Jump to content

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 04/19/22 in all areas

  1. 17 points
    Trip: North Cascades - Sloan Peak - Superalpine (WI3-4, 1000') 04/17/2022 Trip Date: 04/17/2022 Trip Report: Fabien and I climbed Superalpine this past Sunday and topped out on Sloan peak. History: This route was attempted on 02/28/2020 by Kyle and Porter and on 03/15/2020 by Porter and Tavish We left Saturday afternoon, got the car to about 2000ft on FS 4096 just before the snow became continuous. We skinned in with overnight gear and setup camp near a small accessible stream feeding Bedal Creek at 3600ft. Sunday we woke up at 4:00 a.m. and we're breaking trail soon after. We found an easy crossing across the creek at 3950ft and stayed climber's right of the moraine to avoid being in an avy path until we were forced back in the forest. We started seeing the route peeking through the trees and reached the large snow field below the West face of Sloan peak. We approached up to the base of a left leading couloir and stashed the skis there (A). Route: We booted up the couloir, encountered a small step (B) and roped up at (C). (C-D) Short WI4 followed by easier climbing. Careful with rope drag on the rock if the belayer is in the sheltered area before the ice. (D-E) Short ice steps separated by snow. Setup an anchor on the right side at (E) (E-F) Left leaning ice staircase in what looks like a dihedral. (F-G) Snow up to a belay stance in a 5ft step. (G-H) Small ice step then snow up to belay in thin ice. (H-I) Mostly snow with some good ice screw placements. Belayed off a snow anchor. (I-J) 30ft of Easy mixed climbing. Placed cams 0.5 to 1 and made a snow anchor on a wind hardened snow fin: (J-K) Snow bowl. This can have a lot of sluffing and is dangerous if the snow is unstable. We were able to follow a path up that had already sluffed away. It was mostly the top 2in of snow that had fallen the previous night. (K-L) Snow bowl up to a notch on the ridge slightly climbers right (L-M) About 200ft of ridge traverse to the summit. Descent: (J-N) We decided to go down the snow ramp on the other side of the mountain that the corksrew follows for a bit. We aimed for a gendarme (Below the N). From there we did one 30M rappel off and traversed under the gendarme to the corkscrew route (O). By then the East side of Sloan Peak was in the shade and we found good snow to front-point sideways and down a ramp for almost 1000ft. (650ft elevation loss) There was a moat at the bottom which we negotiated skier's right. We had brought two poles up for the next section that involved wallowing across the bottom of the SE face to reach the South ridge of Sloan at 6750ft. (P) From there, we headed back to the W ridge near where the route starts (Q). It doesn't look like it can be traversed easily a first but there's a passage around 6100ft. At this point, we could see our skis and felt like it was in the bag. The chute skied amazingly well but once we reached the snow field, the snow had started to crust making it quite hard to turn. We arrived back at camp at dark pretty tired. Since we both had engagements on Monday, we slept until 4:00 a.m then skied most of the way back and made it home by 11:00 a.m. Overall, this is a fun route when the conditions are there. The snow bowl at the top is probably the most dangerous part of the route when the snow is unstable. It may be possible to bypass by staying on the ridge (Probably from J). Strava GPX Enjoy! Gear Notes: Gear: 11 ice screws (Used all) 8 draws 2 pre-rigged quads 0.3 - 2" cams 1 picket (2 would be better) Small Nuts (Unused) Approach Notes: Drive from Darrington while Bedal pass is closed. High clearance vehicle recommended for FS 4096
  2. 7 points
    Trip: Mount Torment - Moraine Lake Couloir, NW Glacier Trip Date: 04/16/2022 Trip Report: Me and the boys (@Albuquerque Fred, @thedylan, @MGraw) had a great time in the sun for the chilly weekend of April 16-17 on Mount Torment. We skied the Moraine Lake Couloir and most of the NW Glacier on Mount Torment. We were able to drive to .5 miles past the gate at the park boundary on Cascade River Road before we hit snow. We booted for about a half mile past that, then skinned to the Eldorado Trailhead. We again booted to the boulderfield at 4k as per usual, then we skinned up, crossing the ridge into Torment Basin, and to Torment Col (west of Torment). The skiing down from there was good but I was too interested in what was to come to really think much about it. The plan was to climb Torment, then ski the couloir to Moraine Lake and camp. When we got to the entrance to the couloir though the exit onto the glacier looked tough. Dylan gamely started to lead with only pickets for pro, 1 aluminum axe, and aluminum crampons, plus skis and overnight gear on his back. Just out of the belay we realized we would never have time to climb all this and make camp at a reasonable hour so Mike suggested a new plan , we would fix the line and finish the route tomorrow. Dylan got the rope up, rapped, and we skied the AMAZING couloir down to the lake. As in most features like this, the snow being good wasn't the most important part. The setting, the purity of the line, the adventure was made it rock. But the skiing was also good. Making camp at like 4pm in April was full on cushy, plenty of time to build a monster wall around the tent, drink whisky, and lounge. The next morning we booted the couloir, climbed the fixed line, and ascended the NW Glacier on Torment. We had limited beta on this but Tom Sjolseth's report said "we skinned to within 50' of the summit", easy right. Well, not so much. We ran into another short rock step, which, though easy would involve another two transitions to get past. We figured it would be after 10pm by the time we got to the car, so we bailed at 7300'. The ski was epic. Top 5 ski runs ever for sure. We will be back for the summit. The crew: Thanks for the shot Mike: Dylan scouted the scary roll over: Dylan rapping after the lead: I'm sure Fred didn't just fall: Mike and Dylan working the lower couloir: The whole thing: Dylan slays it, even in camp: If you have to boot it might as well be into the sunshine: Mike following the fixed rope: Topping out: This sucked: We should have lapped this one. Classic Cascdes: Gear Notes: 1 axe, crampons, glacier gear, avy gear, camping gear. not enough. Approach Notes: Eldo worked well, I've done Torment Basin and didn't want to do it with skis on my back.
  3. 5 points
    Trip: Mount Stuart - Stuart Glacier Couloir Trip Date: 04/24/2022 Trip Report: http://gorobets.com/TRs/Stuart_Glacier_Couloir_2022_04_24.htm Gear Notes: 1 single ropes 60 m A pair of ice tools each 2 short screws on ice steps 2 pickets to belay 1st ice step Single rock rack from #.3 to #3 Carried pitons, nuts, smaller cams, but not used Approach Notes: Used snowshoes
  4. 5 points
    Trip: A Peak - Knickerbocker and the Bull Moose (FA) Trip Date: 04/25/2022 Trip Report: With a short good weather window and high hopes Earl and I set off into the Cabinets to see what we could find on the North Face of A Peak. We left the trailhead under warm and sunny skies and enjoyed the dirt trail and glacier lily's for the first couple miles. It was definitely spring and we wondered if maybe we were too late in the season already. But about halfway in on the Granite Lake Trail we started hitting snow and by the time we arrived at Granite Lake there had been multiple postholes. Thankfully we arrived an hour before dark so we had time to scope the face of A Peak with binoculars. There was still ice on the Thunderdome and 3 Tiers but it was looking warm and rotting. The north face of A Peak looked good however and we soon decided on our line. The goal was to climb up a main couloir that slices up the face and then follow the corner system above to the summit ridge. After a short night we were hiking out of camp by 3:15am. A couple hours later as the sun rose, we had crampons on and were booting up mostly neve snow in the entrance couloir. The couloir climbing was steep but easy and I was surprised at how good the ice flows were that poured in from the left wall. My partner Earl had climbed these ice features to the snow field above and then connected a line to the summit ridge 3 weeks ago as a solo first ascent (Bull River Prowler, M4, AI3, 600m). At the top of the couloir the real climbing began. We followed the corner system above mostly containing mixed rock with a few patches of ice in the corners. The gear was generally good but the climbing slow and tedious cleaning snow off the rock or testing holds for loose rock. On the 3rd pitch Earl was cleaning some loose rocks when the snow mushroom he was standing on collapsed. He was suddenly left dangling from one hand on a great steinpull. Somehow he kept his composure and reestablished his feet on the rock before taking the fall. After 4 pitches of engaging climbing we reached a saddle in the buttress that had been on our right. From here the obvious line continued another 4 pitches up the corner systems above. These pitches were all easier in difficulty and had more ice. The 6th pitch was probably the most aesthetic if only because it started on a thin ice traverse that allowed for some great pictures. By this point on the face we had an incredible view of the basin below and even across the ridges towards the town of Libby. The last pitch ended with a chimney, then a "birth canal" squeeze to some cornice digging to reach the summit ridge. All in all it was a proper adventure. We were 12hrs climbing the 8 pitches and 18hrs camp to camp. The decent was pretty straightforward because we could see. We hiked the ridge to the south towards Snowshoe Peak until we found a steep slope between cliff bands to descend back down into the basin to the east. From there it was a couple miles and several thousand feet of postholing down the basin and back around to Granite Lake. We called our line Knickerbocker and the Bull Moose in reference to both the Wool Knickers that Earl wore on the ascent as well as the moose that continually likes to post hole and destroy our trail into granite lake. It was an awesome experience to be able to put up such an amazing line on A peak. The climbing is quite good and in my opinion on par with many of the classic climbs I have done in the Ruth Gorge of AK (in terms of difficulty and quality). Knickerbocker and the Bull Moose, IV, M5, AI4, 600m. Looking up at A Peak from Granite Lake in the fading light. Roughly the route we took. Passing by the route that Earl had put up 3 weeks before called Bull River Prowler. Our route continued up the couloir and then the corner system above. Looking down the couloir from the top as we rack up for the mixed pitches. Earl starting up pitch 1. Looking up the top half of pitch 2 which turned out to be the crux. Looking down from the top of Pitch 2. Earl starting up Pitch 3. Earl starting up pitch 5 where the climbing got easier. Enjoying some thin ice on the beautiful Pitch 6. Me looking up Pitch 7 before starting out. The upper half of the route was mostly this terrain...fun moderate mixed climbing. Looking up the beginning of pitch 8 with the cornice looming overhead. Earl and I on the summit ridge while on the decent with the true summit directly behind us. Gear Notes: We had double set of cams from .4 to #2 with single #3, 8-10 pins (heavy on the LAs and KBs), set of offset nuts, set of tri-cams(doubles in the 2 smallest sizes) and 5 screws (all short). We placed a lot of pins and the tri-cams came in very useful as well. In addition we wished we had a couple more small cams below .4. Approach Notes: Hike the Granite Lake Trail to Granite Lake in the Cabinet Mountains. From the lake hike up 2000ft to the base of the North Face.
  5. 5 points
    Post-accident threads quickly move from condolences to incident analysis, and I think a signifcant part of that is to identify an error so that the reader can say "Oh, I would never make THAT mistake." This joins the parade of little white lies we tell ourselves to justify the risks of climbing. The reality is that bad things can happen in the mountains no matter how good or careful you are. Sometimes the only error was being there in the first place. Regarding the original post, we don't know the exact conditions at the time of the incident nor the Dr's abilities or risk tolerance, so I don't think we can objectively question his judgment. Part of the beauty of life is that we each get to make our own choices on this journey.
  6. 4 points
    Trip: South Early Winters Spire - SW Couloir Trip Date: 05/14/2022 Trip Report: Wow, it has been a long time since I did a TR on here. Maybe that is because I am mostly climbing middle aged weekend warrior stuff these days, of which there is no end of TRs in this database. But, I was reminded yesterday, those trips are still quite a hoot, even almost 30 years since I first started rambling around the North Cascades. I mean what's not to like a about driving a couple hours from your warm bed, skiing up to an aesthetic couloir and tagging a purty summit with good friends? Even if two of those friends wanted to start two hours after you did and the other friend forgot their skis and set it all back another hour? But none of that could detract from the timeless fun of good times in the hills with old and new friends. And, truth be told, the SNAFUs actually all worked out for the best, since we had the summit to ourselves during the only sunny spell of the day. And that is why, even though I've lost count of the number of times I've climbed S. Early, I will be back! @therunningdog and Sara on the approach: @cfire booting up the SW couloir in a squall: The best ambiance: The stoke was high for Sara! Cumbre!: Selfie: Mind the gap: Typical shenanigans on the descent: The route: Across to Golden Horn and Tower: @cfire ready to slay the schmoo: Whistler Peak from the highway, apres: You don't bring an end table for TH apres snacks? The always beautiful Silverstar between squalls: Gear Notes: Helmet, axe, crampons, flotation. Rope is optional, depending on your comfort with the exposure. Approach Notes: Park at Blue Lake TH and go up! You can't miss it.
  7. 4 points
  8. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Shasta - Casaval Ridge Trip Date: 05/04/2022 Trip Report: Seeing a break in the weather around the Mt Shasta area I decided I would make a move on Casaval Ridge. This route has been on my list for a while and now seemed like a great time for it. I left Bunny Flat trailhead around noon Tuesday. I could see high winds and spindrift off the top (very cool) High winds made for slow going. I had seen most parties who do this route bivy around 10,500 but I had more time before I wanted to sleep and I saw a higher notch that looked more protected. The temps were going to be higher than wanted both days so I did not want any overhead hazards while sleeping in the heat of the day. I found a notch in the ridge just above 11,000ft. Beautiful evening and views on the ridge. Seeing some wind textured snow higher on the route and a few inches of wind loading near ridgeline lower on the route I was sure I didn't want to be anywhere near those when the sun heated them up. Moving by 2 am I found a faint boot pack that lead me through the lower gap and to the base of the catwalk. The catwalk was in great shape, I found some bare ice higher on route that made for super fun climbing. topped out Casaval Ridge around 5 am right as the sun came up. Misery hill made less miserable by a great sunrise! Made it up Misery Hill and across the plateau to the summit pinnacle making it on top around 6:30. Couldn't really ask for better conditions and had such a fun time!! The ski down avy gulch was icy and slow but I'm sure when it gets sun it's a classic haha. Back to the trailhead by 9 am and back home to Washington before dinner. Thanks for reading!! a great start to spring and hopefully more to come! Gear Notes: Nothin special, skis to make the decent a little more interesting Approach Notes: followed the first chute to the west of the ridge
  9. 2 points
    GONE! Free for pickup in Bellingham: John Scurlock photo, won at a Banff screening several years ago. About 32x24 in nice frame and matte. Bellingham pickup only. TEXT ME AT (360) THREE ONE NINE 3 ZERO 5 ZERO (sorry about the caps but I'm not rewriting that)
  10. 2 points
    It may have been possible to skin through the step but it didn't look probable. I suspect the step is a victim of glacial recession. Here is May 2011 when Tom was there: And April 2022:
  11. 2 points
    Trip: Patagonia - Torre Egger Smash 'n Grab - Huber-Schnarf Trip Date: 01/21/2022 Trip Report: Climbers: Jeff and Priti Wright Location: Patagonia - Chaltén Massif - El Chaltén, Argentina Traverse of 3 peaks: Aguja Standhardt - Punta Herron - Torre Egger Climb Date: January 18, 2022 - January 21, 2022 Full Trip Report: https://alpinevagabonds.com/torre-egger-traverse-a-smash-n-grab-story/ Climbs/Rappels Aguja Standhardt Climb via the North Ridge route Festerville (400m 90° 6c) in 15 pitches (14 pitches of rock and 1 pitch of rime ice) from Col Standhardt Aguja Stanhardt Rappel via South Face (7 Rappels) Punta Herron Climb via North Face route Spigolo dei Bimbi (350m 90° 6b) in 9 pitches (5 pitches of rock and 4 pitches of snow+ice+rime ice) Punta Herron Rappel via South Face (1 Rappel) Torre Egger Climb via North Face route Espejo del Viento (200m 80° 6a+, often referred to as the “Huber-Schnarf” route) in 5 pitches (3 pitches of rock and 2 pitches of snow+rime ice) Torre Egger Rappel via Titanic (countless Rappels, two downclimbing snowfields, and one 30m downclimb from the summit) In January of 2022, we completed another Patagonian “Smash ‘n Grab”, summiting three of the four peaks in the Torre Range via previously established routes (11 days Seattle-to-Seattle): Aguja Standhardt, Punta Herron, and Torre Egger. Including our ascent of Cerro Torre in 2020, we have now climbed all four summits of the Cerro Torre skyline, making Priti the first female to summit all four peaks. 2022 marked our fifth climbing trip to El Chaltén. In 2019, we completed a 10 day Smash ‘n Grab of Cerro Chaltén (Fitz Roy). In 2020, we spent two months in El Chaltén, during which time we climbed Cerro Torre on the route Via dei Ragni. Urgency and several parties in line behind compelled us to accept a top-rope on the final pitch of the summit mushroom of Cerro Torre, joining the conga line. Pink: The accidental line we took on wet, grimey terrain....oops (not recommended); Blue: the original route Festerville on golden granite Their 2022 traverse from Aguja Standhardt to Torre Egger enchained three distinct climbing routes (all established by different parties), climbing for four days and three nights, bivying twice on Standhardt and climbing through the third night up-and-over Torre Egger. After arriving in El Chaltén, we cached a tent at the standard Niponino Base Camp, carrying a tarp and a double sleeping bag for the traverse. We started on the route Festerville (400m 90° 6c) which follows the spine of the North Ridge of Aguja Standhardt for approximately 13 rock pitches. Another team of two (Michał Czech from Poland and Agustín de la Cerda from Chile) started up the route ahead of us and the four effectively joined forces, climbing symbiotically, each team helping the other along the way. After summiting Cerro Standhardt via 30 meters of 90° ice and rime, Michał and Agustín rappelled the Exocet route back to Base Camp while we (Jeff and Priti) made seven rappels down the South Face of Cerro Standhardt, continuing the traverse. The South Face rappels end 30 meters below the Col de los Sueños (the col between Standhardt and Punta Herron), requiring climbing the final 30m of the route Tobogán to reach the col. The traverse continued up to Punta Herron via the route Spigolo dei Bimbi (350m 90° 6b) climbing 5 pitches of rock and another two pitches of beautiful, vertical ice and rime to the summit. A single rappel from the summit of Punta Herron led down to Col de la Luz under the North Face of Torre Egger. Spigolo dei Bimbi included some of the most fantastic rock climbing that we have ever climbed in Patagonia! From Col de la Luz, we continued up the route Espejo del Viento (200m 80° 6a+, often referred to as the “Huber-Schnarf” route) in the dark of night for three rock pitches which ends in a long, run-out, wet, technical slab traverse under Torre Egger’s overhanging summit mushroom. We continued through the night, climbing two more moderate pitches up the mushroom on easier 70 degree snow and ice to the summit of Torre Egger at 2:00AM, the most difficult summit in the Chaltén massif. We continued through the night without a bivouac, descending 27 rappels and down-climbing along the route Titanic which follows the East Pillar of Torre Egger. Upon reaching the tent at Niponino in the Torre Valley after 44 hours of constant movement, we collapsed in the tent realizing we were too late to catch their planned flight home. Unfortunately, we neglected to notify anyone that we were missing our early-morning airport taxi. When the taxi arrived at our hostel Aylen-Aike, the driver woke up Korra Pesce who was sleeping in the room where we had previously slept. Korra notified the hostel owner Seba and Rolando “Rolo” Garibotti who were all quite worried and proceeded to notify rescue teams. Later that morning, Rolo successfully contacted us on our inReach before any rescue efforts began, teaching us a valuable lesson: let people know if you're going to be late! A week later, a team of bold volunteers attempted an unsuccessful rescue of Korra Pesce, the legendary French-Italian Alpinist, on the North Face of Cerro Torre who will be sorely missed by his friends, family, companions, and fans. Being back at home in the US by the time the accident occurred, we wished that we had been present to aid the operations. The 2021/2022 Patagonia season was marked by several notable deaths and rescues in the mountains as well as several celebrated new climbs. Patagonia continually demands of its visitors the humility that this place deserves. We really want to thank Rolando Garibotti and Colin Haley for their beta, support, and encouragement; Agustín and Michał for being a great team to partner with as we shared the same objective on Cerro Standhardt; Aylen-Aike for putting us up at the last minute in El Chaltén; Hector Tito Soto Nieto and Andrew Reed for loaning us your cams (we decided what route to do while on the airplane); our bosses and work colleagues for letting us go for a week with hardly any notice; Ilia Slobodov for the awesome weather updates while on route; and Kelly Cordes for the rad Patagonia gear. Priti on the summit of Torre Egger, 2:00AM. Time to rappel. Gear Notes: 2x Camalots to #1, 2x TCUs, 1x Camalots to #3, 6 ice-screws, a set of stoppers, and deadman stuff sack (substitute a jacket instead?) to rappel off of Torre Egger (or a retrievable ice tool anchor or downclimb) Approach Notes: Approach as for Col Standhardt
  12. 2 points
    Oh yeah, beta photos for the Forbidden Tour. The Forbidden glacier looked good down the gut: The exit was looking a bit thin already, but very doable:
  13. 2 points
    His body was first spotted from a helicopter, said to have been at the base of the climb, which I assume means the snow fan beneath the first couloir. The coroner's report indicated catastrophic injury, consistent with being struck by something heavy falling from a good distance above, or striking hard rock or ice after free falling a significant distance. Could have been either of these. Fall seems more likely to me but it's impossible to know which, unless the rescue team saw clear evidence of a large mass of rock or ice debris that traveled down with him. I am somewhat curious to know if the team saw such debris, but not curious enough to seek them out and ask. I appreciate the tone of respect and concern in the posts. Haven't posted here in years but this brings back fond memories of many intense discussions about this heavy subject, almost all of which left me impressed with the character of the CC.com community. I don't perceive any tone of judgment, rather an effort to keep the discussion reasoned and respectful, including those who dispute with JeffreyW about length of WI sections or ability to self arrest on steep snow. One thing I'm sure of: Rick was fully aware of the risks he took. He was training for a 2nd attempt of K2, after all.
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    I have been slacking! But @dberdinka never does when he is in the hills. Here he is heading to the North ridge of Torment:
  16. 1 point
    https://lakechelannow.com/north-cascades-highway-update/ Seems like next weekend isn't going to happen, mid May this year?
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    Holy blast from the 20 year past ! Was looking for info on a route further down and tripped over this post. I'll confess, Jim Robinson drilled but I supplied the bolts. Jim was all but living out there back then although as I understand he quit climbing @ 15 years back, so as regular as anyone else I suppose. The SS bolts we put in are still there today, thanks for not chopping them Paul. Man, times been flyin'....
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    Trip: Lemolo Peak (erstwhile Hardest Mox) - NE Buttress ("After Hours") V 5.10- R Date: 9/12/2008 Trip Report: Summary: On 9/12 and 9/13/2008, Rolf Larson and Eric Wehrly climbed the NE Buttress of the 8501' summit to the E of SE Mox Peak. The NE buttress on right division of dark and light, John Scurlock photo: A shot from the other side on our descent: From what we can tell, our route shares several pitches with Layton and Wolfe's E Face line "The Devil's Club", somewhere in the middle third of the ascent. "After Hours" (appropriate for several reasons) takes a direct start on the NE Buttress toe, and ends at the summit of what some have referred to as "Hardest Mox", the apparently heretofore unclimbed peak to the E of SE Mox. We continued to SE Mox Peak from there, adding a bit more engaging climbing. I believe that we are the first ascentionists of this peak, and hence can derive a little fun naming it. If this is the case, in keeping with the naming convention of Mox ("twin") Peaks, we propose Lemolo Peak; "Lemolo" is Chinook jargon for wild, or untamed. Klone (Chinook for "three") Peak would also be appropriate, but is already taken in Washington. If this summit is not worthy of a separate name, then no sweat--I already had my fun. I think that Rolf (aka the Bard of Leavenworth) is crafting a TR in iambic pentameter; until then, the following must do... Overview: Day 1, approach from Little Beaver to c. 5000' bivy in Perry Creek basin; 9 hours. Day 2, finish approach to 6000' rock start, and climb to 8200' bivy; 13.5 hours. Day 3, proceed to 8501' summit, then ridge traverse to SE Mox 8504', and descend to camp via gullies and unnamed glacier SE of Mox; 9 hours (ish?). Day 4, thrash homeward; 7 hours even, every minute fun. More detailed notes and pictures (I took all pictures; when the Bard isn't writing, his other job is male supermodel): On morning approach day 1, Jack Mtn and Nohokomeen Gl: Early part of roped climbing on day 2, somewhere around 7000': I was pretty worked from the day 1 approach, and started to get some hand cramps about 1000' into the climb; so Rolf took up the yoke and led the majority of the steep headwall in the middle third of the climb. He drew the crux pitch, which among its cruxes, included pulling a roof over suspect gear. Rolf reached into his puny reservoir of Solid and cruised the pitch—-one of the most impressive leads I'll witness. It was here that I believe he threw an alpine berserker gang-sign. No time for pics, but after following the pitch, I took a shot back at its traverse element: You might be able to make out some tat from MnE's rap 3 years ago. Additionally, looking at this pic from Mike's report, I surmise that while those guys went up and left from that point, we went up and right, cutting back left eventually. Here's Rolf making his way through more roofs: Some exposure from this belay, looking down at the buttress: At about 7500', I led what we jokingly referred to as a "comeback pitch" left and then up one of the few clean splitters we encountered, very exposed, then Rolf zagged back right across the buttress crest: The climbing was exposed and a lot of fun; I like the Bard's term for it, "cerebral", ha. Another shot a bit higher, ~8000': We had enough daylight to search around for bivy sites between 8000 and 8300, and settled on a then-windless site at 8200'. Temps were dropping a bit more steeply than we expected; we'd left our sleeping bags in favor of a lighter jacket-and-backpack bivy, and paid for our insouciance. We were so giddy about our situation, that we giggled convulsively through the night. Here's the alpine rat burrowing in for Led Zeppelin's "you shook me" all night long: Took some solace from the views; underexposed Picket Range: After the sun came up and I drank from my partially frozen water, we scrambled up and roped up for teetering stacked blocks to the summit (Mt. Spickard background): Last pitch to the yet-unclimbed 8501' summit: Shot of Pickets from tippy-top: Now we have to go over there--SE Mox: The traverse involved a 60m rap, a scoot around a gendarme, then a few more pitches of climbing on a ridge--actually very cool climbing. Even more pics, first is looking back at Rolf and the gendarme, I think: Then Rolf leading toward SE Mox, Mt Redoubt background and NW Mox foreground: Finally, views of 1) Lemolo from the summit SE Mox; 2) Challenger et al; 3) Bear's NF etc.: Then the ultra-brutal chossy galore descent of several gullies to the glacier: This tried our dessicated patience. Staggered into a deserved camp celebration of the finest 2-course meal (I guess everything does taste better with tuna), brews, bourbon, chocolate. Last day parting shot: And then beers and plunges at Ross Lake while waiting for our boat; deeeeluxe. I can now fully appreciate and salute Mike and Erik's journey into the unknown 3 years ago. Pretty certain I'd not take 4 days off to go after this big endeavor without their information posted here--thanks fellas. I remember reading about the brotherhood you guys shared, and held hope for similar with Rolf--nope. Our partnership is built on mutual disrespect and loathing; we share a vile and putrid love, and feed most from each other's misery. I'm not happy until you're not happy. Nevertheless, the Bard is a solid partner and I look forward to future adventures--this was an exceptionally stellar one. Gear Notes: -medium rack, with pins that did not get used. tri-cams employed often. -while no metal used, much extracted; our route intersected rap stations enough such that we bootied bountifully. -no plants were harmed in the development of our product. Approach Notes: Jungle fever Nihilism (or Zen Buddhism, according to one’s preference)
  22. 1 point
    Trip: North Hozomeen Mtn - Zorro Face, IV 5.9 Date: 8/31/2013 Trip Report: “squamish?” Written at the end of a planning email for Hozomeen which addressed some nagging details, this would become our refrain throughout the trip. Labor Day offered a nice climbing window, and our list of objectives included just plain ol’ good times at Squamish, which typically promises immediate rock, clean rock, solid rock, protectable rock—all conspicuously (or suspected) absent at our objective. Most likely, many of you are aware of the opening passage in Jack Kerouac’s Desolation Angels: “Hozomeen, Hozomeen, most beautiful mountain I ever seen, like a tiger sometimes with stripes, sunwashed rills and shadow crags wriggling lines in the Bright Daylight, vertical furrows and bumps and Boo! crevasses, boom, sheer magnificent Prudential mountain, nobody’s even heard of it, and it’s only 8,000 feet high, but what a horror when I first saw that void the first night of my staying on Desolation Peak waking up from deep fogs of 20 hours to a starlit night suddenly loomed by Hozomeen with his two sharp points, right in my window black – the Void, every time I’d think of the Void I’d see Hozomeen and understand – Over 70 days I had to stare at it.” Later in the novel: “The void is not disturbed by any kind of ups or downs, my God look at Hozomeen, is he worried or tearful?... Why should I choose to be bitter or sweet, he does neither? – Why cant I be like Hozomeen and O Platitude O hoary old platitude of the bourgeois mind ‘take life as it comes’…” “take life as it comes” indeed. This is a useful mantra when approaching the west face. We had suspected an approach from the N down a gully would grant us access—Colin Haley’s blog post seemed to confirm this suspicion. However, this approach is nontrivial; the initial gully third-class down-climb, while loose, and dangerous, pales next to the shenanigans required to cross several precipitous ribs to our targeted launch point. A slip at any point spells an unpleasant end in the valley a couple thousand below. The approach took us a tedious and painstaking 4.5 hours (this after a first day of humping heavy loads 11+ miles to a camp just N of the peak.) Camp in that basin; S and N Hozomeen left to right, with the west (Zorro) face mostly out of view; some of its northern margin on the right skyline. Our approach continues down (out of view) from the furthest notch on right. Views during approach included the Picket range. Approach soloing; downclimbing skills or funeral bills. squamish? “take life as it comes”, also a useful mantra when trying to piece together leads up loose, sometimes friable and/or vegetated and/or wet, mostly welded shut (read: sparsely protected) metamorphosed basalt. The stuff is also called Hozomeen chert and was valued by the Salish for making knives and arrowheads. Hozomeen apparently is native Salish for "sharp, like a sharp knife." Looking up at much of our (foreshortened) route, which tends left to the central summit in this pic. Finally at the base, we decided to take it one pitch at a time, figuring we would try to retain the option to bail. squamish? Rock, paper, scissors, Rolf wins first lead this time. End of rope. I follow and gain an appreciation for the climbing challenges this Hozomeen chert will proffer; sparse pro and selective handholds will be the order of the day. I lead up a second long pitch to the only evidence of human visitation: a ¼ inch bolt and a bail ‘biner. Someone came, saw, and turned around; foreboding. (We did not see any other indication of passage higher than this.) After a couple pitches of metamorphosed basalt, we were talking about turning around too. But we could see trees on ledges above, and figured we could still bail in a relatively safe and reasonable manner. squamish? The land of milk and honey beckoned us. The third pitch required an exposed step-around with muddied feet; expletives drifted down to my belay. No pics. My pitch 4 went steeply up to a ledge, and traversed left; we were somehow making our way, and could still bail. Rolf’s face at the pitch 4 transition betrays some of our uncertainty. During his pitch 5 lead, some curses and words in the wind, “I wanna go home”. It was probably just the wind; he would’ve said simply, “squamish?” I’d like to forget pitch 6. I was forced up a steep 5.9 corner/arête with a paucity of gear. And what few pieces there were went into mungy and rotten fissures. Loose rock abounded, and without gear, there was no way to constrain the ropes from sending it down. Rolf didn’t get hit, but reported that he dutifully tied knots below his brake hand in case he was knocked out—so sensitive to my needs. I grunted up to a fat ledge, and Rolf managed to follow without getting shelled. Then Rolf drew one of the plum pitches, the seventh. 5.9+, climbs a nice corner (but with a section of unavoidable decking potential), then a tricky traverse to another corner, up and then traverse again to the only belay opportunity. Again, only so much gear and rope management was possible; missiles flew by my safe belay spot, but a few also threatened while climbing—somehow, no carnage. This wouldn’t happen in … Rolf up the p7 corner. Hand jams!?! Pitch 8 had a couple steep sections. Here Rolf discerns which holds to clean and/or trust. Pitches 9 and 10 stretched the ropes, continuing up the “corner” system we had identified as a weakness. More 5.9 (mostly easier) runouts. At the belay at top of pitch 10 I placed the only iron we used, a crappy pin to back up a solid piece and a marginal piece. For pitch 11, Rolf raced the sunset to a ledge. Uncharacteristically, this pitch didn’t stretch the rope; he thought we should take the bivouac bird in hand. I thought we were close to the summit and could possibly manage to climb to the top in the twilight-soon-to-be-night. He pointed out that idea was risky, and his logic prevailed. In retrospect it was definitely the right move. “take life as it comes”, also useful for shivering through the beautiful folly of an exposed bivy on a sloping ledge one nasty pitch from the summit. We’d brought some warm clothes but could have been warmer. All in all, the bivy wasn’t so bad, and definitely not as miserable as our unplanned bivy on Lemolo Mox across the way. Hozomeen wasn’t done with us. In the morning, I put together a long and winding pitch on some of the worst rock and pro conditions on the face—one strong cup of coffee, scary to the last drop. But it got us to the summit ridge! Unfortunately, the only spot to belay again made rope-disturbing rubble unavoidable. On the finishing moves, Rolf got clocked right in the helmet with a softball-sized rock, but was ok. Shudder. Top of our climb, just North of the summit, shortly after getting rocked. Glad to have done it. Another Scurlock masterpiece. Our route makes its way up to the left-facing corners directly below the summit. Our bivy occurred on the relatively large snow patch right below the summit. In the background is the Southwest Buttress, climbed many years ago by some hardcores. Kerouac again: “And I will die, and you will die, and we all will die, and even the stars will fade out one after another in time.” But we won’t die on Hozomeen. Hopefully not in Squamish either. But I will climb again at the latter. Both Rolf and I have mildly obsessed over this face for years, and were gratified (gruntled, even) to execute our vision. I expected technical demands exceeding 5.9, but given the challenges of Hozomeen chert, was glad for the limit. Probably half the pitches had some 5.9 moves, depending on what you trust for holds. We stretched the rope for most of the 12 pitches of pure adventure. I am fortunate to have a teammate like the curmudgeon: rich in experience (old), strong (for his weight), solid (old), and somehow able to check my relentlessly positive delusions. Thanks hardcore. A couple summit shots: And more pics. BTW, we descended the North Face route, rested, ate and drank, packed up and marched to car. The mosquitoes for the last couple miles were some other $#!+. Gear Notes: Single set of nuts. Tricams up to hand size v useful. We took lots of small cams, but the doubles would actually be better in the mid-range. Approach Notes: Nontrivial. Day 1, due to tons of rain the day before, we elected to take the scenic Skyline trail instead of the steep bushwhack. Day 2, follow your nose and low sense of self-worth.
  23. 1 point
    Paring the down original post/thread, there is enough negativity in the world already. Regarding my commitment to support this board going forward, I can only make configuration changes to the existing board software. I don't have access beyond that to upgrade or fix deeper issues. So I'll continue to do what I can, which is pretty limited. I have access to admin the forum software, but no access to the servers or databases which would be required to upgrade the forums to improve things, to fix security issues, etc. Only Jon has that access right now. peace.
  24. 1 point
    Wow! Just wow! Good job. I was down there in the early '90s to climb some of the secondary peaks - not the big boys - don't have that skill set to move at the required speed. Your pics emphasize just how unique a spot it is. Thanks for the report
  25. 1 point
    Accidents happen. True. We know not the answers. To the family who reads this thread: My condolences to you. I would have had a great time in the mountains with Rick.
  26. 1 point
    I've always been too timid to try it. Seems like it wouldn't end well in firm snow. On two-tool steep routes I've not thought self-arrest was really a good option, but interested to hear if someone has been successful.
  27. 1 point
    Maybe we should start a new thread for this but, are people successfully self arresting a slide with ice tools (as opposed to a traditional axe)? Are you using the spike of the shaft? I attempted to practice it years ago and it didn't go well with a drop pick tool. I feel like I'm missing something.
  28. 1 point
    Sorry, but I gotta call BS on this one, IMHO. I would classify it as "No Fucking Way" from the cruxes in the top two couloirs, especially so in what I would consider "ideal" conditions for a solo.
  29. 1 point
    My guess would be never? If you are on terrain that steep, you would likely accelerate out of control too fast. But perhaps if you landed on a more moderate section and slowed, you might be able to stop before the next steeper section or a cliff, assuming you weren't too injured? I haven't climbed Triple Couloirs and can't comment on that route specifically. My point was that it's easy to get complacent with certain skills and a fraction of a section of reaction time can be the difference between arresting and a fatal fall. Think about those who have died descending Aasgard Pass because their glissade got out of control. Again not saying this accident was caused by complacency etc. and I assume anyone who attempts to solo Triple Couloirs is up for the task. We have all "4th classed" terrain on approaches or descents when the rope has been put away and gotten away with it, and we have pulled certain moves unroped that, if blown, would have led to tragic outcomes. I respect the doctor for getting after it in his 60s. It could have been any of us.
  30. 1 point
    Thats a great response, thanks. While I certainly don’t view it as a beginner skill, I would admit that I don’t practice it regularly and have only had to do it a few times. I’ve never been in a formal mountaineering educational organization. How often is self arrest practiced on a slope steep enough that you would likely want two axes or tools? In the context of nols, mountaineers, etc. My point wasn’t necessarily that self arrest techniques don’t work, it was that they aren’t maybe as viable as slope angle increases or if you take a fall from a steeper section onto the slope. Think of a skier tomahawking.
  31. 1 point
    That last photo of you sitting at the table is great! The others are decent too I guess, but that one is my favorite.
  32. 1 point
    Phil Powers describes watching Dan Culver fall near the bottleneck after summiting K2 in 1993 and attributes his death to not reflexively arresting fast enough (then letting go of his axe). Phil was a long term NOLS instructor (and later director of NOLS) and practiced self-arrest every season, all season long, with beginning mountaineering students so to Phil, his self-arrest skills were well honed and frequently practiced, ensuring they were hard wired into his reflexive muscle memory. He felt that many climbers view self-arrest as a beginner skill and once you learn it, very few continue to practice it on a regular basis. I can say from my own NOLS experience that the instructors drilled into us practicing arrest in a variety of conditions and positions (upside down head first etc), even how to arrest when you've lost your axe. It's a skill that can get rusty if one takes it for granted, and I have been surprised at times while glissading how long it can take in different snow conditions to fully arrest when I've switched over to a self-arrest position. I'm not saying this was a factor here in this specific accident, after all, he could have had a medical emergency (syncope, heart attack, stroke) that caused his fall. A simple trip on 4th class terrain can be fatal.
  33. 1 point
    And no my first response was not judgement at all either. Maybe more so trying to explain to Norman the character of the route in the likely conditions it was in and giving my feedback on the specific question as to if I would solo it or not.
  34. 1 point
    I hope nobody is taking our comments as judgement. I think we were just providing some info that was asked for about the TC and the range of terrain/conditions he may have experienced before the fall. Climbing is dangerous, roped or not. This has been driven home to me by several close calls over the years (some roped, some un-roped). I have also lost several friends to the mountains that were stronger and better climbers than I. However, climbing is still something that many of us can't seem to quit, much to the chagrin of our loved ones. Climb on Dr. Thurmer......
  35. 1 point
    Absolutely incredible! Damn, thanks for all the great photos, overlays, and general beauty. I am at a loss for superlatives, but I will at least elevate this to "best of cc.com"! And yes, major congratulations are in order to @Priti! @JeffreyW, you're pretty OK too.
  36. 1 point
    Wow, thanks for posting your TR here and congrats to Priti!
  37. 1 point
    Found in the brush next to our house: 1 rope (appears to be gym-length). 1 Metolius PAS. 1 Butora rock shoe (size 8.5). We looked around for the other one but couldn't find it. Send me a pm describing the pertinent colors & I'll get it back to you.
  38. 1 point
    Trip: snoqualmie mountain - possible fa: the turf testament Trip Date: 03/31/2018 Trip Report: marko and i went kickin', scratchin', 'n stabbin' yesterday and unearthed a previously unheralded book of the bible: the turf testament. start a few hundred feet up the slot couloir at the large right facing book. pitches 1-2: two 60m pitches up rock & turf in the corner and some thin ice on the right face. pitch 3: climb a short corner, move easily left to the next book, & climb it to tree belay (<50m). [pitch 3 alternatives: a. possibly rightward escape on a treed ramp (may dead end on the ridge bordering the slot), or b. finish directly up very difficult looking roofs above.] pitch 4: climb up shallow right facing book with overlaps to difficult exit moves overlooking the roofs directly above the second belay (30m). [pitch 4 alternative: straight up through a short squeeze chimney to a difficult looking roof in main corner.] hike up the ridge between the slot and crooked couloirs to the summit rock band. pitch 5: up central chimney/gully to exit immediately left of cornices (30m). a pretty good photo of this route appears in martin volken's "backcountry skiing: snoqualmie pass". the route is very obvious to anyone skiing the slot so i would not be surprised if it has been climbed: any info would be appreciated. the route cannot be seen from the start of pineapple express. however, a party could climb the first 4(?) of p.e., then scope the route from there. if interested, they could cross the slot to the turf testament. if not, continue up p.e. are you ready to testify? Gear Notes: rock gear to 4"; screws to 13cm (for us); your choice of turf gear; a few pins (not used) Approach Notes: best via standard approach to nw face. dropping down the slot may work but has drawbacks (can't scope the route, pissed off skiers).
  39. 1 point
    Trip: Mt Hood - Eliot Headwall right (Mcjury/Leuthold) Trip Date: 03/06/2022 Trip Report: On 3/6/22 My partner and I traversed in to the eliot headwall and climbed three pitches through the right exit notch after climbing the south side (pearly gates left) and then descending to Queens Chair. Our original plan was the ravine route but we found 24+ inches of wind loaded snow on the typical crossing. Leaving queens chair ~8:30am we had traversed about 1/3 of the way to the tongue of the headwall (where the center cirque route “typically” starts) when we noted dramatically deepening unconsolidated snow. There we dug two rudimentary snow pits with our tools and my partner found two 1x1 foot blocks spontaneously released at about 18 inches of depth. Given the atmospheric river of the week prior and the obvious crown of the recent eliot avalanche (as reported on NWAC), we aborted the ravine plans, and decided to try McJury/Leuthold. This would allow us to stay off the wind-loaded regions. We returned to queens chair, ascended ~200 feet back up sunshine route and again traversed east across steeper slopes. This part was excellent neve and ice, with the occasional spooky step consisting of unconsolidated snow on ice. We quickly reached the base of the right-most buttress of the headwall. We set up a belay there and made a gradually ascending but mostly eastward traversing pitch around a corner that placed us on the main face (45m). Again a few spooky footholds at times but otherwise straightforward climbing mostly in dagger. A second pitch took us up and left to base of the notch in the cliff (50m): even better ice, mostly daggering. The third pitch (50m) took us to through the crux headwall to the top of notch with excellent water ice at its base, beginning, and end except for a 6 foot section of rotten ice in a tight chimney while moving through the two crux bulges. I found it awkward and not finding the stem options I had hoped for, climbed it slowly. However it was well protected with 13-16cm screws above and below. I suspect it would go fast and cleanly for a more experienced leader. Although we did find LESS ice than friends did 5 weeks prior. Being a relatively new leader I sewed it up and even placed a stubby in the crux although it probably wasn’t necessary. I did not find any rock pro options although I know others have found placements in the past. we simul climbed another 30m up steep snow topping out just west of the top of old chute. it was a great day out. Only our second time on this face. Great screws for the most part and able to use 16s throughout except above the crux. 19cm was also used at anchors for pitches 1 and 2.. Above the notch/3rd pitch the good ice vanished quickly and instead of setting up a belay I placed a single 13cm and We chose to simul-climb to the rim, although I think I could have found two 13cms to work here for an anchor with a little effort. Much colder than we had predicted based on Timberline parking lot temps, and it was much windier than any of the usual forecasters had predicted (UW Time-Height; Mountain Forecast, NOAA). Despite this we did not see any ice or rockfall. im glad we aborted our initial plans to cross the loaded slopes to The Ravine. Northerly winds were moving a lot of snow, and by evening were causing spontaneous releases in Leutholds where an accident and tragic fatality occurred later this same day. Gear Notes: Carried 10 screws: 1x 10cm (found a placement but a stronger leader would probably have kept climbing), 5x 13cm, 3x 16cm, 1x 19cm. Carried small rack of rock gear and a few pieces of iron which were unnecessary. Had a picket, didn’t need it. Approach Notes: From Timberline, up south side (dealer’s choice but we used pearly gates due to a great boot pack). Some wallowing on way to hogs back as we were first party up that day
  40. 1 point
    I would recommend getting really quite good at skiing in-bounds before you buy a BC setup. Get a used in-bounds setup and a season pass and get so you can ski anything on the mountain well. Adding climbing gear and crappy conditions (when the climbing conditions are good, the skiing typically is challenging) is not a recipe for fun if you are an intermediate skier. It is much harder than you think, and the BC is no place to hurt yourself. And @Bronco gives excellent advice RE boots and skis/bindings. I would add that going a bit heavier on your ski setup will make it easier if you aren't an expert skier. The folks at ProSki can answer all your questions and are a great place to buy your gear. Evo is good too. Good luck!
  41. 1 point
    Trip: Sloan Peak - Superalpine Trip Date: 03/15/2020 Trip Report: This past Sunday, Tavish and I climbed Superalpine on the west face of Sloan. After the incident last time I wanted to get back and climb the route to the top. We didn't quite tap the top due to wind slabs on the upper face. I'm going to mix up the order of this one and put all the route details first so those who are looking at climbing the route can use this page for reference. Kyle also has a great page about our first climb of this route with excellent photos and maps. https://climberkyle.com/2020/02/28/fa-sloan-peak-superalpine-wi3-4-1000/ Approach: Both times I've climbed this route we parked at the spot where 4096 merges from Mountain Loop Highway. 4096 had deadfall and snow which made it undrivable but if you can drive up a bit before there's too much snow or deadfall then that will cut off some distance. Follow the road (easy skinning or walking) to where the Bedal Basin trail forks off to the left. Take this trail through the trees for a few miles to where a slide path up to the left becomes obvious. This slide path leads to the base of Full Moon Fever. Skinning up this path is straight forward and takes you to the base of the West Face. A long traverse to the south will bring you to a ridge that leads to Superalpine. Here, options exist. Assuming you're on skis, I recommend leaving them at the base of the route and descending the route. There is also the option of descending the corkscrew route and wrapping around the south side to meet that ridge (it would be heinous to boot) or carry skis and descend the glacier to the North East that will eventually allow you to meet back up with road 4096. The ridge can be tricky. Once you decide your strategy, the ridge will still be engaging. It's not scary, just steep with deep snow. The Route: However you opt to get to the base of the route, you are first presented with 2 (or 3) options for pitch 1 to access the couloir itself. The first time Kyle and I climbed a WI4 step on the climbers left. It was vertical for 2-3 body lengths and fairly thin. This past time Tavish and I thought it looked even thinner so we scrambled the ridge further up (M2-3) then did one pitch that wrapped around to the second step of the first pitch and ended at the same place. Either way, you need to get to the bench at the base of the obvious weakness in the wall. A third option may exist to the climbers right of the ridge. Perhaps it's even easier (if so it would bring down the grade of the route to Wi 3-3+). Pitch 2: This money pitch leaves from the bench and provides a full 60m of steep sustained Wi3. Protection was generally good for this pitch. Make sure to go a full 60m if you are planning on simul-climbing higher on the route. Pitch 3: This middle section of the route was lower angle and about half snow and half low angle ice (wi2) for us. We found good pro every hundred feet or so. This section makes a lot of sense to simul-climb. Both times we did a 100-150m block. There was good ice at the top of a chimney-like feature, or, if you've saved enough screws, the next step had good ice on the right for us. Utilize rock gear to conserve screws through this section. Pitch 4: From the end of the last pitch, this is the last section before exiting to the face. Depending on where you belayed, you’ll either have a steep snow slope to a curtain or be climbing right onto the curtain. This curtain is where Kyle fell on our first attempt. This past time, I found a sub-vertical weakness (wi3/3+) on the right side of the curtain (not the smear further right which provides a good belay). However, when Kyle fell, there was spin drift blasting the section I climbed so he went further left where it is more like Wi4 with a heinous top out with sugar snow and hollow ice over sugar. I found good protection in the weakness but Kyle didn’t find good pro further left. Approach this pitch with caution, don't be afraid to back down. I found a great ice screw belay on the right about 20ft above the curtain. Another option to avoid this pitch if it is unclimbable is a snow ramp to the left. See photos to spot this snow ramp. This would avoid all of the upper curtain and put you on the upper face, however, it is steep and exposed and unprotectable. As with the whole route, use your judgment. This isn't just alpine climbing…. It's Superalpine! The steeps above: Look at photos of the big face above the route (and have them with you). There are a variety of options that exist to climb this large feature (700 vertical feet). When I climbed it most recently, we found deep unconsolidated snow, wind slabs, alpine ice, and rime features. This section is shared with the corkscrew route and is very committing. There are a lot of ways to get lost, falling is never an option and it's mostly unprotectable. Very reminiscent of the upper slopes of the Cosley-Houston on Colfax. If the snow is consolidated and secure, it would be a total blast to climb, if not, then maybe it should be avoided. On the first attempt we bailed due to injury, and on the second attempt, we bailed halfway up the face, after converging with the corkscrew route, due to thick cohesive wind slabs. The descent: Descending should be straight forward. Downclimb the steep snow, and rap the route. We took 5 or 6 raps to get down the whole route each time. There is no down climbing once you’re back down to the top of the curtain pitch. Each rap is a full 60m and ends at good ice, providing plentiful V-thread options. Other descent options exist as mentioned in the approach section but this option is quick and straightforward. Ski out the way you skinned in. Rack: In the conditions we found, 8 or 9 screws including a 10cm or two makes sense. Rock pro isn’t super plentiful and there is a lot of ice so we took 4 cams, 4 nuts, and a pin or two. This is probably what I would recommend. If you try it earlier, then beef up the rock gear side of things, the rock is quite solid in places. Hopefully, people get out and climb this thing! It is like the NW Ice Couloir on Eldorado but way bigger. Lots of ice, great setting, not too heinous of an approach. Tavish and I did 17hrs c2c. We were not rushing but we weren't lollygagging either and we were ~350ft from the top. Kyle made this topo with the options. My opinion remains to descend the route. Good to know your options. Here is a topo I made on a John Scurlock photo of Sloan from February 2005 (low snow/ice year). Red dots show the route (note the three options for the first pitch). Yellow is the tricky ridge. Green is an approach that could avoid the tricky ridge. Aerial photo from Shane in February 2020. The ramp to avoid the curtain is obvious in this photo. Now, onto the story from yesterday. Tavish picked me up at midnight in Bellingham after an hour or two of restless sleep. We drove through Darrington and onto Mountain Loop. His Prius handled the road like a champ and by around 2 am we were packed up and walking up the road. I was in crocs since I forgot running shoes, they did the trick (they're the next big thing in climbing for sure! Breathable, waterproof, sorta, ultralight, cheap, comfy, and climb 5.12 with ease.) Anyway, we started skinning after about a half-mile and cruised up to the Bedal Basin Trail in about 90 minutes. There was a fresh half-inch of snow showing bobcat (?) tracks following the existing impression of skin track. From there we encountered a mix of booting and skinning in the trees, mostly skinning but lots of skis on skis off. There was a slight impression of the existing skin track (probably from Michael Telstad, thanks!) that we followed and got us where we wanted to go. We skinned up the slide path below Full Moon Fever and the snow transitioned from a few inches on a crust to a nasty wind board. I knew it would be bad since I skied the white salmon the day before but I was hoping to find wind scraped, not wind loaded terrain on this aspect since it would be indicative of the upper slopes. We continued to the tricky ridge as it got light, left our skis there and put on actual boots (last time I climbed in ski boots, this was better). While we transitioned, we got pretty cold. We brought big puffys since the freezing level was 0ft and it was probably 5 or 10 degrees. Fortunately, the sky was clear and there wasn't a breath of wind. We hurried through that transition and started booting up the ridge in all our clothes. Bobcat? Not a dog, not very big... It was slow going and I punched through to my hips or deeper at several points. We were toasty warm by the time we were at the base of the route. The left-hand variation Kyle and I took last time looked much thinner so we opted to climb the ridge above us and see if that would go. We soloed up easy rock to an impassable wall. Luckily we could traverse left and rejoin the first pitch from last time. Tavish led that and gave me a meat belay to the first bench. I led the next pitch which provided a full 60m of sustained ice. Very fun! Tavish took off from there and we simuled around 150m. It's so fun to move quickly, especially when it's that cold! We got further on this simul pitch than last time and I got worried that Tavish was going to get to the spot Kyle fell before I could warn him of the dangers. Luckily, he didn’t. He belayed from a thick clear smear, right of the curtain. I led the curtain up a weakness on the right and it wasn't too bad. Above that, there was an ideal ice bulge on the right to belay from. This was great because it provided an easy spot to transition from climbing to soloing and eventually to rappelling. I rigged a V-thread while Tavish soloed up the snow above. After threading the ropes, I took off after him. I caught up and he looked concerned. I could also feel the snow was not ideal. We could see snow plumes ripping over the ridge above us and the snow we were on was a cohesive wind slab. We downclimbed a bit and then went up further left through some tight constrictions and ice. Above that, there was another wide-open snow slope and we found two distinct layers in the snowpack. The top here was about 6in thick styrofoam-y feeling wind slab. Bellow that was another 4in thick older windslab, and below that was sugar. We had probably already gone too far but we decided to call it here and started down. Me on the second pitch (SO GOOD) Tavish getting to the top of pitch 1. Tavish taking off into the simul section. Tavish on the upper slopes It's hard to turn around so close but we were certainly riding a fine line with zero margin for error, given what was below our feet. Down climbing steep snow isn't fun but we got it done and got to the ropes. The raps went smoothly and we found great ice at the base of each 60m rap. The last pitch had to be broken into two raps last time, both off pretty small trees, so this time we tried another option. We went off a little more south off a slightly bigger tree and did an exactly 60m rap down rock that got us on to snow. We post holed in wet sun affected snow to our skis, and the rest of the descent went smoothly, albeit, pretty slow since we were tired. We got to the car before dark for 17hr c2c. Tavish on the final rap. Lots of ice above Full Moon Fever... Anyone interested?? That's it for now! Feel free to reach out with more questions! Sorry, I don't have more photos from on the route it's self. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Gear Notes: See Rack Section Approach Notes: See Approach Section
  42. 1 point
    Trip: Corax Peak - North Face Trip Date: 07/05/2020 Trip Report: Not a single TR for this route to be found anywhere; does everyone just do the scramble to tick off their Bulger lists? Rolf and I climbed the NF of Corax Peak this weekend, 6 pitches of 5.7 starting from the left side of the chimney above the crescent shaped snowfield in the photo, going up to the ridge and thence to the summit. Mostly fun blocky ridge climbing, though the first pitch was more "interesting" as Rolf would say, featuring lichen and some loose/suspect rock and excavation of placements and some thoughtful moves. It doesn't appear that it's gotten much traffic since Rick La Belle did the FA in 1991; though of course we could have been off route. Stellar day out though and only saw three people at camp and maybe five on the trail. Gear Notes: 60 m rope, single rack to #3 Camalot Approach Notes: Libby Lake trail
  43. 1 point
    granitic rock of some stripe. it's the poor man's enchantments: shorter routes, more exfoliation, & more lichen but many fewer shitshow mountain athletes.
  44. 1 point
    Well, he did say the route reminded him of the route you two did on Cleator — was that Tubby Needs Cheese? — so there's that! And no arm twisting required; it was his idea in fact. I can think of few activities I would find less rewarding than trying to convince R to do something he didn't want to do. True we saw hardly any people back there; which was awesome. Seemed like granite to me, but I'm no geologist.
  45. 1 point
    Just one shortie Snarg, used 3x in the blessed turf blobs. Some very crappy phone pics follow... The first page of the newest Testament: The first 3 meters off the ground: The next 15 meters, which set the tone for most of the climbing: Looking straight up last pitch and summit cornice. (The few other pics I took during the climb were too crappy for publication): Summit shot. If you look closely you can see the chiseled Fingers of Fate: This climb, in the conditions we found it, is harder and more sustained than NYG and PE and all their variations. Though Rolf said that's because we're old now. Praise be Turf for without it we are NOTHING!
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Stuart - Mt Stuart via Mt Stuart Glacier Couloir Date: 3/24/2014 Trip Report: March 24, 2014 Post climb report Upper West Ridge of Mt Stuart via Mt Stuart Glacier Couloir This is my personal account. (Originally this write up was for friends and family, but Marlin asked me to post it here.) Thursday March 20 after my last final exam for winter quarter Marlin and I drove to the 8-mile road gate and camped. We spent Friday for the approach which took us around 6 hours and was straight forward. We rated the route in its current conditions Grade IV, AI 2, M5. We climbed a day-and-half after the spring equinox and the conditions were winter-like. Temperatures in the tent dipped to 14 F at our site at 5400 ft. and the rime ice that covered the west ridge further convinced us that winter still had its icy grip on Mt Stuart. Marlin and I awoke at 2:40 am Saturday morning and it was COLD. I ate two oatmeal packets with butter and felt great. During the approach to the Stuart Glacier my hands and feet nearly froze, I used OR Alti Mitts over my climbing gloves to remedy the hand problem but my feet had to endure for the next several hours. It was so cold that I had to wriggle each toe on every step. It was like dipping your foot repeatedly in a bucket of ice water. We split the approach into three leads to even the step kicking duty in up-to-knee-deep snow. I led up the moraine from camp, Marlin had a significant second stint up steep snow slopes and I felt guilty until I took the third lead. The last approach lead included a short icy section with good tool placements that encouraged a verbal woo-hoo! As the sun started to break the horizon behind us I navigated across the loosely covered bergschrund. I could see the crevasse line that indicated the schrund and attempted to skirt it to the right by climbing through the snow funnel at the bottom of the Stuart Glacier Couloir (SGC) but it was deep and too steep so it sent me back to the schrund for a mantle-swim to the other side of the problem. I led the SGC up to just below the first constriction. I half assed a stance where we had some quick calories and a drink and then Marlin started off to tackle the first of the real climbing problems, a short section of mixed conditions protected with a cam and a screw for our running belay as we simul-climbed to the second constriction with two pickets as protection. The screamin’ barfies are real, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Marlin continued leading the snow slopes (up to 55 degrees) on consolidated, but thought provoking snow loaded slopes. Marlin noted hollow sounds and adjusted our line further to the left on the upper snow field. A cramp in Marlin’s leg required attention and a hasty platform mid climb as we ascended to the “notch” on the west ridge. I looked behind a few times and fully appreciated the consequences of a mistake…BIG. No falling here! We reached the west ridge notch had a quick break with calories and liquids and built a marginal belay with two pickets I made Marlin tug on them hard to prove they were worthy. I pounded a BD Knifeblade immediately to protect the belay and had a warm and satisfying feeling as I drove that sucker home. The first pitch was supposed to be an easy third class traverse but consisted of rime beating, crampon tip toeing, cussing, more rime beating, pro searching, followed by more beating to a comfy belay in the below zero wind-chill wind. In hindsight the pitch was easy and gentle introduction to the next pitches on what I began calling the Monster in my head. The crux was all mental and overcoming the whoa-factor as I looked up at the upper sections of the west ridge in winter conditions. The west ridge is the meat-and-potatoes of the climb the SGC was just a warm up. The rope drag on the first pitch was ridiculous and pulling the rope through the belay plate was a pain in the arse. The rope just sawed through the rime caked rock. I think Marlin got cold belaying me because he was ready to boogie as soon as he got to the belay stance. I gave him the rest of the rack and he was gone. He ran up the easy 5th class and placed one cam! An awesome lead on easy 5th class, but we both thought the traverse on the 3rd class was more difficult and we should switch the ratings. The first and second pitches should be considered warm ups because the third pitch is AWESOME! I led out on blocky terrain with huge exposure down the North Face of the Monster. I led into a choose-your-own-adventure mid-5th class crux. It was either a slabby friction block in crampons or an airy fist-jam with no feet. I chose the more inspiring airy fist-jam and found a magically appearing fixed pin to protect the crux above the nut that pulled out below me. It was reassuring knowing I was on route choosing the airy and exciting version of the choose-your-own adventure crux. Before committing to the jam I did some pre-calculus involving my ice axes, crampons, and hand jams as my variables x, y, and z and committed to the third dimension with my most exciting lead to date. It was wild! I climbed the remaining easy terrain that protected with a nut, a pin, and a sling around a horn to a comfy belay. I put Marlin on belay and brought him up, I felt the rope slow and knew he was at the crux doing some of his own pre-calc and committing. The rope moved continuously again and I knew we both got what we came for. The Monster was providing what we wanted. Marlin appeared and I smiled, we both knew it was a big move on lead and he shouted up, “Nice lead!” It was certainly a defining moment for me as a climber. From the belay we rapped of a bomber single nut 30 ft. to get to the traversing terrain on the fourth pitch on the south face. The rime formations were inspiring. The formations clearly preserved the prevailing SW winds and were Patagonia-like in character. I thought I was going to freeze to death at the belay as all the hard earned warmth in my toes was disappearing. The belay stance shuffle commenced as Marlin led the mellow traverse to an inspirational M5 line that cut a pitch from the route (and ultimately got us to camp with light to spare), why he chose the direct line up I don’t know but it was in true alpine style and I hold him in high regard for it. It was a great lead up sustained mixed conditions with a well place cam, couple pins, to another marginal belay (you take what you get) with a cam and opposing nuts. When I reached the belay I mumbled something like, “holy crap dude.” He had the same smile I did on the previous pitch. We were getting what we came for and I think we were both in awe of the task we were tackling. The final pitch was mine; the altimeter said 70 ft. to the top. I wasn’t particularly keen on the next pitch. It looked like crap. I had to hump a rock to get out of the belay and had Marlin clip part of the anchor as a redirect. I was 20 feet out before my next piece which was a nut I pasted into a crack with my pick. This one was staying put. The final problem of the ascent and possibly the crux of the route was above me. Another magically appearing piton (thanks piton placing gnomes) was staring me in the eyes. It wriggled so I smacked it back to its happy place and placed a runner. I was protected and ready to battle the rime above. I hooked a tool in the crack and beat rime with my other. Removing the rime dams would release the flood gate of sluff which filled the inside of my glasses and froze my eyelids half shut. I hang dangled off an axe and a skating crampon. I wrestled and won. I finally pulled the last move onto the summit of the Monster built the belay and brought Marlin up. I felt the tug of body weight on the rope like a trout in water and realized Marlin was at the crux, a quick ribbing for the dangle and then a high-five. We were immediately on the descent. Marlin did a great job route finding on the descent which had another BIG consequence fall factor. The day’s weather clues of an approaching weather front came into fruition. The halo around the sun we noticed at the west ridge notch, the lenticular forming over Mt Rainier at the third belay became full on conditions by the descent. We found where Steph Abegg and partner went off the wrong side of the mountain for a 33 hour mini-epic and I realized how easy that mistake could have been made. We reached the top of the Sherpa Glacier drank the last of our water and a quick snack of goo and cheese. We down climbed un-roped the majority of the couloir it was STEEP! Once we reached the bottom of the steep terrain we roped back up which proved to be a great choice because I ended up waist deep in a crevasse as I led us down. We finished the rest of descent tired, hungry, and dehydrated as you would expect. I was wobbling like a drunkard as I broke through the snow crust smelling hamburgers and imagining Blue Herons in the rock formations across the valley. We found two climbers setting up camp and told them of hour day, they listened to our summary of our experience in good nature but I couldn’t tell if they were impressed or just thought we were crazy. I’m not sure how much sense we made I ate around 1,000 calories and drank 1 liter of water it was 7:15 pm when we sat down to brew up and eat dinner. A defining climb. Gear Notes: 5 cams,8 nuts, 5 pins, 2 pickets, 8 runners, 8.8 x 60 rope
  47. 1 point
    A perspective view, from the morning of the 16th: http://www.pbase.com/nolock/image/103532850 none of these photographs come close to capturing the scale of things here. It is a rather remarkable experience to come across the Redoubt/Perry divide & catch the first glimpse of it.
  48. 1 point
    Here's both lines (as best as I can recall). We cut left where Erik and Rolf went up as seen here. We had no idea that the summit was unclimbed...maybe we'd have done a summit bivy if we knew that, instead of rapping what later became "After Hours" well shit, after all this I can't upload a photo? It'll be sitting on my desktop until someone tells me where the upload photo link went to?? Until then, I think you can click it as an attachment on this post?
  49. 1 point
    i suspect there are quite a few people who post or lurk here that would enjoy this route and probably could do it in a very long day rt from camp. difficulties are concentrated in the middle third. the remainder has climbing up to 5.8 or so. we bivvied in the 3rd class terrain near the snowpatch shown on john roper's photo. this would just be a standard route in the canadian rockies. thanks to john roper and john scurlock for the photos.
  50. 1 point
    I had the following adventure last summer in the Bugs. I wrote this account to share with friends afterwards. I even took notes to make sure I woould be accurate as it was happening as it was all so bizarre. Preface: I'm just a normal guy that likes to climb when I get a chance. I have a wife, 2 kids, a house, a dog and a job. I don't get out a hell of a lot, but I'm thankful for the time I get. I usually get a one week trip per Summer along with other shorter outings. I think I get along fairly well with others and I've climbed with quite a few others and rarely if ever had had any "issues" with partners. I'm not any Super Alpinist by any means, but I like to think I move pretty quickly and safely in the mountains and have been fortunate enough to climb all over this continent as well as Europe and South America. My wife has kept me around for 18 years and I have a great time with the people I work with. When I'm out climbing I like to flip crap and expect to get it back. To me that's part of being out with the boys. The reason for this information will come clear when you read my story. Disclaimer: As my 6th grade art teacher would attest to, I have little if any creativity. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried. I like to tell a good story and on occasion have embellished a little, as I think most people do sometimes, but this story has NO exaggerations. I realize that this is just one side of the story. I'm sure my former partner has a different view. I do promise that all of the quotes are entirely accurate as I had time during this adventure to write them in my journal. The names of the key players (my former partner and his new friend) in this true-life story have been changed to protect their identities. Plus I don't want to discourage anyone from the pleasure of climbing with my former partner in the future. The Story I met Jethro about a year ago after looking for a partner on cc.com. We went cragging together a handful of times and we seemed to get along quite well. He climbs at about my level and we do similar work so had stuff to talk about. I mentioned in April that I wanted to get back to the Bugaboos as I hadn't been there in about 4 years. I would be my 5th trip to the Bugs, but I love that place and really wanted to try and climb the Becky/Chouinard route on South Howser. Jethro said he had wanted to get there as well. He had never been. We made tentative plans to go there in August. Jethro was going to Yosemite in June to try the Nose with 3 others. When he got back, I contacted him and he was still game to go to the Bugs the second week of August. He could only get 6 days off, but I said we could make it work. That would only leave 4 days of climbing when factoring in the 10 hour drive each way. The weather in the Bugaboos is extremely fickle, so I figured we might get 3 good days if we were lucky. Jethro picked me up at 10:30 instead of the agreed time of 9 am the morning of departure. Usually not a huge deal, but I knew that this would make it difficult to do the drive and hike in to the hut that same day. Still, I was just happy to be on the road and didn't even mention it. On the drive, Jethro mentioned that he hadn't been getting much sleep and wouldn't mind getting home a day early so he could rest before going back to work. I said that we would be limited on time as it is and I hoped to do some good climbs so we should play it by ear and see how the weather treats us. The drive goes good and we arrive at the trailhead at 9:30pm and slept in the car. I thought we could get up early and get to the hut and then climb McTech arête or something else with a short approach. When we get up I lay a tarp out and tell Jethro that he can lay his stuff out to pack as he just had all of his stuff in a HUGE haul bag in the back of the car. I was already packed and ready to go. Jethro said that he didn't feel like putting the effort in to packing so he was just going to take the haul bag up as he can just throw stuff in and go. I said that was a little strange. I've worn those things and they aren't the most comfortable things for packing and he had a regular big pack that he could use. He went on about how it really was a pretty comfortable pack and it wouldn't be a problem. Whatever dude, let's just go. He throws some more clothes in the Pig and we take off. He had asked how far it was to the hut and I said it has always taken me less than 2 hours to get there, but I didn't know how far. We take off on the trail to the strange looks of another 2 guys going up wondering what big walls we were going to be climbing with the Pig. I go at my usual pace and arrive at the hut in 1 hour 45 min. I wait for Jethro so we can go climbing. I wait. I wait. I worry that he might have fallen off of the trail so I start back down. I meet him a little way down. Jethro arrives at the hut in the record time of 4 hours and 30 min. Climbing for the day is out as it's almost 2pm. Jethro starts unpacking his Pig outside the hut. To my surprise he starts pulling out cans of food. I'm laughing as he continues to pull out canned food. He has big cans of tuna, chili, refried beans, and assorted other cans. He must have at least 10-15 big cans of food. Costco size flour tortilla bag and a few candy bars round out the food selection. He then pulls out a gri-gri, some swivels for hauling the pig and assorted other wall gear. It was quickly apparent that he had not unpacked his pig from the Yosemite trip a month earlier. I'm laughing and mention that maybe it took so long to get to the hut because his pack/pig weighed twice as much as it needed to. He really didn't say anything. The plan I made for climbing(Jethro didn't have any input, believe me I asked) was to go climb the west ridge of Pigeon Spire to acclimatize and then bivy at the base of the Becky/Chouinard route on Howser tower. The next day we would climb the Becky/Chouinard up and over. Jethro wondered about the water situation. I said we would not have water available until we dropped in for our bivy that night. He asked a couple of more times about the water and I again explained the situation, although I'm not sure he was getting it. We take off late for Pigeon as there was no reason to get going early as Pigeon is easy 5.4 and we would just get to the bivy spot early and begin getting cold. We were going light as we had to carry our gear up and over a 11,000ft mountain. I had a light 2 man bivy sack and some warm clothes and lots of Gu and a sandwich for dinner. We climbed up the Snowpatch/Bugaboo col and take a break at the top, which is about halfway to Pigeon spire. Jethro takes the moment to ask, "so is there water on the route?" I ask, "you didn't bring water?!" He says he brought a little but was just wondering if there was any on the route. I start laughing. Jethro then yells, "OK, that's 2 strikes. One more and I'm walking back down!" Huh?? He goes on to say that I flipped him shit about his food selection and now I was laughing at him about him not getting the water situation. I said that to me, flipping your partner shit and laughing about it was part of being in the mountains. He said he didn't play that game and wouldn't put up with it. OK Jethro. I apologized, explained the water situation again and we left the col for Pigeon. We climbed Pigeon. I led most of the way as Jethro was lagging on the rope. He was also very disorganized with the rack and his gear. As I'm climbing I'm thinking I'm not sure I want to be on a route as big as the Howser tower with his guy. What if I get the 3rd strike!?!? We can't back off of that route. Plus the weather looks a little iffy, but is forcast to get better the next day. We get to the summit of Pigeon and I ask Jethro what he thinks of Howser tomorrow. He says he's not sure he wants to do it. No problem. How about we go back to the hut and climb the Northeast ridge of Bugaboo tomorrow. It's a classic and I know the way since I've done it before. Sounds good. We get back to the hut by 7pm, eat and go to bed at 9 for a 4am wakeup and start up to Bugaboo Spire. The alarm goes off at 4am. I look out the window and not a cloud in the sky. Perfect weather! Jethro whispers, "hey Chris, I didn't get any sleep last night. I can't do any climbing today." It's Alpine climbing. Who sleeps!?!?!?!? I roll over and go back to sleep disgusted. I wake up at 7 and we are the only people in the hut, THE only. Everyone is out climbing or hiking. I'm not happy. Jethro gets up at 9am. I can't stand to look at him and go for a hike and scramble up Eastpost spire. I'm back by noon. He sits by me as I'm reading a magazine and wants to know what the plan is. I tell him I'm really disappointed with the trip as I get one climbing vacation in the summer and this is turning into a bust. I got the feeling that he had put nothing into the trip as I made all of the arrangements and did all of the planning. I didn't mind arranging, but it seemed as if he hadn't looked into the area at all and wanted me to plan everything as far as climbing and then bitch about the plan. Plus, the weather is perfect for climbing and these days are golden in the Bugaboos. He says between his work and girlfriend he hasn't been sleeping well and just wants to get home and get rest. He thinks he's having a hard time acclimatizing and tells me you must have acclimatized quicker because you were dragging me up Pigeon." I ask if he wants to climb tomorrow. He's not sure. I've had enough with this guy and tell him we should go tomorrow if he doesn't want to climb. He says he wants to leave and get home. Fine, we leave tomorrow morning. Maybe I can get home and salvage some climbing vacation somewhere else. About 7pm that night, Jethro comes up to me and says he is going down to the car to sleep as he can't sleep in the hut. See you in the morning when you come down. OK. He loads up the Pig and hikes down the trail. I get up in the morning and am out of the hut at 8am. Another perfect weather day wasted! The whole way down I'm thinking about who I can contact to go climbing with on short notice when I get home. I'm down the trail in an hour and wander into the parking lot. No Jethro or his car. Nowhere. I wander around the parking lot like a lost puppy with a huge pack, no Jethro. Two guys loading their packs getting ready to go up are looking at me and whispering to each other. I wonder if Jethro just drove down the road a bit to camp, so I walk about 1/2 mile down the ro... no Jethro. I come back to the parking lot and sit on my pack. What now? I sit there for about 20 minutes and all of a sudden Jethro drives in to the l...whew! He hops out of the car in a good mood and says, "this is fun, I want to stay another night." I just smile and start throwing all of my stuff in his car. I'm thinking the drive home will be hard. I'm changing my clothes by the car and Jethro say's "really, I want to stay another night. You can go back up to the hut and stay another night. It's not that far."(forgetting that it took him 4 1/2 hours to get there) I look at him and ask him if he is serious. Yep, he's serious. Me: "There's no freaking way I'm hiking back up to that hut. What's your deal?" Jethro: "When I came down last night I decided to go for a drive. I came across this trappers cabin with a campfire out front and I stopped and there was this gal there by herself and we hit it off and I spent the night and I want to stay there again tonight." Me: "are you serious?!" Jethro: "yep". Me : "I'm not hiking back up to that hut". Jethro: "I'm not driving home today". Jethro: (my favorite quote of the whole trip) "C'mon Chris, it doesn't always have to be about what you want to do". Me: (laughing my ass off) "are you serious?" I sit on my pack. It's 10am, nobody is coming out because the weather is perfect so I have no chance for a ride. All I could think to do was get my stuff out of this lunatic's car. I empty all of my stuff out. He jumps in the car and says he'll be back by 9 or 10 tomorrow morning. Away he goes. My brain is having a hard time keeping up with events as they are happening. What the hell am I going to do if he doesn't show up? We are 25 mile from pavement, and another 90 to anything more than a 2 horse town. I'm sitting in the parking lot with all of my stuff. The whole time the 2 dudes from California in the parking lot are watching this drama. I go over to them and explain my situation. They laugh. One of them is Bill Papas that owns a Crossfit franchise. I do Crossfit so I recognized his name. I fall in to the roll of official Bugaboo Parking Lot Greeter. People arrive in the lot and look at me and my stuff out of the corner of their eye. They ask what the deal is and I give the short version of my story. I talk to Bill and his partner Bill for quite a while. I talk to Rueben and Joe who arrive from Portland, who take pity on me and give me a beer and some fresh veggies from the garden. I talk to the guide Yorn from Canmore and his guest Richard from Pittsburgh. They gave me a huge bag of fresh cherries, which were very good. Scott Lee from North Conway, New Hampshire hiked down because of injury. He was going to the closest town for a few days while his partner climbed for a few more days with another guy up at the campground. We talked about world issues for over an hour. 4 kids from Golden, BC that came up for a hike. An older couple from Invermere up for a hike. All were great folks and I actually came to enjoy talking to all of the different people from all over the continent. I set up the tent in the parking lot at about 5 that evening as the bugs were starting to come out and I wanted someplace to escape. At about 7pm another car arrives in the parking lot. It's a new SUV and there's a gal in it by herself. Kinda strange, but I had seen stranger in the last few days. She pulls up and asks what I'm doing with a tent in the middle of the parking lot. I give her the short version of my story and she starts laughing. All of a sudden, Jethro jumps up from behind the back seat laughing. Again, my brain is shorting out and I call him a few choice words. They get out and Pocahontas opens the back of her SUV and starts putting my stuff in the back of her car. I ask her what the hell she is doing. She says she just learned from Jethro that I was in the parking lot and I should come back to her cabin and spend the night there instead of in the parking lot. All I could think of was that I needed to get close to Jethro's car, as that was my way out of here. Pocahontas loads all of my stuff, I take down the tent and throw it in and get in without saying a word. It quickly becomes apparent that these two are on a 2 day bender. They are both hammered and are swilling beer fast. She's cussing like a sailor and throwing her beer cans out the window as we are going 50+ miles per hour down a very rutted dirt road. She's what we would say in the south was rode hard and put away wet. Luckily, the ride is short as the cabin is only a few miles away from the trailhead. It's a very old 1 room trappers cabin on the river. There are hundreds of beer cans in the front yard along with lots of bottles of whiskey in the cabin. Pocahontas hands me a beer and tells me to relax and I can set up my tent in the yard. Jethro keeps his distance from me and continually wanders out for walks down the road. Pocahontas proceeds to tell me her life story on how she has "full status", which means she is registered as 1st nations so she and her family can trap all of the critters she wants. Pocahontas is as white as my Irish ass, but she says her grandfather was full blooded, so she gets "full status". She has a husband and 2 kids in Kolowna, has some problems but at least she's not as bad as her sister who's a hooker in Calgary hooked on opium (I thought opium went out of fashion in the 20's). I'm impressed with Jethro's selection of a girl as this one is definitely a keeper! As it starts to get dark, Jethro goes for one of his extended walks down the road. After 20 or 30 minutes, Pocahontas says she is going to look for Jethro. She jumps in her car and takes off down the road. I look at Jethro's car and think that it is now mine if I can find the keys. I run into the cabin and start going through all of his clothes looking for the keys to his car. No keys. I ransack the cabin looking. I look all through the car. No keys. My plan was to get the keys, get up in the middle of the night, throw my stuff in, flatten one of Pocahontas' tires and drive to Abbotsford and have my wife pick me up there. I would call Jethro's home and leave a message as to where his car was. I then get the idea to hotwire the car. I'm under the dash by headlamp after drinking 3 or 4 beers and think that this might not be a good idea. If I screw up the wiring job, then my way out is really in doubt. I give up and sit by the fire wondering what tomorrow will bring. Jethro and Pocahontas get back after being gone for over an hour in the woods. I sleep in the tent in the front yard. The next morning I wake to the sound of Jethro crushing beer cans. He fills up 2 trash bags full of cans and bottles and throws them in the back of the car. We both get in and drive 10 hours back Washington. Jethro drops me off at my house. I tell him it was an adventure and to get the hell off of my property. He seems ok with that and drives off. THE END
×