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  1. 8 points
    Trip: Storm King Mountain (8515’) - North Ridge Route Trip Date: 09/05/2020 Trip Report: Storm King Mountain (8515’), North Ridge Route Trip Report – September 5-7, 2020 I climbed Storm King Mountain (8515’), North Ridge Route. I tried this route last year at the end of July but under estimated the amount of time, effort and amount of route finding required to do the route and had to turn around before making the summit. This year I still under estimated the time and effort required but was able to make the summit due to better beta from my previous attempt last year. It took me 3 days. I started at the Bridge Creek Trailhead off Hwy 20 just east of Rainy Pass. It was an out and back trip using Bridge Creek Trail to North Fork Trail into the North side of Goode and Storm King. The trail is in excellent shape all the way to Grizzly Creek Camp. After Grizzly Creek Camp the trail gets overgrown but is not hard to follow. The adventure starts when you cross the North Fork of Bridge Creek. Down low, after crossing the creek (3100’-3200’elevation), heading up the rocky brushy slope I almost walked into a large Wasp nest in the middle of the faint climbers trail. I got lucky and made a detour around the nest without incident. I followed a faint trail up the tree lined ridge between Goode and Storm King. The ridge tops out at 4700’ on a nice wide fairly flat plateau that would make a great camp, no water though. I continued up the ridge to about 5100’ and started my traverse over to the bottom of the North Ridge of Storm King (5000’). This is the easiest spot to gain the North Ridge of Storm King, right at the base of the glacier. The rock is a mix of Class 3, 4 and low 5th in spots heading up. On either side of the ridge it is steep, sheer rock so you will know if you are off route. It took me 5 hours to go from the base of the North Ridge to the Summit. I summited late at 6:00pm so I headed down to find a place to bivy at about 7200’ next to the snow field separating the upper and lower mountain. I got up early the next morning and started down at 6:30am. Once back at the bottom of the North Ridge I headed straight down and diagonal toward the creek valley below. On the map it looked like the easiest way down (contour line wise). Even though it was the easiest way down to the main creek, it still involved coming down several 10’ vertical drops that required careful Vege-Belaying technique. I usually hate Slide Alder, but in this case, I was very happy it was on the down route as it was very useful. Overall the North Ridge of Storm King is a tough climb. The approach is difficult, the exit is difficult, and the ridge requires your full attention. The trail into the area is long and you will need comfortable shoes to save your feet. There was a search and rescue helicopter flying all over the creek valley and up to the base of Goode on Sunday the 6th. Looks like they were doing a rescue. They spent some time parked on an island in the middle of the creek below. It was a good reminder to keep my shit wired tight doing this route. Hopefully all went well for the rescue operation. Some Tips and Notes: 1. This is a long trip. I should have spread the pain more evenly over the three days. Day 1 go as far up as you can to camp. I thought Grizzly Camp was far enough on Day 1, it wasn’t. 2. The climbers trail up the tree cover ridge between Goode and Storm King is steep and hard to follow. Mostly just look for skid marks from animals and humans to stay on route. 3. There are good camping options at 4700’ on the tree covered ridge and above. The 7200’ bivy spot on the side of Storm King is pretty good, If I had more of my gear with me it would have been very pleasant. There was water all along the route where there was melting snow/glacier. 4. A rope would probably be a good idea to bring along. Rappelling would have been nice in several spots but you would definitely have to watch for loose rock coming down on you as you rappel. A didn’t bring a rope to save weight and it worked out fine for me. 5. I brought an Ice Axe & Crampons and didn’t use them. Maybe early in the season they would have been needed. Travel Time for reference: Day 1 (TH to Grizzly Camp), 4.5 hours – Day 2 (Grizzly Camp to Summit to 7200’ bivy), 12.5 hours – Day 3 (7200’ bivy to TH), 14 hours. Gear used: Trekking Pole, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons, Full Gaiters, Work Gloves Wasp nest down low after crossing North Fork Bridge Creek around 3100-3200' Climbers Trail up tree cover ridge between Goode and Storm King View from 4700' ridge plateau Potential camp at 4700' ridge plateau Full view of North Ridge of Storm King. Start of ridge is the at the bottom right where the heavy shadow is (5000'). North Ridge start location (5000'). Get used to this view for the next several hours. View off to the side of the North Ridge. Storm King - "Where Echoes Go To Die" - I believe it, must have been climbing the North Ridge. Goode looking sexy like usual. Wish I had more time on the summit to enjoy the view, it was stunning. End of the Exit route. Farewell Storm King - North Ridge. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hands. Gear Notes: Trekking Pole, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons, Full Gaiters, Work Gloves - Didn't need the Ice Axe or Crampons Approach Notes: Bridge Creek Trailhead - Bridge Creek Trail to North Fork Trail & back
  2. 7 points
    Trip: Cutthroat Wall - One Piece at a Time, 5.10d Trip Date: 09/20/2020 Trip Report: This past weekend (9/20) Tim Foster and I wrapped up what may be a new route on Cutthroat Wall, climbing a bit left of the two established lines on the face. We enjoyed 5 pitches of fun climbing on good stone, with difficulties up to 5.10d. There were no signs of previous traffic on route, but it’s possible that someone (maybe one of you?) climbed the thing back in the day. Our first foray up the wall was over Labor Day weekend. We originally planned to climb an obscure route in the area, but after about 30 seconds of walking from the Cutthroat Lake trailhead, our eyes were drawn to nice looking corners on the left side of Cutthroat Wall. Tim ran back to his truck to grab the bail rack (a set of nuts and a couple rigid-stem cams) plus some gardening implements, and we tromped up the valley. On our first go, we climbed the route in 6 pitches, bypassing the two best corners because the gear looked tricky and the climbing looked hard. The initial line we took goes in the mid-5.10 range, and offers a decent, slightly mellower variation to the crux pitch two, described below. While we were excited about the climb, we clearly had to come back for the money pitches $. We returned the following weekend to discover that the direct corner on pitch two does in fact take small gear (these placements were inadvertently tested with a couple whips—our only falls on route). We climbed to the top and scrubbed/trundled our way back down to prepare for a “clean” ascent the following weekend. On Sunday, we finished the job with a party send by Tim, me, and our friends Milk and Conrad. Pitch by pitch breakdown: P 1: 5.8, 55 meters. Start just left of the main buttress of the wall, ~ 150 yards left and a bit uphill of Easy Getaway. Climb a short, broken corner right for 30 feet, then follow the obvious twin-crack system to a belay below the flare of pitch 2. P 2: 5.10d, 25 meters. Climb to the treed ledge, then move up and left into the flare. Get gear where you can as it’s small (.1's and rp's) and can be finicky to place. Some granite trickery required. There is a chockstone block at the top of this pitch that feels solid enough, but shouldn’t be pulled on, and may need to go at some point. Belay from a tree on the ledge above. Alternatively near the beginning of the pitch, you can climb straight up the narrowing crack from the treed ledge, past a slightly committing 5.10 boulder problem, then cut left up a hidden ramp to rejoin the corner and bypass the pitch's hardest climbing. P 3: 5.9, 40 meters. Climb up the wide hand crack to a treed ledge, battling a few bushes along the way. Continue up and right on the featured face and in the thin corner to a mossy ledge out right. P 4: 5.10, 25 meters. Move left, back into the corner system, and launch up the perfect tips crack (visible from the parking lot!). Pull a juggy bulge and exit right through a short layback section to a good tree belay. P 5: 5.9, 45 meters. Walk right, past a tree, to the awesome splitter hand crack/layback corner that traverses right. Continue up and over a bulge, then move up and right through blocky terrain until the angle eases. From here, scramble up 4th – very low 5th class terrain to the top of the wall. Descend via the gulley described in Cascade Rock, or head down the route with a little down climbing and three full 60m rappels from trees. Tim and I both think the climbing is pretty darn fun, and it’s certainly worth the hike in. The ledgey nature of the wall does make for some shorter pitches and a lack of great exposure up high, but the movement is enjoyable and unique. It could be a worthy linkup with other climbs on the face. While the rock is generally quite good, there is certainly some looseness and lichen remaining. Be careful, as the standard approach sits in the line of fire of anything coming off the wall. As for the name, we figured we would stick with the crime theme (ahem, Johnny Cash), and the route took a few iterations to get just right. If any of you get up to the climb, let us know what you think! Gear Notes: Doubles from tips (bd .1) to wide hands (bd #3), and a set of nuts. Small offset nuts/RP’s are handy for pitch 2. Approach Notes: We never took the same route twice. If you keep walking, you can do it in ~ 1 hour.
  3. 7 points
    Trip: West Mcmillan Spire/Elephant Butte - West ridges via Stetattle Ridge Trip Date: 09/06/2020 Trip Report: Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of getting back into the Southern Pickets with @JasonG and @Trent. We took the eastern high route/approach via Stetattle Ridge. I outlined the route in the approach notes, this will be more for a general itinerary/thoughts/photo dump. Hiking along Stetattle was extremely panoramic and quite pleasant. We setup camp the first night just north of North Stetattle (pt. 6728). There were abundant tarns for water and flat spots to setup at. Not long after unpacking the guys pulled out the whisky and chocolate, a ritual I'm not familiar with having spent most of my time trying to be as ultralight as possible. We shot the shit for hours and listened to tunes on Steve's little speakers. I'm sure now that theres a little room in my pack for some whiskey. I slept really well until the (full?) moon was dead center over the sky and woke me up with its brightness. We got up decently early for the big day of tagging Elephant Butte and and a plan of making it to the summit of West Mac for the nights bivy. We were a bit above an awesome sea of clouds down in the valley. The drop down to the notch above Torrent creek is fairly straight forward and to get up out of it toward the benches at 6200' above the small lake east of Elephant Butte is just a bit more involved, but not too bad. We dropped packs at the notch at the base of the west ridge of Elephant Butte. Was a quick romp to the summit and we were surprised how many entries in the register there were as of late. We toyed with the idea of staying on the ridge crest and tagging the next two high points west of the Butte (Hippo, Rhino). But some hairy climbing/scrambling, lack of inspiration to tag them, and a concern for having enough time to deal with the ridge to get into Terror basin pushed that idea to the side. I'm glad we spent the effort on the more important task of getting into Terror Basin safely and efficiently. We stayed more or less at 6200' from Elephant Butte until we got to the notch just west of pt 6455. From there it was staying very close to the ridge crest. At this point, the route gets very exposed, serious and committing. Scrambling on 4th class rock, heather benches, veggie pulling. It was not too far removed from what you'd experience on the NEB of Jburg. It finally eases off just before Little Mac. A small sandy notch allows entry into Terror Basin. From there we traversed down across snow to get to the base of West Mac, we were able to go up a dry mossy waterfall on the rib extending down from West Mac which cut out quite a bit of travel. We scrambled up the west ridge and made our way up to the summit. Theres now currently three one-person bivy spots up there now. We made dinner, drank whiskey and waited for the sunset. It was an awesome sunset, highlight of the trip for sure. But after every calm, comes a storm. We settled in for the night in really pleasant weather. At some point the winds picked up dramatically and Steve and I got sand blasted all night. Meanwhile Jason was locked in mortal combat with the snaffles. He said they were trying to take his headlamp off his head. They had told me the night prior that the snaffles really like him. I think the wind that Steve and I were experiencing were keeping the snaffles at bay, leaving Jason as easy prey. Didn't sleep a much that night as you'd guess. Got up and made breakfast and a big pot of coffee in a spot on the summit mostly out of the wind. The sunrise was fantastic and made up for the night we had. Packed up and made out way down West Mac and out Terror basin without issue. This was an incredible trip and thanks to Jason for inviting me on this, I cant say I would've thought to do this kind of trip myself. It was the kind of trip I have been meaning to have for some time now though. And big thanks to Jason and Steve for being SOLID partners. It was really cool being around two guys that have been climbing with each other for as long as you both have. I won't be caught without whiskey on the next Choss Dawgs trip. Myself as we make our way up Sourdough Creek. Jason Photo. Jason and Steve looking at the next two days. North Stetattle. Sunset, Elephant Butte and The Southern Pickets Sunrise, Snowfield group and Davis Peak Sea of Fog. Jason up on Elephant Butte About to make our way into the business end of the traverse. Steve Photo. Steve with the veggie belays. End of the hairy stuff. Jason photo. Into Terror Basin. Headed up West Mac. Up on West Mac preparing for battle with snaffles and wind. Steve photo. Dinner time. Jason photo. Sunset on Mt. Fury Morning light on Inspiration, The Pyramid, Degenhardt and Terror. Kulshan in the distance. Ray of light on Azure Lake. Hopefully Jason and Steve will drop off more of their photos! Gear Notes: Ice Axe, Crampons, Whiskey, Chocolate, Van Halen Approach Notes: Start at Sourdough Lookout Trail, go up along Sourdough creek, Stay on the crest of Stetattle Ridge. From pt. 6154 follow game trails down ramps and ledges to the notch above Torrent Creek. Ascend more ramps and ledges with a bit of steep schwacking up to ~6200'. Traverse westward around that elevation, Elephant Butte is a quick jaunt from the notch west of it. Gain the ridge proper from a notch just west of pt. 6455 (just east of the Mcmillan Spires). This is where the scrambling gets extremely exposed. Traverse mostly solid rock and heather benches toward East Mcmillan, occasional goat trails and veggie belays. Aim for a small notch to the left of where the ridge meets Little Mac.
  4. 5 points
    Trip: Cutthroat Peak - West Ridge with North Ridge finish Trip Date: 09/13/2020 Trip Report: After a couple disappointing attempts into Depot Creek I settled for a rock climb this weekend with my son. The smoke made multiple days seem unappealing but I figured a one day climb would be a reasonable compromise. My son and I headed out to WA pass mid-afternoon on Saturday, stopping in Marblemount to retrieve some items we had stashed in bear lockers on a previous trip that the maintenance crew took. We then proceeded to Lone Fir Campground for a relaxing evening before an early morning start. Alarms went off at 5:20 (damn it's dark now at that time!), and we drove to the pullout below Cutthroat. The smoke seemed to have worsened from the previous day, despite what we were expecting from reading forecasts. Oh well, we were there. View up in the morning: We made quick work of the approach to the base of the route around 7500'. We opted for the start just right of the prominent dihedral (with a wide crack) on the S side. The climbing started at class three then got harder and more exposed. I never saw any fixed pitons (I expected two) and ended up climbing to rap chains in one long 60m pitch. Later we found that this is the middle set of chains for the descent from the ridge crest. From here I led a shorter pitch to the crest and the top chains. This had a few rock moves mixed with scrambling. We then unroped and moved the belay as far as we were comfortable. There is one section of the ridge that becomes exposed on both side and requires moves around small micro-gendarmes that we didn't want to solo. So we backed down a few feet, built an anchor and simul-climbed the exposed section to a flat spot. View to the summit block from the exposed ridge: My son at the end of the exposed section: From here we opted to traverse the ledge to a notch in the upper N ridge. We simulclimbed that as well, but realized it didn't really require it (much less exposed than what we had just done). Ledge leading to the N ridge as seen from the N ridge notch: From the notch on the N ridge, I led a fun pitch up 4th and low 5th class rock until the terrain moderated to a scramble that led to the summit. Summit views S (very smoky): Summit views North (clearing some): After enjoying the summit for a while and fueling up, we began our raps down to the W ridge. We were expecting two 30m raps off of chains, but the 2nd rap dumped me on sketchy class 4 terrain, so I climbed back to the rope, attached a prusik, and climbed back to a 3rd rappel station (not chains, but quite elaborate set of round webbing/cordelettes). Me on upper rappel: We then simul-climbed the short exposed ridge section, downclimbed to the bolt anchors on the lower ridge and did 3 30m raps back to the base. Lower rappel. Note improved air quality by later afternoon The hike out was pleasant and we got to the truck just after 6:30, making it a 12 hour day. Gear Notes: Alpine rack up to 2" Approach Notes: Zero snow. Compared to other trips this summer, not too chossy
  5. 5 points
    Trip: Three O'Clock Rock - Big Tree 2000, pitch 6, 5.8 Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: A New Pitch on an Old Favorite Crag The decision to explore the area above the Big Tree was rooted in my desire to finish my Magic Bus Variation route. Yale Lewis and I are in the middle of its final pitch, with two bolts in, bolted on lead, and a long, cool ramp ahead. I wanted to find out if there is a good way to get on top of it to discover the perfect place for the anchor. As this will help to get the pro bolts just right, I'm settling for bolting the rest on top-rope. Since Robin Taft was a willing and dedicated partner for some new adventure, I teamed up with her to do the initial investigation. She leads sport, bolts only, so I had to find ways to keep her interested in the climbing approach. We got there in June to do Shake, Rattle and Roll which ends at an anchor one pitch above the Big Tree. It is a fine slab route, one pitch of which has 12 bolts and no gear placements—perfect for Robin! On the descent, I looked around and noted I have to go one pitch higher to get atop Magic Bus. Also, there is an old pitch up there, ending at roughly the same place, which has rusty quarter inchers and Leeper hangers! So, next time up I came loaded for bear and bolt replacement. Later in June, I chose an unusual method to get back up to the same spot: two pitches of Cornucopia, step right for two pitches of Big Tree 1, then the new connector pitch to Shake, Rattle and Roll, and then the last pitch of that climb. We did all that, and I got out the drill and hammer. Robin was patiently enjoying the sunny day while I rapped and removed four split-shank inch long goobers and hand-drilled them out for modern stainless steel. That is pitch 5 of Big Tree 2000, as described in David Whitelaw's book, Weekend Rock. It looked very cool, but I hadn't led it yet. In early July I returned with my rope solo gear to replace the last two old bolts on P5. To continue, the steeper hump on the left from the belay looked not bad, and the slab above it looked like a continuation of the great slab below. I replaced the last old bolt and top-roped the pitch. Having secured the permission of one of the FA party, David Whitelaw, I added three bolts to the pitch to make sense of it. Two at the bottom to connect to the first bolt, and one before the final bolt. Finally, the stage was set for another pitch. On July 18, Brian Young and I climbed Big Tree 1 to get up there, and the exciting work began. From my journal: "Goal focus is narrow. Launch upward from the Big Tree 2000 top anchor with full drilling gear. Try to get above the Magic Bus line. Brian took the odd pitches, but then declined the 5.9 P5. I led that, the new bolts are good. The pitch bolting seems perfect to me. Brian could not believe that the third bolt was the original first." Brian and I set up at the P5 top anchor. Hammer, drill, six bolts, a single rack and the blow tube. I left the anchor and bolted left around a large loose plate, eight feet in diameter. Trying not to touch it, once on top of the new level I found perfect waves of clean slab just as on Pitch 5. I put in three bolts in a row using the transverse ripples, connected with easy friction moves. Then I had to reach left to a thin ledge with no pro, so I put in the fifth bolt. Cracks led up and left, keeping on the verge of the drop to the Tidbits side of the buttress. I dug out a perfect fingerlock hold in a vertical 1" crack, to a ledge. The final 3" crack is clean and secure to a mossy ledge above a tree. I drilled a two-bolt chain anchor for a restful belay stance. From this new anchor, one can look above and see the bolts called out on Matt Perkins' topo labeled, "Project". As it stands, this 40 meter pitch ends at just the right level for a Magic Bus exploration rappel. My field notes for Pitch 5. For the original topo, see "Weekend Rock", by David Whitelaw Four of the five bolts replaced on Big Tree 2000, pitch 5 My first topo, before I realized this was Big Tree 2000, not Big Tree 1 A later version of the topo In the process of bringing the lines into Photoshop, the feature lines were traced in ink on mylar The final topo Cruising the slab on the FA Brian Richter coming up past the Big Tree to help The start of the new pitch. There is now a bolt to help avoid the hollow-sounding plate above the little overlap One of the 5.8 crux moves is to step left and get pro in the pocket shown Robin at the new anchor Thanks to Brian Young for the long belay session while I worked out the pitch. And to Robin Taft for multiple trips to rebolt and clean it. And also to Brian Richter for belaying another trip up the new pitch to clean and refine it. And special thanks to the slab masters who went first, Matt Perkins and David Whitelaw, whose vision found it and got them a long way up there. Gear Notes: Light single standard rack to 3". Approach Notes: Eight Mile Trail to the South Buttress of Three O'Clock Rock. Climb any route to the Big Tree. Climb Big Tree 2000, pitch 5, 5.9. For a way that is only 5.8, climb Shake, Rattle and Roll and then take a very short rappel to the Big Tree 2000 pitch 5 top anchor. See Matt Perkins' overall topo for the Big Tree Area.
  6. 5 points
    Trip: Chimney Rock - East Face (U-Gap) Trip Date: 08/24/2020 Trip Report: Are blue collar classic climbs becoming in vogue this year? I was the 18th person of 2020 to sign the Chimney Rock summit register this past Monday! I was inspired by solo trip reports from Jon Parker and Eric Eames (nwhikers) earlier this summer. I always thought I’d need a partner for Chimney Rock, but I enjoy traveling solo and their reports planted the seed that maybe I could do this one alone. Late Sunday afternoon I left the Pete Lake trailhead with a bit of anxiety about what lay ahead. It took just under 4 hours to get to the bivy boulder at 4800’. I was moving quick and racing daylight so I didn’t have to bushwhack in the dark, but I needn’t have worried, the climbers trail is pretty beaten in and was relatively easy to follow. Monday morning I was moving shortly after first light. I accessed the Chimney Glacier at the flat spot @ 6400’ immediately below the imposing North Peak. An easy traverse of the glacier and then up the U-Gap couloir and gully which was heavily moated and a took a lot of weaving back and forth to get through. At the top of the U-Gap came the section I was most anxious about. Super exposed class 3/4 ledges that look quite improbable from far and from near. The ledges had my complete attention. Early on there are a couple blind corners that seem to lead to nowhere but 1000+ feet of air. Once you commit the traverse is quite easy, but the exposure is quite heady. After the exposed traverse the white rocks and hidden ramps went quickly. The three rock pitches felt easy with rock shoes and the benefit of a self belay taking away the exposure anxiety. Views from the top were sublime. The hike out was long but it felt good to reflect on a climb well executed. Gear Notes: 60m rope, light rack Approach Notes: leave PCT at the second switchback to minimize brush
  7. 5 points
    Trip: Forbidden - E Ridge Direct Trip Date: 08/26/2020 Trip Report: Deb and I climbed the E Ridge Direct route on Forbidden on Wednesday. It was an absolute blast, a perfect day of climbing! We were able to get Boston Basin permits, and although sure, you can do these climbs car to car without issues, why not camp in such an amazing place if you can? Deb hadn't been up the Boston Basin trail before and I was SHOCKED at how much more defined the trail was and how much easier it was this time than last May carrying my skis up. Who woulda thought?! We got up there in a little over 2 hours and enjoyed the sunset light and drank some beers I'd packed up. No skeeters! And so little snow. In the dark, we watched as SIX headlamps slowly made their way down... wow. I stayed up to see what had happened. Turns out, nothing! "Just a lot of parties on the west ridge, traffic jams on rappels..." Dang. We got moving a bit before 7 the next day and although we brought aluminum pons and light axes, the super hard snow gave us reason for finding a more creative route around the snowfields up to the choss and notch where the route starts. It took us about an hour and a half or so to get from camp to the notch and soon we were simulclimbing on excellent rock along an amazing ridge in such an incredible place. SO FUN! I took us as direct a line as possible, over the 5.7 stuff, some awesome knife-edge type ridge walking, and then we stopped to belay the 5.8 (it was just a couple bouldery moves) final gendarme bit. It's cool that most of the little towers can be downclimbed; it's too bad there is the one mandatory short rappel. I was happy that I was able to lead everything in my approach shoes without a problem. Deb took the rack and we simuled the rest of the ridge to the summit! It took us about 4 hours from notch to summit, which was definitely on the longer side of what I expected, but fine! Summit views were of course amazing.... The East Ledges descent was not a problem at all and Deb and I were both scratching our heads about how it has such a nasty reputation. Maybe if you got seriously off route it could be scary? I guess it all depends on experience, exposure to exposure, etc. etc. but for us, it was no problem. All the raps pulled cleanly and nary a pebble fell upon us. We got back to the notch approximately 2 hours from leaving the summit. The snow was soft at this point, so we took a snowfield down, and then avoided 4th class terrain by descending further to the west and then onto slabs. On the way out, we came around a corner to see a BEAR which was super awesome. He looked young to me, maybe 1-2 years old? Cutie pie. He was startled and trotted off, then we watched him cross Morning Star Creek and then on the other side, paw some boulder off and dig around. A fantastic way to end our time in Boston Basin.... Camera came out a bit late...can you spot the bear? I enjoyed this climb much more than the West Ridge. I think I will definitely be back to repeat it. And we got it ALL TO OURSELVES! Thank you, Deb, for being a fantastic climbing partner Gear Notes: Lots of double-length slings! We brought a 60m single rope which we shortened for the simulclimbing -- I think this was actually the right choice for us, over doubling a 60m twin/half. Medium rack to keep the simuling going... but lots of horns and towers and things on the ridge, so I felt like a lot of the terrain was providing protection! Approach Notes: Up, over, up, over, up.
  8. 4 points
    Trip: Valle Aconcagua 2010: Gloria & Parva del Inca - normales Trip Date: 09/01/2010 Trip Report: Figured I'd share some other climbs I did when I lived in Chile. These were less exciting/dangerous than Licancabur, but that's probably a good thing! Valle Aconcagua is the canyon leading into the mountains from the town of Los Andes, the same valley that takes you to Portillo and Mendoza, Argentina. Both of these peaks are north of the highway and a valley apart. Cerro Gloria (Sept 2010) The best reference for Chilean climbs is the online guidebook Andeshandbook. Here's their description of the ruta normal: https://www.andeshandbook.org/montanismo/ruta/140/Normal It's a chill walk-up. We approached in 1 day and climbed and retreated the next. Good ice climbing possibilities down low. The route heads right and around the back of the peak. Felipe and Ramiro taking a break Ramiro higher up. The big, glaciated peak on the left is Nevado Juncal, and the fortress-like peak just right of it in the foreground is Alto Los Leones. Tilted summit shot with Aconcagua on the left Walking down the choss. To the right is the big cliff on the S face of Gloria Parva del Inca (November 2010) This was the most technical mountain climb I did that year. There's a scramble section that we rappelled, and we had to climb some thinly covered low-angle ice past a hidden bergschrund. It's a fucking rad peak. The summit is perched above a monstrous cliff. According to Drew Tabke it's maybe been skied by someone? To get to this one you go one valley deeper towards Mendoza and head north up Estero Ojos de Agua. We did this over 3 or 4 days, with 2 to approach high camp. https://www.andeshandbook.org/montanismo/ruta/253/Ruta_de_Hielo The tip of the peak visible from the parking lot Better views higher. Like everything in the Andes, the scale is hard to comprehend. Sick views of Juncal and los Leones, camp 1! Jagged ridgeline above camp My best shot of the route, next morning. We would gain the glacier plateau on the shadowy left side, then pass through the rock choke and gain the left of the summit ridge, which we'd take to the summit. We moved camp close to the base of the peak and started on the morning of the 3rd day. Brewing up in the tent with Victor. I only this year got rid of this sweet BD Mirage tent. Good tent but too cold for the Andes. Looking down on Ramiro and Victor after the scramble We threw a rope down for Daniel, who wasn't psyched on the scramble as much. The crux bergshcrund crossing, pretty hard ice underneath the powdery snow. We didn't rope up mostly from ignorance about the proper techniques. I remember being pretty comfortable on the ice, probably from having hiked around in snow and in ski boots for a long time. Above the choke we climbed straight up until we encountered more ice, then backtracked and traversed off climber's left to the rocky ridge. Summit! Aconcagua dominating behind. The valley with Portillo is the next over, but Laguna del Inca is out of sight. Big cliff right underneath the summit. You can see the highway and border facility in the distance, and of course Juncal and a bunch of other big peaks. My guess is the big one in the middle is Marmolejo, the furthest S 6000m+ peak, but I'm not sure about that. It doesn't come out in my photos, but we could barely make out the sea to the W. Summit register was a big book with entries going back to the 50's Heading back down with the homies. It was fairly steep cramponing in the choke I stepped into a crevasse and my leg went in up to my waist! Luckily it was only 6" wide or so. I was so clueless! Not roped up of course. After this find, I headed back to our uptrack. Now, I recognize it was pretty damn dangerous conditions to travel unroped... powdery 6-12" on top of some old snow just perfect for hiding the crevasses. It might have had some avy danger, too, although it hadn't snowed in a while and the powdery snow up top I think was just weak, faceted old snow. Wish I had a picture of another axe I borrowed. It was hand-welded out of steel, with a square shaft! I think I left that at home and just brought my massive 80 cm traditional CAMP axe. Rappelling the rock step Not much I remember about the trip except that we were so late getting back to the truck that Daniel was pissed! He had a wife and kids to get to and a real job to work the next day. Here's Daniel, Victor, and Carlos at my going-away party a month later Gear Notes: axe, crampons, friends Approach Notes: use Andeshandbook
  9. 4 points
    Trip: Cascade pass - Magic, Formidable, Mix-up, Sahale Trip Date: 09/02/2020 Trip Report: First time S from Cascade pass for me. Wonder what took me so long. I guess the lack of good rock, but it’s really goddamned beautiful. At the knoll before Cache glacier it was drizzling and the strong wind was blowing wet stuff up. I crawled under the leeward side of a small tree, one of the last I could see. Waited for 4 hours, cursing forecasters and getting bitter. I didn’t know that I was in for the most beautiful day in the mountains I ever had. After those cramped 4 hours the weather was still very unsettled but improves enough that I could now see where I was going, so I headed up and over cache col. It was sunnier on the other side. Dropped camp at kool aid lake, pleasantly surprised to be alone, and headed up to magic mountain. It lived up to its name. A crazy glory followed me all along the ridge. It wasn’t a fleeting thing. My first and last photos of it are 50 minutes apart. I had only seen photos of the effect till now, so I don’t know if this is common, but it had a large diameter bright white ring far outside the inner rainbow rings. The outer white ring didn’t come through in my photos. So surreal. I was also treated to sights reminiscent of laser shows when I was on the east side of the ridge. That night moonlight gradually illuminated magic mountain but the moon itself stayed hidden behind Hurry-up peak until much later. Wow. The weather was much calmer next day as I approached Formidable. Route passed above some significant crevasses on the Middle Cascade. Easy, but no-fall terrain, especially in the morning with icier snow. Formidable has the good, bad, and the ugly. Some soul sucking steep dirt and scree, some nice smooth but low angle and ledgy slabs, a scary rotten steep 15ft section just below the summit, and fantastic exposure along a short row of incisors to the summit. Yup, pretty fun overall. Took a long break at the bottom of the glacier on my way back to watch shadows grow across the beautiful mess down below. Most of the abundant ledges here aren’t flat but there could be a spot or two for bivying. Would be very nice to do so if you can get comfortable. A group had showed up to kool aid lake but there is plenty of room to spread out there. After dinner I walked north a little to pick berries. After having my fill I sat on a rock facing west and noticed a bear feeding down the slope maybe a 1/4 mile away. It seemed large and had a light brown coat, totally different than the smaller dark black bear I saw playing in a pool not far from cascade pass the next day. I don’t know if it’s possible it was a grizzly? Then after another incredible sunset at camp in the dusk light popped up a creature I had never seen before. It had a long but tiny body, and was springy/twitchy like a pika or chipmunk. I think it was a weasel. But so much smaller than I pictured a weasel to be. It bounced around, locked eyes with me a couple times, then bounced off elsewhere. Next day I got moving back to cache col to try to get Mixup and Sahale same day. Originally I planned to do mixup on day 1 but the weather prevented that. I found out about the East face route from@bellows TR last year (thanks!). Found one small acceptable route down the moat on the upper right edge of snow. Gross steep dirt and rotten rock to gain the U notch. Wrapped around to the V notch and climbed up and left from there. It’s about 20 ft of I dunno 5.5 or so, but the rock didn’t seem very trustworthy. I only noticed one good spot for pro. It wasn’t terribly loose or rotten, but seem to be fractured into blocks that are probably not glued down all that well. So, beware. White staircase was excellent as advertised. Class 2 until near the top where vertical walls force you right into class 4. There is a very brief awkward but not difficult 5th class move to gain the ridge just north of the summit. I did rap this part on the way down, and a rap to the V notch. The rap station above the V notch was, mmm, creative. Got the job done though. Back at the U notch I chose to rap on a fixed line hanging there. Not sure if that was a great idea, but it’s so dirty there, was nice to skip some of it. Still had to down climb a little bit more precarious garbage after that rap to get back to my overnight pack. On to Sahale. Up till now I had enjoyed quite a bit of solitude. Knew that wouldn’t be the case back at the pass but I was still surprised at how many people were day hiking to sahale arm/glacier. This was less fun. Fun resumed at Sahale glacier. And I was pleased to find a nice short crack near the summit. There was one other climber summiting at the same time, after already approaching quien sabe same day, but turning around due to a sick partner. She was moving fast. Wednesday weather had been so strange and amazing, then crystal clear Thursday through Friday, but Friday afternoon smoke had blown in. Views were still pretty great. Had some nice approach shoe skiing down the glacier and then all of a sudden I was back at the car, enjoying the drive through cascade river even more than usual. Gear Notes: 60m rope for mixup, crampons, ax Approach Notes: Back and forth and back and forth
  10. 4 points
    Trip: Eldorado Peak - North Ridge Trip Date: 09/07/2020 Trip Report: Climbed one of the lesser trafficked routed on Eldorado Peak with Will Gordon. Very nice climbing and managed to get in and out before the smoke For those who care: gethighonaltitude.com/2020/09/07/eldorado-north-ridge/ Gear Notes: Standard alpine rack Approach Notes: Camped at 7400' camp
  11. 4 points
    Love this TR and how you typically include all the beautiful details of sunlight and darkness and weather and little details ☺️ could you have seen a marten? I saw what I'm pretty sure was a pine marten on section J in 2014. Two of my all-time favorite photos...(it's so damned cute):
  12. 4 points
    Trip: Static Point - Lost Charms, 5.9, 5 p Trip Date: 08/30/2020 Trip Report: Did a search and the last TR for Static Point was from ten years ago! Rat and I climbed Lost Charms yesterday; beautiful day and we had the place all to ourselves. If you're looking to avoid the Vantage/Leavenworth crowds, this would be a good place to do it. Beta for Lost Charms can be found on Mtn Project or in Sky Valley Rock if you are or know an old coot who has the book. Fun route; more route-finding necessary than most slab routes as you're not just following a line of bolts. We agreed the 5.6 finger crack was a particularly fun pitch. Trail is in stellar shape and Online is sporting shiny brand new bolts and rap stations. Go get it. Gear Notes: Rack to #3 Camalot, slings, double 60m ropes Approach Notes: US 2, north on Sultan Basin Road to Spada Reservoir, take the right fork after reservoir, park in first pullout on left after you cross the bridge, hike up blocked-off logging road directly across from the pullout ~1 hour, then turn left at massive cairn and go uphill ~0.5 hour.
  13. 3 points
    I was digging through my old photos and remembering an epic and formative trip. Thought it would be worth a share. I lived in Valparaíso, Chile for most of 2010. That's where I started doing mountaineering and rock climbing, with a group of chilenos of questionable safety standards. Most of them were part of the Club Universitario Andinista, which was a club formed by former students of the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria. The university club was disbanded after a very public tragedy on one of the Patagonian icefields where, after being pinned in tents by a storm for some number of days, a bunch of students perished from exposure after getting separated into two groups. One of the survivors became my friend and mentor Carlos, although he didn't talk much about that experience. I had climbed a couple times at Las Chilcas, an area in the central region known for sweet but hard sport climbs and easy bus ride from Valpo or Santiago, and tasted the oceanic rock around Valpo. My friends Jose-Luis and Pato Chico made money doing ropework odd jobs all over, and their big paychecks were often working for the mining companies. They got a job doing some work for a mining company around Antofagasta or Calama and invited me to meet them there for some climbing. I was soooooo stoked and I think I flew up there to meet them. Jose-Luis' sister put me up in Calama, I think, the I went to San Pedro de Atacama. SAN PEDRO San Pedro is a popular tourist town in the desert and very beautiful. There aren't many other places in the Atacama that foreign people visit. I spent a few days exploring around town and stayed with friends of friends. (I'm kind of embarrassed about how cheap I was back then, given that I was getting paid pretty well for a person living in Chile.) Licancabur, a beautiful symmetric volcano on the border with Bolivia, as seen from town. Checking out the geysers is a popular tourist activity It was cold at night. This is June, and the water is frozen. Wild camelids, either guanacos or vicuñas, I'm not sure which. I tried eating barbecued llama meat on this geyser tour and ended up getting really sick for nearly the rest of the trip. Pueblo atacameño típico I scrambled up and over some of these giant piles of dirt and salt and almost couldn't get myself out. Kind of scared myself and was an omen of more near-disastrous experiences to come. Below me was a dark sarlacc pit of doom. SOCAIRE Anyway, at some point Pato and Jose showed up and we went to Socaire, which has a beautiful canyon with sport and trad climbing. They had been there before. We took a bus and paid the driver extra to bring us a few miles closer to camp. I don't remember much of the details, but I think most of the climbs we did were in the 5.9-5.10 range with cool pockets and eroded features. Steep, bolted, although the other guys TR'd some cracks. I didn't know how to crack climb yet. Pato belaying with me up top. Jose belaying Pato ' The scenery is amazing { During our couple of days climbing, we slept in a bivy cave in the canyon and drank water from a trickling stream that ran through it. None of my chilean friends ever treated or filtered their water in the Andes, so I didn't either. I was pretty dehydrated all the time at this point in the trip from diarrhea I got from the llama meat. I think the second day of climbing, I gave a try at leading a short, 3 or 4-bolt route that was pretty much vertical. I was new to climbing but had learned to lead on day 1 at las Chilcas because... that's what they had me do! So it wasn't my first lead but I was pretty green. I clipped all bolts and was at the chains, totally pumped and trying to clip. I remember being so pumped I grabbed the chains and clipped my draw, but couldn't make the clip. My hands got greasier and greasier until I fell. Jose was belaying me but not really paying attention and had out too much slack. I basically fell right onto his head, but the rope came taught. Although I tweaked his neck, scared the shit out of myself, and scratched my glasses when they fell off, we were more or less okay. I took the next day off climbing and hiked around the canyon taking pictures. I think this is a picture of the route I ate shit on: The crew: a couple strong chilenos and one weak gringo! We walked into the town of Socaire then spent all day bumming around the plaza and trying to get a ride to San Pedro. Eventually, we found someone who was heading that way that we paid for a ride. LICANCABUR Licancabur (5916 m according to wikipedia) is the volcano that just calls to you from San Pedro. It's amazingly symmetrical and is sacred to the Aymara people of the region. Like a lot of high, dry peaks, there are ancient ruins at the summit. We decided to try and climb the thing from the Chilean side, because of course that way we'd be doing it the Chilean way and could bring any sort of smoking kit needed. Typically, people climb from a beautiful green lagoon on the Bolivian side. There is a marked trail there and that's the way guides will take you. But it's just a walk-up, so no big deal, right? Well, the other reason people climb from that side is that the Chilean dictatorship mined a lot of border areas to prevent a feared Bolivian invasion. (The Chileans took a huge chunk of land from Bolivia and Peru during the war of the Pacific in the late 1800s, which both other countries still complain about, with good reason.) So to get to the Chilean route, which climbs the N rib of the volcano, one needs to travel through an area which is known to have land mines. I was young and dumb, so was content to trust my (experienced yet crazy) Chilean friends and go that way. We found some other fools to join us, friends of Jose and Pato, mostly tourist/mountain guides from San Pedro, and a guy who worked in mining who crucially had a 4x4, plus a Spanish dude who was stoked. We piled into the car and drove towards the border on the paved highway, then turned north on the dirt road that would take us towards the climbing route. Like most remote land in Chile, it's privately owned. We called the landowner who said it would be okay for us to use it and that the road had been de-mined and was safe. As we drove down the road, we passed a fenced-off minefield that was signed. Eventually the road became too rough to drive, so we left the car and walked. There is absolutely no water in this area, so we carried I think two large soda bottles each (maybe 4 L?). I remember having to take a crap (still diarrhea) and digging a hole in the road because I didn't want to leave the road. I got behind my friends but kept walking along. Then the weirdest sight. A dude on a bicycle coming from Bolivia! He came by and I said hello. He was friendly enough, and I asked him if he was coming from Bolivia. He said something like "no, I'm just out for a spin". But it didn't make any sense. He looked Bolivian and had a Bolivian accent. He was also riding a bright red beach cruiser style bike and carried only a tiny daypack. It was weird, but I was pretty zonked from dehydration, etc., so I just kind of accepted it and walked on. We regrouped and my friends said they were pretty sure he was a smuggler. It made sense. We decided to not worry about it and keep going. As we walked, the road turned into more of a path. At one point we saw a small, metal sign on the ground with only one word: "minas". It wasn't clear where they would be. We continued and camped at a tongue of lava, on the border, where the route was described to begin. From there, it was just a chossy hike to the top of the volcano, but the altitude was brutal even though I'd been at 4000 m for a week. I was also still really dehydrated, but amazingly got over my diarrhea mid-climb. I don't think everyone made it to the summit, but Pato, Jose, and I did. Early light looking into Bolivia One of the homies (Marcelo I think?) feeling smoked, Spanish dude we called "Super Tío" behind On the summit. One of the highest "lakes" in the world. You can see a trail going down on the other side of the cone. Pato delirious Crew: I remember being so tired I wanted to just sleep on the summit. I probably was in the early stages of some kind of edema. We decided to descend by foot-glissading down this incredible chossfield that went on for ages. It was one of the craziest boot-skis I've done. We CRUISED down that thing. Somehow it didn't start a rockslide. After descending this, we made it back to our camp without exploding. This was stressful... we crossed a big flat area, on the Chilean side, that we weren't sure if it was mined or not. You can see the boot-ski big gulley with the choss "runnel" in it here, and the flat expanse we crossed below: Well, we'd been successful so far, so we felt pretty stoked. But then we got back to our car to find it had been broken into. Likely the smuggler and his friends decided to try and sweeten the deal (he likely had a pack full of cocaine) by grabbing a newer SUV as well. Luckily the anti-theft system worked. One guy had left a laptop in the car, though, and it was stolen. Marcelo tried to hotwire the car himself and actually got it running for a second before the anti-theft kicked in and shut off the engine. At this point the stoke was wearing off as we realized we probably had to walk back to the highway and were out of water. We didn't even have any in the car---although there was a bottle of red wine that the smugglers had left us. We managed to get a cell phone call to town and ask for a tow truck, but they told us it would be a while. We started walking. We met the tow truck on the road. They gave us a little water but said the road was too rough and were going to turn around. So we ended up having to call a different truck to come later. Not really a good scene when you're walking on a "safe" road and spot this (edit: probably just a bit of junk that scared the crap out of me!) But we made it.
  14. 3 points
    This was clearly the work of someone with strong beliefs that the gondola should not exist in Squamish. Clearly it should relocated to Cascade River Road to deliver climbers to a big alpine hut in Boston Basin.
  15. 3 points
    Trip: Luna Peak - Standard Route - True Summit Trip Date: 09/05/2020 Trip Report: With it being Labor Day weekend, we sent someone ahead the night before to get a ticket at the ranger station for the next morning since we had a 9am boat taxi scheduled on Friday. Luckily, we got our permit within a half hour or so of them opening and got to the boat pickup on time. YouTube Video With pleasant weather we made quick work of the first 10 miles to the Luna Camp signpost. Sitting around taking a lunch break a solo guy came by on his way to do Fury. A couple people in our party had thought the Luna signpost was for a trail split to where you head off to Luna and told the guy he was taking the wrong path. He seemed to have that response that sounds like he knew where he was going and was wondering if we knew where we were going. A couple people had gps tracks though that did show someone went to Luna from the Luna Camp split. Never caught up to him to say sorry about that. We did eventually spot him just topping out on Fury as we were on top of Luna the next day. One mile later we got to the cairn that marked the spot to head up to Luna Peak. There really isn’t any kind of trail to follow so unless you know just where to find the log crossings it could get really tricky getting through the first mile. The boat driver mentioned he had dropped of a couple the day before who had gotten lost the week before trying to get to Luna who were trying it again. But we never ran across a couple ahead of us all the way to Luna so not sure where they went. We all wondered if there was a couple still lost in the brush somewhere on their 2nd try. We found the log crossing we were aiming for without any problem and found climbers trail on and off the rest of the way into the basin. We found a lot more of the trail on the way out but still managed to do a fair amount of bushwhacking both ways. Took us about 7.5 hours to do the 15 miles into Access Creek basin where we setup camp. Figured shooting for Luna Col would have had us there in the dark so Access Creek was a good spot to stop with views of Luna and the boulder field we needed to go up in the morning. Next morning, we took off up the narrow rocky gully, but going wider right and up and then across through the trees works too (probably a bit easier too). Knocked out the first 2000ft gain then rounded the corner for the first view of the col and Luna. Another easy 1000ft up to the col put us at the base of Luna Peak in just a few hours. Just a bit up the scramble to the false summit we past a pair of climbers coming back who had stopped at the false summit. Another hour (about 4 hours from camp) put us at the false summit where the fun really starts. Beta we had said you could run the entire ridge (harder) or take ledges across but requires a bit of a 4th class downclimb. After shimmying down most of the chimney the last move or two just felt too sketchy with the drop-off into nothing below and it feels like there were not solid holds for the amount of exposure. So, we split the difference and ran the first 30 feet of the ridge which is exposed but felt more solid and that took us to a ramp down to the ledges. Once there it was easy scrambling across picking our way across then switch backing at the end to get under the summit block. Once under the summit block, we wrapped around the backside and found a few easy moves up to the summit block. Just as most of our party were down to the ledges a group of three guys came up behind us who were pretty chill about hanging out waiting for us to get over and back since they were camped at the col and it was only about 11:30am. The summit register was full, and we wound up signing the back cover. If anyone goes up anytime soon it could use a new register. On the way down from the summit instead of heading straight over I had gone down a couple ledges and wound up finding an old rusty metal film canister. I thought there might be a film roll inside but instead there were a few loose pages of an old summit register. Most of the pages were faded too much to read or disintegrated but some were clearly dated from 1971, 77 and 78 which was a cool find. I brought the canister back out since it had been sitting there for so many decades. Not sure how long It had been dropped down on the ledges. I found a trip report from CascadeOriginals where someone had mentioned signing a register in a film canister back in 2003. Mailing it over to the Mountaineers to archive it. On the way back everyone else retraced their steps to go back up to the ridge then to the false summit. I went up the chimney which was a little awkward but went up fine. The party of 3 waiting for us then took off for the true summit while we took a lunch break before heading back. On the way back to the rocky gully above the basin we passed a couple trail runners who mentioned a pair in the gulley that had an accident and appeared on of them broke an ankle. On our way down we stopped by and chatted for a moment. It turned out to be the pair we had passed and chatted with a moment on the scramble up to the false summit in the morning. They had everything handled and were waiting for a heli rescue that was on the way and didn’t need anything. Props to them for getting hundreds of feet down the upper gulley to a flat area and props to SAR for pulling them out hours later. Next morning had a leisurely hike out and found more of the climbers trail going out than we found on the way in. Still got off track a few times and took a bit of navigating to find the log crossing. Fantastic trip overall with good weather and good company. Gear Notes: None Approach Notes: Bushwacky from the trail to Access Creek basin in places.
  16. 3 points
    Trip: Liberty Bell - Liberty Crack Trip Date: 08/27/2020 Trip Report: 10hr c2c ascent of Liberty Crack with my really good (and crusher) friend Christine Spang! Once again I'm being lazy to reupload all the photos, so here's a link with a trip report and our aid beta (don't bring jumars, only 2 aiders and you'll be just fine): https://www.natexploring.com/washington/liberty-crack Gear Notes: Double rack aliens -> #3; 2 aiders (1 per person); no jumars; no hooks/beaks/etc Approach Notes: Chill and easy! Standard approach from road, up and over and descent via blue lake
  17. 2 points
    This is a teaser post. Full trip report will emerge, hopefully in the AAC journal. We had fun. 40+ pitches of climbing, 5.8 to 5.12, each averaging 60m, in a week for 6 of us. Great rock, great company. Hard to get to.
  18. 2 points
    As promised, more photos! Looking up the Big Beaver over Beaver Pass at the Redoubt group. Heading to Elephant Butte Summit of Elephant Butte The ridge narrows and Mac Spires loom above @kmfoerster Unknown people posing for me below West Mac Dinner with a view on West Mac Sunrise was windy but spectacular North to Davis Peak (L), and West to Degenhardt, Kulshan, and Terror (R) Teebone ridge on the walk out from Terror Basin
  19. 2 points
  20. 2 points
    Best thing I've seen this week since this. The iceberg's motion reminded me of the end of the video. Don't look away!
  21. 2 points
    So great meeting and getting out with you @kmfoerster! You were an integral part of the adventure and anyone would be well served to have you along on a trip! I will try and add a few more of my favorites in the coming weeks, but that was a super memorable outing! I think part of the issue I had with the snaffles, aside from being snaffle bait, was that I didn't have a bivy sack to seal them out. That and I didn't figure out why they were attacking my head until way too late in the evening. They really do like shiny things! I'm sure a headlamp would be a prized midden addition, and a sure fire hit with the snaffle ladies! I so hate snaffles. A respectful hate, but hate nonetheless.
  22. 2 points
    That photo reminds me of an art installation a student in college made. It was called 'Why Do I Have So Many Shoes?" The installation consisted of 20 pairs of shoes with a note attached to each one explaining why the student had purchased the shoes and what event she had worn them to.
  23. 2 points
    Trip: Chiwawa (8459') & Fortress (8674') Mountain - East Ridge Trip Date: 08/29/2020 Trip Report: Chiwawa (8459') & Fortress (8674') Mountain, East Ridge Trip Report – August 29-31, 2020 I climbed Chiwawa Mountain (8459') & Fortress Mountain (8674'), the East Ridge Route for both, in a big loop. It took me 3 days but can be done in 2 long days. I started at the Trinity Trailhead off Chiwawa River Road North of Lake Wenatchee. I went up Trail 1550 (Chiwawa River Trail) all the way up along the side of Red Mountain to about 6580’ elevation. The trail is in pretty good shape and narrows to a goat trail towards the end. I traversed diagonal and up toward the East Ridge of Chiwawa Mountain. I got onto the East Ridge of Chiwawa Mountain too early, as it look pretty nice from below. The rock was rotten, loose and steep along the ridge until I was about ¾ the way to the summit. I ended up using ledges and goat trails to get onto the better part of the ridge. Travel was slow due to the rock quality. There is a ridge/buttress that drops South from the middle of Chiwawa, you want to go below and around that before heading up to the East Ridge. Doing this will avoid the majority of the rotten rock on the lower part of the ridge. I summited Chiwawa around 5:00pm and setup camp on the summit. There is a campsite on the summit that is nice that has room for two maybe three if you want to get close. It was surprisingly cold and was fairly windy. I was glad I brought extra insulation. I had a water bottle next to me that was half frozen by the morning. If there was precipitation, it would have snowed. I started out for Fortress Mountain from summit camp at 8:00am. There is a really nice camp at the Col between Chiwawa and Fortess at about 7200’. It has plenty of room for tents and good access to water. I would have camped here instead of the summit of Chiwawa if I had known it was there. Although the Chiwawa summit camp was nice & had a great views, just no water. I used Crampons and an Ice Axe crossing over to the East Ridge of Fortress on firm snow. I climbed a gully of loose rock, class 3 some 4 to get onto the East Ridge of Fortress. Once on the ridge the rock was decent. The 4th class step to get to the summit is exposed, so make sure your holds are good. I summited Fortress around 12:30. Fortress Mountain has one of the best views of Glacier Peak that you can get, enjoy. I headed down to Pass No Pass from the summit. I initially headed down the northwest rocky ridge thinking it was the correct way down, it is not, the rock turns to loose steep garbage. I corrected my course and headed down the ridge that leads toward the beautiful grassy meadow plateau (another great camping option) heading north toward Glacier Peak. I kept heading down the ridge until I reached Pass No Pass which is also a fantastic camping area. I headed down light trail to the main Buck Creek Trail #1513 and followed this trail all the way back to the trailhead. Overall the loop trip was very nice. The rock on these two mountains is loose for the most part so be ready to slip and slide. The views are fantastic. Fall is in the air so be ready for cold temperatures. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Chiwawa’s East Ridge is mostly steep loose rock. Connect to the East Ridge after you round the South buttress/ridge to avoid most of it. 2. The trail from Pass No Pass to Buck Creek Trail splits into several different trails along the way. You will have to do a bit of head scratching. As long as you are heading down you should run into the Buck Creek Trail. 3. Along the route there are good camp spots at: The summit of Chiwawa (no water), The 7200’ Col between Chiwawa & Fortress (good water source), The grassy/sandy meadow plateau below Fortress 7100’ (some water), Pass No Pass area (good water source), several campsites along Buck Creek Trail. 4. Buck Creek Trail is long and boring so bring comfortable shoes. Travel Time for reference: Day 1 (TH to Chiwawa Summit), 9 hours – Day 2 (Summit of Chiwawa to camp off Buck Creek trail), 10 hours – Day 3 (camp to TH), 2.5 hours. Gear used: Trekking Poles, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons Chiwawa Mountain (right) & Fortress Mountain (left) from west side of Red Mountain on Chiwawa River Trail. Upper Chiwawa River Trail on side of Red Mountain 6500' elevation. Chiwawa Mountain East Ridge on Traverse from side of Red Mountain. Sample of lower East Ridge rock on Chiwawa Mountain. Chiwawa Mountain Summit Camp (8459'). Snow crossing from 7200' Col to Fortress Mountain East Ridge. Fortress Mountain East Ridge. Fortress Mountain Summit (8674'). Pass No Pass & Helmet Butte. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons Approach Notes: Trinity Trailhead. Chiwawa River Trail 1550 up the side of Red Mountain. Buck Creek Trail 1513 return to TH.
  24. 2 points
    Trip: Valhallas-Olympus - Woden, Hugin, Frigga, Athena, Olympus Middle Peak, Olympus West Peak Trip Date: 07/11/2020 Trip Report: Valhallas and Beyond - An Up and Down Trip Across the Olympics Including Many Ascents and Adventures and an Unfortunate Helicopter Ride Out The Valhallas, a name that strikes fear, curiosity, or just a confused brow wrinkle on to the faces of northwest mountaineers. Many don’t know about the small range to the south of Mt. Olympus in the Olympics while others have just heard stories of terrible bushwhacks and horrible loose rock. If you have stood on the summit of Mt. Olympus on a clear day they may have caught your eye, or maybe you saw an old photo that made them look vaguely like the Bugaboos. As a teenager I tried to get up Mt. Tom creek a couple of times so I knew what it might be like to get there. For all those reason this range has been on my list for a very long time, but also never made it to the top of the list for the next objective. It was a bit out of the blue when my friend Chad called me up after not having adventured together for several years (kids n stuff) and suggested it and said he already had a third person too. Normally I have to lie, con, bribe, and threaten friends into bushwhacks of this nature but here he was dropping it in my lap. Plans were made and dates were set. We aimed for mid-July in the hopes of good weather, low river levels, and enough snow up high still for good travel. The Chads and I all smiley at the start: Our chosen weekend approached with rain so we decided to car camp near the trailhead Saturday night and start Sunday to avoid the wettest forecast hours. This was a wise choice and avoided almost all the wet brush. We headed up the South Fork Hoh trail and made quick work of the ~4 miles of maintained trail. We were surprised to pass a group of five locals coming out from their own adventures about five miles past the trail end. They were the last people and footsteps we’d see. There was some mild brush crashing following a faint trail for another mile or so from the end of the real trail and then we enjoyed relatively easy travel along sand bars and gravel beds. The satellite view on Gaia Maps felt like cheating from my teenage adventures in allowing us to pick the clearest path or side of the river in many spots. Crocs and shorts were super handy for several crossings but there were a fair amount of mostly easy log bridges as well. We stayed on the north side generally but it was easier on the south for a few spots. Towards the end of the day we tackled what we called the “restriction”, one of the worst places for whacking, where the canyon narrows and one must take on steep vegetated river bank travel. The locals had referred to this as “box canyon” where they had turned around. We used the “think like an elk” mantra of previous parties and did find some helpful trails to follow. Kind of like when you second guess your traffic app driving through town and run into a jam, there is generally a good reason why the elk head so far up hill and we often paid in blood for not wanting to gain or lose elevation. We made it about 12.5 miles from the car before settling/crashing on a beautiful riverside meadow campsite for the night below Hoh Peak past our first big barrier. It was exhausting but great to be in what felt like virgin wilderness and far from any other human sign. Night one camp site and view up towards Hoh Peak: Day 2 we had about a mile of easy travel before again having to head up hill into the brush on the north side of the river. We struggled with ups and downs, hugging the river and not, occasionally pulling some 4th class tree root moves, until eventually reaching the mossy boulder field mentioned in the Olympics climbing guide. We continued on until reaching Valkyrie Creek and forded the river there finding no tree bridges. We had initially aimed for this for day one but our earlier campsite was much nicer. Here we detoured from several other trips and the guidebook and decided to carry on up river to the next creek (Geri-Freki as it drains the glacier). We walked up the sand bar on the south side from Valkyrie Creek and soon found the most amazing elk trail. The river valley constriction and thousands of years of hoof travel have created a network of trails that almost appear like they were man made and travel was far easier than earlier. If we could just teach elk to use chainsaws it would be even better but they either break the branches off or make detours around the worst logs. In no time at all this trail came to Geri-Freki Creek which we crossed and then continued up on the NE side of the creek. We made an error and lost the trail in a swampy bit where things start to steepen. We should have continued left away from the creek (NE) to find the trail again but instead chose to head up hill through relatively open ground keeping just climbers left of the growing cliffs. We ended up in some ridiculous steep brush and unpleasant travel only to pop back on to the amazing trail at the top of the worst of the climb. We continued on the trail as it transitioned to alpine parkland and eventually broke out into Geri-Freki basin. We broke right and dropped into the basin then climbed to a beautiful shoulder camp next to a waterfall around 3900’. This was a truly amazing place with wildflowers and waterfalls galore and the Valhalla Peaks just a stones throw away for our adventures the next day. We enjoyed fine weather that evening with few bugs, had some sips of whiskey and basked in the accomplishment of just having made it there after two hard days or travel! Fun fourth class tree roots: Looking up Valkyrie Creek with Frigga and Baldur tantalizingly close: Beautiful Elk Trail: Success! What a camp! Day 3 we woke to a cloudless sky and headed up to the toe of the Geri-Freki glacier via easy scrambling past several beautiful waterfalls. Our first objective was Woden, the highest peak of the Valhallas. We took a fairly direct line up the glacier to the Woden-Hugin saddle where we dropped our packs and racked up for the “4th class” climb. I lead up the obvious “jam crack” at the top of the snow field on the NE side finding fun climbing and surprisingly good rock. I brought the two Chads up and then we scrambled another pitch along the ridge line to a notch and the final diagonaling pitch to the top. This pitch started with a brief chimney behind a block and then followed a left trending crack up which again had mostly good rock and protection. We enjoyed the airy summit and amazing views for a while and then made two ~20 meter rappels back down. There was a piece of webbing at each anchor already but otherwise no human sign. I left a small summit register here as I couldn’t find one. This was a great climb to a fantastic high point with amazing views all around. Chad C claimed this as his first Olympics summit which is pretty amazing (although he later remembered an early climb of the Brothers). Mt. Tom: The Valhallas, Woden is just left of center: First pitch on Woden follows the 4th class jam crack on good rock Pitch 2 View towards Olympus and the route we would take for the next couple days. Green dots show the next two camps. Dotted line does not convey difficulties. Returning to our packs Chad C. and I then scrambled up Hugin for the heck of it, then we all dropped down and traversed along the glacier towards the Frigga-Baldur col. I wanted to climb all the peaks along the way but knew there wasn’t time and it was hot so we set our sights on Frigga as another cool perspective on the area (although it was actually Freya that dominated our campsite view). Frigga was a disappointing change in rock after Woden with a lot of loose crap. Although he was suffering from the heat a bit I talked Chad B. into joining me and we simulclimbed to the top. There were good trees for pro but crappy rock and slippery vegetated corners which made this feel just as difficult as Woden despite the 3rd class rating. We made a few raps back down and then headed back to camp to relax in the sun and wash some clothes in the creek. Climbing up towards the Frigga-Baldur Col, Hugin and Woden are on the left: Frigga from the Col: Thor and Loki and the toe of the Geri Freki glacier: Freya and waterfall on the way back to camp: Scenes from near camp: Map of the first couple days: We slept in a bit the next morning (too long) before packing up and heading out. It was difficult to leave such an amazing valley and camp. We retraced our steps of Day 2 back to the elk trails and began climbing up a ridge (follow the elk) breaking out of the remaining trees and then following that ridgeline up to the main ridge that connects the Valhallas to Olympus. We had continued to debate the route from here, either dropping down to the toe of the Hubert Glacier and then up to Olympus as several other parties have done, or dropping off towards the Queets and trying to connect snow fingers up towards the top of the Hubert Glacier and Athena. With some more observations we decided to roll the dice and try to get up towards Athena. We had only Bremerton John’s NWMJ trip report mentioning this route which included warnings about insanely steep vegetation and a team rope rescue at one point. That’s exactly what we found! We followed the ridge towards Olympus until it began to get steep and rocky and then dropped off the Queets (east) side around 5500 ft. We lost only a few hundred feet then climbed back up a snow finger to get over a steep rocky rib blocking our northward progress. From here we dropped again on easy snow slopes down from around 5300’ to 4800’ and then continued to traverse north toward the snow fingers we planned to ascend back up. The way seemed easy until we ran into an incredibly narrow and deep gully not obvious on the topo. At first this looked impassable but I was able to shimmy down some tree branches to the bottom of the gully and then make a rather exposed and steep vegetated traverse back out the other side. The others followed without incident and we continued onwards only to once again be stopped short by another very steep and deep gorge. I scouted up the hill and down and could not find an easy bypass to this obstacle. It seemed we only need to get across this 20’ wide gorge but there was no good route. We began dropping down into the basin until we were eventually forced to make one rappel in the very steep and cliffy trees to get to mellower ground. This and the heat was certainly taxing our morale and may have been a low point of the trip so far. It was well into the afternoon and we were nowhere near our goal for the night. In hindsight we should have continued dropping down the earlier easy snow to benches around 4500 feet before traversing since we ended that low anyways. This would have avoided the sketchy gullies and green rappel. Once we made it in to that basin though the way was clear over the snow we had been eyeing for so long from a distance and we began a very long ascent back up the ridge in the now evening light. We gained nearly 2000’ feet up this soft snow, taking multiple safety breaks along the way and contemplating some potential desperate crappy sloping bivy rocks. The snow was soft in the late hours but a slip would have been unpleasant as least. Fortunately we persevered upwards to a good last break spot and with some scouting decided to make the push. We roped up for the last steeper bit of snow to a notch in the ridge around 6400’. Tired and a bit demoralized we slowly pushed through (placing our one picket) and popped out in to the sun at the notch finding a flattish spot in the snow for our tents and a nice bit of rock to chill out and cook dinner on. We pitched tents in the last few minutes of sunshine and made dinner around 9pm. It actually was an amazing campsite as we got both sunset and sunrise with amazing vistas all around. Looking back at the Valhallas: Easy ridge walking! Having dropped down it looks like a cake walk to the snow slope. It was not. Looking back we should have cut left in the this photo and dropped to the low benches instead of taking the high one to the secret gullies: Finally climbing the snowslope in the evening light: Traversing to the final steep pitch back to the ridge: Finally, camp sweet camp! Our exit the next day visible on the right where the snow goes up to a notch: We slept in again that next morning but we had earned it. Once we packed up we roped up again to climb another snow finger to a notch at the top of the Hubert Glacier that allowed for an easy short scramble to the snowcap at the top of the Hoh Glacier. We celebrated this success with snacks and then headed packless for the short scramble to the top of Athena. The clouds were now swirling about so we knew this might be the last view we had for a while but it was again awesome and new. Athena: We now followed the west edge of the upper Hoh Glacier as our world shrank to a few hundred feet wide. We had hoped to traverse all of the Olympus summits but soon East Peak was entirely gone from view and dropped out of our consciousness and off the list. Although the least elevation gain option would have been to go between East and Middle Peaks we knew from earlier views that snow went almost all the way to the top of Middle Peak so we chose to just keep following the snow up with easy navigation in the white out cloud. Climbing up without reference we were at least thankful for the cooler temps on the glacier and eventually made it to the final scramble to the top of Middle Peak. We signed the nice register there noting most signed summits were coming from Bailey Range traverse folks. We made a single rappel off the NW side of the peak back to the snow and then continued towards Olympus West Peak. We reached Five Fingers and then dropped down into the scree gully on the west (left) side to scramble up to the Five Fingers-West Peak notch. Again we racked up for and evening summit planning to camp at the saddle afterwards. Scrambling up Middle Peak: West Peak of Olympus emerges from the cloud: We headed up the steep snow pitch of the standard route and soon realized that the way was blocked by a huge crevasse at the top. Regrouping I took the sharp end and led over the east ledges traversing up the ramp until I felt like climbing up towards the summit. I could have traverse farther and made it easier but the line was fun and I was able to protect it. We hung out on top in the cloud for a bit and then rapped off back to camp at the notch happy to have completed this leg of the journey even if we didn’t get the views this time. On top of the Olympics! We had started to set up camp when there was a faint clatter as we turned to watch Chad B’s sunglasses slide off a boulder into the gap between rock and snow. Here began a fruitless quest of digging trying to get arms and eyes down into the hole, and otherwise fighting the forces of nature charging us for our passage. Although we all tried to get down in the hole and dig we failed to find the wayward specs. Fortunately I had some emergency “Rollens” sunglasses like you get when the eye doctor dialates your pupils that he could sport the next day to avoid snow blindness while being ultra-stylish. Despite that mishap we enjoyed another whiskey toast for our three summit day and slept well that night. Digging for sunglasses: Day 6 started bright and clear. It was the coldest night by far and I woke to ice on my boots. I had just poured my coffee when the first people we had seen for nearly a week popped up on top of Five Fingers and shouted hello. Shortly after they joined us at the saddle and we chatted and shared our current beta for the summit block. We finished breakfast and packed up for our next goal, finding a way down to the White Glacier and then up to Mt. Tom. The Fourth of July route looked closed by seasonal crevasses but offered a much more direct route in our intended direction. I had earlier spotted an old rap anchor to allow dropping to the north so I went down into the bergschrund to inspect. I cleaned the worn corded nut and instead found a solid horn and we rapped down as far as we could and then made a second rap from another horn to get to the base of the difficulties. From down low it looked like we could have done an end run but the early morning hard icy snow would have made that quite scary with our limited gear. We continued roped across the top of the Blue Glacier following the Mt. Tom route description to what seemed to be the appropriate descent gully to the White Glacier. Previous trip reports had mentioned anything from a loose scramble to a hand line to rappels to get down. We began scrambling down the very loose and crappy gully trying hard not to drop rocks on each other. Mt. Tom and the White Glacier: The Valhallas emerge from the clouds before we start descending to the White: I was in the lead and eventually got down to the top of a snow finger that I could see reached down to the glacier. I wanted to get down and out of the line of rockfall so I quickly put my aluminum crampons back on and went to step down onto the hard shady snow. This is where things (me and my pack) went downhill in the least favorable manner. I’m not sure exactly what happened because it was so fast but I may have had a large rock shift as I stepped down to the snow, or I may have bumped something with my pack knocking me off balance, but I never got established on the slope and the next thing I know I am sliding down the surprisingly hard and icy slope I tried to dig my aluminum ice axe in but failed to get it to bite before my tumble/rotation pulled me out of position. For a brief moment I tried to relax into the fall and then found suddenly myself at the bottom of bergschrund/crevasse. I somehow slithered out of my backpack into a half fetal position and froze. I knew immediately from the pain in my back that I was somewhat screwed. I could move all my limbs but really couldn’t change my position much due to the pain. My breathing was shallow also with pain (broken ribs) but I weakly shouted up to my partners that I needed help. I doubted they could hear me but in my condition there wasn’t much to do but settle in and wait. I knew I wasn’t walking out. I had slid somewhere around 200 feet down the mountain and come to a sudden stop in a 15 foot deep hole. Chad C. arrived first having seen the end of my slide and scrambled down as quickly and safely as he could trying not to knock anything on top of me. Chad B. was not too far behind having chosen the safest option of rappelling from rocks on the edge of the snow finger. They did an amazing job of staying focused over the next couple of hour, assessing me and determining the possible severity of my back injury but no other immediate threats. I had some gurgling in my shallow breaths but it wasn’t getting worse. They managed to get a sleeping pad mostly under me and all the sleeping bags over me. I asked for a gu to keep my blood sugar up and a few sips of water but didn’t want too much else so as not to interfere with future medical treatment. We had a satellite phone but actually had cell service so the call was made for a rescue. Olympic National Park rangers coordinated to get the Mt. Rainier National Park rescue crew and helicopter on the way. Chads got the stove going and got me some life saving hot water bottles as I edged towards shock in the cold and damp hole. I am forever grateful for my excellent partners keeping me as comfortable as possible in this terrible and unexpected situation. In a bad spot (I asked them to take this photo): It only took four hours or so from the phone call until we heard the sounds of a helicopter. Time was a strange element in my state and it seemed faster but we did have time to sort out some possible options and make sure I didn’t leave with the car keys. Soon enough we were waving (well everyone but me) towards the rescue crew as they assessed our situation and location from the air. Relaying text messages with ONP we learned the crew was landing at the IGY research hut on Snow Dome to remove the helicopter doors and set up for a long line operation. A marine cloud layer remained in the valley and they were worried it could rise a bit and ground us all so they chose not to land on the White Glacier. A little while later they returned with Rescuers Tim and Seann dangling underneath. They talked with all of us and quickly realized the initial plan of a rescue sling would not be good with my back injuries so back the helicopter went with Chad B dangling to configure their vacuum litter. They brought this back and carefully finagled this fantastic device underneath me and pumped the air out conforming the litter to my position and firmly holding me there. Tim secured himself and me to the long line and they carefully coordinated a gentle angled extraction from my icy rocky confinement. A short flight later (during which I had a great view of red nylon and straps) they landed us at snow dome and returned to also extract Chad C, Seann, and our gear. They landed the helicopter again and loaded me inside for the flight to Port Angeles where I was transferred to an ambulance to the PA Hospital and then further transferred to Harborview. Thus ended our Olympics trip a little early. I probably would have preferred the bushwhack exit but this one was certainly faster. Our path from the Valhallas to Olympus: Afterward: The amazing rescue crew was able to refuel and return to snow dome to pick up the rescuer they left as well as the two Chads and our gear who they were able to drop off in Port Angeles. I know Chads were grateful to not have to do the long hike out the Hoh to the wrong trailhead as they weren’t motivated to continue our traverse over Mt. Tom and Hoh Peak on without me. I’d like to think the rescue crew was willing to do that due to the great work and preparation of Chad B. and C. to stabilize me and clean up gear and prepare things well in advance for the operation but I know there were other considerations as well for the party. They were able to rent a car the next day to retrieve mine from the trailhead and then return home. I had x-rays that night identifying three compression fractured thoracic vertebrae, two cervical vertebrae fractures, several broken ribs and a mild pneumothorax (punctured lung). I endured a long ground ambulance ride to Harborview for which I was fortunately well drugged. Due to the possibility of a bone fragment damaging my spinal cord I had an operation there to clean things up and fuse the damaged thoracic vertebrae. And I get to wear a fun neck collar for three months until the cervical ones heal. Overall my prognosis is for a full recovery and eventually regaining my range of motion. The hospital cheeseburger at Harborview after well over 24 hours of no food was amazing. I am so very lucky that I had great partners, a skilled rescue team, and injuries that were not more severe. I know that people took great risk to get me out and am grateful that they were able to do so and keep my back immobilized until treatment. Things could have gone much worse in my fall and extraction. With 25 years of technical climbing experience I was overly confident in my footsteps in this no-fall zone especially given my ultralight gear choices. The snow was harder than anything encountered on the trip due to the deep shaded gully and coldest weather night. I should have sheltered in the gully and waited for my partners (who were carrying the ropes) to rappel this section. We make choices in the mountains all the time between moving fast and light and being roped and anchored 100% of the time. I have been lucky and have developed some skill in movement here but in this case I failed. The heavy pack and taxing traverse took their toll and I was lax in my assessment of the conditions and the run out below. I was a little worried about our speed and late camps and this probably colored my choices as well. This time I got lucky (relatively). With the amazing help I received I am thankful that I will be able to return to the hills again next season and maybe even get to ski this winter. Even more photos and some video here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/eXzGgsweVE6zKS5s5 Gear Notes: We took a 30m half/twin rope and a 48 meter half/twin (meant to be two 30s, oops, but we did do some 39 meter rappels with a knot pass in broken terrain). We packed one picket, two link cams, and a half dozen nuts as well as 4 trad draws and several assorted other slings and prussics. CAMP ultralight harnesses worked great for all of us. We all had aluminum crampons but Chad B and C had steel ice axes. I figured they could lead any icy ascents but I didn’t think about the descent problem with my lightest of light axes. We took a two person and one person tent figuring we might have bugs to deal with but amazingly didn’t have many. An MSR Reactor with small pot worked great for our occasional snow melting and mostly freeze dried food. Helmets are always needed for Olympics rock. Our packs started at a hefty 50 lbs or so each but 8 days of food and whiskey accounted for much of that. I am slightly disappointed I didn’t get to the end just to see how good I was at my food estimating. We had planned to continue over Mt. Tom and Hoh Peak and drop back to the South Fork two days later. Approach Notes: S. Fork of the Hoh and go!
  25. 2 points
    Yep from what I remember, went up Ice Cliff glacier,up gully to notch on N ridge to gendarme then left up NE face. Everything was plastered with snice, the cruxes were the ridge snow covered rock and the top of NE face digging thru the cornice. The coolest part of the climb for me was when I was leading on the ridge deeply engrossed in little if any pro and huge shadow came over me, looking up I was staring at the largest and very close golden eagle, I could look right in those eyes don't know who was more surprised thought I was gonna get nailed by big chunk of rock or ice.
  26. 2 points
    I had a great time "cascadian hilarity" describes it well. @zaworotiuk here's you guys coming up the snow arete in the morning! Might have to zoom in.
  27. 1 point
    Trip: Sherpa Peak North Ridge - North Ridge Variation Trip Date: 06/13/2020 Trip Report: Timeline Saturday 6/13 7:00 a.m left Stuart Lk TH 11:00 in upper basin below sherpa and argonaut 3:30 On the Ridge at 2nd notch 6:30 On the Summit 8:00 At Bivy Site on South Side of Sherpa Peak Timeline Sunday 6/14 8:30 a.m left bivy site 11:30 at sherpa pass 3:00 Back to the car Approach Notes Others trip reports mentioned turning off of Stuart lake trail at the first switchback heading up to the lake. We must have missed that and departed a bit later. Was not a problem though. The bushwhacking was not bad at all and we continued making our way towards mountaineers creek. We actually ended up hitting a boulder field and remembering some trip reports mentioned that thought we were in the right spot. Followed cairns through the boulder field for a bit before realizing we were heading right towards the north ridge of Mount Stuart. We checked the map and dropped down off the boulder field until we hit mountaineers creek. Once at the creek we followed the climbers trail up into the basin. We crossed over the creek to the east side to wander up a boulder field before crossing back over to the west side above the slide alder and onto another boulder field. We continued up the field for a short bit before crossing back over mountaineers creek near the basin's entrance. We cruised on up the basin to views of our route. This is the meadow you read about in trip reports. We somehow ended up having to walk through the meadow on our way back and it was horrible bushwhacking leading up to the meadow and of course the meadow is a swamp so we were wet not that it mattered hiking out. On the way in we went a bit past the meadow before leaving the trail. You can see colchuck peak on the left, argonaut, sherpa pass, and the destination peak Sherpa on the right. 998166BF-BFD1-45A9-9E30-480BDF6EF137.heic The next picture shows our route in red up onto the ridge and shows the standard approach route onto the ridge in blue. We decided to to head up the couloir in red on the picture to gain the ridge early and make the summit that day. It looked like it went and directly to the 2nd notch which would put us right at the start of the reported 5.8 pitches. It did go and we made the notch at about 3:30. The snow was fairly easy to kick steps in approach shoes and we switched to crampons about 1/2 the way up the couloir. On route up the couloir B5BDBA85-CF61-4925-BD44-F362B15A36A4.heic A little over halfway up we hit a rock band we had to ascend over to get back on snow. Maybe low 5th class? I am not good at grading. It was exposed but mostly easy scrambling back onto snow. Pictured below is my partner on the rock section. 63A31BAC-51C8-4C30-A97C-CFD89C24C799.heic We hit snow again for a short bit before getting back onto rock and gaining the ridge. Looking down the couloir below. DFC28675-1992-4D0B-8776-264FF4A66743.heic Pictured below is my partner on the ridge at the 2nd notch and there is the start of the technical climbing. The first pitch and the 2nd pitch were short and loaded with rope drag. Partly due to my poor placement of a few pieces and due to the nature of the route. I also had to be careful on the pitches of poor rock. At one point my foot completely gave out as a rock I was standing on gave way down the mountain. The 3rd pitch was almost a full rope length and much more ascetic. The 4th pitch my partner led was close to a full ropes length and put us on the summit. The last 2 pitches were by far the best. Pictured below is my buddy belaying me at the start of the 3rd pitch. This and one other spot was the only snow on the ridge we had to step through. My Buddies vantage point of the start of our 3rd pitch. s Below is my partner starting out on the 4th and final pitch to the summit. He reported quite a bit of rope drag as he belayed me up. This pitch I found the climbing fun though and was surprised and happy to find myself on the summit at the end of it. This was the other spot on route with a bit of snow. The Summit. We had white out conditions with some light snow flurries the whole way up. It was cold when belaying but warmed up while climbing. We descended the first rap down the "west ridge" into a 3rd class gully. The descent was not as arduous or horrible as many have described or at least that is how I felt. After the first rap you descent the obvious gully climbers left until you run into another rap station around a big boulder. We rapped down onto a gradual snow slope. Below is looking down the gully we followed to the 2nd rap station. 9C81CCB1-2BCF-46F0-9666-C2519C00C03B.heic Looking back up the gully 07723B3D-6711-4ED1-84CD-09B7D51E3C2B.heic Start of traversing at 8000 feet We followed Lemke's descent route which was spot on. After that second route and descending the snow slope it opened up and we headed climbers left at about 8000 feet. Then we ran into the most wonderful bivy site. 08B834C7-A77E-4FBC-A3C2-856095098E4C.heic Looking back at our route down. route down.tif The next day we traversed for just a short bit at 8000 feet before dropping down a longish snow ramp (loose rock late season I imagine) towards 7000 feet. At 7000 feet we made our traverse pretty easily over towards sherpa pass. Below looking back up sherpa pass on the the left and our peak on the right. 9E249E86-1EF0-4FBA-A85F-D2865CD2AF5D.heic Rad trip all in all. We got snowed on a bit that night and it was 24 degrees in the morning but the weather cleared a bit and we could see mount rainier. Gear Notes: Gear to 3" Doubles of .75" and 1" I don't think you need doubles of anything. Set of nuts. Approach Notes: Reference trip report above B5BDBA85-CF61-4925-BD44-F362B15A36A4.heic
  28. 1 point
    What a great way to turn up the adventure for West Mac! Glad you got this TR up, and I especially love the photo that is right after "Steve with the veggie belays"!
  29. 1 point
    You may be the only person I didn't share this with when I saw it! My son and I were just in that valley earlier this year. Pretty crazy to watch.
  30. 1 point
    If you read the Uphill Athlete literature they would advise you to save the money (and energy wasted sleeping like shit in your own bed) and just do way more easy aerobic volume. I find this helpful personally and have had a strong correlation between having lots of endurance and well rested/hydrated and doing great at altitude up to 14k'.
  31. 1 point
    Thanks for the write-up and fine photos! Looks like you had a grand time.
  32. 1 point
    Excellent write up, creaking old troglodyte here climbed in galiber superguides, habelar wood shanked superlights and realized early on to bring running shoes for approaches and some climbs. Then when the dynafit tlt5 came out got rid of my plastic boots, smaller profile better fit, and could ski well. Do most class 3 and low 5 with running shoes last twenty years now, your legs and feet feel fresher and I feel that well into my 60's that technology has delivered more longevity to my bliss. Like kyle there is times I want to pack running shoes, ribelles,and rock shoes for some adventures. Also a great shoe brand is inov-8, its got rubber that sticks on greasy rock and wears well. In the 90's got passed on a 18,500 glaciated pass by 17 year old sherpani carrying 60lbs smoking a cigarette and wearing chinese converse knockoffs. So sometimes yer engine and tech can only take you so far.
  33. 1 point
    Great job Stephan! Less smoke than Seattle anyways, so great decision to go out there...
  34. 1 point
    With work postponed due to smoke I thought I'd toss up a photo of my Chevro-legs that get regular use in the alpine. I've got a pair of G5's that I bought this winter. Haven't used em yet, bought them for a trip to Chamonix and to have a bit warmer boot as an option. I love the Sportiva Trango Ice Cubes and think that that class of a 4 season boot is all you really need in the Cascades. I size mine a half size bigger than my normal street shoe and wear a thick sock, helps with blood circulation. I love the old style of Vertical K (second from bottom right) and would buy ten pairs right now if I could. Note that there isn't a 3 season boot in the line up. Haven't used a 3 season boot for the last 2 years, and haven't felt a need to buy a new pair lately. Thats probably mostly based on the objectives I've been choosing.
  35. 1 point
    Sweet article! For a while I would try getting gear, shoes included, that I thought could be more well rounded so that I'd end up buying less gear. I would now agree with you that a shoe is good at one thing or nothing at all. Maybe thats a bit absolute as the lines can be blurred but there is definitely truth to it. Theres a good reason to have specialized equipment! I was happy to see the bit about using the Dart crampon front section with other Petzl dyneema crampons. I've got the Irvis which I'm sure would climb ice just fine but having vertical points would be preferred.
  36. 1 point
    now i can see what you were describing on the top of sahale! that crazy rainbow halo thing. i've never heard of that before. fun reading your TR and seeing the pics!
  37. 1 point
    Foiled again: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sea-to-sky-gondola-vandalism-2020-1.5723042
  38. 1 point
    Chances are slim to none. Despite many years of trying to find evidence (hair snares, photo traps, etc.), there have been ZERO documented grizzlies in the park. I work with a bunch of wildlife bios and have followed this closely over the years. Black bears are commonly cinnamon, which is why color isn't what you go on. The shape of the head is key, as are long claws, hump on back, etc. Here's a good summary: But, more importantly, that is a HELL OF A LOT OF CLIMBING IN A FEW DAYS! Yowza! Well done!
  39. 1 point
    What do we need during quarantine? More lists! So I recently did a mind dump and listed a bunch of high routes, technical traverse, peak linkups, and ski traverses. Many of these are just unearthed from the grave of CC itself. Here's the content copied from my website: For the purpose of this article, I have color coded routes by four different categories: High Route: These routes are non-technical, meaning no 5th class climbing. However, they may have glacial travel. The purpose is to cover great distance over rugged terrain, not necessarily to summit. Linkup: These routes combine peakbagging, scrambling, and high routing (is that even a verb?). Technical Traverse: These routes have 5th class travel. A rope and protection is commonly used. Ski Traverse: These routes are most commonly done as a ski traverse during winter or spring. Categories can overlap. For example, the Ptarmigan Traverse is both a fantastic ski traverse and high route, but I refer to it as a high route simply because more parties complete it on foot. Additionally, there are many peaks to bag along the way so it could be a linkup. Preface: I apologize for my superfluous use of “classic”. Update: Sam put in an incredible effort to convert the list into a caltopo map! I90 P3 to Defiance Traverse: A ridgewalk, close to Seattle, that involves more bushwhacking than scrambling. Can be extended all the way to Granite. TR. Roosevelt Kaleetan Traverse: An aesthetic ridge, possibly the best low-5th terrain in the Snoqualmie Backcountry, as people say. TR. Chair Bryant Traverse: Begin with the north ridge of Chair, continue all the way to the Tooth or even Denny for bonus fun. TR. Commonwealth Ultimate Ridge Linkup: Incredible bang for you buck with literally miles of 3rd to 5th class terrain. TR. Melakwa Pass Loop: In the winter it would be known as the Chair Peak Circumnavigation. The summer form is a little longer, starting and ending traditionally at the Denny Creek trailhead. TR. Snoqualmie Haute Route: This creative multi day ski traverse wraps around the major peaks of the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River. TR. Alpine Lakes Crest Traverse: Similar to the Haute Route in terrain, but more similar to the Ptarmigan Traverse in character, this route crosses the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness from Snoqualmie Pass to Mt. Daniel. TR. Mt. Daniel Circumnavigation: Mt. Daniel is a deceptively large mountain, holding many glaciers and lakes. TR. Bears Breast Traverse: This remote peak is also home to the “mythical mega slabs”, 3000 ft of sustained 4th and low 5th. TR. Paddy-go-easy High Route: This route covers some beautiful terrain between Paddy-go-easy pass and the Robin Lakes, visiting many tarns along the way. TR. Teanaway Ten: Peakbagger’s delight! The main idea is to bag some amount of peaks (10 is nice and tidy) around the Beverly and Bean Creek basins. TR. Stunning exposure on the Commonwealth Ultimate Ridge Linkup. US2 Persindex Traverse: This was the very first traverse I attempted long ago. It travels through surprisingly alpine terrain between two of the steepest peaks in Washington. TR. Index Traverse: The three summits of Mt. Index compose this huge, committing undertaking, a classic. TR. Alpine Lakes High Route: Perhaps the most classic high route in Washington, with stunning lakes and vistas. TR. Thunder Robin High Route: The logical extension of the Alpine Lakes Crest Traverse to US2 covers some beautiful, forgotten terrain near some very overpopulated terrain. TR. Rock Howard Mastiff Traverse: Three high peaks just east of Stevens Pass. Good access, good skiing. TR. Chiwaukum Traverse: A “new-age” classic ski traverse. The Chiwaukum Range has some huge, open, non-glaciated alpine terrain and is perfect for a ski traverse. TR. Icicle Ridge Traverse: Lots of opportunities along Icicle Ridge and Big Jim and Big Lou to run broad, open ridges. TR. Stuart Range Traverse: The steep couloirs of this range lend themselves to a ski traverse of more ups and downs than sideways. TR. Enchantment Enchainment: Some variation of 9 or 10 Bulgers in the Stuart Range. Many ways to skin this cat. TR. Carne High Route: This popular route is basically a trail, or a good introductory high route. TR. The Entiat 9ers: Maude, 7 Fingered Jack, and Fernow all lie on a ridge together. All are above 9000 ft and in one of the most beautiful settings in the Cascades. All have terrible rock. You get the idea. TR. Little Giant High Pass Loop: 90% of this route is on a trail of some sort, but it’s simply too beautiful to leave out. Add in the Louie Creek High Route to Buck Mountain for a bonus. Great peak bagging opportunities near High Pass. TR. Dakobed Range Circumnavigation: Stunning, remote scenery in the heart of the Glacier Peak Wilderness. If you can tolerate the brush, this is solitude well spent. TR. Dakobed Range Traverse: It also works on skis! Or a splitboard… TR. An Alaskan glacial cirque on the Dakobed Range Circumnavigation. Mountain Loop Highway Three Fingers Traverse: Visible from the Seattle/Everett area, this simply makes sense. TR. Pilchuck Loop: An accessible, introductory high route with some nice lakes along the way. TR. Monte Cristo Linkup: Another underrated area of the Cascades with high alpine peaks and glaciers. TR. Painted Traverse: One of those classic steep-heather sidehilling traverses in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. TR. It also makes for a fantastic ski traverse. Suiattle River Road Bath Lakes High Route: Perhaps THE KING OF STEEP HEATHER high routes. Stretch out your ankles. Get ready. TR. Gunrunner Traverse: Some of the best and most remote alpine rock in the state. Can it be matched? TR. Lime Ridge High Route: Beautiful lake after lake on this lovely high route just north of Glacier Peak. TR. Green Buckindy High Route: The quiet little brother of the Ptarmigan Traverse, this one might be more rugged actually. TR. Dominatrix Traverse: This route travels between Snowking and Chaval, very obscure. TR. The Bath Lakes Peaks in alpenglow. Highway 542 Twin Sisters Traverse: Fun fact – the peaks in the logo of Kulshan Brewing are not Kulshan, but rather the Twin Sisters. TR. Green Creek Circuit: This linkup might be the king of all scramble / low 5th routes in all of Washington. TR. Watson Traverse: Cody Townsend really doesn’t like this one, but others say it’s pretty good. TR. Nooksack Traverse: From Shuksan to Ruth, this traverse crosses some of the most rugged terrain in all of the North Cascades. When will someone link it up with the Watson? TR. Cascade River Road Ptarmigan Traverse: The granddaddy of all Cascade high routes. Keep going over Dome for the best terrain. TR. Torment Forbidden Traverse: Ultra classic traverse in one of the wildest settings in the lower 48. TR. Boston Basin Marathon: An incredible “true ridge traverse” of the Triad, Eldo, Tormet, Forbidden, Boston, and Sahale. TR. Isolation Traverse: An incredible ski traverse. Not sure what else to say. I really want to do this one. TR. Inspiration Traverse: This can be combined with the Isolation Traverse for an incredible loop across some massive glaciers and lofty peaks. TR. Forbidden Tour: Arguably the classic ski loop in the North Cascades. TR. Magic S Loop: While not as well known as the Forbidden Tour, this is also an excellent ski loop. TR. Buckindy Traverse: An incredibly rugged loop on the quiet side of the Cascade River. TR. Teebone Traverse: Another beautiful ridge line in the North Cascades. The descent into Newhalem is legendary… for bad reasons. TR. Morning at the White Rock Lakes on the Ptarmigan Traverse. Highway 20 Watson Blum Traverse: A beautiful traverse across surprisingly glaciated peaks in a remote area. Bring your bacon. TR. Pickets Traverse: Well, we could write a whole article on this alone. There are so many variations: technical, non-technical, north, south, skis. To start, I’d recommend Steph Abegg’s excellent Picket’s page. Try Wayne Wallace’s complete Southern Picket’s Traverse or Dr. Dirtbag bagging the Northern Pickets in a little over 24 hours! Or even a COMPLETE PICKETS TRAVERSE (VII 5.10+)!!! Mystery Ridge – Northern Pickets Traverse: Legends Steph Abegg and Tom Sjolseth say this is the greatest high route they have ever completed, and I don’t doubt them. TR. The Grand Tour: an incredible linkup of the Whatcom High Route, the Pickets Traverse, the Isolation Traverse, and the Ptarmigan Traverse. TR. Ragged Ridge Traverse: Bagging the Bulgers on this high Cascade ridge. TR. Fisher Outpost High Route: A unique route through some very seldom-visited terrain. TR. Logan Goode Buckner Traverse: Everyone knows about the Thunder Slam (Goode Logan Stormking) so here is a fun variation. TR. Logan NW Ridge: Wayne calls this the single longest ridgeline in the lower 48. He soloed it, of course. TR. Goode Megaladon Ridge: NE Buttress isn’t long enough for your tastes? Try this massive ridge traverse on the highest peak in NCNP. TR. Triple Rainbow High Route: Best done as a larch march, this route will make you forget you are in the North Cascades entirely. TR. Liberty Bell Traverse: Likely the shortest approach of any of these. Classic. TR. The Washington Pass Traverse: This incredible route (VI, 5.9+) might be the longest unbroken technical traverse in the state. TR. The Birthday Tour: It might be stretch to call this a ski traverse considering it only takes a few hours. TR. Yearning larches on the Triple Rainbow High Route. Chelan / Methow Pasayten Peakbagging: 8 Bulgers all relatively close together, only separated by miles of choss. TR. Raven Ridge Hoodoo Traverse: A very fun little traverse on surprisingly good rock. Best done during larch season. TR. Switcback – Bigelow Traverse: More larch madness! This can actually be combined with Raven Ridge and Hoodoo for a massive day and 5 Bulgers. TR. Dark Bonanza Traverse: It’s a long ways out there, but it looks really good. Blake says it’s really good. I believe him. TR. 3 Peaks of Bonanza Traverse: This overlaps some with the Dark Bonanaza Traverse, but is huge in its own right. TR. Larch Madness on Raven Ridge from Hoodoo Peak. Southern WA Tatoosh Traverse: A fine adventure that will look particularly impressive when you’re skiing the Muir Snowfield with friends next time. TR. Rainier Ski Circumnavigation: Does it count as a ski traverse if it ends back where it started? TR. Goat Rocks Peakbagging: It would be incomplete to not acknowledge this beautiful wilderness area. TR. Adams Traverse: Up over, and around. More of a trail run than anything. A fun way to experience a volcano. TR. Olympics Tyler – Grey Wolf – Needles Traverse: A huge ridgewalk followed by some decent Olympic alpine rock? Very cool route. TR. Bailey Range Traverse: The classic Olympic high route ending with Olympus itself. TR. Tour of the Gods: An awesome ski trip nailing all the glaciers in the Olympus massif. TR. Brothers Traverse: The classic skyline peak from Seattle, done right. TR. Sawtooth Ridge Traverse: Another massive, obscure ridge traverse from Wayne. TR. The Olympic Ski Traverse: Another rad Jason Hummel ski traverse through the center of the Olympics, north to south. TR. Ellinor Washington Traverse: Classic beginner traverse in the SE corner of the Olympics. Don’t get attacked by a goat. TR. Bonus: Oregon Three Sisters Traverse (plus Broken Top): Looks like a super fun ski traverse with lots of corn and even a little bit of ice climbing! TR. Hurwal Divide Traverse: A high ridgewalk between 9000 ft peaks in Oregon’s greatest mountain range, the Wallowas (not trying to stir any controversy here – I’ve admit I’ve never even been to the Wallowas, but really want to visit). TR. Bonus: British Columbia Spearhead Traverse: Possibly the most famous ski traverse in North America. It’s been done in something like 4 hours, but also has some big new fancy hotels – I mean huts – along the way. TR. Garibladi Neve Traverse: A long, lower elevation, less crowded alternative to the Spearhead. TR. Tantalus Traverse: This athletic, rugged traverse crosses the famous range clearly visible from Squamish. Eric Carter did it in an incredible 18 hours. TR. Bonnington Traverse: Fluffy powder, cozy cabins, this one is a real treat. TR. Jon catches some sunset pow on the Bonnington Traverse. If you read this far, you are obviously interested in exploring and passionate about the mountains of Washington. I hope you found this article informative and can use it as a launching pad for your own explorations!
  40. 1 point
    Amazing country for sure. There are two toes of rock meeting snow in your photo. I crossed snow there and gained the nice ledgy slabs somewhere between those two toes.
  41. 1 point
    Nice job, that is some amazing country!! We were just there last weekend as part of the Ptarmigan Traverse. I am curious to know where you started scrambling Formidable from the last snowfield in the just below the summit basin. We choose a gully feature on the far right (outlined in red below) and the climbing was good Class 2 or 3 all the way to the top with the exception of a loose section near the top. But we topped out on the ridge well east of the main summit. And the traverse along the crest looked loose and more like Class 4 or easy 5th to go along the ridge, down into a notch and then back up to the actual summit. We ended up calling it good on the summit ridge since it was late in the day already and we needed to get back down to Yang Yang Lakes for the night. Do you remember where you went up looking at the photo below?
  42. 1 point
    Did the marathon yesterday but went up the West Ridge of South https://imgur.com/gallery/yYDUvoc and got a ride back to Pole Creek Trailhead (cheating). See attached GPX of the route. There is small stream of water to climber's right coming off the snow between Middle and North in the saddle - didn't get any from this. Between Middle and South there is a snow field near the bottom on descender's right which had a nice stream of water that ran into one of the Chambers Lakes - drank from this. There was also a nice stream at the plateau north of the West Ridge - drank from this. I took 4 liters and wished I had 6, it was warm though. Probably drank 1.5 liter of water from the snow melts. Three Sisters Marathon - S Sister W.gpx
  43. 1 point
    Trip: Three Sisters Marathon - Standard Route(s) Trip Date: 08/22/2020 Trip Report: Summary: Drove over to Pole Creek from Portland on Friday 8/21, even though the USFS website says the area is closed. Based on the fact that there were 50 cars at the trailhead, no one was fooled. My timeline is below. Certainly not bragging, but perhaps indicative of what a normal person could expect as opposed to the athletes on this site. I think I went the way most do. Up the SE Ridge of North, down the S Ridge across the snow and up Middle, down the S side of Middle and up the N Ridge of South. 4:00am - Departed Pole Creek Trailhead 4:30am - Begin bushwhack just past Soap Creek (lots of windthrow) 9:03am - Summit North Sister 12:12pm - Summit Middle Sister 5:06pm - Summit South Sister 7:56pm - Back at Camp Lake 11:45pm - Back at car at Pole Creek 11:46pm - First sip of cold beer all day (Russian River Blind Pig IPA) 11:47pm - Remove shoes 3:30am - Arrive home in Portland Beta: There is a lot of windthrow after you leave the trail near Soap Creek. In the dark, it is harder to pick your way through. There is no snow or ice on the Traverse or in the Bowling Alley. I climbed up the right side of the bowling alley on the "more solid" rock that looks back down over the Traverse. There is a piece of pro that someone left mid-traverse, but they forgot my fixed line. There are at least two fresh slings on the main rap rock at the top of the Bowling Alley. And, over on the North Ridge of South Sister, someone was nice enough to leave a rope, leading around the last band of rock, just below the lower-angle section at the top. Slings there not quite as fresh! Observations: I'm getting way too old for this. This is very likely the last time I go up North Sister. After you get about 8 miles from a trailhead, there are very few people who are not really fit. There are lots of butterflies up top right now! Now, I totally understand why people drop a car at the other side of South! Photos: Took a few, but I will spare you the selfies of my ugly mug holding up one, two, and three fingers at the top of each hill! Gear Notes: Tennis Shoes and water Approach Notes: Pole Creek TH up SE Ridge of North Sister and onward
  44. 1 point
    I do not know exactly where their route goes but I am guessing this is the aprox line as he mentions in the post when they emerged onto the north ridge they were surprised they missed the access gully to the upper north ridge and they were close to the gendarme. I think I have seen photo with some steep good ice in the lower ridge. PHOTO CREDIT ED COOPER Also at the base of the gendarme they finished on the NE face
  45. 1 point
    Trip: Abernathy Peak - Northwest Ridge Trip Date: 08/22/2020 Trip Report: Abernathy Peak 8321’ Trip Report – August 22-24, 2020 I climbed Abernathy Peak, the Northwest Ridge Route, over the weekend. This route can be done in 2 long days, I started late so I stretched it into a third day. The weather was perfect all weekend 70’s – 80’s. I started at the Cedar Creek Trailhead off Hwy 20 about 5 miles West of Mazama. I went up Trail 476 (Cedar Creek Trail) about 8.5 miles. At 5600’on the trail I took a hard left off the trail heading East along the 5600’contour line heading toward the South Fork of Cedar Creek. The bushwacking on this approach is pretty nice by Cascade standards. Most of the brush is waste deep and not super thick, so navigation was pretty easy. Once to the South Fork of Cedar Creek, I follow up the East side of the creek to Lamont Lake (6640’). Getting up to the lake requires some work, either a loose rock gully or some Class 3 rock. The camping along Lamont Lake is fantastic, lots of room and flat areas for tents. Just before heading out in the morning from the lake I was serenaded by a pack of coyotes for about 30 seconds from somewhere on the other side of the lake. They must have felt that it was a glorious morning too. I climbed up a gully on the Southwest side of the lake that lead to the Northwest Ridge leading to Abernathy Peak. The gully is loose rock and steep up the middle but there is a goat trail off to the right side which is a better route. Once on the Northwest Ridge to Abernathy the travel is very nice, lots of potential for camping. About halfway to Abernathy Peak you will start hitting 2nd & 3rd Class rock that will take you to the summit. Some of the rock on the ridge is exposed but fairly solid. There are a couple plateaus along the way up that you could camp on. Overall the climb is very nice with decent views and you get to checkout some history in the old mining area. The trail approach is nice with several camping options along the way. Most people on this trail are day hikers, I was the only climber in the area this weekend. Some Tips and Notes: 1. There are several camp spots along the Cedar Creek Trail & great camping at Lamont Lake. 2. The bushwacking to Lamont Lake is not bad compared to the Westside of the Cascades. 3. There is about 600’ vertical of steep gully or Class 3 rock to get to Lamont Lake by way of the South Fork of Cedar Creek. There may be an easier way but this was fine for me. 4. There is no water on the Northwest Ridge to Abernathy so bring what you need from the lake. Travel Time for reference: Day 1 (TH to Lamont Lake), 7 hours – Day 2 (Summit & back to lower camp off trail), 11 hours – Day 3 (back to car), 1 hours. Gear used: Trekking Poles, Helmet, Full Gaiters, Work Gloves. The camping at Lamont Lake is very nice, worth the bushwack! Gully climb up from Lake Lamont to the Northwest Ridge of Abernathy Peak. I climbed the gully closest to the 1st pointy peak, you can see the goat trail at the base of the peak. Northwest Ridge to Abernathy Peak. Nice relaxing ridge climb. Some old mining equipment along the route. Summit View - A good peak to plan other climbs from. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Helmet, Full Gaiters, Work Gloves. Approach Notes: Trail 476 (Cedar Creek Trail). Bushwacking to Lamont Lake.
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Silverstar Mountain - Complete East Ridge Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: Over the weekend Gabe and I ticked off another Wa Pass obscurity with the East Ridge of Silverstar. Apart from a two part NWMJ story (P1 and P2), Allen/Layton's Wa pass traverse, and a few comments from Scott Johnson we had very little specific beta on the route. I'm curious how many people have climbed this route. It proved to be quite the adventure and I feel like it would be a shame to take that from the next party to go up there. So in order to preserve the adventure and mystery of the route I've decided to be vague on specifics and heavy on photos for this TR. Here are a few notes that I wish I had known before heading out. 1.)Don't rely on Mudhole lake as a water source, the first spot we pulled from was rank and clogged up our filter really badly. We should have expected that... 2.)Expect just enough terrible rock with enough frequency to be stressful. 3.)Don't expect to find prefab bivy spots along the way. The only one we saw was the one we made. 4.)The lichen grows thick in these parts. Now here's the photo dump. Day 1 Mudhole Lake AKA Horseshit puddle Long way to go Silver Moon and Varden creek spire, the 3rd "major" summit along the ridge Finally able to see the meat of the ridge Our nice little sloping bivy Day 2 Started the day with a rappel and stuck rope. Looking back at Silverhorn and Silver Moon, as well as many other gendarmes and sub-summits Summit at last! Traversing back to Burgundy col Gear Notes: Singles .2-4, Doubles .3-2 and a bunch of slings. 1 60m rope and 30 ft of tat. You could bring less of everything if you soloed more of the ridge, we roped up earlier than most other parties. Approach Notes: Take the unmarked horse packing trail a few hundred feet up the cedar creek trail. Just keep following the ridge to infinity and beyond.
  47. 1 point
    Trip: West Lion - Winter - North Couloir to NW Ridge Trip Date: 02/09/2020 Trip Report: This trip report is 2 months late but wanted to post this for folks in the future looking for info on this route/or the West Lion in general. On Feb 9 Richard, David and I Climbed the the West Lion via the N couloir and then the NW ridge. We were around 14hrs car to car which seems pretty average for winter routes up on the lions. Some faster groups do achieve 8-12hr range c to c. Nevertheless winter routes up here are always a longer day. For general info I'm aware of the following winter routes on the West Lion, there could be more... SE Gully - WI4- - 140m NE Buttress - AI3/M4 - 400m NE Buttress with East Face Approach - Difficulty Unknown North Face - Hard (Line below is approx) North Couloir to West Ridge - AI4- - 400m North Couloir to West Ridge Direct (no rappel) - M4/M5 addition? Photo topo of the North side routes and approach on West Lion Photo posted by Don Serl on Westcoastice Facebook group, outlining the East side routes on the West lion including a variation entrance onto the NE buttress in orange. I climbed the SE gully via the Red line, although I notice the original line in yellow goes out left. North Couloir to NW Ridge. Upper part of the route as viewed from the approach basin. Descent gully noted on the right. Looking up the North side of the West Lion while approach the North Couloir. Richard soloing up the lower portion of the North Couloir. Photo of me leaving the comfortable cave on Pitch 2 in the Couloir Dave coming up pitch 2 in the Couloir. Richard on pitch 3 in the Couloir. Photo of me on the 4rth pitch just after rapping from the notch Richard leading the last section of ice on pitch 6. Dave and Richard walking up the last portion to the summit with epic views that evening toward Howe sound/Strait of Georgia. Descending the gully back to the approach basin in fading light. On Feb 9 no flotation was needed on the approach, although the north side had much deeper penetration (crotch deep coming into gully). After being up to the lions area well over a dozen times in the winter I have concluded it is more likely then not, that flotation will be needed/helpful on the approach to the basin. FYI I have found that the approach trail up is too steep to skin up efficiently, and offers a very short (not worthwhile) ski descent. Conditions are very fickle for north shore alpine ice. When routes come in shape they seem to last only a couple weeks per season. I feel this line is similar in overall difficulty/ exertion as the winter NW buttress but this has more full length ice pitches then the NW buttress. I don't recall reading the route grade for the N Coulior/West Ridge but these are my thoughts on the difficulty (certainly conditions dependent): Pitch 1 - AI2+ - 70m P2 - AI3 out of cave - 60m P3 - AI3 step with vertical snow just below the notch - 30m (40m Rappel from notch on shrub to next continuous ice flow) P4 - AI4-/3+ - 50m P5 - Steep snow to base of last ice pitch - 70m P6 - AI3 - 60m Walk to summit 14hr car to car Cheers, Henrik Hinkkala Gear Notes: x2-60m half ropes, 10 extendable slings/runners (used all), 4 nuts (didn't use), 9 screws most 13-17cm (Used 7, many got rocked), 3 pitons + spectre (used all), 5 cams (blue/ yellow/ orange metolious, red ultralight, red link cam- used all but blue/ yellow), 1 picket (used twice) Approach Notes: Follow Lions Trail up to Lions Basin
  48. 1 point
    Great TR. Would be awesome if the pics could be restored!
  49. 1 point
    Might be simpler/cheaper to put a plastic bag over your head and rubber band it around you neck. If you can do 50 laps on Chair Peak in winter without removing it, wearing only running shoes and a wife beater, then you may be ready for the Kukuczka line on K2. Just don't buy your rope used in a Katmandu bazaar.
  50. 1 point
    You should set up a tolling system Darin. Now one of the most climbed alpine routes outside of WA pass and da Toof? I better check it out before it gets too polished.
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