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  1. 8 points
    Trip: South to North Pickets Traverse- Goodell to Access Crks - Wild Hair Crack, East and West Fury, Luna Trip Date: 07/24/2019 Trip Report: UNDER CONSTRUCTION..... Will circle back around in the coming days to finish the captions..... Images stick with me. So much so that often I'll plan a trip around a specific place that I've seen either on a screen, a print, a slide, or in just my mind, after looking at a map. Frenzel camp is such a spot, its draw powerful enough to compel a 7 day traverse from Goodell Creek to the Big Beaver just to spend a few hours (well, a few more hours than planned) looking all around in wonder. The yin and yang of such trips, at least for me these days, is that they aren't getting any easier. Some of that is age, some of that is self-induced suffering from my own stubbornness of carrying a full frame dSLR and several lenses, NO MATTER WHAT. I cursed this decision more than a few times on this trip, but when I slip that card into my desktop and get to work, it all melts away. I know I was heard saying that I'll never do another 7 day Pickets trip, but....... This one started like most- swatting bugs, dividing up group gear, and taking swigs from a bottle of Hunter stashed in the car. Hey, this isn't the Olympics, and a whiskey morning jacket can do wonders for morale. My pack was way too large, as usual, but it turned out I did an even worse job than normal of packing food. This would be apparent on day 7 as I packed probably 4 lbs of extra food out of the Big Beaver AFTER spending the week trying to give it away. I really should be better at this by now. Anyways, the pain began.... and continued. By the time we reached the Chopping Block col I was thoroughly wrung out and cramping, trying to look as carefree as Tyler (who had climbed J'berg THE DAY BEFORE). I wasn't fooling anybody though, especially myself. So, I went off to get water for the group and have a good cry (Well, maybe on the inside, a little). Recomposed, I came back and guzzled some whiskey. Much better. Next, through the wonders of modern technology, I cheerily texted my wife to tell her how much fun I was having and that it was just an easy stroll over the ridge the next day. Oh, and maybe she could move the boat to a day later? I was going to need it. The easy stroll the next morning started with some talus side-hilling and steep snow traversing that led to more boulder hopping and a general team mutiny as we all sought a line that was superior to our teammates. Somewhere in there we spooked a bear (surprising for all involved), met a party of ladies headed to Terror ("The Terror Twins"- not actually twins), and had some fun ascending the the steep snow and "loosey goosey" rock to the Ottohorn-Himmelgeisterhorn col. Whew. Gearing up, we joked about who was going to lead the first pitch. "Not I" came the reply from General Weakness (AKA me). Tyler gamely stepped up and promptly gunned us all to the the false summit before we knew what happened, including a sparsely protected section of off-width that he exclaimed was "fun" as we all clenched our butts in solidarity. It is quite a climb though, and my hat's off to John, Silas and Russ for establishing such a gem on probably the best rock in the Pickets. Highly recommended! Next stop was Frenzel camp after the usual moaty rappel shenanigans off the col. Suffice to say, the camp didn't disappoint, it truly is a remarkable spot. I'll leave it at that. Listening to the weather radio that evening, General Weakness declared that the next day the team would remain in Frenzel camp to wait out a squall coming through. Coincidentally, it also meant that the General's load, which had to be carried over Outrigger and to the summit of East Fury, would get a tad lighter. Post dinner activities that first night included feeling sorry for the Terror Twins who we could see having an unplanned(?), open bivy on the NF of Terror (photo below). Tough ladies! The next day was spent lounging at one of the best camps I've had the pleasure of staying in, watching the weather deteriorate, and keeping tabs on the Twins as they ascended up into the mists. Packs were lightened, whiskey stores reduced, and tired legs rested. It was a great spot to spend a weather day. That night, the forecasted rain and wind arrived and we were all glad that we weren't up on the summit of East Fury. This was especially true the next day as the weather continued to linger into the afternoon. Fearing that our chances for West Fury were fading, we opted to pack up in the mist and grope our way over to the the summit of Outrigger just as the weather began to improve. It was still harder than it should have been to get off Outrigger and ascend to the summit of East Fury. The General arrived crabby and didn't relish carving out a platform in the snow, melting snow, and generally having to pretend to be a tough alpine climber. Thankfully I had one of those bourgeois NeoAir mattresses to insulate my sorry ass from the snow and provide some much needed rest. I can't imagine spending THREE DAYS up here in a flapping megamid. West Fury. Why? Well, why not? We were here, we had the time, and in the words of @Trent, "It must be climbed!". And so we did. It is actually a lot better than it looks from East Fury, but still takes some time and a rope (if you're partial to such things, as I am). I think it was about 7 hours RT East Fury to East Fury, including about an hour on the summit. We were the 20th party to sign in, I believe, but I don't think I saw @wayne in there? So maybe it was the 21st ascent? Anyway, always cool to see the complete ascent history in a register. And then it was down, down, up, down, and over, over to Luna col and the comfortable camps there. At this point a weight was lifted from the team since it was all pretty much downhill with the pigs and we were on friendly and familiar ground. Watching the sunset, listening to tunes, and chatting with a team from Salem headed to East Fury the next day was a very civilized end to a few days of ruggedness. The last few drops of whiskey sealed it- tomorrow we would set the alarms and watch sunrise from Luna. Because, why not? Well, I could think of a few reasons when my alarm went off the next morning. But I gamely tried forget all of them and keep @tylerhs01 in my sights as he streaked for the summit like a well-chiseled alpinist fired from a cannon. I failed, of course, but arrived on the false summit in time to capture the scene pretty well. Like most places along our trip, though, pictures really don't do it justice. But no matter, the summit of Luna has 4G now (??!!) so you can pretend that the pictures you're sending everyone are EXACTLY HOW IT IS, RIGHT NOW. No wonder the Luna XC zone is full most weekends in high summer. Listening to the weather radio again at Luna col, more rain was on the horizon so we broke camp and headed down into the head of Access (Axes? Pickaxes?) Creek. Again, this turned out to be a good move, driven home our final morning when I awoke to find my mattress floating in a bass pond while rain pounded on the fly. D'oh! Access creek is brushy, but at least it was going to be wet. We were long out of whiskey as well, so it was going to be a character building descent which, in the case of General Weakness, might actually be a good thing. But that extra character was never beaten into the weak General since Tyler had a gpx track that he had recorded a few weeks prior WHEN HE CLIMBED LUNA (??!!) on a casual three day romp with some family friends (a record for shortest time between Luna ascents?). We even found bits of a trail! And a couple large logs across the Big Beaver! And a freshly logged and brushed Big Beaver Trail! It was all just so reasonable, right down to the customary dip in the lake while waiting for the water taxi. I guess there is always hope that the General will get some character beat into him on the next one. Until then.... (Captions refer to the photo(s) below the words- seems to work for scrolling? Let me know if not) The Mac Spires: John approaches camp: Der Shuksan: "Has the General always been this weak?": @tylerhs01 photo of us headed up to the O-H col, on the fun part (it ended in less fun when the snow ran out): Wild Hair Crack!! Tyler gunning us up the crazy good rock: Almost at the summit of the Himmelgeisterhorn... @tylerhs01 and @Trent contemplate the drop off each side: @Trent on the way to Frenzel camp I think this is the West Peak of the Southern Pickets? I could be wrong: The top of the "Thread of Gneiss" remains unclimbed to the summit of the East Twin Needle. Will you be the one?: For the full story behind this photo (and you really need the full story, trust me), read THIS: The Terror Twins building character: While the General fluffs his pillow: Looking past Terror to the NF of the Mac Spires: Frenzel Camp: Jack as the weather comes in: Frenzelspitz: Watching the storm brewing on Fury. Glad we aren't up there!: But this is the next day and it wasn't a lot better. Getting wet and wild on the way to the summit of Outrigger: Figuring out how to get off Outrigger as the weather begins to clear. Luna behind: The team approaching the summit of East Fury: (L)Uh, does this really need to be climbed? "West Fury MUST BE CLIMBED!" Summit camp lyfe on East Fury: Well, I guess it is time to climb this thing: Auspicious start to the day, looking east from the summit of East Fury: @Trent photo of @tylerhs01 and the General leaving the summit of East Fury heading west: @tylerhs01 posing effectively: The FA party carried a brass can and this register up there. Impressive!: Much of the way to and from West Fury is better than it looks, but still requires care: I was much faster back then: Larrabee and American Border Peaks: @tylerhs01 on the true summit of Luna at sunrise: Fury at first light: Terror: McMillan Spires: Worth waking up early for every 12 years whether I want to or not: You really should go climb both North and South Hozomeen: The Big Beaver pointed right at Jack: West Fury (L) and the team walking towards Elephant Butte (R): I think I saw an old Crowder or Tabor photo from this vantage many years ago. The hook was set: Luna: Last Camp: Dark Eyed Junco with a good meal: Mount Prophet. The prominent rib on the right is known as Jacob's Ladder : Good times crossing the Big Beaver. PM me for a GPS point if you need one: Gear Notes: The full kit- ice axe, Al crampons, helmet, whiskey, etc. One 70m half rope sufficient for Wild Hair. Medium rack to 2" Approach Notes: Crescent Creek climber's path to Access Creek Climber's path. Both are getting more defined by the year. Expect Shenanigans between the two.
  2. 5 points
    Trip: Mount Stuart - Upper North Ridge via Stuart Glacier Trip Date: 07/23/2019 Trip Report: On Tuesday, July 23, my friend Alex and I climbed the Upper North Ridge of Stuart via the Stuart Glacier and notch, car to car in 18.5 hours. I've never posted a trip report before, but I thought I would now that I've climbed the ridge twice and learned a few things - the first time climbing the complete North Ridge two years ago. We made all kinds of mistakes on the complete North Ridge at that time, spending an extra day on the mountain. I wanted to climb the ridge quicker and smarter with a good idea of what to expect. Although Alex doesn't have a lot of alpine experience, he's an endurance machine and a great climbing partner. We left the car at 3:20 a.m. after spending the night in Alex's cozy Honda Element. Topping off our water at Lake Ingalls, we could see lightening flashes in the distance to the south. As we crested Goat Pass it looked like Rainier was getting blasted. We hit the Stuart Glacier a little over four hours in. Almost at the end of the glacier traverse, the thunder and lightening were very close together and we were getting hailed on. We huddled together on a flattish scoop to let the hail pass, weighing our options. Before too long it looked like things were clearing so we headed up the gully to the bivy notch, arriving there at about 9:45 in good spirits and with more blue sky. Alex and I mostly simul-climbed to the gendarme with a few belays set up. We climbed the gendarme in two pitches, as normally done, and hauled packs up both pitches. There were some issues with the axes getting jammed, but we were able to free the jams pretty easily. I was feeling worked at the upper section of the first gendarme pitch and pulled through on a few pieces (the mental crux for me). I find the second gendarme (off-width) pitch much more enjoyable. The right forearm jams feel secure and the exposure on that pitch is exhilarating. There are two fixed pieces on that pitch - one on the initial steep face climb and the #4 that's been there forever. After the gendarme we passed the spot where my friend Gabe and I had to bivy two years ago. Glad to move past that! There's an airy traverse shortly after which looks way harder than it is (two years ago we used the rappel slings to go into the gully and picked our way back up some less enjoyable pitches to the top). The traverse led to a fun 5.7 hand-crack that felt super secure, then one more airy traverse a little above that and the summit at 4:00. It felt great to put our sore feet into tennies as we picked our way down to the false summit and Cascadian Couloir. (Two years ago I started heading down the first couloir - what a dumb mistake that was!). Make sure you use caution on the top entrance to the couloir. Everything is pretty unstable but then leads to some easy plunging through dirty scree. Scree trails eventually disappear, and then come and go through the couloir. After making it out of there we finally found a solid water source at the first creek crossing on the Ingalls Creek Trail. After a brief rest there my body started to rebel. It's amazing how, when the body doesn't have to be on guard anymore, it can start to bonk. I had a hard time controlling my heart rate even on the flat trail and tried to get calories and water down. It was a slow slog for me back up to Longs Pass, which we hit around sunset, and our adventure culminated in a windy, tired cruise back to the car, clocking in at 9:50. Alex still had enough energy to drive all the way back to Bellingham while I passed out. A few lessons I've learned on this ridge (one of the best alpine climbs I've ever done): Do not underestimate the scale of this mountain. The approach is long, the ridge is long, the accumulation of a lot of fun climbing moves starts to wear you down, and it takes a lot of mental concentration over a sustained period of time (including all the way down the couloir where there are opportunities to slip or cause rock fall, and it would not be fun to descend that in the dark). It's a committing route. Once you get high on the ridge, up and over is the way down. I've bivvied high up with very little food and water, and it wasn't a fun experience. A lot of parties find themselves with unplanned bivies. Respect the mountain! If you don't bring a stove, you may not have any water sources until the bottom of the couloir. That's a long stretch (for me, it was a little over two liters from Lake Ingalls, all the way up and all the way down the couloir to the first creek crossing). Be thoughtful about water. Don't forget to pause along the way and enjoy your setting on the ridge, which is one of the most spectacular places I've ever been. Attached pictures include Alex looking at distant storms, Alex on ridge between notch and gendarme, Kevin on slab with crack just below gendarme, summit photo. Gear Notes: One 60m rope folded in half for simul-climbing and hauling packs over gendarme, rack: singles to 3" with an extra .75 and small set of wires and hexes, 9-10 slings, ice axes, crampons Approach Notes: Southern approach from Ingalls Creek Trailhead
  3. 4 points
    Trip: North Howser Tower - All Along the Watchtower Trip Date: 08/06/2019 Trip Report: Climb Date: August 4-6, 2019. Summit August 6, 2019 Climbers: Jeff and Priti Wright Climb: All Along the Watchtower (Grade VI, 3000ft, 32 pitches, 5.10/C2- or 5.12) Style: Follower jugged every pitch in the Dihedral with micro traxions and runners. Heavy French/Aid utilized by the leader in the Dihedral. Two packs brought. Leader climbed with light pack, except in the Dihedral (where follower jugged with one pack on, trailing the other). Two bivouacs (one at base of Dihedral and one on the Summit ridge). With so little beta out there on the route, we found the route finding tricky. This post is intended to be a beta sheet to help with route finding. All Pitch numbers are per Jenny Abegg's topo which was very useful (https://jennyabegg.com/climbing/trip-reportsbeta/all-along-the-watchtower-north-howser-tower/). Pitches 2 and 3 were confusing and we split each of these into two pitches. If you stay on route and watch rope drag, you can avoid splitting these up. They are both full-length pitches. Pitch 3 is so wander-y that rope-drag might be unavoidable - recommend splitting this into two pitches. Pitch 16 (5.12 crux roof) in the Dihedral was only pitch where we thought it was mandatory to disobey Jenny and split into two pitches. Topos In general, Jenny's topo was pretty good. Pitches 8-11 on Jenny's topo are the dyke variation that Westman/Haley did (on accident) which ascends directly up from the bivy ledge. Jenny's topo does not show the original route option, which splits off 30m below the bivy ledge. If you wanted to get snow at the bivy ledge and continue on to the original route, you have to rappel or down climb 30m 5.7 to meet back up with the original route. The party behind us did the dyke route and we did the original route. After talking to the party who did the dyke route, it's very safe to say that the dyke is better way to go. The Mountaineer's guidebook (the green book) topo shows both the original route and also the dyke route options, but the High Col topo shows only the original route. The High Col topo is not accurate at all, so be careful. Keep a copy of Jenny's and the Mountaineer's topo on you. Bivy sites: -We didn't see any good bivy sites until atop Pitch 7 (flat, walled, snow in early season). Some descriptions said there was one atop Pitch 3, but it's more of a sitting bivy. -Another good bivy site is out-of-the-way, about 20m left of the base of the Dihedral (flat, walled, no snow). Some descriptions said this was 4-person, but it fit the two of us pretty snug. To get from here back to the base of the dihedral, you have to down-climb 10m (5.7) then ascend 10m (5.7) to the base of the Dihedral. -Some bivy options along the ridge (four of us stayed at one, very snugly, about halfway on the summit ridge above the seventh rifle gully). -A flat, walled bivy spot on the summit (lots of snow throughout the season). When we saw it, it had thick snow/ice on it, so you'd be sleeping on top of snow. Photo Credit above: Tim Banfield Descending down to East Creek from the Pigeon-Howser Col. Left to Right: North, Central, South Howser Towers, Minaret. Priti is just below the Beckey-Chouinard Route From East Creek descend until you can scramble up to the ridge. Stay low on ledges if you want to cross over into the gully ("B" in picture, not recommended, loose scree and hard ice). Recommend staying on the ridge (climber's right side, "A" in picture) as if approaching for Beckey-Chouinard on South Howser Tower. From the base of Beckey-Chouinard, it is easy to scramble down to the snow to traverse high over to the North Howser Bivy Rock. This is a big, obvious boulder just at the next ridgeline. There is a luxurious, sheltered, covered bivy cave here (recommended instead of East Creek if you only have bivy gear and you want to get an early start for the route in a push). Four rappels (two hangers, chains, rap rings) take you to the snow below. The first rappel is heavily cairned and easy to find (even in the dark), requiring a bit of down-scrambling to get to the lip of the ridge. The rappel line is straight down. Each rappel is easy to find and on obvious ledges. You'll want crampons and ice axe for the snow below, on the way to the base of Watchtower. We used a Beal Escaper for the rappels which worked like a charm... we did not bring a pull cord on this trip. Note: rappels shown in picture above are approximate (just use cairns to find the first one, then take the plumb line). The picture is not intended to help you find the rappels. The first rappel. Crossing the moat. Another party of rappelers above. The approach snow after the approach rappels. You're committed now! Looking up North Howser Tower. Approach at the base all the way left to big ledges just before the large, obvious gully. Take ledges all the way left to dihedrals. Pitch 4 (above), 5.10, full 60m: a striking dihedral (protect on the face on the right) which starts as an easy stem/chimney and ends in an overhanging, difficult off width. Photo credit: Dane Steadman Bivy site along ridge. Looking down the ridge from the summit. Photo credit: Dane Steadman "Hand crack on the right side of crest". Party on the summit. Photo credit: Dane Steadman Simul Rappelling over the bergshrund. Photo credit: Dane Steadman Joining up with the Beckey-Chouinard steps. Photo credit: Dane Steadman Gear Notes: Double Rack to #3. Single #4. Triples in finger sizes for dihedral. Offset nuts, brassies. Did not bring offset cams (did not think they were necessary). No aid gear. 1 sleeping bag to share. 1 bivy sac to share. 1 Jetboil. Beal Escaper for rappels. We did not bring a pull cord. Recommend a pull cord to 1:1 haul packs in the Dihedral. Approach Notes: Started from Kain Hut, ended at car.
  4. 4 points
    Trip: Mt Logan - Fremont Glacier Trip Date: 08/04/2019 Trip Report: "Did you go far..." a gray haired lady happily chirped at us, 100 feet from the parking lot. "Yeah..." John and I muttered back at her in unison, giving her the shortest answer possible, not breaking stride as we trudged past. We weren't trying to be rude, but our minds were focused on the truck, cold drinks, clean clothes, and comfortable shoes. The longer answer is that we climbed Mt Logan over three days via the Thunder Creek valley and the Fremont glacier. And yeah, it was far, clocking in around ~46 miles total. Thankfully much of that is on trail, ~18 miles to Thunder Basin Camp on Saturday. Temps were cool enough and with enough shade that the hike in was relatively pleasant. John and I had each been up the trail on independent solo attempts in the past couple years. Sunday we were moving my 8AM, up towards Park Creek Pass then the long traverse across alp slopes towards the Fremont Glacier. We lost the climbers trail several times, but it was never critical. Just keep traversing. A tough aspect of Logan is you never really see the summit until you’re on top of it. The snow feature to access the scramble is melted back quite a bit, but not overly concerning. We lugged a rope which was nice to have for peace of mind, but not a critical piece of gear. The backside was more exposed than I expected, but is well cairned and stays mostly 3rd class unless you get off route. Views were worth it! Seems like you can see EVERYTHING from up there. Monday was a long hike out on sore feet. Sorry to the nice lady trying to say hi... Gear Notes: nothing unusual Approach Notes: long
  5. 4 points
    Very sad news. I'll miss Chuck's sarcastic sense of humor, his brotherly teasing, his intelligence, and his adventurous and ready spirit. I spent one of my all-time favorite mountain climbing days with Chuck when we climbed the full North Ridge of Mt. Stuart in a day, which was his idea and turned out great. It was one of those days of alpine perfection. We didn't see another human the whole day and we flowed up the route in the glittering sunshine. I can close my eyes and recall a dozen moments from that day. Memories that I have cherished to this day, but are now a bit heavier. Thank you for that day! I will miss you my friend.
  6. 4 points
    Trip: Snoqualmie Pass - Commonwealth Ultimate Ridge Linkup (CURL) Trip Date: 07/28/2019 Trip Report: Anthony and I did a fun enchainment of Guy Peak (south side), Snoqualmie, Lundin, Red, Katwalk Peak (north of the Katwalk), and Kendall. There was some exceptional scrambling, hours of exposed "Beckey 4th class". We tried to stay on the ridge proper as much as possible except for when it was simply too sketchy in trail runners or it was too vegetated. Here's some beta: - Guye Peak: approached from underneath the west face, we climbed a rib to the left of the South Gully, this offered some amazingly steep, hero juggy scrambling. - Snoqualmie to Lundin: There is an incredible knife edge just after Snoqualmie. West ridge of Lundin is cruiser, bypassed the impassable gaps on the left with some low 5th. - Lundin to Red: There is an optional gendarme (which we took) partway down the ridge which was probably the crux of the entire route for us. We left the Red Pass trail and the talus field and climbed a gully system to the summit. - Red to Katwalk Peak: The descent off Red was nowhere near as bad as people describe. Partway along the ridge, we ran into "The Cleft", a vertical impasse that splits the ridge. We had to descend a few hundred feet before finding a fourth class weakness through it, then climb back up to regain the ridge. - Katwalk Peak to Kendall Peak: mostly vegetated at first, but with some fun knife-edge right before the Katwalk. Kendall North Ridge is cruiser. It totaled 12 miles, 6.5k ft gain, and took us 8:23. Apparently it has been done in four hours . https://climberkyle.com/2019/07/28/commonwealth-ultimate-ridge-linkup-the-curl/ Scrambling steep terrain up the south face of Guye. More fun higher on Guye. Full view of the CURL. The middle summit of Guye. Awesome knife edge after Snoqualmie. West Ridge Lundin. Red mountain and the ridge. Crux gendarme. Some loose scrambling on Red. Fun slabs on the downclimb of Red. The 4th class weakness through the Cleft. \ Above the Kendall Katwalk. Red mountain with the Cleft visible on the right. Nearing summit of Kendall Peak. Gear Notes: Helmet, running vests, approach shoes. Approach Notes: Start up the neighborhoods beneath the west face of Guye, climb talus to the base, then curve right to the south face.
  7. 3 points
    Trip: North Cascades - NW Face of Forbidden Peak Trip Date: 08/04/2019 Trip Report: Climbed the Northwest Face of Forbidden Peak on Sunday, Aug. 4. I believe now that we badly botched getting on the start of the route, exiting the glacier too close to the toe of the arete, rather than attempting to climb further around and up to the right of it. This resulted in some time consuming and stressful problem solving in unpleasant terrain. After crossing the Forbidden Glacier, we found a place where we could make a short down climb/rappel off the glacier and onto rock, near what we thought was the start of the climbing route. Off to our right was a gaping hole filled with ice and rock debris that's part of the moat. Once on the rock, we scrambled up 10 or 15 feet to where we were beneath a roughly seven-foot-thick snow patch, looking up at a corner system that we reasoned (convinced ourselves) could be the start of the rock climbing. (View from across the Forbidden Glacier of the rib on Forbidden where the climb is located.) (Rappelling off of the Forbidden Glacier. The snow was soft and we reluctantly opted to bury and leave a picket to do this.) My climbing partner Pat led the corner, and some terrain above it. There was some dirty rock and some of the climbing felt 5.8/5.9. He stopped after about 80 feet at a semi-hanging belay. I followed up to the belay and we decided after some discussion we were definitely not on the route. Some abandoned gear we passed on the way up indicated we may not have been the first party to have made this mistake. Looking down and climber's right we could see what appeared to possibly be the access ramp feature described in the Cascades Rock guidebook. We then watched as the top of a massive ice tower--a chunk of ice that was maybe about the size of a 55-gallon drum--collapsed into another debris filled hole in the glacier, next to the ramp. Short on good options, we lowered/rappelled down into a more sheltered part of the moat, and then climbed a short section of polished 5.8ish rock up out of it, over to the right, to reach the start of the ramp. In the place where we finally established a belay we were just above the debris hole where we'd seen the ice fall, and close to other threatening towers of ice that were by now baking in direct sunlight. But it appeared that we were far enough away that we were not in immediate danger if anything else fell. From here we followed the ramp system up and further right to the climb proper. Parts of the ramp felt mid-fifth class, with maybe some 5.6/5.7 moves, and sparse gear. As this ramp trended higher, the snow got closer to it, although I can't confirm whether there's a spot right now where you could get off of the glacier in this area and onto the rock. At this point, the climbing thankfully became more straightforward and matched with descriptions we'd read. Although the lower part of the route was looser and dirtier than I expected it would be. The 5.6 knife edge and 5.8 pitch were both stellar, with fun climbing, good gear, and an amazing position on the mountain. I stayed near the ridge crest approaching the 5.8 section and then climbed cracks and other features on the steeper rock straight ahead before cutting left. This seemed to work well. On the upper section of the climb, the rock quality improves somewhat compared to the lower portion. But don't expect to be romping up Leavenworth or Index grade granite, there's still plenty of loose rock. We simul-climbed after the 5.8 pitch, stopping twice to re-rack and belay before the summit. (Upper section of the climb, with the 5.6 knife edge in the foreground, the 5.8 section above it, and the rest of the route beyond.) All of the messing around at the base of the route meant that we reached the summit much later than expected. We descended the West Ridge, reaching the notch just after dark and decided to bivy there, rather than continuing with the rappels back down into Boston Basin. This meant we both missed a day of work without giving notice and caused a great deal of worry for our significant others who expected us back on Sunday night. But having not done the rappels before, I think we made the right decision. We woke up around 5 a.m. and descended back to the car without incident. One perk of staying out an extra night is that we got to see an impressive northern lights display from the notch on the West Ridge that lasted until around dawn. (Feeble attempt at capturing a dramatic northern lights display with an iPhone camera.) On the approach, the Boston Glacier wasn't too difficult to get across. We were able to pick out a line across most of it from the rappel notch near Sharkfin Col. We also watched another party headed to do the North Ridge hit a dead end that we were able to then avoid. (Boston Glacier, as seen from the rappel notch right of Sharkfin Col.) (Looking back at the Boston Glacier from near the gully that leads up to the low point on the North Ridge, that provides access to the Forbidden Glacier.) The Forbidden Glacier becomes more heavily crevassed nearer to the base of the route, but it seems like based on past trip reports that this is pretty standard. As for the rappels on the approach, two raps with a 60m rope from the notch right of Sharkfin Col will currently get you to the edge of the moat on the Boston Glacier. It's also possible to scramble down climber's right after one rappel onto the glacier. We went too high in the gully that leads to this notch and had to go back down to reach it. It's off climbers left in the same general area (can't remember if it's before or just after) as a slung rappel station in the gully. If you're getting too far above that rap station in the gully, you've gone too far. This gully is mostly snow free right now and very loose. We crossed over to the Forbidden Glacier via the low point on the North Ridge (there's another place to cross over just north of here, not sure if there's any advantage to using it instead). From the low point on the ridge, exposed scrambling (we roped up for it) down and skiers left of a bivy site will lead you to a rappel anchor that we backed up with a new piece of webbing and a second rap ring. One rap with a 60m gets you down onto the glacier. On Saturday night, we bivyed below this cross over point on the North Ridge, on the Boston Glacier side, near the glacier, where we had access to snow to melt for water. My overall impressions of the route are that it climbs a beautiful feature in an iconic part of the North Cascades--a great mountaineering adventure in a wild setting. (Eldorado Peak and Moraine Lake as seen from the climbing route.) That said, I thought it was short on good rock climbing. The crux for us was definitely getting on the route, but I also don't think we did it the easy way if there is such a thing. Don't underestimate the time it could take getting on this climb and the hazards that are present near the base of the route, particularly this late in the summer. And don't forget there aren't many easy alternatives to get back to Boston Basin once you're on the Forbidden Glacier. This was my first significant outing in the North Cascades after moving back to Washington state following a four year stint in Washington, D.C. It was a full on one. Definitely memorable. Gear Notes: Single 60m rope, double rack of cams from finger sizes to #2, one #3 (small gear seems to be more useful than big pieces on this route), set of nuts, two pickets. Approach shoes, aluminum crampons, ice axe. Approach Notes: See trip report.
  8. 3 points
    Trip: Mount Constance - South Chute & Finger Traverse & FT Bypass Trip Date: 08/03/2019 Trip Report: SummitPost wasn't kidding saying Mt Constance is one of the most challenging peaks to climb in the Olympics. Its the peak seen from Seattle that has the biggest prominence on the horizon. We did a "Leisurely" 3-day trip (24 miles & 9400ft gain) to climb Mount Constance in the Olympics. We figured it would be a 20+ hours of hiking and climbing and pushing bikes up the approach would only make the hot day hike in harder only to shave maybe an hour off the whole thing. In the end we were just fine having not brought bikes. Its a quick enough and easy hike out they really aren't needed. That said the rangers did warn us if we were taking bikes to hide them as people even 5 miles in will strip bikes of parts and just leave the locked frame behind. After picking up our permit we did the 8 mile hike and 3rd class tree root scramble on Friday to get to Lake Constance in 5 1/2 hrs. Maybe a bit slower than usual but it was hot and humid so we took our time since we really weren't in a hurry. Great campsite right at the lakes edge and not a bug to be seen. 6am start on Saturday, returned to camp 6pm. 6.5 hours up and 5.5 hours return. Great to not feel rushed trying to pack it into 2-day or even car to car. This would be a 20+ hour day trying to do it in a day and with it mostly melted out its a huge amount of boulder, scree and loose rock scrambling which would probably added some hours vs if it had been more snow covered. Did the Finger Traverse Bypass route on the way up which was some interesting navigation around a hidden ledge and chimney system around the backside of that block of rock. If you find two tiny rock bivy site rings near the start of the Finger Traverse you are pretty close to finding the drop down to a ledge that looks like it cliffs out, but if you work your way down a narrow 10ft chimney you almost have to wedge yourself into it drops onto another ledge that works its way around and spits you out on the other side of the Finger Traverse. No running water on the route once we left the camp but were able to refill water bottles from snow patches along the way and wound up with plenty of water. On the way back we soloed the first half of the Finger Traverse then broke out the rope to lead around the corner considering its a literal finger traverse with not much in the way of foot holds if you are short with a monster runout over a cliff. You can setup a belay about halfway across in a nice alcove with a boulder to sling. Then sling a horn on the way over, place a #1 cam, then around the tricky corner there is an easy to miss rusty piton as you angle back up to where you can setup a multi-point gear anchor. A solo climber we passed planning on doing the route in a day on our way out was planning on soling across the Finger Traverse but wound up turning back once he saw how exposed it was. We also saw a pair on our way out around 8:30am still an hour from the lake who were carrying light day packs planning on doing the route in a day but they were hours behind where they should have been to get out of the technical terrain before dark. If you like scree surfing coming down was a fun run down 3 long scree fields. I wouldn't want to do this route in wet conditions. We had great weather and everything was dry. I think this one set the bar for the most amount of scree, loose rock and boulder hopping we've ever done in a day. And a lot of twists and turns navigating a complex route. While it wasn't high on the technical scale its a beast stringing the whole thing together. Over 20hrs moving time between the climb and hikes in and out. Gear Notes: ice axe, crampons, light alpine rack (#1 and a couple smaller cams & a few nuts), 40m rope (the one that used to be 60m before a snaffulhound on Mt Cruiser chewed through it...) Approach Notes: boulders, scree, more scree, boulders, scree, little bit of snow patch, more scree.... don't under estimate the amount of scree, loose rock scrambling and boulder hopping once its melted out.
  9. 3 points
    Dana is a kind and patient man. He assured me repeatedly that my sluggish pace and frequent stops were no issue. But let's be clear, this trip kicked my ass. Everything still hurts. A few observations: When we climbed the North Face of Sinister in August 2016, we seemed more evenly matched. Now, at age 56, a lengthy three-day trip with zero conditioning has become a true suffer-fest. Since 2016, I've gained almost 20 pounds. See the photo of me on the glacier - that round thing in my mid-section may as well be near-full-term baby. At age 42, Dana still sits at his long-distance college runner weight. He still has visible abs! I try not to hate him for this. My pack was relatively huge; Dana's looked like a school girl's book bag. How does he survive for THREE WHOLE DAYS without the 110 essentials? Dana wore Solomon trail runners; I wore La Sportiva Trangos. This was a mistake on my part, as usual. Toe nails will be lost. I sweat like a Russian oligarch in a Moscow steam bath; Dana never even glistened, despite the heat. He says he's "air cooled." It's weird. Unlike *CutebutChossy69*/bluebagprincess and her partner, Dana and I remained fully clothed while tackling the summit pyramid. This was a good thing for all concerned. In sum, we had a fine time and I hope that by mid-September I'll be able to take a single flight of stairs without eating four Advil.
  10. 3 points
    Trip: SE Mox, NW Mox, Mount Redoubt - West Ridge, SE Face, South Route Trip Date: 07/25/2019 Trip Report: @Albuquerque Fred and I were at it again, this time up in the Depot Creek drainage over July 25-28. Fred had gone up a month prior to scout the approach and tick off the requisite easy Bulger peaks. Now we were back to get the ones he needed my help on. We hiked in on Thursday none too early after Fred graciously picked up the permit in Sedro Woolley. If you follow Steph's approach beta you will do fine. The trail was decent, we lost it a couple of times, but only once for more than a minute. There was brush... and deadfall, and mud and swamps and bugs and waterfalls and fixed ropes and bear crap and loose moraines and stream crossings. No problem. It took us 7 hours to 7200' camp at Redoubt saddle. If you are used to climbing in the Cascades it's a little worse than the average for a trail, but better than off-trail. Fred and the falls: Me somewhere along the trail photo by Fred: Redoubt N Face, photo by Fred: Me below the glacier on the direct route to 7200' camp, photo by Fred: Camp below Redoubt: Friday we climbed both Mox Spires beginning with SE (or "Hard") Mox. This turned out to be much easier than "Easy" Mox. The route finding was my biggest concern going in as it sounded complicated, but Beckey was dead on. Follow his beta, we never went wrong. Ignore Klenke and his heavy-handedness, the best beta has been available in print for decades. It was a great climb; if you like loose gullies and lots of route finding on moderate ground to a very moderate rock climb, with more loose rock, as I do, then this is for you. We did 6 hours Col Of The Wild to the summit and back to the col, exactly as Beckey states, with about 30-45 min on the summit. Fred on the approach: Col Of The Wild, photo by Fred: Me downclimbing the "major snow gully" photo by Fred: Fred's silhouette on route: Pickets: My favorite part, cleaning up old rap tat, photo by Fred. Please do your part too; if is not good enough to rap on, its trash. LNT!: Next NW Mox, southeast face route from Col Of The Wild. We followed Matt Lemke's beta here from his NW Hikers report: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8028072 It was scary. The gully you climb is loose with lots of large detached blocks to pull on in the class 5 stretch. I lead the first pitch and I was scared; easy climbing, but no decent pro since everything is loose and/or detached. This was probably the most dangerous climbing I have ever done. Either we missed something or Matt was being ironic with his summit register comment of the route being 5 stars. Any comments would be appreciated. The scramble was easy though and we made about 4 hours round trip. The rappelling was actually pretty safe and easy. It was great to get both Mox peaks in one day and in reasonable time as well. If there is a better way up the SE Face of NW Mox it would be a spectacular paring. We did 13.5 hours camp to camp this day with good breaks on both summits and a long break in the basin in the afternoon. Loose death gully, photo by Fred: Victory pose, photo by Fred: We slept in until around 9 the next morning due to rain, this was expected. All we had left to do all day was Redoubt. We did a bit of a route variation and instead of trending left from the first snowfield into the second snowfield and the talus we continued from the first snowfield straight up a narrowing snow couloir to within 300' of the summit. Then we scrambled left in a rusty chossy gully to regain the standard route at a minor notch in a small buttress. The scrambling was easy with one tough move at the "cannon hole". We mostly followed Steph Abegg's beta here, limited but sufficient. The views were non-existent on top so we descended fairly quickly, going down the more standard route. View up-route from the basin on the south of Redoubt: Fred in the couloir we climbed: Me approaching the summit, photo by Fred: Best photo I had of our couloir from the standard route on descent: We ascended the right line and descended the standard route on the left: Drying out camp that afternoon: We did about 5 hours camp to camp on Redoubt moving fairly mellow with some route-finding in the fog. In the afternoon we went for a stroll on the glacier ice next to camp, it was way cool to just stroll and look around: We slept a lot again and hiked out the next morning, 6 hours to the car. Fred on the Redoubt Glacier on descent: In the falls: More falls, photo by Fred: Gear Notes: 60m rope medium rack (small would be better) crampons axe rock shoes (would skip if there is a next time) Approach Notes: Long and arduous, as advertised.
  11. 3 points
    Trip: Boston Basin - Torment-Forbidden Traverse in a day Trip Date: 08/03/2019 Trip Report: This was a big day for us! My legs are still aching and I've been sleeping like a dead man. I love the North Cascades. Check out the full trip report on my site: Spokalpine Gear Notes: Single rack .2-2, a few nuts, 60m twin rope Approach Notes: It's not bad, really
  12. 3 points
    Trip: Ragged Ridge - Mesahchie, Katsuk, Kimtah, Cosho - Standards Trip Date: 07/27/2019 Trip Report: It seems that this year every one of my trip plans has gone south for one reason or another and this was no exception. Initially hoping to get Challenger a weather blip got worse and worse as the week prior to the climb progressed. Not wishing to fuck around in a white out on Eiley-Wiley ridge and uncertain about Bergschrund conditions in this weird snow/snowmelt summer, we converted our four-day Pickets adventure into a three day Ragged Ridge consolation prize. Saturday still had a weather blip when we settled on the Chinook Slam and sure enough there was some rain and overcast skies as we drove to Marblemount and then Easy Pass TH early Saturday morning. The ranger station was the typical clusterfuck even at 8:30 am when we arrived and took a number. With permit secured we continued to the TH where it briefly dumped rain on us. With the next sucker window we headed up. As forecast the weather got better and better as we hiked in. Two parties of two with lighter packs and footwear passed us and we were concerned about choss bottlenecks and limited camping options. We made quick work of the hike to Easy Pass, then traversed around 6700' to the basin under Mesahchie and Pt 7430. To our surprise only a single tent was setup there and we threw down bivy sacks away from it on a decently flat spot. Later we spied folks descending from Mesachchie and Katsuk and chatted them up for beta. They were a party of three (so now there are 10 people up there total in four parties) who had arrived a day earlier and planned a 4 day climb with two separate twin-peak-bagging forays rather than a carryover traverse. Views back towards Easy Pass from the traverse towards Mesahchie: The basin we camped in on the first night. Running water right by camp: We set alarms for 4:30 am and got a great night's rest under clear skies. In the morning we broke camp and hauled heavy packs up to 7400' then stashed the overnight gear just above a cornice on the ridge and climbed Mesahchie, then Katsuk. The routes were as espected - loose rock, class 3-4. Great views on both summits. The "crux" section of gully up Mesahchie Peak: We then dropped back to our packs and began traversing the multitude of ribs and gullies on our way towards (we hoped) the E side of Thieves Peak, with a third summit on the way (Kimtah). Alas, this was not to be. About an hour along the traverse we ran into one of the parties of two we had seen a day earlier who were headed back home and reported they were "chasmed out". We soon got to said "chasm" and struggled to commit to the crossing ourselves. Basically there is an exposed 30' traverse with one horrible step on loose eroding dirt and no handholds. After scoping it out with no full packs for a long time and vacillating on what to do, I finally got out my small rack and we build a fixed line. All in all that cost us about 2 hours. It's funny how mental fatigue (this was 8 or more hours into the day already with a lot of exposed scrambling and traversing) can affect decision-making. The "chasm" crossing" Once past this crux we crossed one chossy rib and gully after another and wondered when the hell we'd ever see the Grotesque Gendarmes. At this point we ran into the party of three from camp returning from their summits of Kimtah and Cosho. They told us we had a ways to go and might consider bivying. They were right. We ended up arriving at the final gully before said gendarmes at 7:30 and set up a gorgeous bivy with spectacular views. Also, we had time to eat and get enough sleep to start early again. Our awesome bivy site: Alarms went off at 4:30 on the third day and we again broke camp and headed out. Despite all our beta and some cairns we still took some time to get through the gendarmes and find the upper red ledge. It took longer than we would have liked - that is for sure. We then crossed another seemingly endless series of ribs and gullies until we were finally directly below Kimtah. We dropped packs completely and headed up this short (800') scramble. We were surprised about how blocky this was and it took more than we would have liked but there was nothing super challenging about route-finding - just sniff your way up. From GPS tracks we had studied we knew most people would go up one gully and head down another. We saw why - pretty obvious from above how to go on easier terrain down. View from camp of the Grotesque Gendarmes and Kimtah: View back to the Grotesque Gendarmes and Katsuk: Ascending Kimtah: Once back at the packs we continue on another series of gullies and ribs (does this shite every fucking end?) to the final gully below the E side of Thieves Peak. We lost whatever bootpath we were following and ended up sniffing out a route to the col. From chatting with the team of three we knew the glacier was easily accessible. We roped up (30 m rope) and crossed to the col on the other side of Thieves peak, then dropped backs and scrambled up Cosho. there was a nice snow field giving access to a gully on Cosho making for easy travel. Accessing the glacier from the col E of Thieves Peak: Kimtah from Cosho: View W of Cosho summit: After five minutes on the summit of Cosho we headed back to our packs. We had a nice food and water break, then noted the time: 3:30pm. We were in for a long hike out. The gully below Cosho is honestly the worst place I have ever been. I'd rather be castrated with a dull butterknife than be there again. We methodically descended bullet proof dirt covered in loose rocks, polished slabs covered in loose rocks, waterfalls (some over and some around). We repeatedly fell on our asses and dealt with exposed face-in downclimbing or dirt/veggie bypasses with bad runout. Nearing dusk we finally got to the bottom and schwacked down a dry stream bed towards Fisher Creek. Finally at 9 we found the bridge crossing. After watering up we headed out - the wrong way. After 5 minutes, we realized our error and went the other way. Then we got confused because the trail on both sides of the bridge headed W and we wanted E. Finally after consultation of a map we determined the trail on the N side of the bridge is correct and must just start W and then turn N and E. That proved correct. One of many waterfalls that could be face-in downclimbed: View up the central gully to Cosho: We covered 6 miles in 3 hours arriving at the switchbacks up. Then we took 4 more to ascend to Easy Pass and down to the cars. Time? 4:30 am. A 24 hour day. Why do I do this shit? I dunno, but it did not prevent me from making it to a Slipknot concert that night and drinking copious amounts of beer. Gear Notes: Ice Axe, Crampons, 30m rope, Minimal rack Approach Notes: Very few bugs
  13. 3 points
    Trip: Cordillera Blanca, Peru - Tocllaraju - NW Ridge (D) (and others) Trip Date: 07/09/2019 Trip Report: I've posted a few trip reports on my site for my second trip to Peru's Cordillera Blanca. This range has many incredible objectives, relatively easy logistics, and is CHEAP compared to high altitude climbing areas elsewhere. Here's my report from Tocllaraju: https://spokalpine.com/2019/07/26/tocllaraju-6034m-northwest-ridge-d-ai4/ Gear Notes: Some screws, two ropes, pickets can be bought in Huaraz. Approach Notes: Make the donkey carry the good stuff
  14. 3 points
    Trip: Glacier Peak Wilderness - Dakobed Range Circumnavigation Trip Date: 07/13/2019 Trip Report: Did a nice two day solo circumnavigation of the Dakobed Range. Started at the White River TH, went up the Indian Creek Trail (completely overgrown, nearly impossible to follow) and took the PCT to White Pass. Then went into the Whitechuck Basin, over Kololo Peaks, down the Honeycomb Glacier, beneath Tenpeak into the Napeequa Valley. Bivied this pass before tagging Neyah Point in the morning. Took the brushy trail through the Napeequa and up over Boulder Pass and back to the trailhead. It totaled about 50 miles and 12k ft gain. All but four miles (PCT section) of this route were either off trail or on brushy trail, so the mileage was a little more difficult than one might think. The terrain from Kololo Peaks to the Napeequa was pure magic, some of the most remote, stunning scenery I have ever seen in the Cascades. Nothing about this route is too difficult, but there is substantial low angle glacier travel and a bit of tiring side hilling beneath Tenpeak. https://climberkyle.com/2019/07/13/dakobed-range-circumnavigation/ The off trail section of my route. 8 ft tall brush on the Indian Creek "Trail". Deer near the PCT. Nearing White Pass. Tarn in the Whitechuck Basin. On the Whitechuck Glacier. Honeycomb Glacier. Honeycomb Lake. Tenpeak Tarn. Butterfly Lake and Neyah Point. My bivy at Butterfly Pass. Sunset on Glacier peak and Butterfly Lake. Marine layer flowing over Butterfly Pass into the Napeequa. Dakobed and Tenpeak from Neyah Point. Following the stream into the Napeequa. Cirque of the Butterflies - a truly magical place. The Napeequa River. Grassy meadows don't tell the truth... slide alder! Boulder Basin. Gear Notes: Trail runners and poles. You might want crampons, ice axe, helmet, glacier gear depending on conditions and your safety levels. Approach Notes: Terrible, terrible bushwachking. The Indian Creek Trail was miserable.
  15. 2 points
    Trip: Das Toof - The Tooth Fairy, 5.9+ Trip Date: 08/15/2019 Trip Report: Got out Friday on this new(ish) Nelson/Whitelaw route; if you're looking for a quick alpine hit you should give it a try. To find the start, go past the SW Face trad route and continue a short distance to a low angle corner with bolts. Easy to find. The route is generously bolted, no need for gear. It's seven 30m pitches -- we combined 6&7 and you could easily combine 3&4 as well, but I think running 1&2 together would give you some unpleasant rope drag. I skipped or unclipped a couple of bolts on P2 and still had a little drag at the end of the pitch. P5 is the crux. Rap the route with a 60 or downclimb the South Face and circle back around for your gear. Fun day out and as I'm told "it's a good training route for anything on Hozomeen." We ran into Jake the Brit as we were downclimbing the South Face, he said I should post a TR and he'd nag Whitelaw for a topo. You really don't need one though, just follow the bolts. Action shot looking down P2: Gear Notes: 13 draws, rope Approach Notes: the usual
  16. 2 points
    Trip: Stuart Range - Enchantment Linkup Uber-Lite Trip Date: 08/16/2019 Trip Report: Thursday morning came around and I still hadn't found a partner or a plan for my one day "retail weekend" on Friday. Bummed, I resolved myself to going solo and started making plans to go climb some stuff around the Kangaroo temple area at WA Pass. As they day progressed, the idea of getting off work at 8pm and driving the four hours up to the pass started to seem less appealing. I had remembered reading a FB post of Shane Markus rope soloing Prusik in something like 9 hours C2C and thought that sounded like good fun, though I was looking for a little more adventure. Having already climbed the W-Ridge, I started thinking of other longer routes that I hadn't already done, and Serpentine came to mind. After a little beta gathering, I was sold. Figuring I would only have to pitch out the two crux pitches I made a mental gear list and patiently waited till I got off work After getting off my shift of slinging sleeping bags I rode home, frantically repacked my bag and started the "much shorter than Wa Pass" drive over to L-Town. The next morning since my 92 Honda Accord doesn't seem to like washboard roads, I hitched a ride up to the Stuart Lake TH, and started hiking around 6am. My pack weighed down by a few beers and a left over breakfast smoothie which I promptly stashed in the creek. Feeling spry, I launched up and around the lake. Having neglected to research where the cutoff up the moraine is, I found myself deep in a fistfight with some slide alder. Arriving at the base of the route 2.5 hours from the car I was feeling great! Racking up and repacking I started up the route. Before I knew it I turned the corner to find myself below the crux pitch. "That looked way harder in the pictures" I thought to myself and started padding and jamming my way up the slab cracks. Confident that if anything started to feel hairy I could plug a few pieces and pitch out the rest of the crux. Luckily it only got easier and more secure, and in no time I was well through the crux and weaving my way up the blocky ridge, lungs burning and psyche high. Arriving on the summit 4.5 hours from the car I was ecstatic, soaking up the sun and giving my legs a rest. That's when I started thinking It would be a shame to waste my day off by getting back to the car at 2pm and I might as well tag Prusik while I'm up here. Unfortunately I had only brought enough fig bars for one route... Strapping my girlfriends fancy UL crampons to my approach shoes, and whipping out my axe I scampered down the icy snow behind D-Tail and straight lined it in the direction of Prusik. Next time I'll definitely ditch the snow gear opt for the snowless witches tower roundabout. The jog over to Prusik was beautiful as always with goats and ultra vest clad "runners" keeping me company the whole way. The W-ridge went super fast. I brought the rope up in case I wanted to rap the slab, but never ended up pulling it out. The top chimney is indeed easier to slither down than up, and the slab didn't feel much different either. Getting down to the base I thought to myself that I should go rope solo OS as well, I had the time and the energy to complete the triple linkup. Though looking at my dwindling food supply and my small rope + rack I thought it may be a bit more out there than I wanted, plus the day had already gone so well. Reserving myself to the softie linkup, I started my slog back up to Aasgard pass. The trudge back was pretty average, and my stashed chocolate smoothie was a life saver as my food rations were long gone. Again I got an easy hitch down to my car and feasted on a well earned sausage in town before driving back to Seattle that evening. There is something much less satisfying about a double linkup over a triple. I'll be back for that some time soon. Trailhead to Trailhead time: 12hrs Thanks Croft and Plotz for the inspiration and psyche. Final push up the moraine Looking down the two good pitches Chillin in some poor saps bivy spot Looking over at a very sad Colchuck glacier Time to Summit Pack explosion on the summit, showing the small rack that I didn't ever use. Where I'm going The likely better crampon free descent is visible I didn't get any Pictures from Prusik since my phone was dying, but I got one on my hike back! The worst part of these solo trips is the before and after when you don't have anyone to shoot the shit with. Gear Notes: Not used, but carried: 35M rope, Half rack, self belay device (Grigri), extra tat in place of cordelette, R1, Hudini Used Gear: Helmet, Rock shoes, Chalk bag, Water filter, UL axe and Crampons Approach Notes: Don't cut up the Moraine too early and enjoy the views.
  17. 2 points
    My first climb with Chuck was the East Buttress of Big Snow Mountain (1996) and the last was Argonaut (2016). As many of you know, Chuck had a penchant for writing detailed, entertaining trip reports. Chuck's TR for the '96 climb is appended below. These two climbs had their share of uncertainty, route finding on the rock climbs and descents in the darkness. Throughout these climbs our situations were always in control and composed. I can say I always felt as safe as one could or should feel in the mountains, thanks to Chuck. He was a great mentor for climbing and hiking. Even on Argonaut, a 54-year old Chuck was as amazing on lead, leading a dirty off-route 5.10+ crux pitch that took us to the summit, as the thirty-something-year-old Chuck who taught a neophyte to climb in the 90's. And Chuck led that off-route crux after almost 11 hours of continuous and sustained hiking and climbing, and he did it in hiking boots. I have to take it back, Chuck was more amazing at 54. I will fondly remember Chuck, especially on our climbs, our conversations to, from and during our hikes, and the places we all climbed together. I will miss his veiled "post climbing festivities" at many of the summits. I/we wish Chuck could have stayed with us longer. He was a wonderful friend and great outdoorsman. The world is dimmer without him. David East Buttress, Big Snow Mountain TR by Chuck Spiekerman The East Buttress of Big Snow Mountain is described in the Becky guide as "10 pitches on very firm granite, 5.7." Sounded pretty good for an alpine climb in the Cascades. I liked the sound of "very firm." Last year I had gone hiking to Hardscrabble Lakes to fish and explore. The East Buttress looms 1000 feet over Lower Hardscrabble Lake. It looked big and steep. I liked the sound of "5.7." I had a window of two days. My wife had flown to her parents in Minnesota with our 10-month old on Wednesday afternoon. At 4:30 pm Saturday I was scheduled to fly to California to go backpacking with my father. Wednesday night I packed and cleaned (I hate returning from a trip to a trashed house with food rotting in the sink) and got to bed around 11:30. I picked up Dave, a novice, but quickly learning, partner at 5:15 am. We got gas outside of North Bend but were rebuffed in our attempts to buy beer since it wasn't yet 6 am. I had been looking forward to drinking some ice cold beer stashed in snowfields at the base of the wall. Oh well. We got to the trailhead around 7am, shouldered our packs and headed up the abandoned logging road/trail to Lower Hardscrabble Lake. I was at this point sorta happy that we were beerless. My pack was heavy! Quarter mile up the logging road there is an old abandoned crane, crumpled underneath a huge fallen tree. There must be an interesting story behind that. The way up to the lake is pretty ugly as it makes its way through a clearcut wasteland (renewable resource, hah!) but becomes nice near the lake. After the lake is another kind of ugly. Loose dirt on top of shifting boulders, the kind that is deposited by the avalanches and raging streams of winter, then perched precariously by the slowly melting snow. We made it to the base of the wall by noon with only one short section of bushwhacking. Our plan was to climb a few pitches on Thursday afternoon to try to find the route through the first section of roofs since the Becky guide was not too illuminating; "The first serious pitch leads to easier climbing above. Higher, climb up and left around a slight corner to break through a steep section to a broad ledge system halfway up the buttress." There is nothing snipped from this description. We found a good way up the first pitch and a good way NOT to continue from there. We also found out that the granite was indeed solid AND clean, nice, but that protection was quite thin, not nice. Micro-nuts were employed far too frequently for my liking. I found 5.7 to be much more nervy when climbing on thin pro while quite far out in the wilderness. We left an anchor and toprope on the first pitch for the next day. Friday morning 8 am we began just south of the "snout" of the buttress (the dividing point between the SE and NE facing walls). I found the most appealing route to the first belay to traverse right up a ramp to just past a left-facing dihedral (with no pro). A thin crack at this point allows access up to a point where the aforementioned dihedral becomes a more gradual right-leaning ramp split with a giant, clean handcrack. The day before I gained the same point by traversing right, past the first crack, to a more steep crack. The first move on the 20' steep crack pulled over a bulge with finger locks then quickly allowed good jams followed by a welcome jug. This crack was pretty easy to sew up and probably goes at about 5.8+. From the first belay we followed a corner up and slightly right then traversed across left at an undercling crack. The blank (for 5.7) move gaining the undercling crack was protected by a #1 RP (but at least the placement was a perfect #1 RP bottleneck). The undercling crack took good stoppers. Too good, there is probably still a #4 rock sticking out of it. The traverse puts you underneath a 20-foot high, 5-foot wide chimney that is formed by two thick granite fins. There is a handcrack in the left corner and fun (read "easy") moves up this thing. I belayed at the top of the chimney anchored by a #1 TCU and a cordelette twisted tight around a giant block. The next pitch goes almost straight up (just slightly left). The first move, getting up a steep 6 foot corner was sorta scary due to lack of protection and pretty good exposure. After that, the angle dropped off significantly as well as did any placements for protection. I placed a Lowe Tri-cam in a shallow flaring crack that I was not happy about. I ran it out to near the end of the rope and set up a belay with 3 equalized micro-nuts and one bomber #2 rock. Besides the iffy anchor, the belay was uncomfortable, somewhat slopey. I think next time I'll look to belay earlier or try to traverse to a crack on the right. The next pitch was only about 100-120 feet so a lower belay point wouldn't slow you down. We brought no SLCD's bigger than a #2 TCU. I think there were quite a few placements in which cams up to say a #3 friend would have been preferable to our assortment of Tri-cam's and Hexes. The fourth pitch tackled the "steeper" section. This was a fairly continuous slightly overhanging 10 foot wall. I led a runout but gradual slab 40 feet up to directly underneath the wall where there was good pro. Then I traversed right, over a 4 foot step and around a corner. Solid jams around the corner and pretty good pro. Around another corner is a 45 degree sloping ramp which forms a break in the wall. This looked blank and protectionless. The left side of the ramp has a block in a corner that you can climb onto then surmount the steep wall. Above is a small tree for a belay. We had now reached the "broad ledge system." We stretched the rope over 3rd class terrain and had a quick lunch at 1 pm. On the fifth pitch I climbed an initial 30 foot blocky section then ran along the large ledge right until the end of the rope. This pitch would certainly not require a belay. Note: next time try doing a more ascending line rightward up blocky terrain to reach the base of an 80 foot left-facing dihedral just right of the buttress crest. It looks like an interesting line. It may be too hard or lead to nowhere but surely it can't be worse than most of what we did after pitch 6. The right side of the dihedral is formed by a column with a top(?) so there should be a nice belay at top as well as rappel point if it blanks out after that. At this point, time was a definite consideration. The top didn't look too far away (foreshortening I guess). It seemed doable to get there and still leave an hour or so of daylight for the descent. But, we would have to take the easiest way possible and that appeared to be right of the crest up ledge systems covered with scrub pines and heather. For the sixth pitch I traversed far to the right to get to the base of a left leaning ramp/flake system, then up the system. This was some nice climbing with good pro (medium to big hexes mostly). Pitch seven was the pitch from hell. I had decided to belay at the top of the sixth pitch just below what appeared to be a large ledge since where I was there was adequate pro and usually once you pull over onto a big heathery ledge there is none. Besides, I was pretty much out of rope. Good thing I stopped where I did as on the next lead I found no pro over dirt/heather film on gradual rock for 50 feet. Sufficiently wigged at this point I traversed far right in order to sling a tree even though the route went left. Heading back on route I found myself looking at a steep gully/dihedral with seemingly no pro. I tried a number of alternatives but the left-leaning gully was the way to go. It looked dirty but actually turned out to be nice climbing (solid stemming) with excavatable pro placements. Unfortunately, the placements were all fairly directional (downward pull) and were ALL eventually yanked out by the rope pulling sideways from the tree at the far-right. No falls, luckily, and I groveled up to and straight through some large bushy junipers (good pro yeah!). I gave myself a very becoming slash across the upper lip. This pitch took a long time because of all the vacillating I did over route direction. I'm not sure how I could do anything differently the next time except to run it out the 80 feet to the steep gully, where the pro would (probably) be good without the sideways pull. Pitches 8 and 9 were forgettable grovels straight up through the juniper. Good pro, quick easy climbing, but not very aesthetic. We stayed just right of the crest. When we did reach rock again, the rock appeared to be getting much lower in quality (lots of loose big flakes and blocks). There is a particularly dangerous loose piece about the size of a VCR perched at the top of a 20 foot orange chimney near the top of the ninth pitch. It's starting to get very shadowy in the valleys below (the wall we're on faces East) and I'm seriously worried about being benighted. A spire marking the top of the buttress is now within a rope length of us. We are under and left of it. I know the walkoff goes right and decide to traverse underneath the spire to the right. There is a nice ledge going underneath and what looks like a fairly gradual step to the top at the end. The ledge is quite exposed, good feet but not much for your hands. Pro is scarce. I get to the end of the rope and find a nice vertical crack. Oh no! I cam my hand in the crack to test the stability and a totem approximately 1 foot in diameter and 9 feet tall shifts and grates! I'm at the end of the rope, with only marginal pro 30 feet previously, so I'm forced to make do with two small pieces in a nearby crack and belay right next to the big scary loose thing. I hope Dave doesn't fall. It's a basically horizontal traverse with minimal pro, belayed by two small chocks. He didn't fall. Pheeew! It is now minutes before darkness. While belaying Dave up, I've been scanning the cliff bands to the North to memorize how to get down them in the dark. Dave arrives at the belay. We break out the headlamps, or try to. Dave's lamp is deep in his backpack underneath the second rope. Lots of cussing and fighting with the backpack and its contents while teetering on our little perch. The strain is beginning to show on the unflappable Dave. I've got a Petzl Micro and he's got the bigger Zoom. Dave lets me take the Zoom since I'm leading. I head out right on pretty good holds and, as usual, sparse pro. It's basically one move at a time since darkness has completely descended. About 30 feet out right and up I come to total blankness. No way to continue to the passage up and off the wall. Damn! After much wallowing in self-pity I know I must downclimb back to the belay. At the belay I propose that I go back across the hairy traverse and try to get up to the ridge-crest on the left of the spire. Dave agrees and I head off. Soon after I take off Dave yells that if this doesn't get us to the top we should call it a night. This is probably prudent, but I sure don't like the idea of shivering on some little belay ledge all night. I find more pro reversing the traverse and get to the top of a what was a balancy mantle. No thanks, I instead continue left on heathery ledges with small trees for pro and come to a spot that looks like it will allow upward travel. A few moves put me in a steep spot with no pro. As I've done the entire climb, I scratch at anything that looks like a crack with my chock-pick. This time I find a very thin crack and set a #1 BD stopper. I remember the strength rating of this thing is something like 900 lbs and decide to aid the next move. I fashion an aider out of my cordelette by tying it into three loops. Fighting massive rope drag I step up the loops to gain a ledge. A short traverse and I'm at the top! It's not yet apparent that we can get around to the walk-down from here but at least this would be a much more roomy and comfortable place to bivy. The trials are not completely over. It turns out that my batteries died on Dave in the middle of the ledge traverse (the extra batteries nice and cozy at the base of the wall). On top of that he almost pitched off when he tested a piece I told him to down climb from pulled. He told me later that when the rattly hex pulled out he was sure it was the end, but somehow managed to latch on to a nubbin. After calming down, he brailled himself across the ledge to where I could illuminate his path from above. He made it up the part I aided without "cheating" and we were both at the top! We split our two remaining swallows of water in celebration.
  18. 2 points
    Trip: Mt Stuart - North Ridge Direct Trip Date: 08/18/2019 Trip Report: Here's a writeup I did on our trip up the North Ridge of Stuart last weekend. Many more pics in the link: http://dashertonclimbs.blog/2019/08/20/north-ridge-of-mt-stuart/ Gear Notes: SR .3-3, DR .5-2, offset nuts. Approach Notes: Esmerelda --> N Ridge --> Cascadian
  19. 2 points
    Trip: Pickets - E & W Fury, Luna - Standards Trip Date: 08/15/2019 Trip Report: @Albuquerque Fred and I teamed up again... West Fury as the main event, East Fury happened to be in the way, Luna was convenient. Day 1: We took the water taxi to Big Beaver, leaving pretty late at 10:30am on Thursday. In about 4 hours of really good trail we were at the good log crossing right where it was supposed to be. A GPS was clutch here as there is no indication along the trail of where to turnoff and really no trail to the log. After thrashing some brush on the other side of Big Beaver Creek we wound up on the wrong (south) side of Access Creek. It is misplaced on the map by about .1 mile, shown to the south of reality; there is a tiny creek about where Access is shown on the map. After some bushwhacking upward we eventually found the climber's trail which was surprisingly good. I guess people heard about the 4G on the summit. We walked into Luna Col camp at 8pm, just in time to get one picture of the northern Pickets before they dissapeared for the next 3 days. Water is acceptably ample on BB trail and the traverse to Luna Col, lacking at the Col however. There is snow in the col and a tarn below the snow patch a 10 minute walk to the north of the col. Obligatory boat ride photo: The lake was a little low: Only good view of the southern Pickets, from the traverse to Luna: Our best view of the Furys: Day 2: We awoke at 4:45 am to lots of clouds. Onward to the Furies! Over 3 major humps and down into the basin SE of E Fury. It was all snow free which made for tedious travel. We found a ledge system at 6800' to round the SE buttress of Fury, then turned right and scrambled a talus and slab slope near a stream (last water!) We gained the east edge of the glacier at about 7400' due south of point 7820'. Crampons were required for the bare ice and moderately steep firm-ish snow ascending the east ridge of E Fury. There seems to be some mixed scrambling required at both the east and west approaches to the snowfield just below the summit. (We went up the east and down the west). Onward to West Fury! Down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up. Three towers and the summit block with loose crappy gullies between each. Tower 1: on a tip, we descended 100' on snow to a talus ledge, then scrambled up, left and up some more, then left again (you'll figure it out) to wrap around the tower not quite summiting. We soloed this. Oh, by the way, I should interject that since the lower glacier we were in total whiteout conditions and would remain so all day. This made route-finding challenging and despiriting. Tower 2: we climbed directly. Descending was trickier; scramble down an eroded dike/gully, when you approach a notch and a filthy gully on skier's right take to the arete and downclimb into the filthy gully. Legend has it descending the dike to the bottom leads to 5th class no holds traversing to get around the arete. Soloed all this. Tower 3: climb directly up a chimney just right of the obvious one. Easy soloing by now. Then we scrambled to the summit! Three times in fact; the whiteout kept making us think we were there just long enough to get excited, then another rise would loom in the white. Eventually we did make it and signed in as #22 in the register. We descended by rapping all 3 towers. Tower 1 required a 60m rope. Long and tedious trip back over E Fury, multiple basins, and many towers and rises back to camp. 12 hours round trip going hard, but with slow route finding. Morning right out from camp: Outrigger Peak and the south Fury Glacier: Mixed step on the east side of the summit of E Fury: Fred on the final summit ridge: Me descending somewhere between the Furies: Fred descending somewhere between the Furies: Gloruous summit photo on West Fury! Worth it for the views!!: Register: What, you dont mountaineer with manhattans? I left the shaker at home so we had to drink them warm, but it was pretty chilly out anyway: The rest is history. Sleep, lounge, climb Luna. We descended to Luna Camp day 3, then hiked all the way to the car day 4. Victory pose on Luna summit: Lots of this on the way out: The summit register on Luna was totally full, please replace it if you go there. 3 summits 49 miles 14,000' 12oz of manhattans Gear Notes: 60m rope for rappels Crampons Axes We took some rock gear but didn't use it. Manhattans Approach Notes: Big Beaver to Access Creek, cross Big Beaver Creek at 2520', cross Access Creek to south side at 3900'. Trail was great, trail into Access basin was decent climbers trail, good even, in places.
  20. 2 points
    Heads up y'all: There's been a bunch of rockfall from the side of Mt Parkes in the last few months, culminating in a large landslide (not quite Joffre sized), from right where the Crossover descent trail crosses the ledge under the summit of Parkes before beginning its descent through the meadows. Rockfall seems to be mostly to skiiers right as you descend the meadows but the top of the scar may or may not have taken out the descent ledge completely. Please be aware of this if planning to climb Slesse and be prepared to use alternate descents to avoid the rockfall hazard. The simplest descent is probably the west side Slesse Mountain Trail to Slesse Creek. You'll need a car shuttle or mountain bike to get back around from there to a vehicle in Nesakwatch Creek. Photo from Mike Garcia, taken from Slesse NEB
  21. 2 points
    Sausagefest, Chuck with a smile on his face
  22. 2 points
    Trip: Big Chiwakum and Snowgrass - via Grace Lakes Trip Date: 07/06/2019 Trip Report: The weather of the early summer was often not exactly bomber. Which means it was perfect for the scrambly peaks that are on the B (or Smoot) list. On this particular Independence Day weekend that meant Big Chiwakum and Snowgrass. We opted for a two day trip, camping at lower Grace Lakes. We were surprised to run into a pair of USFS backcountry rangers out of Leavenworth who were also camping up there. Given the mayhem of late in the Enchantments, it would seem that they were on an R&R assignment. One of them reported that the peak count at the Colchuck TH last summer was 800+ with over 400+ counted at Colchuck lake itself! Damn. We felt fortunate to share the lakes with three other parties (which still seemed like a lot for this obscure locale). But nobody was gunning for Big Chiwakum nor Snowgrass, despite the very non-alpine start @Trent and I got after accidentally consuming 750ml of whiskey the night before. These things happen in the alpine. Nevertheless, we pressed on, climbing the surprisingly engaging north side of Snowgrass in the mists, only to pop out in the sun on top. Well, how about that? Next, we backed down into the mists once again, and swung over to Big Chiwakum for the double Smoot. All that was left was a long slog back to the car, swatting bugs and planning our next adventure. The A plan, of course. There would always be Smoots for when the weather failed. Gear Notes: Helmet, axe, crampons Approach Notes: Decent trail to the lakes from Whitepine/Wildhorse creeks. Good camps at the lower lakes. We went to ridge north of lakes then up to upper terrace where upper Grace Lake is. From upper Grace Lake you can link both peaks easily. Best in early season when the North side of Snowgrass holds snow. Pretty steep in places, to about 40-45 degrees
  23. 2 points
    Trip: Mountain Loop - Mile High Club Trip Date: 07/20/2019 Trip Report: Finally made it out to climb Mile High Club, and it was a super fun and awesome route!! The update is that it appears that perhaps the intermediate rap station on pitch 3 was hit by rockfall; the chain and rap ring were gone, and one of the bolts is a bit bent and sticking out about a half inch. We were able to use a hefty tree and a boulder to the right to easily downclimb to the big unexposed ledge after coming off rappel, and walking over to the next rap station felt completely fine to us. Views of Glacier and Baker were awesome. The water in the gully is still flowing well. No other parties on the route (unexpected but awesome). Thanks a ton, @Rad and @dberdinka for a super fun route with such a short approach! My partner's knee limited our options to short mileage and elevation gain, and this route was perfect to allow us to do a multipitch to a little summit in an awesome setting ☺ (oh yeah, and it was his first multipitch alpine/alpine-esque route!) I hope more people get on this. Lots of really fun moves! Leading evens or odds, you'll get good climbing! Gear Notes: I appreciated how well-bolted this was. We brought 12 QDs and 3 alpine draws, and that seemed to work well. 70m rope! Approach Notes: Easy
  24. 2 points
    Trip: Mix Up Peak - East Face Trip Date: 07/22/2019 Trip Report: The weather was too nice on Monday to spend it working for the man, so I ditched work and headed out to the alpine. The east face of Mix Up is a fun moderate climb with a couple pitches of low fifth and some of the best 3rd class scrambling I’ve ever seen. Good times! Views from Cascade Pass and Mix Up arm. First view of Mix Up East Face. Go through the lefthand U notch and circle around back to the righthand V notch. The moat was fine on the left. I self belayed a short low fifth class 10m pitch directly up from the V notch to a rap anchor, then scrambled up to the top of the east face shoulder. Surprisingly I ran into a party of 4 out-of-staters climbing the route right before the infamous white staircase. The staircase looks intimidating from afar, but the rock is clean, grippy, and FUN! And mostly only 3rd class despite the exposure down to the Cache Glacier. A final low fifth class 20m pitch at the top brought me just right of the summit. The summit register was a fun read and I spent some time snacking, enjoying the views, and chatting with the other 4 climbers as they made their way up. One of them “Ram” was making his fifth ascent of the peak. Fred Beckey June 25th, 2006, age 83! Two raps off the summit block and two raps down to the V notch got me off the technical terrain and a nice walk back to the truck ~10 hours after leaving. Overall a very worthwhile climb, I can understand why Ram was making his fifth trip up there. Gear Notes: 60m rope and light rack to 2" worked well Approach Notes: Easy peasy
  25. 2 points
    We climbed Magic and Mixup to celebrate our first wedding anniversary ( we did an entertaining corkscrew girdle traverse of Magic, that was...loose) and as I recall the summit registers on both peaks made for great reading. Lots of local history in there.
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    Another of Chuck (2nd from the left, I think he is talking to @klenke) from way back...one of the first Pubclubs I ever went to.
  28. 1 point
    it's 2wd to the washout at 6km ,then you have to walk around an hour to the Slesse Mountain Trail. and a bike won't help that hour at all due to trees on the road
  29. 1 point
    Good reminder that when I think things are sucky in the mountains, they sure could be (a lot) worse.
  30. 1 point
  31. 1 point
    Agreed. Likely to be some exposed rock now.
  32. 1 point
    Would a public/private partnership that uses donations funneled through the LMA and Access Fund to pay for expanding the parking lots, installing additional toilets, and installing additional garbage cans be a viable solution? Or is the FS simply trying to reduce the number of visitors and are using this as a backdoor?
  33. 1 point
    My guess is that it'd be pretty poor by then and discontinuous. But it is just a guess.
  34. 1 point
    Trip: Echo Rock and Mount Fay - Smooty Smooters Trip Date: 06/30/2019 Trip Report: Seems as if the poor Mount Rainier forum is a bit neglected of late....which makes sense considering most routes in the park are best early in the year. Still, maybe you're looking for ideas for next spring? How about a double or triple Smoot day out of Mowich Lake? Echo and Observation Rocks plus Mount Fay are surely on your list so you might as well blast them out. There really isn't anything tricky about any of them so I'll just leave a few images to tease you in the coming months when you finally run out of ideas gleaned from Instagram. Sorry @BrettS, but you wore red. Gear Notes: Ice axe, and helmet Approach Notes: Spray Park from Mowich Lake then follow your nose back
  35. 1 point
    Smoot'n! Gotta love it! (Or not). Thanks again for the trip planning and whiskey Jason!
  36. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys Trip Date: 08/04/2019 Trip Report: Kyle and I climbed Shuksan via the classic Fisher Chimneys route + SE rib on Sunday. A memorable climb: we had an open bivy on the little ridgetop in great weather, the glaciers and snow were in good shape for casual travel, we added two people to our party at the summit, we added two more on the descent at Winnie's Slide, we came across an accident in the chimneys and watched all the helicopter action, we swam in Lake Ann, and finished the day off with Chair 9 pizza and beer. I was able to secure the last permit (or so they said) for us at 8:30 AM on Friday morning in Glacier and we slept at the trailhead that night. We got a leisurely start on the day Saturday and made it up to the bivy spot in good time to claim the high spot with amazing views of Baker, American Border peak, Slesse, and friends. Views from the trail from Lake Ann of the Lower and Upper Curtis Glacier, Hell's Highway leading up to the Sulphide in the center-left of the photo In the chimneys Sick bivy view of Koma Kulshan Kyle presented me with a surprise tallboy of imperial IPA as my reward for getting the permit. We did a couple rounds of z-pulleys and then added a c to it to make a 6:1 system, which I'd never done (thanks, Kyle!). Wow, we really had tons of time to chill up there! I enjoyed it, listening/watching pieces of the Curtis fall off. As the afternoon progressed, the hordes started showing up (a total of 11 climbers ended up in the vicinity) and two of them were people Kyle knew, and one of them I had run into at the Burgundy Col in June! Z-pulleying at the bivy, Upper Curtis Glacier behind The breeze was just right for an exposed face cowboy camping and the stars were fantastic. We got up at 4 AM, I even got to drink a cup of coffee, and we started onto the Upper Curtis around 4:45 with no other climbers yet stirring. We roped up above the steeper slope, and made our way up Hell's Highway and onto the Sulphide with the sunrise. So great, very type 1 fun! We got onto the SE rib and scrambled up with just a few moves of low 5th class. Kyle topped out the summit with a heel-hook, and it was at that moment that I hit something on my phone to make it sepia-toned?? Mandatory heel-hook move onto the summit On the summit, we met two climbers who had come up from the Price Glacier ( their account sounded as ultra-spicy/sporty as everything else I'd read/heard and only added to my desire to never go up that way) and after Kyle impressed them with his peak identification, they got our phone numbers and they asked to hop on our rappels (they only had a 30m rope). Lots of other climbers were on the summit, but we were the only ones in the gully on the descent, thankfully. Kyle opted to downclimb everything which looked fine, the other guys and I rappelled with no incident. Made our way as now a party of 4 down Hell's Highway, back up and around and step over a crevasse or two, down the steeper section, packed up our stuff (I changed into approach shoes and shorts), and at the top of Winnie's Slide, ran into Kyle's friends we'd camped with the night before, rappelling. We rappelled too, and we made our way down the chimneys.... Making our way back across the Upper Curtis (photo by Kyle) We came across a party rappelling down one of the gullies and saw they'd forgotten a backpack -- we communicated with them and Kyle rappelled with their backpack on their line. Then we found out that one of their party members had slipped and rag-dolled down the gulley approximately 200 feet, had some head lacerations, and that a helicopter was on the way (an InReach SOS was activated, and then a 911 phone call went through). They had been able to move the patient out to a grassy knoll away from the cliffs/rock. Our Price Glacier summit friends were both ER nurses and I think their conversations were useful to the rest of the party. The party reported the patient to be conscious and verbally responsive, PERRL, and not showing signs of decompensation/ICP/other scary head trauma signs. The six of us took some of the party's gear to drop at their car at the trailhead, and continued down, periodically stopping to watch the helicopter action. I had never seen a helicopter rescue so close up and the precision and skill involved to drop the medics so gently was impressive. We continued on our way, it was hot AF, and we stopped for a good swim in Lake Ann. We continued on our way up seemingly endless sunny switchbacks, trying to be fast to ensure we got the climbers' stuff to them before they left the trailhead. At the parking lot, we heard that the patient seemed to only have the head lacerations and not any skull/brain damage... we were so relieved. It was a really good reminder that even "easy" class 3 terrain can have dire consequences. This person could have easily died from this fall. It also put lesser injuries into perspective: what is a broken leg, compared to a head injury? Scary stuff, good reminders to always have in mind. We had a mini-smorgasbord with car-warmed bubbly water, we took our Price Glacier summit friends and their bike back to their car, and we all met up at Chair 9 for a good final chat and dinner. Gear Notes: We each brought a picket and two screws; did not use any of it. Brought and used a 60m half/twin rope + crevasse gear for the glaciers. Light axes. Steel crampons. I carried my light mountaineering boots to the bivy, as my crampons wouldn't work on my approach shoes -- I was unsure about the carrying an extra set of shoes, but in the end I was happy with that decision. Approach Notes: Follow the trail and scrubbed rock.
  37. 1 point
    A classic, well done! And, given the near misses on the Price in the last few decades, I'm surprised that there hasn't been a horrific accident. At least I don't recall one? It is a gamble, pure and simple.
  38. 1 point
    My daughter and I were the pair that you met on Sunday on your way down. All day in approach shoes, no ice axe or crampons, I had a 30 meter rando rope which we did not have to use. We left Olympia at 4:20 am, a little before 6 am we started up the road, we had bikes. At 7:15 started up the trail, at 9 am at the lake. We went up the North Chute, continuing with the Finger Traverse, on the summit at 1 pm, we spent an hour there. On the way down we took the Terrible Traverse. We could easily avoid the snow just below it and then climbing up the little buttress on the left. We had to go on snow to the notch in the east-west ridge but by that time in the afternoon, with eastern exposure, it had softened enough for comfortable step kicking. Then down on the South Chute. Back at the lake at 4:30 pm, down to the road at 6:05 pm, at the car at 7 pm and back home at 8:35 pm. We didn't see anybody else the whole day which was a very good thing. I believe now that the road closure and the access "trail" are critical for that mountain, to keep people away. For much of the route, being there with teams above you, would be suicidal!
  39. 1 point
    Nice job. The traverse on N Sister is probably "only" 45-50 degrees, but it sure feels steep when you're contemplating your certain doom should you screw up and slip unroped.
  40. 1 point
    I agree with Jason. Cardboard and duct tape will do the job nicely.
  41. 1 point
    Yes you are. Cardboard or the standard Grivel guards will be more than sufficient. I typically pack the axe first on the bottom of the duffel with my ski poles and pickets and whatever else that is long and metal. All that crap made it to NZ and back without damage in the belly of the beast. The key is having a robust duffel. I recommend these: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5044-007/Duffle-Bag
  42. 1 point
    Trip: Magic Mountain (and Arts Knoll) - South Ridge Trip Date: 07/28/2019 Trip Report: After a couple long haul weekends decided to take a rest weekend and do something easy on the other end of the Ptarmigan Traverse after having been out to Dome and Sinister last weekend. Decided on a scramble of Magic Mountain. Gotta love the masses driving into Cascade Pass. At least most people would pull over pretty soon for us to pass on the way end except for a couple. First one was the red truck with some redneck hanging his cigarette out the window who after quite a few pullouts passed was doing it on purpose. Finally gave up and floored it around him on a straight stretch with a foot to spare on either side. Next few people pulled over right away which was nice, always give them a wave on the way by. Then came the minivan from Texas. First time in a decade driving mountain roads I've started using the flashers, waving my hand to point to them to pull over, driving on their bumper over and over and backing off to give them room to slow down and pull over. Took forever before they finally got the hint. I almost had to start honking. I'm still to Seattle polite too honk. We had to start a few hours later than planned for the weather to clear so didn't get started till about 2:30. Cascade Pass was still socked in as we started but the clouds were being pushed out as we hiked in all the way. Took about 3:45 to get from trailhead to Kook-aid lake. Topping out on the Cache Col met up with a pair from Portland who happened to be planning Magic Mountain the next day as well. So we told them when we would be there and would look for them. On the way down I noticed crampons on the ground next to them but figured they were theirs and they were still reorganizing their stuff from the glacier and didn't think anything of it. They had planned on camping there at the col. We continued on to Kool-Aid lake. Weather had cleared quite a bit with nice views of Formidable. Magic was still in the clouds but Arts Knoll was in full view. Since it was only 7pm by the time we got camp setup decided to go hike up Arts Knoll. Easy traverse over and up the red ledges. By the time we got to the top in an hour the clouds had rolled back in and we wound up getting back to camp in a whiteout and in the dark by headlamps. Took about 2:30 round trip being a little tricky to get through the boulders with only 30ft of visibility. A few other tents had shown up at the lake by then. Next morning as we were getting ready a lady walks up with a crampon asking if we had dropped it at the col. Nope, not ours. Told her there was a pair of climbers up at the col and it could have been theirs. But we also checked with the other tent. On the off chance it was that Portland pair we met the day before I took the crampon from her and said I'd pack it out. Then left it at our tent as we headed up to Magic. Fun little scramble. Up to the col, left the climbers trail halfway up to initial hike up from the col and got on the ridge as soon as possible and scrambled that all the way to the drop before the summit spire. From there it was extremely loose rock but still not too difficult to pick our way through it. Down around to the right and up and over a giant quartz band. Then went straight across to the final gully up. The runnout is over a cliff but it doesn't look too bad. Lots of loose rock but easy scrambling up to the summit block. Probably not a good first time scramble. Once on the summit block spotted the Portland pair where we stashed some gear before dropping down into the loose stuff. Heard lots of rocks cutting loose as they were coming down so we discussed waiting till they got up to the summit block before we would head down, then decided to head down right away so we would pass them on the horizontal traverse down below out of each others way. By the time we got down hadn't heard or seen them. They had turned back partway down the loose drop. Once we were coming down to the col finally spotted them passing our tent (and just feet away from that crampon sitting on a rock outside the tent). Our original plan had been to climb Magic, Hurry-up and Arts Knoll but with the late start and Rodica not feeling that great (figuring it was probably that powdered milk we just starting trying out). Decided to skip Hurry-up and we would have just enough time to get to Cascadia Farms. Barring any slow drivers who wouldn't pull over. Hung out for an hour for lunch and to break down camp. Had a group of 6 who had gotten turned back from Formidable in the storm the day before pass by. On the way out at the base of Cache Glacier I thought I saw a big marmot sitting on the boot track where we put on crampons on the way in. Once it started moving it wasn't a marmot. It was a wolverine about 300 ft in front of us. It took off down the snow into the rocks. Once we got there and took some pics of the paw prints they were about as big as my hand. Our 2nd wolverine spotting this season in the area. That was pretty cool. Cruised down to the trailhead and were out with just enough time to get to Cascadia Farms. Standing in line there was a couple right behind us, we said we weren't in line, just waiting. Then they asked if we happened to have been up on Magic Mountain. Then we all recognized each other without the climbing gear. They asked if we happened across a crampon and they had heard someone had taken it from the col. Well, yes. We didn't take the crampon from the col. But I do have it, its in the truck. We also have a pole we picked up on the ridge to Magic. If anyone is missing one. With the markings its someone's who's name starts with "R". Gear Notes: Crampons, ice axe Approach Notes: Easy hike up and easy glacier crossing.
  43. 1 point
    Nice! You sure do get out; I'm jealous. Looks like a stellar day. Weekend before last I did a multipitch route with three people, one rope, and two harnesses between us, so don't feel alone in forgetting some equipment and making do anyway.
  44. 1 point
    Trip: Sherpa Peak - West Ridge Trip Date: 07/29/2019 Trip Report: Andres and I climbed Sherpa Peak's West Ridge (low fifth class) yesterday in a long car to car day. This was a super fun route with excellent rock, fun moves and lots of easy route options, great views over to Stuart and down on the currently very broken and naked Sherpa Glacier, a rap line that follows the route, and views of the balanced rock (we did not venture over to it)! We simulclimbed most of the route with a doubled 60m half/twin rope and that worked well for us. The crux, from the south side at least, is definitely the up and down nature of the approach, which ends with a seemingly never-ending slope of boulders, talus, and sandy scree up to the notch immediately west of the ridge. I had somewhat hastily added up the elevation gain from the Mountaineers beta page information and came up with 5,900' total elevation gain, but Gaia told us after all was said and done that it was 7,100'. Ah ha, that's why we are feeling it...We spent 15 hours away from the car, and Gaia also said the trip was a bit over 13 miles. I had packed for this trip more than a week prior, with another trip between, and I somehow forgot my rock shoes, my helmet, and my headlamp. Negative partner points for sure. Luckily Andres had a helmet I borrowed, my approach shoes were totally fine for the route, and my phone provided the flashlighting needed to get back down from Long's Pass! Really fun route in a great setting, lots of wildflowers, and I really enjoyed seeing the sunset and then the Milky Way out there. Beautiful. Gear Notes: 1 60m half/twin rope (we brought two ropes, as we had read multiple reports of a necessary double rope rappel, but that was not true) Approach shoes Light alpine rack with plenty of double length slings Approach Notes: Over Long's Pass, cross Ingall's Creek, take the turnoff into the meadow, and don't lose the trail there!
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
    7/28 - beacon day 9 - 2 more laps makes it 18, a tear beyond my tenous memory - wurst to drag adam's esposita up the corner at first, but she foreswore the morning heat and when adam got froggy on the immediate details i said fork-it n' went n' did a lap while he helped a timberline high-to-do set up a big kayak shuttle down to kalama- soggy as hell from sweat i returned as his business was concluded, having to concede another climb in the immediate future was fucked - we repaired to the river again then n' had a mort of swimming n' redneck shenanigans before i felt honor-bound to take advantage of the recent shade for another clambornation n' siddle on back home - plenty of folks casting about at the base, one even who recognized my nom de guerre n' threw a compliment my way that in hindsight i think i mighta thrown back a tad too heelish - perhaps if i spent more time on my people skills instead of scratching the Endless Itch?
  47. 1 point
  48. 1 point
    Was up (down?) there July 20. Terrible Traverse is a challenge. There is snow across most of the face. In the AM it was very hard, not ice, but hard snow, definitely crampon/ice axe territory. One of us traversed on front points. I went up into the moat. The moat goes most but not all of the way across. Both of us wound up on a mini ledge on the far side and rapped off a flake to dirt. Coming back, we both traversed a little lower, and it worked ok. Bowling alley is free of snow and not a big deal, fun 3rd/4th class scramble depending on the route you take. Just make sure you take the right fork in the gully.
  49. 1 point
    I personally don't find anything at Exit 32/38 particularly inspiring. Leavenworth should be not too much farther for you. Clamshell Cave, The Hand, Bruce's Boulder, Barney's Rubble, Roto Wall are all easily top roped and kid friendly, but I suspect you know all that.
  50. 1 point
    Trip: Three O Clock Rock - Road to Nowhere, Mystery Tour Trip Date: 07/20/2018 Trip Report: Hey, a quick update about some new options up at 3 O’Clock Rock...for those that care. Year after year, it seems that over 95% of Washington climbers find zero appeal in hiking to easy slab climbs. But that just keeps the quiet experience for the dedicated regulars and newcomers. Andy and I added an easy (~5.3) slab climb a bit right of Silent Running that features two short pitches. Road to Nowhere has proven a fun outing for novice slab climbers. If you want more challenge, try it hands free (though the FHFA has already been done). You will need 5 draws and one 70 m rope to get up and down. If you’re up for a more difficult experience and/or other parties are lined up for Silent Running, continue another 4 pitches up Mystery Tour, which wanders to the right-hand edge of the North Buttress (topo below). The second pitch of Mystery Tour (5.9+) is the standout, featuring 58 m of very sustained slab climbing. From there, continue up the rounded buttress at 5.8 and then a shorter pitch that ties into Silent Running. More beta and gear details are below. Currently, the easiest descent is down Silent Running, though we hope to have a separate rappel route tuned up in the near future. Leah on Road to Nowhere, pitch 1 Matt approaching the rounded buttress on pitch 3 of Mystery Tour. Climbers below and left are one pitch up Road to Nowhere Route topo Gear Notes: For Mystery Tour, you'll want double 60s, a single set of cams to 2" and ~14 draws. About 80% of pro is bolts. Approach Notes: FS road #2060 to Eight-mile trailhead, then 45 minutes of easy uphill (standard 3 O Clock Rock approach)
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