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  1. Trip: Sloan Peak - West Face "The Sloan Slither" Trip Date: 01/29/2023 Team @Tucker_Merrill Trip Report: Sunday January 29th Aaron Minton and I attempted an ice route on the West face of Sloan peak. The climbing involved difficulties up to WI4+ and we eventually linked up with the upper portion of the Superalpine route to attempt the summit. We reach 200 vertical feet below the summit before turning around. From photos and a scouting trip earlier that week I thought that a line would go following ice flows and traversing snowy ledges up the west face. I was able to convince Aaron to come try this line with me. We met in Darrington the night before organized our rack then headed to the TH. We found the road to be fairly clear. Someone had come and cut down the trees blocking the road up Bedel creek. As we drove our cars up NF road 4096 the minivan struggled but Aaron was behind me with his Rav 4 and gave me a push with his car up the steep sections. It worked surprisingly well. We drove our cars up to about 2400ft before we couldn't continue due to snow. We parked, finalized some packing, and went to bed. We woke up at 2:30 and left the cars at 3:15. I knew the conditions were primed for booting and skies would just slow us down on the way up so we left them at the car. We followed the approach beta from the Superalpine TR from Porter McMichael and Kyle McCrohen (Thanks guys!) and the boot pack I had put in previously that week with Jeff McGowen. PHOTO CREDIT: JOHN SCURLOCK a photo of our line to our turn around about 200ft below the summit We arrived at the base of the route around 7:20. It was quite cold as we unpacked and racked up. We took off around 8. Aaron heading up the snow gully The first section involved a snow gully with some low angle ice. Aaron dragged the ropes up easy terrain to the first steep pitch at the base of the amphitheater. There is a selection of ice flows at the start but the best option we decided was the one that took us directly to the next steep ice pitch. Aaron took off leading the first pitch finding hollow aerated ice. A great way to wake up the nerves in the morning! First pitch went at WI3 with less than ideal ice screws. After topping out the ice Aaron had to cross a snow slope to reach a rock belay. probably ended up being a 60m pitch maybe 62m (unsure if we simuled or not). Once at the belay it was my turn he handed over the rest of the rack and I traversed 15m over to the second steep ice pitch and took off finding another WI3 pitch with aerated ice and dispersed ice screws for protection. The top out puts you right at the next ice flow but I didn't want to belay right underneath it so I chose a rock belay to the right. The rock was a little less than ideal but you could manage to find better gear if you dug around. Starting up the 2nd pitch of steep ice Belaying Aaron up the 2nd pitch Next Aaron took over and ran the ropes up another short ice step and across some snow to belay staring up at the beautiful hanging dagger. With the dagger in full sun we were a little skeptical about climbing directly underneath it so we looked around at our options. There was another ice flow looking around WI5ish about 150ft to our right which we debated over. We finally decided to take the WI3 ramp for the sake of time and honestly neither of us were super psyched to lead a WI5 with questionable pro being weighed down by a heavy rack and packs. (definitely a sweet option for a stronger party!) We romped up the easy ramp as quickly as we could to get out of the overhead hazard and got to the big snowy ledge traverse. Aaron being the fearless monster that he is on snow traversed through a tunnel of trees and rocks, which turned out to be good fun! This ledge took us to the bottom of the money pitch. Aaron romping up the easy ice past the overhanging dagger Belaying up the easy ice with the hanging dagger just out of frame above the photo This is the best shot I have of the rock leading to the dagger Aaron heading into the rock and tree tunnel Looking across the snow traverse to the money pitch $$$ Looking back across the snow traverse I will mention the higher we got on the route the ice quality improved a lot. The money pitch is a sweet 30m WI4 flow with good ice and an engaging bulge at the top which leads me to give it a WI4+ rating. As I climbed I found myself enjoying the exposure and good protection. After pulling the bulge there was another 50ft of WI3. As I was putting in protection to climb up the last ice step I bumped a half placed ice screw with my tool and knocked it down to its final resting place somewhere up on the west face. Finders Keepers! After climbing up the final step I got 2 good screws and belayed up Aaron. He wanted to call the ice bulge WI7(satirically) because I had knocked the dagger I used as a foot off when climbing it and he had to pull the bulge at a much steeper angle than I did. We topped out the final ice flow and joined up with the Superalpine route. Working my way up the crux pitch! Really high quality climbing with good pro. Belaying Aaron up the crux Looking at the upper slopes of Sloan. Superalpine goes up the obvious snow slope on the right. To our advantage we found really good snow conditions up top. The wind had blown off any new snow and the freeze thaw had produced really nice snow climbing conditions. We took off simul climbing up to 200ft of the summit. We pondered taking it to the top but ultimately decided with the setting sun and the fact that we hadn't done the descent turned us around to go search for the rappels of the Superalpine route with the last of the daylight. Quick selfie before turning around Starting our down-climb. Someone solod up the corkscrew route and those are their tracks above. we did not make it that far. This was immediately after we decided to turn around. As the sun set the winds began to pick up sending spindrift down on us as we began rappelling Superalpine. This spindrift followed us all the way down the rappels. BRRRR! We made about 7-8 rappels using V-thready, a piton anchor we had to make because lack of ice at the end of a rappel, and a small shrub. This brought us back down to our trekking poles. Tired cold and wet we repacked and began the slog back to the cars. We eventually reached the cars at 1:15am for a total of 22hrs on the go. I subsequently drove the dirt road until I hit pavement parked at a random pullout slept for 3 hours then finished the drive to arrive at school just before class started. Overall this climb was my first of this kind where I wandered up unknown terrain with just a photo and psych. It was a really enjoyable experience and I hope this TR can inspire others to check out this awesome zone! Idk if it can be called an FA because we did not reach the summit, and we joined up with a pre-existing route. maybe a variation? All the more it was an awesome day out with good company and lots of stoke! Gear Notes: We brought a hefty rack singles .1-#2 rack of nuts and micronuts 5KBs 10 screws 3 (10cm) 4 (13cm) 2 (17cm) and 1 (21cm), 2 60m half ropes Approach Notes: See Kyle and Porters TR they have all the beta! Also plenty of running water in the drainage up to 4500ft
    13 points
  2. Trip: Baker - Easton Glacier Trip Date: 01/29/2023 Team @geosean @Albuquerque Fred Trip Report: Me and Fred have decided we need to get into bigger mountains, so to get ready for cold weather we decided on doing some winter volcanoes, Baker being the easiest nearby. The weather seemed perfect if somewhat cold, and @thedylan offered to give us a tow with his snowmobile so the trip was a go! On Saturday morning Dylan (really his wife Ellie drove) towed us from the snow line to the summer trailhead where we started skinning. We skinned up the groomed, that's right groomed! Track up the Easton Glacier drainage to about 4400 ft where we broke left and headed to Park Butte. We ditched our stuff at the lookout then went for a look around for a couple of hours. We had a pleasant but very chilly evening hanging out in the lookout drinking and chatting. After a very leisurely wake up of 5:00 a.m. and an extremely slow leisurely time getting out of the lookout we were finally on our way in the bitter cold. Fortunately the sun came up pretty soon and because it's mid winter it was shining right on us immediately. The sun the previous two days made for really gross icy crust over soft powder that would have made for tough skinning if it wasn't for all the snowmobile tracks everywhere. Somewhat ironically they basically broke the trail for us. Eventually we got high enough that the crust gave way to rime and hard wind packed sastrugi. We eventually put ski crampons on but not for very long and then at about the crater we switched to crampons and left our skis behind. The Roman Wall was extremely firm, but probably would have been okay if not a little hair raising. All the way to here the predicted wind had really not materialized and we'd been skinning in the sun so it was almost pleasant despite being in the single digits. But once we hit the summit plateau the wind started blasting and the temperature dropped hugely. So we spent all of maybe 10 minutes on the summit and turned right around again. The whole way up we have been thinking how crappy the ski down was going to be since the conditions were very variable with the only constant being firm. But actually everything ended up being pretty decent if you like hard icy skiing, which at 9,000 ft in the winter is more than you dare ask for. The way out down the groomed snowmobile highway also went shockingly well. As long as you don't mind a lot of traffic. It's definitely not your normal wilderness experience but I can't complain. We went into this trip hoping to learn something about how to deal with cold weather like the rest of the world experiences most of the time and all I really learned is to try to keep my nose covered, man was it red and sore on Monday. Approach: Sunset over the Twins: Nearing the summit: Fred skiing: Gear Notes: Glacier stuff, ski stuff, camping stuff, whiskey. Approach Notes: Snowmobile, it would be an easy skin.
    3 points
  3. First-time post, recently moved to WA and been looking for some ice. Went out to Whitepine, east of Stevens Pass on Sunday with the cold temps. Things clearly got beat-up with the warm-up on Wednesday/Thursday but found some climb-able stuff to do some laps on. Led up the left side, larger pillar on the right was unfortunately detached at the top. The mixed/ice lines closer to the parking area weren't in on Sunday but seemed to be fattening up, would be curious what they look like on say, Thursday morning. Was cold Sunday night/Monday morning (still around 11 degrees according to my car near Lake Wenatchee) so temps are promising. Oh and there is a bolted anchor above this stuff on Whitepine, but unfortunately its also a bunch of frozen tat-slings run directly through the bolts with various rings on it. Next time I'm up I'll try to bring a chain/quick links to clean up the anchor unless someone beats me to it.
    3 points
  4. I added photo credit for the first photo, it was taken by John Scurlock. It is important that we do this for John's photos (as well anyone else's). He works really hard and and spent a lot of time, energy, and money on his photos. If you don't have a copy of his book you should get one to support his work! https://www.jaggedridgeimaging.com/snow-spire-the-book
    2 points
  5. Thank you for adding the photo credit. I forget that that is an important part of using other peoples photos.
    1 point
  6. I love how this TR is getting folks out of the woodwork!! Bi-winning. Tiger Blood.
    1 point
  7. That hanging dagger is too good not to climb! I think it deserves at least an attempt on gear before we start tossing bolts in.
    1 point
  8. Good job! Didn't know it got a prior winter ascent. -Mike Layton (lost my "layton" sign in somehow)
    1 point
  9. I'd be up for turning over to USFS and managed as wilderness. They would need to retain limited entry for the really popular areas, but I bet the numbers could be increased a bit with some more toilets. USFS does a great job with way more people in the Enchantments. Might slow down the out-of-towners if it wasn't a National Park.😂 And, to be clear, this will never happen. But fun to blather about it.
    1 point
  10. So I'm pivoting on how I'm going to restore the Trip Report Search function. Sorry it is taking so long. I just decided that I'm no longer going to try to get it to work as it was (because the way it was set up was not ideal for several reasons) but instead I'm going to be doing a rewrite so that is better set up for the future and also so that we can enhance it to make it better. I'm having a friend of mine help with that, so some of the money you all have been sending in is going to go to him he is a super valuable resource to me and will be worth every penny...but at the same time he won't charge too much and views the whole thing as a challenge (he is retired). For now you can use Google, and forum member and sponsor (thank you Geoff!!!) @Geoff M documented this handy method of using Google to search our site for whatever it is you're looking for (put this into Google Search: Of course our model is to dump any reliance on big corporate internet companies as much as possible, so TR Search remains the top priority, but we just went to put it together right and have just started down that road.
    1 point
  11. The bar keeps getting raised! Nice to see a couple of “Worldly” people on the big local venues! now, when does that Rock-wall get bolted?
    1 point
  12. I mean I just represent one small opinion, and that is all it is, and I don't belong to a mysterious public sector cabal of elites, but I don't mind having one place in this country where there are no roads and the trails are faint or even in disrepair....like untouched wilderness as much as that is possible these days. I'm not saying that is the mission of the US Park service, but just my personal opinion it isn't a bad thing. It isn't a religion for me, but there are lots of trails and roads that are maintained elsewhere. I don't mind one park where it is just a wild vast. But I understand that isn't for everyone...thats why its just my opinion.....man. I'm not speaking, of course, to any actual disfunction or failure of the Park Service to do its mission, whatever that may be in this particular case. In a personal sense, I think that would me I could bring my dog into the area, which he would like. Would be interested in specific examples and implications of what the USFS or State of WA do better, and how that would benefit the NCNP land beyond maintaining trails and roads.
    1 point
  13. If you’re on the East side of hwy 2, you should check out Colchuck Consignment in Cashmere. They started during Covid with a shop on their property upstream, and now have a really great bigger building. It’s a consignment shop obviously so the inventory is always changing, but they have seasonally appropriate stuff , rentals, a gear repair guy, and they do movies occasionally and other community events. It’s a rad local project and I drop in whenever I’m down there. Example: hilleberg Nallo 2 in new shape for $250, rap rings for $1, Arcteryx Sabre pants in great shape for $150. Lots of ski, climb, backpack cycling stuff. Check them out! https://www.colchuckconsignment.com/
    1 point
  14. Anybody got a hut trip to the Great White North in the works? Here are views high above the Stanley Mitchell hut a few years ago.
    1 point
  15. OK I'm going do some nepotism and have my son design them, but won't get to that till mid-Feb.
    1 point
  16. That is super cool! This forum probably gets the most traffic, but I could also see it in the rock climbing or Alaska sections. I confess I've never heard of this area, will look it up!
    1 point
  17. My kids are on the cusp of leaving the nest. Your post takes me back... My advice is simple: separate your workout/fun desires from activities with your kids and you'll be more likely to make everyone happy, including yourself. So get fit enough to get out with your friends once or twice a month. It'll be good for your body and soul. Cover parenting so your partner can have a similar opportunity. And do family-focused outdoor fun whenever you can. Just being in nature is good for everyone, even small kids. For family fun, keep in mind that often staying close to the trailhead is easier. You and your kid can have more fun playing in the snow bank across from the Alpental parking lot or near Gold Creek Pond than walking two miles in a crowded trail to Source Lake basin. If kids have a great time doing stuff outdoors with you they might be more inclined to keep doing it - with or without you - as they grow older. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself. Have fun!
    1 point
  18. One more thought: they get cold easier than you do. Less muscle for heat production--even in motion and relative to their total size. Don't assume they are warm just because you are. I made this mistake a couple times.
    1 point
  19. Hello everyone! Here's sunrise on J-Berg,taken during a climb of Forbidden on August 28, 2022
    1 point
  20. The wife only allowed me to take one of our two. No, not divorced, rather, some kind of weird Dawkinsesque mentality. Anyhow, he's 33 now, and might beg to differ--but I think I showed him a pretty good time. 1&2 - Olympus summit and Blue Glacier age 14 3 - Baker age 15, I think. 4 - Winter on Ellinor. Age 11? 5&6 - Age 12 in the Wrangell Nountains (Blackburn behind us) Lots of other great trips. His first backpack was Enchanted Valley when he was six. He never has summited Rainier. Under 2? Day hikes only. And car/tent camping. Advice? Have a good time. Don't come home without them.
    1 point
  21. And also huge thanks to those that threw down as well.
    1 point
  22. Indeed. @JasonG feel free to earmark if you want this to go to certain efforts or whatever. We will make sure this happens. This whole community is in your debt for this. But at the same time I would also recognized all the other effort you have put forth to keep this place alive: Stepping up to be a moderator. Being a general advocate for the site. Much more than this.... But the biggest one in my book: Creating some of the best content this site has ever seen (consistent and numerous high quality trip reports with professional grade photography) Thank you, you are appreciated.
    1 point
  23. Yeah, lots of good advice in here, I can relate to the end of the world feeling from my broken neck and back in 2020 although as things go my recovery was fairly straightforward and quick. Attitude is huge and sometimes all you can control (other than religiously doing your pt). It really helped to just keep focused on getting back to what you love and telling yourself you can over and over. Do whatever you can to get outside, even if it’s just rolling a wheelchair in the yard and build from there . Watch movies and read Alpinist for stoke (a buddy got me a subscription for a gift when I was down). Just keep keeping on and you’ll get there. We are all cheering for ya!
    1 point
  24. Well, that sounds quite rough. I think a year is probably realistic, unfortunately. But at least you have a supportive wife and young kids to keep you entertained during rehab! Hang in there and keep us updated!
    1 point
  25. It's so true. His "Range of Glaciers" is an impressive historical tome. My anthropologist boss came to me some time ago and asked if I'd heard of this Fred Beckey guy. She was very impressed with his historical research (this is her life's work) and knew how hard-won that book was. She had no idea of his climbing accomplishments. I told her he was the "Michael Jordan" of climbing and that all of us climbers knew of him and his many legendary exploits. "Yeah? Well MJ didn't do groundbreaking historical work on the side." Fred was truly a remarkable man.
    1 point
  26. As shared by @CascadeClimber in another thread, but with a clear call to action in the post title: https://www.change.org/p/restore-mount-rainier-weekday-winter-access/ Also his list of effective instructions:
    1 point
  27. Is there any headway on this, I am recovering for the next 4months and would like to help more. I just don't know what else I can do. Located in yelm, and spend a lot of time there normally. Also thanks Olyclimber for the refreshing of the site I have been here a while but in able to recover my own for a year🤦. Thanks so much!
    1 point
  28. I'm done! I guess I won't be able to keep the Bulgers at Bay any longer. And yes, you most certainly need to go up there @geosean!
    1 point
  29. We save warning points for people who post wearing masks.
    1 point
  30. Only a part-timer here in WA now. Mostly reside in a good state, at the foot of a lonely mountain range with very small glaciers, a few grizzlies--and absolutely no face masks, patagucci attire or urban arrogance. How's everyone here? I see some some diehards still about, and a few good trip reports. Mount Hunter, even! Sheesh. Incredible! Where's that crazy eastern European guy with the German and Russian heritage? And that chubby goatee lightbulb artist who turned a Liberty Ridge TR into a treatise on anal sex? And Ivan THC? Is he still Zinndoctrinating young children? I actually liked him. His Ptarmigan Ridge TR remains my all-time favorite. His gate-buster Volvo video a close second.😂 Still climbing, I guess fit for a 60-something. But mostly the same old high alpine traverse type stuff in a new range. Endurance, navigation, scrambling, beautiful campsites, fun. Survived a couple bouts with death a few years ago, but not in the mountains. Recovered and retired. Pub Club? Maybe. But I would never set foot in Seattle. Haven't, in fact, for over seven years. But I have to be fair about this--it's not the city itself I dislike, rather, it's the people who live there.😁 Merry Christmas!
    1 point
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