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  1. 7 points
    Trip: Little Liberty Bell - (Partial New route) Narcos, 5.9 600ft Trip Date: 07/11/2020 Trip Report: Yesterday I went up to try and do a new route solo on little liberty bell. It’s entirely possible that some or all of this route has been climbed before, I know for sure that the first and last pitch have been climbed, but I really couldn’t tell about the rest of the route. With that being said, I’m calling what I climbed Narcos. I’ll explain the name at the end. The approach. You may be able to approach straight up the basin from the road and cut off some distance but add some gain. P1, 5.7+—Start up the clean cracks up the big left trending ramp to the tree. If there is still snow you can climb up small corners and overlaps to the left that meet up about half way. This is what I climbed to avoid snow. Build a gear belay in a 1” horizontal below the tree, this is a much better stance. There were slings on this tree when I got there and some placements seemed to be cleaned out. On the last rappel. P1 follows the cool looking cracks up the ramp on the left. I ended up climbing the flakes to the left of the ramp to avoid the snow. P2, 5.9—Follow the horizontal straight right and up a bit. Follow good edges and cracks until you reach a nice looking finger crack, climb it up to some good ledges. From there follow ledges back left past a small tree (your last pro) and two large loose looking blocks sitting on the ledge, maybe don’t pull on them. Once you reach a good belay ledge, climb up a little further to a solid horizontal. Build your belay here and extend it down to the ledge if you can. There seems to be a more vertical option going straight up and right to a nice looking LFC. I didn’t climb this as I had intended on climbing new ground. It may have been climbed before. It is marked in blue on the topo. Looking up the improbable traverse on pitch 2. There is much more pro than in the picture. This is after cleaning the pitch. The 5.9ish finger crack, it's steeper than it looks. P1 visible below. The blocks I traversed across and tree I slung at the top of P2. P3, 5.7+ PG13—Go up the bush choked corner for about 15 feet until you can step left into good flakes that parallel the larger right facing corner. Follow these up to a series of ledges and a large chimney/flake. Chimney up the outside edge of this flake to avoid lots of pine needles and bushes until you can reach a cleaned out .75 crack, place something there. Down climb a little bit until you can step right onto a series of ledges/ramps. Follow these up the slab passing one Piton (my first pin placement on a route) and up the sharp arete. From the top of this climb back down left to a ledge below an arching right facing corner. Belay here on finger sized gear. This pitch could avoid the runout chimney and arete climbing in the future if the cracks were cleaned out. I had originally tried going straight up some solid cracks on this pitch, but after the cracks petered out and encountered some very hollow rock I left a nut and bailed on this option. Looking up P3. I only followed the bushy corner for a few moves before stepping left. This is after cleaning the pitch on the way down, the red c3 is a directional, not the only piece. Looking down the good flakes in the middle of P3 on the way back down. The runout chimney on P3 My very first pin placement, I had to document. There is no rope drag in the rope solo system, hence my sketch "quick draw" P4, 5.8+ —Climb up the fun arching corner and then right via hollow sounding but fun flakes (place nuts here not cams). Step right around an arete into a nice right facing corner, you are now on the Wright-Pond. Follow this up to a bolted belay. P5, 5.8, 45m—Same as P4 of the Wright-Pond. Description taken from MP. Climb the blocky corner/chimney up past a tree until you gain a low-angled slab. Head left across the slab to a wide hand and fist crack hidden in a left-facing corner. Exit the corner up and right on blocky but easy ground to low-angled ledges. Belay on a tree with slings. From here you can scramble to the summit. Descend via the Wright-Pond with 4 double rope rappels on bolted anchors. Good views of Silverstar & co! I think this route could clean up nicely and be a good 5.9ish option up the feature. It is hard for me to grade it accurately as the dirt, lichen, and self belay results in things feeling harder and scarier at times. I tried to grade it for someone who knew where they were going and had a hand on the break strand of their grigri. On the hike down I got a little off route (there is no route) and ended up in some pretty damn thick brush. While trying to force my way down the hill I stumbled upon a pile of white crystals under a small tree. My first thought was “wow, that’s a weird Fungus”, then I took another step and saw black canvas in the bush in front of me. My heart stopped as my first thought was I had found a dead body of a missing hiker, or murder victim. I got a better look and realized that it was a large black duffle bag, unzipping it I finally realized what it was. A 35lb duffle of crystal meth, street value of about $350k give or take. I dragged the bag to a slightly more visible location and marked the spot on my phones GPS. I drove down to Mazama the next morning to report what I’d found. I ended up leading some heavily armed cops up and helped them carry out the “package”. It’s possible that I made a very big mistake. I could have bought so many new skis! It was either a recent air drop with intent to pick up, or one of the bags from THIS event that happened last year. I will provide a topo/overlay soon if I get permission to use Chris’ photo. I'd be very curious to hear if anyone knows some history of ascents on this feature. Gear Notes: Double rack micro to #2, single #3 and 4. Single set of med nuts. 2 60m ropes. Crack Pipe. Approach Notes: Start as for Cutthroat wall by walking down the old road bed for 1/4 mile until you see an obvious double cairn on the left side of the trail. Enter the woods here and point it straight up until the terrain lowers a little in pitch. At that point you can start arching left to get to the ridge next to the wall. I highly recommend using the slope angle shading map feature on caltopo and trying to stay on lower angle terrain. it’ll make things a little more pleasant. From the ridge it is pretty self explanatory where to go.
  2. 5 points
    Trip: Liberty Cap - Ptarmigan Ridge C2C Trip Date: 07/11/2020 Trip Report: Kyle Tarry @ktarry and I climbed Ptarmigan Ridge round trip from Whitewater Campground July 11/12. We originally planned to climb it 12/13 with a bivy at the standard location, but increasing winds and cloud forecast for Saturday night convinced us to just do it in a push starting the evening of the 11th. I think we benefitted in our late season climb from the conditions resulting from this more cloudy and cold summer. We drove up after Kyle got off work and left the car at 8:30pm, did the St. Elmos-Winthrop-Curtis-Carbon approach in the dark and arrived at the start of the route at dawn (water drip on the Curtis and brew stop near the normal bivy spot). The route was in thin conditions compared to other pictures I've seen but the glacier crossings were pretty easy and direct. We climbed a small (20m) ice/mixed step that was pretty gross to cross the schrund, a little L of the typical start, which saved some elevation loss. Firm and sun-cupped/rock-smashed snow made for relatively easy movement above this. There was some low angle ice that took good screws starting the ramp towards the rock step variation, but even this did not require much sustained front-pointing. The rock step seemed longer/steeper due to the low snow there (again compared to other pictures I've seen, and based on the fact that I was past the crux when the fixed pin appeared). We topped Liberty Cap and descended the Emmons (good condition for this time of year, I hear). Visibility dropped significantly as we reached Camp Schurman and it even snowed a bit as we descended the Interglacier. We were back at the car by 7:10pm on Saturday and slept about as well as you would think. Pros of the single push strategy: cool/dark glacier approaches, day packs don't weigh much, we nailed the weather window Cons: we were pretty tired (cons win) Gear Notes: one picket (not used), 3 screws (used a few places), 4 nuts (not used), 1 knife blade (used on rock step), 30 m half rope Approach Notes: standard White River approach to N Side routes
  3. 4 points
    Hey y'all, been lurking here for a few years soaking up a ton of great advice - never posted about any of my (+ wife) trips, so figured I'd put up a few pics from early June where we went for an Adams+Rainier two-fer. We nailed the window for Adams, getting to the mountain 2days after the park opened and only a couple days after blizzard-like conditions - kept a SUPER keen eye-out for avy prone slopes! Camped in a great little spot on the Lunch Counter and went up the following day. The south route was actually still pretty icy and a bit steeper than either of us expected, and boy is it a mental gut-punch getting to Pikers and (though expected) still seeing another ~600ft of climbing left. Bluebird skies by the time we hit the summit, and things started de-icing by the time we were coming down (around 1ish? we started late to let the ice thaw a tad). Also, a ton of what I assume are sulphur vents up there? Pretty cool! Big shout out to the guy who took our summit pic - he gave us an ersatz lesson in glissading (somehow we'd still never done it) and that is THE way to get down if you aren't ski descending. Also, big apology to the skiers who (whom?) were surely perturbed by us on the way down! We spent a night in Ashford after we descended and planned to get on Rainier and do the DC the next morning. Weather report said clear and warming, and hoooooo-boy was that wrong. We got to Paradise around 8am and it was cloud city - with that and still being kinda sore from Adams, we said screw it and decided to just do a hike to Muir. Going down it was, like, 40ft visibility from 7500-9000ft which was pretty concerning - this was the day that lost hiker at Paradise went missing, so I'm assuming it was due to the whiteout (we personally ran into a dude who got separated from his wife and kid - who it turns out decided to descend without telling him???). And good golly, we were seeing people still coming up in tshirts, shorts, and tennis shoes with no supplies! One group tried going up this steep snowslope before Panorama without even microspikes! The degree to which some people are so cavalier with their lives is mind boggling. Anyway that sort of brings me to why I posted this in the "newbies" section - even with >10yrs of trad/aid/sport climbing experience and a couple prior Rainier summits plus this recent trip, my wife and I are only FINALLY starting to feel comfortable with our skills. To any of the newbies thinking "I've got backpacking experience, so I can pull off Rainier. Surely crampons aren't THAT tough to figure out" you will fail. If you want to get a jump on the learning curve, I would personally recommend multiple guided trips - we did the independent route and are only 50/50 so far! I digress. Anyway, big thanks to the website and users, and hopefully we'll have more trip posts in the future!
  4. 3 points
    Trip: Corax Peak - North Face Trip Date: 07/05/2020 Trip Report: Not a single TR for this route to be found anywhere; does everyone just do the scramble to tick off their Bulger lists? Rolf and I climbed the NF of Corax Peak this weekend, 6 pitches of 5.7 starting from the left side of the chimney above the crescent shaped snowfield in the photo, going up to the ridge and thence to the summit. Mostly fun blocky ridge climbing, though the first pitch was more "interesting" as Rolf would say, featuring lichen and some loose/suspect rock and excavation of placements and some thoughtful moves. It doesn't appear that it's gotten much traffic since Rick La Belle did the FA in 1991; though of course we could have been off route. Stellar day out though and only saw three people at camp and maybe five on the trail. Gear Notes: 60 m rope, single rack to #3 Camalot Approach Notes: Libby Lake trail
  5. 3 points
    Trip: Mt. Daniel - Daniel and Lynch Glaciers Trip Date: 07/06/2020 Trip Report: I had a great couple of days out in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness with my skis, getting about 3800' skiing, a new summit, blue skies, and lots of peace and quiet. Scatter Creek was still flowing enough that I didn't want to see if my Civic could drown/be swept away. So I started my Sunday by walking the road for three miles, to the Cathedral Pass trailhead. The views started early. Cathedral Rock and some of Daniel behind, from the road! I couldn't really start skinning until about ten minutes from Cathedral Pass. Ah well... the views from the west side of the pass were incredible, down into Deep Lake. Deep Lake Wow, what a beautiful basin! I skinned up the boot track to 7000' and peeked over at views of Rainier and the Chimney Rock group, then got some pretty fun turns down to my camp near Peggy's Pond at 5500'. Pretty good view from where I set up camp... Cathedral Rock and STU! The next morning I went up and over and down and up and down and up the summit of Daniel. More carrying... So dang nice! Hinman. I'll be back for you earlier in the year, next year... and then skiied the Lynch Glacier -- super fun, great snow, not a soul anywhere all day. It was a sea of clouds to the north of Daniel, and I could barely see Baker and Glacier out there. The top of Forbidden was poking out, too. Oh yes, this will be excellent... Pea Soup Lake under the cloud layer Skiing the Daniel "glacier" (is there actually a glacier here?) had less than awesome snow, as expected, but it wasn't sticky, so..good enough! Beautiful, beautiful... About the slay the slush A soul-satisfying time. Gear Notes: I brought whippet, light axe, light pons, and ski pons. Definite overkill... Approach Notes: Up and over and down and up and down and up!
  6. 3 points
    Trip: Mt. Rainier - Tahoma Glacier Trip Date: 07/03/2020 Trip Report: The Tahoma Glacier piqued my interest the last couple seasons as I explored new routes for my next Mt. Rainier climb. The low starting elevation, long approach, and remoteness of the route was especially appealing to me. Covering that distance and elevation on a route that receives very little traffic would be a fun challenge and great test of mountaineering skills. I was also excited to experience the mountain up close from a different perspective since I had only been on the west side of the mountain once before during a Wonderland Trail hike. However, with the park shutdown due to COVID-19 we were uncertain if we would get a shot at the Tahoma Glacier before it was too late in the season. We planned the climb for the weekend of June 19th and were excited when MRNP announced they would reopen that very weekend. Unfortunately, as the date approached the weather was not looking too promising. Reluctantly, we postponed the climb to the 4th of July weekend when we both had time off work. This time the weather forecast was looking stellar: clear, light winds, and cold (~11000' freezing level). And we would have a full moon. Game on! Our plan, which we later learned would be a bit ambitious, was to reach high camp (~9600') on day 1 (Friday), summit Saturday morning, and either exit the same day or stay one more night and hike out Sunday morning. For the approach, we decided on the more direct Emerald Ridge/Tahoma Glacier approach over the St. Andrews Park/Puyallup Cleaver approach. We knew we were getting into the tail end of the season for the route, but with our good snowpack this year we were optimistic that we could navigate the lower Tahoma without too much trouble. Also, there seemed to be an option to bail to the Puyallup Cleaver shortly after gaining the Tahoma Glacier if we found the glacier to be too broken up. The two of us set off from the West Side Road parking lot (2850') at 10:30a with cool temps and a partly cloudy sky. After a short hike on the road we arrived at the beginning of the Tahoma Creek Trail, marked by a drum for disposing of blue bags and a "trail closed" sign not far off the road. The Tahoma Creek Trail follows the Tahoma Creek until it joins with the Wonderland Trail at the impressive suspension bridge across the creek at 4200'. From there, you continue on the Wonderland Trail to the top of Emerald Ridge where you can gain the lower Tahoma Glacier. We followed the Tahoma Creek trail and other tracks the best we could, but with parts of the trail washed out we eventually lost it and ended up hiking along the edge of the floodplain. We kept our eyes peeled and in time we saw some cairns and orange marking tape at around 3500' which led us back to the proper trail. From then on, the trail remained intact and joined up with the Wonderland Trail where we continued on to the top of Emerald Ridge, passing by the occasional Wonderlander. Consistent snow began around 5200' which is where we stashed our trail runners and booted up. Tahoma Creek Floodplain: We parted ways with the Wonderland Trail at 5600' and made the short scramble to the top of Emerald Ridge and the toe of the Tahoma Glacier (6000'). Here we took a break and donned our glacier gear while taking in the views of Glacier Island and the true size and length of the Tahoma Glacier. Getting onto the glacier was straightforward and the cracks were small and manageable all the way up to a flatter area of the glacier at 7200'. Top of Emerald Ridge, looking back at the Wonderland Trail: Toe of Tahoma Glacier, Glacier Island on the right: At 7200' we stopped to assess our progress. It was already 6:00p (7.5 hours from the car) and we still had a good amount of glacier to cover to get to high camp. We were also low on water so we would need to melt some snow to replenish our bottles before continuing. At our pace, it didn't seem feasible to reach high camp that night at a reasonable hour and be ready to summit the following morning. We discussed our options and ultimately decided to establish a low camp at 7200' for the night, move up to high camp the next day, and summit on Sunday morning instead. We were due back home Sunday night, so that would leave us with a long hike out after summiting Sunday morning, but this plan would give us the best chance for success and make the trip much more enjoyable. Luckily the weather for Sunday was supposed to be just as good as Saturday. We set up camp and called it a day. Lower Tahoma Glacier: View from Camp 1, looking toward Tokaloo Spire: Sunset from Camp 1: On Saturday we woke up to clear skies and a great view of the upper mountain that was covered in clouds the day before. We took our time getting going and scoped out a route up the lower glacier. It was definitely more crevassed than what we had already traveled and the best looking route was in the direction of the Puyallup Cleaver and the looker's left side of the glacier. We broke camp and set off around 10:30a. Morning view from Camp 1, looking toward the summit: On the way up to Camp 2: The crevasses we encountered on the way up to high camp were growing in size but were still easy to cross with a short hop or snow bridges. Nothing too sketchy even with the sun beating down and snow quickly softening up. Our route did meander a bit as we searched for the most efficient way up the glacier, so it did take longer than expected. We reached 9400' at 2:00pm where we thought about setting up camp. This is where we would have joined the Tahoma Glacier had we taken the St. Andrews Park/Puyallup Cleaver approach; however, the ramp to get off of the Puyallup Cleaver did not look to be in the best shape. There was likely a path off the ramp onto the glacier, but we were glad we chose the approach that we did. Ramp at 9600': After a long break we pushed on a bit further through ankle and shin deep slush up to 10400' where we found a good spot for a high camp. I had read about other parties camping at this location as well. It was 4:30p at this point, 6 hours after leaving camp 1. From here we finally got a really good view of the upper glacier and the potential routes. Earlier in the day we saw that the looker's right side of the glacier may be a good option, but now we could see right up the center of the glacier and the Sickle variation. The Sickle looked to be in good shape with not a lot of evidence of icefall, but the seracs at the top of the route were intimidating. We decided against the Sickle and to attempt one of the other routes. We would make that decision in the morning under the full moon light once we gained some more elevation. We set up camp, ate, melted snow, and tried to get to sleep as the sun was setting. I fell asleep to the very faint sounds of 4th of July fireworks way off in the distance. Upper Tahoma Glacier: Camp 2: Sunset Amphitheater: Tahoma Glacier: The next morning we set off at 2:00a under a very bright full moon that lit up the mountain. It was right around freezing with no wind and the snow had firmed up nicely. We were excited to start the journey up the main route, but less than 30 minutes out of camp we thought the trip was over. We found ourselves on an island of ice with a pretty sporty jump to continue on. We contemplated it for a while but just didn't want to risk it, especially on the descent when the snow would soften up. Damn! That jump seemed like the only way, but we backtracked some and skirted around where we got stuck and luckily found a crossing! Phew! We wondered if this was going to be the theme of the entire ascent. We continued on and at this point chose to continue right up the center of the glacier rather than traversing over to the far right side option we saw. Full moon: Contemplating the jump.: The snow conditions were great and took crampons very well which made for very efficient stepping. We took the path of least resistance and just crossed our fingers it would go. There had to be at least half a dozen times when we thought our luck ran out, but a lone and thinning snow bridge (which probably wouldn't last another week) was there to let us continue on. Besides the first obstacle we encountered we didn't have to do much backtracking, but we did have to snake our way around the crevasses to find acceptable crossings. We each carried a traditional axe and had a few screws and two pickets between us. We contemplated bringing a tool, but from all the beta we could gather a tool wasn't really necessary on this route. Turns out that was the right call. We did encounter a couple short sections of solid ice compared to the rest of the route which was a nice sun crust. Front pointing and a low dagger axe took care of the ice sections, but we did protect them with a screw and picket while simul climbing. Short ice section: Soon we found ourselves at the top of the glacier where the slope begins to ease up at around 13000'. With the main part of the climb behind us it was just a slog up to the summit! We ascended directly up the west side onto the summit plateau and reached on Columbia Crest at 8:30a, 6.5 hours after leaving camp. Sunrise: Liberty Cap: Summit Crater: Summit Headstand! After getting some pictures on the summit and saying hello to a party of 4 that came up the Kautz, we dropped off the summit for a break and then took off back down the mountain at 9:15a. Being western facing, the Tahoma Glacier doesn't get sun right away in the morning which is good since we wanted to be down off the bulk of the upper glacier before it started to warm up. The descent went well and we followed our tracks down. We did downclimb one of the ice sections with some protection, but other than that we moved fairly quick down the glacier. We returned to camp at 12:15p, 3 hours after leaving the summit. Tahoma Glacier, Puyallup Cleaver, St. Andrews Rock: Tahoma Glacier: Tahoma Glacier: It would have been nice to take it easy and stay another night, but we still had a long road ahead to get back to the car that day. We made some water and packed up camp, then took off down the glacier at 2:00p following our tracks from the day before. The hike out was uneventful and we covered the 9 miles and 7500' back to the car in 5.5 hours, descending a total of 11500' for the day. Success! What a climb! We both felt really proud to do this route. It was a true test of our endurance and mountaineering skills, especially with navigating the very crevassed glacier. Oh, and we had the entire glacier to ourselves...we didn't see a single person between leaving the Wonderland Trail and the Summit. Being on our own without any tracks to follow made the trip even better. Day 1, Car to Camp 1, 6.7 miles, +4400', 7.0 hrs Day 2, Camp 1 to Camp 2, 2.5 miles, +3200', 6.0 hrs Day 3, Camp 2 to Summit, 2.8 miles, +4000', 6.5 hrs Day 3, Summit to Camp 2, 2.8 miles, -4000', 3.0 hrs Day 3, Camp 2 to Car, 9.0 miles, -7500', 5.5 hrs Total Mileage = 23.8 miles Total Elevation Gain/Loss = 11500' GPX track can be found here: https://caltopo.com/m/7M3P Gear Notes: Light glacier rack, a couple screws. Used screw and picket on icy section. No need for a 2nd tool. Approach Notes: Approached via Emerald Ridge/Tahoma Glacier.
  7. 2 points
  8. 2 points
    Trip: Mount Formidable - South Route Trip Date: 07/05/2020 Trip Report: YouTube video (FYI - mistyped the date in the video splash screen - its July 4-6, not June) We had a Fri-Sun trip planned but switched to Sat-Mon due to the weather. Good call as one day either way would have been a no-go. We lucked out with the one day with sunny and calm weather for the summit day. Overall it was about 26 miles and pushing 10,000ft gain for the whole thing car to car. About 7 hours to camp, 19 hours for the climb day and 6 hours hike out. The climb day broke down to about 2.5 hours from camp to the col looking at Formidable. 5 hours col to summit, 8 hours summit to col (extra time due to an additional handline, softer snow coming down and rappels for 5 people), 3.5 hours col to camp. 5 of us took off from the gate 2 miles back from the Cascade Pass trailhead adding an extra 4 miles and 1000ft gain to the trip starting around 8:30am. From Cascade Pass 99% of the rest of the trip was on snow with only an occasional bit of trail or rock islands to cross. Steep snow with bad runout in places along the way to Cache Glacier but not bad. There is a huge cornice forming across the entire width of Cache Col. That will not be pretty when it collapses. We had to hit it on the far right and traverse under the cornice to the rocks on the other side and a loose scree/rock scramble up to the top of the col. From there its an easy snow walk to Kool-aid lake which is still under feet of snow. But the water is running at the stream there. The traverse around to Red Ledges is also an easy snow walk the entire way. The Red Ledges were a bit tricky. Getting onto them is straightforward traversing on steep snow but the last bit is a runout over the moat. Around the corner out of sight was another steep now patch about 20ft across covering the ledge with runout into the chasm that had to be side traversed. Then a steep snow climb out of the ledges, again with runout into the chasm. Everyone soloed it okay but its 3 no-fall steep snow sections to get through the ledges. We setup camp just around the corner near Arts Knoll and turned in early. 3:30am wakeup and walking around 4:45. We woke up to clear blue sky and calm weather. Made quick work of the Cascade Glacier, down Formidable/Spider col and across the basin to the final col in just over 2 hours. The drop from there was on a steep snow finger that was easy to get down. From there a walk across and backup to the rock ledge where we found a couple different paths to scramble up the ledges to the next snowfield. From there we went up to where the ledges scramble option starts but looking at our options figured there were too many snow patches on the ledges but it looked like snow went all the way up the chasm. So we decided to go straight up the middle of the chasm hoping to intersect the 4th class step across the chasm. Halfway up we hit a moat starting to form but was still enough left we were able to get around it and all the way to where we could step onto the other side of the chasm. The ledges had a layer of snow and ice but was easy to get into and made it to the cairn. From there the next trick was getting across the face which was mostly steep snow. We started going up about 40ft before starting to traverse over. (Photo of Albert, Rodica and I by Tim) One person was far enough out they soloed across to the rock island. The rest of us decided to run a handline so we got one anchored to rocks on both ends tying our twin 37m ropes together. Once across the first half we had a 2nd snow slope to get the rest of the way over so we repeated with a 2nd handline between two rock islands. The snow was firm enough on the way across we sped it up having more than one go across the handline at the same time. On the return trip with softer snow things slowed down when we only sent one person at a time across the handlines. Once over we had the last 300ft most of which was another steep snow slope which was starting to soften up. (Photo of Sean, myself, Rodica and Albert coming up the last 250ft snowfield from the base of the traverse to just below the summit block by Tim). We were able to all solo up and then the last 50 feet or so to the summit block was mixed snow and loose rock. On the way down we scrambled the rocks about half way down till we found a horn that seemed like it would hold a handline and backed it up with a cam and dropped down the rope as a handline for everyone to prussic down to the start of the traverse. Last person cleaned the gear and downclimbed with a couple pickets left in to protect the last person down. To get across the face we repeated the 2 handlines to the cairn at the top of the chasm. With the softer snow on the way back only one at a time went a cross each handline. That and dropping a line to prussic down part of the upper snowfield from the summit block and the rappel added a few extra hours to the trip down. Here we couldn’t find any rappel slings from other videos we’ve seen. Maybe they were still buried under the snow. So we tied 3 cordelletes together and slung the giant block the cairn is sitting on as a backup to rappel slings put around 2 smaller boulders. We rappelled off the smaller boulders with the backup in place in case they moved. The last person down retrieved the cordelletes and just left a sling behind. So, if anyone ever sees that sling wondering if someone rapped off the small boulders – it was backed up for the first 4 people. That rappel put us down past the moat forming in the middle. And had to jump across the side moat to get back onto the snow. From there a short face in downclimb and then back to the scramble down the ledges. By the time we hit Formidable/Spider col the sun was going down and headlamps came out. One person had a headlamp bulb go out so we had to slow down on the descent of the glacier and back to camp which added the extra hour on the return to camp. Great climb with a great group that worked well together figuring out some tricky options to protecting the climb in ways that are not normally done there that way. Signing the summit register the last people to have signed it were almost a year ago last August. Memorable Quotes Gathered by Sean: "We're crazy" ~ Rodica "Is that the Spider/Formidable col?" ~ Albert, deliriously pointing toward a snow finger nowhere near our exit col "I have some cord that I found and don't know the history of so we should rap off it because i'm tired of thinking about it, I just want to get rid of it" ~ Tim "Guys, we should really be protecting this. Right???" ~ Rodica "I don't mind if we bail on this picket because it's Albert's anyway...." ~ Ian "If I hike all night and go straight to work I probably still won't make it on time" ~ Sean "I'd love to come up here in tennis shoes sometime" ~ Tim "Would you consider this an intermediate climb?" ~ Albert "These are all the cams left?" ~ Ian "[ice axe falls down cliff]" ~ Ian "[glove falls down cliff]" ~ Sean [Blue Skies by Ella Fitzgerald comes on the radio when we're in a whiteout at camp] "I think the radio is taunting us" ~ Tim "I'm already committed." ~ Sean, as everyone else decides to stop and rope up. Gear Notes: Twin 37m ropes, light alpine rack (cams/nuts), 5 pickets, ice axes + 2nd tool
  9. 2 points
    It seems to be getting a nice revival of activity @JasonG. Of course, spring & early summer is peak TAY season!
  10. 2 points
    Snowfield pictured in this report https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/march-15-17-chiwaukum-traverse
  11. 2 points
    Sweet! Yeah, I've switched to TikTok for all my trip reports now.
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    I deeply regret not getting one when I first found it. I was freaked out and wanted to get out of there ASAP. When I wen't back up with the cops they didn't want me taking any pictures and I wasn't gonna mess with someone holding a very large rifle in the middle of the woods.
  14. 1 point
    Warning: Kyle took a lot of these and I was being a goof Leaving the car Switching to boots at the snow line above Glacier Basin Coming up from Carbon Bivy sites on P Ridge Route pictures pre/post sun, note moon which helped with night nav Schrund pitch L of regular start involved loose conglomerate that was verglassed and frozen just enough Coming up lower snow section Icey ramp leading to rock step rock step Kyle suffering on the upper slog I think I was eating a bar but the silhouette is funny Sundog Not many pics of the descent, didn't stop on Lib Cap, just kept going
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    Sweet, you found my duffle! Meth is the only way I am climbing 5.9 trad these days.
  17. 1 point
    The tat loaded on the anchor of pitch 3 has been removed, replaced with SS chains and rings. This is the higher of the two anchors, up and right of the dihedral containing most of the pitch. Sorry I didn't take a photo of the new steel. Also, the pitch above the Big Tree has received new bolts, 3/8" SS of course, with Mad Rock hangers. No pictures of them either, sorry. Two weeks ago I looked over at this pitch 5 after reaching the nearby top anchor of Shake, Rattle and Roll. I could not believe seeing a beautiful slab with Leeper hangers still on it. And a couple of SMC hangers, all on quarter-inch rusty bolts. Doesn't anyone go up there? So the next week I returned with Robin who sat patiently while I drilled out four of them. There were more to do, so I returned yesterday via rope solo to get the last one out. While I was there, I tested my new uAscend and Microtraxion to top-rope the pitch (worked great, and safely!) and found it to be delightful, knobby climbing. It seemed to have some 5.9 at the start, and eases to 5.8 the rest of the way for a good 55m pitch. Thanks DavidW and MattP for putting this up.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    I skied down that snowfield in very wind-blasted snow conditions. Steep but not insane!
  20. 1 point
    Trip: Prusik Peak - Der Sportsman Trip Date: 06/23/2020 Trip Report: I was pretty hesitant to write this TR due to the current overcrowding in the area. I realized that it likely isn't going to make much of a difference cuz no-one really uses this site anymore anyhow. And as long as people follow a few key tips, you can have a good responsible Enchantments climb. 1.) Avoid weekends like the plague... as best you can. 2.) Get to the TH before 7 And try not to get yourself parked in. 3.) If you start later hitch to and from the TH if you can. (This worked better and was safer before COVID). 4.)Pick up trash you find. Quadruple points for picking up other peoples surface shits, and try to stick to trails and rock as much as possible. Now on to the actual TR Last year Sean and I climbed the West face of CBR around the same time, starting at 9:30ish and getting back to the car just before dark. We decided to keep the (almost) solstice tradition going this year with Der Sportsman. 17+ hours of daylight is pretty luxurious We left the trail head a little after 6. Our packs felt light with no water and no real insulating layers to speak of. The trail was pretty quiet at that hour on a Tuesday. The hike up Aasgard was pretty uneventful with only the usual snow patch to cross near the top. The descent down to Prusik was a nice change of pace and the soft snow seemed to make it a little lower impact and faster down the steep sections. Arriving at the base in good time, we decided to chill for a little bit and recover to give us a better shot at the cruxy first pitch. Finally the sun coming around the corner gave me enough courage to rack up and get going while the crux was still shaded. Unfortunately I pumped out and broke a foot chip so no OS for me, but Sean followed the pitch in style. P2 isn't too spicy apart from the real risk of whipping on your belayer. This is the only reason I would consider setting up the belay a little higher. P3 is absolute money! Unfortunately it has 2 fixed pieces at the beginning that detract from the cleanliness of the line, but who really cares, it's great! P4 I found the step right to be super desperate and kinda just fell onto the far right foot as a last resort, not sure how that worked out but it did. The moves off the pillar near the end of the pitch are pretty spicy. The rope looks like it would slice right across the arete if you were to fall. Best to avoid that. P5 was probably the only sandbagged pitch on the route. I'd also say it's the worst pitch on the route, which is saying a lot since it is still pretty damn good! I've seen the pitch called 10b, but I'd say 10c/d. P6 Oh boy is this the icing on the cake! Such an incredible position to be climbing such an amazing crack! Definitely not 12a, felt more like 11a/b on TR. From where we topped out, we untied and scrambled up to the summit, chatted with some nice folks and took a small nap. We then downclimbed the W Ridge and scrambled back to our packs in our rock shoes to avoid taking axes or shoes up the route. The hike out always sucks, but is the price you pay for the light packs and burrito dinner. We got down with enough light to re-set up camp and crack a beer before the headlamps came out. I feel like I've focused too much on times in my previous TR's. If you want to know our splits I have a Strava track HERE. Gear Notes: Double rack tiny to 2, single #3 and triples in a few finger sizes. We brought nuts but never used them. 60m 9mm rope Handfull of slings and QD's Water filter Trail runners Approach Notes: Over the river and through the woods, up the pass, down the hill and up another hill.
  21. 1 point
    Went out and did Iron to Bean on Saturday. Super fun scrambling and a nice adventure day, I would highly recommend. One point of warning though, if you follow the fall line descending east off of Bills main summit your will get funneled into a super dangerous gully. I sent a microwave sized block tumbling by looking at it too hard which caused a bit of a rockslide down the gully. If you find yourself here, trend skiers left to safer terrain. The rest of the route was surprisingly bomber rock.
  22. 1 point
    Hey Kyle, thanks again for sharing this. You did a wonderful job of capturing the pure joy of “cruising and floating“ in the mountains. Peace my friend.
  23. 1 point
    Trip: Mt Stuart - Direct North Ridge Trip Date: 06/22/2020 Trip Report: I finally ticked off this crown jewel of the Cascades! We did deal with some tough early season conditions, including snow and ice on the "Slab with Crack" as well as the section between the gendarme and the summit. I've included the text of my report below. Full report with photos can be found at https://spokalpine.com/2020/06/29/mt-stuart-direct-north-ridge/ John and I climbed the Direct North Ridge of Mount Stuart on a “leisure” schedule from June 21-23, 2020. It was the culmination of years of honing my mountain craft in the Cascades and abroad; this one meant a lot! The journey started in 2016, when I saw Stuart in person for the first time from Colchuck Peak. I was spellbound by the rugged beauty of the mountain with its springtime coating of snow and ice, making the North Ridge even more dramatic as it soared directly to the summit. It is possible to climb the North Ridge using an “abbreviated” start, gaining the ridge crest at half-height via a rocky gully rising from Stuart Glacier – this version of the route is included as one of the “50 Classic Climbs of North America” and some say it is the most commonly climbed version. To me, a direct start climbing directly from the toe of the ridge creates a much more pure, aesthetic and logical line to the summit. The Direct North Ridge instantly became my goal. Three months later after I first laid eyes on it, John and I made the Southern approach via Ingalls Creek for an attempt on the route. Cresting Goat Pass, we stopped to stare at the route in profile. The scale of the climb was jaw-dropping; we quickly turned around and went home. We were not ready and we knew it, but we made other excuses. Four years and many climbs went by before John and I decided that it was time to put this project to bed. This time, we trudged up Mountaineer’s Creek to Mount Stuart. Swarming insects, brutal heat, boulder hopping and a off-trail bushwhacking brought us to our plush back country campsite below Stuart’s Northern aspect. A few other climbers passed by our camp on their way out; they were the last people we would see for two days. We had the entire valley, and mountain, to ourselves. Cheers to weekday alpinism! With the Summer Solstice only two days prior, we had a long day of daylight on our side. Planning to blast the route and descent in a single push from camp, the route was already in full sun as we started hiking up the moraine at 5:30am. John volunteered to lead the first pitch, which was a great warmup for the day. The “slot” on this pitch is as awkward as people say… hang the leader’s pack off of a cam below the slot and belay just above. The leader can lower a loop of rope to the follower and haul the packs past the slot. I took point on the uneventful second pitch and John fired the 5.9+ third pitch, the hardest pitch on the climb. After a fourth belayed pitch (perhaps 5.7), we changed gears to simulclimbing mode. This part of the climb was truly a gift, featuring moderate climbing and unbeatable alpine ambiance. Rock and ice thundered down Ice Cliff Glacier every few minutes, reminding us that the mountain is always in charge. Our staircase of clean granite carried us 1600 feet higher into the cobalt sky. After a few hours, I lead over a high point in the ridgeline and felt my stomach drop. I was looking at the well-known and typically easy “slab with crack” pitch, but it was partially covered in snow and ice. There were no signs of prior passage and I questioned whether or not I would be able to climb it in these conditions. I quickly realized that I had to give the pitch my absolute best effort – bailing from this high on the ridge would be an absolute nightmare. The mountain was testing us even more than I expected. I cautiously led up the pitch, placing a solid cam a few feet below the snow patch before strapping my pathetic, worn-down aluminum crampons on my approach shoes. Evaluating the snow patch, I realized that it consisted of about 1 inch of ice against the rock with a couple of inches of snow on top. My ultralight ice axe would not be able to excavate the crack to place protection. The first few feet were the thinnest, and I willed the snow patch to stay attached to the mountain. With full commitment, I stepped onto the ice and quickly power-stepped my way up, trying to maintain my upward momentum. Racing to the top, I slapped my hands on the lip and mantled to a perfect belay stance. The final section of mid-fifth class climbing was still very snowy. Several miserable pitches with snow blocking the easiest route cost us a lot of time. Since it was dark already, we chose not to hurry, shifting our focus to finding the safest route among the snow and loose rock. Several times, I found myself at a dead-end, requiring me to reverse the last few moves and find another way. This was crushing in my exhausted state! We pulled onto the summit just at 11:30pm as the temperatures dropped. Regardless, I was incredibly happy and felt no stress about our situation, just focus and joyful resolve. We could handle this. The night sky was ablaze with stars and I was living my ideal atop this massive, complex peak. We began toiling our way down the East Ridge on snow, then 4th class rock, and then a lot more snowy rock. It was extremely slow going in the dark and we settled in for a short bivouac once we found a good platform. Bouts of violent shivering and continual harassment from the local snafflehounds provided entertainment until the sun rose again. In the morning, we continued traversing the East Ridge and descended the Sherpa Glacier, which was a tedious but straightforward descent option. The hike out to the car was quite the death march, but it always seems that way! Gear Notes: Doubles from fingers to #3. Approach Notes: Approach via Mountaineer's Creek and descent via the Sherpa Glacier.
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