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      Huge thank you to Bellingham based The American Alpine Institute for being our sole sponsor, taking care of our hosting costs,  which is our biggest cost.  @Jason_Martin  of AAI reached out to me, and really wanted to support the forums.  They have supported us in the past,  and now stepped up to support us again.  They will be our sole sponsor for 6 months.   Big time, and they are a local climbing related company to boot!  


Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 11/09/22 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    Trip: Mount MacFarlane - Trail Trip Date: 11/13/2022 Trip Report: Me and @Albuquerque Fred snowshoed/climbed Mount MacFarlane the other day. I figured I would post something just to fill out the website in this time of crap season. This peak is in SW BC in the Canadian Cascades, only about as far from Bellingham as Heather Meadows. In the summer there is a trail to the summit, but we found it more difficult. We hiked from the TH at 1100' to about 3100' in sneakers, then switched to boots due to some snow. From there on to Pierce Lake at 4500' there was about 4" of snow on the trail, which is in the first the whole way, and as steep as any climber's trail. A bit after the lake we switched to snowshoes for a steep climb up to the NE ridge. We found a fixed rope just after we really needed it, so at least we knew we were on route. It had been cold and shady but still up till now, but as we neared the ridge it got windy, so we stayed just to the north side of the ridge, eventually switching to crampons for the fun of potholing through crust and sugar. The summit was very welcome. I'm not used to this cold crap yet, remember summer? We lounged in the sun on the summit of Burgundy Spire at 8400' just a month ago. I think we didn't all of 5 minutes on top, then turned back. The tough snow conditions made everything slow, we hoofed it down to 4800' where we hit the bootpack to take our first break in hours. While breaking we realized it would be dark soon, so we donned headlamps as well. It was disheartening to realize that we had ~3500' to descend in the dark. Stupid winter. It went fine though and we were thrilled to have extra extra cold ciders at the car. As a bonus the car was still there with all of it's parts. Canada, eh. Technical snowshoeing. Fred and Slesse. Gear Notes: Axe, crampons, snowshoes. Approach Notes: Border crossing. Long steep trail.
  2. 3 points
    LOL, no. Fiero club that night. We also have a three Austin Healey Sprites and a Saturn Sky. Read all about it in my forthcoming book "Mountaineering and Automobiles: How to Choose Expensive Hobbies that Ensure You'll Never be Able to Retire."
  3. 3 points
    Climbed Death Picnic yesterday with @PorterM. Found deceivingly steep climbing and sorta tricky pro (lotsa hollow bits). Wanna say WI5+ conditions, but it was my first day on ice this season so IDK. Looking up on the way out. Mickey and Jeff rolled up as we rapped. Perfect timing! Porter following the steep and blobby first pitch. Myself leading P2. It started out with this vertical pillar then rounded off to WI 3/4
  4. 3 points
    Well my day job obliterated my free time, but things are finally looking better there. I just renewed the forum software for another 6 months out of my own pocket, that cost is $60. It *should* help cut down on the spam we get I think, since there is a "spam defense" element that is included on the license. So that is another known cost....$60 dollars every 6 months, or $120 a year (for now, assuming they don't raise that in the future). Regarding how to donate, I'm just considering how to do that as I'd like the keep the cascadeclimbers.com piggy bank separate....maybe a paypal account or something. I have to see about how you set one of those up for an entity like this. Anyone done that before? Also! I'm talking to a sponsor! Nothing nailed down but I will just say that there are some awesome local companies out there that recognize the value of this place. thanks.
  5. 2 points
    Do as many of the following as you are willing: 1. Sign the change. org petition https://www.change.org/p/restore-mount-rainier-weekday-winter-access/ 2. Call or email your senators and house rep. 3. Call your local newspaper and ask when they will report on this. 4. Email the park and voice your concern and ask what they are doing about the situation. I'll post the super's email here when I find it.
  6. 2 points
    In general I think the TR function works pretty darn well. That said... here are some things batted around over the years: - Go into the TR database and fix ones that don't search or render properly? I forget the issues exactly, but I remember something about this. -A mapping feature? -fix photo links on esp. cool reports? I know you did that for some of Dan's
  7. 2 points
    Trip: El Cap - Mescalito- Solo Trip Date: 09/30/2022 Trip Report: I figured I'd post a bigwall trip report on here as I have not seen many and thought it would be a fun distraction as we sharpen our ice tools and crampons... Considering I could write a paragraph on the intricacies of each of the 26 pitches, I’m tried to slim things down to the more salient (read: snafu, or scary) moments. Cuz steppin' up in your Aiders and nothing happenin' is rather borin. Especially being alone, the only conversations are those weird ones bouncing around my noggin. Is drytooling really just pumpy aid climbing, or is aid climbing just lazy drytooling? Bing! Then bing! Ah my god that’s a traumatizing thing to hear. My head is spinning, my mouth dry as the Sahara. Why do these seemingly good cams keep ripping? I’ve been getting fried in the sun since sunrise and want, no need, nothing more than to make it up these last few feet to the ledge. Then I can rap down and chug. It takes a few short lifetimes for my heart rate to settle, not from the double cam ripping fall, but from impeding heatstroke. I turn on my headlamp, go back up, place bigger cams in the splitter placements, step up confidently again… only to bing! bing! and whip off again. What the fuck? Anchorage ledge isn’t giving it up easy. At least I finally got to test my lead solo system. Over it, I free climb off to the right and finally onto my bivy ledge for the night. I rap down fast as I can to my bag, dive bombing into my bag to commence the chug. I cough, half of the water comes bursting out, I wince as my wrung-out stomach struggles to accept the now-foreign juice of life. Hauling and set up finally over, I put in a Herculean effort to keep down a few bites of salami before calling it a night. It’s clear that I have barely half enough water to make it another 5 days on this wall that roasts from sunup to sundown. I guess there’s a reason it’s called the Dawn Wall. I fix my lead and haul lines the next day, then have to fix my 6mm tag line to hit terra firma. After a brief pit stop in civilization for burritos, chips, and 5 more gallons of water, I’m back staring up at my 6mm. Time to jug! There’s some slippage- unnerving- but I tie in direct periodically to prevent another, quicker trip to the deck. Back at Anchorage, I’m psyched. I’m armed with all I need for another 6 days. It’s game on. After the previous 24’s tribulations, fixing and reversing the traversing Seagull pitch, now in the shade, is a relaxing endeavor. I eat and drink well that night. One of countless lower-outs of the bags The following day is spent entirely following a single, right leaning crack system. Cleaning is a pain as I have to pull myself back in to every directional piece left in the crack. I forget the haul line and have to rap down to get it in the middle of a lead. The last pitch of the day is long and sustained. I feel strung out, exposed, and alone as the sun sets. There are free climbing chalk ticks that seem to rub in my mediocrity as a free, and aid, “climber.” I close my eyes as I step up on yet another shitty cam, trying to get that horrible bing-bing sound out of my head. A hidden bat hole and shitty heads unlock the day’s finish line. A little over an hour later and I’m sitting in my ledge, which, combined with my headlamp’s short radius, allow me to forget where I am and enjoy my warm mashed potatoes. I’m up early the next morning, arming myself for battle with the Molar traverse. In my apprehension and eagerness to get the pendulum over with, I lower off a bolt with tat and start swinging around. Many tries and many smacks into the wall later, I realize I’m missing something. I foolishly went for it too early! I jug back up, climb another ten feet, then nail the correct penji first try. Tom Evans photo of the Molar Stoked to have that over with, I carry on, only to have my spirits sink immediately as I notice some crackling sound and extra flex in my prosthetic foot. It must have gotten busted on that failed first pendulum. No big deal... if I don’t fall again. I’ve had these feet go flying right off after big whippers, and sure as shit didn’t want to have to watch as my foot sailed down to the base. The damage I carried on carefully the rest of the day, and was able to find some peace and flow while navigating old rivets, heads, and thin cracks on one of the route’s cruxes, pitch 15. Steep rivets, p16 (?) A fun one to reverse (P17) I’d planned the next day to be shorter, giving myself time to chill at the palatial Bismarck ledge, marking the end of the fully hanging bivies on the route. I get up to the ledge early in the afternoon, and quickly realize I’m going to have to fix the Bismarck pitch- a long widening C1 corner culminating in a mandatory layback once your biggest cam no longer fits- to get any semblance of rest that night. I take a deep breath, and without lingering and freaking myself out any further, dispatch it. I let out a holler; the rest of the route will be gravy. I rap back down and enjoy a rare few hours of watching the soft golden light in the valley turn to the fiery colors of sunset. Having skipped dinner the first night, I have a surplus of food, feast like a king and sleep like a baby. Big gulp Best room in the house! Bismarck ledge. More time consuming traverses the following day lead me to two easier pitches, and a surprisingly cruxy penji onto the cool, sloping Ship’s Bow ledge. Camped here for the night, within touch of the summit, I felt a weird sensation of grief. Grief for the death of this experience, a week whose intensity can never be matched on flat ground. But thoughts of pizza kept the grief from getting too strong. A wee bit tired, 3 pitches from the top A 15 foot unprotected lieback off the Ship’s Bow had a similar effect as several cups of coffee, shaking off the latencies of 6 days on the wall. The C1 pitch sounded nice until it turned into a wrestling match reaching for cams deep in the flare. I linked into the penultimate pitch, trying to remember how to climb with bare hands on the cool 5.7 flake traverse. She didn’t give it up easy; the last pitch consists of hand placed beaks and deadheads off the belay and a mega reachy inverted camhook, then finally a cruiser bolt ladder. Final morning sunrise. Mescalito's been on my radar for a while now, as a long, steep, sustained-at-the-grade line up the shining Dawn Wall, a stepping stone into the world of pants-shitting aid. Tracing the route between features back in the Meadow, I felt intensely grateful. Grateful that I'd walked right up to it on my first day in the Valley and gotten that out of my system. But more importantly, for the experience I'd been lucky enough to have up there, and for all the people who'd helped or just shared kind words along the way. Thanks for reading, keep it fun, keep it fast, and if you can, keep it safe, cheers! Gear Notes: standard wall rack, handful of beaks Approach Notes: highly strenuous
  8. 2 points
    Trip: Jack Creek - Jack Creek High Orbit Trip Date: 10/15/2022 Trip Report: https://climberkyle.com/2022/10/15/jack-creek-high-orbit/ Last weekend, I took advantage of the lingering summer by doing a two day high route orbiting the Jack Creek Valley. On the first day, I went over Windy Pass, past Eightmile Lake, Horseshoe Lake, and over Goat Pass, behind Ingalls to near Van Epps Pass. The second day featured a ton of ridge line scrambling and boulder hopping over the Scatter Peaks, Solomon, Nursery, Highchair, and Bootjack. The terrain felt surprisingly remote and beautiful with the fall colors. There was extensive boulder hopping on the red rock that made it feel harder than 18k gain. The scatter peaks offer some fun low fifth scrambling on good rock, if you're into that kind of thing. Gear Notes: "Fastpacking" gear Approach Notes: Trails.
  9. 2 points
    Donated , I’ve gotten so much from this place over the years from beta to partners and friends! Been busy with the baby but hopefully my climbing days arent over yet!
  10. 2 points
    Hey guys, just found this thread. I've gotten a lot from CC over the years and it's disappointing FB has taken so much traffic. I'm pretty busy with some other related organizations (and putting down quite a bit of money for them) but I am pretty proficient in web development so if you need an eye to look at things, let me know. In the mean time, I'll donate and try to spread the word about CC needing donations to my followers.
  11. 2 points
    Trip: Canadian Border Peak (CBP) - NW Route Trip Date: 10/15/2022 Trip Report: Me and the boys, @Albuquerque Fred and Mike G, were at it again, this time we headed to the Great White North to climb Canadian Border Peak, on a record hot October day. We took Tamihi Creek Road to the drive able end at 2760' and began the hike up the road in the unseasonable heat and thick smoke from fires over in the upper Chilliwack valley. We hiked the road past 8 switchbacks to the distinct and at 5250', then plunged into the brush straight up to the ridge crest at 5700'. The brush wasn't as bad as we expected, but I could see if the blueberries and fireweed were wet it could be unpleasant; about half of it is brushy and the other half is reasonable forest. From the ridge crest we followed the ridge on a heather walk with a short scramble over a knob to the distinct NW shoulder of the peak. From this point the only beta we could find, Beckey, is pretty confusing. Even now rereading it I can't make any sense of his direction. Nonetheless, the route finding is actually very straightforward; go up gullies, trending right into different gullies when necessary, until there is a major buttress to your right and your looking up an intimidatingly steep gully with slabs and a huge dihedral making the left side. We scrambled up this on 3rd and 4th class terrain with loose rubble on top of everything, the rock is mostly sound, just covered in debris. Just below a flat spot in the NW shoulder (your left) you enter a boulder field with precarious rocks, we continued up this where the NW buttress basically merges into the rest of the mountain. Here is the crux pitch, a slab with wandering shallow cracks left of a bulgey off width layback/dihedral. It has been reported at 5.6. We scrambled (soloed) up broken ground about 50' to the right on blocks and good cracks. I call it 5.4 but with lots of holds and variations. Go up about 60', then work left on a slabby ledge into the gully where the crux pitch tops out at another buttress shoulder. From here it's up another gully with a step out to the right. This looked way more intimidating than it was and we weren't sure it would go, but there are ample holds to keep it fourth class. Up from there is an easy boulder field to the summit. We hung out on the summit watching the smoke gradually envelop the nearby peaks until we decided it was better to get down. From the base of the summit boulder field we made one 30m rap to the shoulder at the top of the crux pitch, then another ~20m rap to the boulder field below the crux. From here it was all careful down climbing and staying out of each other's fall line back to the easy heather ridge. On the way out we met lots of friendly dirt bikers that were clearing the brush from the sides of the old road, by now it's probably even more chill than the way up. All in all it wasn't nearly as bad as advertised, glad to have done it, probably won't go back. Incidentally, this climb was way better than American Border Peak. (This is not editorializing on politics or society). 8 hours car to car. 9 miles, about 4500' gain. Fred on approach, it's the one on the left: Mike scrambling slabs with debris: The crux is the dihedral just left of center, we soloed through the light rock to below the crack at center: The major gulley with huge dihedral on climber's left: Gear Notes: 2 30m ropes. Helmets! Approach Notes: The road is all brushed out and easy.
  12. 2 points
    I hope to have the cost of modernizing the underlying custom code for the Trip Report function nailed down today or so. That is paramount...we need to get to the latest version of the board, and that piece has to be updated first. **UPDATE**....it cost us $110 to get that part done! Should be done tomorrow. Then we need to set up a test and test everything and then we can upgrade! Big moves here...
  13. 2 points
    Trip: Mt. Temple North Face, Banff NP, Alberta - Greenwood/Locke Trip Date: 08/06/2022 Trip Report: I have really only written up one TR before and there doesn't seem to be whole lot of TR's on this route so I figured it would be fun/useful to write up some info on Evan's and my ascent of the Greenwood/Locke on the north face of Mt. Temple. Plus it is currently smokey in the mountains in Washington so there isn't a whole lot else to do. On July 16th, Evan and I embarked from Bellingham on a 3+ week climbing trip aiming to climb mountains in Canada. And that we did. After warming up on wet rock in Squamish, we moved to the Bugaboos and spent a week in the East Creek Basin, getting to climb the Beckey/Chouinard and All Along the Watchtower. We then drove to Banff in search of progressively more chossy rock. After spending some time in the Banff area getting used to the Canadian Rockies limestone and glacier ice, and climbing Mt. Fay, Yamnuska, limestone routes in Banff, and getting turned around on Mt. Athabasca from rock fall, we felt ready to try the Greenwood/Locke with impending colder conditions in the forecast. The day before we climbed the route, Evan and I hiked half of the approach to the north face of Mt. Temple from the Lake Annette TH to get a look at the face. We brought binoculars, and scoping the route was incredibly useful for our ascent the next day. A view of the face from our scouting mission. The approximate route we took from Lake Annette. On August 6, we left the trail head early in the morning to make sure we got through the "Dolphin" snow/ice gully's before the sun hit any aspect of the upper wall since there is significant rockfall hazard throughout these gully's low on the route. We climbed much of the Dolphin and several hundred feet of loose 4th and low 5th class rock steps before it got light out. Evan low on the Dolphin Lots of chossy low 4th-5th class steps. Evan climbing the final bit of AI2 up to the base of the "wet chimney pitch". The upper headwall looming above receiving the only bit of sun all day. There was a decent amount of rock fall as soon as the sun hit the upper headwall. Get here early! The "wet chimney" pitch directly above the snow/ice field in the center went at about M5. At the base of the chimney at the top of the final snow/ice field, we broke out the rope and began the "real" climbing. It was necessary to climb this pitch with crampons and tools. We then simuled a long pitch still in our mountain boots up to the big traverse left. The traverse was incredibly loose, and there were a couple fixed pins. We traversed the ledge for just under 200ft until the ledge went around a sharp corner and the wall above undercut right above the ledge. From here, we switched to rock shoes and climbed around 8 more long pitches to the top of the headwall. Evan on one of the early pitches off the long leftward ledge traverse. Many of these pitches were severely runout around 5.8, with several 5.10 pitches. Gear was tricky but usually there were ok cams, pins, and stoppers where it mattered. Nearing the "trickey slab" pitch One of the pitches that is supposedly the crux says to step right into a 10c crack. We found this pitch to be significantly easier and better protected than many of the other pitches on the route. The "ice hose" pitch was thankfully dry, and involved engaging climbing. Enjoying the exposure. A final long pitch of steep rock brought us up to the last ledge traverse and the top of the upper headwall. A chossy but easy traverse right brought us to the top of the wall. Great position! Psyched to be done with the scary climbing. Classic summit selfie. Some sort of fossil I found on the final ledge traverse. The route from the base of the first gully to the top of the upper headwall took us 14 hours. The route is very serious and engaging with significant loose rock. The harder pitches in general had better rock and enjoyable climbing. Gear Notes: We brought a single rack from #000 to #3 with doubles in .4 and .5, a small set of nuts, 1 LA, 2 KB's, 1 Bugaboo, an angle, and two screws. We didn't use the angle and only used 1 screw. We also could have ditched the doubles in .4 and .5 as there are only so many placements per pitch. We each took two technical tools, boots and crampons, rock shoes, and a piton hammer for the leader. Approach Notes: The approach is straightforward and mostly on a trail. Scoping the face the day before made finding our way up the scree and into the correct gully easy in the dark. The descent is also very straightforward. Once topped out, traverse a long scree field maintaining elevation, and then descend a trail on the SW ridge. We hiked to Moraine Lake and then hitchhiked back to our car at the Lake Annette TH.
  14. 2 points
    Welp I'm officially paying for the running of this site now, so I'm motivated to share the costs with you all :). I definitely want to keep this site going, but if I'm the only willing to step up monetarily then I could archive it and just have it on my own computer! BUT!!!! That is not the message I'm getting. So here is what I think: 1. Initially we will be donations only. It would take a while to setup the ads and for them to make any money anyway. That will be a thing "on the list". Ads will *not* be annoying. If they become that, we go back to donations only. 2. Will this site become more "lively"? I couldn't answer that. It could, or maybe it won't. That depends on "us". But even if its a shadow of its former self, keeping this thing going is still something worth it as long as we still have a community. There are still some strong, creative, accomplished, and even funny climbers using this site and sharing. Yeah we are all getting older, but I see the next gen lining up. I'd like to keep it going for them, a place with a few warts, but lots of character that isn't some mega corp trying to sell their info to the highest bidder. 3. What needs fixing, and what is first? I have a running list, but a top priority to upgrading the version of the board, which is harder than you think. I am *not* a coder. I can support software, I can configure software and scripts, I can do ia lot. And I could eventually get something done in code if I had to, but it would take way too long and the product probably would not be great. I leave coding for people who do it for a living and are good at it. Upgrading the board software is not a big deal for me (will take a plan and some testing) but the "app" that Jon and I had created for the board that runs within the software may need to be updated. So there are two costs: 1. paying for the newer software license. 2. Paying a developer to upgrade that "app", if necessary. Neither should be crazy expensive, but they are costs I need help with. 4. Security issues: the main problem with security was the wordpress install. We nuked that. I've cleaned up a bunch of crap already. However, I have to do some scans to make sure I got it all. Then we can get back in Meta's good graces so yall can' link to Facebook/Insta if that is your thing. 5. Help. I'll probably need it. However, there is a huge thing called trust. And you might be the most honest and trust worthy person in the world. But maybe we can start out somewhere and build on it, idk. Lets talk. I would definitely want sit down in person first though. 6. Other costs: 1. annual software license. 2. monthly hosting costs (this is the big one...its like $60 a month). So yeah, I'm gonna ask for money! And I will be transparent where it goes, the costs are pretty clear. Perhaps a supporters forum will be used to do that. When you pay you get access as the accounting is detailed...just an idea. /p.
  15. 1 point
    Fantabulous pics, thanks for sharing . Love that third from last one, I bet you two feel so lucky to know each other!
  16. 1 point
    I've talked a bit of shit about having a pub club, but as my cyclocross season is winding down, its time. I"m gonna make it reality. I'm interested in meeting the people who want to see this site into 2023 and beyond. It will be in the Seattle area, sorry to those of you that can't make it because of that. And in early December. Lets do this.
  17. 1 point
    Well our new sponsor ad is in place, and I think you'll find it very low key! Huge thank you to Bellingham based The American Alpine Institute for being our sole sponsor, taking care of our hosting costs, which is our biggest cost. @Jason_Martin of AAI reached out to me, and really wanted to support the forums. They have supported us in the past, and now stepped up to support us again. They will be our sole sponsor for 6 months. Big time, and they are a local climbing related company to boot! Please do return the love if you can to Jason and crew...they love this site just like you do, so its a perfect it. If you don't know about AAI, please read about them here. Thank you for helping us keep the lights on!
  18. 1 point
    This week, the gods smile upon us. Let us continue to appease the gods!
  19. 1 point
    With this weeks cold temps down low I figured it could be worthwhile to get this years forum started! Also if anyone has any pictures or information about the current status of routes, put it here! Happy exploring
  20. 1 point
    I have an exciting announcement coming. Details are pretty much ironed out, but I'm a little under the weather right now so I need to get some stuff done before the official announcement, but we will be going with the hybrid model (as the poll was pretty clearly showing most people wanted). I'll share that info soon, but I can tell you this. Its a local climbing related company, not Google Ads. It will be a single sponsorship for a set duration. it will not cover everything, but those have donated are helping build a war chest we can use to improve the site and also make it financially resilient for whatever comes at us in the future. There will be additional cost for development (we can make this site better)...but for now this keeps that fire burning. So I do encourage those that love this site and haven't thrown down to still do so. There may even be a secret forum. thank you for supporting the site.
  21. 1 point
    DM me if you want a ride. No questions will be asked, no photos will be taken, no one has to know!
  22. 1 point
    I too use any excuse for to go for a bike ride!
  23. 1 point
    I have it on my calendar and will do my best to be there for the restart! I never actually went to a Pub Club back in the day....will be my first!
  24. 1 point
    Pub Club resurrected? What next, the Fall Sausage/Spray Fest?
  25. 1 point
    OK first one I'm calling: December 14th, Beer Junction, in West Seattle. 7pm till the last person leaves. After that we will do a rotation of pubs based on either poll results or by the loudest voices. https://www.thebeerjunction.com/directions Bridge is open! **NOTE WE WILL NORMALLY DO 3rd Wednesdays....this is a second Wednesday this one time only***
  26. 1 point
    Thanks Kyle for sharing this in the FB groups. I've lurked here for many years but can't remember my login so made a new account. I own a few sites/forums and your costs are very reasonable, especially given the amount of content that's on the site. I donated via paypal but more importantly happy to donate some of my time if you'd like it. I don't have any experience directly with Invision and haven't written PHP in ~5yrs but don't anticipate it to be a problem. I have extensive experience with other forum softwares like vB, phpBB and XenForo doing everything from setup & administration, to developing. I live down in Salem so can't join any of your Seattle area fun but happy to hop on a call if you want to talk shop. ----- Also Kyle, the stack here can't be that archaic. IDK how much playing you've done with WP on your personal site but it can get real nasty, real quick. Even then, php isn't that bad compared to things like jsp, native asp, and whatever weird custom things people used to do in the 90s and early 2000s that some corporations still run on...
  27. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall Ski descent Trip Date: 05/31/2022 Trip Report: Retroactive trip report from May. These past few spring/summers I've been living in my van somewhere on Mt. Hood, riding most days, usually solo. As you all know, this spring was plentiful in the snow department and created some stellar late spring skiing conditions. I woke up around 5am to more wind and cold than I was hoping for, turned off the alarm and caught some more sleep. Around 11:30 I took the dog for a long walk and started packing, typical Mt. Hood winds whipping across palmer and keeping temps quite cold for a late may early afternoon. I started up from Timberline around 1:45 only intending to skin up to Illumination Saddle and take a peek at the Reid for the first time. What I didn't expect to find was 8"-10" of perfect corn with no wind effect. I grabbed a snack, mulled over the fact that I was up there Very late in the day... However without the sun directly on the headwall yet and firm but pleasant cramponing conditions, I started my way up around 4. The climbing was nice and a very mellow schrund crossing gave me confidence to continue for a short while until the sun was on the face. Unsurprisingly, it started shedding shortly after with small wet sloughs coming down every few minutes, but no icefall and staying climbers right made it easy to stay out of the way of the sloughs. I pushed on, moving quickly until I was just below the rime towers that signify the top of the west crater rim. At this point it was time to go down. I was late. Too late for my liking, but steep turns beckoned. I transitioned and the sloughs grew larger by the minute, the corn was far gone by now and it was obvious that every turn was going to release a large slough, plenty large enough to get knocked off my feet and carried the 1000 feet down to the base of the glacier. Ice axe in hand, I ski cut the upper Reid face, traversing roughly 400 feet to a protected saddle and watched the entirety of the face slough off, racing down to the Reid glacier and revealing the previous days sun crust, which at this point was rather edgeable. It certainly wasn't the hero corn run I was wishing I had gotten out of bed for, but any bluebird day up high is a good one in my book, and steep turns high on the Reid made it that much better, good snow or not. Three days later I finally had the right partners and warm temps to ski the old chute naked... but that's a story for another day. Gear Notes: Splitboard, pons, one tool. Approach Notes: Timberline to Illumination Saddle
  28. 1 point
    Thanks @Kyle M! Spreading the word is great. The numbers @olyclimber quotes seem quite reasonable (to me) given the value of the content here. I hope others agree!
  29. 1 point
    I can't confirm or deny the super secret forum that those who donate may or may not have access to.
  30. 1 point
    I personally think that beer is a legitimate expense for running the site & part of our donation can be used for such if you wish.
  31. 1 point
  32. 1 point
    Well....those ads might be ok. but yeah, its the OTHER ones we have problem with!
  33. 1 point
    I have set up a PayPal account for Cascadeclimbers. You can use this to donate to the site. Please use the below QR code (just use the camera on your phone and it will let you use Paypal). I will set up another option if you want to do it just from your computer, but the fees are more for that way for some dumb reason....so with this way the most money goes to this site. If this does not work for you then use the "DONATE" button on the right hand side of the forums main listing. Using the QR code is better though as Paypal takes less.
  34. 1 point
    That terrain is meant for skis! Looks fun.
  35. 1 point
    I didn't know there were larches anywhere besides Maple Pass!! and maybe the core zone.
  36. 1 point
    Incredibly fun mixed climbing with an occasional swing into icy cracks Wednesday Nov 2nd on the Beckey route on Liberty Bell. It's rather hard to find competent partners psyched on snow covered rock climbing, let alone who are also spontaneously free on Wednesdays, so I rope soloed the route. I thought I'd share a few photos of conditions in the pass. Send me a message if you're looking for a partner to scrape around on rock in the mountains this fall/winter. inspired by "Wednesday night alpinism"
  37. 1 point
    awesome loop, larches and without the maple pass crowds :-)
  38. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Carrie - Smoot Direct Trip Date: 09/11/2022 Trip Report: Perhaps the only upside to shattering my thumb this spring is that I have been catching up on my Smoots this summer. In fact, I'm at 99 after an ascent of Carrie a few weeks ago with @cfire. With each peak, I'm pretty impressed with this list ( it is back in print!). Not many bad outings in the book and some are very, very good. This is one of them, not for any classic climbing but for jaw dropping views across the valley at the Olympus massif. And so you'd better like pictures of Olympus, because you're about to be assaulted. Given the long drive we did the trip over three reasonable days: Day 1 was up the Sol Duc to the High Divide (prepare for combat parking at the TH); Day 2 was out to Carrie and back; And Day 3 was finishing the High Divide West to the headwaters of the Bogachiel and back to the Sol Duc. Every day we saw bears out and about, fattening up on berries before the winter snows come. We also saw quite a few people doing the loop in a day (the Olympics version of the Enchantments thru hike?), since permits are hard to get. Despite that, this is a busy loop, lots of people everywhere but Carrie (we saw nobody on our ascent). But, as you'll see below, it is worth the hassle of planning ahead. The High Divide is about as Olympics as it gets! Heart Lake: Carrie in the smoke out there: Olympus! Summit views to the SE. No idea what most of these peaks are, but I know @olyclimber does!: We enjoyed watching the ravens on the summit. They were battling with each other and raptors that invaded "their" territory: Cumbre! Heading down, Hoh below: Carrie is choss pile on the right. Not as bad as it looks though! I lugged my tripod all the way in, but should have looked a bit more closely at the moon phase: The classic Sol Duc falls (I cropped out the crowds): The trusty Civic is still intact with beers inside! Gear Notes: Clothes, shoes, whiskey. Approach Notes: High Divide, clockwise
  39. 1 point
    Trip: The Pasayten for the Old and Slow - Amphitheatre, Cathedral, Remmel Trip Date: 10/01/2022 Trip Report: In September 2002 I hiked into Cathedral Lakes with my buddy Russ to do the classic SE Buttress on Cathedral. We got rain, hail, fog, snow, and finally gorgeous sunshine; unfortunately in the wrong order. Our first day at Cathedral Lake we chose not to climb as it was really cold, the fog was thick enough we couldn’t see a thing, and as Russ said, “It would suck to have to retreat and leave gear all over the place—even if it is only your gear.” That night it snowed enough that the next morning we bailed and hiked all the way out to Thirtymile campground. Twenty years later, with a far greater appreciation for and expertise in checking and understanding the weather forecast, I wheedled Gordy-from-the-Pickets into heading back in there last week for another try. I had friends who were doing the Cathedral loop trip with a group and planned to scramble Cathedral, so I figured if Gordy and I got an early start, we could do the Ka’aba Buttress on Amphitheatre on Day 2 before they arrived, Cathedral on Day 3 while they did the scramble, then spend the next two days leisurely hiking out and tagging Remmel with them. We saw no one the first day expect for three yutes (by which I mean people who appeared to be in their early 30s) and their dog. I speculated they were running the loop as they had teeny tiny packs and shorts and seemed to be moving awfully fast, and we’d seen no sign of a tent along the way. We made it as far as the Tungsten Mine (but not to the buildings) before I said “Here’s camp; I can’t go a step further.” We made it to Cathedral Lakes the next morning in plenty of time to do Pilgrimage to Mecca, tag the summit of Amphitheatre, and return to camp, but apparently I’m now too old to hike 20 miles with a full climbing pack in a 24-hour period without being too wasted to do much of anything once I get there. Very disappointing. Also, Pilgrimage to Mecca was clearly not going to come into the sun until 4 or 5 pm, if ever, and it was cold in the shade and I’m an enormous pansy. So after a nap (on my part) we just scrambled the West Ridge of Amphitheatre. Not a very exciting route, but nice views from up there. Amphitheatre and Cathedral from Boundary Trail: We started up the SE Buttress fairly late (8:30 am) on Saturday, so that most of the first pitch was already in the sun, but it was still darn cold belaying. Instead of swinging leads we divided them, with Gordy getting the pitches that were wide or would benefit from brute force and me getting anything that had a thin crack on it. This worked out quite well. Sadly we were both too busy climbing to take many pics, but there are already a gajillion pics of the route so it’s hard to think that’s much of a loss. I think this is the belay before the fifth pitch, but really I have no idea. Who cares; look, it’s sunny! We avoided the headwall pitches as neither of us are leading 5.10 at the moment, heading around the corner to the right to scamper up the ramp and chimney that the Doorish topo in Beckey shows as 5.6. Old age and treachery triumphs again. We posed for summit shots; I did my 1930s Red Army recruiting poster pose. Gordy behaved a little more normally. We were back to camp in plenty of time to move down the trail a couple of miles, but we were behind our friends and didn't catch them. They ended up going a different way than they had planned, so we ended up ahead of them the next day by doing the 800-calorie cross-country shortcut to Four Point Lake. We met them on the trail as we were descending from Remmel and on the way back to where they had ditched packs we had a fun scavenger hunt for the notes they left to inform us of their track. Analog communication: We had a lovely evening camping and eating and telling stories, saw a moose (!!!) in the morning, and stopped by a gorgeous stand of quaking aspen for our last break before returning to the TH. So overall a great final hurrah to a shockingly successful summer season for a middle aged lady with a “real” job. Unless this Indian summer lasts another few weeks.... Gear Notes: I thought I took too big of a rack but we sure did use it Approach Notes: walk and walk and walk and then walk some more
  40. 1 point
    Trip: North Cascades - Sloan Peak - Superalpine (WI3-4, 1000') 04/17/2022 Trip Date: 04/17/2022 Trip Report: Fabien and I climbed Superalpine this past Sunday and topped out on Sloan peak. History: This route was attempted on 02/28/2020 by Kyle and Porter and on 03/15/2020 by Porter and Tavish We left Saturday afternoon, got the car to about 2000ft on FS 4096 just before the snow became continuous. We skinned in with overnight gear and setup camp near a small accessible stream feeding Bedal Creek at 3600ft. Sunday we woke up at 4:00 a.m. and we're breaking trail soon after. We found an easy crossing across the creek at 3950ft and stayed climber's right of the moraine to avoid being in an avy path until we were forced back in the forest. We started seeing the route peeking through the trees and reached the large snow field below the West face of Sloan peak. We approached up to the base of a left leading couloir and stashed the skis there (A). Route: We booted up the couloir, encountered a small step (B) and roped up at (C). (C-D) Short WI4 followed by easier climbing. Careful with rope drag on the rock if the belayer is in the sheltered area before the ice. (D-E) Short ice steps separated by snow. Setup an anchor on the right side at (E) (E-F) Left leaning ice staircase in what looks like a dihedral. (F-G) Snow up to a belay stance in a 5ft step. (G-H) Small ice step then snow up to belay in thin ice. (H-I) Mostly snow with some good ice screw placements. Belayed off a snow anchor. (I-J) 30ft of Easy mixed climbing. Placed cams 0.5 to 1 and made a snow anchor on a wind hardened snow fin: (J-K) Snow bowl. This can have a lot of sluffing and is dangerous if the snow is unstable. We were able to follow a path up that had already sluffed away. It was mostly the top 2in of snow that had fallen the previous night. (K-L) Snow bowl up to a notch on the ridge slightly climbers right (L-M) About 200ft of ridge traverse to the summit. Descent: (J-N) We decided to go down the snow ramp on the other side of the mountain that the corksrew follows for a bit. We aimed for a gendarme (Below the N). From there we did one 30M rappel off and traversed under the gendarme to the corkscrew route (O). By then the East side of Sloan Peak was in the shade and we found good snow to front-point sideways and down a ramp for almost 1000ft. (650ft elevation loss) There was a moat at the bottom which we negotiated skier's right. We had brought two poles up for the next section that involved wallowing across the bottom of the SE face to reach the South ridge of Sloan at 6750ft. (P) From there, we headed back to the W ridge near where the route starts (Q). It doesn't look like it can be traversed easily a first but there's a passage around 6100ft. At this point, we could see our skis and felt like it was in the bag. The chute skied amazingly well but once we reached the snow field, the snow had started to crust making it quite hard to turn. We arrived back at camp at dark pretty tired. Since we both had engagements on Monday, we slept until 4:00 a.m then skied most of the way back and made it home by 11:00 a.m. Overall, this is a fun route when the conditions are there. The snow bowl at the top is probably the most dangerous part of the route when the snow is unstable. It may be possible to bypass by staying on the ridge (Probably from J). Strava GPX Enjoy! Gear Notes: Gear: 11 ice screws (Used all) 8 draws 2 pre-rigged quads 0.3 - 2" cams 1 picket (2 would be better) Small Nuts (Unused) Approach Notes: Drive from Darrington while Bedal pass is closed. High clearance vehicle recommended for FS 4096
  41. 1 point
    Trip: Idaho - Heart of Diamond, Milwaukee's Best Trip Date: 09/15/2022 Trip Report: I've spent chunks of the last two Septembers helping some friends scrub, trundle, and bolt on a unique 800 foot granite wall on a subsummit of Storm Mountain, north of McCall, Idaho. At least for the time being, we're finished, and would love for folks to get on the two resulting routes to get some traffic and confirm grades -- everything about them is geared to optimize the experience of subsequent ascents. The wall has an extraordinarily consistent angle at just under vertical, and is littered with overlaps, layback flakes, and small roofs, which together create routes that are extremely sustained and with varied and high quality movement. It's just the right angle, and has just enough edges and dikes, that it is almost never slabby, and also almost never requires cranking on micro edges. While covered in cracks, many of them are too shallow, flaring, or fragile for bomber gear (but are great for climbing), resulting in routes with around a third natural protection and two thirds bolts. It also tends to excellent free climbing conditions, facing northeast (so warms up quickly before going in the shade) at around 8000 feet in a relatively dry range. Last year started by pushing a route ground up, since that seemed like an important thing to do. It was hard, scary, dangerous and required lots of aid and drilling on lead (not by me), and would have (as is) resulted in a route that was very poorly suited to repeats. So, from that point, we went top down and focused on making quality routes. For instance, much of the wall is initially covered in loose potato chips, which make free climbing ground up extremely challenging (and not very fun), but scrubbing invariably reveals bomber edges, divots, and dishes pointing in wild directions to create interesting boulder problems. As far as protection -- if there's bomber gear, you place it; but if it's questionable we put in a bolt. You can expect sizeable (but safe) whips at cruxes, but will always have confidence in whatever you're whipping on (well, except in a few .10 ish bits), and everything should be both clippable for short folk while still protecting talk folks' ankles. Last year's route, "Milwaukee's Best" (MB, nine pitches, with two options for the last pitch), mostly tries to follow cracks on the left side of the wall, and is sustained at .11 to .12, with one pitch of .9 and one of .10. The two easier pitches are meh (easy .9 slab, somewhat fragile .10 cracks), but every other pitch is really good. This year, we had figured out that the climbing is often better if you avoid the big, obvious crack systems, and "Heart of Diamond" (HoD) zig zags right up the middle of the wall. Of the seven pitches, one (p5, a leftward .12 ish traverse) is perhaps a bit forgettable, but every other pitch is extremely high quality, with sustained and varied movement. There's one or two pitches of .11, two or three of .13 (so I'm told -- I can mostly do the moves but do not send that hard), and the rest some flavor of .12. Also worth saying -- these are real YDS grades, not Washington grades -- for instance I had little input, since my diet of index and ungraded bouldering gyms, and weird body proportions, mean my opinion isn't very transferrable. Michal wrote up an excellent description on mountain project: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/123065053/storm-dome, so I'll just dump some photos here. Northeast face of Storm Dome: The NE aspect enforces the pleasure of relaxed mornings, during which you can explore the variety of shapes into which wood can burn. Maybe these holes were woodpecker homes: MB pitch 3 before the roof: MB pitch 3 at the roof: MB pitch 3 after the roof: MB pitch 7: MB pitch 8, before the groove peters out: MB pitch 8, right where the groove peters out: Through the roof on MB pitch 9a (right option): Starting rightward on HoD pitch 4: Continuing rightward on HoD pitch 4: Starting the journey on HoD pitch 6: Near the top of HoD pitch 6, hanging in a hueco: Immaculate, perfectly sculpted and oh-so-crucial dual pinches on HoD pitch 6: Topo for MB and HoD: Smokey sunrise from camp, which is a pika-filled meadow between the lake and the wall: Gear Notes: Light rack and draws (see MP link for details). Approach Notes: 7 miles, 2800ft, 4-5 hours in, 2-3 hours out, see MP link for details.
  42. 1 point
    Trip: LITTLE JOHANNESBURG (7945') - East Col / South Face Traverse Trip Date: 09/10/2022 Trip Report: LITTLE JOHANNESBURG (7945')– Fisher Creek Basin Approach - SEPT. 10-11, 2022 I’ve been eyeballing this peak for years from all the other peaks I’ve climbed around the area. From Easy Pass it just stares at you looking steep and nasty. On maps it doesn’t have a name, like a forgotten step child. Climbers refer to it as Little Johannesburg. There’s not much information about this climb, if you can find anything at all. I’ve taken pictures of this peak from almost all sides over the years. From my pictures, it looked like the east side of the mountain would offer the least difficult summit route. Since this area seemed to have the least amount of smoke from the various fires burning around the region, I decided this weekend was the time to make the attempt on Little Johannesburg. Saturday: I started from the Easy Pass Trailhead at 9:00am. I arrived at Easy Pass at 11:00am. I followed Fisher Creek trail down to the base of the switchbacks to the beaten up sign post (5140’) and turned left heading up the Fisher Creek Basin. The climbers trail is in pretty good shape at the start but disappears and reappears as you travel up the basin. I reached the camp on the bluff at the top of the Fisher Creek Basin at 1:45pm. I setup camp and heemed and hawed whether I should go for the summit or wait for the next day. The weather was looking good and the smoke was light so I decided to go for the summit and left at 2:50pm. From camp I could see directly up the talus and heather shelves to the East Col at the top that was to the left of the spire. I figured it would take me about 3 hours up and 2 down which would put me back at camp at dark. Most of the route up to the East Col was loose talus side hilling. There was two or three heather and rock plateaus separated by loose talus sections. I climbed on solid rock as much as possible heading up as the talus was not too fun. Most of the rock was Class 2 with a few sections of Class 3 depending on route. The final ramp to the East Col looked pretty steep from a distance, but the closer I got the less steep the ramp appeared. I reached the East Col (7500’) at 4:10pm. From the col I traveled across and diagonal on a rising traverse across the South Face. There was a pretty good shelf system that would work around the several gullies on the way. All the rock was loose so I made sure of all holds before moving through. I aimed for what appeared to be the highest peak from the col, which was the farthest away peak that I could see. Once I made it to the final peak ridge I climbed up on decent rock (Class 3) to the summit arriving at 5:10pm. The summit registry was in an old aluminum can with a screw top lid. The registry was the original from 1968 and was in good shape considering its age. I looked over the summit entries and was surprised how few entries there were. The first entry was 1968 and the second was 1974. There are several years between entries. The more recent entries average about 2 parties per year. I was the second this year. The views were excellent even with the smoke. I started back down at 5:30pm and reached camp at 7:25pm. It was nice to have the summit knocked out on day 1 so I could sleep in the next day. Sunday: It got pretty windy overnight. I woke to a fair amount of smoke in the valley, it had finally caught up to me. I was very happy that I had summited on day 1 as the views on day 2 would not have been that great. I broke down camp and was on my way back at 9:00am. I was back at Easy Pass at 11:15am and I was back at the trailhead at 1:00pm. Overall this was a good climb that has seen very little attention over the years. A hidden gem in plain sight. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Easy Pass Trail is pretty dry right now. The best place for water is the creek crossing with the small logs placed side by side for crossing around 4400’. The next water supply is at the Fisher Creek Basin. 2. The bluff camp (5960’) at the top of the Fisher Creek Basin has lots of water and two defined camp spots. 3. Be ready for extended time on loose rock for this summit. There is not much traffic to clean the route. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead (3700’) to Camp (5960’) to Summit (7945’) to Camp – 10:30 hours. Sunday: Camp to Trailhead – 4:00 hours. Total Mileage: around 19.5 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 7200’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Helmet. Little Johannesburg (Front) Arriva (Behind) taken from Katsuk Camp in late July. Little Johannesburg from Easy Pass. Looking up the talus and heather plateaus to the East Col from upper Fisher Creek Basin. Looking down and toward camp on my way back from the East Col. Looking up to East Col. View across the South Face from the East Col, the summit is the farthest peak in the back. Summit Registry. Summit View straight to Easy Pass. Summit View looking back over route traveled. Mount Arriva, Fisher Peak and Black Peak views. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Helmet. Approach Notes: Easy Pass to Fisher Creek Trail to Fisher Creek Basin
  43. 1 point
    Trip: BOWAN MOUNTAIN (7895') - South Ridge / Southwest Face Trip Date: 09/03/2022 Trip Report: BOWAN MOUNTAIN (7895') – Rainbow Ridge Traverse Approach – SEPT. 3-5, 2022 (Sat, Sun, Mon) Another perfect weather weekend for climbing and a long holiday weekend to boot. Dan O texted and wanted to know what I was doing. I said planning a climb. He said can I go, I said sure. So I had company for this trip, which was a nice change. Saturday: We started from Bridge Creek Trailhead at 6:45am. We headed down the Bridge Creek Trail to McAlester Creek Trail arriving at McAlester Pass (6000’) at 12:00 noon. There is water at McAlester Pass at a lake at the end of the meadow, not the best looking water, but water nonetheless. Distance was about 9.5 miles to the pass and the trails were in excellent shape. 5 minutes down the trail past McAlester Pass was the bootpath for Rainbow Ridge. The bootpath went along a shelf at the base of a boulder field. We walked past it the 1st time and doubled back. The bootpath was well defined with a few sections requiring some searching. The ridge was nice traveling with views of McAlester Mountain. There was some smoke coming up the valley from Lake Chelan, not bad, but enough to make the views hazy. We made it to the main lake on Rainbow Ridge (6100’) at 1:15pm. The lake was very nice and would make a great camp. We made our way up the ridge above the lake, the path was faint at times going up the slope. We made it to another set of lakes on the ridge (6750’) at 2:45pm. Along the way I jumped on top of a rock for a better view and noticed a bush shaking about 50’ away down slope. Out of the back side of the bush came a Grizzly Bear running down the slope heading toward Lake Chelan. I’ve heard of Grizzly Bear sightings in the North Cascades but I had never seen one for myself in the wild. The Grizzly was medium sized and looked pretty young, classic chocolate brown color with the blonde tipped punk rock hair hump between the shoulders. We were both a bit stunned. Holy shit, there are Grizzlies out here! There were several sets of fairly fresh bear tracks in the mud at the second set of lakes. It seems we had worked our way into a bear utopia. We headed up to the summit of Rainbow Ridge (7200’) that offered a great view of Bowan Lake and Mountain. The bootpath ended at the summit. We headed down the ridge toward Bowan Lake. The travel was a bit steep and loose in sections but doable. We arrived at Bowan Lake (6500’) at 5:15pm and decided to make this our camp for the evening. There were also a fair amount of bear tracks around Bowan Lake but they looked to be a day or two old. Sunday: We were up and moving at 6:30am. We headed up the valley toward the south col of Bowan Mountain. We arrived at the south col (7400’) at 7:45am. Our plan was to go up and over Bowan and drop over the summit and follow the ridge down to the Rainbow Lake Trail. One of the maps we had with us made this look like a good option. We started up the south ridge of Bowan, mostly Class 3 rock. We reached a deep gully on the ridge that we could not cross up high, so we headed down looking for a better crossing area for the gully. We found one probably 100 feet down from the ridge. The gully crossing was Class 3 with a little Class 4 depending on your route. We continued across the slope angling up on Class 2 rock. We crossed a couple more gullies using shelf systems along the way that were Class 3. We reached the summit of Bowan at 9:30am. I climbed over to the other side of the summit to check out the route down the ridge and it looked a lot more difficult than expected. Mostly Class 4-5 rock that would require a rope and gear. We had neither so we headed back down the way we came up. Once back at the south col we headed southwest down the slope toward a heather shelf. Once at the heather shelf we headed down and diagonal trending northwest. The hill side was steep heather and rock cliffs all the way down. When we would cliff out we would head across the slope until we found a down route. This pattern was repeated the whole way down. We finally reached the bottom of a deep gully that spit us out on the Rainbow Lake Trail. We headed down the trail to Rainbow Lake arriving at 2:45pm and setup camp for the night. The camps at Rainbow Lake are very nice with a pit toilet. I had planned on climbing McGregor Mountain on this trip along with Bowan. After figuring the amount of time it took to climb Rainbow Ridge and Bowan Mountain, I figured I’d need an extra day to complete the trip over to McGregor and back. I didn’t have an extra day to spare so we settled on summiting Bowan alone. Monday: We were up and moving at 6:45am, heading for home. It was a bit chilly in the morning, Fall was definitely in the air. We headed down Rainbow Lake Trail to Bridge Creek Trail back to the trailhead arriving at 2:15pm. The trails were in excellent condition. On the way back to the trailhead we passed a few people holding a sign about a get together at the trailhead. They said there was a bunch of food for us at the trailhead. We thought OK, we’ll check it out. Little did we know there was a church group that had setup a fantastic spread of food complete with chairs and a shelter. They had hot dogs, chili, beans, cornbread, cookies, brownies, lemonade and more. Coming off the trail dirty and tired, we felt like kings. It was the best ending to a climb I’ve ever had. The people were very friendly and we left with a bag full of food, a homemade cross and a prayer. With so much going wrong in the world today, it was uplifting to experience such great people doing good for total strangers. Some Tips and Notes: 1. There is a lot of bear activity on Rainbow Ridge right now. 2. It requires a lot of work and route finding to get up or down Bowan Mountain from the Rainbow Lake area. 3. Water access was pretty good the whole loop. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Bowan Lake Camp (6500’) – 10:30 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to Camp 2 – 8:30 hours. Monday: Camp 2 to Parking Area – 7:30 hours. Total Mileage: around 28 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 5800’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Helmet. Lake at McAlester Pass. Rainbow Ridge Bootpath. Dan O climbing out of the 1st Rainbow Ridge Lake area. Bear utopia party on the beach at the 2nd set of lakes along Rainbow Ridge. On the way down to Bowan Lake. On the way up to the south col of Bowan Mountain from Bowan Lake Camp. Heading up the South Ridge of Bowan Mountain. On the South Ridge of Bowan Mountain, Lake Chelan Valley in the background. 1st Gully Crossing on Bowan. Class 3-4. Final gully exit coming down from Bowan, popping out on Rainbow Lake Trail. Bowan Mountain from Rainbow Lake. View of McGregor Mountain on the way down Rainbow Lake Trail. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Helmet. Approach Notes: Entered via McAlester Creek Trail, did the Rainbow Ridge Traverse, Exited via Rainbow Lake Trail
  44. 1 point
    Trip: Chair Peak - NE Buttress Trip Date: 01/17/2021 Trip Report: Climbed NE Buttress of Chair Peak on Sunday 01/17/21. Snowshoe approach with headlamps was warm and wet, with a persistent drizzle. This led to the avalanche slopes along the Snow Lake approach shedding copious roller balls. Despite this, the slopes showed no sign of worrying instability in an impromptu pit test. Roller ball trails clearly visible The snow was well consolidated and rather deep from the recent storm cycle and freezes, so we were optimistic about route conditions. This held true, but the weather wasn't as good. Chair basin itself was in near whiteout conditions with relatively strong winds when we stashed our snowshoes at Thumbtack rock, but with an 11am storm break in the forecast we hoped the flurries would be gone for the higher pitches. The approach ridge to the climb itself was okay snow with some cornicing on the north side. Base of NE Buttress route from ridge The first pitch was fat with both ice and snow, but the ice was weak in many places and would not always take a screw reliably. The tree anchors for the p2 ridge and p3 belay were almost entirely buried, but the snow was solid enough 2 or 3 pieces of pro a pitch felt adequate. The p4 ice step was in and seemed to be in good condition both for climbing and placing screws. P1 ice conditions P4 Ice conditions P5 went easy, and we decided to forgo the summit scramble in favor of making our way down early, not wanting to get benighted on such a low vis day. Needless to say, the 11am storm break predicted never came. We made our way to the correct rap gulley with the help of @DPS's beta, using a double rope rappel to get quickly to the mouth where the snow slope begins. This was a good call, the anchor cornice was rather large and using a single rope would have left us exposed to it in the gulley while pulling the rope. Either there were no anchors from that point, or they were buried. We drove a questionable piton underneath a rock overhang skiers left of the gulley mouth for a second rap to avoid some of the steep snow downclimbing at that point. Partial view of descent gulley with cornice in foreground Descent went as planned. Summary: As of 01/17/21, the route is in good condition, with high snow levels and decent ice higher up on the mountain. Rock gear was used for reliable belays, while many usual rock protection spots were somewhat buried along pitches so ice screws were placed often, even if questionable ice quality was encountered. Gear Notes: Cams .3 to 1 taken, only .4 used. Small and medium nuts used. Ice screws of various lengths used. One snow picket placed, but snow conditions made for bomber pickets if one took the time. Double 60ms for the rappel. Approach Notes: Approach on snowshoes unpleasant due to extensive avalanche debris fields at the time.
  45. 1 point
    With some time on my hands with the quarantine and all, I decided to compile some research. Here's a list of "forgotten" Cascade alpine testpieces (ice focused) or FACTs. Feel free to add some others I left out! Who's gonna be the first to tick the entire list? I apologize for all the weird formatting. I just copied this post from my blog https://climberkyle.com/2020/03/22/forgotten-cascade-alpine-ice-routes/. I90 I90 climbs offer the best access and easiest conditions to predict. There are undoubtedly many more climbs to be discovered in this area with easy access, generally good rock, and surprisingly rugged little mountains. Mt. Kent, North Face (multiple variations): the greatest north face in the Snoqualmie region with many long 1000 ft lines. Bonus: you can see conditions from I90 near exit 42 while driving west! This has been super high on my list to explore. Snoqualmie Mt, North Face (multiple variations): an abundance of mixed ice lines like the classic New York Gully and the lesser known Pineapple Express and Blue Moon. Abiel Peak, North Face (multiple variations): the “Ben Nevis” of the PNW has many shorter alpine ice and mixed lines. Bryant Peak, Hot Tubbs: Maybe this route hasn’t been around long enough since Jacob and I published it, but it reportedly hasn’t seen much action, so I think it’ll be forgotten soon enough… Summit Chief Mountain, North Face: Colin Haley said this line had “more ice climbing than any other Cascade ice climb” he had ever done at the time. Big compliment. The North Face is much like Dragontail, just fatter. Peak 3964, False Idol: An incredible 10 pitch ice route off the Middle Fork Snoqualmie that needs very cold temps to form. I believe this is just scratching the surface of the ice potential in the Middle Fork. US2 US2 offers some hotspots like the Stuart Range, with its steep granite peaks, and a sprinkling of other incredible routes in the Lake Wenatchee area. Weather is generally colder and drier on the east side, which is good for ice. Chiwawa Mountain, Intravenous: Cutting edge Colin Haley mixed route deep in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Buck Mountain, Buckshot: Another bold line in a wilderness setting. One of the great underrated north faces in Washington. Mt. Index, North Face: Steepest peak in Washington, visible from the highway. Always an involved matter for a sub-6000 ft peak. Another huge route is Murphy's Law. Dragontail Peak, NE Couloir: This route feels much more full on than Triple Couloirs next door, and seems to be difficult to get in proper (fall) conditions. Colchuck Peak, NE Buttress Couloir: Often overlooked with Triple Couloirs and the North Buttress Couloir next door. Ends with a cornice-tunnel! Argonaut Peak, NE Couloir: Also a rock/snow route in early summer, this can be a fantastic mixed/ice route in late fall. Mt. Stuart, Ice Cliff Glacier: a technically easy but deceptively committing and full-on climb in a wild setting. Argonaut Peak, Chad Kellog Memorial Route: Challenging new age mixed route in the heart of the Stuart Range. Mt. Stuart, Lara Kellog Memorial Route: Climbs the incredible NE Face of Stuart above the Ice Cliff Glacier. Looks directly across to the Chad Kellog Memorial Route. Mt. Stuart, Stuart Glacier Couloir: A classic route where the crux is arguable climbing the west ridge in mixed winter conditions. Nason Ridge, Alpine Dropout: A fantastic looking ice route that sits just above Lake Wenatchee. Mountain Loop Close to Seattle but tragically overlooked, the peaks of the Mountain Loop are as rugged as anywhere in the North Cascades but with surprisingly decent winter access. The myriad of big climbs in this little region speaks volume to the incredible terrain. Big Four Mt, North Face (multiple variations): multiple routes, including the famous Spindrift Couloir. This is a mighty north face, and routes often take multiple days. Hall Peak, North Face: little brother to Big Four supposedly has some ice routes. Three Fingers, NE Face: This is a big route on a surprisingly big mountain. I believe there’s much more potential on the east side of Three Fingers. Whitechuck Mt, E Face Couloir: A very aesthetic couloir ice/mixed route. Access can be challenging unless it is a very low snow year. Whitehorse Mt, E Couloir: This steep route splits the Squire Creek Headwall for a fantastic line. I think it might even be visible from Darrington?! Sperry Peak, E Face Gully: Another beautiful, long, moderate ice/mixed route that likely varies in technicality from fall to spring. Sloan Peak, Full Moon Fever: This route climbs the weakness on the NW Face of Sloan. Having been at the base, I can say there is HUGE potential all over the place near the route. Sloan Peak, Superalpine: I certainly hope this climb isn’t forgotten, as Porter and I believe it is truly the best moderate alpine ice route we have climbed in the Cascades (better than Cosley Houston or the NW Couloir of Eldorado), but I know how things go around here… Lake 22 Headwall: who would think that one of the greatest alpine walls in the Cascades was just a short hour drive and hike from Seattle? There are so many unclimbed 2000 ft lines up this face, and you can get conditions updates by searching Instagram! Highway 20 Highway 20 undoubtedly has many huge ice lines, but difficult winter access has limited exploration. During lower snow years, the Cascade River Road could be a great area for exploration and development. Eldorado Peak, NW Ice Couloir: This route was sort of “remembered” in Fall 2019 when probably 20 parties climbed it (me included), but it’s a fantastic easier route, so I’ll leave it here. Colonial Peak, North Face (multiple routes): The mega line Watusi Rodeo offers 4000 ft of front point terrain and is “easily” accessible all winter. First Date is another attractive route. Pyramid Peak, NE Face (multiple routes): Home to some challenging mixed/ice routes on a wonderfully aesthetic peak. Graybeard, North Face: Everyone seems to report this deceptively big route deepened their sense of mortality. Davis Peak, No Milkshakes: the north face of Davis Peak is supposedly the steepest vertical mile drop in Washington. Silver Star, West Face Couloir: Originally planned as a ski descent, it actually turned out to be a huge ice climb! Visible from the highway, but you probably need a sled to get up there. Cutthroat Peak, Cauthorn Wilson: Gaining popularity lately, can be climbed right before the highway closes or after it opens. Early Winters Couloir: This one is sort of a classic and can be climbed in both fall and spring. Highway 542 The areas around Baker and Shuksan are generally well explored, but still offer great adventure. The Black Buttes are one of the centerpieces for hard alpine ice climbing. Lincoln Peak, Wilkes-Booth: A huge, challenging route on one of the hardest peaks in Washington. Assassin Spire, NW Face: Considered by many to be the toughest summit in Washington, this was also the first peak where the first ascent was made in winter. Colfax Peak, Ford’s Theater: The “forgotten” next door neighbor of the ultra classic Cosley Houston. Mt. Rainier / Tatoosh This area is dominated by the mountain, but I’m guessing the Tattosh have good stuff and certainly easy access. Rainier, Mowich Face: A long moderate route on the “quiet” (NW) side of the big hunk-a-hunk. Rainier, Ptarmigan Ridge: A steeper, more sustained route than its next door neighbor, the world-renowned Liberty Ridge. Mt. Hood I don’t know much about Hood, but I’m sure there are some great routes that are infrequently climbed, so I’ll take suggestions here!
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Sloan Peak - FA: Superalpine (WI3-4, 1000') Trip Date: 02/28/2020 Trip Report: On February 28th, 2020, @PorterM and I made what we believe to be the first winter ascent of the West Face of Sloan Peak. We climbed an incredible line approximately 1000 ft long of WI3-4 and steep snow climbing before our route joined the final 600 ft of snowfields to the summit. On the very final ice step, I suffered a short fall on rotten ice and a heinous top out and broke a few bones in the right side of my face. We bailed down the route and skied out. So technically, I guess we didn't finish the route, so say what you want about it. Our route started with a WI4ish pitch followed by hundreds of feet of stellar WI3 rambly flows in a gully just to the climber's right of the true west ridge spur on Sloan Peak. In our eyes, this was the only way up the true west face under WI4+/5. The whole face is loaded with huge free hanging daggers and wild lines. A competent WI6/M6 climber in the right conditions could send some absolute world class lines up there. I shared a lot more details, reflections on the accident, and route beta on my blog: https://climberkyle.com/2020/02/28/fa-sloan-peak-superalpine-wi3-4-1000/. Hopefully some others can get up there and finish this magnificent climb or poach some of the other unclimbed lines. Our route. up to where I fell. We were about to join the corckscrew route and head out. We climbed the gully on the right side of the photo. First pitch crux. Moving into the wonderful ice gully. Porter leading on that fat, fun, rambly WI3. The climbing in the gully was generally easy, sustained, and super fun! Incredible flows on the west face. Some helpful beta. Gear Notes: Screws, maybe a few small rock pieces and a picket. Approach Notes: Skin/hike forest service road 4096, then meander up Bedal Creek to the base of the west face.
  47. 1 point
    Just one shortie Snarg, used 3x in the blessed turf blobs. Some very crappy phone pics follow... The first page of the newest Testament: The first 3 meters off the ground: The next 15 meters, which set the tone for most of the climbing: Looking straight up last pitch and summit cornice. (The few other pics I took during the climb were too crappy for publication): Summit shot. If you look closely you can see the chiseled Fingers of Fate: This climb, in the conditions we found it, is harder and more sustained than NYG and PE and all their variations. Though Rolf said that's because we're old now. Praise be Turf for without it we are NOTHING!
  48. 1 point
    Trip: Middle Fork, Peak 3964 - False Idol, WI3+, 500m (FA) Date: 1/6/2017 Trip Report: On January 6, 2017, at the end of a prolonged cold snap, I established a long waterfall ice route on the NE face of Peak 3964 in the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River valley with Dave Jordan. Our route climbs two tiers of ice, separated by a few rope lengths of snow covered waterice and snice. The first 200 meters is classic waterfall ice climbing, while the upper bits have more thoughtful protection akin to our local alpine climbing. All told, it is reminiscent of Guinness Gully in the Canadian Rockies. We found the route to be very worthwhile and not overly committing--given the bountiful rappel trees on both sides of the route. Peak 3964 (left) and Revelation Peak (right). The route climbs the right side of the Y-shaped clearing. False Idol The route from the approach Dave on the 90 meter WI3 second step (pitches 3-4). Parties interested in making this an alpine adventure can continue for another couple rope lengths and attain the summit. There is an easy gully on the SW side of the peak that could likely be used to skip the copious tree rappels down the route. The route is named in keeping with the biblical theme of the area. False Idol WI3+, 500m FA: Kurt Hicks, Dave Jordan 6 January, 2017 Approach map: Gear Notes: 10-14 ice screws, 2 ropes to rappel. No rock gear currently needed. Approach Notes: Park at the Middle Fork Snoqualmie trailhead. Cross the river and turn right onto the Pratt Connector Trail. Follow this downstream for about 30 minutes until at the bottom of a long set of descending stairs (near a large outcrop with a mini cave in it). Turn left off the trail and ascend steeply up a gully. Continue generally up and slightly left through open woods. Stay to the right of a decent sized flowing creek and gain some large old growth trees. We continued up a short snowy talus field before moving right onto a treed rib and up to the base of the route. If you're bushwhacking, you're blowing the approach. 1.5 hours from the car. Descent was made via rappels from trees on the climber's right side of the climb. Two ropes are recommended, though we did an endless series of single rope raps since we only brought one cord.
  49. 1 point
    I hope these pics give you a feel for the good time we had last Saturday. Also, I'd like to recognize Kevin and his regular climbing partner Doug (who couldn't make it due to work) as the masterminds of this climb, and that I was just a lucky dude who happened to have an obligation-free Saturday. Will leading insecure 'shampoo ice' on pitch one - *camera tilt unintentional. "it's been a while since i've climbed ice" "thumbs up" for bomber rock anchors!! *Sorry no summit pic for ya, Wijavascript:void(0)ll! - Stoked to be back at the 'bivy boulder' after a disorienting descent in a whiteout
  50. 1 point
    Trip: Rebel Yell (7p, 5.10), Chianti Spire - Date: 8/12/2010 Trip Report: Jason and I were ready to get our hands on some good rock climbing, so we spent the last couple of days in the Wine Spires. Our main objective was the East Face of Chianti Spire, otherwise known as Rebel Yell. This route features 7 pitches of sustained and solid crack climbing, complete with a couple of offwidth sections. Although Rebel Yell can be climbed car-to-car in a day, we camped overnight at Burgundy col, and also climbed Silver Star and Vasiliki Tower. Plus, I took a lot of night photos - the Milky Way was quite distinct with the new moon. As usual, I've posted full trip reports and photos on my website: Rebel Yell: https://sites.google.com/site/stephabegg/home/tripreports/washington/northcascades/chianti Silver Star and Vasiliki Tower: https://sites.google.com/site/stephabegg/home/tripreports/washington/northcascades/silverstar Here are some photos: