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  1. 11 points
    Trip: Whatcom Peak - “Castle in the Sky” FA of the South Buttress of Whatcom 5.10b TD Trip Date: 08/06/2022 Trip Report: Yeeehaw! What a weather window it’s been! From Aug 5-7th Lani and I climbed the first ascent of the south buttress of Whatcom. This route came as a suggestion from Wayne. Thanks! It was excellent climbing on great rock in the most perfect of settings. I would say it’s one of the finer alpine routes I’ve had the pleasure of climbing in the cascades! We would highly recommend the route! There is certainly some choss and some runout but it is the pickets. I have to start work today so a hasty trip report will have to do. Here’s a link to the report I wrote up. Sorry for the forced click through, I’m rolling out the door and don’t have time to format photos for CC. Thanks for the stoke y’all! Go get it while the gettins still there! https://www.theclimbingguides.com/post/castle-in-the-sky-first-ascent-of-the-south-buttress-of-whatcom-peak-iv-5-10b-td Gear Notes: Single rack .1-3 doubles .2-1 full set of nuts. Optional #2 and 3 KB’s. Single 60M rope Approach Notes: We took easy peak to the imperfect impasse.
  2. 9 points
    Trip: Crescent Creek Spires, Southern Picket Range - East Twin Needle - North Buttress 5.9 D+ 2,000’ Trip Date: 07/31/2022 Trip Report: Sam Boyce and I climbed the North Buttress (aka the Thread of Gneiss, as coined by John Roper), on July 31, 2022. The buttress rises 1,800 vertical feet and our route took 9 pitches, the majority of which were ~250’ due to simul-climbing–we estimate around 2,000’ feet of roped climbing. Some of you might be curious about this (probable FA) given there are no reported ascents, although a couple parties have reportedly tried. I had tried and failed on this line before, and it had really got under my skin. This time Sam and I started the line in a more sensible place, and it went smoothly. Here's some art by John Scurlock showing the E and W Twin Needles from the north. Our line begins lower right and works its way up the north buttress trending left, eventually squeaking by the sub-summit spire on its left to hit that highest left skyline: The lingering snowpack made the approach relatively easy, for the Pickets. From our camp near the Chopping Block, after traversing the snow, slabs, and talus of Crescent Cr basin, we cramponed up to Otto-Himmelhorn col. From there, the descent of the Mustard Glacier required only one single-rope rap from an established station ~150’ below the col. Gawking up at the very steep and intimidating looking summit spires, we figured that we would need a lot of time to reckon a way to summit. As a result, our route-finding choices generally favored efficiency, as we wanted to be as expedient as possible to save time for expected difficulties up high. As it turns out, our concerns were largely needless. We started climbing a little below the outlet of the gully splitting the E and W Twin Needles (aka, the Thread of Ice), gaining E Twin Needle on its right-hand side, not far up from the buttress toe. A pitch-plus of glacial-flour-covered mid-fifth was followed by a pitch-plus of nasty gully travel with some mid-fifth work-arounds, and that landed us at a notch above the first pillar/tower on the buttress. Future parties should take the rib to the left of the gully on pitch 2 for better climbing, and top out on the pillar—an approx. 20’ rap to the notch might be required, but this would be much better than the loose gully. Our start, from near the buttress’s toe: In the above pic, we gained the rock left of the gaping 'schrund, up to the brownish left-slanting gully, up that thing to the notch between the indistinct pillar and the next tower at the sun-shade line. (Again, likely better to stay on the rib to the left of the gully.) From there, Sam led through some blocky 5.7 terrain that backed off to more low-fifth scrambling. For pitch-plus 4, I continued on pleasant rock at low-fifth class, nearly to the top of another gendarme. For pitch-plus 5, Sam then easily gained the next notch and continued on some solid and fun 5.8 that relented to mid-fifth. For pitch 6, I led an airy 5.7 traverse left of another tower. This was one of the few pitches that did not stretch beyond a rope length. Going up and over this tower would probably be just as fun. Sam’s lead of pitch 7 was a long simul affair involving grassy ramps for about 400’ with difficulties up to 5.7. He finally pulled up to belay at a spot that gave us options for tackling the summit block. My lead of pitch 8 involved a chimney, a leftward-rising traverse of a face, and then working around and up an exposed and somewhat insecure arête to near the summit. This long pitch was the proverbial sting in the tail, requiring some careful and sometimes licheny 5.9 moves. Fun and spicy. (There were certainly more spicy options to gain the striking sub-summit, but we leave that for future parties and variations.) From my belay Sam scrambled to the summit, at perhaps 5.6. Descent: We descended the south face. From the summit, there is a short down climb to an established rap station with a fresh sling from the Wrights’ traverse a few years back. This was a full 30M rap that took us to Eye Col (the notch between E and W Twin Needles). From Eye Col we scrambled down the main south gully, exiting rightward when it got steep and traversing skier's right over 2 or 3 minor ridges to find easier terrain to down climb. After a bit of sandy 4th class, we identified a convenient point to rappel from (cord now in situ) that landed us back into the main gully with its (currently) hanging snowfield. This was a full 60M rap. After downclimbing and traversing right off the snow, we found ourselves at a notch that splits the two main gullies described in the Beckey guide. We decided the gullies looked unpleasant and scrambled the ridge between the two, trending rightward as we went down–our route traversed above the skier’s right gully. This was straightforward 4th class. When the ridge got steeper near another notch we made another rap. This was another ~60M rap down lower angle terrain, which could probably be downclimbed somewhat reasonably with a couple steep steps. From here we continued downclimbing to the moat below the ridge. There was not a comfortable-looking transition to the snow so we rigged one more single-rope rap to clear the moat and get back onto the snowfields in Crescent Creek basin. Once in the basin, it was a quick romp back up to our camp at the Chopping Block col. A handful of pics: Sam on pitch 3, E Twin Needle's sub-summit spire lurking behind immediately left: Me on pitch 4, with the Eye of Sauron menacing behind: Here I'm following pitch 5, Fury and Luna background: For pitch 6, at this point I decided to head left for an airy traverse versus the up-and-over (that's W Twin on the right): Sam shot this pic of me on pitch 8, about to swing around to the exposed arete: A couple of Sam following, first the chimney, then on the arete, obviously having fun: Sam and I really enjoyed this climb. While Sam had impressively climbed three Pickets routes in under two weeks, for me it had been too long since I'd climbed alpine rock, and this was a much-needed alpine shot in the arm. Except for the uncharacteristically somewhat-heady last pitch, we'd recommend this as a "Pickets moderate". Parties comfortable with alpine 5.9 should take a ride on this climb. The Crescent Creek Spires from our camp; the Twin Needles are the pointy ones next to last on the left, and the upper gully snowfield that we rappelled and downclimbed as part of the descent (before veering looker's left on a ridge) is visible dropping down below Eye Col: Gear Notes: Double cams fingers to 1", single 2 and 3, supplemented by tri-cams and nuts. Double/twin 60M ropes. Approach Notes: Crescent Creek basin approach to Chopping Block col.
  3. 6 points
    Trip: Picket Range - Southern Pickets Enchainment Trip Date: 8/4-7/2022 Trip Report: It's Pickets season folks! Kurt and I were supposed to be in the Bugaboos last week, but unstable weather encouraged us to stay local and sample a little bit of what the Pickets have to offer. Between weather and work on Monday, we had a pretty tight schedule that was surely going to be a challenge. On Thursday we slept in and got a casual start. AM rain was forecasted, and "all" we had to do was hike in to the base of little Mac spire. As we drove north, the rain poured down. By the time we reached the trailhead there was blue sky poking through, but all the brush was thoroughly soaked. The hike up went on for an eternity, and I was beginning to understand why the Pickets see so little traffic. By the time we made it to the alpine, we were drenched from head to toe, and the cold wind made for some rather uncomfortable slogging up to camp. Thankfully by the time we arrived, we were mostly dried out apart from our feet, which wouldn't fully dry out for another day. Day 2: Little Mac, East Mac, West Mac, Tower 1, Tower 5, Inspiration, Pyramid, Degenhardt. A cold and windy night brought us to a cold and windy morning, but the clouds had finally cleared and we could see our first peak. The brush and soil on little mac was still wet from the day before which made for some pretty unnerving scrambling up the first half of the mountain, but once the sun hit things began to dry out. Little Mac and East Mac went pretty smoothly with mostly scrambling and a couple pitches of roped climbing to the summits. West Mac however provided a little more adventure as Kurt tried to quest up some roofs in the middle of the east face but was thwarted and had to downclimb half a pitch. Thankfully we found the easy way and were off to the races. The East Towers sucked up so much time, and honestly I don't remember what we did to get through them. Huge props to Jeff Wright for remembering all the beta and writing such a detailed trip report. I wish I had that good of a memory.... or maybe I'd rather forget. Surfin' the East Towers Inspiration was Classic! By far the best climbing on route. Super straightforward, fun and engaging crack climbing. A large panel of the west face of Inspiration fell off some time recently, taking one or more of the rap anchors with it. This involved some downclimbing between stations and lots of loose rock on the rappels. At least one new station would be needed to fully rap the face. Rapping through the rock scar "Hey Kurt, I found the anchor!" Low on water, we brewed up below Pyramid and rested for the rest of the climbing ahead. Kurt took the leads up Pyramid and quested us up into some hard 5.10 roofs that ended up bring the crux of the entire traverse. We still have no idea where that 5.8 chimney is. Or where we were for that matter. We forgot to take a picture on top of Pyramid, so here's number 7! We don't know how to count. This was summit 8. Having lost a fair bit of time, we raged up Degenhardt at sunset. Racing the fading light, we traversed along the ridge over to the base of Terror and the supposed "excellent" bivy. We didn't have to climb with headlamps! A cold wind howled up the north side, sending morale plummeting. The only somewhat flat spots were on the frigid windy side of the ridge so after an unsuccessful attempt to rig up my tarp to block the wind, we opted to engineer our own spots to the south. We were both somewhat successful in digging out our own bivys, and went to bed late and exhausted. Day 3: Terror, The Rake, The Blip, East Twin Needle, West Twin Needle, Dusseldorfspitz, Himmelhorn The next morning came too soon and we started with Terror for breakfast. The east ridge went quickly and the mountain most definitely didn't live up to the name. Summit of Terror for the actual ninth summit. The Rake, similar to the East towers sucked up an incredible amount of time. We went too high on the first gendarme and had to downclimb the ridge to get to the 5.7 traverse. The rest was just slow route finding up along over and below the ridge. Low on water and with a lot of climbing still ahead of us. We brewed up again below The Blip, four more towers standing between us and camp, two of which being the 5.10 cruxes of the route. Summit 10! Wonderful rap anchor off The Rake. We cruised over the Blip and up the lower pitches of East Twin Needle. A little intimidated by the 5.10 crux, I took the lead up the spectacular knife edge ridge to where it kicks back to a slight overhang. With my pack feeling heavy, I sized up the moves above me, poked my head around to the left and balanced my way around the corner. Skipping the crux. With that out of the way, we raced down up and over West Twin Needle and over to the base of the intimidating East ridge of Himmelhorn. As the only one who brought rock shoes, I took this crux pitch as well. Pulling around the corner I was greeted by a fixed nut, and wild face climbing on hollow sounding rock. It wasn't all too hard, but by feet and calves were pumping out from the heavy pack and everything we had done up to that point. Thankfully I pulled it off without a hitch, and all the hard climbing was behind us. This pitch is probably only around 10a/b, but I absolutely would have called it 10+ if I had climbed it as an onsight first ascent. The overnight pack certainly doesn't help. Summit 13 and the east ridge of Himmelhorn trying to intimidate us. Dusseldorfspitz! Cumbre 14! Day 4: Ottohorn & Frenzelspitz The next morning at the Himmelhorn-Ottohorn col I woke up to sunlight casting off the mountains around us. I must have turned off my alarm at some point and fallen back asleep without realizing it. Kurt forgot to set one as well. Neither of us were upset by the extra half hour of sleep, but knew we needed to get things moving if we wanted to get out at a reasonable hour. Don't roll over! A quick jaunt up and down Ottohorn started day four. The effort of the last three days weighted on our legs, but the lack of overnight packs made it feel less like a chore. We carried a rope and rack up for the supposed 5.6 summit block, but they never saw any use. Once back down at the col, we scrambled down to the north and around the east face of Ottohorn to reach Frenzelspitz. I don’t think we took the same route as Priti and Jeff, but regardless it got us where we needed to go at loose 4th class with tiny bits of low 5th. Continuing this trend, we scrambled up to the base of the last pitch of Frenzelspitz where Kurt took the sharp end and led us up a short pitch to our final summit. We have a serious problem. This was summit 16. Someone teach us how to count. The descent went pretty much as expected. Lots of knee pain and schwacking took us around Crescent Basin, down stump hollow and out along Goodell creek. Huge thanks to Wayne, Jeff and Priti for all the beta. I can’t imagine how much longer everything would have taken without those detailed topos for every climb and descent. Both Kurt and I were blown away that the FA team of three did it in almost the same timeframe as us, and even tacked on the Chopping Block! Gear Notes: Single rack .1-2 doubles .4-1, One rack "nice" nuts and a half rack leaver nuts, 10 single runners & 4 doubles, 30 feet 5mm cord for rap anchors, 60m 8.5mm rope, Light Axe and Crampons Approach Notes: Over the river and through the woods, then up up up and some more up through more forest until you're finally in the alpine oh god.
  4. 5 points
    Trip: Mt baker - North Ridge Trip Date: 08/01/2022 Trip Report: This adventure started in the most likely place, Instagram. A guy named Remy, who had worked at the same climbing gym I currently work for sent me a message. My boss had heard from Remy that he was looking for partners that wanted to do a lot of climbing; My boss also knows that I am in the same boat. After some messaging back and forth we decided we would give the north ridge of baker a try! Most would say attempting a long and committing route with a new climbing partner would not be the best idea. Most of the time I would agree. The only reason I am able to make this exception was because of our mutual friend/boss. He has known both of us for a long time, with a good understanding of our experience and comfort level in the mountains. Remy and I planned for a full casual day of hiking up the road, up the trail, and to camp. Then a full alpine start climbing day. Then a full day to sleep and walk out. If the weather and company are equally as good this is my favorite way to approach bigger climbs like this. Making the large approach and distances more manageable physically and mentally. I find this is also how I rap my head around larger technical obstacles; Breaking them down into small chunks that I can easily understand and take one at a time. The small chunk mindset works super well until you need to have any amount of forethought about your objectives but for the purpose of giving me confidence that I have the ability to do larger and harder routes, this mindset helps a lot. Remy and I started out our approach day a little bit late putting the pressure on us to get to camp and get to sleep. Making it worse was the fact that I had forgotten my bike back home in a rush to get ready and out the door early. We put our minds together and decided that strapping the packs to the bike like a mule and both pushing that one bike would be faster than swapping out riding the single bike. This feat of engineering let us push up the hill to the trailhead in less than 2 hours. Putting us right back on schedule. We hoisted our packs and walked up the heliotrope ridge trail with excitement for our next day. After arriving at camp and getting our tent set up, I cooked my usual top ramen with a side of tuna (I am still getting better at backcountry cooking). We talked over at time plan and decided on a midnight start. Our alarms rang and it was time to boogie. I threw my boots on and racked up for the big day to come. We did some traversing to get up out onto the helio trope ridge and then out onto the Coleman glacier. The glacier was surprisingly simple and fast travel. Most of the cracks were completely exposed making them obvious and easy to avoid. Until higher on the mountain we did not find any unstable bridges. We hiked in a timely manner up to the toe of the north ridge. The beta that we had gotten from a month before was that gaining the toe of the ridge was out and traversing to lookers left around the ridge was needed. That turned out to be completely false for the conditions we found but existing in our own little headlamp bubble it was hard to tell that at the time. Moving around the toe of the ridge and accending found us just next to looker's left of the ridge for about a thousand feet. Looking up at the ice step and the steeper snow seemingly right above us we pulled out the rope length and prepared to siml. This was not the case. A little after the above picture was taken I arrived at a nearly 50ft wide crack that the GPS track we had, seemingly cruised right over. With the north ridge not gainable to us to the right and icefall to the left we decided to descend slightly and explore our options to the left. Past some broken blocks the glacier seemed to mellow out and provide access around the crack back to the north ridge. The above photo was taken after traversing around the large crack. beautifully broken glacier. Tomfoolery moving through the north face icefall This portion of the climb is something I am debating still in my head. We had no beta on the icefall we were making our way through. The bridges we were crossing were super solid but would they have been later in the day if we needed to descend? what would the icefall hazard be like after the sun heated everything up? Was I in over my head? I believe that the decisions we made were safe enough for the route and situation we were committed to. Remy and I on the way out discussed every decision we made in detail and the reasons behind them. This type of do-it-as-you-go climbing was new to both me and Remy and it was really fucking awesome. You can see in our GPS track we were finding the best crossings were farthest lookers left but we constantly were moving lookers right to see if there was a route back onto the ridge. Finally, after lots of large crack crossings and zig-zagging, we found an entrance to the north ridge around 600 ft below the ice step. A look at the upper north face icefall from below the ice step. Back on route finally. As we looked down the ridge in the light a clear bootpack and a RMI team moving up it made all the hard work we just put in seem meaningless. But was it? I feel like I had to engage more active decision-making, risk management, and route-finding skills much much more than I normally would have on a well-tracked route like the north ridge. I feel I grew as a climber as well as my personal ethic in the mountains. It was a freeing experience to decide to tread my own route and make it work. The ice step was in super good shape. A short section of pretty high-quality vertical ice then followed by another pitch of low-angle ice. This led to a knife edge ridge to the summit bergy which was a simple crossing with some steep snow to the top. The descent was very simple, just a trot down the Coleman Demming which was in very good shape. Back to camp at 2pm made it a 15-hour day including all the icefall buffoonery. Overall a super fun climb with a super cool person. I hope you enjoyed reading about an adventure and thanks for sticking around! Gear Notes: 6 Screws, 3 pickets (wish we had a few more screws) Approach Notes: Heliotrope (bring two bikes)
  5. 4 points
    Trip: Selkirks - Lionshead - Circle of Life 5.11b/c, C1 FA Trip Date: 08/08/2022 Trip Report: I just finished putting up a project I have been working for the last couple years. It is on the north face of Lionshead up in Selkirk mountains of northern ID. I first heard about the potential line years ago but wasn't climbing hard enough at the time. Then 2 years ago I started investigating and scrubbing it. Finally after many hours of scrubbing it came together this weekend. I do want to thank the numerous friends that I dragged up there who patiently belayed me and also spent hours cleaning and scrubbing the route. The climb is 5 pitches long and contains a lot of really good 5.10 and 5.11 crack climbing. There is 10 feet of pretty blank rock that earns the C1 rating. It is straight forward aiding on a cam and a couple of fixed nuts. For those inclined to try and free it, I would guess it goes at mid to hard 5.12?? So go get the FFA and let me know! The crux pitch would be a classic at most crags complete with really good 5.11 finger crack to some steep laybacking/hands. The descent is to rappel the route which helps make the route feel less committing, and anything in the 5.11 range can be pulled through (although that would be most of pitch 3!). Pitch 1 - 5.9 Pitch 2 - 5.10b Pitch 3 - 5.11b/c, C1 Pitch 4 - 5.10+ Pitch 5 - 5.11b I personally would say it is on par with the classics at WA Pass for quality of climbing although it contains a little more lichen due to lack of traffic currently. I would definitely recommend doing it. The north face of Lionshead in the evening light. The line is marked in red. Starting up pitch 1. Looking up the start of Pitch 2. Starting up the crux Pitch 3. Looking back down the top half of the crux pitch 3. Such good climbing!! Nearing the top of pitch 4. The crux 5.11 roof on pitch 5. Gear Notes: Doubles from .2 to #3 with triples in the .3 to .75 and a single #4. A single set of nuts (offsets more useful than regular). Also a .3/.4 and .4/.5 offset cam come in very handy. 2 ropes for the rappel. Approach Notes: Take the normal approach to Lionshead. The route is on the north face about 100 ft to the right of the route Lion Tamer.
  6. 3 points
    Trip: Glacier Peak - Frostbite Ridge Trip Date: 08/07/2022 Trip Report: TR and GPS track on my site here: https://www.jeffreyjhebert.com/adventures/frostbite-ridge-on-glacier-peak As the fourth-highest peak in Washington State and a beautiful, remote objective, I always wanted to climb more than just the standard route on Glacier Peak. With a perfect weather window over an early-August weekend and a good friend and climbing partner willing to suffer a bit, it was time. Adam and I drove out to the North Fork Sauk Trailhead on Saturday morning with open bivy gear, one axe and one light axe each, crampons, a 30m glacier rope, a few ice screws, a couple of pickets, trail runners, boots, and, perhaps most importantly, a good supply of whiskey. Our 3-day, lollipop plan was to hike 20 miles the first day to get near the start of the Kennedy Glacier, then climb the route and descend the Cool Glacier on the other side a good ways before camping again and then hiking out on the morning of the third day. We left the car at 10am and hiked up the standard approach until we hit the PCT, where we took a left up to Red Pass. We ran into a number of through-hikers on the PCT and each of them was a bit surprised to hear we were there to climb Glacier Peak. We also ran into a soloist who said he’d started up the Kennedy Glacier, but turned around. It was a bit ominous hearing that as we marched our way North on the PCT. The variety and amount of ground we covered this first day was pretty cool and we enjoyed it as much as we could despite the slowly-building pain creeping into our feet, shoulders, and hips. It was after 7pm when we made it to the tricky crossing of the Kennedy Creek. We just put our heads down from here and hiked up Kennedy Ridge to 5,300 feet where we expected to leave the PCT in the morning and saw a creek on the map, hoping there would be somewhere flat to bivy. We arrived at 8pm to find a nice little campsite with one other person, quickly set up shop, and conked out. The mileage and vertical gain from camp to the summit didn’t seem to warrant an alpine start, so we woke up at 5am and were moving by 6am. Heading straight up from camp was exactly the right move and quickly put us on a large moraine overlooking the entire North side of Glacier. There were some old signs of traffic, but the area had the feel of being forgotten and much more remote than other big peaks in Washington. We switched from trail runners to boots at the toe of the Kennedy Glacier at 7:30am, keeping crampons on our backs to start since the snow was reasonably soft and there was a clear dirty, rocky band to get through on the glacier below Kennedy Peak. This section was perhaps the most dangerous of the route—it was a crumbling mess with big boulders waiting to succumb to potential energy, perched on glacial till. After gingerly getting through this bit, we were on the wide-open Kennedy Glacier with very little crevasse hazard on its left half. Things were uneventful until we got to Frostbite Ridge itself. We could see the Rabbit Ears feature above us and our options were getting on a pumice treadmill up the ridge or staying on steep snow to the left. We opted to keep crampons on and stick to the snow. We stayed left past the first gendarme and on some of the steepest snow (~50 degrees) near the top, which went pretty easily with our second axes. The snow took us almost to the top of the face and then we scrambled a few feet to the highest point, just to the right of the highest gendarme (the Rabbit Ears themselves, it turned out) at 12:30pm. From here, we could see the rest of our route and it looked like it would all go. We could also see our 3rd class descent to the upper Kennedy Glacier. It looked loose and nasty, but ended up being quite reasonable and quick. The first 50 feet up the snow on the other side were steep, but it eased off significantly from there and we romped our way up, across, then down to the saddle below the final face. The face had the glimmer of ice to it, which was a welcome departure from walking. We determined the angle was low enough and the steep part short enough that it made more sense to solo than to pitch out. I set off and enjoyed settling into the flow of ice climbing despite the knuckle-bashing involved with straight-shaft axes. After the ice step of 40 feet or so, it was back to snow until the top, but it steepened up again right near the summit and made sense to front-point with both axes—quite fun to climb that way right to the summit. We arrived at 2:15pm. The descent was straightforward and pretty efficient on sloppy snow. We never needed the rope and took our crampons off as soon as we were down the initial steeper sections. We descended all the way to the plateau at 6,750 feet where we found a nice spot to camp off snow with great views. We got moving the next morning at 7:15am and were back to the car a little after noon. We stopped at the bottom of the switchbacks before the final flat slog out to consume most of the remaining whiskey and floated on a cloud of air most of the way back to the car. This route had a more adventurous, remote, wild feel than lots of other climbing in Washington. In a way, it felt more like a destination climb I would have flown somewhere to do. Yes, the walking to climbing ratio was quite high and we never took the rope out, but it did bring some fun challenges, stellar views, and time way out there. Gear Notes: Did use: whiskey Didn't use: 4 ice screws, 2 pickets, 30m rope, glacier kit Approach Notes: Buckle up
  7. 3 points
    Trip: Cruiser - Standard Trip Date: 08/05/2022 Trip Report: I rarely consider the Olympics but on Friday I was unable to find a partner and didn’t want to waste the good weather. I saw something about a “5.3” route on Cruiser so I decided it was time to check out some pillow basalt. The miles flew by to this aptly named peak (21 miles round trip with a few side missions, more like 20 without). The trail is never steep. I jogged a few portions. At the basin the steep snow finger was bulletproof and I didn’t want to put my light axe and strap on crampons to the test. I was afraid I might have to hang out until it softened but then I noticed I could skirt around the snow on the left along class 3 slabs all the way to the notch, bypassing all the snow. In my brief research of the route I came across a TR that mentioned scratching up the dirt gully when the snow melted out. This is completely unnecessary. Maybe in early season the snow could force you into a couple of tricky spots higher up on the slab, but I found easy and secure travel at the lower end up the slab, near the moat. Continued N from the notch up and over beta. There was only really one steep loose gully to descend to reach Cruiser. A few awkward exposed 4th moves above a cave led to a higher notch. I ascended right on the face to reach the base of the face/spine leading to the summit. A couple reachy moves off the deck led to some fun stemming then easier moves to the anchor. A narrow ledge scramble leads to the summit. Upon returning to the anchor I decided to do one rap (hard to read the route from above) back to the bottom of the face. I descended the other way here, going through a narrow class 2 chimney for variety and less exposure. I spiced it up on the way back up the steep loose gully when I noticed a 12 foot tall splitter fist/lie back just off the trail (5.7?). I couldn’t resist the spire just S of the notch above the snow because it tapers to a summit just a few square feet wide. Looked like a fun perch. Lichen crinkled underneath me, but I didn’t come across anything too dubious. The summit horn is slung, but it seemed like exposed class 4, maybe 5.0 on the way up, so I just downclimbed. A few hours had passed but the snow hadn’t seen much sun. I didn’t even bother trying it and descended the slab bypass, but when I stepped on flat snow at the bottom it was soft. So I probably could have saved some time taking the snow down. Back at the lake I went for an icy swim and re-enacted King Kong with countless big obnoxious biting flies. The trail isn’t too exciting below flap jack but gets fun again when it reaches N Fork Skokomish. Beautiful river and lots of huge old trees. Gear Notes: Approach shoes, 60m for rap Axe and crampons not used Approach Notes: Mellow trail from Staircase to the basin west of sawtooth ridge
  8. 3 points
    Trip: Logan and Goode - Douglas and NEB Trip Date: 07/29/2022 Trip Report: I wrapped up my 37th orbit with a loop from Easy Pass to Bridge Creek trailheads, climbing Logan via the Douglas and Goode’s NEB. Storm King was a low priority option going into the trip and didn’t make the cut. I had the pleasure of excellent conditions interspersed with horrible shwacking and a death march to conclude it. In many ways the timing couldn’t have been better for me. I sprained my ankle less than two weeks prior on the way to Fury. In the first hour afterward I was worried that most of my summer masochism would need to be cancelled, but hobbling back towards Luna camp, with vitamin I kicking in, I started to suspect the injury was not that bad. It swelled more like an orange than a grapefruit. I was game for Jacobs Ladder on Prophet the next day, which was welcome consolation for missing out on what I’m guessing was an awesome day for the NE Buttress of East Fury. Fast forward to a few days ago, I haven’t tried foot jams yet, and would like to avoid them, but walking feels fine. So a route with endless blocks and ledges sounds like just the ticket. Just needed to not twist it again in the many miles of trail-less travel. Besides my ankle I was also concerned about the heat. On the one hand I got away with not taking a sleeping bag. I always travel with a puffy and wool hat. I supplemented this with long johns and was just barely warm enough at night on a mat in a bivy sack. On the other hand, the heat obviously made things kinda brutal. For beta and inspiration for this loop I used Hiking down easy pass to Fisher was pure joy. This was the location of one of my first hikes in the N cascades, probably 12-13 years ago, getting my denim soaked in the brush. It’s actually more breathtaking than I remembered, was great to be back. The fisher creek crossing was briefly disorientating because there’s more water than land in the zone, with pools and twisty side channels everywhere. I gradually found my way moving south along the east side of the creek feeding into Fisher (presumably Douglas creek? I don’t see a name on the map). The ground was dry and relatively open and easy. There’s lots of huge erratics in this area. As I approached the the “pill box” from the summitpost description I chanced upon dry stream beds that I followed upwards. The maple+alder made for good hand holds without getting in the way of my feet. I thought this might have been a shortcut vs the TR I referenced, but after topping out on the other side I found very thick and young evergreens and chest high brush. Progress was slow here but at it was another beautiful scene down near the creek. It’s hard to say whether or not I found the path of least resistance. Finally free of the brush, I headed up snow and rock, trending right. I came across bear tracks in the snow and filled up at the last spot for flowing water that I could see. I arrived at the bivy col at about 6pm, which was later than I liked. But it was a good thing because it meant shadows were now extending down the Douglas, cooling it down. Some of the crevasses are quite large. But there was a fairly direct path through them and I felt good about the firming snow conditions and the gentle angle (<30 degrees?). The swale at the top of the glacier is a really cool feature. Looks insurmountable at first, but I found an easy way on the right side. I then cut back left above one more crevasse to gain the ridge (a little steep here, don’t fall in). The scramble to the summit is pretty fun, good rock for a Cascade scramble. The views speak for themselves. I slowed significantly near the summit both ways due to some really stubborn cramps. I carefully followed my ascent path on the way back down to the col, getting there just before headlamp time, with incredible purple views of Goode. It was a 12 hour day. Two pairs of eyes were reflected in my headlamp as I got ready for sleep, but they were far enough away that I couldn’t tell what they were. I left the col a little after 6am the next morning. The TR I linked earlier had me expecting smoother sailing than the day before. That turned out to not be the case. Descending the basin above North Fork wasn’t too bad, though I don’t know if I was always on the easiest path. I wonder if the ‘magic staircase’ was flowing instead of dry, because I don’t think I found it. The worst part was lower in the valley. I could find bits and pieces of a trail, but it’s very faint and overgrown. Occasionally I’d lose it and end up in the worst shwacking I’ve ever encountered. Walls of alder with a foot of water underneath. Feeling actually stuck. The other TR doesn’t mention this at all, so maybe better route finding makes this avoidable. I don’t think I lost more than an hour here but it was certainly terrible. The north fork ford was only knee high but very swift, wasn’t easy. The route up to Goode glacier looks improbable from below. Pretty cool how it comes together. The snow-rock junction is in good shape at the start of the NEB. It’s exposed and dirty getting up to the notch (took me a while to find a safe way) and the stone was burning my hands. But from the notch to the summit is awesome, and pretty well shaded. There’s a super knobby slab at the start. Unfortunately it doesn’t last long but what comes afterward on the ridge proper is solid, blocky steps as far as the eye can see. I was reminded of a slightly less steep version of the upper half of the NW face of Forbidden. As I climbed I couldn’t help thinking how surreal it is to be in the exact moment that you’ve thought about for years. The ridge steepens at 8400’ and I hit one dead end, with about 10 feet of rock that was too steep and featureless for me to solo safely. I backtracked down the steep face to the left and found a bypass that allowed me to regain the ridge. As is so often the case with ridge climbs, there are occasional dirty ledges that can make sections easier, but the best climbing is on the ridge crest itself. Aside from this one bypass, I stayed true to the ridge the entire way to the summit. I passed a party of two maybe ½ way up the ridge and other party of 2 just before the summit. I got there a little before 5, for a 10.5 hour day. The next party arrived shortly after and later in the evening the lower party arrived. Everyone was nice, we chatted about climbing and spent the time pointing at and naming all the crazy stuff you can see from Goode. We squeezed all 5 on the summit that night (one of the spots looked pretty gnarly, 5 is a tight fit). I heard there was a guided party that day too, so 7 people in all on the route that day. I started to feel sick when I arrived at the summit. I think it was mainly due to the heat. This was a bummer but I gradually improved and took in the sunset, then the new moonset, headlamps down in the valley SW of Goode (night hiking?) and a couple of fuzzy shooting stars. The notions of up and down that climbers obsess over started to lose meaning while staring into space with hypnogogic mind setting in. The next morning we all got a leisurely start. I started my day popping my head up for a view every few minutes in between a few last sips of sleep. I left the summit at 7am, just after one party started rapping. I downclimbed (5.4?) to the highest snow patch (plenty of snow on the route right now BTW) as I had run out of water. I melted some for a freeze dried breakfast then made my way skier’s right up a ramp leading to the notch. It was here that I got to really test out my lightweight rappel system that I assembled after some online research (I did a short sanity check in town earlier). This was <$100 and shaved 3 lbs and I didn’t die. The second rap got me a ways into the firm snow finger on SW side of Goode. I used my light axe with a good bite (found on Quien Sabe some years ago), crampons strapped on to approach shoes, and my pole in the other hand. It was face-in downclimbing to some gross dirt-choss, then more face in walking backwards down steep snow. I paused to look at Storm King and estimate time. I guessed that going for it would mean getting back to the trailhead around midnight. Realistically, if I wanted to climb it, I would have had to do the Goode descent the day before. But it was more important to me to enjoy the summit of Goode than to tag another choss pile, so I was happy with my decision to skip SK. Maybe I was jaded from the shwacking the previous two days, but the way down the burn wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I had downloaded somebody’s GPX and it was pretty helpful. I think this is another section that’s only semi-intuitive. I thought I would find running water on the other side of Goode, but didn’t. I descended the burn around noon with temperatures soaring and my water run out. Probably downed a liter in couple minutes at the first stream back on trail. I didn’t keep track but I’m guessing I drank about 2 gallons of water throughout the day. I also had less than 1000 calories because my body wouldn’t tolerate the bars I had remaining (again, likely due to the heat). At the end of the day I think I counted 4000 uneaten calories in my pack (that should have been eaten). I guess I need to revise my nutrition strategy for trips like these. The hike out is a blur given my nausea and the heat. Dipped at park creek (delightful!). The bridge at Bridge creek is another fantastic scene. One of many in this loop that I wish I had more time to savor (honestly, 4 days would have been more fun, though any exit from Goode seems inherently awkward logistically). I also remember one giant cedar on the trail, some cool bluffy terrain, and the suspension bridges were a fun surprise too. On the rare occasion of a cool breeze, I felt like I was drinking water through my skin. I filled up one more time at the last major creek >8 miles from the road and met up with one of the parties I shared the summit with. Together we blasted out the next 5 miles, took a short break, then made one more push for the car. Even in my approach shoes my feet were just starting to get medium rare by the time the hike was finally over. I had a bike at Bridge Creek TH and a bike light, but since it was getting late (finished at 9pm for a 14 hour day) and I was depleted, I happily accepted their offer to drive me back to Easy pass. Thanks Hank and Steve! Gear Notes: Approach shoes, crampons, one axe, one pole, and a rappel setup worked for me, but this means unroped glacier travel and low 5th soloing. Approach Notes: Hard to say
  9. 3 points
    Trip: Mount Hardy (8038') & Golden Horn (8366’) - Swamp Creek to Snowy Lakes Trip Date: 07/30/2022 Trip Report: Mount Hardy (8038') & Golden Horn (8366’) – Swamp Creek Approach – - JULY 30-31, 2022 (Sat, Sun) It was going to be hot as hell over the weekend, a good excuse to get up in elevation and enjoy the mountains. Mount Hardy & Golden Horn are in the Wilderness area and not in the National Park, so no bullshit permission slips needed to use MY forest. It’s the way ALL forests owned by the people should be. Saturday: I started from the Swamp Creek Turnout past the Easy Pass Trailhead off Hwy 20 at 10:00am. I walked down Hwy 20 past Swamp Creek and started up the hill toward Mount Hardy. The bushwhacking started out very pleasant, with open easy travel through the forest. I knew the longer it stayed pleasant the steeper the upper bushwhack was going to get. You hit a wall of steep thick baby trees around 5200’ and you don’t come out until about 5900’. After 5900’, you come into a burn area with a clear line of sight to the summit of Mount Hardy. The rock to the summit is mostly class 2 with a little class 3 here and there. The challenge is in the elevation gain over the short distance to the summit. I was on the Mount Hardy summit at 2:45pm. A new summit registry was placed on July 24th . There is no water between Swamp Creek and the Mount Hardy summit, so water up at the creek and carry all that you will need until the Pacific Crest Trail. I headed down from the summit and followed the ridge to Methow Pass off the Pacific Crest Trail at 4:45pm. I headed down the trail toward the Snowy Lakes arriving at the Upper Snowy Lake camp at 6:00pm and called it a day. The bugs are out in force around the lakes area right now. Bring your bug repellant and a head net unless you like breathing mosquitoes. I really wanted to swim in the lake to cool off, but I would have come out looking like a pin cushion with a skin tone a shade of grey from all the blood loose. I brought a tarp to sleep under and I was wishing I had lugged up the extra weight of a tent so I could hide from the buzzing swarm of mosquitoes. A beautiful area nonetheless. Sunday: I was up and moving at 5:30am. I headed for the ridge of Golden Horn instead of going through the middle and dealing with all the loose rock. The ridge was nice. I summited Golden Horn at 7:45am. I climbed an extra ridge of 4th and 5th class rock thinking it was the summit. The actual summit requires about 30-40’ of low 5th class to get to the top. The final section to the top was a 6’ vertical section that I pulled myself up over. There is a rappel sling setup off the top if wanted. A 30’ section of accessory cord would probably do the trick if you wanted to go light. I worked my way down back to camp arriving at 9:15am. I went down through the middle, in the loose rock, as it was nice on the feet. I was back to Methow Pass at 11:30am. I climbed up to 7500’ on the side of Mount Hardy to cross back over to the route down to the parking area. I was in this area before and I decided to go straight across from the end of the nice ridge from Methow Pass, probably at around 7000’. That sucked. I ended up hitting a few gullies full of steep loose rock on top of slick rock. It took a long time and one slip would have meant having my ass belt sanded for 100’s of feet. So make sure you cross at 7500’ or higher on the side of Hardy. I made it back to the parking area at 3:30pm. The climb down the steep baby tree section was just as hard going down as up. I could see better going up even though it was more effort. It was a fun trip overall, nothing too technical, beautiful scenery, and most importantly NO BULLSHIT from the green gestapo. Some Tips and Notes: 1. The route going up to Hardy is on the West side of Swamp Creek and splits away from the creek after a little while. 2. There is no water between Swamp Creek and the Snowy Lakes area so plan accordingly. There is snow to melt on route if needed in a pinch. 3. Cross the side of Mount Hardy at 7500’ or higher to avoid nasty gullies. 4. Bring bug repellant or a blood transfusion. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Hardy Summit to Upper Snowy Lake Camp (6600’) – 8 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit of Golden Horn & back to Trailhead – 10 hours. Total Mileage: around 12-14 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 7300’ Gear used: Trekking Poles. Mount Hardy from the Swamp Creek Turnout parking area. The views start really kicking in at the burn area. Golden Horn and Tower Mountain from Mount Hardy Summit. Looking back at Mount Hardy on the way down the ridge to Methow Pass. Start of Snowy Lakes Trail from Pacific Crest Trail. Snowy Lakes Area. Sunrise on Mount Hardy. Golden Horn Summit. Final section to Golden Horn Summit. Summit view from Golden Horn, Mount Hardy in the Middle. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles. Bug Net. Approach Notes: Swamp Creek to Methow Pass to Snowy Lakes
  10. 3 points
    Trip: Prusik - West ridge Trip Date: 07/27/2022 Trip Report: This started out as a pretty rough night of sleep at the Stuart lake trailhead. I woke up sweating and a bit unhappy; even considering not getting out of the car to go on this adventure I had planned for myself. I have this experience a lot; I get excited and drive long distances or hike in large approaches just for my mind to try and convince me that I don't want to be there or that it doesn't sound fun. I find that 100% of the time if I fight those feelings and push through I have the time of my life. This was very true for today. I got my shit together and left the trailhead. Made it up to Colchuck and over Asgard in what felt like no time. I hear a lot of people complain about the hike up to Colchuck lake. Yes, it's busy but isn't everywhere else we go in most of our daily lives? At least most of these people that we encounter on the way up are happy, movin, and enjoying what we all come out to enjoy. Anyways... Making up and over Asgard before the day got too hot was the way to do it! down at the icicle, it was going to be 100 something and I didn't want any of that on the way in. IMG_1349.HEIC Dragontail looked extra special that day. The usual interactions with the furry locals up on the plateau ensued (cautions walking around trying not to get headbutted). It was getting hot at this point. The heat was not the biggest issue I found. That would be the mosquitos. They kept you moving!!! If you stop at all a million would swarm and start chewing. I definitely moved faster than I was in shape to do only because I had no other choice. The plan for today was to romp up the west ridge of Prusik. The pictures I had seen of prusik were mesmerizing, to say the least. The biggest thing I noticed was how different this mountain looks from every angle. From the first sight of it after Asgard, it looks like a tiny point along a much larger ridge. Every time you get a bit closer it seems to grow up out of the ridge it's a part of. IMG_1384.HEIC Up close and personal with the south face. after making some questionable route-finding decisions I made it to the base of the west ridge; Just below the obvious heavily cleaned crack above the notch. Rock shoes and the fanny pack went on and up I went. This route is something else. You find yourself wandering up some low filth CLEAN rock with some intermixed interesting moves until you pop up to a flatter section of the ridge. This was one of the highlights for me. A combination of butt scooting and finger rail scootching with the exposure of the south face below you is something else. Enjoy the exposure, pull a slab move, climb some crack, squeeze a chimney, then enjoy the views. IMG_1370.HEIC IMG_1376.HEIC IMG_1379.HEIC The raps were straightforward, I believe with a bit of down climbing I did four rappels. After a little bit of walking back to the notch, I was able to collect my stuff and get eaten a bit more by the buzzers. The rest of the trip was very uneventful. A quick dip in a few of the lakes on the way down kept the temps down and kept me happy. I can't recommend this route more to anyone. It has clean rock, great views, and interesting movement. Maybe just wait until it isn't 1000 degrees. Gear Notes: Good attitude Approach Notes: Walkin
  11. 2 points
    Last year, we had a kerfuffle in the same area - off the glacier but not around onto the ridge crest. Spent almost two hours going up and down choss, looking for a reasonable line. I finally committed to a footless mantle, but a tricam on the rack I was carrying lodged into a crack at my shin and prevented me from pressing it out. I had to reverse, clean the damn cowbell, and do it again. Grrrr. My partner started slightly dehydrated and deteriorated when we went up and over the top. There was only one small snow sliver to melt on the upper mountain - and it was full of worms. We melted, filtered through a shirt, and drank it anyway. Almost tossed it back up again. The next day, my partner was stumbling from dehydration/heat exhaustion in the burn zone as we approached the Park Creek trail. So we loaded all of our gear on my back for the final miles down to the Park Creek campground. Of course, it was littered with deadfall that hadn't been cut yet. Good times! Sounds like you had an excellent Cascades experience.
  12. 2 points
    Five on the summit, dang! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us 🙂
  13. 2 points
    Great TR. your posts are always inspiring! The Goode glacier is such a cool fucking place. Heck, the whole of that area is a cool place. We had the same exact situation in the descent. No water and blisteringly hot temps made for nausea and general heat exhaustion.
  14. 2 points
    Way to get your shit together and get it done! In my experience, you never regret going...only not going. For the photos, the site currently doesn't work with Apple HEIC file format. You have to convert them to JPG first. Because I want to see the photos I'm going to do that for you now ;).
  15. 1 point
    The photo of the Thread of Ice and Thread of Gneiss was taken from Picket Pass on July 23, 1984.
  16. 1 point
    Trip: Corteo Peak (8080') - SW Ridge Trip Date: 08/06/2022 Trip Report: Corteo Peak (8080') – Rainy Pass Approach – August 6-7, 2022 (Sat, Sun) Another perfect weather weekend for climbing. Temp was right around 80 both days. I had limited time for a climb and this one fit the timeslot perfect. Saturday: I started from Rainy Pass at 6:30pm. I headed up Trail 740 to Heather Pass. I crossed over Heather Pass on my way to Lewis Lake. The boulder field crossing on the way to Lewis Lake was somewhat unstable with fresh looking debris. Looks like a large rock slide came down through the area some time this year. I arrived at a level area above Lewis Lake at 8:45pm and setup camp. Sunday: I was up and moving at 6:15am. I headed for the moraine ridge above Lewis Glacier. I headed up and to the left for the 7500’ notch to the West Basin. I reached the crossover notch at 8:15am and headed down the gully. I reach the Southwest Ridge Notch (7400’) at 9:15am. The ridge from there on up was nice Class 3-4 rock. Some loose sections but overall pretty solid. I reached the summit at 10:00 am. I cut out an old tattered, sun bleached, rappel sling that was begging for a fatality and then headed back to camp. I made it back to camp at 12:45pm. I was back at Heather Pass at 2:30pm and back to Rainy Pass at 3:30pm. This was a fun climb with some exposed class 3-4 rock on the ridge. Not too much climbing, not too much distance. I’d say the hardest part was the 400’ gully down into the West Basin. I decided to try out a homemade bug repellant made with several supposedly bug repelling essential oils on this trip. I applied some at the start but the mosquitoes didn’t seem to care, I applied more and more thinking maybe I’m not using enough. I put a bunch of time into researching the bug repelling essential oils so I want to be sure. After being swarmed by mosquitoes for most of the trip, I finally decided that most of the supposed bug repelling essential oils don’t work worth a shit. I pulled out the 34% Deet Ultramarathon bug lotion and lathered it on. The mosquitoes wanted nothing to do with me after that, it was a night and day difference. The next test will be some Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus repellant with high PMD, if that doesn’t work, it will be Deet until the day I die. Some Tips and Notes: 1. There is a good supply of water at the lake and the steams going in and out. The only water once over the notch is down low in the West Basin or melting snow. 2. The bugs are out in force, bring serious bug repellant. 3. The gully down into the West Basin is fairly steep loose rock most of the way. I found it easier going up than down. 4. The boulder field crossing to Lewis Lake is less loose down low. 5. The trip can be done in one long day going light, but the camping in the area is nice. 6. The snow going up the Lewis Glacier and the snow in the West Basin was fine climbing up and down with just boots . A couple sections were firm enough for crampons. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Lewis Lake Camp (6060’) – 2:15 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to Camp to Trailhead – 9:15 hours. Total Mileage: around 12-14 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 4800’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Helmet. Not a lot of people at the start. View across the boulder field to Lewis Lake and Black Peak. 7500' Crossover Notch to the West Basin. Looking back across the West Basin and the Crossover Gully from the SW Ridge Notch (7400'). Looking down the SW Ridge from the Summit. View along the SW Ridge, Goode & Logan in the distance. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Helmet. Crampons could be used in a couple sections. Approach Notes: Rainy Pass to Trail 740 to Heather Pass to Lewis Lake
  17. 1 point
    I got back from a repeat of the Ptarmigan after 19 years and it is pretty amazing the glacial recession in that time (2003 was a lean snow year and 2022 phat as well). Here are couple examples: LeConte in 2003: LeConte in 2022: Chickamin Glacier in 2003: Chickamin Gl in 2022:
  18. 1 point
    Good to hear from y'all. Yes, I'd say the rock on the route is above average for Skagit alpine, and is one of a few of my FAs that I'd actually recommend to friends. Judging by recent inquiries, might see a repeat as early as this season (?!). Fun to see what seems like above-average Pickets activity this season. geosean, if I recall correctly, it was like 4-4.5 hours to get on the rock, a hustling 6 hours on the climb to the summit, and ~5 for the descent and walk back to camp--with some liberal breaks post-summit. We began our approach an hour or so before dawn. Courtesy of John Roper, here's another perspective of the route, without and with our ascent in green added: And below is another John Scurlock shot of the southern aspects of Himmelgeisterhorn (HGH), West and East Twin Needles (WTN and ETN), etc., with routes annotated by John Roper, that might make the descent description more clear. After climbing up the other side, Sam and I descended from E Twin to Eye Col, then approximately the (red) 1981 route from Eye Col. The main difference: because the lower left hand gully had only intermittent snow and deep moats between, we instead down-climbed and rapped the adjacent ridge just above and right of the gully. (See descent description in original post for more detail.)
  19. 1 point
    Quite the summer this is turning out to be for all you guys! It’s like the mid 2000s all over again!! It’s great to see “my work” become appreciate it after all these years. I had a feeling it would, I just didn’t think it would take this long. Just everybody stay away from that route I did On Logan, and we will all be OK!
  20. 1 point
    Didn't climb anything, but went up to Mildred Lakes to fish with my son and his friend, who are both in college...and of course Kiba came too. Actually, I hiked up there Friday night, fished Saturday, and then hiked down Saturday afternoon to meet them at the trailhead, and we hiked up that night and fished Sunday morning and then hiked out. The trail in is steep in parts, I've been going up fisherman paths in the Olympics all summer, but this one is stout in parts. All the hikes up were done in the dark, got up there Friday night at 11:30 pm, and with the boys we got to camp just after midnight. Good times. I saw a bear in a tree Friday night. The vistas on the way in gave me some great memories. The views of peaks in the area: Climbing Pershing with @OlympicMtnBoy &nbsp; Climbing Bretheron: Climbing Mt Stone with my friend Steve I think I've climbed Mt Stone at least 3-4 times. One of my favorite scrambles in the Olympics. Climbing Cruiser in "winter" with @Alpinfox the latter being a little laughable that we might think we were the first to get up there in winter, but hey, it was fun non-the-less. I never said I was the sharpest tool and if you know Pax you know he ain't either . See the entry about Cruiser here...I just ordered this book, I have never read it! Lots of interesting info there. "The Bremerton Ski Cruisers" being the name source for Mt Cruiser is one tidbit I learned. I wonder how many times the couloir on the north east side of Lincoln has been skied? See it to the right of the main peak here?: Great success. Thanks for allowing me take my little trip down memory lane. It was a great time up there with the boys. Oh and very cool to see Mildred upper and middle lakes from @JonParker climb of Cruiser this past Friday....the first pic I can see our camp and fishing spot right there.
  21. 1 point
    Yes! Yet another great adventure wow. I’m almost completely out of ideas now! I am saving one idea though for myself and Mike Layton though. The “Golden Age of Cascades Climbing “ is still going on! Congratulations again you guys.
  22. 1 point
    Yes! Stared at that one and thought it probably more difficult. Strong work, team.
  23. 1 point
    Yeah, longer but very mellow Strange rock abounds
  24. 1 point
    🤣 I think that rock you're holding looks like a dinosaur tooth.
  25. 1 point
    Trip: Dome and the Lizard - Ptarmigan (Ptarmithumb) Traverse Trip Date: 07/22/2022 Trip Report: Ah, the classic Ptarmigan....is there a finer high traverse in the Cascades? After 25ish year of rambling around the range I'm not sure there is a more scenic and pleasant high route. And so, after a 19 year hiatus it was time to return with none other than @Juan Sharp. My thumb was still broken with a pin, but no matter, we would take it easy over 6 days and savor the experience. There is probably too much already written about this particular trip, but I will say that it is worth repeat visits, if only to camp in the places you wished you had camped the first time! And, amazingly enough, the traverse was much quieter than I had it in 2003. Probably "closures" on both ends had something to do with that (check notes below for additional beta). High points, for us, included perfect weather, good snow conditions, few bugs, an evening visit from a couple curious goats, ethereal marine layer mists from White Rock Lakes, Northern lights from the Dome/Dana Glacier col, solos of Dome and the Lizard (for me), sunrise/sunset on Dakobed, and a surprise visit from @jenny.abegg and partner who were mountain running from Canada to Stehekin, along the crest, in ONE WEEK. They covered in A DAY, what took us 4 days! To say we were amazed would be an understatement. I can't wait to see the movie made by the film crew running along with them for a couple sections. Low points would be the brush of Bachelor and Downey Creeks, but there is always a price of admission to the glory of the North Cascades parklands. I'll be back, but I won't wait as long next time! Heading up the closed cascade river road: @Juan Sharp below Mixup on the way to Cache col: Formidable: Camp 1 with a good view of the NF of Spider: Traversing over to Middle Cascade Gl: Passing thru Spider/Formidable col, Old Guard and LeConte in the middle: Climbing up above Yang Yang Lakes: Camp 2: Formidable at sunrise: Heading out on Day 3: Traversing to LeConte Gl.: South Cascade Gl.: The majestic north side of Sinister/Dome and the Chickamin Gl.: Camp 3 at White Rock Lakes: NF of Sinister and the Chickamin: Elephant Head and Dome from WRL: The aptly named Elephant Head: Agnes! Snout of the Dana: The German Helmet lost in the mists to the right of @Juan Sharp: Summit ridge of Dome: Hydramatic Spire: Camp 4, North Cascades style: @jenny.abegg and crew heading towards the Chickamin one evening: Dakobed from Camp 4: Surprise aurora borealis one night....it didn't look like this to the naked eye, 25 sec. exposure. Heading toward Itswoot ridge on day 5: Dome and @Juan Sharp: Sussing out the way to Cub lake from Itswoot ridge: False hellebore: Getting to the fun part in Bachelor Creek: @Juan Sharp crossing Bachelor Creek after doing battle with the worst of it. Note the bloody shins: The Bachelor Creek trail has sustained significant damage from slides this past winter: Camp 5, on the banks of Downey Creek: We're not in Colorado any more! Thru the burn at the end of the Downey Creek trail: Gear Notes: 30m rope, glacier gear, helmet, ice axe, crampons Approach Notes: Cascade River Road closed at Eldorado. Bachelor/Downey creek trails officially "closed" but in decent shape, esp. thru the burn. Bachelor Creek trail in good shape above 4500'. Cross Bachelor Creek at the alternate 4500' crossing. Flagged from there down to old log across Bachelor Creek at 4100'. Lots of blowdown in Lower Bachelor Creek and upper Downey Creek trails. Much bear sign.
  26. 1 point
    Was just up on the other side this weekend on a fishing trip.
  27. 1 point
    That right-hand start looks much better than our attempted direct up the lower left. Congrats. Glad to see the French grades getting traction. Now if we also started using the Scottish ones in winter.....
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    Whoah, after all that build up over the years, I thought it was going to be 10+. Way to slay the beast and bring back a report to the timid masses! Truly an incredible spire!!!!
  30. 1 point
  31. 1 point
    I know of a fun ride that circumnavs White Chuck. Lots o' big cedars. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28150736
  32. 1 point
    That's a sweet bike! I really like the combo of steel frame/carbon fork, sounds like your bike rides similar but is way lighter! Since we're trading bike pics, here's mine:
  33. 1 point
    I'd say if Washington Pass rock is graded an "A", then the N. Buttress of Goode is a "B-" The most difficult part is generally gaining the toe of the ridge from the glacier, once you're on the ridge/buttress, it's pretty sustained blocky 4th and low 5th climbing. Obviously very exposed but relatively clean. It's been a while but I don't remember any hard moves after making the transition to the ridge.
  34. 1 point
    Great trip Report! The "figure it out as you go" climbs are the most memorable and make you a better climber.
  35. 1 point
    Great trip report! The bushwhacking in that area is Grade A suffering that definitely builds character. How is the rock on that side of Goode? Kind of blocky with nice holds or more like a crumbly cookie?
  36. 1 point
    Yes all I needed was a Jpeg converter!
  37. 1 point
    Nice report and pics. Doesn't look like buffoonery. You didn't fall into a crevasse and made it to the top and down safely. Sounds like a win to me!
  38. 1 point
    Love it. Thanks for posting. Your stoke and smile remind me of a certain Canadian climber who caught the climbing bug as a teen and shared some amazing and fun stories here before moving on to higher dimensions. Sigh. Can't wait to see where your path leads.
  39. 1 point
    Such a fantastic route, thanks for the great report!
  40. 1 point
    Yes, Jacob's Ladder is definitely not a "classic" in the classic sense. And for us, the mystery of the unknown was quite enticing, and for sure clouded our view of the route. But glad that it was a good diversion nonetheless!
  41. 1 point
    Trip: West Peak (7365') of the Anderson Massif - East Ridge Trip Date: 08/14/2021 Trip Report: West Peak (7365')– Dosewallips River Trail Approach – Aug 14-16, 2021 (Sat, Sun, Mon). I climbed West Peak (7365') of the Anderson Massif over the weekend. I started the climb from the Dosewallips River Trailhead outside Brinnon, WA. I planned for 3 days with a possible bonus summit of Mount Anderson if time and conditions permitted. I wanted to get the hell out of the smoke and breath some fresh air, mission accomplished. Saturday: I caught the 7:10am ferry at Edmonds over to Kingston. I started out from the trailhead at 9:30am. I brought a mountain bike for the first 6.5 miles to the ranger station and for the return trip. I made it to the ranger station at 10:45am. Anderson Pass was reached at 5:15pm. I headed up the Anderson Glacier Trail to camp at a small lake at the top of the trail arriving at 5:45pm. The trail along the way was beautiful with great camping options every hour or so. Mileage was 6.5 miles by bike , 11.5 miles to camp hiking. Sunday: I left camp at 6:15am heading for Flypaper Pass. I crossed over Flypaper Pass (6500’) at 8.50am. Flypaper Pass is almost entirely snow free right now. The route up to the pass is steep, loose rock the entire way. Crossing this pass with snow covering the steep loose rock would be the way to go, earlier in the season. If I wasn’t planning to climb Mount Anderson also, I would have climbed over to the basin below West Peak instead, much better looking terrain. Once at Flypaper Pass I decided to climb West Peak first. I headed down the Eel Glacier to the base of the SE Ridge of West Peak. I reached the North Notch at 11:15am (7000’). I headed up the East Ridge to the Summit arriving at 12:05pm. The route is Class 3 & 4 rock with some decent exposure. Loose rock sections throughout the ridge. I climbed Mount Constance a couple weeks ago, going the standard route, and this route up West Peak is more technically demanding. I was eyeballing the Mount Anderson route the whole way up and it was not looking good. The steep snow that leads to the summit ridge of Anderson is now melted out to the blue glacier ice almost the whole way up. I had aluminum crampons and a standard ice axe so I decided against an Anderson summit attempt with the current conditions. If I was to do Mount Anderson now, I would bring sharp steel crampons and two ice tools for that slope, possibly some protection against a slip; Maybe try a different route up all together, avoiding the glacier ice. I headed back to Flypaper pass from West Peak summit arriving at 2:45pm. Going down Flypaper Pass sucked way worse than going up. Very loose and steep the whole way down. 5:00pm I arrived back at the small lake camp, packed up and headed down for a lower camp. 7:15pm I arrived at Diamond Meadow camp for the evening. Monday: I left camp at 6:30am. I reached the ranger station at 9:15am. I headed down on the mountain bike reaching the Trailhead at 10:30am. This was a great trip in a beautiful area with lots of excellent camping options. Some Tips and Notes: 1. The trail to Anderson Pass is in excellent condition, easy travel & beautiful. The trail to Anderson Glacier is also nice but less traveled. 2. Water access for the whole trip was great with water as high up as 6700’ on summit day. 3. If planning to climb Mount Anderson via the standard route, be prepared for glacier ice climbing. 4. Flypaper Pass is snow free, steep, loose rock currently. I would recommend an alternate route. 5. The East Ridge of West Peak is exposed class 3-4 with sections of loose rock. 6. Bring a mountain or cyclocross bike for the first and last 6.5 miles, it will save you a lot of time. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Car to Camp – 8.25 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to Camp#2 – 13 hours. Monday: Camp to Car – 4 hours Total Mileage: about 42 miles Total Elevation Gain: about 7100’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons. The trail in is really nice. Small lake camp at the top of the Anderson Glacier Trail. On the way to Flypaper Pass. Easy going until you reach the base of the pass. Rock at the base of Flypaper Pass, it is steeper than it looks. Loose class 3. Looking down the route traveled from Flypaper Pass. Looking across Eel Glacier from Flypaper Pass to the SE Ridge & East Ridge of West Peak. I went straight across to the snow finger at the base. Looking back across the Eel Glacier to Flypaper Pass from the SE Ridge of West Peak. Rock along the East Ridge of West Peak. Summit of West Peak from the false summit. Kind of spicy with a naughty runout. Summit view looking back at Anderson. Anderson route with lots of steep glacial ice. I'll stick with the expose rock ridge climb thanks. Looking back at the terrain traveled. I saw nobody summit day, I had the whole mountain to myself. Hard to believe with the amount of people at the trailhead. There are great camping spots all along the area surrounding the big lake. I haven't spent much time in the Olympics until this year, mostly because of all the red tape that is the usual for this area. With all the park service hiding from the Boogeyman Virus, you can experience the mountains the way they were meant to be, pure & free from bullshit. Gear Notes: Gear used: Trekking Poles, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons. If Climbing Anderson via the Eel Glacier Route bring sharp steel crampons and ice tools, you will be dealing with rock hard, steep glacial ice Approach Notes: Dosewallips River Trail Approach & Up the Anderson Glacier Trail.
  42. 1 point
    Trip: Logan-Goode-Buckner Traverse - Date: 8/3/2012 Trip Report: In early August, Keith Daellenbach and I completed a four day traverse of Logan-Goode-Buckner (almost kinda completely) beginning on Hwy 20 near Easy Pass and ending at Cascade Pass. Although a traverse of these three peaks have been done before (I think), our specific route may be unique and since I have gotten a surprising number of email inquiries about details of the route, I’ll post some route beta here with emphasis on the less-traveled sections between the peaks. This specific route was Keith’s brainchild and he pre-plotted the route perfectly. If any of the mileage or elevations listed in this TR are inaccurate, blame him! This is a cool, one-way North Cascades traverse that summits three 9,000 ft peaks in the heart of the range. There is relatively minimal bushwacking even though only a few sections on are on actual trails. It is an enduro trip that requires good route finding skills with not much technical climbing. After the first day, each day will be well over 12 hours of constant movement. Very classic - a must do for adventure alpinists (for real adventure, do not read this write up – written during a three hour layover which meant I had lots of time to pile on details). I vote this traverse be included in Select Volume III or maybe IV… Route map: Leave a car at the Cascade Pass TH and drive a second car to Easy Pass trailhead at 3,716 ft on Hwy 20 (about 7 miles west of Rainy Pass). Day 1: Hike uphill on the Easy Pass Creek trail 3.2 miles to Easy Pass at 6,524 ft (gain: 2,808 ft). From Easy Pass, continue hiking on trail, down, down, down the Fisher Creek valley to 3,871 ft, at ~7.3 miles from start (loss: 2,653 ft from Easy Pass). Leave hiking trail and cross Fisher Creek on one of several large logs. Keith crossing Fisher Creek: Bushwack ~1.9miles/1,130 ft up south/left side of “Douglas Creek” valley (not actual name, unnamed) leading to the Douglas Glacier cirque. Start in an old growth valley that is mostly flat with little underbrush, as the valley narrows and steepens (~25 mins from creek crossing), the valley pinches down with Douglas creek on the right and a steep hillside on the left. Still in the forest, ascend away from the creek up left to avoid some devil’s club-style shwacking. After breaking out of the forest into the alder/boulder open basin (with the Douglas Glacier and Mt. Logan seemingly so close and straight ahead), move left heading to the lowest timber on the hillside above the alder/boulders in the bottom of the basin (it is possible to proceed directly straight up the basin but it is harder shwacking with lots of water crossings). Move through the timber on the left hillside for easier travel and leave the timber on the upper end and bushwack right across the basin to a mostly bare patch/slabby strip descending the wooded knob in the center left of the basin (see pic). Ascend the strip to its top and traverse right to reach snowfields in the upper basin right where the creek exits the snow and below the cliffs beneath the Douglas glacier. That concludes the majority of the trip’s bushwacking. Looking up Douglas Glacier cirque/basin: There are two options to gain the Douglas Glacier: ascend out of cirque via the far left side (approx. 9 o’clock) to avoid the cliff band (orange line); or head around 1 o’clock up a snow fan and climb some dirty slabs for about 100M (dirty, up to 5.7, no protection to gain the glacier terminus – very approximately shown with blue line). The latter approach is faster but sketchier. For climbers comfortable with runout/dirty climbing, the direct way saves at least an hour, probably two (that was the way we went on a prior trip). The easier way heads far left up a watercourse and then contours back right across snow fingers and slabs. Either way, the glacier terminus is gained at ~6,000 ft. Note – you can/should get water near glacier terminus about 1,000 feet below the bivy col, before getting onto continuous snow; or melt at col (on our first trip we found some melt runoff on the south side of the col but on the second there was none). Ascend Douglas Glacier and camp at 6,928 ft at the Douglas Glacier col above the North Fork Bridge Creek divide on slabs/gravel. We got here in about 11 hrs from Hwy 20 going the longer/easier way. There is enough time to summit Logan on Day 1, but the heat of the afternoon made summiting on Day 2 seem like a better plan on our trip. This is a scenic bivy with the NE Buttress of Goode looking all proud and defiant to the southeast. Day 2: From the bivy col, climb to the Douglas Glacier/Banded Glacier col (easy snow) and then up the final west ridge to the summit pinnacle of Mt. Logan (9,087 ft) which is steep snow followed by several hundred feet of 3rd/4th class. (2,159 ft gain from bivy col). Pic of Keith ascending Douglas Glacier: Descend back to col, pick up bivy gear and drop over into North Fork Bridge Creek drainage. Looking from col down into Bridge Creek drainage, Goode in distance: Drop southward into the North Fork Bridge Creek drainage to ~4,116 ft on south side of headwaters of North Fork Bridge Creek (down 4,971 ft from Mt. Logan summit). The way is snow at first to a glorious alpine meadow (pure Sound of Music stuff). As the slope steepens traverse left to reach a “golden staircase” to avoid brush and cliffs that the fall line route would encounter. This staircase is mostly 3rd with a little 4th on nice yellow/red rock and deposits you onto snow in the lower valley. Looking back up valley towards Logan and the bivy col: Cruise down valley on snow which bridges over Bridge Creek most of the way until close to where you pick up the North Fork Bridge Creek trail on the left (south) side of the creek. Easy snow travel over Bridge Creek: When the snow ran out and the creek downcut into some steep banks, we climbed out of the creek valley up and left and then a quick, steep shwack back down to the creek. Pick up the trail (faint at first) on the left side of the creek around 3,800 ft. Note – do NOT cross the creek around 3,800 ft to access the Goode glacier (per Beckey and Nelson) since this is way too high but the basin looks like it would lead to the NE Buttress. The correct basin is about a mile further down the valley. Continue down the valley on the trail and ford the creek (up to thigh deep wading) around 3,400 ft with the NE buttress directly above. Keith fording Bridge Creek: Aim for a talus strip that extends down to the creek bank. This strip leads to the “watercourse” you will climb up (on right side), which is the first real drainage with running water looking left to right at the basin. There is one dry drainage on the left of the basin which is not the one you want. I took the pic below from the creek bank with Keith just starting up talus strip and the watercourse to aim for directly above his head: Ascend up the northeast basin of Goode through a lower cliff band (short 4th class to maybe low 5th), continue up through brush and scree/snowfields and bivy at around 5,400 ft below the glacier terminus. There will be almost no shwacking up to the bivy except for some short sections about half way up. Easy travel just below the Goode bivy: This is an awesome bivy site! Flat sites for about three people and running water about 100 yards west. Day 3: From the bivy, head straight up slabs to gain the Goode Glacier. First head east (left) towards a nunatak to avoid ice cliffs and crevasses near the glacier terminus and then cut right to the lower, east side of the toe of NE Buttress. Note – some may want a screw or two to protect some crevasse crossings later in the season since we did encounter some water ice in early August. Moving through crevasses on Goode glacier: Gain the toe of the buttress from the lower east side. For us, the first pitch was about 25M of dirty (untraveled?) 5.6ish and felt like the only real “mid-fifth” we found on the route. Earlier in the season, I assume you access the buttress higher and avoid our first pitch and access the 4th class part directly. Getting off the glacier and onto the buttress was more difficult than any of the rock climbing since the glacier was overhanging and detached from the buttress (in early August). Ascend the NE Buttress to the summit of Goode at 9,200 ft (up 3,400 ft from bivy and ~2,500 on the buttress). Endless 3rd and 4th (loose) to about 8,100 feet. At 8,100 on the ridge crest, we belayed one pitch (5.4?) then simuled several hundred feet of lower 5th. There will probably be a snow patch (with bivy sites) for water near the Black Tooth Notch a few hundred feet below the summit. The summit is several hundred more feet up and diagonally right of the snow patch area. The position of the route and the summit views are spectacular but there is no really memorable climbing. A bivy on this summit would be unbeatable. Keith on Goode summit: Three 30M raps descend from the summit to the ledge system leading to the actual Black Tooth notch (the ascent route does not cross the actual notch). Down climb about 100 feet toward the west and make two single rope raps (slings) down to the very loose SW Couloir (5.0). Continue southwest down into Park Creek drainage and look for climber’s trail (faint at first, we failed to stay on it) until hitting the Park Creek trail at 3,968 ft (5,232 feet down from summit). Hike northwest up the valley on the trail up towards Park Creek Pass. When the trail leaves the creek and begins climbing up towards the pass, leave the hiking trail at ~4,086 ft and cross the creek (log) to the left side and continue up Park Creek cirque on mostly talus and snow (easy cross country) - eventually gaining Buckner Glacier. It would be best to camp near the toe of the Buckner Glacier and even better to bivy at the Booker-Buckner col. We underestimated the time Goode would take and climbed too casually and lost the descent trail, and ended up camping at 5 Mile Camp about one mile up from where the Goode climber’s trail hits the Park Creek Trail. Day 4: Head up the Buckner Glacier until two couloirs are visible. Climb the left of two couloirs that access the Booker-Buckner col at 7,365 ft. Pic looking up the left couloir: Watch out for the snow bridges across the crevasse that cuts across the upper couloir since in August 2012 the one I used completely collapsed within minutes after I crossed and seconds before Keith was about to cross, leaving us on opposite sides of the crevasse and forcing Keith to cross the remaining, much thinner bridge on the right side: From the Booker-Buckner col, traverse at generally the same elevation westward across numerous ridges. When you get an overview of Horseshoe Basin, down climb the west side of a steep ridge several hundred feet (looks harder than it is but tricky route finding, a few low 5th class moves) to about 6,700 ft and head towards the middle of the basin to gain the Southwest Route of Buckner. Disclaimer – it started to pour on us at this point with some lightning thrown in so we kept traversing and skipped the summit (lame, put an asterisk next to this TR). The Southwest Route ascends about 2,300 ft of snow and 3rd class to the summit of Buckner (9,080 ft). Traversing Horseshoe Basin in the rain: Descend Mt. Buckner via the ascent route (probably can traverse skiers right on the way down and shortcut out a little so maybe do not drop your pack until halfway to summit?) back down into Horseshoe Basin, skirt below Davenport Glacier to 6,369 ft to cut below the toe of Sahale Mountain’s Southeast Ridge. Ascend out of Horseshoe Basin on a snow couloir, then a 4th class ridge, then a little more steep snow to cross over to Sahale Arm above Doubtful Lake at ~7,516 ft (1,147 up from Horseshoe Basin, last climbing of the trip). Depending on how you are feeling, a bivy here may be desirable (do not bivy here without a permit, backcountry rangers are always present on Sahale Arm). Since we skipped the Buckner summit we had plenty of time and energy to get to the car but there is a lot of trail, switch backs and elevation left to lose to the car. Descend Sahale Arm on the incredibly scenic trail to Cascade Pass (5,395 ft). From Cascade Pass, hike several miles and 1,904 ft down, encountering countless switch backs, on a hiking trail to Cascade Pass TH at 3,491 ft. Drive car A back to car B trailhead while contemplating which sport crags have the shortest approaches for next weekend… Gear Notes: Light 60M rope (we used an 8.1mm, doubled for climbing) 12 middle-sized nuts (for Goode) 2 pickets (2 screws would probably be good) Super light crampons and ice ax Additional gear notes: Since I love, love, love when climbers include their special gear secrets in their TRs, my gear MVPs from this trip were: 1) Cytomax. Gatorade is good but Cytomax is much better because of the carbs it includes. I have gone for hours and hours on Cytomax only without bonking. 2) FiveTen Insight hightop approach shoes. I love FiveTen approach shoes (especially the rubber) and really like high tops (either the Exum Ridge or Insight) for North Cascades adventures. The high tops keep out scree and snow and provide comfy ankle protection. I can climb steep snow and rock up to 5.8 in them. I would recommend against carrying rock shoes for Goode since the climbing is easy and the hand/foot holds are abundant. For climbs of this grade, I would suggest that sticky rubber approach shoes or the same as, or better, than “real” rock shoes. With Adidas’ recent purchase of FiveTen, I would assume a GTX high top with Stealth rubber is soon-to-be realized. 3) One trekking pole. Over the past decade, I went full cycle from using trekking poles to approach the liquor store to never bringing them at all anymore. Luckily, Keith brought poles two and I “borrowed” one for the entire traverse. This trip would have sucked with only my ‘lil Fischer Price ax for support. Approach Notes: See above
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