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Showing most liked content on 10/26/18 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Trip: Johannesburg - NE Rib 1957 Trip Date: 13-14 October 2018 Trip Report: started 715 Sat AM from the parking lot. took the lowest start posible, scrambling a few hundred feet before a 100m roped pitch into the trees. lots of unroped climbing before realizing we were too far right. we did another roped pitch thinking we'd be out - wrong. a single 30m rappel down and skiers right put us back in business. a long stretch of unroped climbing into a gullet. roped back up for a few of the moves and that deposited up on the main ridge's shoulder. this was the large climbers right trend in the topos. lots of steep vegetated climbing and steep exposed climbing brought us to a short (10m) knife edge ridge crossing - officially out of the shit. this is where you could drop into the gulley to climb up to the bivy or stay on the rope. gulley obviously looked nasty in October. we scrambled another short distance to where we needed a rope. either the ugly offwidth or the steep face up and right. not entirely sure if the face is what others had chosen, but it's what we opted for. it was a little hard down low, but opened up nicely. we hauled packs on this particular pitch. from that beltway we were a 150m pitch then a 45m pitch to the bivy site. arrived around 530pm - just under 10 hrs on the route. no running water for us, so we went ultraconservative with fuel only melting water and saving some fuel just in case. we were treated with an awesome sunset and sunrise. we were nestled between the snow and the rock and stayed protected from the wind. next morning we were moving by 745am and summited around 920am. glacier was very simple all things considered. snow arete was very cool and truly unique. started to descent around 10am, opting to downclimb vs rappel. some serious exposure on sometimes pretty delicate climbing. we were pretty close to the top, only dropping to maybe 100 feet below occasionally and not for very long. we reached the main descent around noon. on the main descent we made one anchor for a belayed downclimb relatively high up, then lots of downclimbing snow and rock until an obvious rappel station. this was a real rope stretcher (full 30m) to a subtle ledge skiers left of running water, we loaded about 1.5 liters knowing we'd get more soon - it was euphoric to get nice cold water. more snow and rock brought us to a second obvious station, going skiers left. another 30m with some downclimbing and we were onto a broad apron. traversing skiers left, going more directly to C-J Col, we found three more rap stations, plus a lot of downclimbing. we reached the col around 230pm. we were moving quite slow. after quickly adjusting layers we were off to Doug's direct and searching for water. we were at the top around 5pm and made fast work down to the 6k foot level. here is where were made our only route finding mistakes: dropping too low too early twice. this cost us probably a at least an hour. we then got back on track and were to cascade pass by 8pm and the TH by 930pm. all in all, full value route that was surprisingly straightforward. I'd do it again. Gear Notes: single rack to 3in was nice to have, 60m rope was shortest we would have wanted Approach Notes: short, or long, depending on your perspective
  2. 1 point
    I'll take all the laughs I can get! Glad to provide.
  3. 1 point
    Trip: South Spectacle Butte - SW Ridge Trip Date: 10/21/2018 Trip Report: I thought my trip to the Pasayten last month would be my final hurrah in 2018, but this Indian summer brought a welcome extension to the season. I chose a two-day jaunt into the Glacier Peak Wilderness with my son and dog for some offtrail/nontechnical alpine goodness. We drove up to Phelps TH Saturday morning arriving at 9. It was 28 degrees out but clear. The lot was partially full already - nowhere near how it is in the height of summer though. We hiked the Carne Mountain trail (fairly crowded) then began the High Traverse over to Ice Lakes. We were treated to much larch goodness and spectacular views on this bluebird day. View N from the summit of Carne Mountain. The high traverse to Maude is in left of the frame. Typical views on the traverse: The final slopes to Maude: Upper Ice Lake and the Spectacle Buttes: Lower Ice Lake: Approaching S Spectacle Butte A gendarme on the SW ridge of S Spectacle. Lots of class 3 and interesting route-finding on this route. I found the choss factor to be suprisingly low and the scrambling overall was quite enjoyable. My son topping out on the summit Views W from the summit. Maude and Ice lakes are center of frame: Gear Notes: Helmet Approach Notes: Neglible snow/ice patches. Easily travelled or avoided.
  4. 1 point
    Trip: McMillan Spire - South Face to West Ridge Trip Date: 09/28/2018 Trip Report: The idea first occurred to me last spring, during a casual jog around Green Lake. Solo trip to the Pickets. I’d been in Terror Basin once before, in 2014, but our packs were too heavy (camera equipment and booze), our route finding skills abysmal (lost the trail, twice), and our timing wrong (hiked into a storm front). Now, with a toddler at home and a heavy work load, light and fast was paramount. But my summer was full of other adventures and commitments. By the first heavy rains of mid-September, I’d almost given up on the idea. Then a one-day weather window opened on Friday 9/28. I was in need of a raw experience, and decided to act. After a long day at work, I pulled into the Goodell trailhead at 10pm on Thursday night and started hiking. I forgot to check the batteries in my headlight, and suffered under a dim bulb for the first 4.5 miles of overgrown trail. The number of spiders at this time of night was truly frightening. I took hundreds of webs to the face, finally calling it around 1am at the base of the great big hill. The upwards slog began at 7am. Unlike my previous trip, I was rewarded with increasingly spectacular views as dawn broke over the North Cascades. After the first 4000 feet, I “took my time” traversing the heather bench, occasionally stopping to pick the last ripe blueberries and photograph mountain goats. Dropping into Terror Basin from the notch is an exhilarating experience -- the abrupt face of the range in your face, glacial rivers pouring down polished slabs, big talus fields erasing any hope for a trail. It’s even more spectacular you’re the only one there. With no other cars at the trailhead, and a storm scheduled to arrive Saturday, I was blissfully alone. I dropped my pack at Terror Creek, directly below the southern face of Inspiration. When I climbed that peak in September of 2014, the glacier was significantly more established. Anecdotal evidence of a trend that is sure to worsen in the coming years. This trip I headed for McMillan spire. The typical approach takes a snow tongue that traverses under an unstable looking cliff. It was littered with rockfall. Without a helmet, I made the decision to take a different route up the lower part of the south face. It appeared that a few fifth class moves would be required, but I’ll trust my climbing ability over objective hazards any day. The route turned out to be relatively straightforward, and I gained the west ridge 1/3 of the way up. The west ridge itself is more of a hike than a climb, besides a few interesting moves over the final 100’ of summit blocks. But the views couldn’t disappoint even the most cynical. In fall, the lower valleys are filled with bursts of red and orange. The north side of the southern pickets were already covered with a thin layer of snow. There was an eerie calm floating in the air: the last strained grip of summer before winter’s relentless blast of snow and ice. Truly incredible. I spent the night atop a rock perch in the middle of Terror Basin. After a peaceful sunset, the weather rapidly deteriorated. Without a tent, I was blasted by wind the entire night and hardly slept. I began the hike out at 5am amid dark clouds. The rain hit at 7am, and I was soaked and cold by the time I reached my car at 11:30am. Gear Notes: Approach shoes, aluminum crampons, axe Approach Notes: Strong legs and a desire to suffer
  5. 1 point
    ways back I read a book which I think was Jim Wickwires Addicted to danger. There was as story about him roped up on a glacier in a two man team in alaska I believe. His partner punches in and gets wedged in deep in the crevasse. He goes into the agony of effort to get him out, being unable and having to watch him slowly die. Even when they did everything right (roping up) they partner still died in that ice hole. That was a gripping story and always stuck with me in regards to glacier travel. Don't take them lightly! Do everything right ALL the time. Never let your guard down. Just because you have a rope does not mean safety is ensured. Being unroped and punching through means near certain getting wedged and the long painful lonely death. great book. https://books.google.com/books/about/Addicted_to_Danger.html?id=eKGZ6saSAJMC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false
  6. 1 point
    Learn as much as you can about glaciers. They're fascinating, but they command respect. Do your homework, try to objectively evaluate conditions, discuss both with your partners, come to your own decisions and don't worry too much about what other people think. They weren't there. Most importantly, don't let what other people do or don't do drive your decisions in the mountains. If you climb for any length of time you'll meet people with higher risk tolerance than you and others with lower risk tolerance. This is an important thing to discuss with potential partners. Just because some people got away with something doesn't mean you will, or that they will next time. That said, in the mountains speed is often closely linked to safety, so there are non-trivial trade-offs to make. If you rope up for everything you'll never get far.