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  1. 8 points
    Trip: Mount Goode - Megalodon Ridge Trip Date: 07/19/2021 Trip Report: “Hey bear!” I shout, followed by a convincing monkey call from Sean. We are only a couple hundred yards away from the trail, but swallowed deep in the eight foot tall slide alder of the North Fork of Bridge Creek. Maybe we’re off route, maybe there is no route. A couple days prior Sean and I had been throwing around ideas for the weekend. Sean was interested in something hard on CBR, while I was craving some choss and adventure. Being the great friend and partner that he is, Sean agreed to my idea of Goode, and adjusted his schedule to fit mine. Meeting at the parking lot on Sunday, I ask Sean how comfortable he is soloing most of the ridge. He’s psyched on the idea, and I’m psyched to slim down the rack. I ditch the 4 and a few other pieces. With that I grab a couple bubbly waters to stash in a creek along the way and we’re off. In classic fashion, Sean takes off jogging almost immediately, it feels so good to be moving. The hiking flies by and we soon find ourselves stumbling down an alder infested hillside down to Bridge Creek. With no obvious entry point on the other side, we start hiking upstream along the river bank until the alder overtakes us, and we’re forced to wade up stream in the biting glacier melt water. Just in time for my feet to go fully numb, I find a narrow tunnel through the brush and out of the river. After a brief bout of screaming barfies we’re off and moving again. From this point, things got a little weird. All previous reports of this route seemed intentionally vague about how to gain the ridge. The alpine basin that looked like steep meadows on the map proved to be alder choked waterfalls. After re-reading Dan’s TR, I’m pretty sure we cut up the hill too early and endured some hellish bushwacking. Following the waterfall a little further seems like a better idea. Once re-birthed from the thicket, we followed a loose low 5th class gully up to the ridge crest. Freedom at last! The trudge up the treed ridge felt like it went on for eternity. Every roll, followed by another buttress and so on. It was at this point in the day that the true enormity of Jens and Dan’s single push effort set in. We were tired, and the idea of continuing up the ridge did not appeal. Maybe with tiny packs and perfect approach beta, but even then... As we tucked in for the night, a small plane flew circles around the summit. I assumed it could only be John Scurlock. After a nice night nestled into a bed of heather, we woke with the sun and enjoyed a warm pot of coffee to start the day. The initial part of the ridge proper was phenomenal. Highly textured white stone flowed up the mountain in a stunning spine feature. This section up to the first point would be a classic route on it’s own. I can not overstate how good the rock was through this section. Just perfect scrambling. Now atop point 8200, a cold wind ripped from the shady south side, adding to the intimidation of the ominous drop off ahead. Rather than onsight down-solo into the abyss, we opted to rope up here and simul down to the notch. This section did not boast the same quality rock, but made for comfortable down climbing with adequate protection. Once down, we again unroped and began back up to SE peak. Scrambling across this ridge was an incredible experience. I found myself falling into a flow state unlike much other. The climbing isn’t too hard, nor very sustained, so you are really able to enjoy the movement. Finally below the headwall, we roped up again. I lead a long somewhat loose and scary pitch of 5.9 slightly to the right of the FA party’s route. It went, but I can’t say I recommend it. Sean then took the lead, and after bailing on a N-side option, led an incredible 55m pitch up and left through splitter corners and up a striking arete feature. This pitch onward is definitely the same route that the FA party took. The last ~70m pitch took me up a very poorly protected arete composed of brick sized loose blocks up onto the ridge. As Blake says, “no lifeguard on duty here”. Sean questing the wrong way. Now with the biggest obstacle behind us, we basked in the sun before unroping and scrambling down to the snow patch, and top of the ski line. Things had gone very smoothly up to this point, so we took our time hanging out and brewing up. Sitting there looking at the steep grey ice, and rotten gendarmes was making me nervous. We only had one chintzy light axe between the two of us and no crampons. If there wasn’t a way around, we would be in a pretty bad spot. As we scampered further up the ridge, I theorized how we could dead-man some rocks to rap down the snow and swing over to the other side. Once over the ridge, I was relieved to find a casual (albeit shitty) scree slope taking us around the back side. More scrambling took us through looser and more convoluted gendarmes up towards the Black Tooth notch. Roping up one last time, I lead down and around the final gendarme into black tooth notch. I found this pitch to be easier than the proposed 5.10 grade, probably 5.8 or 5.9 and truly well protected. Maybe after 11 hours of FA questing with big packs this could feel like 10-. A short simul block took us to the summit and nap time! Having mentally prepared for an epic 12+ hour day, I was pleasantly surprised to arrive on the summit in the early afternoon with plenty of day to spare. We had full water bottles and a full seven hours to nap and enjoy the views. Life is Goode! The descent sucked, and the hike out only sucked for the last hour. Too many good photos to share in this TR. Our full photo album can be found HERE Gear Notes: If Simuling/pitching out most of the ridge Double rack .1-2 Single 3&4. If scrambling all but the cruxes, a single rack .1-3 should be fine. Small cams in the .1-.2 range are most useful. Fish themed snacks. Approach Notes: IDK, try and gain the ridge as soon as possible? Follow the waterfall? Maybe someone who has done it right will chime in.
  2. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys Trip Date: 07/18/2021 Trip Report: This weekend I roped up with my wife for the first time in several years on an outstandingly beautiful climb. I immediately understood why Becky included Fisher Chimneys in his 100 favorite climbs of North America. We lucked out in every way: fantastic weather that wasn’t too hot or cold, easy route finding up the chimneys, cruiser snow and glacier conditions, and only a few other parties on the summit pyramid scramble. And most importantly, excellent two day child care on the home front! We bivied at the truck Friday night and started hiking Saturday morning. The hike to the chimneys was straight forward, as were the chimneys. We bivied below Winnies Slide, which doesn’t have running water but is a short 10 minute jaunt up to the upper bivies where there is running water. Winnies slide is all steep snow right now. Sunday we were moving at first light. The Upper Curtis is mostly smooth sailing with just a bit of steep snow/ice at the start and some steep snow at the exit up to the Sulphide Glacier. We scrambled up the central gully on the pyramid, putting the rope in my pack and not taking it out until a couple rappels on the way down. Views were spectacular. It took us about 7 hours round trip from our bivy. We had a nice nap back at camp and relaxed for a bit before packing up and heading out. The chimneys took a bit longer going down than they did coming up. We were tired by that point and did a few rappels and were pretty cautious with the exposure in the chimneys. Back at the truck ~8:00 and at home in bed by midnight. Hiking to Lake Ann Spectacular views 24-7 Starting the first scramble section: View of the chimneys. The route finding is fairly obvious once you start up. Relaxing in camp below Winnies Slide Early morning on the Upper Curtis Glacier View of the summit pyramid Katie leading up the central gulley All smiles on top! Parting shot on the drive out Post Script: Unbeknownst to me, my grandmother passed away gracefully at the age of 101 on Saturday night. Sometime around her passing I woke up to look outside and check the weather. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many stars. I’m not an especially religious person, but in retrospect it seems as though a greater being was calling me out to see her ascend to heaven. RIP Margaret Colson Devot. Gear Notes: Brought a second tool for the steep snow and potential ice but it wasn't necessary Approach Notes: Road closed at Heather Meadows added ~1 mile to the approach
  3. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Index - North-Middle-Main Traverse Trip Date: 07/10/2021 Trip Report: The weekend of the 10th and 11th of July Bobby, Chad, and I spent 2 days climbing the North, Middle, and Main peaks of Mount Index. Done as a traverse from north to south this route offers amazing exposure, complex route finding, and engaging climbing. Most interestingly is the proximity to civilization; the remote feeling you get high up on the peaks in juxtaposition of the ever present crowds of Lake Serene and the thrum of the weekend traffic is a dynamic I have not found elsewhere in the Cascades. I have stared at this mountain many times over the years, but always put off the traverse due to timing, lack of solid parters, or lack of physical ability. Fortunately all of the pieces fell together this summer and I had no reason not to do the climb, besides the well deserved reputation of the mountain and the route. It is a big route indeed with over 4k feet of technical scrambling and climbing. Long sections of steep sometimes loose rock on the way up and committing rappels on the way down keep you from gaining each peak. Also for any normal person, it takes an overnight bivy on the middle peak that may or may not have water. For us it was two 14+ hour days, but they were rewarded with one of the most amazing bivies I have slept at and stunning ridge climbing with views not only of Glacier Peak, but Seattle and Bellevue as well. Information on this route was a little hard to come by and it was one of the first times in a while I found the Becky book to have the most reliable route description. We also used trip reports from Tom Sjolseth and Jason Griffith found on this site. Both were helpful. I have added some beta to this trip report for those interested as there were some definite holes in the becky description. We left the parking lot about 6:30 am and enjoyed a talking pace up to the lake on the steep trail. The first views of the route come just before the lake when you can see the traverse in its entirety. As we got to the lake we got fresh water. We did not know when we would be able to get water next as the N face appeared basically dry. Bobby pondering what he had gotten himself into. We skirted the trail along the west side of the lake until the talus slope then headed up to the base of the North Face. The North face of the North Peak of Index is about 2500 feet of technical climbing and scrambling. None of it is extremely hard, but protection can be poor and belays hard to come by at times. While we climbed we passed many rappel station of various quality as well as old fixed pins so it was not too difficult to know we were on route. Route overlay of North Face of North Peak of Index. From the toe of the NNE rib we started up very brushy trees until you could gain the rib. We followed the rib straight up for about 100' then cut left at a bushy section to get into an open book. Climb up this before trending back right onto a long slabby section. Ascend the slab until reach a small roof feature. There is an anchor here made form a pin and nut just under the roof. From here we began simul climbing off left trending around overhanging roof features. The steep walls will kept pushing us left until we gained a treed ledge with an open book above. This is the crux of the route. I climbed an open book, that is more of a face, up about 50-60 feet until it forces you off right on a sharp traverse to gain a long gully system. There were 2 fixed pins at the point of the traverse right that I clipped for pro. The gulley system can't bee seen from the lake or trail as it is facing north. We went up the gully for 300-400 feet until we were able to traverse right into the open bowl of the north face. This put us in about the middle of the bowl at this point. Once there we went left into the obvious large gulley system. Most climbing was done on the right of the gulley until you can traverse right to the notch at the start of the North RIb. The North Rib is pretty obvious once you are there. It is great exposed climbing for 2-3 pitches. Looking down from above the North RIb. Once above the North rib the climbing is below 5th class with mostly exposed moved of 4th class. The false summit is gained via steep heather gullies on the east. We were able to find a patch of Snow just below the False summit and refreshed our water supply. From the false summit you scramble through a series of steep gendarmes. While the climbing is technically easy the exposure it insane. The final climb to the true summit is on the North face and is mostly heather and loose rock. Nothing too difficult, just very exposed. Exposed scrambling along the ridge from the North False Summit to the North Summit. More Insane exposure along the ridge to the North Peak. North peak at top of picture. View toward Main Peak from North Summit. We summited the North peak at about 3 pm. This is where the real choice is made. It is still possible to descend the North face, but once you head down to the North-Middle notch coming back becomes much more difficult. Of course we didn't do all that climbing with overnight packs to not at least try to find our way. At this point it seemed very unclear from the becky description as to where to go. He illiterates to descending to 4880' in a gulley to the west, which is not at all what we did. We descended the south side of the peak to the first gendarme and rappelled to the west about a rope length down a gulley from a block that is kinda hidden behind the gendarme. HFrom the end of the rappel we traversed back up the east side under the gendarme and descended down a gulley to the east about 150'. We did one rappel down the gulley to the east, but could have easily down-climbed. From here you climb back west and up to a notch between the second and third gendarme and rappel down to the west side of the ridge. Traverse down along the ridge on the west side until you get just above the North-Middle notch then do one rappel down to the notch. Not too complicated right? North Peak as viewed from the Middle peak. One can see pretty well how the descent from the North Peak to the North-Middle notch is done from here. This is the second rappel shown in the picture above. The block with all the slings is a pretty obvious point to get to and know you're on the right track. Chad and I getting ready to rap off the block down to the west side of the ridge. Once down to the North-Middle notch it is a simple matter of getting up onto the ridge then climbing this up and over the false summit of Middle to a bivy site we were hoping would have a patch of snow near it. Exactly where to ascend up to the ridge from the notch was unclear. We ended up traversing left about 50' and ascending a shallow east facing corner, which I think is what becky describes in his guide. We could not see that the corner was shallower until we got right underneath it. Once we gained the ridge we were treated with some of the best climbing of the trip. Gorgeous views all around on a knife edge ridge that went on for about 3-4 pitches. We continued this up and over the Middle false summit to one slightly overhanging rappel down to the notch between the Middle Peak false summit and Middle Peak. And just as luck had it there was still a small snow patch to get water from for the night. Amazing ridge climbing in route to Middle Peak. Almost to the Middle Peak false summit. Chad hoping for the long day to be over along the North Ridge of Middle Peak. We got the bivy about 8:30 PM. We melted snow, drank a little Jim Beam, and settled in for the night. The bivy is first class given what else is on the route. Plush and flat with plenty of room for 3, and perfectly located to split the climb into 2 relatively equal days of work. Celebrating getting to the bivy and a good night of sleep. Beautiful sunset over Mt. Persis. The next morning we got going around 7:30 AM and began the ascent to the Middle peak true summit. Most of the mornings travels were fairly easy given yesterdays work. The Middle peak is gained by the east face. Traverse to the east side and ascend broken slabs and heater until the summit is gained. Bobby excited to get up the Middle Peak of Index, one of the most difficult to reach in the state. Sunset falls can be seen in the middle of the photo in the background. From here Becky describes getting to the Middle-Main notch in one sentence. "Descend easily to the Middle-Main Peak notch". I am gonna have to disagree with Becky on this one and say it was a bit more involved then that. We did 2 rappels on the way there and switched from one side of the ridge to the other multiple times. We started mainly on the crest until steep rock forced us down to a gulley to the east. After passing this first gendarme we were forced back onto the west side with a short rappel down to a ledge system. We traversed the ledge system until we went back east onto a broad series of light colored slabby ledges. These ledges had snow for water. From here we went down the slab until we cliffed out and had to cross back to the east side down a steep series of steps leading directly toward the notch. From here one can see the notch. A steep red colored gulley trends back east and we set up a rap anchor on a tree above this gulley then rappelled down it under a chockstone. At the end of the rappel we traversed into the notch. In all parts there was basically only one way to go or it cliffed out. During this whole descent we were treated with the view of the impending north face of the Main Peak. It is very ominous looked at straight on. Foreshortening can be a real mind killer, but it is all there and the climbing is moderate, if not loose and sketchy in places. Technical crux of Main Peak north face coming out of the Middle-Main Notch. We climbed a short chimney out of the notch that lead to more low 5th class climbing. overall the idea was to climb the initial steep wall out of the notch, then trend left until the main ridge emanating from the South Norwegian buttress can be gained. This is climbed until the Wedge gendarme is reached. The climbing involves sections of trees and exposed ridge as well as a cool left facing corner to gain the upper ridge. Once at the Wedge gendarme we down climbed a short section then up the main face until we found a suitable place to traverse across the giant red gash through the middle of the face. View of the North Face of Main Peak from the descent down to the Middle-Main notch. High quality rock we had to traverse to get out of the north face and onto easier terrain. Once across the gulley we traversed ledges until you can pass through a notch and onto the west side of the Main peak. From here the technical climbing is over and it is a short trip to the summit. We continued traversing south from the notch past 3 gullies until we could ascend a heather and dirt gully up to gentle slopes near the summit. Walk SE toward the broad summit of the Main Peak of Index. We were excited to reach the summit. 3 peaks in 2 days of 1 mountain and still we were only half way there. Index does not give up the goods easily and we still had the arduous descent of the Hourglass gulley to get done. None of us had crampons and I only had approach shoes on, so the idea of descending steep snow was questionable at best. The trip to the top of the gulley was a quick easterly traverse from the summit. At the top of the gulley system we stayed skiers left and did one initial rappel off a tree to get onto a snow field. We made a gingerly descent of the snow field to a band of rocks and trees and did two more rappels from here to get down below the hourglass feature. At the time we passed it there was a 5-8 foot wide moat at the bottom of the hourglass that was very deep. Tedious down climbing of snow and a few good snow bollards got us down to the talus slope and most of the difficult descent behind us. We headed down until we got to the top of the ridge visible from Lake serene. We followed the ridge along its crest and did one rappel along the ridge where it got very steep. Talus down to the lake and traverse along the south side until we got to the main trail. It was a long day to get down and we didn't get back to the parking lot until 10:30 pm. It was well worth it though to be able to do such a big adventure so close to home. I am pretty sure I could see my house from the bivy. I would recommend this climb to anyone looking for a big adventure. If you have honed your alpine climbing skills and wish to test them all then Index provides as it always has. Gear Notes: single 60 or 70m rope will work double rack to 2" and set of nuts Long slings for trees and horns. Extra tat for rapel anchors as necessary Approach Notes: Lake serene trail is pretty nice given some of the approaches to climbs in this state.
  4. 2 points
    Trip: 9 Days in the Chiliwack Range - SE Mox, Lemolo. Redoubt, Spickard, NW Mox Trip Date: 06/24/2021 Trip Report: 9 Days in the Chilliwack Range - North Cascades National Park Climbers: Jake Johnson - Fort Collins, CO Adam Moline - Sacramento, CA Emilio Taiveaho - Chapel Hill, NC Summary: Days 1 & 2 - Boat ride and bushwack up Perry Creek Basin Day 3 - SE Mox and Lemolo Day 4 - Move to Camp 7200 at head of Redoubt Glacier Day 5 - Redoubt Day 6 - Spickard and NW Mox Day 7 - Rest / Weather Day Day 8 - Attempt at West Buttress of W Subpeak of NW Mox, return to Perry Creek Day 9 - Hike out and Boat back to civilization A pilgrimage to the North Cascades has become an annual tradition and with climbing partners like Adam and Emilio, the draw to more remote and chossier locations grows steadily with each visit. This trip to the Chilliwack Range marked our first climbs in the Cascades outside of the Pickets. With Covid restrictions complicating entry from Canada, we were stoked about likely having the peaks of this range to ourselves for the week, which it appeared we did. Day 1: The first day of our adventure started as many good adventures do: on 3 hours of anxious sleep. Adam and Emilio had driven up from California on I-5 the day before and picked me up in Seattle in the late evening, not allowing much time for slumber. An early boat ride across Ross Lake to Little Beaver gave us plenty of daylight to trudge up the trail-less Perry Creek valley, but with 10 days worth of food and gear and virtually no sleep, we recognized it wouldn’t be an easy day. Emilio stretching out: The boat ride: 4.5 miles of maintained trail walking provided some early views, and then a comfortable forested grind to the Perry Creek Shelter. Views of Ross on the first mile of the Little Beaver trail: After some initial route finding and stream crossings up the valley, the real schwacking began, and I would agree with all statements of parties that have come before us - some of the densest growth that I’ve forced my body through. A classic North Cascades stream crossing: The best picture I could find of the dense growth sections: A few hours later we were blessed with some talus and space to breathe and refill on water from the creek before plunging back into some older growth for several less abusive miles. A tattered and needle-covered Emilio: Talus relief from the dense brush bushwhacking: By mid afternoon the towering summit of Lemolo was in sight, but the lack of sleep and pounds of pine needles accumulating under our clothing started taking a toll and we found some large boulders in the talus to call home for the evening. Upper Perry Creek Basin: Day 2: The next morning we were faced with a decision: to push hard to the top of the valley and ascend the snowpack to the ridge (our original plan), or to take it a bit easier and settle for camp at the top of the valley. With over a week remaining in the backcountry we opted for the later, and in retrospect this was the right decision. Bushwhacking in the upper portion of the valley: The schwacking re-intensified a bit higher in the valley and we were happy to take the evening to wash our clothes and bodies at the head of Perry Creek. Dinner and a bath at the headwaters of Perry Creek: Some underwear bouldering: Day 3: With an early start, we had the opportunity to make back some time in our schedule. We trudged up the glacier slowly and steadily, gaining the elevation to the ridge with heavy packs over several hours. Steady progress climbing up out of Perry Creek Basin: By midday we were standing at the base of the gully that marks the start of the route up SE Mox (aka Hard Mox). Leaving the packs behind, we quickly soloed the loose but easy pitches to the summit. The initial gully on SE Mox: More exposed climbing on the upper pitches: From here we eyed our primary objective of the trip: a deliciously exposed ridge connecting SE Mox to its sub peak - known as Hardest Mox until Eric Wherley and Rolf Larsen summited it via the East Face in 2007. They dubbed it Lemolo, and the lack of visitors to such a wild and untamed peak was too intriguing for us to resist. Eric was kind enough to share some beta for the region and encourage us to attempt the climb to the summit of Lemolo via the ridge (their descent route after their first ascent of the summit). Looking from SE Mox across to Lemolo: Navigating the first portion of the ridge: After about 2.5 min of admiration and intimidation, we began moving along the ridge and found it to be exactly what we had hoped for; exposed choss with just enough relief to keep me pressing forward. Some sections actually did have some solid stone, and made for some of the most fun 5.fun climbing I’ve done in my life. Adam and Emilio making moves on the traverse: Shot of me on the ridge - This is probably the best photo to demonstrate scale and position of the route: Upon reaching the summit tower of Lemolo, we found Eric and Rolf’s tat from 2007, and we enjoyed the views in all directions, especially savoring the view looking back at SE Mox which few have had the privilege of soaking in. In the event that this traverse to the summit is a new route to the peak, we’d call it “Process and Reality” 5.4 X. Old rappel tat on the Summit of Lemolo: Group summit selfie: “Solo for safety” was the motto of the day, as we avoided roping up and placing gear for all the climbing due to all the loose blocks. The theme was confirmed as we rappelled the SE Mox route - falling rock from pulling the rope provided the most apparent danger we experienced all day. Rappel on SE Mox A bit of caving beneath the upper glacier provided the evening’s water, and we settled onto a steep scree slope for the night. The layers of sky at dusk after a full day of mountain moving brought a smile to my chapped lips as we drifted into dreamland. Bivy just below the route on SE Mox: Day 4: Emilio and I sipped some coffee and enjoyed the morning as Adam descended the upper part of the glacier to retrieve a Croc that had escaped in the night. The versatile footwear was far too valuable to leave behind until our descent back into the valley later in the week. Additionally, the risk of failing to recover it later and littering the most pristine place any of us had ever been was unacceptable. When we finally got moving around midmorning, the going was slow, and our route finding was unimpressive. Most beta for the area assumes an approach from the West, so crossing the Ridge of Gendarmes from the East was a bit of a trick. Convinced that the “canon hole” described by Becky was the intended route, Adam and I waited as Emilio loaded himself into the tight gully only to be shot back out along with some airborne scree. Some failed route finding in unstable gullies: Looking back at SE Mox: We eventually found the correct route and slid and rambled and postholed our way to Camp 7200 beneath the impressive SE crown of Redoubt. View of the long and sunny trudge from Ridge of Gendarmes to Camp 7200: Gnarly broken snow and ice: Camp 7200': Day 5: With the assumption that Mt. Redoubt would probably be an easy 3rd class venture, we prepared ourselves accordingly and set off around midmorning. The glacier walking was smooth and enjoyable without the weight of the packs, and we gleefully scampered up the steeper sections on the south side of the mountain, often stopping to look back and eye lines on Bear Mountain. Climbing towards Mt Redoubt: A wild Emilio and Bear Mountain: I found the towering buttresses of Redoubt to be super impressive, and our gully of choice took us deep within the heart of the mountain. We found ourselves beneath the summit block with a couple of options, all appearing to be 5th class. After making some mental adjustments and reframing the level of focus that would be required, we made the few easy moves without issue. Exploring the low 5th class options to the true summit: Knowing our return to camp would only require an hour or so, we spent the better part of the morning on top of the mountain, hanging in the shade just off the summit and traversing across the buttresses and subpeaks on the summit ridge. A morning spent on the summit of Redoubt: Downclimbing off the summit block required some focus again, but then it was smooth sailing down the gully and joyful plunging on the glacier back to camp. Downclimbing the 5th class: Enjoying views on the slide down: Relaxing in camp: Milky Way: Day 6: After some discussion about how we wanted to spend the remaining days of the trip, it was determined that we would try to double up and hit Spickard and NW Mox on day 6. Again, leaving the packs behind made for smooth glacier walking, and Adam and I were soon following Emilio’s charge up the firm snow of Spickard’s SW couloir in the early morning. SW Couloir of Spickard (taken later in the day): Following Emilio and Adam up Spickard: Views of Silver Lake, a quick stop on the summit, and a descent via the south slopes made for a nice tour of the mountain. Silver Lake as seen from Mt Spickard: It’s worth noting that the prize for “Chossiest Gully” of the trip might go our chosen route back over the ridge from the south slopes of Spickard into the Ouzel Basin. Descending snow beneath the angry gully: Back on the main glacier. NW Mox up next (top left of photo): Next up was NW Mox (aka Easy Mox). Our intent was to ascend via the North Ridge and descend via the West Ridge for variety, so the crampons and axes came along for the ride as we hopped off the snow and onto the long but easy scramble up the ridge. Easy Walking up NW Mox. Spickard in background: Lemolo and SW Mox from NW Mox: The summit block was steep, but in the time it took for me to consider roping up, Emilio and Adam had soloed half of the route with ice axes in hand. Solid rock led to the summit, where we realized that a West Ridge descent might have been more than bargained for. The choices were steep and intimidating downclimbing or more rappels than we had tat for. We reluctantly returned to the glacier via the North Ridge and stumbled back to camp, out of water and a bit delirious. Returning to the shade and water of camp was a dream, but the mountain continued to provide magic to the evening as a Wolverine appeared over the col just yards from camp and charged past us on the snow, clearly startled by our presence. Wolverine on Redoubt Glacier: By the time I grabbed the camera it was a ways off on the Redoubt glacier, but I feel fortunate to have witnessed it. Likely a once in a lifetime encounter for me. Day 7: We awoke to zero visibility. The truth is that we really didn’t have plans for the day, so the weather just confirmed that it would be a rest day in camp - washing of clothes and bodies, yoga, and naps. Watching the fog ride over the rock and ice of these mountains will always be awe inspiring to me, and the lazy day flew by quicker than most. Day 8: After a full week of aggressive calorie deficit, I was feeling lean, mean, and ready to climb. We returned through some thick fog, towards the Ridge of Gendarmes, but stopped at an impressive buttress on the subpeak west of NW Mox. Trekking through the fog: A little break in the fog, revealing the buttress: I had seen several references to this buttress being unclimbed, and we gave the weather some time to stir in hopes of making an attempt. A short break in the fog and a glance up the tower was all it took, and we roped up and moved upwards. I led the first pitch, which was primarily 4th class starting at the right base of the buttress and trending left towards the giant flake. P1, 4th class up a chossy chimney: I brought up Adam and Emilio and then sent upwards again on some steeper climbing. Thankfully the guys had a slight overhang to shield themselves from all the rubble I sent down on them. For about an hour and a half, Adam and Emilio discussed life and risk at the belay as I shouted “rock!” and tried to calm shaking calves. The featured sections I had identified from the ground were typically too loose to be useful, but I was impressed with some fun sections of face climbing that I would call somewhere around 5.8. However, an overhanging section of loose blocks turned me back on my first line. My second choice involved a massive chimney leading far left to the giant flake, but I deemed it unprotectable and not for that day, despite Emilio’s vocal desire to take the lead on it. I worked up again but further to the right sticking more true to the buttress, and this route - despite initially looking the most intimidating - seemed to have the most potential once I was in the thick of it. Again I worked up, 50-100 ft or so, but when I set a nut behind a giant block and the whole thing moved, my remaining stoke for the day was drained. Looking up at the second pitch options: Emilio on rappel: We rappelled back down into the clouds below. Upon reviewing some photos, it appears the steepness of the climbing eases a bit just beyond my high point, and with that knowledge to haunt me, I’m sure we’ll be back to give it another go at some point. A shot of the buttress taken earlier in the week: The remainder of the day included ascending the quicksand up Col of the Wild, and scrambling out of the clouds over Ridge of Gendarmes. Then plunging down the now-much-smaller glacier back to the top of Perry Creek Basin. Day 9: Exiting the long and remote and savage valley was a bit easier than entering it, since we knew what we were up against. We geared up for a long day and plugged away at it. We were surprised to find a jetboil and nalgene perched on a boulder in a talus field, midway down the valley. We certainly didn’t expect to see any signs of recent human activity in the valley, and finding these two items with no other clues left us puzzled. We made note to include it in this trip report to see if we were perhaps not the only party in the Perry Creek valley on 7/3/21. An open section in the Perry Creek jungle: Mystery Jetboil and Nalgene The densest sections of growth towards the bottom of the valley ravaged us as expected, swimming through trees, with many meters of continuous travel without feet contacting ground. Finally - relief as the forest opened up, we crossed the creek, and met the Little Beaver trail. Walking the maintained trail felt like floating and we were at Ross lake in no time. A boat ride across Ross Lake with beautiful dogs on board, and then, with no time to waste, we hauled up to the car to race into Marblemount before the diner closed. Final Thoughts: I believe a successful trip involves a couple things: coming back in one piece, strengthening the bond between friends, completing some objectives, but also - leaving something to be desired. For every objective I complete in these mountains, I come home with at least a dozen more to add to my list. I cannot unsee the dark and intense north faces of Bear Mountain, and I cannot help but think that if I was just a little stronger - mentally and physically - that we might have seen success on our attempt of that buttress. These thoughts will consume me and drive me to be better until I inevitably return again to test myself. Gear Notes: Light rack and too much rope Approach Notes: Type 2 fun
  5. 2 points
    Trip: Crescent Creek - Terror W ridge, wild hair crack, chopping black NE Trip Date: 07/15/2021 Trip Report: Went to the crescent creek area 7/15-18 with Alex. Shwack before terror creek is confusing at times but not exactly heinous. The creek crossing (ford) was easy for us. Trail on the other side is superb, possibly the steepest I’ve hiked, and very beautiful too. Not as enjoyable going down though. Once at the crest the path becomes ambiguous again. Didn’t have any trouble on the way up but somehow kept losing it on the way back. It took a while to reach the 6400’ notch and weather was coming in so we opted to just rest in the evening. We could see only the lower portions of the basin, and the going looked tough from afar. The spires were still a mystery at this point. Top priority for the trip was Wild Hair Crack, and Stoddard was 2nd. We needed two full days of good weather on days 2-3 to pull them both off. Waking to very low visibility on the morning of the 2nd day we called off Stoddard (next time) and planned to push wild hair to day3. We caught up on sleep for a while, finally getting going after noon towards the west ridge of terror as consolation, because the weather didn’t seem to be getting any worse. Traversing the basin ended up not being as bad as it looked. Took an hour to reach the base of the gully leading to Terror. Crux of the day was in the middle of the gully where a break in the snow forced a tenuous step down onto slabby choss and a few moves up from there before returning to snow. On the way back we chopped back snow to excavate an anchor at that spot. If I’m not mistaken the chockstone flexed when I tested it, but we rapped anyway. Poor visibility made it hard to find the start of the route but eventually we did one diagonal pitch from a notch to a slung rock. We unroped and scrambled from here in the mist. Some of the rock on the route is quite nice, more like the granite in the basin than the crap in the gully. Just as we were reaching the summit the cloud layer thinned out. I was remarking that this was glory weather and sure enough, a large white ring formed behind Terror. We got flashes of clear views to Fury and MacMillan. Saw our own halos for a minute then headed back. The climb was done to pass the time during poor weather, but a glory sighting took it to another level, validated the whole day. The weather finally cleared mid morning day3 and we were soon at the Otto Himmel col. The chockstone had fun looking moves on its right side, but probably 5th class so we kept it simple with ledges on the left a little ways below the stone. WHC did not disappoint. I mostly took small cams and they were mostly useless. The first good spot I noticed above the runout chimney is a thin horizontal crack, so some small pro helps. Other than that it seemed like most pro opportunities were in #2-3 range. The climbing was easy and solid enough that I was fine with long run outs. We relished the views up top, calling to the tiny figure over on the summit of Terror, our neighbor for a couple days. Descending with 60m rope worked fine, there are probably more anchors around now than in the past. On our last day we went to the NE side of chopping block, doing some exposed scrambling before roping up at a rap anchor. To my surprise I reached the summit in one 60m from there. This is another great vantage a place to mull over various traverse schemes deep in the backcountry. As we were packing up for the hike back, someone arrived at our spot. It was not his face but his lack of a backpack that helped me correctly guess his identity. Not a lot of people do day trips in the pickets. At least one who does has posted some insane reports here. My suspicion was confirmed and it was nice to meet and chat with dr dirtbag himself A dip in Terror creek and another in Goodell at the end of the trail helped wash away the grind of the descent, literally and metaphorically. Gear Notes: Axe and crampons for gullies Try to keep it light but mostly large in the cams Approach Notes: Useful gpx are out there
  6. 2 points
    Trip: Mt. Hood - Cathedral Ridge - Summer Climb Trip Date: 07/18/2021 Trip Report: Tim Stabio and I climbed Cathedral Ridge yesterday, July 18, 2021. We left Top Spur TH at 3:45am, and stumbled our way to the summit 5 hours 36 minutes later, where we relaxed alone on the summit in summer sunshine for about half an hour and ate wild boar burritos before descending the ol' south side. We reached my car parked at Timberline 7:34 after leaving, feeling good and unexpectedly wondering what we were going to do with the rest of our day. Overall, the route felt wild and remote, with about 1/2 of the route comprised of moderately OK rock and 1/2 comprised of horrible stuff only faintly resembling rock. If one assumes that everything one touches will move, then the experience will be great. There is also stellar positioning, offering some unique views of some of Mt. Hood's sexiest features. Beta: the route is obvious, and generally follows the path of least resistance. I thought the route photo at https://www.summitpost.org/cathedral-ridge/660166 was good. We didn't encounter any snow/ice to really speak of, which was good because I packed the wrong crampons for my boots (dummy!). Fortunately, we each had two ice tools, so I was able to smear/tool my way down the still-frozen old chute on the descent. We didn't encounter the steep snow slope mentioned in other trip reports on the route, although it'd be easy enough to find one in the upper reaches; instead, we stuck to the ridge proper (rock). The only notable section might have been a pitch-ish of class 4/5 uber-choss that could have been bypassed on climber's left with a snow slope. Lots of downed trees on Timberline Trail, which provided some interesting but not time-consuming navigational experiences in the wee morning light. We wore trail running shoes in, then switched those out for more rigid footwear when we started clawing our way up scree/choss fields. Overall, a worthy and under-appreciated route for those not against a little groveling on choss. Gear Notes: Standard alpine affair. Lighter is righter. Rope would only potentially be of use if there is snow/ice. Approach Notes: Top Spur TH provides the full experience of the ridge, from bottom to top, which was important to me. Better IMO than Timberline, if you can swing a shuttle.
  7. 1 point
    Sweet! Wild hair is a pretty awesome route, and the NE ridge of the Chopping Block should not be missed either. Looks like a fun trip!
  8. 1 point
    Fabulous! Will be good beta for those who are inspired to follow in your footsteps. It's awesome that so much Cascades climbing 'history' was made within the past 20 years by people we know. Perhaps this is part of what inspires each new generation to get after it and add to the pantheon of new routes.
  9. 1 point
  10. 1 point
    Trip: Squire Creek Wall - Concerto in C for Drill and Hammer Trip Date: 07/18/2021 Trip Report: On Saturday, July 17th I met Brian Young at the Shell station in Darrington for a trip up Concerto in C for Drill and Hammer on Squire Creek Wall. Glad that I'd borrowed Brian's brush cutter earlier this year, the bike ride up the old logging road was pleasant. In no hurry with only the approach to do this day, it took us 3 hours to get to camp. Then we carried our ropes and climbing gear up to the top of Pitch 1, having soloed the easy first pitch, and clipped it all to the anchor there. On Sunday the 18th we awoke at 4:30, first light, and departed after breakfast. At first we worried about the pack weight for the second, as it contained four full water bottles, all drilling gear, a chain anchor, and six bolts with hangers. We even discussed fixing each pitch and the second doing them on jumars. Instead, I tried climbing with it, and not one complaint was aired all day. We climbed rapidly and were at the Bubba Compactor at 7:30am! Brian took Pitch 2, which had me worried, but he cruised it and every even-numbered pitch thereafter. I followed Pitch 10 with no problem with the pack, it was even fun! I noted the piton was still there on Pitch 11; this point didn't seem as scary as on the FA. On Pitch 14 Brian yelled that this was the scariest pitch of the whole route! We noted that a bolt or two would be good on the sandy slabs there. We reached the summit at 2:00. I quickly made ready for drilling the list of fixups, which included: 1) Installing a chain anchor on the summit 2) Adding two bolts to Pitch 14 3) Replacing the piton on Pitch 11 with a bolt 4) Replacing the two quarter-inch buttonheads on Pitch 10 with fat bolts I drilled the summit anchor, and we descended. On the pitches with drilling tasks, we fixed the lead rope and I rapped down it, got on jumars, did the work, and rapped to the next anchor. Then Brian unfixed the rope and rapped both ropes normally. It all got done smoothly but took time and we knew we would be hiking out partly by headlamp. As it turned out, we crossed Squire Creek in the last of the dusky light. We dried off our feet, donned headlamps, hiked and biked down to the trailhead, and reached the cars at around 11:00. The C-shaped route On Pitch 11, with the "inverted prow" on the left Brian taking the summit shot Drilling the top anchor 20210719_002635000_iOS.MOV (an experiment to include a video file, may not work, or may show sideways) Replacing a quarter-inch buttonhead on Pitch 10. When drilling out a smaller hole, you have to make small hits, at first, to keep from binding the drill bit This is now a 14-pitch route, as I measured the remaining rope when Brian reached the "tree belay" atop Pitch 14, and know we could just as well have clambered up the summit blocks to the top. I will be editing the topo and posting it later. While descending high on the ridge we saw two climbers topping out on Skeena26. Good to see that route getting some use. The amazing linkup by Kyle and Jenny will have an effect! My thanks go to a smart, cautious, and patient partner; good on ya' Brian. And thanks, Kellie, for making the suggestion of a bolt on the 'white hump' on Pitch 14, corroborated by Brian; it is now a better pitch. All photos by Brian Young Gear Notes: Standard single rack to 3". Approach Notes: The boot track now has two detours around winter blowdowns. They are pretty well kicked in, watch for the piles of sticks blocking the original way, and turn right.
  11. 1 point
    You made even the shwack sound fun, nice work!
  12. 1 point
    Congratulations, that looks like it was fun. As one of the many folks who have only done the classic NE buttress route, I salute the adventurous nature of this outing.
  13. 1 point
    You had a lot more snow on the descent than we did, so you had much more to contend with after an arduous trip. Congratulations on a successful ascent of a great route! At the bottom of the difficulties, just above Lake Serene, there are tarns with lovely slabs and boulders to play on. In the relief from being down from such a route, my friend Chuck and I did some easy bouldering in July, 2005.
  14. 1 point
    I climbed "Bird" peak from the north side that is facing Lake Mountain. That route is class 3-4 maybe a touch of 5th. There is a keyhole section that I climbed through to get to the upper section. The south side is class 3, 4 and solid 5th rope territory.
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