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Showing most liked content on 07/28/18 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Trip: Monte Cristo Area - Columbia, Kyes, Monte Cristo & Cadet Peaks Trip Date: 07/21/2018 Trip Report: Last Friday evening and Saturday I explored the Monte Cristo area by connecting four of the major peaks in a big full value alpine loop. I left the office early afternoon on Friday and found myself biking the old Monte Cristo road around typical quitting time. First view of Columbia set my spirits sailing: Couple hours later below the upper mountain: I made quick work of the scramble up Columbia and scouted Saturday's peaks. I wasn't sure if Kyes was going to be on the itinerary tomorrow, but the 5400' west face snow ramp was mostly connected and it all looked like it would go. Better yet, it looked as though their would be a snow traverse to Monte Cristo Peak high on the west side of Kyes: After descending down to 6000' on the west shoulder of Columbia I settled into my bivy for the night: I was up and moving across the 76 glacier towards Wilmans Pass and then Monte Cristo Pass early on Saturday morning. Looking down the Columbia glacier and Blanca Lake from Monte Cristo Pass: I descended to the glacier and on towards a large right facing gully and made my way up to the South Ridge of Kyes. Cresting the ridge gave this view of Kyes summit: Class 3 scramble on the left got me to the top. View towards the next course, Monte Cristo Peak: I descended the Kyes summit block back to the south ridge and found a short cliff leading down to the west face snow slopes. Two loose 15m raps got me over the cliff and traversing the steep snow of the west face, eventually leading to some rock scrambling and finally to the Kyes/MC col and then the north side of Monte Cristo Peak. From there I found the short fifth class pitch leading to class 3 scrambling above. A large moat blocked access to the rock, but the moat had caved in ~100' north of the rock pitch and I was able to scramble down in the moat and get to the rock pitch, now an extra 20' tall out of the icy hole. I self belayed the short fifth class pitch: And scrambled to the top. Immediately looking forward to my next peak, Cadet: Another couple raps and I was back on the snowy north face of MCP. Traverse to the north col, descend towards Glacier Basin. At ~EL 5800 I started a hard traverse towards the south face of Cadet. A perfect goat path led me across the bottom of the face where I eventually picked up the climbers trail to the top. The first trail of any kind I'd seen since Friday evening on the way to Columbia. Up the trail to the summit of Cadet, then reversing the trail down and into Glacier Basin with a view back up towards Monte Cristo Peak: Finally hustling back to the ghost town, my bike, and my truck, my home, and my family. Passing this on the way out. James Kyes was an interesting man. His memorial deserves some maintenance: The Monte Cristo area is a great compact alpine playground! Gear Notes: 30m rope, a couple pieces for Monte Cristo Peak Approach Notes: Bike the Old Monte Cristo road with the log crossing. I took the new old Wagon Road on the way out and it just adds extra mileage and worse, extra elevation gain.
  2. 2 points
    Trip: Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier Trip Date: 07/22/2018 Trip Report: Bonanza has been on my list for a couple of years, and I was so happy to find two smart, fun, competent human beings that wanted to check it out, too. There are lots of trip reports and beta and route descriptions everywhere, but this was an amazing trip! I want to share photos and inform you that the glacier/bergshrund/moat is still very good to go (or was a few days ago)! One thing that made this climb so great was that our party was three women; for no specific reason, I had only climbed with dudes or mixed parties before. I really enjoyed the fun and collaborative atmosphere of this trip C and I got over to Lake Chelan on Saturday morning and dodged swarms of cyclists from the CHELANMAN. Z showed up just in the nick of time for us to get on the Lady II at Fields Point Landing and head uplake. Met one another party headed for Bonanza, and they informed us of two other parties heading up (!). Well, that number of people was a little unexpected...(we later found out it was just one group of five). Got to Lucerne and got on the Holden bus to get up to Holden Village. What an interesting place! Read about it here: http://www.holdenvillage.org/ Sort of a spiritual commune learning retreat that was bought by the Lutheran church in 1960 (I think) from a copper mining company that had first developed it and shipped a bunch of copper out to Tacoma (!) Hiked out to Holden Lake where Z and I took a refreshing dip (objective #1 complete) and then applied the DEET in good amounts. Getting up from the lake to the talus field below Holden Pass was not too bad, with just a minimal amount of schwacking. Stay between the swampy bits and the alder and trees. The views of the glacier (giant icefall and crevasses) and the waterfall slabs everywhere were amazing.... Holden Pass still has a snow patch (otherwise dry) but there's the creek coming down from part of the glacier you can fill up at right before the Pass. During the night, we heard the 5 people coming down; they approached, climbed, and went back to Holden in the same push They have a TR on NWHikers... We got going around 5:20 AM the next morning. The waterfall slabs were fine, the glacier was in great shape with good snow conditions and a smart bootpack, the snow finger felt fine, the step from the snow to the rock was easy, and about 3 hours from the pass, we were headed up the rock. Geode thing that C found Luckily, the two-person party that had left a bit before us was just coming down as we got to the final stretch before the summit -- I was a little concerned about them rapping above us as we came up. It worked out perfectly! The summit views were incredible, and we hung out for awhile. I especially loved seeing Lyman Lakes and Cloudy Pass, since I had hiked the Spider Gap - Cloudy Pass - Buck Creek Pass loop from the Chiwawa River Road last summer. We did a combination of down climbing and some careful rappelling and then back onto the glacier, where we definitely noticed crevasses and bridges looking different from the morning... We were back to the Pass by around 4, and the mosquitoes were terrible. Z and C set up "the princess fort" which was Z's mosquito netting hung on the rope strung between two trees, it was excellent! Another group showed up, and it was a guided party! We spoke for awhile with the guide, who hadn't climbed Bonanza before, and he left us a very nice note the next morning! I later found out they were successful, too Z left after a semi-alpine start so she could get back in time for a bit of rest before heading off to Goode, but C and I hiked out in the hotter weather, we found a cairn in the talus field below where we had approached from and that made it easier, I ate about 60 thimbleberries , back to Holden, back to Lucerne, I went swimming in Lake Chelan (objective #3 ticked), back to Fields Point Landing..... So great! Gear Notes: 60m rope, light axe Approach Notes: Get a copy of the informative newspaper on the Lady II, go swimming at every opportunity, bring a mosquito net fort, eat thimbleberries
  3. 2 points
    Trip: Forbidden Peak - North Ridge Trip Date: 07/15/2018 Trip Report: From July 15-17, Tom and I climbed the beautiful North Ridge of Forbidden in a slow but safe/deliberate fashion. The ridge was the longest alpine rock route either of us had attempted yet but we hoped to be able to pull off all the technical climbing in two days. We left the Eldorado Creek parking lot around 9 AM and reached the base of the Sharkfin Col bypass gully around 1:00 PM. The gully is in great shape, still filled with lots of snow. We crossed to rock below the top of the gully and made the mistake of climbing to a notch that was too high and too far east along the ridge. We found no sign of a rap station and had to downclimb to the notch to climber's left of this higher one to find a spot to rap over to Boston Glacier. The Sharkfin Col notches & Bypass Gully Right now a single rap brings you safely to a large pile of icefall debris that you can navigate to get onto the Boston Glacier without difficulty. There were multiple other rap stations along the way down to the debris from the notch. The traverse to the North Ridge from the rap was easy and took us about an hour. The Boston Glacier is in great shape. The gully to access the bivy notch on the North Ridge is almost completely melted out but the moat is still passable. We crossed to the rock and found a third class move and then a short second class scramble to gain the notch. Bivy Notch center-left We found another pair of climbers enjoying the afternoon at the notch. Their goal was the NW Arete and we had a great time watching them fly up that route the next day from our positions on the NR. Great meeting you guys! After a quick dinner and a birthday cookie for me, we settled into the two smaller bivy spots for the sunset and sleep. I did wake up around 2:30 to find a snafflehound gnawing away at the brim of my hat so be careful out there with your salty things, kids. We think the same little guy took a pair of socks that mysteriously disappeared overnight. Sunset on Buckner from the bivy notch We started off the next morning at 7:50 AM and quickly moved through the 5.6 crux left-leaning corner that rises almost straight out of the bivy notch. It was just fine leading it in mountaineering boots with an (overly) heavy pack. From there we encountered mostly moderate, super fun third class scrambling all the way to the lower snowfield. We simul-climbed to the lower snowfield, but there were stretches where the rope didn't feel necessary. Tom follows shortly after leaving the bivy Both snowfields are still completely covering the ridgeline, so a bypass on rock on climber's left isn't available. We put crampons on to cross the first snowfield, which was pretty flat and easy to get across without an ax. The climbing above the first snowfield felt harder than the lower ridge and we climbed mostly on the left (east) side of the ridge on ledge systems and in gullies. We almost exclusively simul-climbed and placed a lot of cams and slings. I felt there was at least one low/mid fifth class move to get back up onto the ridge crest from the left side of the ridge. Once back onto the ridge crest we found lovely, exposed, knife edge climbing on solid rock all the way up to the second snowfield. The ridge between the lower and upper snowfields We reached the upper snowfield around 12:30 PM and stopped to melt snow to refill our 6L of bottles. This turned out to be a good move because we didn't encounter snow again until midday the next day. The upper snowfield has a much steeper angle and an ax and crampons were definitely nice. The climbing above the upper snowfield felt like a significant increase in difficulty from what we'd encountered along the ridge between the lower and upper snowfields. We slowed down and pitched out the climbing in short pitches several times. We carefully considered our route-finding decisions. Teams with more simul-climbing experience in fourth class terrain could move through this section much faster than we did but we felt better with a belay on several occasions. We climbed on both sides of the ridge as well as on the ridge crest itself following good cracks and solid rock. The climbing was steep but mostly third/fourth class with a few moves that felt like low fifth. We watched the pair we'd met at the bivy notch dance up the upper pitches of the NW Arete which was great entertainment as we slowly but surely moved up our ridge. Just below the summit we left the ridge to scramble up a third class gully on the right (west) side of the ridge before reaching the top at 6:20 PM. The North Ridge from the Summit We quickly began our descent of the West Ridge with three single rappels from obvious rap stations. After the third rap we lost all sunlight and stopped to bivy for a second night about halfway down the West Ridge. We found two relatively flat spots to lay out our packs and some rocks to make for a surprisingly enjoyable night in a relatively precarious spot. Some trail mix and beef jerky served as dinner but we fortunately had plenty of water left. We watched a beautiful moonset and headed to bed. West Ridge Bivy We were up by 6 and could already see several teams starting off up the West Ridge from the notch. After a Clif Bar, we made one more rappel down to ledges that we could scramble along to get down to the West Ridge notch. Two full 60m rappels got us down the Cat Scratch gullies to Boston Basin. Gear Notes: Two half ropes (only used one, except in the Cat Scratch rappels) 9 cams from 0.3 to 2 with alpine draws (used every one) Rack of nuts (used two, didn't need them) 8 slings (used every one) Mountaineering boots Approach Notes: Don't climb to the highest notch in Sharkfin Col
  4. 1 point
    Over the last couple years, I have loved using CC.com for trip reports, route conditions, or just procrastination at work, looking at all the epic adventures these users go on. However, it seems like this season, traffic has decreased significantly. I remember checking CC.com almost every Monday morning last season, and it always felt like there were 5-10 new trip reports to read. It could very well be because the TR forums are now modularized, which I didn't like at first, but now I'm definitely a fan of. Just a bit bummed that it feels like such an awesome climbing resource seems to have kind of fallen by the wayside. Please correct me if I'm wrong. This is only a thought, not meant to throw any shade or anything of that nature towards CC.com, or the awesome volunteers who keep this site running. I'm just not sure if there's another resource out there that's popped up recently that has kind of stolen CC.com's thunder or what. Can't express how much I love this site, I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't.