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  1. 11 points
    Trip: Patagonia - Fitz Roy Smash 'n' Grab 9 Days Seattle-to-Seattle Trip Date: 02/03/2019 Climbers: Jeff and Priti Wright Location: Patagonia - Chaltén Massif - El Chaltén, Argentina Peak: Monte Fitz Roy (Cerro Chaltén) Route: Franco-Argentina 650m, 55deg 6c (6a C1) High-Res Video (turn up the volume!): Google Street View Photo Sphere: https://goo.gl/maps/nLvcGHAQTqu Trip Report: Feb 3, 2019 Priti and I summited Monte Fitz Roy in Patagonia near El Chaltén, Argentina via the Franco-Argentina Route. We had been watching the weather every day each season for the past three years and finally saw a good enough window to buy last-minute flights and make use of the beta sheets we made four years ago. The trip was 9 days Seattle-to-Seattle. We climbed the Franco-Argentina link-up which is a variation on the first ascent route and is the "normal" route up and the standard rappel line for all routes on the mountain. Franco-Argentina is a highly aesthetic line combining glacier travel, steep snow, mixed terrain, and hard/pure rock climbing. The technical portion of the route is 650m long containing 14 (or so) rock/mixed pitches up to 5.11b (or 5.10b/C1...heavy emphasis on the C1) and many hundreds of meters of 45-55deg hard snow/ice. Starting from the town of El Chaltén which sits at roughly 1,300 feet, you ascend 9,710 vertical feet over 10.5mi to reach the summit of Cerro Fitz Roy (Cerro Chaltén) which towers over all the surrounding granite spires of the Chaltén Massif. The upper summit slopes require crampons, boots, and ice tools which were carried in a single pack by the follower. We were four days and four nights away from town which included bivouacs at Paso Superior, La Brecha de los Italianos, the summit (for a 1hr sit-rest waiting for sunrise pictures), then hiking all night back to town on the fourth/final night. From La Brecha, we woke on the third day and moved sleeplessly for 48 hours to get back to town so we could make our bus for our flight back (and we had 20min to spare!). We were lucky to experience rare, cloudless, windless, perfect weather in this harshest and otherwise unforgiving land. We've suffered so much in these mountains on our previous two trips; this was a welcome change. For those of you who don't know, the Patagonia (r) logo (tm) is an actual range, called the Fitz Roy range which is located in the Chaltén Massif. The big peak in the center of the logo is Fitz Roy. The founder, Yvon Chouinard, was a member of the Fun Hog Expedition in 1968 who road trip'd from California to Argentina, surfing and skiing along the way. They completed the third ascent of the mountain and established a new route, Californiana (or the "Fun Hog Route"). Note: whenever I mention "the topo", I'm referring to the topo as found in the 2nd edition of Patagonia Vertical, by Rolando Garibotti and Dörte Pietron, published by Sidarta Guides, which can be purchased online or in the States at most Patagonia retail stores. Rolo has a companion website to the book, PATAclimb.com, which is an equally invaluable resource. All pictures below are high resolution. Click on the pictures to open them in a new tab and zoom in. The adventure begins from the town of El Chaltén where you hike the popular trail approximately 10km to Lago de los Tres. Then scramble up the left (Southern) slopes of the lake to find a fixed line. The fixed line is hidden away from tourists and is very difficult to find. Stay low as you scramble up the slopes, maybe 30m until you find an obvious, lone, random bolt along a ledge. If you were to continue from here, you would see a smattering of 4 more random bolts which (I assume) make a rappel anchor for guided parties. Instead, go straight downhill from the first bolt to a large cairn and another bolt with the fixed line. 3rd class down climbing will take you back to the shores of the lake where you will soon see the second fixed line which ascends the 4th class hillside to a scree field. Cross the moraine (bivy options here) between the larger and smaller lakes to the glacier (Gl. de los Tres). Ascend the glacier to find yet another short (15m) fixed line on a low-angle rock or mixed corner (shown below). Ascend the ridge on the North side (climber's right) and make your way back to the South side (climber's left) to gain the upper snow field. Follow easy snow to Paso Superior (high camp). A very snow Mermoz and Guillaumet Paso Superior is a popular advanced base camp from which most objectives in the Massif may be accomplished in a push. It is relatively sheltered in a snow bowl, but may be exposed in high winds. On the back (North) side, there is a fixed rope down 20m of 4th class terrain to get down to the glacier (Gl. Piedras Blancas). Ascend the glacier to get to the bergshrund (1-2hrs). According to the guidebook, there are three ways to gain the ridge: the rappel couloir (just below the Brecha de los Italianos), the rock spur just left of the couloir, and the steep snow further left. Approximately 100% of all parties (give or take) approach via the steep snow (the third option), as we did. From the bergshrund just below the toe of the rock (usually just a step-across, but may go "out" in late season), we harnessed up with rock and ice gear, ascending steep snow and ice (up to 60deg) for 250m. We stayed close to the rock and protected with rock gear since the angle was steep enough and the consequences fatal enough, but many parties solo the snow/ice, roping up for the last rock portion. Since the steep snow was endless, calf-burning front-pointing, we were glad to have steel, hybrid, horizontal crampons here and also on the summit slopes, although many climbers just wear strap-ons (of the aluminum variety). Once near the ridgeline, there are likely a few ways to ascend the rock from 3rd class to low 5th but rock shoes are not necessary. Choose your adventure. The entire technical portion of Franco-Argentina is shown in red, above, which starts at the end of the snow bench ("la Silla"). Once over the ridgeline and on the West side, you are rewarded with views of Desmochada, Cerro Torre, and Aguja de la Silla. There are a couple bivy spots where a tent can be set up just under Brecha de los Italianos (shown above). From here, in order to gain the ridgeline from la Brecha to la Silla, there are many possible low-5th class routes. However, the best way is to find a 45m fixed line on the right, just past la Brecha and climb 4th class terrain to a 3rd class walkway just under the ridgeline (still on the West side) until you get to the snow. You can also climb various 4th/low-5th class gullies (seen below). La Silla is usually always icy but is low angle (and exposed!) to the base of the route and may be protected with ice screws if you like. Crossing la Silla to the base of the route. Looking back down at Glaciar Piedras Blancas. Our tracks from Paso Superior can be seen, faintly. Pitch 1, finally!! 5.10c diagonal hand crack. There is a rappel anchor just at the end of the pitch, over the edge, but there is a comfortable belay if you go up on top of the ledge. Approximate pitch layout shown side-by-side with original photo (open picture in new tab to zoom in). The lines in yellow are the two options for the actual Franco-Argentina route as shown in the topo. We diverged (on purpose) where the actual route is in yellow. Priti high on Pitch 1. Above: Looking back down Pitch 2 which takes a corner then goes out on an easy crack system on the face (5.10b). Priti leading Pitch 3. Looking up at the 5.11a corner system (Pitches 6-7) while on Pitch 5. Another view of the corner system (Pitches 6-7) while on rappel. Above: Priti starting up Pitch 6 corner system (5.11a). We swapped leads after Pitch 7, and I started up the 5.10a corner/chimney system on blocky terrain. Pitch 9 was harder corners and chimneys (5.10b) and the cracks started to get icy up here! Looking down the blocky Pitch 9. This view is just nuts! Crazy granite monoliths that look like a cluster of orange crystal formations. Looking down, you can see the swirly line of snow on La Silla which separates Aguja Poincenot from Fitz Roy. Pitch 10 (5.9) and looking up at the remaining 4-5 pitches on the upper headwall. It was during this pitch that the cracks became prohibitively icy on the standard route which would have required two tools and crampons for the leader, so I chose to explore off-route. Just above where you see me in the picture above is a long roof. There is a rappel anchor (off-route) out left of the corner system. This anchor is shown in the topo with three pitons on a ledge and is normally only used as a rappel anchor. I bailed to this anchor, then continued left (left of the prominent arête as shown on the topo) and found icy, mid-5th class ledges. The final 5 pitches were off-route from the topo but made for a fine alternative if the cracks are too icy on route. The final pitch! In yellow on the right, the 6c (5.11b) variation as shown in the guidebook topo. This overhanging crack was chock full of weak ice when we rappelled it and would have been nearly impossible to climb free or even get any pieces in to French Free it. We took the variation in red (left), not shown on the topo, which has many fixed pieces and pitons from previous parties and probably also goes free at 5.11a, although we climbed it French Free due to the icy cracks, darkness, and weak climbing abilities! Priti followed in the dark, jugging with two Petzl Micro Traxions. I would recommend following the zig zag in red (as we did) and not going straight up as that would be much harder. This is a good alternative if the rest of the route is icy, although you have to get off route during Pitch 11 (much earlier) to get to the base of this variation. Note: two more pitches of low-to-mid 5th class were required above this pitch before getting to the snow field. Rappel ropes shown going down the 6c variation. For reference, the line we took (red) is also shown again. Once past the technical climbing, you reach 250m of hard snow/ice up to 50deg (more endless front-pointing). This leads to the summit mound, which looks intimidating, but we went hard left to the left-most rocky ridge which was easy 3rd class scrambling to the final summit ridge. There is a small bump along the summit ridge which is not the actual summit although appears to be the high point! Continue to the end of the horizontal-ish summit ridge to reach the actual summit. There is an AMAZING bivy site for 1-2 with a roof and walls just under the summit block. Advertising for our awesome hostel, Aylen-Aike, from the summit. Cerro Torre behind. The first rappel down the upper snowfield. After 3-4 rappels down the upper snow field, we couldn't find the rappel anchor that's shown in the topo which is just (climber's) left of the prominent prow/arête at the top of the route. Instead, we rappelled straight down the 6c (5.11b) variation from the topo with no difficulty. If in doubt, just rap down this 6c corner. The next rappel (shown above) is from a ledge just to the left of the prominent prow/arête. You can see a giant block jutting out in the photo above. To the right of this block is the 6c (5.11b) variation. This is generally the most popular way to finish the technical portion of the ascent. The 5+ variation is further right (out of view) from the prow. In general, the rappel lengths and locations of anchors were spot-on on the topo. There are so many anchors everywhere, so be sure to follow the topo guidance for rappel lengths if you want to skip some anchors and have longer rappels. The rappel block above "La Araña" snow patch, which looks like a spider halfway up the route. A particularly harrowing rappel just below La Araña which goes down the shear, overhanging wall which is above the dihedral (Pitches 6-7). The leader has to make sure not to miss the belay ledge and do some free-space swinging to catch the ledge. The first rappel down the East side of la Brecha de los Italianos. The second to last rappel. Stick to the (skier's) right in this photo and hug the wall. There was an anchor just above the bergshrund where you make the final rappel. The Chaltén Massif from the air. Tracks: https://caltopo.com/m/CVF0 More info: https://pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/fitzgroup/fitz/french.html#franco https://pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/fitzgroup/fitz.html https://www.summitpost.org/fitzroy/153622 Gear Notes: Double Rack to 3 with triples .4-1, single #4, 4 ice screws (1 shorty), 1 picket each (approach only), 60m single rope, 60m Esprit pull cord, steel hybrid crampons, 2 tools each on approach (we brought two tools total on route, although many parties bring three tools total on route). On route, the follower carried a single 40L (Patagonia Ascensionist) pack with both of our boots, crampons, pull cord, 1 sleeping bag, one therm-a-rest pad, water/food for both, summit jackets, summit mittens, and two tools (total). For the upper slopes, each person had a single tool, but two each would have been luxurious. Approach Notes: Approach on steep snow left of serac ('S2c' from the guidebook)
  2. 5 points
    Trip: Banks Lake, WA - Zenith, Emerald, Cable, Razorblades plus others Trip Date: 03/03/2019 to 03/14/2019 Trip Report: With reports of an incredible season at Banks Lake, my partner (Joe Peters) and I decided we needed to get over there. We drove over on March 3 to find a good place to set up a camp. Joe had to finish a couple things at work, but my wife Trisha came out to climb for the 1st two days until Joe got back. Then Joe and I were able to spend another 9 days climbing some of the wildest ice I have ever been on. Banks lake is that good!! I didn't list any grades in this trip report. Banks is a funny place and I found that grades were tricky to judge. In the end I decided that Wayne Wallace was right when he said..."Grades don't matter, everything here is hard." We camped in Joe's tipi tent which is pretty luxurious complete with stove for heat and drying gear. The best spot we found to camp was right across from Salt and Pepper. Camping limit is 15 days, it was free, and there was a toilet. We were able to sit in camp and stare up at Salt and Pepper every evening. Evening light in our camp. The view of Salt and Pepper from camp. (photo credit Joe Peters) Living it up inside the tipi. With that stove we could be sitting around in a t-shirt. It was absolutely essential for drying out boots and other wet gear after climbing every day. Here is a brief overview of our trip. 3/4 - Peewees #2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 3/5 - Climb below Emerald, Trotsky's Folly and Trotsky's Revenge (also called Phase Transition) 3/6 - Peewees #1 and 5 3/7 - The Emerald and Satan's Panties (also called Absent Minded Professor) 3/8 - Tea 'n' the Sahara 3/9 - The Cable and H2O2 3/10 - Unnamed climb in Moses Coulee 3/11 - Bombs over Old Baghdad (the climb across Banks lake at MP3) 3/12 - Shitting Razorblades 3/13 - Salt and Pepper 3/14 - Zenith I will just let the pictures tell the rest of story with a few captions. Peewee's Playground. I referenced these from right to left starting with 1 and ending with 8. Me leading Peewee #4 on the 1st day. A great place to start getting used to Banks ice! (photo credit Trisha Thorman) Craig Pope had just put up this line which he thought was probably an FA. It transitioned from the ice through the rock and out to the hanging dagger. It is Peewee #2 and he named it Turn the Page. This is a couple guys from MT climbing it on TR in the beautiful afternoon sun. The next day Trisha and I climbed this little flow. It was fantastic steep climbing that eased off about half way up. It is right off the road at the Emerald Pullout. It is amazing to me that there are so many of these lines that don't have names. Anywhere else and these good pitches of ice would all be named! Trisha doing a TR lap on Trotsky's Revenge. Day 3 Trisha headed back home and Joe arrived. Here Joe is arriving at the top of the fantastic Peewee #1. This is Satan's Panties (also called Absent Minded Professor). Rumor is that it hasn't come in for multiple years. It was a really fun multi-tiered climb that was a great warmup for the bigger climbs at Banks. The Emerald sits tucked up in a small valley above the main Banks Lake proper. It was a fantastic steep pitch of excellent climbing. It even faced north so it didn't get any sun to ruin the ice! Me leading the Emerald. (photo credit Joe Peters) Joe topping out on the Emerald at the end of a great day! With a cloudy day we decided to brave the lake and head across for some of the bigger lines. Thankfully the lake ice was thick and solid with no noises. The climb directly above me is Tea 'n' the Sahara. The one to my right is unknown.....it never came in this year unfortunately (or at least the dagger never touched down). (Photo credit Joe Peters). A closer view of Tea 'n' the Sahara. This was definitely my favorite climb of the trip. It consisted of 4 steep pitches each about 90-120 feet in length. The ice was typical Banks with plenty of excavating but the position and length of the climbing make it a classic for sure. Joe climbing the final steep 4th pitch. Looking back up at pitch 4 of Tea 'n' the Sahara from rappel. We were able to rappel the entire route with 2 rope stretching 70m rappels......take 70m ropes! (photo credit Joe Peters) The Cable....it is such an amazing, steep, crazy, gymnastic, different route. An absolute must do at Banks. Here Brian Williams is a little past halfway up the long pitch. Me leading the Cable. It is so good......just go do it! (photo credit Joe Peters) The Cable in the setting sun. Next we went to climb H2O2. Here are a couple of unknown climbers on it the night before. Yet another great pitch of climbing right next to the road. Here Joe is putting up H2O2 in the evening sun. The following day we drove over to Moses Coulee. Unfortunately Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were pretty wrecked by the sun. This is an unnamed climb on the same road about 1/2 mile before Butch Cassidy. Looking up at the Unnamed route was awe inspiring. There were so many hanging daggers through the steep upper roofs. I gave it a go on lead but ended up sitting on a screw in the roof. I found out I wasn't fit enough to lock off on a tool and clean hanging daggers for that long. Still an awesome experience! Me approaching the large ice roof of hanging icicles. (Photo credit Joe Peters) The next day was cloudy so we headed back across the lake. This climb is right across from MP3. It isn't in the WA ice book and nobody seems to know what it is called. After staring at it disappearing into the fog above we decided to call it Stairway to Heaven. (Edit: sounds like it is called Bombs over old Baghdad) Here is Joe leading up pitch 2. The next day was time to get on Razorblades. This is a climb that had been on my list to do for a while and it didn't disappoint. Some years the first pitch isn't in or so thin that you can't protect it well. This year it was fat! Me leading up the crux first pitch of Razorblades. I don't think I have ever climbed ice by pulling on ice mushrooms with my hands instead of swinging my tools into the ice....fun but funky! (Photo credit Joe Peters) Finally after staring at Salt and Pepper every night for a week, we decided we needed to go and do it. The guidebook made the 1st pitch sound hard and scary. It climbs the loose rock on the left and traverses up the snow ramp to the ice. It was loose, but I found a decent pin and a couple cam placements. You definitely don't need a #3 C4. I would take a couple of KB pins and a set of cams from BD .3 to #1. The crux step of rock is easy 5th but it is loose and a fall would be very bad. Joe climbing up the steep ice of Salt and Pepper. It was a fantastic climb with big exposure. This is looking straight down for about 300 feet. We wrapped up our trip with Zenith. A fitting end to a fantastic trip. It was very fat this year but still steep and long! (Photo credit Joe Peters) Joe and I on Zenith. Being a roadside crag, many times a few people stop and watch. Sue Tebow was one such person but she was kind enough to leave us her contact information so we could get a couple pictures she took. It is always a treat to get both the leader and the follower in the same picture. Thanks Sue! (Photo credit Sue Tebow) A final parting shot of the huge deathcicle above Zenith. It was so fascinating to look up at but we wasted no time in getting out of there. It consisted of a thin hollow tube of ice that extended 30 feet or so below the cliff. Out of the center poured a huge amount of water. (Photo credit Joe Peters) Gear Notes: Ice screws and 70m ropes Approach Notes: Short and easy unless you are crossing the lake!
  3. 4 points
    Trip: North Cascades- Boston Basin - The Boston Marathon Trip Date: 07/10/2018 Trip Report: This is super delayed, but i was looking though old pics and thought this trip was worth sharing with y'all. Kyle was most certainly the brain-child behind this absurdity. I think it was sometime in the summer of 2017 he mentioned this idea of solo circumnaving boston basin. I was a bit suspicious that things might be a little more involved than was anticipated so told him i'd join in for a recon mission. We trail ran the sahale glacier route one day and gawked at the rest of the ridge, reading the unknown v known terrain and looking at the way the ridges tended to run. It was clear we were going in the wrong direction. For one, we would have to do the tft backwards, which would have honestly been the most chill weirdness. Downclimbing the ridge to sharkfin looked damn near suicidal. So we regrouped and planned a 2 day mission from the other end. We decided to start at the hidden lakes th and start on the triad via the sibley pass approach. When we hit the triad it was clear the "triad traverse" approach as described for marble creek basin didn't really let on to how gnarly the scrambling would be if one were to stay true to the ridge. We estimated summiting the triad sometime before 10 am, somewhere around mid afternoon we finally were running up the eldorado glacier. After tagging eldo via the east ridge, we ran over to the torment col while the sun was setting. After soloing the s ridge of torment in the morning, we realized we again had underestimated our objective, so we bailed down b basin and gorged on berries. One last attempt that summer would be thwarted by an overuse injury. And the september rains came, and boston basin stood like that itch you just cant reach all friggin winter long. Summer came around again and we were racking up at our first opportunity. Sometime in early July. looking back towards eldo and the triad on an early recon We Again set up the car shuttle, but this time the road was closed at the eldo th, and we had 4 days off, so we figured we'd tentatively plan on just tossing the triplets, cascade and j-berg in on the final day (our plan was to scramble the j berg summit ridge and bushwack down the gnar forrest straight back to the eldo th.). Weather ultimately meant this final link would not go, but its certainly something to aspire to. We set off from the trailhead for the triad. This time, we were prepared for the choss. early scrambling Kyle down-soloing some 5.6 choss on the triad Some 4th class funk on the triad 100ft tower we climbed along the way, 5.7 nothing on top suggested we were the first to visit such a bizzare place some more down climbin w face of w triad 5.6 R super aesthetic The first time we visited the triad we stayed true to the ridge crest east of the eastern summit and down-climbed somewhere about a third or half way down the east ridge. This proved to be an extremely dangerous experiment in natural jenga. We pushed off multiple oven to mini cooper sized blocks that impeded safe passage. We ended up bailing down some 500 ft 5.4-5.7 wall to the glacier. This was the boldest down-soloing i've ever committed to and would never be recommended. Remembering this experience, we opted to drop off the ridge after the eastern summit of the triad. A quick jaunt accross the glacier brought us over to eldo. We decided the truest line would be to climb the south ridge of eldorado. We found info on the south face, but none on the south ridge. We thought this odd, but the ridge looked quite reasonable. It ended up providing 4-6 epic and high quality pitches of easy rock climbing. A worthy stand alone mission and my second favorite (second to the west arete) way to summit the mountain. the first pitch gaining the s ridge of eldo second pitch some good ol' fashioned knife ridin good conditions meant a casual walk down the e ridge From the summit of eldo we decided to stop and rest at eldo camp rather than push through the dark to the torment col. I mean, there is a toilet there, thats pretty darn good motivation. We woke up early the next day and scurried across the feint climbers path leading over to torment. The torment col is always a neat place to hang out and fill up water. The true line here is the NW ridge of torment. We quickly glanced at the beckey bible the first time, and saw that it had gone. But when we got to the base of the ridge the gnar choss was quite strong, and we weren't entirely sure if we had the beta memorized, so we bailed back around the mountain to the south ridge. This time around we had taken some photos of the guidebook and decided to turn reason off. Getting on the ridge was the crux, purely mental, it turned out to be fairly easy going. There was one exposed and runout 5.8ish knife-edge pitch somewhere in there, but it all kinda blurred together. Soon enough we found ourselves on the summit of torment and in familiar terrain. The TFT awaited, finally some classic easy ridge travel! A classic b basin white out slowly creeped up as we reached the w ridge notch. It became apparent a storm was comming in so we scrambled to get the tarp up. We knew we were in for a wet night. looking over at the nw ridge of torment the entrance to the ridge, what looked like 5.10 from afar turned out to be 5.6 some more ridge scrambles on torment topping out the crux pitch of the nw ridge looking back at the entrance to the tft. getting on the glacier required a 20ft pendulum, then we had to rap down that high bergshrund. our first overhanging rap off a snow bollard. things were wet and snowy on the "3rd class rock" bypass variation We woke up on day 3 soaked (i say woke up, but there wasn't that much sleep). Rain stopped around 1 pm. The whiteout however persisted. We eventually got restless and started up the w ridge of forbidden. Neither of us had been down the east side of the mountain before, so we knew we were in for a good challenge when the whiteout lingered, but we knew we had to keep going if the traverse was going to go down. Finding the raps down the east ledges was tricky, but not unreasonable, we eventually got onto the e shoulder of the mountain below the start of the east ridge route. and knew that we had no clue what layed ahead, so we tucked tails and pitched the tarp. west ridge with a fog break another little break in the whiteout while descending the east ledges our bivy the next morning, j-berg looking classy as ever We awoke on day 4 with the sun and our first view of the nw ridge of boston. And we were decidedly a little concerned. Nonetheless we packed up and found our way down to the end of the e shoulder of forbidden. if ya think boston peak is choss, try scrambling around out here, it will change your understanding of the word. We reached the end, and the large cliff that would feed us to the the notch below the sharkfin ridge. this was truly un-rappellable terrain. So we backtracked to a low 5th class gully. A very stressful hour of downclimbing and rappelling spat us on the edge of the Qiuen Sabe. Another gully by the notch led us up to the steep hanging snowfield below the sharkfin ridge. We were short on time because of weather and opted to leave the subsummit west of sharkfin for another time. We quickly found ourselves at sharkfin. We climbed something on the sw ridge of the tooth, hard to remember exactly what we did. It was solid, exposed and 5.8. Had a hanging belay and no other signs of climbers. Not sure what we climbed, but it was fun. After some victory food on the summit we rapped off and set sail into a sea of virgin choss. I think there was maybe 1 more rappel to access boston, then we started up the ridge. We soloed about 1500 ft of low 5th class before hitting a vertical section and roping up. A circuitous combination of rappeling and ridge climbing brought us to the famous "ore" describing boston. A knife edge ridge guarded the easier looking summit headwall. The prospect of bailing at that point seemed worse than climbing the ridge, so i pushed up. The rock was best described as feta cheese. And i had to mow about a foot of the surface rock off as i au chevaled to ensure the entire ridge wouldn't collapse with me on it. I fabricated a belay half way across this called "off-belay". Kyle didn't look convinced i had found gear. Climbing delicately through the remaining pitches we found ourselves in unprotectable low 5th. So we soloed to the summit. The register up there is pretty rad, its a neat summit and the regular route doesn't look that bad. A few rappels and we knew we had done it, sahale was like the icing on the cake. And a 2000 ft boot ski down to the sahale arm was the reward. We blasted obscene music and trudged down to the cascade pass th. Overall we pitched out 26 pitches, rappelled 26 times and the gps read 26.2 miles back at the eldo th. A proper cascades test-piece. Some day we might go back and add j-berg. Maybe when memory fails us. "The Boston Marathon" VI 5.8R scouting the downclimb to the qiuen sabe looking over at the nw ridge of boston starting up sharkfin the final approach to boston. We ended up climbing just under the ridge crest for good 4th and low 5th class traversing until the gendarme right before the ridge starts gaining elevation, thats were we roped up the first roped climbing on boston finishing up on the first pitch of the au cheval Heres the track i took of the traverse loaded into caltopo, my phone died for about half of boston peak, so there is a straight line through that section. Gear Notes: Single Rack to 2, 50m half rope Approach Notes: We approached via the hidden lakes th with a car shuttle to the eldo th
  4. 4 points
    What kind of routes are you trying to climb (at the crag and in the mountains)? Keep in mind you'll replace a rope after a couple years of hard use, so forget those dream goals and only consider what you'll do in the immediate future. Second, is age/fitness or budget more of a constraint? When I started doing alpine routes I was working a shit job part time, but I was 24 and an ex-collegiate distance runner. I got one fat rope and took it on everything and it worked fine. Simplicity will force you to adapt and think creatively. My advice, spend the extra money on gas, go climb more with a cheap rope and the mountains will let you know when the extra skinny line is worth it.
  5. 3 points
    Trip: mt. kent - north face Trip Date: 03/05/2019 Trip Report: sub-alpinism seems to have understandably fallen out of favor given conditions in the coulees, sw b.c. and patagonia. couple of overview photos from yesterday: yesterday's route provided a half dozen entertaining ice/turf/rock steps. once above the last step, ~300 v.f. of forest take you directly to the summit. the quickest descent is down the east ridge then down the large avalanche gully on the left side of the face: there is old red webbing around a tree on skier's right but it is now easily down climbed. if you mistakenly drop down the burdick/fortier gully as i initially did, you could probably do a couple raps down the final two steps w/ one rope. the last couple of steps before the forest: annotated photo from ~2007: the photo above was copied from this thread: Gear Notes: the usual sharp stuff. Approach Notes: xc up east side of alice creek.
  6. 3 points
    Trip: Mt. Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall Trip Date: 03/03/2019 Trip Report: With clear skies in the forecast, my partner, Landon Lim and I, decided to head up to Mt. Hood and check off the Reid Glacier. Last time we got turned around by bad weather before the saddle, so this was our first attempt actually on route. We started from Timberline at around 3:30am at a nice leisurely pace. With no issues, and lots of white dots below us, we made it to the top of Palmer by 5am and continued to the Saddle just before 7am. There we put harnesses on, but didn’t rope up and met a few groups going to Leuthold and another who gave us the opportunity to break trail on the Reid. We’d seen images the prior day of some serious swimming in unconsolidated snow on Cooper Spur, so we were prepped for a full day. Illumination Rock basking in the morning glow Dropping down to the glacier First tracks on route, always a pleasure Dropping down to the Reid Glacier we found the path boot packed but still very soft at 9000ft. After getting on route around 7:30am, we thought we’d bypassed the bergschrund until I post holed into it. It kind of traverses from the visible spots at the base of Leuthold, all the way up to the base of the West Crater Rim. With no effort we traversed around it, finding a more stable snow bridge. The snow, starting at the base of the route, was knee to ankle deep, which continued until after the first ice gully at 9800ft. If you look closely, you’ll see 2 holes, thats apart of the bergschrund that we missed, keep an eye out The gully itself was kind of tricky, a short AI2 at best, but passable. It begins with steep snow that turned to snow covered ice. In the thick of it, the ice got really thin and under it was rock so placements were rather precarious. It was low angle enough to where the secondary points on my crampons weren’t engaged, but if they were and I dropped my heels, I felt like I would just pop off because of the conditions of the ice, probably just my own bad technique though. Maybe if you stick right in that first gully, there would be better ice, just a tad steeper. looking down at the first gully looking up, above the first gully the rime shroom that sucked us in, also next to where we down climbed and traversed to get back on route looking down before we traversed, we probbably should have trended left begening at the first zig zag, but the crux is route finding, so expect to do some. Above the first gully is where we should have trended left over the ridge and dropped into another chute, but we continued upward on the right side of the ridge towards a singular giant rime mushroom that sucked us in and forced us to downclimb and then traverse to the left. As we entered a second gully of steep snow, we were surrounded by giant cliffs coated in rime. This section looks like a majority of other photos you see, in a steep couloir. Didn’t experience any rock or ice fall on route, just debris from my partner who plowed through the upper sections. In just about all of these areas, you could kick in deep to rest. Above this section we were to the right of ridge where you could look over and see a few groups on Leuthold and the Queens Chair. Landon checking out the ridge we were about to traverse End of the traverse where we were funnelled into a maze of giant rime shrooms making our way through the rime shrooms our buddies behind came into earshot right before we crested the ridge. Final moves before pulling the ridge, but the route wasn’t done yet. Basically at the ridge I was talking about. You can see, on the left, where we were funnelled back into. The ridge leads you right there. At that ridge, looking over the way at several parties climbing Leuthold and another group chilling at the Queens Chair Above the ridge, we were funnelled back into some more rime cliffs where there was another section of ice, less than 10 moves of AI2, but it was quality ice. From there it opened up again and we moved left at the base of a mushroom where we took a break and put on glacier glasses. We were in the shade the entire morning and didn’t hit sun until we linked up with summit ridge. Around this corner/ mushroom around 10,800ft we were presented with two options: a steep pitch of ice probably 15m in length or a traverse around another mushroom in steep snow, we choose the ladder. In the guide book, it shows a traverse like we did, but I’m sure the pitch is possible. Small gully where we cruised through a few techy moves, but nothing difficult. Looking back at the second gully with some fun moves Continuing up, we navigated through more snow with a tech moves. We crested the summit ridge where we found a great view of the Cathedral Spire and ran up to the summit around 11:15am and chilled for a lil. There were a few other groups up there, much different from the serenity of the Reid. the last bit, before linking up with the summit ridge, not too far over from the old chute. Cathedral spire looking real nice from the summit ridge Summit Ridge Obligatory summit photo, the stoke is real! The descent was rather forgettable, we down climbed the Pearly Gates where there was a lil bit of ice and cruised down to Crater Rock, making it to the car around 12:30pm. 9 hours in total and my 2nd trip to the summit. Gear Notes: 2 tools and horizontal points would be sufficent for the conditions. You could bring gear and a rope and not place anything like we did, always nice to take the gear for a walk. Approach Notes: Pretty straight forward, if you’re unsure, it might be useful to have an image of the route. Always trend left.
  7. 2 points
    You can watch Dawn Wall on Netflix.
  8. 2 points
    Leutholds was in good shape, easy climb and manageable ski. Great pics of us on the Queen’s Chair, thanks!
  9. 2 points
    It can't be said enough: Jeff and I are so blessed, and so thankful that we got to climb Fitz Roy! Nothing is ever guaranteed, and certainly not alpine climbing in the Fitz Roy range. Everything kept falling into place! And it was spectacular!!!! 🙏 🤘😍 . . . Timeline: Thursday: Planning for a climb on Mt Hood. Jeff calls from working remotely in Charleston. Let's go to Patagonia! Friday: Asked for time off work. Plane tickets look reasonable. Wait, where are our passports? We bought tickets anyways. Saturday: Jeff arrives in Seattle. So do our passports. We buy some more gear! (and pack) Sunday: Planes. Work from plane Monday: Planes and working remotely from BA, AR Tuesday: Plane to El Calafate, bus to El Chalten, say hi to MF Seba, call in to work meetings and grab a bite with Scott, Sami, and Lauri Wednesday: Hike up to Lago de Los Tres to check out conditions. They are cold, wet and windy. Okay! Thursday: Hike from El Chalten to Paso Superior and camp Friday: Approach to La Brecha and camp. The rock looks a bit wet, but the weather is great! Saturday: Climb! all day. all night. some wetness, some ice, but it's okay Sunday: sit for an hour and watch the sunrise on the summit of Fitz Roy. Rappel Sunday night: hike all the way back to El Chalten. No sleep Monday morning: Catch our shuttle to the airport with 20 minutes to spare. Finally sleep on the shuttle Monday: Fly out, work from plane Tuesday: Arrive in Seattle! (go to work)
  10. 2 points
  11. 2 points
    I'm really surprised to read this bit and it's a pretty unfair version of history, although I'll be the first to admit that a lot of the trolls and general bad behavior likely caused a lot of lasting damage that will take time to fix. Yes, there was some really terrible behavior early on and those people were permanently banned. Should it happened quicker? I don't know, probably. Nobody handed us an owners manual when we started this; I was barely 24 when we went live. There are definitely people who I wish I had 86'ed earlier. But you of all people should have known how much we struggled with how to deal with these situtations, which is why I kind of find the "Ad impressions and the trolls won out" astonishing to read. We have never made a decision here for money. Did the trolls win? This site has been online for 18 years and has 8800+ TRs, so I'd argue no. Did they leave a lasting bruise, sure. I have however come to accept this world has changed, there was no iPhone, FB, IG, millions of apps vying for your attention when we first started. This was one of a handful of a small handful of climbing sites.
  12. 1 point
    Trip: MT. HOOD - Devils Kitchen Headwall Trip Date: 03/10/2019 Trip Report: (please forgive my subpar writing ability) Mike and I started up from Timberline at 5am on Sunday with our eyes set on the Reid headwall. As we headed up the groomers to the top of palmer everything was going smooth. Once above palmer we slowly made our way over to illumination rock, breaking trail in some good old thigh deep powder. One would think that this would be a pretty good sign that the Reid headwall is probably not in, but we were both too stubborn to call it. We stopped for a quick second once we hit Illumination rock to put our crampons on and then headed down to the base of Reid headwall. The first 20 feet started out as really nice hard packed snow and them quickly turned into thigh to mid chest deep powder. We managed to make it about 70% of the way to the base before we decided that it would take us a week to wade through the snow to the base. At this point we had two options, option A) head home, option B) slog through the thigh deep snow back up and over to the Devils kitchen headwall. Naturally we went with option B) After a good effort to get up to DKH we ran into another party down below that was aiming for the DKH. On any other day with snow conditions not so unforgiving we might have beat them to the base of the route. Not today though, these smart guys were skinning up like the rest of the smart people on the mountain. As we followed up through the deep snow we were faced with another dilemma. Do we follow these guys up the regular DKH route or give them some space like good humans and find another route. Once again we went with the second option and decided to head up to the DKH Variation on the right. As we headed up the snow was just getting worse, but we kept going optimistic that maybe we would find some ice or firm snow. Once we got to the beginning of the first step in the DKH variation route it quickly became evident that this was not in. To really confirm this i headed up the first step to see what the snow was like above. To my surprise it was total shit.... Now what do we do? Give up and finally call it a day? Definitely not! So we headed back down and waded through the snow once again over to the standard DKH route thinking that the two guys in front of us must be more or less off by now. Bingo! finally some decent climbing conditions. Looking up into the main couloir. Mike climbing up the first Ice step. Looking up the Second ice step. Conditions were really good on this and the Ice was thick. Mike at the bottom of the second ice step. getting the rope organized below the second ice step. Mike topping out the second ice step. Looking up towards the final slopes to the summit. The climbing was really mellow from here on up. mike coming up the last little bit before the summit ridge Summit ridge finally! All in all our day was longer than usual but we finally managed to climb something! DKH is definitely in good conditions right now. Ice is fairly thick and does take screws nicely. No need for really anything other than a handful of short screws right now. Gear Notes: 3 Ice screws Approach Notes: Thigh deep powder
  13. 1 point
    Trip: Snoqualmie Mountain - New York Gully Trip Date: 03/16/2019 Trip Report: Lael and I climbed New York Gully yesterday on Snoqualmie Mtn. We had great conditions and were treated to warm temps and high quality ice. We left Bellingham around 5, left the car around 7 or so on skis. The approach was fairly straight forward once we found the right parking lot/skin track (which took a bit, below is a pic with the approach laid out and where to park.) We left our skis on the ridge before dropping down to the north side of the mountain. The boot pack to the base of the route was slow and tiring as I post-holed about hip deep. We started up the route around 11, opting for the Direct NY Gully variation (mostly because we were so done with post-holing but also because there was another group right behind us and I was hoping this would space us out). Forecasts called for freezing levels around 6-7k so we expected any ice to be pretty rotten. It actually turned out to be pretty good! First pitch of the Direct variation was very high quality and quite fun. Only got one piece of gear but the climbing wasn't very hard. We then met up with the normal route and belayed there because the other team was a bit ahead of us. The next pitch was shorter, a left-hand traverse to another belay as we were moving a bit quicker than the team ahead of us. They were very nice and then allowed us to pass at the base of the box gully. We had a 60m rope so I knew there would be some simuling and communicated such to Lael. I had 9 draws and led about 90m through the box gully to near the 5.8 crack. I had to run it out more than I'd like given that the climbing wasn't super easy. It was a blast of a pitch though, the ice was good, the movement was fun and it was practically bolted with the pins in there. In fact, I don't think I placed more than a piece or two on the whole pitch, just clipped fixed pins. Lael followed every pitch much faster than I lead them. I topped out at a nice crack for a 3 piece belay from which we climbed about 40ft to the base of the 5.8 crack. It wasn't as hard as it looked but conditions were in our favor. I traversed to the base and put in a #2 then racked my axes and took off my gloves since it was sunny and warm. I jammed up the crack, pulled on the old webbing around a chock block in the top, clipped a biner on that webbing, and just like that, the crack was done. The difficulty didn't immediately ease though. I got out my axes and climbed some pretty steep turf and ice to a tree which I passed in favor of a rocky spine to belay off of. From here we traversed across a solar face with some pretty bad roller balls, so we simuled across to the trees where we unroped and headed for the skis, got there around 4:30 so we spent perhaps 4hrs or 4.5hrs on the route, in 6 pitches. The snow was atrocious from a whole day of sun and warmth but it still beat walking down! Had a great day of fun and hard climbing. Gear Notes: single rack from .4 to 3, 2 knife blades, 1 13cm screw (would have liked more), some nuts. 60m single. Approach Notes: Short, but a bit slow..
  14. 1 point
    Do not buy either of these for 3 season use in the Cascades unless you are a guide on the volcanoes!! So much of Cascadian summer climbing is hiking and these will destroy your feet.
  15. 1 point
    as the other guys said - buy the boot that fits. I tell newcomers to "buy the boot that feels like you were born in it". Leather vs synthetic? these days, durability is not much different. Leather will be heavier, and will require more break-in, but may, after proper break-in, result in closer fit. Synthetic will not conform to your foot the way leather does, and will not stretch, but will retain the initial "store fit" longer. Unless you have some fitting and break-in experience with heavy leather boots, you're likely to get a more accurate fit in a synthetic boot because it will mostly continue to fit like it did in the store. I have low-volume ("flat") feet, and have had great experience with La Sportiva, Garmont, and Lowa. In my experience, Scarpa works for folks with higher-volume (wide, or high arch) feet. For a three-season boot, I would favor something lighter than the Makalu. I like Sportiva's Trango series, and Garmont's Tower series... -Haireball
  16. 1 point
    Salewa has some great boots out as well. Ascent Outdoors shop in Ballard has one of the best selections of boots around and pretty knowledgable folks working there.
  17. 1 point
    If the Charmoz is too big I'd check out this (I just bought a pair recently): https://www.sportiva.com/trango-tower-gtx.html I think they are a great (maybe not perfect) Cascadian 3 season boot- I've been climbing in some variation of them for the past 20 years (tried Kaylands at one point and went back to LS). I get about 3-5 seasons of decent use out of them, though I did wear a pair out in one year when I spent the winter climbing in New Zealand and the summer climbing hard in the Cascades (before kids, ha!). The most important thing is fit! If they don't fit, it doesn't matter the features. Find the boot company whose last best fits your foot. You can likely stick with them for life. I used to think all leather was the way, but I'm sold on synthetic at this point- they dry quicker. The durability isn't as good in my experience, but the weight savings is worth it. Good luck! I started my climbing career in a club course and met lots of great people.....
  18. 1 point
    Wow...great job! Taking smash and grab to the next level! Awesome pictures....and what a great route!!
  19. 1 point
    Another bhamster here. Aging dad, former prof guide, looking to get back into it more than my annual big mtn or two. Mostly keen on alpine trad and long glaciated walks in the cascades, but game for bouldering at Vital or sport climbing at Erie. Have plans for a run up Baker and Glacier this summer that could use an extra climber or two on. Always keen for a day run up the North Twin, or scrambling up any of the peaks around Hannegan. Doing a traverse of the Sisters from N Sister down to Last Sister has been on my radar for years as well. Best way to reach me is text - 360-754-4470
  20. 1 point
    I always think this when I'm wallowing waist deep in the hills.
  21. 1 point
    Trip: Shuksan, Icy, Ruth - Nooksack Traverse Trip Date: 03/01/2019 Trip Report: Fred and I went and did the Nooksack Traverse over the first three days of March. We had fun, I think. We had probably the worst snow conditions of any ski trip I have ever been on, extremely cold temps for Washington, a crevasse fall, and several equipment issues. I might not go back... this year anyway. We parked a car at the Hannegan Pass Road picnic area right at the highway, then drove up to the lower ski lodge. The trip into the White Salmon valley was typical. We traversed in and lost ground to some guys who skied the clearcut, but they didn't have overnight packs. Skinning up the WSG was a breeze really, excellent snow if you were going downhill. We opted to climb the Hourglass instead of Hells Highway. We found about 20' of hard water ice... surprising. It was tough with a single axe and only two screws. Bring real ice gear and do it though! There was another bigger step above that we skirted on the left and topped out on the Sulphide. I would guess it was WI2. Fred approaching the Hourglass: Summiting was easy after dropping our packs at the bottom of the pyramid. We had lost a lot of time in the Hourglass, it's not worth it as a time saver, so we tagged the top and headed down. We skinned down to the flat spot on the Crystal Glacier while the sun set, getting the tent up just at dark. The crossover from the Crystal to the Sulphide was easy, poor light made it seem hard though. Fred on the summit of Shuksan: After a long cold night we packed up and headed uphill for a warmup skin and a look into the Price Glacier. The topout looked unlikely with a crack already running completely across the headwall. We skied down to the entrance to the Nooksack Glacier to check it out, a little trepidatiously we worked our way in, and found bad news. It looked scarry, way scarry. Obviously it's steep, but there is a serac just below the only cornice free entrance, then a crack running completely across the base of the headwall. We balked. We walked the cornice with hopes of rapping over it and downclimbing through a gap in the bergschrund at a minor rib. The drop in on the Nooksack headwall from further east above the cornices, photo by Fred: This option didn't really seem safer, so we went for another look. I really wanted to bail at this point; the WSG is a pretty darn good consolation ski, but I also really wanted to do this route, and Fred never bails (jk). We strapped our skis on our backs and Fred began downclimbing on belay. We only had two pickets so it would be a thin running belay at best. When he got to the top of the 'schrund he couldn't see over, so I set a 2 point anchor and began lowering him... Then the lip blew, it collapsed under him and he fell, the picket and axe I had in blew, as did an intermediate picket Fred had in, and I began rolling. I rolled probably 60' down a 50° slope. My first thought was "oh shit, Fred! I blew it as a belayer!" My second thought was "oh shit, ME! This is going to suck." I think I bounced off the far side of the 'schrund, then hit bottom. We both had the same thought when we hit the ground: "get your head up so you don't suffocate." When I could see again Fred was a few feet away and we were in a 20' deep crevasse. We had fallen about 10' over the lip, then 20' more into the bottom, but we were OK. We both check in with each other, then tried to climb out. The bridge we were on was not the bottom, and it was super hollow, my feet kept punching through into air. I had to take my pack off (with skis on it remember) and use it to push against so I could get my feet up and onto firmer snow. After I got untangled from the rope I climbed the far wall of the crevasse, it wasn't hard, just steep, loose snow. Fred did the same and we were seemingly fine. We later debriefed and realized that this might actually have been the best case scenario. If the anchor had held and I had lowered Fred he would have been free hanging, then we would have run out of rope before he got to the bottom. My only choice would have been to go Joe Simpson on him and cut the rope. The slope and 'schrund from below, photo by Fred: So anyway, we skied down and crossed the Nooksack Glacier without needing to skin. It was close, and there was some shuffling, but we made it through. Fred hanging out below a big serac: Looking back across the Nooksack: After more crappy, technical, icy skinning with crampons, we made the Icy Peak shoulder. My crampon broke about 30' shy of the summit of Icy when I was climbing the icy gully and kicked a rock slab (they were aluminum). But Fred pushed on. We camped between Icy and Ruth for another cold night, making camp just before dark again. More icy hard skinning led the next morning to Ruth and eventually the skin all the way back to the highway. Fred nearing Ruth summit: The East Nooksack from Ruth: Well, I'm glad we did it. Perhaps it is not the best year, perhaps we are just not good enough skiers for the headwall, who knows. We had fun, kind of. I'm glad we did it, glad we made it out, and glad I don't have to do it again, at least until there is another good weather window! Gear Notes: Standard ski mountaineering gear, ski and boot crampons, lots of clothes. Approach Notes: Traversed in from chair 8.
  22. 1 point
    Trip: Okanagan - Cirque of the Unremarkables Trip Date: 02/14/2019 Trip Report: After work ice cragging, what!? Pretty fun, comes in fast.. about 20 min north of Vernon, just take the turn-off for the Tolko mill and you can't miss it. Gear Notes: Ice stuff Approach Notes: Nowt!
  23. 1 point
    Jason, my sanguinity comes only after much reflection and decompressing on the issue. We talked a lot about it that night in the tent. It really makes me think about basically every snow anchor I have ever placed and not loaded simply because no one fell. Both the axe and the picket were buried vertically, clearly this was the critical mistake. I dug down through the powder into what I thought was firm snow, and tested it. I have decided that we need some snow school time to practice these techniques. We are pretty experienced snow climbers and I have placed pickets as pro a number of times, though mostly in spring conditions. Everything seemed secure. It was very eye opening to put it mildly.
  24. 1 point
    ummmmmmm....wow. For a near miss of total team death, you seem remarkably sanguine. And yes, curious as to how the pickets and axe were placed.... Well done at finishing it, and thanks for posting all the gory details. This has been on my list, but your TR gives me pause.
  25. 1 point
    Interested in learning more about alpine climbing, glacier travel or proper technique? Skagit Alpine Club is hosting it's Basic Mountaineering Course starting April 13th! 8 week course for only $400 until March 13th! Sign up today: https://www.skagitalpineclub.com/
  26. 1 point
    Yep. If you're young, ambitious and broke just get a single fat 70 and take it everywhere. At worst, it'll be training weight.
  27. 1 point
    This is so freakin inspiring from a weekend warrior standpoint. Thanks for the motivation, y'all are my heroes!
  28. 1 point
    Good for you guys for getting out there. Pretty sure this is in almost every year. Also, how did it take you 9am to 5pm to get up there??? I would review your efficiency.
  29. 1 point
    Trip: Cascade River Rd - conditions Trip Date: 03/02/2019 Trip Report: With ambitious hopes of finding winter alpine climbing and maybe also a certain Spanish-rumored City of Gold, I found myself out on the Cascade River Rd this past Saturday (March 2nd.) Although my plans were ultimately thwarted and uninteresting, I figured I should at least share a report on the current state of the road. Indeed, as the park service reports, the Cascade River Rd is gated at milepost 18; but right now that’s a pretty moot point, because it’s unlikely you’ll drive even that far until things warm up and the snow melts back a bit. Patchy snow began about 4 or 5 miles away from Marblemount. Around milepost 10, it got thick and swimmy enough that my car (a 2017 Subaru Forester with average tires,) required chains to keep going. At milepost 16, right by the entrance to Mineral Park Campground, the only car ahead of us had parked (a Subaru Outback.) We tried driving forward on the unbroken road beyond that, but my car was having none of it, we were forced to park at milepost 16 as well. From there, the road had 1 to 2 feet of snow depth on it, ideal for skinning if you’re skiing. Also packed enough you could walk it in just boots, but still without a doubt more tiring than if the road had been melted down to bare gravel. I hope all the rest of you did something more satisfying with that glorious weather weekend than all the lame road walking I ended up doing! Gear Notes: Approach Notes:
  30. 1 point
    Sicko! The conditions look primo. Nice work, fellas, and thanks for the photo tour!
  31. 1 point
    Wow! Congrats! Looks like your detailed homework paid off in a big way.
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    That timeline makes me feel tired, old and fat. But I had to laugh @Priti. That is motivated!
  34. 1 point
    Very well done. Some people sit on site for a month trying pull that one off.
  35. 1 point
    Beyond impressive, even with a perfect weather window! Those mountains down there are the real deal in every respect. Fierce!
  36. 1 point
    More tracks than I’ve ever seen. Get some!
  37. 1 point
    Felt fine. We brought skis and a drill to check depth. I was deep and solid.
  38. 1 point
    anthony- I have a "vintage" north face "lightrider" (their bag for bicycle touring) that is lightly used and may work for your purpose. total weight is just over a pound - I used it for a summer bag, 3-season with extra clothes, and as a liner for an over-sized three-season bag for "extreme cold". It has a very wide "comfort range" because it has no side-block baffle opposite the zipper, so you can shake all the down to the top side for colder conditions, or shake more to underside for hot nights. It was always a bit short for me, so I replaced it a few years back with a longer 1-lb bag from Mountain Equipment... if you're interested, you know how to reach me... come take a look at it -- it would be inexpensive... -Haireball
  39. 1 point
    I've been using a FF Swallow for 20 years and have spent about a year of my life in it. I find that it is a little warm for high summer, but I just drape it over me like a quilt. Perfect for sleeping toasty in the spring and fall. I even use it in winter sometimes, with extra clothes. The Swallow pretty much does it all, and probably the reason it is FF's most popular bag.
  40. 1 point
    Someone turned in a bag of gear that looks like it was taken out of a car and riffled through. It was found in the Ballard area over on Leary, however it's possible it was taken from another area. We're looking to find the owner of all this gear! Please contact Stone Gardens Seattle and ask for Nate Clark. If you're able to describe what brand/size of shoes, the kinds of stuff-sacs, color of chalk bag etc. then we can discuss more about how to return the gear to you. All the best! Phone: 206-781-9828
  41. 1 point
    I only learned of Ken passing this past December. I will always be grateful for the experiences we shared and the skills he taught me. He was hard and gravelly on the outside, but inside he was a sensitive and loyal friend. This photo is one of many that I have of him, this one being the final pitch of Outer Space on Snow Creek Wall. It has hung on my living room wall for well over 20 years now.
  42. 1 point
    Joseph, I submit to you that there is one reason, and one reason alone: Names In the Guidebook.
  43. 1 point
    Trip: MT. HOOD - Wy'East Face Trip Date: 01/26/2019 Trip Report: With the warm inversion taking place and fairly certain most other routes would be full of falling ice Mike and I decided to climb the Wy'East. We left the car at 4:30am with the temperature in the mid 40's, but the surface/snow temps fairly reasonable. Mike and I left the car with the intention of getting to the top of palmer in under and hour but unfortunately for the 5th time so far this year we just missed it and managed to hit the top of palmer right at 5:36am. Once at the top of palmer we traversed slightly up as we made our way over to the White River glacier. We did rope up to cross the glacier although everything is pretty covered up right now. From here we had a quick look at the South face of the steel cliffs just to see if it might be in condition and it definitely was not so we continued down and around to the standard Wy'East route. This was our first time climbing the full Wy'East route and overall we think that the conditions were pretty good. The guide book is pretty spot on with the description although the traverse really inst that exposed and the overall climbing is extremely straight forward and mellow. With surface temps being a lot better than we had planned we topped out and then decided to run down to illumination rock and see if we might be lucky enough to hit one of the south west side routes before they became ice/rockfall funnels. Unfortunately once we got there and started to head down we quickly realized that we might be a dollar short and a day late as ice was just screaming down. Overall it was a great day with stellar spring like conditions. Gear Notes: 2 x pickets (didn't use them and not really any need for them on this route) Approach Notes: Standard south side route up to Palmer then traversed up and over to the White River Glacier. We roped up for this crossing although everything is pretty closed up right now.
  44. 1 point
    I miss the heyday of cc.com. It did get a bit spicy here for a while, but the flamers just added color along with the other characters here, imo, and the worst of it was easily ignored (also, I thought the mods did a good job of balancing freedom of expression and maintaining civil discussion). I found it great entertainment and was my first choice for distraction from work. Great climbing beta, ideas and inspiration and helpful when I had specific questions, which is what originally brought me here. I was on here daily for a few years. Now I am here less than once/month and it could be less as not much happens in that time. I climb a lot less now that I have a family and more work responsibility, but will still come when I need beta. My only regret was not coming out to one of the rope-ups or sausage parties to meet all you weirdos.
  45. 1 point
    Once weed was legalized the potential for Muir on Saturday flamewars dropped way, way down. Also, some of the older trolls are now senile or mummified, which restricts their ability to post.
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Mt Shasta - Casaval Ridge Trip Date: 03/03/2018 Trip Report: Mt. Shasta Via Casaval Ridge Mt Shasta Facts: Its the second highest peak in the Cascades next to Rainier(No.1) Over 15,000 summit attempts are made every year with only a third being successful. Most of the climbing is done via the popular Avalanche Gulch Casaval ridge has an elevation gain of approx 7,300' Lessons Learned Shorty after arriving from my Rainier trip I was eager to redeem myself on another mountain. Although I had summited, the ass kicking I received really humbled me and opened my eyes to all the areas I needed to improve on for my next going. After much searching I came across Mt Shasta and instantly knew this one would be next. I booked a winter trip via Casaval ridge, I prefer going on the less popular routes to avoid the crowds. This time around I convinced my good friend Yen to join me which made me that much more excited knowing one of my good buddies was joining me for the adventure. The lead up to this climb was especially difficult and there where times when I considered cancelling the trip, I had lost my grandfather to cancer a month after booking the trip and two months before the climb my younger cousin died of an opioid overdose (Please see passion & purpose for more on this and how I’m using my climbs to raise awareness on opioid addiction). These where very difficult times for me personally and made my summit all the more emotional. Training Things where much different this time around. I gave my self considerable amounts of time to train (7 months) and I took my training much more seriously. I trained hard and frequent. I ran 4-5 times a week 5 miles/day on average and did lots of leg work outs, especially exercises that would target my hamstrings and tibialis (down hill muscles). I got on a strict stretching regimen to make sure I had no tightness on my muscles and the best possible range of motion. A good diet got me much leaner and faster for this trip. I had learned my lesson and I wasn't about to commit the same mistakes that nearly prevented me from getting to the summit on Rainier. Mt Shasta California After 7 long months, February finally came around and I was all packed up and ready to go. I flew to San Francisco, spent a few days getting to know the the beautiful city before renting a car and heading up north. On route to Shasta we where able to enjoy the amazing ride, taking in all the scenery that surrounded us completely topped in fresh snow. We got to Shasta in the midst of some crappy weather, it was all cloudy and the visibility sucked. So we opted to head to a local restaurant to have one last solid meal before heading up for the climb the next day! We had pasta, steak and potatoes, it was a feast! We where making sure our bellies where completely satisfied before the big day. We where so stuffed we can hardly walk but when we stepped outside, the weather had cleared and Mt. Shasta's massive presence was towering over us in the most incredible of ways. It really was a sight to be seen. At that very moment I knew we where in for a treat! The Climb The next morning we all met at the SWS office and introduced ourselves. This time around I was one of the few that had some past mountaineering experience. Despite all my training I was still a bit weary and intimidated by the mountain. To my surprise the guides let us know that due to the bad weather conditions, no group from SWS had reached the summit this winter. But luckly we had a very narrow window where we might be the first to make it up(fingers crossed). After a quick pow wow, gear check and poop bag course (poop bags vary from mountain to mountain, not all poop bags are created equal!), we loaded up our packs and headed for the bunny flats. Upon arrival we quickly realized the snow was soft and deep thanks to a heavy fall the days before. We straped on our snow shoes and began breaking trail. The weather was nice and cool and the mountain was as if you where looking at a Virtual reality post card, it was perfect. We slowly started making our way up to what would be our camp for the next two days. It was a very pleasant day on the mountain and I was feeling great, absolutely no exhaustion or leg pumps. Every hour or so we would stop for a break and a chance to take in the breath taking view's. The last 90 minutes consisted of ascending a fairly steep snow field and before we knew it we had arrived at this ledge that would be our camp for the next 2 days. Everyone dropped their pack, pulled out the shovels and automatically started digging out the tent platform. We dug about 3’ in the deepest section and where able to get some nice cozy spots for the tents where they would be protected from the wind. As the sun came down, the temperature started dropping quickly and in a blink of an eye it got very very cold. Even with my mitts on, my fingers were so cold they hurt. I figured it was a good idea to get warm so I quickly tucked my self into my sleeping bag and "tried"( hardly a truth when mountaineering) to get a good night’s sleep. This proved very difficult due to the winds pounding on the tent all night long. It was also Yen's first time on a mountain so he was so excited he wasn’t having any sleep either. What seemed like 15 min after I was finally able close my eyes, the guides where shinning their head lamps on our tents to wake us up. Summit Day It was 2 am, extremely cold and it took some serious will power to get moving. We drank hot coco, got our gear on and set out to conquer the summit. It was dark out and windy while we roped up and started on the ridge. The wind was picking up the snow and spraying it on my face making for some nice frozen snot. We kept moving along waiting for the sun to rise and warm us up a bit. Eventually It did and we got the most incredible views with Mt Shasta’s shadow casted upon the surrounding landscape. We where also able to get a good view of the ridge we where climbing. It was amazing, full of these huge red rocks protruding from the snow forming whats really the most aesthtic line on the mountain. We where roped up in two groups of four. By sunrise our group was moving at a considerably slower pace than the other, so we started to worry we wouldn’t make it to the top on time. We had been at it for nearly 6 hours and had yet to make it to Shastina (Shasta’s little sister at 12,335’) and we still had 2000’ of elevation gain to go before making the summit. I was feeling great, my training had proven to work and I was ready to pick up the pace at any moment to race for the top. The problem was my group members where having a hard time keeping pace and where giving in to exhaustion. By just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other for few hours, we eventually made it to the famous misery hill. By now I could see the first group already making it to the top of the hill. Matt, our group guide sat us down for a second to let us know that our summiting window was closing. We had a choice, either call it a day and start making our way down or haul ass to the top, each one at his best pace and one of us summits on time. At this point we un-roped and he let us know that we had 45 minutes to drop onto misery hill and make it to the top (this is where my training really kicked in). After all the events that happened leading up to this trip and how emotional it was for me, I had to summit on way or another. So I kicked it into high gear and started working my way down onto misery hill on my own and then raced up to the top at a frantic pace. I was able to catch up with the first group just at the beginning of the summit plateau. I felt some guilt leaving my partner to climb up at a slower pace knowing he probably wont make it but knowing he was safe and accompanied by the guide, I decided to push on since this climb meant too much to me. Once I met with the other group, I got a quick drink of water before setting out for the summit pyramid. It was gorgeous once at the plateau, you really get to see how massive of a mountain Shasta really is. Then it’s a short hike before getting to the true summit. We had made it!. We took some pictures, signed the summit log and hung out for a bit before heading back down to camp. Just as I started making my way off the summit I saw Yen, my climbing partner approaching the top. I raced down to where he was and took the final steps with him. I was ecstatic he had made it and that we where able to get a summit picture together. The descent At this time we really had to start heading down in order to make it to camp before sun down. We descended down the side of Avalanche Gulch in a long and boring slog in knee deep snow. It took about 4 hours to get back down. Once at camp I took off my boots, organized my gear inside the tent and went straight to sleep. After a long day, when I finally laid down on my sleeping bag I was so tired I it felt like I was laying on a temperpedic and In a matter os minutes i was out cold. The next morning, we where up around 7 and quickly began packing up since a storm was working its way onto the mountain. We wanted to be out as soon as possible. After a quite uneventful descent we had finally made it back to Bunny Flats. Spirits where high and we where all eager to have a decent meal and get some rest. After thoughts All in all even though my physical conditioning was a lot better on Shasta, I still consider Rainier to be much harder both physically and technically. That being said, this is a beautiful mountain with amazing features. I really enjoyed climbing it in the winter since there wasn't any one else on the mountain at the time. Despite the sun beating down on us the whole summit day, it was still cool enough to where we didn't feel fatigued by the sun. I definitely wouldn't mind coming back and climbing it again, maybe try ski mountaineering it instead! HERES A LIST OF THE GEAR I USED, THE PLACES I STAYED AND THE COST BREAK DOWN OF THE TRIP: Logistics: Shasta is pretty much far from everything, you don't have many options other than renting a car. Plus the drive is well worth it (amazing scenery). Your nearest air port is Sacramento which is about a 3 hour drive. Once at shasta, your best bet is to stay at the SWS bunk house. There are plenty of restaurant in the area to satisfy your pre climb cravings. From the SWS bunk house, its about a 30 min drive to Bunny Flats, where you will begin your climb. Cost break down: SWS mountain guides - $825.00 (+ guide tip) Car rental - $235.00 Hotel - $166.00 (2 nights) Pre climb food - $74.00 Snow Shoe Rentals - $40.00 Total: Approx $1340.00 Gear List: Lower Body- La Sportiva Baruntse Point 6 Medium weight Socks Point 6 Heavy weight socks Smart Wool base layer Mountain Hardware ChockStone pants Arc'teryx Alpha SL Pant Upper Body- Bight Gear Solstice Hoody Men's (base layer) North face Soft shell hooded Jacket (**Highly Recomended) Mountain Hardware ghost lite jacket Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome (insulating warm hat) Marmot Men's Windstopper Glove (light weight) Marmot Men's Randonnee Glove (medium weight) Marmot Mens Mit Climbing Gear- Julbo Monte Bianco Glacier Glasses Black Diamond Climbing Helmet Black Diamond Couloir Harness Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe Black Diamond Sabertooth Clip Crampons Osprey 85 Pack Mountain Hardware 3 degrees sleeping bag MSR Snow Shoes Find out more on my website: www.brandonclimbs.com All climbs are used to raise awareness for the opioid epidemic that is weeping our nation. Gear Notes: On report Approach Notes: On report
  47. 1 point
    So this isn't a climb and not really a true trip report, but in the chance that this might be interesting or helpful, I decided to post my notes from our recent scramble of Luna Peak in a day. See below for splits, route beta (log crossing, bushwack) and a few pics. The crux of the trip was the navigation. Nailing the creek crossing location, following the path of least resistance during the bushwack and finding the correct gully to the alpine were all critical. Otherwise it was a class 2 hike (minus the true summit traverse). The bushwack ended up being much better than what I had heard (no wallowing in swamps full of devils club!), but the gully was a bit harder than expected, very long, loose and steep, but overall not too bad. Plenty of water available in the basin south of the peak and near Luna Col. Luna Peak - 8/30/17 Abram Elwell, Jenni S, Luke P 48.2 miles, 12,200' gain, 23:18 elapsed Ross Dam TH, 2:33 am, 0:00 elapsed Ross Dam, 0:12 Big Beaver Trail, 1:40 Leave Trail (After second clearing past Luna Camp, three large boulders on left, near "B" in Beaver on USGS map), 4:18 Easy cross-country travel to log jam with minimal brush until river Big Beaver Crossing (On log jam south of Access Creek, near "v" in Beaver on USGS map), 4:28 Climb up slope while traversing right with moderate brush Access Creek Crossing (3000'), 5:18 Bushwack upstream not far from creek with moderate brush, slide paths had waytrails through slide alder Cross creek to southern boulder fields (3840', before slide alder!), 6:43 Access Creek Basin Camp, 7:16 Halfway up gully (5400') cross over to the gully on left, stay right at the fork. Gully is loose and steep. Top of Gully (6240'), 8:30 Luna Col, 9:51 Summit, 10:35 (we opted out of the exposed scramble to the true summit, it looked much harder than 3rd class) Leave Summit, 11:02 Luna Col, 11:37 Top of Gully, 12:43 Access Creek Basin Camp, 13:55 Cross creek to north, 14:20 Split from ascent route (to try Big Beaver ford), 15:29 Big Beaver ford (knee height, north of confluence), 15:50 Back to Trail (follow flagging through swamp, difficult brush, cairn by trail), 16:13 LOG JAM CROSSING BETTER!! Big Beaver bridge crossing, 19:42 Ross Dam, 22:42 (includes two short sit down, eye-closed breaks) Ross Dam TH, 1:51 am, 23:18 elapsed Gear: Light axe (CAMP Corsa Nanotech), micro-spikes (Hillsound Freesteps6), helmet, 3000 Cals (bars, gels, chews, salt pills, rice crispy treats), three half-liter soft water bottles, emergency shelter (puffy, light jacket, baselayer pants, arm sleeves, warm hat, space blanket, garbage bag), gloves for bushwacking, headlamp w/ extra batteries, phone with gps mapping app and extra battery, gps watch with route loaded, gopro, PLB, sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, buff, chapstick, TP, knife, lighter, etc: all fit in/on my Ultimate Direction AK Mountain running vest. Wore La Sportiva Mutants, thin wool socks, calf sleeves for brush, running shorts and top. Didn't bring poles but should have. GPS Route .gpx file GPS Route and elevation profile Nice beach at the Big Beaver Creek crossing Big Beaver Creek crossing location Big Beaver Creek log jam crossing Typical Access Creek brush Approaching the head of Access Creek with the first view of Luna Loose gully The view of the Southern Pickets from the top of the gully Luna Pass views of the Northern Pickets Fury, Baker, Shuksan and Luna Lake Opted out of the "3rd class" traverse to the slightly higher true summit. Chilliwack range in background. Access Creek approach valley to the right. Best view in the Cascades? Definitely a contender!
  48. 1 point
    Hey all! Before this week I'd never climbed Tahoma, but after traversing the summit three times in five days and running all the way around the base, I can say I understand the special place this big mountain has in the hearts of all Cascade climbers. The combo of insane vertical relief, great access, well-established routes and stunning scenery make this one of the unique mountains of the world. A great way to experience this place, I thought, would be the "infinity loop". It's been done a couple times so far, and deserves more attention from the many dedicated mountain runners of the world. Though its certainly not a race, I think it's interesting to post times, to give others a sense of what might be possible and encourage motivated folks to train harder. Start (White River): June 22 3:23am End (White River): June 24 9:45pm Total: 66 hours and 22 minutes Mileage: 130ish Vertical gain: ~45 thousand feet Routes: up Emmons, down DC. Twice. One full lap of the Wonderland trail. Here's my trip report of the adventure: https://ropeandsummit.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/rainier-infinity-loop/ And my Instagram if you wanna follow along on future shenanigans: @ropeandsummit Thanks! Scott
  49. 1 point
    Having trouble posting things here, see: http://chasingmastery.com/climbing-the-nose-in-a-day/ Such an awesome climb, one of the best of my life in terms of its uniqueness.
  50. 1 point
    Rad, thank you for you and Darin's labor of love to put up a new route like this for our climbing community. I've got 10+ years trad experience, and prefer trad most of the time, but after climbing MHC yesterday, I believe your decision was 100% the right one. Sure, I could have placed a cam or two per pitch, but based on the rock type and crack configuration, safety and longevity would have certainly been an issue at some point. In a state with such endless mountain adventures, it's fantastic to have options. And MHC presents another great option for teaching, learning, or just having a fun, low(ish)-stress day out. I really do think that the majority of climbers will agree and approve of your methods. Don't let anyone detract from your great new addition! And Fire on the Mountain has been on my list for a while... hoping to get on it next summer!