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Showing most liked content since 08/16/19 in Posts

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 2 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 2 points
    Sausagefest, Chuck with a smile on his face
  8. 1 point
    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
  9. 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.
  10. 1 point
    yeah, that made me laugh too when Nelson said that. Now that I've done it, I'm totally ready for Hozomeen! CPesci, you really don't need any info that's not in my original post to do the route -- find the start by continuing on past the SW Face trad route to a low angle corner with bolts, then follow the bolts. You're not going to get lost on it, unless you're highly skilled at not seeing bolts! But if it helps, the bolt count is as follows: P1 6 bolts. P2-13. P3-5. P4-7. P5-9. P6-5. P7-1.
  11. 1 point
    It's actually not weird at all Bob. Lemme explain in short words so you can go back to dishing out greasy-handed rub n tugs in peace It's likely that there will be some sort of undercover effort to find the perpetrator. A Mr Big sting (legal in Canada, though not in the US) or similar. At some point the guilty party will tell an undercover cop or informant "Yeah, I cut the cable." "How'd you do it?" "Well, I used a plasma cutter". or "an angle grinder" or whatever. BECAUSE that info hasn't been publicly released or reported, they have higher confidence that the guy is telling them the truth when he tells them how he did it. It's something that only he and they know. That won't work if everybody and his dumbfuck Polish buddy knows how it was done. So that's why they won't publicly say how it happened. Cause they don't want the general public to know.
  12. 1 point
    I first met Chuck in 2001 in the Blue Lake parking lot, waiting out a rainstorm. We didn't do a lot of trips together, but the ones we did were good ones. Here he is on the North Ridge of Sherpa in July (Ken Ford photo), leading what we thought was the crux. He was a great guy; so sad that he's gone.
  13. 1 point
    Somewhere near Beaver Lake on a "trip" to play in the snow, about 20 years ago. I am sure he still has that t-shirt and probably still has those pants.
  14. 1 point
    Nice report, I didn't sign registers much back then. what great memories your trip will be for you and your friends!
  15. 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
  16. 1 point
    Well, that looks awful. Thanks for the picture anywhow!
  17. 1 point
    Heading up there in a few hours. If you don't hear from me again, just assume the Coleman got us
  18. 0 points
    I got terrible news today that our very own @chucK , a long time OG cc.com poster and moderator passed away in a climbing accident in the North Cascades last week. I'm still processing this info myself and I'm a bit in shock, but I have got the OK to share a bit of information about Chuck Spiekerman's celebrations of life in case you knew him and want to attend. His friends on this forum were many...he was at tons of CC.com events and was a very active climber. This thread can also serve as our own memorial to Chuck so if you have any pictures to share or stories to tell please post them up. **PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS THREAD IS NOT FOR DISCUSSING THE DETAILS OF THE ACCIDENT. POSTS TO THAT EFFECT, ALONG WITH OTHER THREADS ANALZYING THE ACCIDENT, WILL BE DELETED FOR NOW.*** This thread is for celebrating @chucK not discussing what happened last week. There will be a time and place for that sort of talk, but especially since he was one of our own the discussion must not be an armchair speculation but rather about the facts as presented, and abstracted from personal judgements about people. We will make a time and place for that, but it is not now. Any discussion would be absent the facts anyway. There is value in discussing accidents so we all learn, or more often, we remember to remain alert and vigilant from absent mindedness in situations. Be careful out there. The following information was passed along to me (the "I" is not Olyclimber). ALL INVITED, DENNY CREEK CAMPGROUND I just reserved Denny Creek Campground for Aug. 22 (next Thursday). Site 34. Group Site accommodates 35 people and I think dozens of tents. I plan to be there around 3:00 p.m. and setup up for a potluck. We can tell Chuck stories, drink bear, barbecue, whatever. The following day, those who are able will follow Bill and hike with Chuck’s ashes on a trail to the base of the climb that Chuck and Bill started three weeks ago. Chuck said it was a 4 hr hike one way, Bill, if I heard him correctly, said it was a 5 hr hike. Mary hurt her foot this morning. If she is able, we will hike to the base of the climb and spread Chuck’s ashes. If she is not able, we will do whatever she wants. It is possible that we won’t have the ashes. In which case, we will go anyway. The main point is to get together, share each other’s company, and tell stories about Chuck. If more than 35 people show up, they can sleep in their car, get a different campsite, whatever. I am not going to micromanage who camps where or what the menu is. I just want people to show up, grieve, and celebrate Chuck’s life. ALL INVITED, U.W. This one will be sometime after UW reconvenes on Sept. 25. We don’t have the venue yet. Chuck’s work colleagues, including Kevin, are working on this. This one will be more formal and better attended. I envision a few speeches from behind a microphone, powerpoint of pictures of Chuck, maybe even a pastor, although I realize that Chuck wasn’t at all religious
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