during the approach as what seemed to be the path of least resistance. I took the ice pitch and had a lot of fun swinging the tools and plugging in screws. Traversing from the saddle to the ice step and going up the fun ice step From there, we traversed underneath some menacing ice cliffs and then decided an ice and snow gully going up and right looked like our best bet. It got us out of the direct objective hazard pretty quickly and was quite fun with mostly neve and some ice, protecting with an occasional screw when things got steeper. The gully continued up, across lots of broken terrain and through a series of steeper and gentler steps before depositing us on the upper glacier. We all breathed a momentary sigh of relief knowing that most of the danger and difficulty was behind us, with the key exception being the bergschrund. The steep snow and ice gully and getting close to the bergschrund Eric and Kelsey swung into the lead at this point, returning the favor of the boot pack and taking on the warming upper slopes. The clouds cleared and it got downright hot. We were really excited to see that the very left edge of the bergschund was sufficiently filled in to enable passage and let out some whoops as our line came into view and we knew we could get through the last bits before things got much warmer. A few switchbacks and steep snow got us onto the final slope to the saddle and then the saddle itself about 5 hours and 45 minutes from when we'd left camp at about 11:15am. Woo hoo! We regrouped briefly and then skinned around to the South side of the summit to get our last bit of steep snow done before things warmed further. The summit had baked out a lot since my trip up a few weeks earlier, but the gully was still mostly snow except for a few rock moves in the middle and then again at the top. We got to the summit at 1:30pm and took in the (thankfully) clear views of the range. The down-climb went smoothly and we clicked into our skis to begin our descent 9 hours after we'd started at 2:30pm. The turns were fun and pretty buttery down to and through Hell's Highway. We skinned up the Lower Curtis and then skied down to the camp above Whinnie's Slide, getting there at about 4:15pm. Summit! Skiing down the Upper Curtis Glacier on our way to the White Salmon We'd brought provisions to spend the night there, but were all pretty happy with the snow conditions to that point and knew we had lots of daylight left, so we decided to rest a bit there in the sun and then continue our descent. We left the camp area at 4:45pm and were down the whole White Salmon Glacier in less than 30 minutes, enjoying buttery snow the whole way, even on the wet slide debris lower down. The snow ended up being continuous and skiable all the way down to 3,150 feet, but we knew that there was some 'schwacking to be done from there on out. The 'schwack After refreshing ourselves with glacial melt and switching back to trail runners, we started battling the shrubbery. It wasn't too bad in the valley at first, but we never found the faint trail in the old timber and proceeded to battle slide alder, tight trees, and steep mossy slopes for about 1 hour and 45 minutes until we finally reached the road, exasperated but happy to be through the business. The cat track walk was quick and we reached the car shuttle with much-needed beers and snacks at 8:45pm, a little over 15 hours after we'd started. In my opinion, in the conditions we experienced, I can see why this route got the 50-classic nod. The Nooksack Cirque is gorgeous. The route is a very aesthetic and obvious line through steep, broken, glaciated terrain. Going point to point means traversing much of the mountain, regardless whether descending Fischer Chimneys or the White Salmon Glacier. There is some objective hazard on the route and it's clear that conditions can vary widely, making this a tough one to get just right. Thankfully, it seems that we did! Our track up and down the mountain Gear Notes: Brought 6 screws, 2 pickets, 4 cams, 3 pins, and a small set of nuts. Used 4 screws and 1 picket. Carried skis and lucked out with the amount we were able to skin and ski. Approach Notes: First log across Ruth Creek is out, requiring a ford. Pink and orange flagging tape mark the way off the trail, across the North Fork of the Nooksack, and up to Price Lake
  35. 2 points
    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.
  36. 2 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
  37. 2 points
    In an ideal world this would have been posted on the sites anniversary, Oct. 2, which would have been 17 years in existence. Also ideally this would have been posted three plus years prior when I first started working on the migration. We actually started talking about it much further back. Something I’ve learned is things don’t always work out like you planned, you just have to keep moving forward and learn from you past mistakes. I’d like to thank those who are still around, some of you who have been here from the beginning. I’m sorry to those of you who have given so much to this site in the form of great discussion and trip reports, to the moderators that dealt with so much of the not so great moments, and that I let you down in not keeping this place working better and in a more modern state. We'll make it up to you. Porter, thanks for helping keeping the stoke alive with me and being such an amazing friend. Trip Report Tool v1 I’ve got the new trip report search working. In some ways is a few steps back from the old search in that you can’t facet by month or forum. It’s a step forward in that it works and works well on mobile. http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/tripreport This only works if you are logged in at the moment. This wasn’t by design just what happened as I added this on the work of the developer I hired who did the TR submission work. We’ll get that sorted out. What we have on deck will be polishing up some of the trip reports and probably adding better geographical data for being able to search trips on a map. We certainly view trip reports on this site as our crown jewel, we are just shy of 9000, and we’d like to make sure they are easy to find and easy to add. I think we’ve nailed the later with the forum upgrade and I’m confident we can come up with better search. The Future Like I said we have now been in existence for 17 years. Not many things on the internet can claim that. But the upgrade of the forum and the work we are doing now is the beginning and not the end. I was 24 when I started this site and really didn’t know a whole lot. I was trained as a biologist and had no experience or really knowledge of web communities. My (still) good friend Timmy and I just decided to create something. I’ll never forget an email I sent to a pretty notable local climber when we first started. I actually don’t remember what I asked him, but I remember his response “Good luck getting traffic, that will be hard”. He seemed pretty pessimistic, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. Getting the traffic ended up being easy, managing it was the hard part. There were certainly some real wild west early days with cc.com and it was difficult to know how to handle them, especially our spare time for what was a hobby. We’ve made mistakes. We can acknowledge that. And we have learned from them. There are people and behaviors that will no longer be welcome here. What is sad is many of those people just took their dump and left. I realize we have a bad rep with many people and that’s unfortunate. I also think it is what you make it, and maybe it’s time to give it second chance and be part of the solution. We’ve solicited a lot of feedback, we’ve read feedback posted on Facebook. We’ve taken a lot of it to heart. I understand Facebook is easier to use, they are a multi-billion dollar company with scientists who’s sole purpose is to get you hooked. I get that Mountain Project is a nice tool, I have nothing negative to say about them, but again they are owned by REI now and have huge coffers of money. It was also incredible to read how people met their climbing partners here, or even their partners in life. Yes there has been some bullshit, but there has also been a lot of good. Cascadeclimbers is a unique and local product: an opportunity to interact online as a community rather than as the product. We are not here harvesting you and your information. This is still a hobby for us. We turn down offers every year to sell this site as we know it’s not in it’s best interest, we know what will happen if a corporation take it over. We have turned down advertisers because we have stayed true to our commitment to supporting retailers. We run the site, we own the site, but the content belongs to the community. We will be better stewards of this place and we hope people will give it a second chance. To those sitting on the sidelines, sometimes reading, but not participating. I get that you don’t want deal with the spray, and I assure you things will be different forward. But I also challenge you because the only way to make something better is to make those positive contributions. If everyone just steps away because they don’t like certain things then all you are left with is what people don’t like. This is a community driven site and only works with contributions from the community. We will be better listeners and stewards; please be better contributors. Why we allow anonymity. This is actually pretty simple; we have no way to prove someone’s identity. Facebook doesn’t either. We also made this decision pretty early on because we felt this would make it a safer place for women to contribute, without a bunch of guys stalking them. Again keep in mind these decisions were made 17 years ago, but I still think it’s a valid point. We recently added JasonG to the moderator staff. You probably already know Jason from his Trip Reports and amazing photography. We are always on the lookout for trusted and committed people to help the site grow, so let us know if you are interested. We may have more roles in the future that need filling. And of course a huge thanks to all the existing moderators that have stuck with us through thick and thin. Our current path forward is pretty simple: We expect people to leave things better than you found it. If you can do that simple things you can be a part of this. If you can’t you will not be welcome here. We want the site to grow, in people, in posts, in trip reports, and new personal connections. Thanks for reading. Onward.
  38. 1 point
    Trip: Lincoln Peak - Standard Route…I guess Trip Date: 06/11/2018 Trip Report: Trent texted Sunday night wanting to know if I was in for tomorrow. Uh, sure. For what? His partner bailed on his planned Lincoln Peak trip. Did I want to go. I haven't climbed any alpine in month's, out of climbing shape, drank all weekend with friends. Sure, I'll go. But I don't know anything about the route or approach, so Trent is the navigator on this one. We got a later start Monday so we didn't have to sit in camp for too long that afternoon. Left Burlington at 11am and drove up to the infamous FSR34. We had the secret weapon for FSR 34. Big Blue, a '79 Ford super duty beast of a truck. We drove up the road through brush and ruts to within 1 switchback of the end. Big Blue would not be denied. We then started the thrash up the old road bed. It is a thrash with plenty of slide alder, rock and an occasional trail. We broke off uphill after having enough of the road bed and enjoyed steep underbrush until finally breaking out onto snow. Surprisingly there was a fairly substantial layer of fresh snow, but travel was easy from there to high camp at the end of the ridge. We got from the car to camp in under 3 hours thanks to Blue. Great views of Lincoln and the route were enjoyed while sipping some whiskey and trying to stay warm. It was breezy and colder than we expected for the evening with clouds moving in and out. A 2am start got us to the top just after 6 for a cool sunrise. The shrund was negotiated with about 40' of steep s'nice climbing, then some crappy snow climbing with a 2" breakable crust with 4-5 inches of sugar underneath. We did have the occasional front pointing, but the large part of the climb was popping through the crust, unless you're bantamweight Trent who seemed to dance on top way more than clydesdale me. Route finding was pretty straightforward and the climbing consistently steep and enjoyable without being hairy. We broke out the rope for the final 10ft onto the summit. Great views with clear weather on top in fresh sunshine was perfect. One rappel off the summit and then we down climbed the entire route with the exception of the schrund, where we did one 30m rappel off of a picket. The steps I bitched about on the way up made for easy down climbing and back to camp. The thrash back down to Big Blue made us cuss and spit, but we made it back in 2 1/2 hours and licked our wounds with IPA spittle. All in all a great day out with Trent. The climb is really enjoyable with a bit of Rockies taste to it. If someone cut a path through that hell of an approach I think it would be a regular classic for its short climbing window. Some crappy cell phone pictures. No Jason G on this trip to capture the great images. I suck at photos. Gear Notes: 2 tools, rope, pickets, Hunters Approach Notes: Big Blue. Shwack, thrash, swear
  39. 1 point
    My daughter was born on the solstice, so I'll be celebrating her birthday!
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    Trip: Wabbit Ears - Standard Trip Date: 06/17/2018 Trip Report: ah, the elusive rabbit, cloistered in obscurity, dejected down a long ridge from table mountain, frowning upon the furious boil of bonneville dam just below - shrouded in secrecy, protected by a brushy bushwack, you kinda-sorta gotta want it trip the first a disastrous donnybrook on a memorable memorial day - geoff n' kyle n' i circled aimlessly through the woods, waylaid by a less than perfect description of the approach n' our lack of common sense - stinging nettles - beers n' black flies in the bush - the only interesting thing the old big gun platforms up on aldrich butte - we paid our respect to the builder of beacon in the cemetery there in no'bo as it was the season for the reason - how the fuck did the park not mark the centennial of the trail he built? trip the second more a solo reconnaissance in force - feverish w/ flu and tingling w/ a prophet like rage in my febrile state, i made my lonely way up the proper trail now with a big roll of surveying tape, intent on establishing the right track for the 'swack so we could return and do the fucking thing proper - more stinging nettles - more flies - but this time a happy ending - got a great trundle as my reward, and then a silly tumble down the approach gully as my reminder i've become a sad old man w/ feet made numb by nattering nabobs and cruel concrete... the proverbial third time then was the charm - big thunderstorms the day before so we rallied a bit late in camas in the baleful hope the sunday heat would cook off the sodden bush - didn't help what was to be a stolid humid hike - an hour of slow plodding and dripping sweat and we were at the PCT and girding ourselves for the 'swack, which went well now that it's so masterfully marked - geoff declined to wear pants and paid the price - never seen a lawyer run so fast or yelp so loud as when a whole forest-full of yellow-jackets lit into his legs we got up to the notch and made ready to do battle - me mostly just trying to vent the buckets of snot that illness and pollen have bestowed upon me - here i sit atop the scene of my trundling crime after a beer and a butt, kyle was already tied in and shot off like a rocket - the first pitch has no pro but a single slim tree, but it's just 3rd/4th class gravel so i guess who cares? funky anchor where it attains the crumbling ridge a single 70 sufficed for the 3 of us, doubly so since geoff oddly decided to solo the first, most exposed bit - me coming up the first pitch later the twin summit is a just a heavily-laden swallow's flight away from here - i set out w/ a bunch of useless gear - an easy traverse on a gravel path, a decent bolt, and then a bit of a head-scratcher - everything crumbly as hell - there's plenty of exposure - you can plainly see the notch between the 2 summits you want, but how to get there? after hemming and hawing, i mantled up to just below the overhang below the notch using a tiny sapling about as big round as a pencil, which got me to a place i could sling a more reassuring tree - mantled on that, certain everything my feet were touching was about to go crashing down towards the columbia, but then it was done and i was in the notch, where you could actually place a 3-4 inch cam, but ironically of course it's no longer necessary as there's an anchor at an uncomfortable stance geoff followed i brought up kyle next and he led up the 35 feet or so to the higher rabbit ear - there was a single fixed pin for pro and a funkyish anchor atop - the other ear looked wierder and we skipped it the lower ear and me in the notch kyle on top and the anchor of ages bonneville dam, the pct, lake gillette and the anchor of ages certainly enough exposure to get a godless guy good n' kilt summit or death! quick, nobody look at the camera kinda a funky rap to get back to the approach gully - with our 70 we could rap straight down to the bolt, then walk on rap back the gravel path, around the lower tower to the first anchor - kyle went last and pulled the rope from the bolt, then got belayed back to the first anchor a 2nd rap and we were back to the top of the approach gully as the thunder began to roll and rain appeared in the distance set up a rap to avoid tumbling down the gully like i did the previous time - was easier just to use the rope as a handline though so none of us actually hooked in - we scooted back across the bushwack as fast as could be, certain the storm would break, but in the end it missed us and pounded points west - back at the car after a leisurely 6 hour affair, we waxed philosophic and grew great after mending our previously wounded pride - the road resplendent with rising steam from the recent storm, the air fresh and clean, the sun bright and cool, summer's appearance was clear and that was call enough for smiling as we each went our separate ways Gear Notes: couple long slings for trees/bushes - maybe a knifeblade or 2, but really there's not much by way of pro beyond vegetation, a newish bolt and a fixed pin Approach Notes: from 14, turn north just by the dam as if going to the n bonneville hot springs (now a rehab facility) - turn right onto cascade drive and stay on it as it turns and curves, passes the old resort and follows the lake - a little over a mile past the old resort the road turns to gravel and a nasty "private property - we will tow your ass away" sign appears - there's a tiny bridge here too - park here, before the signs (you can drive past them at first just to recon the scene) - there's room for 2-3 cars (this is the best/shortest approach for doing the table mtn loop now that the resort is closed) walk down the road about a hundred yards to where the power line maintaince road goes up right - follow the maintaince road for about 100 yards when it branches off to the left and becomes an old logging road - follow this steep old road bed for about a mile until it reaches carpenters lake - ignore the first primitive trail that cuts off right and about 150 yards past the lake, a sign points you left to aldrich butte (ignore) and right to table mtn (take this) - follow the trail towards table mtn for another mile until it connects with the PCT - from here you can just kinda see the rabbit through the tall trees - turn right and go all of 50 feet down the PCT to start the bushwack - currently very well marked with pink surveying tape - only 1/3 mile or so - thick ferns and nettles at first, then trees n' talus and side-hilling - the goal is to get to the steep gullyish thing that leads up to the notch that separates the rabbit from the ridge leading up to table mtn - total approach time 1 1/2 - 2 hrs
  42. 1 point
    "International Day of Yoga, or commonly and unofficially referred to as Yoga Day, is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly. " Unanimous!! The UN!! 2015!! So many levels of humor
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    I have solo'd many Cascade peaks, pretty much any of the main lines on Hood can be solo'd safely, South Sister, Middle Sister, and few routes on North Sister can be solo'd. N. Ridge as well West Side of Jefferson. On Adams the South side and Pinnacle Glacier.
  45. 1 point
    Trip: Silver Star - Silver Star Creek Trip Date: 06/02/2018 Trip Report: Did a ski tour of silver star via Silver Star creek. Beautiful day in the North Cascades, but I was probably 2-3 weeks late for any real skiing. I carried my boards to the col because it was early in the day and snow was still hard enough for crampons. Continuous ski-able snow did not start until about 6800 feet. A whole lot of work for just a few turns! Ran into a couple of Mountaineers groups (one listed climb and one private). Looked like everyone was having a great day in the mountains! Route is effectively snow free until about 4900 feet. After that, there is spotty snow as you find your way through the woods. ski-able snow did not really start until about 6800 feet at the terminal moraine below the glacier. From Silver Star creek ascend climbers path to approximately 4400 feet where things level off slightly. Route finding is fairly easy, though there is a lot of blow-down to go over and under Continue up at a mellow incline on the East side of the creek. The climbers path is very faint, but if you keep East of the creek and below the Eastern ridge, you'll be fine. Several cairns and a bit of pink tape mark the way. Emerge from the woods in the basin below Silver Star. Marsh and slide alder are to climber's right. Turn left (East) and ascend through first scree and then steep slide alder and woods to emerge on a bench. Ascend bench trending toward terminus of Silver Star glacier. Ascend glacier to the col and then scramble through snow and rocks to the summit. There are a couple of exposed moves toward the summit but they are naturally protected in chimneys and a couple of hand lines have been placed to assist. Times were: Trailhead to meadow 2 hours Meadow to glacier terminus 1 hour Glacier terminus to col 1:15 Col to summit 15 minutes Summit to car 3 hours Gear Notes: Ice axe, crampons, skis, lots of patience for carrying skis through the blow-downs Approach Notes: Approach is via climbers path. Very faint with lots of blow-downs. See above for more info
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Mt Rainer - Liberty Ridge Trip Date: 05/26/2018 Trip Report: Sam and I completed Liberty Ridge this weekend. We had fabulous weather and a great time. I hope some of this info helps anyone. Stay safe and have fun. Day 1 - Thursday 5/24 Left car at 9:30a, warm sunny day Post-holing from snow by glacier basin to Elmo’s Pass, would recommend taking the summer trail as long as possible Winthrop Glacier straightforward except for far (western) side where there were crevasses next to piles of frozen dirt We camped on dirt at 7420ft on Curtis Ridge, good overlook onto Carbon Glacier and view of Liberty Ridge. Room for maybe 5 tents Day 2 - Friday 5/25 Left camp at 6:30a, also warm and sunny, freezing level was at around 10,500ft the night before Walked down the ridge to first obvious weakness at about 7200ft, looking up after doing this we saw a good place to go down about 100ft higher. There was a single tent platform on dirt at about 7180ft just before you get on the snow Lower Carbon Glacier was firm and easy to navigate, even though it looked intimidating from Curtis Ridge We were aiming to get onto the ridge low on the left (east) side and were able to go pretty much straight for it. There were a couple of sketchy snow bridges just after the first steep section at around 8200ft We got on the ridge at 8820ft with about a 60ft section of steep, loose rock. We both soloed this and it was pretty scary. We also kicked off a lot of rock onto both sides of the ridge crest, the party behind gave us a good bit of room. We went on both sides of the ridge near the crest until Thumb Rock, sometimes on rock, sometimes on snow. We did two more steep, loose rock steps. There was a little firm snow in the shade and lots of knee to waist post-holing. We should have gotten an earlier start on this day so the steep snow would have been a little firmer. Thumb Rock camp at 10,500ft. Got there at 1:15p. Camped on snow but had a nice rock perch to sit and cook. Plenty of room for us and the six other people behind us on route. If I were to do this again under the same conditions I would attempt to gain the ridge from the right side and go up the snow slope entirely on the right side to Thumb Rock. This would avoid the loose rock sections on the ridge proper at the cost of more crevasse navigation on the upper Carbon Glacier and maybe a bergschrund to deal with. I can’t confirm that it goes that way though, and the two parties behind us followed our lead up the left side. Sam didn’t mind the loose rock as much as I did however... Day 3 - Saturday 5/26 Left camp at 3:15am, clear night, freezing level at 9500ft Nice firm snow going up left from Thumb Rock, the ice pitch we read about was not in There was about a 15ft 35deg dirt covered ice traverse near 11,800ft (I think), this might be avoided by climbing down under it We roped up to the right of the big tongue of ice visible from camp. We climbed one 50m snow pitch with ice steps, 3 50m ice pitches (the first of which was the steepest and most sustained, maybe up to 50deg), then one more snow pitch with ice steps. It might have been possible to traverse further right to the top of the black pyramid below where we roped up to avoid much of the ice. Not sure what the conditions are that way, there was a lot of ice just beneath the snow in this area so even if it looks like snow it might climb like ice. We had six ice screws, two for the anchor, one 20ft up, another at half a rope length, and two more for the next anchor. I took both our technical tools for the lead and my partner followed with two hybrid axes. This worked good for us. We walked the obvious snow bridges through the bergschrund, then cut right at the first choice. This took us up about a 15ft section of maybe 70deg snow to a snow bridge crossing (which we belayed) of a crevasse and onto mellower ground We ended up soloing all of the ridge except the 250m of ice and the bergschrund up top Easy walking to the summit of Liberty Cap, then down and up to the summit of Columbia Crest at 2:40p Straightforward following the boot pack down the Emmons Glacier to Camp Schurman. It was windy and overcast for us at this point so all the way down the mountain until 7000ft was breakable crust. No glissading down the interglacier Gear Notes: 55m rope 6 screws 3 pickets (only used to anchor tent) 2 technical tools (Cassin All-Mtn) 2 hybrid axes (BD Venom) Stove / tent / sleep system / etc. Approach Notes: See trip report This picture was taken from Curtis Ridge Friday 5/25 morning. It shows our approximate route up the ridge. Green is roped together for crevasse risk, Red was unroped, and blue is pitched out ice climbing. Climbing the ice
  47. 1 point
    Today we went in through Boston Basin, summitted Sahale, and skiied out via Cascade Pass. The Quien Sabe glacier was in great shape, very few crevasses. Skinning was great, firm snow, great for ski crampons. I bet it was excellent skiing. I'll post a TR later today.
  48. 1 point
    Liberty Ridge is open for business! It's hard enough coming from White River, I have a difficult time imagining the effort from Carbon River! Strong work @Kposaune and Valerie!!!
  49. 1 point
  50. 1 point
    bags that won't let water into them if they get wet.