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  1. 6 points
    Trip: Three Fingers Lookout - Meadow Mountain Trail Trip Date: 01/26/2019 Trip Report: Me and Fred took advantage of the prolonged crappy skiing to do some mountaineering for a change. We had thought about biking the closed road to the summer trail, but it didn't look that much shorter and I remembered the lower portion of the trail as being pretty crappy from years ago when I did it. With the high snow line it seemed like a good choice... not too sure now. We shouldered our snowshoes and walked from the road closure to 3900' on the Meadow Mountain Trail before we needed to put on snowshoes. The abandoned trail was in great shape, better than some maintained trails I've been on. The snow was pretty soft in the old growth and icy in clearings, so side-hilling was tough with snowshoes on, but we toiled upward. The route it turns out is circuitous in three dimensions... up and down, side to side, all around the map we went, mostly upward. At Saddle Lake we were astonished to learn it was 1 pm. Thoughts of camping early flashed through my mind - and oh yeah, I forgot a pot for the stove, so anywhere but the lookout means no tea, coffee, or mountain house dinners. Bummer. We assumed there would be some kind of pot at the lookout... If we can get in. The north side traverse was thought-provoking on firm sun crust. No-fall terrain for sure. We missed most of the sunset traversing on the north side. At dark we were within 600' of the summit. The rimed rocks of the summit area threw perspective out the window in the headlamp's beam. We seemed to fly upon rocks that seconds earlier appeared hundreds of feet above. It would have been eerie if it hadn't been for the tiredness and the ever-present thoughts of what if. What if we can't get in? What if there is no pot? We had watered up so there was little chance of death by thirst, but it would have been decidedly unpleasant. We dug for an hour and a half through multiple hard ice layers interspersed with sugary snow. It was hard work, and we didn't really know where we were digging. For future reference, the door is on the far lookers left of the building, not near the middle. In short, we figured it out, got in, and spent a lovely night lying about in luxury. Thanks to all the volunteers that keep this place together. Sadly one of the window panes in the door was broken out which let in a bunch of snow that piled behind the door. This made our entry tricky. We removed all the snow, but it will just come back. We couldn't figure out a way to block up the window with the supplies we had. If you go there take a bunch of duct tape or something. The hike out was uneventful, though footsore with wet socks. Next time I'll try the shortcut listed in the comments here: Fred checking out a huge log across the road: Our entry into the lookout: The view from the front door in the morning, photo by Fred: Tricky downclimbing for the first steps of the day, photo by Fred: Looking back at the summit from Tim Can Pass in the morning. The lookout is on the middle peak in the photo: We hiked down into the sea of clouds we saw from the summit: Gear Notes: Axe, crampons, snowshoes. Approach Notes: Meadow Mountain Trail from road closure.
  2. 6 points
    Trip: Kulshan - Coleman-Deming Trip Date: 01/15/2019 Trip Report: I want to give thanks and raise my hands to the Lummi Nation for this safe, successful and amazing trip into their territory and for the company of Kulshan. Drove fairly high up near the trail head with a Subaru WRX, hardly within a 10 min. walk in fact. Super awesome, just need to navigate a thick berm roughly 3 miles down from trailhead. This short distance probably saved us an hour, so starting by 0345 looked super good. Skinned maybe 15 minutes on road before reaching trailhead, transitioned into walk mode on some thin forest coverage. Trail was 95% clear until it wasn’t. Walked for around 40min – one hour before switching into touring. Gained the bottom of Heliotrope Ridge. I was able skin directly up in Magic Carpets, sadly my buddy was forced to carry with his set of mole-hairs. Upon gaining a lower terrace of the ridge, we encountered two gentleman who were super stoked on their coming attempt on Cosley-Houston route on Colfax. After stoking each-others’ fire, we parted. Shortly after we threw on ski crampons, which turned useless as I fell about 5m about hitting their tent. Sorry guys, it hurt my pride than anything. So thus, started the stair-master climb for about 1,000’ up to around 6,8000’ where we returned to the sweet skinning life. Gliding out towards the far skiers’ right of the ridge, after examining the route we pressed on maintaining a high traverse along the flanks of Coleman-Deming. Moving towards the center of the football field, encountered possible wind deposited snow, was harmless but still there. From there navigated through football field, opting for a middle-ish route, towards gaining a small hump parallel to a fatty which was slowly filled in. Containing only one real bridge crossing, it appeared to be filled in more to the right (skiers’ left) and surely with quick movement – or luck – it held, providing no gut-wrenching moments for either of us. Moving forward, the glacier turned more into terraces featuring zigzagging crevasses, although small, daunting and thinner than expected. The decision prior to the climb was to not bring crevasse kits in expectation of a larger snowpack, it will be there after this storm cycle this week but not thick enough for my taste. Thus, below the serac directly skiers’ left, we turned around. Switching back to ski mode, careful navigation down was required. Once reaching 500’ lower, we encountered the two men from around 5am – they were not so stoked this time as they were death marching along our path in boots. Anyway, continued back our ascent path, but opting for gaining the top of Heliotrope for a small photoshoot. Enjoying the clear skies and beautiful company of Kulshan, we had not failed at the end of the day. The ski down, for me, was alright. Not the best with weight on my back, it looked quite more enjoyable for my buddy though. Seems like the route would be much better all-around after a good cycle. Followed ascent path down, was able to ski a solid distance into the forest before carrying skis for maybe 20-30 min. Upon reaching the trailhead, the forest service was delightfully groomed. Back to car around 12, Bellingham 1330. Drove out to Bellingham for a fat burrito lunch and beer – highly recommend, their Mexican food options were superb. Photos courtesy of my awesome homie, Billy K., he's da man Gear Notes: Ski crampons, whippet, crampons, ice axe Approach Notes: Forest walk was alright, just bring some music.
  3. 6 points
    Trip: MT. HOOD - Wy'East Face Trip Date: 01/26/2019 Trip Report: With the warm inversion taking place and fairly certain most other routes would be full of falling ice Mike and I decided to climb the Wy'East. We left the car at 4:30am with the temperature in the mid 40's, but the surface/snow temps fairly reasonable. Mike and I left the car with the intention of getting to the top of palmer in under and hour but unfortunately for the 5th time so far this year we just missed it and managed to hit the top of palmer right at 5:36am. Once at the top of palmer we traversed slightly up as we made our way over to the White River glacier. We did rope up to cross the glacier although everything is pretty covered up right now. From here we had a quick look at the South face of the steel cliffs just to see if it might be in condition and it definitely was not so we continued down and around to the standard Wy'East route. This was our first time climbing the full Wy'East route and overall we think that the conditions were pretty good. The guide book is pretty spot on with the description although the traverse really inst that exposed and the overall climbing is extremely straight forward and mellow. With surface temps being a lot better than we had planned we topped out and then decided to run down to illumination rock and see if we might be lucky enough to hit one of the south west side routes before they became ice/rockfall funnels. Unfortunately once we got there and started to head down we quickly realized that we might be a dollar short and a day late as ice was just screaming down. Overall it was a great day with stellar spring like conditions. Gear Notes: 2 x pickets (didn't use them and not really any need for them on this route) Approach Notes: Standard south side route up to Palmer then traversed up and over to the White River Glacier. We roped up for this crossing although everything is pretty closed up right now.
  4. 5 points
    Trip: Bryant Peak, Melakwa Flows - Possible FAs: Ice routes on West Face Bryant Peak (WI4, 60-70 degree snow) and Melakwa Flows (WI4-) Trip Date: 01/27/2019 Trip Report: On the warmest weekend of a warm winter here in Washington, Jacob Krantz and I set out to explore some undocumented ice lines near Snoqualmie Pass I had spotted earlier in the winter. We did some research on the internet, Beckey Guide, and WA Ice guidebook but found nothing about these climbs, so these are possible FAs or FRAs at least. We climbed an awesome 4 pitch route on the West Face of Bryant Peak to the summit and a fun 2 pitch route in an area I've been calling the Melakwa Flows. The Melakwa Flows are an incredible group of ice flows of varying grades near Melakwa Lake. It's mind boggling to think we could not find anything about climbs in the Melakwa Flows, considering they are probably one of the densest concentration of reasonably accessible ice climbs in WA, especially impressive considering the warm temps lately. Hot Tubbs (WI4, 60-70 degree snow) West Face Bryant Peak Although only 4-5 pitches, we thought this route was awesome, offering a substantial amount of moderate ice, steep snow, and wild exposed summit pitch. It packed a lot of punch for such a short and accessible route. We also managed to stay in the shade the whole time, starting around 10 am. We'd love to see others get after it and some other possible ice lines on the west face! P1: Climb thin low angle ice to the vertical WI4 curtain. Send the curtain then continue up easier terrain to set a belay in fat ice. P2: Climb up progressively steepening fat ice to a WI3+ bulge. Above, continue up another 20-30m on 45 degree snow to a group of trees for the belay. P3: This is a long pitch (~80 m). Simul climb up snow, trending left as the cliffs force you. Establish a belay on a snag at the notch on the spine of the North Ridge. Watch cornices here. P4: Traverse right across wildly steep and exposed snow (60-70 degrees) on the north face, using trees for protection. At the third and tallest tree, make a few thin ice or mixed moves up a slab and continue straight up another 10-20m to the summit ridge. Descent: hike down the west ridge a few hundred feet until it flattens a little, then make a single 60 m rappel off a big tree down to the bottom of the west face. Approaching the first pitch. Top of the flow is part of the second pitch. Jacob crushes the WI4 crux. Looking up at the second pitch. Navigating between the two pillars at the top felt like WI3+ to me on lead. The ice here was FAT! Simulclimbing bomber snow on the third pitch. Steep exposed snow traverse to start pitch 4 out onto the north face. It was super unconsolidated and unsupportive. Would have been terrifying if it wasn't for all the trees! Jacob finishes the last bit of steep snow to the summit ridge. Walking along the wonderful summit ridge of Bryant, Kaleetan and Chair in the background. The Line of Fire (WI4-) Melakwa Flows These routes are on a cliff band just north west of Upper Melakwa Lake, easily visible from the upper lake. They look like they have considerable avalanche danger above, so beware. Even though we approached in the dark from our camp Sunday morning at Melakwa, we still only got in one two pitch route before this face got blasted by the sun and snow started coming down. The ice was often pretty soft to take screws, but I imagine if you hit this area in a cold snap or even just normal temps it would be incredible! It is a total ice playground, with easily a dozen routes 150-300 ft long ranging from a rambly WI3 to free standing WI5 pillars! There were incredibly fat sections of ice by WA standards. We hope this inspires others to go explore this gold mine of WA ice climbs! P1: find your way through mixed terrain or thin ice up to the base of the FATT pillar. The pillar is vertical or near vertical for 15 feet and super bomber, WI4-. Make a belay in some thick ice across the snow ramp above. You could skip this first pitch by ascending the snow ramp to the right. P2: A long pitch (~150ft) of rambling WI2-3 terrain, with at least half a dozen WI3 steps one to two body lengths in height. It's choose-your-own-adventure here. Total type 1 fun. Except for at this point, I was on lead getting pummeled by huge clumps of snow. It was still awesome. We ended at a big tree anchor. Descent: Single 60 m rappel down to the steep snowfield ramp, down climb as quickly as possible to get out of the line of fire. Climbing steep snow to the base. We took the pillar in center right of the photo. Jacob led up this thin section to gain a ramp leading to the pillar. We don't recommend this start. There were other options to the left. Approaching the beautiful pillar. So big and wide. An abundance of options on the second pitch. There's even more rambly ice to the left out of this photo. Me leading some awesome WI3 fun. This was right before I started getting pummeled I believe. Looking down from the top of P2. It looks like mostly snow, but you cannot see all the little ice steps from above. It was very high quality. Approximate location of the flows. As temps cool down next week, I think these climbs will just get better and better. If there's awesome WA ice on a blistering hot weekend like this, it ain't so bad! So get out there and send, WA ice climbers! Want more beta and photos? Check out my full trip report at https://kyleandkylie.com/2019/01/27/new-snoqualmie-pass-ice-climbs/. Gear Notes: We used 9 screws of varying lengths (much of the ice is quite thick actually, but still bring the stubbies), 1 picket, 8 slings, a few nuts. Double 60 m ropes are nice for the rappels, but there are walk off options also. Prepare to make you own rap anchor if you don't fine ours. We brought cams and pitons also but never really used them. Approach Notes: Either approach up the Denny Creek Trail to Melakwa Lake or over Bryant col (north saddle of Bryant) via Great Scott Basin from Alpental like we did. It took us 3 hours with overnight packs from Alpental to the West Face of Bryant, and about 3 hours from the Melakwa Flows back to Alpental with similarly heavy packs. Note there is considerable avalanche danger on these approaches, so proper gear and training is recommended.
  5. 5 points
    Trip: Alpental Source Lake - Rap Wall Trip Date: 01/20/2019 Trip Report: This was Priti and I's first pilgrimage to lay eyes on and pay homage to Rap Wall. We brought the tools and rope for a walk but had no idea what we were in for. This was a scouting mission to a get a lay of the land. I've since pieced the various Bryant Buttress routes together using the Washington Ice book and various trip reports/blog posts. The GPS Coordinates in WA Ice are spot on, btw. For an aerial view, see page 24 in the book "Backcountry Skiing Snoqualmie Pass": the number "2" is just over the climber's left-most flank of Rap Wall. Also, GerritD has a good far-away look in his comment here: Route Overlays: Since I couldn't find a good topo of the area anywhere, I overlaid some photos with some of my guesses. Please *respectfully* correct me, and I will update the overlays. Left to Right: Rap Wall, Bryant Buttress Left, Ghost Dog (the only route in the cave, aka "Hotline Wall"; the "Hotline" route is a freestanding pillar that will occasionally form over the cave), Bryant Buttress Right. Below Hotline Wall is Not Quite a Plum Conditions: -Alpental Falls: Not in -Kiddie Cliff: Not in (some short, thin ice on the right?) -Not Quite a Plum: short ice steps and deep snow -Bryant Buttress Right: Interesting, thin WI4/4+ flows! -Hotline: the right side of the Hotline Wall has an interesting-looking, steep WI4 traverse-y thing -Bryant Buttress Left: In mixed conditions (gear?) -Rap Wall: Icicles at the top of the cliff band. May want to rap in and hack them off first, so you protect the belayer? Some interesting WI3/M4 lines on the right side of Rap Wall (visible in pictures above) Approaching just beneath Hotline Wall (Ghost Dog) Interesting traverse up and right of Hotline Wall. Looks like WI4 traverse out left, then up for ~15m with good stubbies. Short, wide, thin sheet of WI4 on Bryant Buttress Right (further up and right from Hotline Wall). Continuing even FURTHER up and right from Hotline Wall (right of Bryant Buttress Right) is little mixed gully which could be fun. The cave at Hotline Wall Overhanging top of Ghost Dog Peering up at Ghost Dog. Can you pick out the swaying quickdraws? Very comfy spot to stash packs at Rap Wall (between Guru and Chuck D) Approach: Park in the furthest lot up Alpental, then take winter trail to Source Lake. Once you arrive at the lake and the terrain flattens and opens, up and climber's left is an open gully (visible in the third picture below) and you will see "Not Quite a Plum" and "Hotline Wall" (the cave where "Ghost Dog" is). You can easily skin up the left side of this gully. Gaze upward at the visionary line of Ghost Dog in the cave and pick out the dozen or so quickdraws blowing in the wind up and through the roof. In the book "Backcountry Skiing Washington Pass", this line is called "No Fog" and is also the approach to The Tooth (which cuts back way climber's left). If you were to continue up and left, you will get to Great Scott Bowl, Pineapple Pass, and The Tooth. If you are skiing down, stay in the open glade just below Rap Wall ("one of the best pow runs in the valley") since the open gully on skier's left (just below "Not Quite a Plum" is chunky and unpleasant right now. Gear Notes: Bring lots of stubbies. An adze to chop out bolts and anchors. Pickets if you're trying to rap in and set a top rope. Some routes are truly mixed, so sharpen those points. Approach Notes: Deep snow. Floatation required.
  6. 4 points
    Lincoln is waiting for someone to climb this face: Colfax will watch: Kulshan (the Coleman Headwall is looking remarkably smooth right now): Conditions as of yesterday....you can drive to within about a mile of the Heliotrope TH, though that may be changing with the storm. Ski conditions were terrible at every elevation and aspect up to 7000' (very icy). Figured people may want some images for the high pressure to follow!
  7. 3 points
    Trip: Hope BC - Cruel Pools Trip Date: 02/09/2019 Trip Report: Since moving to Bellingham at the beginning of last year I'd been pining for Hope - ice didn't seem to come in last winter, though the snow riding was pretty good locally. This winter had been looking bleak, replete with rain-on-snow events at Baker and sunny January days on rock in Squamish and at Mt. Erie. All that changed with a little help from the recent arctic outflow down the Fraser. Leaving the car with the thermometer reading 0 degrees F last Sunday at Coquihalla Summit for a ski tour, the cold was tangible. Driving back down the 1 on the way home, signs of ice were everywhere and the forecast ahead looked promising. Last Sunday, 3 Feb 2019: After many midweek texts and emails and internet bat signals, plans were made. Hope springs eternal. I'd read somewhere that Cruel Pools was like the "This House of Sky" of the Fraser. I had gotten on the latter last November and the comparison is certainly apt. Pitch after pitch of fun, mellow ice up a narrow and twisting canyon, each next pitch invisible until topping out and turning a new corner. The ice was mostly perfect, thunker, plastic in many places, thick enough for 10s and 13s and maybe a 16 here and there. We soloed the first two steps, belayed a narrow chimney, and continued upwards, alternating between belayed and off-belay climbing. Pitches varied in length between 10 and 50 meters, separated by short walks up the snow covered creek bed. After some time, we arrived at the final pitch described in a 2005 CC trip report and found the likely WI4 pitch to be guarded by a thin eggshell and unlikely topout. To the left, an alternate finish appeared to offer at least 3 or 4 more rope lengths of similar climbing, provided one wanted to put up with a short pitch of frozen moss to get back to the ice. Satisfied with the mileage and altitude achieved, we commenced what in the Rockies would be a casual, bolted descent. In this corner of west coast ice however, a variety of rappel anchors were employed, including various frozen logs protruding from the creek, one naked thread, a rock horn, and a rock pinch. In a combination of 7 or 8 single and double rappels we unfortunately left 3 pieces of tat. Future parties would be advised to bring their creativity to descend the ascent route, as the ice was not often thick enough for proper v-threads. Driving home, we couldn't help but stop a number of times to gawk at the numerous lines of all lengths and difficulties spilling off the hillsides. As the authors of the West Coast Ice write, this would be Mecca for ice climbers, if only winter was 5 degrees C colder and two months longer. One can hope. Gear Notes: Ice climbing gear, screws to comfort, emphasis on short screws. Two ropes recommended for descent. Approach Notes: Obvious pullout and drainage past 2km marker on Silver Skagit Road. 5 minute walk to climbing.
  8. 2 points
    Trip: Humpback Mountain - Humpback Flows. Possible FA's on three ice routes - Champagne, 1p WI3, 65m. Don’t Forget the J-Thread, 2p WI3, 80m. Martinelli, 1p WI4, 25m. Trip Date: 02/07/2019 Trip Report: [TR] Humpback Flows, Possible First Ascents: Champagne, 1p WI3, 65m. Don’t Forget the J-Thread, 2p WI3, 80m. Martinelli, 1p WI4, 25m. Climbers - Raider Rob, Caleb Mallory, Alex Stolpovsky, Jessica Sagnella, Justin Pucci. View of Humpback Flows from I-90 Exit 47. Introduction: On my way back from ice climbing in Hyalite two weekends ago, my friends and I spotted what looked like ice up on the North Face of Humpback Mountain from westbound I-90 at Exit 47. I added this to my list of areas to check out and drove on… A few days later, my friend Chris Patrick posted a picture of the same thing on Facebook and several of us got into a conversation surrounding whether there was anything worthwhile up there. Thursday rolled around and the conditions appeared to be perfect, so my partner Jessica Sagnella and I decided we’d give it a try. Friends Raider Rob, Alex Stolpovsky, and Caleb Mallory were also planning a trip, so we decided to team up and lay siege to Humpback Mountain in the hope that we’d find something worthwhile to climb. We got to the Asahel Curtis parking lot off of Exit 47 at 7AM, geared up, and began the approach. There are no trails up this side of Humpback so it was a fun and interesting trailblazing and bushwhacking exercise to get to the ice. Climbing Area Descriptions: To get to The Steps or Hidden For Your Pleasure, ascend the avalanche path directly. This approach is approximately 600-800 vertical feet of steep no-fall zone snow up to 60 degrees, so please assess conditions as you go and use your best judgement. About midway up the avy path, you’ll see The Steps on the left and now the full lower tier of Hidden on the right. At this point, it becomes clear that The Steps is considerably steeper than the approach photo represents. It consists of a 15-meter wide gully with two nearly-vertical 5 to 8-meter ice steps separated by a snowfield. The top out appears to be protectable via anchoring to a large tree directly up the center of the gully. To get to The Sheet, traverse right from the tops of the bushes with very little additional elevation gain, but be weary of the final portion of the traverse to the base of the ice, as it is a no-fall zone on steep snow. The Steps Area from half way up the avy path. The Sheet Area from the lower boulder field with Champagne highlighted on the left. The Hidden For Your Pleasure Area showing the lower and upper tiers and the two lines we put up. The Sheet Area Champagne – WI3, 65m, possible FA by Alex Stopolvsky, Caleb Mallory, and Raider Rob. Avalanche danger: Serious. Approach: Traverse right from the tops of the bushes with very little additional elevation gain, but be weary of the final portion of the traverse to the base of the ice, as it is a no-fall zone on steep snow. Route: Climb the major flow on the right along the left side of the slab. There is a possible variation starting left up the first step and then traversing to the far right to what looked like fat ice. For a top belay anchor, sling the horn on a large slab just left of the route at the end of the pitch. Another 20 meters above the anchor is a protected cave with plenty of level ground. Descent: Rappel from the anchor or from here, you can get to the right side of the lower tier of Hidden For Your Pleasure by traversing 60-degree snow through the trees climbers left of the cave. Looking up Champagne from the base. Caleb following Alex on Champagne. The belay horn at the top of Champagne. The entrance to the flat and comfy cave another 20m above the top of Champagne. The Hidden For Your Pleasure Area Don’t Forget the J-Thread! – 2p WI3, 80m, possible FA by Justin Pucci and Jessica Sagnella. Avalanche danger: Serious. Look for signs of wind slabs as you ascend the lower section of the approach and loose dry surface snow in the upper section. Approach: Climb 50 to 60-degree snow up the avalanche path to the belay station tucked away in a shallow cave under the large rock outcropping on the left. Route: P1 - WI2+/3-, 40m: Start up climbers right from outside of the belay cave on a short step of near-vertical ice. Continue up the ice steps from here and look for spots to place stubbies (at best) as you progress. There are a couple of variations here depending on ice conditions and how you’re feeling. The left side of this line is thin and stepped with a couple of mixed moves off of a large flake (WI2+/3-) and the right side has interesting and fun blobs (WI3-/3). Be careful of knocking down the large, dinner table-sized ice sheets that look more like “snow patches” from below. Reach an obvious and wide shelf where you can build a screw anchor on the ice blobs and prep for the next pitch. P2 - WI3, 40m: Start up the blobs that make up the top of the belay shelf onto a small, but steep snowfield. You’re aiming for the curtains directly above you. Again, there are a couple of variations – the main line has a small slab of ice leading to a steep gully on the left or a steeper step with a large bulge at the top on the right. Both variations lead to a final 5-6m curtain of beautiful and featureless ice. The top-out can be tricky in the snow above the curtain. Anchor off of the trees or on the ice bulge above. Descent: Rappel both pitches via threads. We used naked threads on both raps. Looking out from the belay cave at the start of Don't Forget the J-Thread. Justin getting started with the first screw above the first step on p1. Justin reaching the belay ledge at the top of p1 on Don't Forget the J-Thread. The characteristic blobs toward the top of p1. Jessica getting ready to follow on p1. Looking up p2 of Don't Forget the J-Thread. Left variation on p2. Right variation on p2. A naked thread in beautiful and clear ice at the top p2. Martinelli – WI4, 25m, possible FA by Alex Stopolvsky and Caleb Mallory. Avalanche danger: Serious. Look for signs of wind slabs as you ascend the lower section of the approach and loose dry surface snow in the upper section. Approach: Climb 50 to 60-degree snow up the avalanche path to the belay station tucked away in a shallow cave under the large rock outcropping on the right or traverse climbers left through the trees from a top-out on The Sheet area. Route: This is the obvious line to the right of Don’t Forget the J-Thread and runs right up the middle of the wall. Climb a brief section of steep snow to the base of the wide ice sheet. Climb the sheet toward the small pine tree above. The top-out can be tricky in loose snow. Sling the small pine tree at the base for an anchor. Descent: Rappel off of the small pine tree (we left a sling on it). Caleb following Alex on Martinelli. Summary: The stoke was high on this trip and I have to say that it ranks as one of the best days I've had in the alpine in a while. Not only did we have an awesome adventure with friends, but it resulted in finding some amazing ice climbing that is so close to home! Between the three areas I have discussed in this report, we believe there is potential for another 15-20 lines to be put up depending on creativity and the conditions. The Sheet has lots of fat ice with plenty of interesting features to play around on. The Steps appears to have at least two or three obvious lines to the anchor trees at the top of the gully. The lower tier of Hidden offers from mild WI2 to thin and delicate WI4 with some mixed climbing potential too. Finally, the upper tier of Hidden is a real gem...some of the most beautiful and clear blue ice I've seen anywhere. It can be combined with some of the lower pitches as we did on J-Thread or you can climb to it, set up home base and choose which of the gullies, curtains, and pillars you want to send. Who's ready to get some?! Gear Notes: We brought 70-meter ropes, screws from 10-21cm, a set of tricams, and a few 24” pickets. While we didn’t use the pickets, I could see them being handy for the steep upper sections of the approach or on a couple of the steep snowfields depending on the snow conditions and how comfy you are in that kind of terrain. There were a couple of spots for tricams that I found, but didn’t end up using them. Aside from when we had the luxury of thick anchor ice, 10’s and 13’s were the screws of choice. An avy kit is absolutely mandatory in this area. Approach Notes: From the Asahel Curtis parking lot, follow the forest road past the gate and up to the hairpin turn. Go west beyond the turn up a rougher bit of road for another few hundred feet until you see a big tree stump (4-5 feet in diameter) on the hillside and enter the forest. Now just go up! After 400 vertical feet of steep moss, devils club, and other fun bushwhacking, you’ll hit the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. Use this as a good stop for layer checks and snacks and then continue up through another 600-700 feet of the same stuff until you hit a boulder field. Stay west of the obvious and large gully on climbers left and you’ll break out of the trees and into the lower basin where you’ll start to get a view of the ice. The next 200-300 vertical feet is on snow covered boulders and begins to steepen as you hit the big patch of bushes above the trees. From the top of the bushes, the terrain steepens substantially. You’re now standing at the base of a large avalanche runout from above and need to carefully assess conditions from this point forward. Looking around you from left to right, you’ll see a large rock wall followed by The Steps – a steep, two-step ice gully, then a small bit of ice way up high that is the second tier of Hidden For Your Pleasure, and finally, on the far right is The Sheet, a wide slab of ice topped by a steep snowfield. In total, the approach from the parking lot covers about 2200 vertical feet over one mile of ground distance. We hit this in perfect bluebird conditions…clear skies, temperatures in the teens, a slight breeze, and with very little snow on the ground down low. Once we got into the upper sections of the approach near the ice, the snow ranged from kick-steppable styrofoam to an icy crust perfect for fast mid-dagger climbing with patches of softer and deeper powder that allowed for kicking out a bit of a rest stop.
  9. 2 points
    shit! yesterday I cancelled an alpine trip after monitoring two days of consistently deteriorating weather forecasts. woke up this morning to graveyard calm bluebird day. Appears the goat whose entrails the meteorologists were reading was a mutant... so re-introducing the most infallible weather instrument ever discovered/invented: the Weather Rock! used by every culture from pre-neolithic to present, and still the most accurate meteorological instrument in existence! not to mention inexpensive, and dead simple to use, both at home and in the field. no power, batteries, satellite, nor internet service required. instructions: 1) obtain a sexstone (critical - for optimum performance, the Weather Rock must be an authentic high-quality uncontaminated sexstone) 2) locate the sexstone in an easily accessible outdoor place, exposed to air & sky 3) to use, simply observe: if sexstone is warm & dry expect fine weather; if sexstone is wet expect rain; if sexstone is white, expect snow or volcano has blown again; if sexstone is icy, expect roads to be slick; if sexstone is not visible expect fog or dark; if sexstone is rolling/bouncing execute earthquake protocols caution: as with any tool, the value/function of the Weather Rock can be no greater than the proficiency of its user -- for best results, practice often
  10. 2 points
  11. 2 points
    Trip: Mount Saint Helens - Worm Flows/Moniter Ridge Trip Date: 01/14/2019 Trip Report: Mountains are a huge part of my life. I return to them as often as I can, gaining mental clarity, physical fitness, and memories of adventures with friends. I grew up in Minnesota, far from any mountains, and even before I ever climbed one, I felt their call. It’s very hard for me to imagine living anywhere where I cannot go and experience the positive energy that I can only get in mountain environments. This of course means that it’s really a bummer when the mountains remind me that they’d have no compunction whatsoever about killing me in a variety of unpleasant ways. Mount Saint Helens is probably the single mountain I’ve known about for longer in my life than any other, as I’ve been obsessed with volcanoes since before kindergarten (I’m now a geologist studying them for a living). As such, it felt like a pilgrimage to drive up to try to climb and ski it with my friend Reese last Sunday evening, after living in the Pacific Northwest for six and a half years and somehow never making it up there. Promises of clear skies and relatively warm temperatures (freezing levels between 9,000 and 10,000 ft) with low avalanche danger enticed me to propose the trip, and I went to bed Sunday night in the car at the Marble Mountain Snow Park with dreams of thousands of feet of perfect corn snow skiing. Morning promises of a long ski descent. There was plenty of snow at the parking lot, further fueling thoughts of a ski all the way back to the car when we started skinning up at 5:40AM, under a starry sky. We reached tree line right in time to watch the sunrise, making relatively good time. Even at this early stage, however, there were warnings. Reese repeatedly said that she had a sense of foreboding that she couldn’t shake, a kind of dread of the mountain even though she’d been up similar mountains like Mount Hood in the past. Even so, I assumed once the sun came up we’d both feel better, and that seemed to be the case, so we started up the Worm Flows climbing route past fascinating lava formations amidst beautiful views. In retrospect, this dark feeling proved prophetic. Reese just above treeline with Mount Hood in the distance. At the last trees, we stopped for snacks and put on sunscreen and eye protection, and switched from skins to crampons on our boots. The one black mark on the day so far was the wind, which was typically nasty for a Cascade volcano above tree line in the winter. mountain-forecast.com, if I recall, was calling for 20-30 mph winds throughout the day, which was a bummer, but not enough for me to want to not try to take advantage of the otherwise good weather window. The snow slopes around us were covered in ski tracks from the previous day, with one area we passed even possibly qualifying as a bit tracked out, and this got us both excited for a great reward after the long slog up. We saw a dozen or so other climbers and skiers, some going up, and some descending after very early morning summits. Conditions were very icy, but one of the people met told us she’d heard that things at the summit had softened up for good skiing at about 1:00PM the previous day, so we took a relaxed pace and waited for the corn. The climb itself was somewhat boring, with many hours and thousands of feet of uphill slogging, and it passed mostly uneventfully. I had trouble with my crampons at one point, as my old Black Diamond Sabretooths don’t fit my ski boots particularly well, but stopping to adjust and reattach a couple times on the whole climb in safe positions didn’t seem like cause for particular concern. At several points Reese said she was still feeling nervous and very tired, but emphasized that she wanted to continue to the top. Finally, we reached the final ridge about 300-400 ft below the crater rim, and there the topography made the wind, which was coming from the east, bad enough to make walking difficult, with gusts well over 40 mph in my rough estimate, especially with skis on my back. At this point, I’d gotten maybe 100 yards ahead of Reese, but I wasn’t too concerned, as it’s pretty common for me to get well ahead of or behind my climbing partner on these kind of long slogs, so I made a priority of getting to a point where I could turn a corner and reach shelter. Waiting out of the wind for Reese to finish what were afterwards simply referred to as the “wind ridge,” it occurred to me I’d let the gap between us get too large, so I tried to assuage my guilt by spending a few minutes chopping out a nice deluxe ledge for us to sit on and rest. When Reese rounded the corner a few minutes later, she did not come to where I’d stopped to rest and instead beelined straight for the crater rim. She later told me that she had found the wind awful enough to want to head down, but the wind and the distance between us made conversation impossible, and she decided to get to the crater rim as soon as possible. I caught up to her, and we made the final approach to the crater rim together, and the views did not disappoint. Us on the summit. I wanted to hike to the true summit to the west along the crater rim, and take some pictures of the crater, while Reese told me that she felt satisfied reaching the crater rim, so I took off while she found a sheltered spot to eat lunch. View towards the true summit and the massive crater from close to where Reese rested and had lunch during my summit jaunt. Spindrift at the summit. I must say that the views didn’t in the least disappoint, and I walked along the corniced ridge with a deep sense of awe. Another skier who was resting at the crater rim when we got there reported that the summit had been mostly out of the wind, but I found that to be far from the case, and experienced wild spindrift and intense gusts. On the way back, I found a single gap in the cornices which allowed me to peer down towards the steaming lava dome and take a panorama. Gorgeous view down the barrel of the proverbial gun towards Spirit Lake and Mount Rainier through a gap in the summit cornices. It turned out that I’d misjudged the distance to the crater rim, and the round trip there and back with multiple photography stops ended up taking just over a half an hour, so I decided we’d better get down as it was about 2:30PM and we were definitely running behind our intended schedule by about an hour and a half. I got back to Reese, apologized and said I’d skip lunch in order to make up for lost time, and then things started to go very wrong. At this point, there were three problems which would collectively amount to a serious emergency even if we still didn’t recognize it at the time. First, we were now the only two people left on the summit ridge, as the other skiers left a couple of minutes before I got back to the spot where everyone was resting. This made poor route-finding decisions more likely. Second, conditions were nothing like the corn we anticipated and which the numerous tracks on the mountain seemed to promise us. Instead, the stronger than anticipated wind and slightly cooler than anticipated temperatures conspired to serve us with a huge sheet of rime-dotted ice leading down from the summit, which was seriously unappealing to ski, and was going to require much more skill and effort than we’d planned for. Finally, and most seriously, while resting and eating at the summit, Reese realized that she was quite a bit more tired than she had previously realized, and said she felt cold, exhausted, and dubious about her ability to ski down the unexpectedly difficult terrain. One of the last happy memories of the trip (other than the ending), this wonderful view of Mount Adams. Despite that, a pep talk got us clicked into our bindings and on our way down. The ice was unpleasant, but surprisingly held an edge, and I was relieved to see Reese visibly relax and start making nice turns after a shaky start. That would prove to be the last respite of the trip before our final rescue. I figured that if we crossed the top of Monitor Ridge below the “wind ridge” section which had caused so much trouble on the way up, we could avoid the worst of the wind and get on to our planned descent route. Instead, at the lower crossing we encountered perhaps 50 mph winds and a slope which had been blasted down to smooth ice. It would have been very difficult to cross into that headwind without losing control and tumbling down the slope, so we turned back. In retrospect, we should have given up on skiing then and there, and cramponed over the ridge, but skiing, even in the wrong direction, seemed faster, and with the lowering sun, we headed skier’s right. We managed to descend another 700 ft or so when disaster struck. Instead of giving way to sun-softened slopes as we’d hoped, the edgable, textured rime of the upper mountain turned into equally hard stuff which had been thoroughly smoothed out by the previous day’s thaw and that day’s wind. In what would be in my opinion my most grievous error of judgement of the entire day, I kept leading the way down even when I felt that my edges were no longer really gripping the slope. Finally, on a steep section, I got spooked, leaned into the slope, and began a long sliding fall towards a sharp ridge in the snow about 150 feet below. I deliberately rolled so that I would release my ski bindings and hit it sideways, and piled up debris made the impact mercifully soft. I walked away with only a bruise on my thigh. Looking beyond the drift which had caught me, there was a sickening view of hundreds if not thousands of feet of mostly uninterrupted snow slopes, a real slide-for-life kind of situation, and I realized the kind of awful fall I’d narrowly avoided. I shouted a warning to Reese to be careful of the spot where I’d fallen, but she immediately fell upon reaching the same spot, making the same impact with the snow drift. Google Earth view showing our route and the sites of some of our mishaps. Seriously rattled, we decided to stop skiing and switch to cramponing down the mountain after I made a likely dumb suggestion to continue skiing with and ice axe in hand. We’d barely made it 100 yards traversing a steep slope until I found myself sliding again, this time quickly arresting with my axe. I tried to stand up, and was horrified to find myself immediately sliding again, as my crampon had completely fallen off in the first fall, and was merely dangling by a strap which I’d wrapped around one of the boot buckles to keep it out of the way. Immediately arresting that slide, and pissed at myself for allowing myself to get into that situation, I replaced the crampon, only to have it start to come loose after only a few steps. Having to climb down to retreive a runaway crampon would have sucked, to say the least. Examining the boot later, it seems that repeated use with the crampon had damages the plastic where it contacted the steel crampon, making the fit strangely loose and prone to releasing. It’s unclear to me whether the crampon coming loose caused the fall, which seems most likely, or if the wind merely caused me to slip and the crampon ripped loose in the fall. Just as I was devising a more permanent fix to my crampon problem, Reese lost her footing and went a wild, spinning fall, which it was not at all clear she was going to be able to arrest. Finally, she righted herself and arrested after sliding as much as 200 ft, which is one of the most relieving things I’ve ever witnessed. I caught up to her, retrieved the ski poles which we’d both dropped (luckily, nothing slid so far we couldn’t go get it), and we continued down. At this point, however, Reese’s extreme exhaustion combined with a very justifiable fear of the sketchiness of our situation to slow her down to a near crawling pace down the mountain. When we reached an almost flat spot a few hundred feet farther down, we stopped to consider our options. At this point, it was about 4:00PM and we were running out of light. We decided to text a friend in Portland to inform someone of our situation, but to assure them that we were safe for now and did not require rescue. Shortly afterward, Reese convinced me that we should send a follow up suggesting that we were in fact, not safe, and required a rescue (I did not call 911 myself to save phone batteries for what I was beginning to assume might be a long night). Reese also began to be visibly clumsy and started shivering. If nothing else, helpd to settle my doubts that the decision to call for help was justified. Covering the red line took us 11 hours, and we were slowing down. Without rescue, we were definitely going to be in for a rough time. Assuming that help was many hours away, we began very slowly descending. I advocated that we dig a snow cave and eat and take an extened rest while waiting for help to arrive, while Reese was adamant that we not stop moving downhill. Before this could turn into a real argument, however, a rescue helicopter flew overhead, and we waved at them until they circled, clearly noticing us, and then flying off. Moving slightly farther down, we say two other people just a couple of hundred feet below us, and we moved to go meet them. Miraculously for us, they were in the same situation, having just experienced a long sliding fall, coupled with extreme exhaustion, and they had called for rescue, the chopper was for them. A few minutes later, the helicopter managed to drop a couple of members of the Volcano Rescue Team off, who accompanied the four of us a bit farther down to a point where it could land and shuttle us all down to our cars just before it got dark. It brought Reese down first, along with one of the other party, then came back up the mountain for me and the other member of the other party. My first ever helicopter ride reduced what would have been a multi-hour epic to a bouncy jaunt that lasted maybe three minutes. Your friendly neighborhood mountain rescue helicoptor. In retrospect, this misadventure was the product of several errors in judgement. Chief among them was summitting in the first place, dooming us to a complex descent in poor conditions. In my zeal to reach the summit and see into the crater, I ignored a long series of small but clear red flags in the form of Reese’s repeated comments that she was uncomfortable with the entire situation on the way up. We likely would have been ok if the weather had been a bit better, but we didn't collectively have enough in the tank to descend in anything other than ideal conditions. I’m also ashamed of the way that I skied without adequate means to arrest, especially because I could have had my ice axe in hand with little extra trouble. My crampon-related fall actually didn’t scare me nearly as much as I never personally felt like I wasn’t going to be able to arrest once I had the damn axe in my hand. I also didn’t bring a stove or emergency blanket with me, which would have made a night out much more palatable. I am at least happy that I still had a bunch of extra food and water with me still at the point where we were rescued. In any case, we are indebted to my friend in Portland who called rescue on our behalf, to the Volcano Rescue Team, and to the Clark County Sherriff’s office for preventing an epic. Also, there’s probably something wrong with my brain, but I want to go back in better conditions and ski that hill! Gear Notes: Skis, ice axe, crampons. Should have brought my whippet, but only had normal poles. Approach Notes: Easy, well signed approach from Marble Mountain Sno Park.
  12. 2 points
    Trip: Alpine Lakes Wilderness - North Buttress Couloir Trip Date: 01/12/2019 Trip Report: Began ascent around 0615, cruised up the road following tracks to trailhead for Cashmere mountain. From there broke trail all the way to turn around point. Navigation through the forest was quite poor, even though done this portion plenty of times, still got lost at certain portions. Took about 5 hours to reach Colchuck Lake, was humbled by process of breaking trail and poor skinning skills. Opted to not cross on the lake just wasn’t vibing with it. Sat around for around 40 min. warming hand and waiting for visibility to open up. Pushed out towards far side of Colchuck Lake where weather was much better even just 100’ higher. Hugged skiers’ left on boulder field proved worth it, wish I would have ascended even more on this side rather the Colchuck Glacier moraine, although it did have a handful of cornices which seemed solid and inactive. Transitioned into climb mode near entrance of couloir. Snow was not compactible at all, ice tools were more shovels making room for better steps. Had crampons on with intention of reaching higher and avoiding a difficult spot to slip them on but were not necessary. Overall snow seemed good until I transitioned from one aspect to another, where, the snow seemed to be even more bottomless and inconsolable. It was this point where I opted turn around – just did not have margin for my own solo attempt. The ski descent from this portion (see below) got to my nerves a bit. Due to the inconsolable snow, arresting was not an option. Your tool would simply slice right through, yet your skis would still float relatively well on the surface. Between this, the steeper grade and the looming cliff below, it was survival skiing until I reached my transition point. Dropped into the skiers left of the moraine and threw down my line. Opted to follow standard trail out so to avoid the lake. The descent through the forest was much better, skating out on skins proved much timelier with even portions of skiable slopes. The road out as also super, a little frozen at places, bit hard to turn and crashed but oh well. Upon arrival at the car, totaled 13:23 hrs. 16.6 miles & 6000’ gain with high point of 7000’. Gear Notes: Tools, crampons, self-belay setup, two screws, 30m 6.1mm rope, picket, used only tools for pushing down snow Approach Notes: Tunes highly recommended IMG_0434.HEIC Bailing on Colchuck NBC.mov
  13. 1 point
    Trip: Okanagan - Cirque of the Unremarkables Trip Date: 02/14/2019 Trip Report: After work ice cragging, what!? Pretty fun, comes in fast.. about 20 min north of Vernon, just take the turn-off for the Tolko mill and you can't miss it. Gear Notes: Ice stuff Approach Notes: Nowt!
  14. 1 point
    Leavenworth area ass-clammin' update: as per earlier, most classics in the Icicle canyon are now "in". different this year are a number of smears on slabs that in most winters do not form, but this winter have thickened enough to offer possibilities in the Tumwater, Drury looks iffy - enough ice to connect all the way, but lotsa suspicious looking holes/blanks. The Pencil, on the other hand, looks as fat as I've ever seen it (forty years) - go figure. the Drip has nearly touched down, might be "in" for those of you who like free-hanging 'cicles. Comic Book Hero shows enough ice to connect ledges, but is bonier than I've ever attempted... but everyone knows I'm just a crippled up old fart... anyway - plenty of ice in places relatively protected from the current avalanche hazard... come & get it!
  15. 1 point
    For future reference, Instead of doing all the rappels you did to get off, you can climb out of the canyon on the north (climbers right) side from where you stopped and then just hike back down to the road in like 30 minutes. No need to do even a single rappel. Much easier, especially if you are soloing the rig on your way up.
  16. 1 point
    Leavenworth ass-clammin' update: after a week with temps in the teens, things are looking more promising 'Tumwater canyon -- nothing to speak of. Drury looks great, but I'm guessing frighteningly soft - notorious for leaders looking down to see their freshly-placed screws falling out... Assicle canyon: at least 3 lines on Hubba-Hubba hill appear to be in; though might be a good weekend to avoid the Funnel. I've seen two parties in the Central Gulley (aka "Chicken Gulley") of Assicle Butt-rest in the past two days - even got stubbies in the first pitch! A party had laid a ladder across the Assicle to access Dog Dome yesterday, & climbed Dog Nasty Dike. Ran a few laps at Rainbow Gulley this a.m. - too thin to protect, but clammable if you limit yourself to hooking placements - swinging tools would destroy both the ass and your picks - crampons better smeared than kicked; lead-climbers your tools are your belay, so might consider wrist leashes... Candlestein Left (aka "Careno Left") is clammable with a rock finish -- C Right has not touched down. numerous dubious looking mixed possibilities... its here for those desperate enough... have not heard reports of coulee ice... -Haireball
  17. 1 point
    I'm skiing from my house up and down West Tiger 3 this weekend, if it snows like forecasted.
  18. 1 point
    Trying to delete this.
  19. 1 point
    Trip: Mt Hood - Pearly Gates - Left Trip Date: 01/13/2019 Trip Report: Just a quick conditions update for Mt Hood. Took the left option in Pearly gates and found a short step of ice, maybe 5-6 feet. Followed by maybe 10 meters of low angle ice. It is in great conditions for those comfortable on water ice. Downclimbed the mazama chute. All the old chute routes are in and straightforward steep snow climbing. Saw several parties heading up DKHW and am interested to hear a conditions report there. Based on the ice in the gates I expect the headwall to be in shape with good ice. My 17th and first solo Hood. Well, except for the rest of the hoard. The hourglass: \ Crappy pic of the step: Top of the ice: Summit Pano: Gear Notes: 2 tools Approach Notes: Less painful in the dark.
  20. 1 point
    Heres some photos. Was in the party attempting trip c's. Very thin ice in runnels and bypass, not really a huge shocker this time of year I suppose. The snow coverage for this area seemed less than previous years around the same time also. Wanted to see if the bypass or variation via the NW face would go this time of year at a moderate difficulty. Ice down low was good and the snow was mostly firm enough to be securely climbed. Some really interesting mixed steps to get to the NW face were encountered. I'll probably be back in the spring but most of the point of this trip was to try and sneak it in before everyone and there mom climbs it.
  21. 1 point
    Joseph, I submit to you that there is one reason, and one reason alone: Names In the Guidebook.
  22. 1 point
    They didn't extend the road, they just paved it. So instead of bouncing an hour in potholes you drive smoothly in 15 minutes. There are a variety of trails, but they mostly run along the canyon floors. Not sure there will be any new tours to be had, but then I'm not an expert in tours in that area. Maybe someone will give you ideas - and I'll take note. Finally, if I were you, I'd post the same question on Turns All Year. More skiers there.
  23. 1 point
    Ah, that explains the tire tracks! Yes, the winter closure is clearly signed (and we stopped at it).
  24. 1 point
    I saw a comment from someone on Facebook about chaining up and driving over the snow berm and the sign to get all the way to the TH. Please don't do that. It ruins the grooming on the road and will result in a $5000 fine. Thanks for the conditions update Jason!
  25. 1 point
    The gully is the bottom of the colloquially named "No Fog Bowl." Beware of skiers dropping down from above. I know people occasionally will ski down "Not Quite a Plum" and where your arrow says "To BBR". Fun stuff! Thanks for the info, I've been wondering about the climbing up there.
  26. 1 point
    Rolando Garibotti wrote a little bit about the model he's been using for Patagonia forecasting recently: Iirc, the Patagonia Vertical site also has information on how to read model data published by NOAA.
  27. 1 point
    any chance you took some close ups of colfax i.e. CH and Polish Route? Thanks!
  28. 1 point
    Thanks for the report...that is pretty amazing how far you can drive!
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Hood - North Face Right Gully Trip Date: 01/02/2019 Trip Report: New year new objectives! Plans, partners, and conditions finally aligned for the north face of Hood. I parked at Timberline and my friend drove us to Tilly Jane. 12am sharp we were on the trail. The approach to the A-Frame was super mellow and took us slightly over an hour. From there we followed a well compacted path to the carin on Cooper Spur. The snow on the glacier was boot deep most of the way. Not bad conditions at all. By 4:20 we stopped at about 8500 feet to nap because none of us got any sleep the day before. Sleeping at the base of Cooper 30 At 5:50 my partner woke me up. I'm pretty sure I was hypothermic but that nap felt soooo good. The slog up to the base of the route uneventful but the sunrise was well worth it. We crossed to the right of the bergschrund. The snow was kind of spooky but it went with ease. After some more slogging we got on the first ice step. It felt WI2-3ish overall. After about 50 meters of climbing I made a belay with a screw and picket. First ice step Me leading up the step The snow between the ice steps was quite pleasant. We comfortably soloed through it, kicking in deep if we needed to rest. Here's the second ice step. It felt pretty easy as well. WI2 probably. A few hundred more feet of slogging brought us to Cathedral Spire. It looked like a fun climb for another day. Climbing up one of those cracks looked compelling and fun. What the snow looked like Summit pyramid. At the summit pyramid we faced the first alpine ice we had seen on the entire route. Opting not to simu-solo, we unroped for the last stretch. Pulling the summit cornice was bittersweet. Throughout the entire route we faced no wind, relatively mild temperatures, and perfect visibility. When we got to the summit, it was a different story. It was a total whiteout, icy wind made everything freeze, and things got pretty damn cold. We decided to descend the old chute because the pearly gates were iced up. We made it down in record slow time, mistaking ice formations for buildings and people a number of times. The descent to Palmer had very little snow, it was mostly these ice rock things. Our lack of sleep was finally catching up to us. When we got to the car, I began seeing imaginary hot air balloons and large apartment buildings. Overall though, it was an exceptional trip. The snow was great. The ice was great. Even the approach was pretty mellow and fun. All in all it took us about 15 hours including the impromptu nap time. I honestly have no idea when we got to the summit. It was a fun but relatively easy romp up the mountain. here's what the descent conditions looked like Gear Notes: 4 Screws 2 Pickets Approach Notes: Follow the trail, descent at the carin
  31. 1 point
    The rock is compact and polished; not much in the way of handholds or gear. The first half of the climbing, up into the basin, did not feel highly threatened to me; there is a lot of lower angle rock between the snouts of the glaciers and that area. The upper slab section, which we found entirely unprotectable and lies in the fall line of the right-hand glacier, might be avoidable climber's right (looking at some other photos), but you do still have to pass the fall line of that right ice cliff. Doing so on class 2 or 3 would be faster though, than the 4/5 we encountered. You'd have to cross the larger, right-hand outflow twice though, which could be an issue depending on volume. It's not a small amount of water, even in later summer. Almost 12 years later and I still get excited thinking about this route; having gazed up at it, studied it in photos, and dreamed about what it might be like in those upper basins for years. getting our asses handed to us the first try. Getting more and more hopeful as each successive obstacle was passed on the second try. So, so many rappels and so much downclimbing in the dark down the east ridge after getting the to summit. Shivering with one sleeping bag and a space blanket just below the CJ Col after 24 hours on the move, wondering if the predicted rain was going to soak us, and the glorious acres of blueberries we found for breakfast the next morning. There is an experience doing a new route that is entirely unlike repeating; no tat, no cairns, never looking at a route description or trying to figure out if I'm 'going the right way'. Look up, choose the way that looks like it goes, then go find out if it really does. Beautiful simplicity and true adventure.
  32. 1 point
    I'm pretty happy with my Ambit3 Peak years later, a great ABC watch, has waypoints, and will make cool videos of your runs/climbs/hikes through the Suunto app. The brand new 9 looks nice with a touch interface but pricey. Outdoor Gear Lab has a good write up of some options: https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-altimeter-watch
  33. 1 point
    Also 1977, Central Pillar of Frenzy, Middle Cathedral
  34. 1 point
    Another wayback photo. I seem to have plenty... Anne Tarver at Peshastin Pinnacles on Washboard sometime in the mid to late ‘70’s.
  35. 1 point
    OK you old farts 💨 Time to throw down som more chit. first pic: Amphitheater Peak 1971? If you look closely, you can see Dave or Donn in the dihedral on the left side of the buttress. I had to scuttle back to camp for more hardware. We hadn’t really planned on climbing the whole thing that day so we hadn’t grabbed much gear. It actually only took a few hours to get to the top. second pic: Meat Grinder, Yosemite 1972 third pic: Steph Atwood on Breacfast of Champions 1976 fourth pic: Grand Wall December 1970 fifth pic: Town Crier UTW 1970 sixth pic: Green Drag-on 1972-73 maybe first ascent or first ascent attempt. I can’t remember which. seventh pic: remains of the original 2nd pitch of Town Crier after it peeled off eighth pic: Don Brooks Leaning Tower Yosemite 1973 ninth pic: Kit Lewis Midnight Rock mid 70’s last pic: Dawn Wall 1980
  36. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Temple - Greenwood Jones Trip Date: 08/03/2017 Details: Given the reputation and lore select Canadian Rockies north faces hold I've always wanted to climb one but never had the opportunity minus a failed attempt on GCC on Kitchner way back in the late fall of 2008. High my list was/is any route on Mount Temple but avy conditions in the winter and grizzly conditions in the summer/fall had prevented me from ever trying. My understanding is most years the CAN parks require (communists ) a minimum party size of 4 for anyone entering the area below the north face or risk BIG fines (and possibly a grizzly encounter ). As finding another team of 2 keen on an alpine start that was also willing to climb a different route was pretty much impossible I never have had a chance to try. However in August of 2017 I heard they made the party size a recommendation and not a requirement. Lucky for me Daniel Harro was also keen so we pointed it north. Based on dawn & sunrise times and our plan to filter water at the lake we settled on a 3:30 departure. We started the face slightly later than I had hoped and wandered around trying to make sense of the beta before settling into the route. Everything you heard is true: choss to perfection and everything in between. Not the worst rock I have climbed but Oregon volcano climbers have a high threshold. Managed to climb it without placing pins but we definitely clipped a few along the way. All in all an awesome route and deserving of the status. I definitely want to come back for Greenwood Locke (in colder temps) and the Cardiac Arete on the Grand Sentinel looks awesome. We found this TR in conjunction the most useful for route finding but even then we scratched our heads more than once and I had to reverse/downclimb a few false starts. Pins can show the way as well as get you way off route If you try to do it in a day (which I recommend as it makes the packs more manageable) you need to save as much daylight as possible for the descent; I would expect attempting to follow the cairns down in the dark even with a headlamp challenging at best especially if you go back to your car via Paradise Valley. A google search will turn up more than a few TRs that detail a night spent out high on the mountain. Gear Notes: Standard rack. Took pins but didnt use them. Crampon and mini ice axe. Approach Notes: Opted for the car to car option
  37. 1 point
    Trip: Cutthroat Peak - Cauthorn-Wilson Date: 4/4/2015 Trip Report: At about 11:45pm on Friday night, I picked Goran up at Seatac and we headed for the pass. We made it to the pullout for Cutthroat Peak at about 3am after a stop in Seattle and took a quick nap in the car, with alarms set for 4am. As we packed up our gear, we watched a beautiful lunar eclipse that took the valley, which had been bathed in bright moonlight, into darkness. We left the car at about 4:45am and the conditions were ideal for booting—the snow was firm, but secure enough to not need crampons for most of the way. We made it to the base of the couloir at about 6:15am, where we geared up as the sun rose. There was plenty of snow in the couloir, but the ice was a bit thin, aerated, and brittle. Nevertheless, it was climbable. I led a short, steep pitch on this combination of neve and ice up to a fixed anchor below the crux corner pitch and brought Goran up on that anchor, backed up with a good screw. From there, it was party time. The crux pitch was really fun. In many places, the ice wasn't thick enough to fully swing into and required delicate tapping and hooking. I was able to get 2 decent screws in and then found rock protection higher up. While it seemed like using a chimney technique was possible, I was having too much fun climbing the ice and neve, so I stuck to the face. Once the angle eased off, it was just a little further to get to steep snow and I was able to run up the snow couloir all the way to the cave below the next step with our 70m rope. Inside the cave, I found a perfectly clear, thick ice flow which took two screws for an anchor perfectly. What a cool belay! Goran led the next pitch, starting at about 9:15am, which ended up being a simul-climb to just below the summit. It was what I'd call sub-optimal, with sugar snow on rock and lots of post-holing in very steep snow. Goran found a few pieces of gear here and there and then brought me up just below the summit on a good anchor. I then headed past him on steep snow to the proper summit. It was about 11am at that point and completely gorgeous up there, with a commanding 360-degree view. We knew that finding the descent route might be tricky. And it was. We searched for the first set of chains for over an hour in vain. They must have been buried under snow somewhere we didn't quite look. We found an old anchor which had been destroyed, but never found the true anchor, so we built an anchor off a horn with a pin backing it up and did a double-rope rap (we brought a tagline) off that and quickly found the next anchor. Hopefully someone will clean it up soon. Just as we were setting up our rap, our friend Will was finishing the route solo—impressive! He joined us on our series of slow raps down the face and we all hiked out together and enjoyed some awesome glissading. This was an awesome climb in a beautiful setting with an unbeatable approach:climb ratio for this style. Now that I've summited, if I were to do it again, I'd rap after climbing the crux pitch—the rest of the route wasn't nearly as fun and was much harder to protect. Plus the West Ridge descent route is quite slow by comparison. Approaching the couloir Dawn on our way to the first pitch in deep snow Looking down the first pitch Looking down from the cave belay Goran starting the last simul-block next to the cave Goran on the summit Gear Notes: 5 pins (used 3), set of nuts, 7 screws (used 3; 2x10cm, 1x13cm), cams .3-2" (used a few) Approach Notes: Fast conditions for booting—1.5 hours for the approach
  38. 1 point
    Trip: Lemah Mountain - Date: 8/24/2007 Trip Report: I climbed Lemah Mountain in 11 hours, 26 minutes roundtrip (5:52 up, 29 minute rest on summit, 5:05 down. I made a few routefinding errors that cost me a little bit of time, but regardless, this mountain is long and physically taxing. The trip was about 32 miles roundtrip, 22 miles on trail and 10 miles of rugged cross country travel. Location (Elevation): Time Elapsed / Split / Real Time Pete Lake TH (2,800 ft) : 0 / 0 / 07:16 Pete Lake (2,980 ft) : 38.31.11 / 38.31.11 / 07:55 PCT Junction [Lemah Mdws Trail] (3,200 ft) : 1:00.05 / 21.34.52 / 08:17 Spectacle Lake (4,239 ft) : 2:00.46 / 1:00.40 / 09:17 Arrive Lemah Summit (7,540 ft) : 5:52.27 / 3:51.41 / 13:09 Depart Lemah Summit (7,540 ft) : 6:21.31 / 29.04.78 / 13:48 [spectacle Lake (4,239 ft) : 9:28 elapsed / 3:07 split from summit / 16:55 real time] Pete Lake (2,980 ft) : 10:37.40 / 4:16.08 / 17:54 Pete Lake TH (2,800 ft) : 11:26.29 / 48.48.34 / 18:42 Lemah Mountain, together with Chimney Rock and Summit Chief Mountain, comprise the "Snoqualmie Pickets." While these mountains are located relatively close to the metropolis and a popular section of the PCT, they are rugged and provide a real wilderness feeling. The climb of Lemah Mountain is even true to Picket fashion with routefinding issues, brush, and slow boulder fields. Aside from a cairn on the summit and a couple along the approach, I saw no evidence of human travel - no paths, camp spots, bootprints, or snow tracks. It’s becoming tough to find such solitude and untrampled terrain in the Cascades, even in the real Pickets... The 22 miles of trail to get to and from Spectacle Lake from the Pete Lake Trailhead are the easy part. I made a minor mistake and took the Lemah Meadows Trail to the PCT which added about 1 mile of running and also took the longer (standard) route to Spectacle Lake. By the time I made it to the lake I had covered 11+ miles. You can see the five fingers of Lemah Mountain in this photo (just right of center). The middle finger is the main summit. The shores of Spectacle Lake are rugged and rocky and one must first ascend to a shoulder in order get around the north side of the lake. From here, I traversed through talus and brush below cliff bands. It is difficult to see where to ascend to the ridge to cross over to the Lemah Creek drainage and I spent some time here as well figuring it out. Finally atop the ridge, the hard part is over, but Lemah Mountain still seems far away and there is much walking through heather meadows, talus fields, an old moraine, and granite slabs. Finally below the mountain! At the glacial remnant, I put on crampons, which were helpful on the snow slopes which became steeper near the top. A class 3 scramble and then another snow field brought me to the ridge leading to Lemah's main summit. A short scramble later and I was on the summit. I spent nearly 30 minutes resting and enjoying the great views, especially to Chimney Rock and Overcoat Peak. Chimney Rock, Overcoat Peak, and Glacier Peak in the distance. Nothing in between Lemah and Rainier. Middle Fork Snoqualmie, Mount Thompson, and peaks near Snoqualmie Pass. Spectacle Lake, a LONG ways away! Summit shot. Lemah #2 (left) and the Main Summit (right) Glacial tarn. Chimney Rock massif. Four of the Lemah Fingers. Close-up of Lemah #2 and the Main Summit. While I didn't make any errors on the return trip, it still took 5:05 hours from the summit to the car! Gear Notes: Axe, crampons. The La Sportiva Exum Ridge trail shoes handled the terrain great! Approach Notes: Around 32 miles roundtrip - 22 miles of trail and ~10 miles of rugged cross country travel. Trails are in good shape, no path after Spectacle Lake.
  39. 1 point
    Officially: http://www.fs.fed.us./gpnf/04mshnvm/trails/index.shtml Trails in the Restricted Area (yes the mountain IS in this area) A restricted area has been established in the heart of the National Volcanic Monument to protect opportunities for scientific research and allow for the recovery of plant and animal life. The following rules apply in the restricted area: Stay on the trail; off-trail travel prohibited. ($100.00 minimum fine). No camping is allowed in the restricted area. Disturbing research plots or removal of any natural feature is strictly prohibited. Access into the crater is strictly prohibited. Fires are not allowed within the blast area. Stoves are allowed within the blast area. Pets and bicycles are prohibited. For more detailed information and maps, contact one of the Visitor Centers or a Forest Ranger District Office.