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  1. 5 points
    Trip: Buckner Mountain/Mount Buckner - North Face Trip Date: 05/14/2019 Trip Report: Last week, Tyler and I skiied the Sahale Arm. This past Monday/Tuesday, though, we decided to ratchet it up a bit and go check out the north face of Buckner. Our plan: Boston Basin > Boston-Sahale Col > Boston Glacier > camp > Buckner > Horseshoe Basin > Sahale Arm. With skis/splitboard! We had a beautiful, amazing adventure! We discussed our hesitation with Tuesday's 2-4" snow and gusty winds forecast; I really appreciated Tyler's rational explanation of how it probably did not mean certain death, but that he was open to other objectives, too. "I just want to be in the mountains." We decided to take fuel and food for an extra day if we ended up needing to hunker down.We left the Boston Basin trailhead with a fine alpine start of a bit past 11 AM. Tyler decided to try carrying his splitboard as Star Wars thrusters. I decided not to ski strap my skis together, and we both thought our mods worked well! I think he's doing a shakedown, stability-test dance We were able to get onto snow relatively quickly and start skinning. Conditions were great, fairly cool and mostly overcast. We were able to skin all the way to the col with no issues, then switched to crampons and made our way up and around the ridge toward Boston. There was a little section of steepish snow to go around to wrap onto the Boston Glacier side: About to get over onto the shoulder of Boston; Boston Glacier in background. Photo: Tyler But then we were on the glacier, transitioning to skis/splitboard, and having a blast on the great snow!! The sun had come out for a bit, and it was amazing. These two photos are looking toward Sahale: We skiied/splitboarded around the huge crevasses and made our way toward the bottom of the north face. We had to skin a bit, but then soon we were making a sort of snow lean-to in the slope. Tyler made sure to put in a skylight/window. The sunset over Forbidden was fantastic, and the night was wind-less. Tuesday at 5 AM was when the weather was supposed to move in, but there was just light overcast and nothing ominous in sight, no wind. We packed up and started uphill... about 20 minutes or so after we began, I punched through some rock moat thing up to my chest (feet dangling in space until I realized I could kind of stem). Exciting! After I extricated myself, our headlamps revealed ~8' down to some big rocks. I was super super slow on this section and Tyler was extremely patient! About halfway up the face, we saw the nasty black clouds coming in and the snow finally arrived. As we got toward the summit, the winds picked up. Finally we were on the summit (Tyler signed the register/log and noted that the last entry was last October, hmmm) and then quickly off, downclimbing steep icy-ish slopes to the southwest in very low visibility. Photo: Tyler Photo: Tyler We found a shallow moat to shelter in as we refueled ourselves, and then we continued downclimbing for about 800ish feet to where the angle eased up a bit. We put on our skis/splitboard and carefully made our way across the icy-ish slopes of Horseshoe Basin and all of the avy debris. By this time it had changed to rain, and the snow was softening up. We got some good turns in! Finally we were toward the bottom of the exit gully and put the skis/splitboard away, and booted up and up and up in very low visibility. Some phone GPS-checking confirmed our route in the (did I mention?) very low visibility: Finally, within sight of Sahale Glacier Camp, we put on our skis/splitboard and got some good turns in without succumbing to too much vertigo, using our Sahale Arm ski memories to get into the Soldja Boii Creek drainage and with only a few minor tree shenanigans, finally got to the end of the snow, and then popped onto the Cascade Pass trail, and then back to the car! The pizza and beer were well-earned. I'm really grateful that I was able to go on this adventure with Tyler. He's patient, kind, generous, and encouraging. Thank you, Tyler! :-) Times: Day 1: 8ish hours Day 2: 9ish hours Gear Notes: 1 60m half/twin rope --> not used 3 pickets + 2 long screws --> not used One regular axe + one tool --> good Skis/snowboard --> worth bringing! Ski crampons --> yes Bivy sacks + shovels --> dope Goop --> yes (Tyler's calorific concoction of peanut butter, chocolate chips, and oats, in a ziplock bag) Approach Notes: Through, up, up, over, down, around
  2. 5 points
    Trip: Forbidden Tour - Standard plus Eldrorado ski Trip Date: 05/05/2019 Trip Report: I'd been wanting to do this tour for more than a dozen years and I wasn't disappointed....Let's just say that. We did it in a leisurely three days (camp one below Sharkin) which allowed for a full afternoon of oogling at one of the premiere deep holes in the range - Moraine Lake. Often looked at, but rarely visited, it has vistas that even Harvey Manning would struggle to translate into words. If you follow our itinerary, on days one and three you should expect shenanigans, which are mostly unavoidable, but such is the price for one of the great adventures in the range. It is worth the price of admission. Special kudos to the young Tyler, for putting up with the predictable banter (chronic pain, kids, politics, etc.) from a bunch of middle aged dudes for a few days, and gamely signing onto a trip where he didn't know any of us. Your enthusiasm for the range will serve you for many years! I could've spoiled it for you with a lot more info, but I'll let you dream about it for a few years and imagine, like I did. Gear Notes: Skis or splitboard. Whippet or light axe. Boot crampons, ski crampons, helmet, crevasse rescue gear, enough rope for a 30m rap. Approach Notes: Sharkfin col (go up the easy gulley but not all the way- turn left halfway up to established station) to Boston Gl. to Forbidden Gl to Moraine Lake to Inspiration and out standard Eldo trail.
  3. 4 points
    Trip: Mt Hood - North Face Trip Date: 05/01/2019 Trip Report: For the detailed version, check out the post on my blog. Went up the North Face Right Hand Gully on May 1st, 2019. The climbing was in great conditions. The shrund is definitely opening up and may become more complicated to cross over the next few days. The right gully fully goes all the way to the summit without any significant difficulties. The two ice pitches are in fat/easy condition. Get at it! Gear Notes: Alpine ice climbing gear Approach Notes: Tilly Jane trail in good condition!
  4. 4 points
    Trip: Mt Hood - NF right gully (IV, AI3+, 50-55 degrees) Trip Date: 04/20/2019 Trip Report: Noah Kimmes, Ben Luedtke and I climbed the right gully on the north face of Mt Hood last Saturday. No issues to speak of on the approach. Glacier travel was very straight forward. We followed the left flank beneath the cliffs. There are a couple WI3-4 flows still in here if you feel like a warm up. We crossed the bergshrund on the far right. Thin ice/crumbly mixed and a bit of overhung snow but it goes. Partially fell through the snow bridge. A short snow ramp above this leads to the first WI2 pitch which we simuled. Rock and ice fall hazard from the cliff face above to the right at this point. Middle snow slope was in great condition. Solo'd with solid boot steps and good sticks in the icier sections. Exit ice pitch at just below 11,000' went at WI3+. Ice was a bit thin and aerated but solid enough. Lots of features for feet. Good screws on the pitch but anchor was tough. Chopped through snice to thin ice for a stubby, got a decent 13 and a buried tool. Snow was a bit deeper from here to the saddle at Cathedral Spire (amazing position). More of the same booting to the top. Summit cornice was minor to nonexistent. Super fun route! Definitely my new favorite on Hood. Full story forthcoming on erikofthemountain.com Cheers! Approach to Eliot Glacier. Noah leading an ice pitch on the approach. Crossing the bergshrund. Snow right above the WI2 pitch. A look down the middle snow section. Lots and lots of front pointing with epic views. The upper part of the center snow section. The upper ice pitch. The crew! Cathedral spire from near the summit. The summit block. Gear Notes: What we used: 1/10, 4/13cm screws & 1 picket (tool belays most effective) What we brought: 1/10cm, 4/13cm, 2/17cm, 0.4, 0.5, a few nuts & 2 pickets Approach Notes: Left TH at 3:00am. We could skin from the gate but had to boot a couple dirt sections.
  5. 3 points
    Trip: Little Yoho Valley- Stanley Mitchell Hut - President, Vice President, McArthur, Isolated, etc. Trip Date: 04/09/2019 Trip Report: I'm not the guy to adequately describe a trip like this in words. When it all gels- weather, snow, partners, location- my descriptions fall flat. Suffice it to say that this was a good one. We spent six days in the backcountry, including four full days of skiing and peak bagging around the historic Stanley Mitchell hut. AKA as the "gem" of the Canadian Rockies, a special thanks goes out to the ACC for maintaining such an atmospheric spot to rest, relax, and slay powder. It is so great that you almost forget about the long slog in. Almost. While the core of our group was the usual suspects ( @Kit, @Trent, myself, and Gordo), it is notable that we had someone along that had never met any of us. Austin should be commended on his ability to deal with our aged pace, low risk tolerance, and poor hygiene. He is a fine young man and should not be hanging out with the likes of us. And, after this trip, he probably won't! But for a few days at least we all clicked, and there was only the present. We were able to stand on summits in the sun, looking out on mountains beyond mountains, with nobody else around. It is hard to get any better. The 13km road slog to start: The inside of the historic Stanley Mitchell hut President and VP: Austin and Gordo booting up the Prez: @Kit: Summit of President: Big Country, but not the band: Looking over at the V.P.: Avalanche Roulette on the V.P.: Austin picks correctly: We can all learn a thing or two about skiing from Gordo: And @Kit can teach us to pin it: When we were traversing behind this cornice, some of it fell off in a cloud of powder: Austin on the summit of McArthur: @Trent and @Kit getting ready to head up Isolated: Patagonia Provisions provides! The one and only Stanley Mitchell: @Kit heading to Emerald Pass with Mount Marpole behind: Proper head coverings are essential in the Great White North: Gear Notes: Whiskey, meat, cheese Approach Notes: Long
  6. 2 points
    Trip: Mt. Shuksan - Price Glacier Trip Date: 08/04/2018 Trip Report: I am finally getting to posting this trip report after putting it off for too long. Hopefully others will find it useful, as we used a lot of other trip reports to help inform our plans for the ascent of the Price. This was our second attempt at the Price Glacier, our first was in June 2017 when we were weathered out. This year we felt more poised to succeed. We knew the approach and had a good sense for the weather. During the first night we slept in our rental van, right next to Ruth Creek and the Nooksack Cirque trailhead. We woke up at comfortably at 5:00am and took our time getting ready. With ritualistic care, we calmly taped our heels with heavy cotton bandages, layered on the socks, then, once our assembled trotters were fully protected, inserted them into the snug, dry interior of our boots. Being back outside, geared up in alpine armor, filled us with enthusiasm. And as soon as we started hiking, all our boyish enthusiasm was immediately drained. Almost immediately, we had to repeat the process... It had been a rainy spring, and when we walked to the edge of Ruth Creek, we discovered a series of log bridges had been destroyed. So without much hesitation, but a little cursing, we took off our boots, socks and liners, jacked up our pants and walked through the ice cold water. We repeated our foot preparation ritual on the other side, and were finally off on our journey. We were worried about finding the climber’s trail, since last year we had so much trouble with it. After crossing a log bridge and a few dried out irrigation runoffs, we saw a pink tag in the woods near where we should have dropped a GPS pin last year. Worried still that we would struggle to reach the log, we reluctantly proceeded to walk along a path of fallen trees. Surprisingly, it took us right to Nooksack creek where to our left, we spotted more pink tags tied to the tree branches. After moving up the creek toward more pink tags, we arrived at the famous log crossing that separated the landmass the Price occupied from the one accessible by foot paths. After the log crossing it was fairly easy going with new pink tags that some other hikers or climbers left behind. The path still requires a lot of bush-wacking, but we were mentally prepared for this. After getting close to the Price Lake, we took a water break and my climber partner realized he had dropped his sunglasses somewhere between the log cross and where we currently were. We both knew there was no way to complete the climb without sunglasses, so we dropped our packs and slowly retraced our steps to look for the sunglasses. Luckily we did find them, by some miracle, but we had descended 800 feet and now had to go back up to our packs again. We continued the approach through rock fields and finally gaining the ridge on wet alpine vegitation. Slipping down and using handfuls of roots to pull ourselves up 45 degree inclines of dirt, push our way through thick brush but finally making it to the rock field that connected to the lower glacial bedrock. By this time it was about noon and we had about another hour to our planned campsite. We opted not to carry a tent for this climb since the weather looked clear, figuring that we would be happier going lighter. This was true, however now we did not have any shelter from the sun. Another turn of luck, we found a perfect two-person "nap cave" that we could hang out in, watch the conditions on the route, and rest until moving on later in the day. We spent a lot of time debating which part of the glacier looked like the best way to go. We opted to go for the snow and ice chute on the right side of the glacier. While this would have us pass under a large serac, it looked like the most straightforward way up the route. Around 5pm, we hiked up to the upper campsite where we would begin the climb early the next morning. While trying to sleep, we started to get a very light rain shower. With down sleeping bags and no cover, we dumped the gear and retreated to nap cave, running down before the dark creeped in. Part of nap cave was not completely covered, so we made the most expensive homemade rainfly with my arcteryx shell to keep out the rain. We finally settled down for some rest, setting the alarm for 1am. At 1am, we looked outside and the skys were clear again. We both knew our best chances of climbing something this year was to get an early start, especially since we left our gear behind, but neither of us wanted to move yet. But we moved anyway and headed back up to the gear at our previous campsite. From there we had a quick bite to eat, packed, and roped up for the climb. The first stage to the saddle under Nooksack tower was very simple glacier navigation. However, to gain the saddle, we had to cross a twenty foot section of rock where to snow and ice had melted away. Once on the saddle, we had a great view of the route. Mostly, at this point, we were concerned with stream we were about to cross. In the warmer months, a stream forms on the right side of the saddle and this creates a considerable rock fall hazard. We knew we had to move fast through here, but the challenge was the ground was all dirty ice - slick enough to prevent running, but dirty enough to make kicking less effective. As rocks zinged down the hill and exploded into dust or tumbled down toward Price lake, we decided we would go one at a time. From here, we simulclimbed rock solid blue glacier ice around to the base of the snow and ice chute. Overall the conditions were very solid, with mostly hardpack snow or ice. After four to five pitches, we came up on our first major impediment. We stood on the junction of several building sized blocks of ice, the flat part which we were on spanned about the size of a queen bed. We were surrounded by ice cliffs, and connecting our platform to the next section of the route was a thin strip, no wider than a privacy fence, that connected us to the next block which would be about 20 feet of vertical ice climbing. At the connection point still lie an eight foot displacement where our platform sat at a depression. With a suddenness that barely accommodated a head turn, we heard an extraordinary crack. An ice chunk the size of an oven on our right side was coming down and we were in its path. With instinct, we jumped the opposite way, grabbing our packs in the process, avoiding the direct impact. Was more to come down? It wasn’t clear. We had leaped so fast, we didn’t realize that our legs dangled in a crevasse, and my ice axe lay planted with its leash fully extended. But just when everything seemed okay and we could allow a whisper of relief pass through us, I looked down and saw that the ring finger on my left hand was crooked and ran lateral to the direction of others. It was dislocated at best. With no other option, and using the adrenaline from the falling ice, I snapped it back into place. Things were complicated now, I did not know how well I could climb with a busted finger, and I asked my partner to lead the remaining pitches. Trying to move forward, the snow strip in front of us looked questionable, but it was the only plausible way out. While on a proper belay, my partner made an attempt, gingerly walking across the fence edge. He gave it soft kicks at first, to test its stability. His foot just withdrew chunks of snow from its foundation. Gaining the base of the next block, the ice here was much softer and did not hold as well. He fell three times attempting to make it up this pitch. Winded and needing a break, I decided I would have a go at it, dislocated finger or not. We needed to keep moving. I decided to give it a shot with an aid piece, using an ice screw with a cordelette tied off with footholds to help get past the softer, more delicate snow/ice section. With a couple more swings of the axes, I was on top of the ice block. The next problem arose quickly... we had been so hyper focused on getting out, we forgot to transfer the rack. My partner had the rest of the ice screws. I had a picket, but that wouldn’t work with ice. The only option was to use my ice axes as anchors for my partner. I was able to put my partner on belay and used a short redirect and a tibloc that allowed to create a pulley system to assist my partner over the more difficult parts of the pitch. With a few heaves, we we up and out, with the worst of our problems behind us. The glacier felt forgiving at this point, because we had a more contiguous line to follow. That is until we neared the end of the lower broken section. We reached a stopping point where a large void separated us from the glacier above. From our position, there seemed like two ways forward, and neither were appealing. The first was right in front of us - another ice fence to more vertical climbing. This one was even more terrifying though, because the crevasses on each side were deeper, wider, and the ice the fence led to looked precarious. A solid kick seemed like it would throw it off its balance, and with us on it, down into the cold darkness below. The other option was off to our right. There was a large trashcan sized ice block wedged between the section on which we stood and the one we tried to gain. From our position it seemed like we would need to climb out on the crevasse edge to reach it, then down climb a bit to reach the block, then climb more vertical ice to reach our destination. As we weren’t too keen on another ice fence fiasco. I moved over to examine the second option, but quickly determined it impassible. Great. So here we were about to repeat our experience below, except this time in a more delicate position. We also discovered that we had lost two ice screws, which meant we were down to five. We needed at least one to make an anchor on the other side and at least one to protect the leader in case the ice fence collapsed or they took a lead fall. Since my partner had lead the past few pitches, I bucked up and took the lead with my busted finger. On belay and moving out, I felt reassured that the snow and ice was more solid than the one we experienced before. Besides the terrifying exposure to the crevasses on every side it felt, the ice was solid. From here we climbed higher and the slopes got steeper. Soon we were climbing snow instead of ice. The crevasses got deeper too and wider. Our movements changed from hammer swings to fist punches and we choked up on our axes and punched them into the snow. The terrain required that we follow the lines dictated by crevasses, weaving back and forth along the direction the glacier required we go. The final obstacle was the bergschrund. We were fortunate the find the upper and lower parts were still connected on the left side. From here was was solid 60 degree snow climbing all the way up to the top of the Price. Once out of the Price proper, we felt like the worst of our problems were behind us. They were, we walked around to the base of the summit pyramid and took the traditional route up. By the time we descended down the summit pyramid it was 7pm. We were both thoroughly exhausted and decided to sleep on a small section of rocks set away from the summit pyramid (and any potential rockfall). The sunset and view of Mt. Baker in the distance was once of the best I've seen. The following day we exited via the Fischer Chimmey's and thumbed a ride back to our van. In the following days I went to the emergency room to get an ex-ray of my finger. It was also broken, with some bone at the knuckle chipped off, but otherwise it was set correctly as all I had to do was wear a splint. Separately, during the climb I thought I was dehydrated with some throat irritation, but when a doctor looked at it closely I had somehow got tonsillitis on the climb as well. In summary, and as my partner put it: If you like navigational challenges, thirsting for precarious snow climbing on tilted sidewalks weaving around deep crevasses, enjoy searching for creative paths between disjoint sections of variable-angle glacier ice, and want an entire day of mental engagement, then go ahead and roll the dice, make an attempt at the Price. Gear Notes: seven ice screws, four pickets, three tri-cams, two chocks, two cams. Used everything but the rock gear. Approach Notes: From Nooksack Cirque Trailhead. Pink tags showed where the log crossing was and lead up to the rock field. From there, there are no tags - just gain the tree-lined ridge and walk until you can descend toward the lower glacier. We bivyed near the saddle. Depending on the conditions, the difficulty can vary greatly. Plan for three long days if you're exiting from Lake Ann trailhead. In the summer, the ice is rock hard, and the glacier is heavily fractured.
  7. 2 points
    Trip: Lincoln Peak - X Couloir Trip Date: 05/05/2019 Trip Report: Enticed by the prospect of some relentless steep snow climbing, I had been eyeing Lincoln for some time. Given the short season I was really hoping for a good weather window and it was delivered this weekend. Max and I made a leisurely 4 pm departure from the car just a couple of switchbacks up the road from the Ridley Creek TH. After the road ended we endured about 5 minutes of slightly brushy trail before I lost patience and took us up into steep open forest and eventually to a crappy gully. We reached the end of the marked trail and discovered walking downhill 200' to the bend would be better than dealing with half a mile of dense new growth on the ridge. We eventually gained the ridge around 4800' and slogged up to find a decent patch of flat snow at 6200' where we set up camp around 7:30. Alarms went off at 3 and we were moving a little after 4. Although warmer than the preceding week, clear skies overnight had firmed the snow up pretty well. We made our way north around the buttress to the open basin SW of the peak. I switched from walking to front-daggers around 7600'. The lower bergschrund was easy to cross, and after that it was a rising leftward traverse to a spot above a rock outcrop next to a wind lip separating this entry slope from the one immediately below the 1st couloir. From this point key points of the route up to the summit are visible in a straight line. With foreshortening the location of the summit is not exactly obvious, which had me second guessing my dim recollection of the beta I had seen. It is easy to understand why one might pick a gnarly spot on the ridge as the summit rather than choosing the one it was, which from our perspective was a relatively benign appearing white lump. We roped up here and simuled 2 long pitches, swinging leads at the top of the 1st couloir on a steep wind lip. The crack below the 1st couloir was barely open. Snow was essentially perfect for this kind of climb. There was a thick supportable crust that took points and front daggers excellently. Most places whenever a rest was needed it was easy to kick in a few times to make a bomber step pocket. Runnels had not yet formed so we were able to move efficiently either vertically or laterally. Each couloir had a firmer streak near the middle, but still not ice or anything that would take a screw. I never measured a slope angle, but it never felt too steep. We reached the top a little after 9 and took some time to enjoy the views and not be on front points. We belayed the downclimb from the summit block to the saddle at the top of the couloir. Max rapped the first rope length, then we simuled down the way we came up. We were below the bergschrund by noon or so. Every now and then a little rock would roll downhill nearby, reminding us to keep moving. The descent went smoothly, this time we just followed the trail to the road. I discovered that my impatience with the trail on the uphill trek originated with insecurity wearing trail runners and carrying a heavy pack. Going down still wearing boots it went so quickly that I didn't even recognize the spot we had left the trail the day before. Gear Notes: 6 pickets (used all), 3 screws (did not use) Approach Notes: Parked at 2nd switchback ~2700'. Snow started at 3800' where the trail turns north. In this area we found attempts to use open forest instead of brushy trail were not worth the effort. The trail has actually been tended in the not too distant past, and not too bad by Cascades standards. Accept the trail.
  8. 2 points
    God isn't that the truth. Nice work on the climb!
  9. 1 point
    Seems pretty common to drive to Tlachichuca in a rental, then arrange higher transport through Servimont. They shuttle up and down all the time. It’s also a convenient place to get fuel.
  10. 1 point
    Trip: Mt Baring 2-fer (north and south peaks) - Standard Trip Date: 05/19/2019 Trip Report: Chris and my original plan was a ski ascent of Baker, but with changing weather coming in over the weekend, we decided to do something lower and less likely to be in the clouds. We chose Baring Peak for a day outing. Having hiked Baring before, I wanted to spice it up by climbing the rarely-summited south peak as well. We came prepared for any conditions with two axes, pickets, crampons and rock pro. Some people call it overkill. We called it training weight. We reached Barlcay Lake trailhead and started up the trail. The approach was still as steep as I remembered, reminiscent of climbing trees in my childhood. It is more root than trail. We made snow-covered gully without incident and headed up. The snow was perfect for kicking steps and we made the notch easily. Snow gully. Baring on the left, south Baring on the right. We scouted the south route, which comes right out of the notch. It looked very doable with a couple snow patches broken by a couple rock steps. We couldn't see above the rocks steps though, so we hiked Baring proper to get a good look at the whole route. Baring was still all snow, but again solid snow that allowed easy steps. We headed down and geared up at the notch. We brought a single 8.2mm twin rope and folded it over. With the amount of trees and possible meandering, I didn't see the point of trying to pitch out 200 feet and deal with the rope drag. I offered Chris the leads and he offered them right back to me. I guess I was leading. The first twp pitches were muddy rock and thin snow without much protection other than slinging trees. The rock horns were loose and the snow too shallow and soft for pickets. It was easy climbing though, something like higher-upper 4th class. ( I want to call it low 5th for egotistical purposes, but it wasn't.) The route from the notch. The stars are the belays. Each belay had good tat with a newer rap ring around a solid tree. The letters line up with photos further down. Chris following the snow finger marked A. The upper route. We chose a narrow chute between two rock outcropping. It was steep and rather thin snow coverage. Going climbers right would have been safer but longer. We rapped down the chute. Chris climbing the snow chute marked B on the above photos. Obligatory summit photo. We hiked down the upper snow and did three raps to get down. The trees ate the rope like a lion with lollipop, so the descent wasn't much faster than going up. The way out was steeper than the way up (I don't know the physics behind it, but somehow the approach trail got steeper) and my knees screamed and almost quit. I gave my knees some pep talks, and they carried me down the root trail and back out to the car. It was a fun trip, but not something I ever need to do again. Gear Notes: ice axes, lots of long runners. Did not use crampons or pickets Approach Notes: Steep. Very very steep. Make your knees cry steep.
  11. 1 point
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  12. 1 point
    Me and a buddy did Mt. Baring main peak and then south peak in the fall of 2002 but I don't remember anything more than scrambling around on the SW aspect. Looks better with some snow on it. I was recently thinking of the Skykomish Valley version of the "North Bend Triple" and think a fit scrambler could do Gunn-Merchant-Baring in a day. You could be set up to re-supply at a vehicle between peaks. Approximately 22 miles and 12,000' vert, probably doable in a day but I'd take a headlamp for sure. Someone has probably done it.
  13. 1 point
    They are working this morning for me! Beautiful! Maybe my internets were temporarily jammed.
  14. 1 point
    One week MX would be far better- shorter travel time, and cheaper flights. If you speak rudimentary Spanish, there is zero reason for guide/travel service to get around. Just keep low profile and don't travel at night.
  15. 1 point
    I'm headed to Skaha for the long weekend for some family climbing. My next free weekend is July 13th. I am thinking of either Adams Glaicer, Kautz Glacier or Liberty Ridge. Trying to convince my wife to join me, but whether she joins or not, I'd want another person or two.
  16. 1 point
    Beautiful shots @JasonG that I can see! I will have to be sure to add this to my list 😀 I'm getting a bunch of broken image links after the eighth photo...
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    As per usual you did a far better job of capturing the scenery than I did. Beautiful photos!
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    I think Alisse downplayed a bit the traverse onto Boston's north face from the Boston-Sahale Col (at least in my opinion). I thought that section was quite spicy, with huge exposure, and involved some pretty careful steps through shallow snow. Thankfully Alisse led that bit and I had nice steps to follow. It seemed like the couple inches of new snow weren't bonding super well to the old stuff. I would be hesitant to get on anything steep if the snow keeps accumulating this week. Although maybe some rain will help if freezing level drops. We were on the N face quite early in the morning (front-pointing), but if the snow softened like it did on the north aspect of Boston the evening before than it would have made for an excellent ski. No exposed rockbands to speak of yet, just a couple of (probably jumpable) 'schunds lower on the face. The Boston glacier is nicely filled in. Easy route-finding with or without skis, although I'd personally rope up if not on skis.
  21. 1 point
    Awesome report and pictures! I am also curious about snow conditions. I'm tentatively looking at this route for Memorial day weekend. Was the snow pretty consolidated on the north face? The north face of Jack last weekend had a few inches of crust on top of unconsolidated powder. Also what do you think crossing the boston glacier would be like without any skis or snowshoes?
  22. 1 point
    Great pics, thanks for the TR. It sounds like you climbed the N face of Buckner and descended SW? How were the conditions for skiing on the N face while you were climbing?
  23. 1 point
    Well done @Alisse and Tyler that's a classic. I hope I can keep up with Tyler next time I get out with him.
  24. 1 point
    Great story of a N. Cascades pioneer at the link for those interested in such things. "Morovits' renown as a mountaineer began to spread through the Northwest after July of 1908, when Seattle's Mountaineers, bent on ascent of Mount Baker via a new route pioneered between Park and Boulder glaciers by Joe, camped 54 strong near Baker Lake on the long pack-in from the terminus of a logging train then reaching through to Concrete. "He strode into camp with a 100-pound pack on his back like the mountain itself in human form," wrote one of the club members. "A Bohemian, he wore the mustache of a French Canadian. He wasn't more than 5 feet 9 inches in height, weight around 170 pounds, but he was of a close-knit, muscular build with remarkable girth of chest, belling out immediately under his chin and tapering to a small waist. His great arms hung near his knees. An impressive man of swarthy, wild appearance, he had a look of will power and determination about him to match his physical prowess. Without equipment of any kind except for a long pike of fir tipped with. a self-made contrivance of steel shaped like -the bowl of a large spoon, he had made all the major climbs of the area, seeking out the most violent routes up the mountains as a 'pastime' compared to the hardships of running a one-man mine and stamp mill." http://www.croatia.org/crown/croatians/www.croatians.com/MOUNTAIN MAN MOROVICH.htm
  25. 1 point
    Thanks for pointing this out @ivan. This is a known issue (some of my TRs also) that @jon is going to take a stab at when he can.
  26. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Stuart - Stuart Glacier Couloir Trip Date: 05/05/2019 Trip Report: My friend and I Climbed the Stuart Glacier Couloir on Sunday. Rode bikes up to the trail head. Theres just a 100' long patch of snow near the trailhead now. Hiked in early and the approach wasn't terrible booting. Followed the summer approach trail. Plenty of cairns to go off of when the going gets snowy. Camped at 5400' and woke up early Sunday morning. The snow on the way up to the couloir was firm enough that just your crampon points would sink in. The rest of the snow on the route stayed consistently firm as well. The bergschrund was easily crossed via bridges on climbers right. The constriction in the couloir was in great shape with thick ice. Mostly 60 degrees with a couple short vertical/near vertical bulges. Got to the west ridge notch around 7am and started working our way along the west ridge. On the ridge the ledges and gullies were snowy. The rock on route was mostly bare with patches of ice and ice in the cracks. I thought this made for interesting climbing as you would need your tools for a bit and then want to stow your gloves and tools for some sections. Really fun climbing on the the north side traverse pitch and the following twin cracks pitch out of the tiny notch. This was a fun outing on an awesome route. I thought the climbing was easier but more fun than what we encountered on triple couloirs this year. In these conditions I'd give the route a WI2/M3+/5.6 rating. Gear Notes: cams to 2", assortments of pins, set of stoppers, 2 13cm ice screws, a picket (dead weight as usual, snow was conducive to vertically placed pickets but there was other pro available) Approach Notes: Road is still gated at Bridge Creek campground. Bikes for the road. Booted in and out. Approach was way less miserable on the way in.
  27. 1 point
    Sounds casual, don't know why it isn't super popular. There will probably be a line next weekend.
  28. 1 point
    Did my first backcountry tour this past Friday. What a blast! Madison Ave was everything I’ve ever dreamed of on skis. Unbelievable corn in a remarkable setting with wonderful company. That being said, we saw some relatively recent (within the last two days, certainly) cornice failure and other smaller slide evidence near copper pass, so, as always, use caution when traveling.
  29. 1 point
    There are large wilderness areas in Washington, including Alpine Lakes, Henry Jackson, and North Cascades. Washington wilderness expanded in 2014, the 50th aniversary of the Wilderness Act. At this point, much of the alpine terrain in the state is designated as wilderness. Power drills are prohibited in these areas, so new and old routes are done ground-up and bolt-free. Old school is here to stay.
  30. 1 point
    Whether it was sterile with no soul or not, Hannah-Pandora was still working there as of a few months ago at least, and the other salespeople I engaged with there in the past few years clearly got out and knew their stuff, as opposed to the salesperson at REI who didn't know what I was talking about when I asked about accessory cord. I'm sad to see a shop that actually stocked gear instead of just clothing disappear. One recent example: unlike REI or Feathered Friends, Ascent actually had BD ice picks in stock in March, so my husband was able to buy them here instead of ordering them online. I suppose having historical equipment decorating the shop was nice, but what I like about Ascent was that if I needed gear, I could actually generally *find* it there, which has certainly not been true of REI for a long time. And while I too was bummed that the secondhand stuff disappeared, I don't see how anyone could make rent selling secondhand stuff on Ballard Ave—at least not to cheapo dirtbag climbers instead of hipsters willing to pay a premium for "vintage" tchotkes.
  31. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Shasta - Avalanche Gulch Trip Date: 04/29/2019 Trip Report: First time down to Shasta and we had success. The conditions are awesome right now. Very straight forward route. Lots of ice fall on summit day even with cold temps. Great ski from 13,500. Gear Notes: Skis and pons Approach Notes: up up up
  32. 1 point
    Trip: South Early Wintet Spire - Southwest Coulior Trip Date: 04/24/2019 Trip Report: I soloed the coulior on 4/24 this year. As mentioned in a response to @sredgar on this forum, snow cover is very thin already with a couple mandatory sections of choss. Probably three sections by now. Be careful if climbing below other parties. After daycare dropoff in Seattle at 7:30, I drove straight to trailhead and started hiking around 11:00. It was a sunny day, and I hiked up on snow shoes in a thin long sleeve shirt, sweating profusely. Evidence of significant post holing from other parties the entire way up. Take snow shoes or skis. I started up the coulior at 12:30 just as another pair was finishing. Snow was very firm in the shade still. Climbing was straight forward until the first constriction which had no snow cover. Mandatory rock moves in crampons for about 10 feet. Some thin water ice in places that I didn't trust made it interesting. Another long section of firm, steep snow above that. Near the top the snow disappeared again. This time it was in the sun and loose. Lots of talus to navigate. I stuck to the left wall, which offered some decent hand holds and (more) stable rock. Finished the last 40 feet on rocky blocks to the summit. The view was, incredible. I downclimbed the summit blocks and upper section of choss, then rapelled the lower section of rock (Crux, at least of down climb) from fixed anchors on right hand wall. Lower section of route was very soft by the time I finished. Had to kick in steps to prevent sliding. Overhaul a great solo on an incredible sunny spring day. Very surprised how little snow there was at the pass. Rock conditions are dry and warm for those looking for an early season climb. Gear Notes: Steel crampons, axe. Rope and gear for decent. Approach Notes: Snow shoes or skis to avoid post holing
  33. 1 point
    Such a great day, thanks for putting this together, Erik!
  34. 1 point
    Trip: Sahale Peak - Sahale Arm Trip Date: 04/20/2019 Trip Report: Me, Fred, and Max skied Sahale arm and summited yesterday, 4-20-19. The road was closed at MP18 so we had a nice 5 mile warmup to the summer trailhead. We started hiking in runners at 7am. After 4.5 miles we hit the abrupt beginning of continuous snow, it was glorious... the way spring skiing ought to be; hike dry road bet to 4' of snow. Bam. Skis on. We skinned up the gut toward the pass, booting a short section though the cliff band at 4800'. From there it was cake to 100' below the summit. We cached skis there and booted up, around the east side to the top. It was a one at a time affair up there, we each tagged it and bailed back to the skis. The exposure was real, on steep snow, and added a killer thrill. The snow was firm at the top, mashed potatoes at the bottom, but pretty good all the way to the pavement. Summited at 2:00, car at 6:00. 11 hours with a couple of long breaks. 7300', 18.4 miles. P.S. I did this on my phone in about 10 minutes... post your trips people! Its great to hear what is going on out there, and this forum is way cooler than facebook! Gear Notes: Skis, axe & crampons for the top 50' Approach Notes: Trail shoes. Lots of road.
  35. 1 point
    NBC or 3Cs could easily be climbed in AT boots, though typically ski conditions are very poor when these are in good shape (as Gene points out). I climbed both in plastic boots after walking in during good spring conditions. I wouldn't want to climb a long rock arete in AT boots and haven't. I save those routes for after the ski season. I guess I'm a firm believer in climbing routes when they are in the "best" shape, i.e. the most enjoyable. This can mean other parties, but I'm OK with that. If you want solitude during the busier season, you can always go during the week.
  36. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Stuart - Ice Cliff Glacier Trip Date: 04/20/2019 Trip Report: Jacob Krantz and I climbed the Ice Cliff Glacier (AI2, 60-70 degree snice) on Stuart on April 20th in 21+ hours car to car. We climbed three pitches of mostly steep snice and a little AI2 on the left side of the lower ice cliffs. The upper couloir was sustained and exposed at 50+ degree snice with a short bit of true WI2, but very secure climbing. The right hand exit had no cornice issues, although massive cornices still loom over the majority of the couloir. We chose not to go to the true summit since it was in the clouds and we were tired. The descent down the couloir to the Sherpa Glacier was extremely icy and grabby on skis and we actually chose to downclimb some of it. Lower glacier was awful breakable crust. All in all, about 24 miles, 8000-9000 ft gain, and one wild day of suffering and adventure in the mountains. For a more detailed, TR, see https://climberkyle.com/2019/04/20/mt-stuart-ice-cliff-glacier-ai2-60-70-degree-snice/. Entering the broad basin at 5400 ft. Looking up at the Ice Cliff Glacier. Starting up steep snow to the base of the cliffs. Leading up through steep snice and easy ice. An incredible setting! Looking up the exit couloir. We took the notch on the right. Soloing a nice AI2 bulge in the constriction in the couloir. Topping out on the route! Our little "summit" for the day. Sherpa Peak. First few turns into the couloir. It only got steeper and icier... Spooky loose wet slide that took out our skintrack through the woods, on a NW aspect in the basin around 5400 ft. Must have happened during the late afternoon at some point. Gear Notes: Used 2 pickets, 5 screws. One might want more pickets if you want to protect all the steep snice. Approach Notes: Road was skinnable a little before the Eightmile trailhead, but melting fast. We kept skis on all the way to Stuart, although just barely in places. Creek crossings were generally easy to find. The section after you leave the Stuart Lake trail is brushy. Be prepared.
  37. 1 point
    why bring anything at all? most times you can just do them by walking in. the two routes listed has a standard bootpack going in to lake which is a pain to ski anyway, often in in late winter. I have seen alot of people packing skiis up to the lake. so for colchuck and dragontail, you would have 30 minutes of useful snow slide time before getting on route. The reality is that the snow is so deep that you need floatation, you really need to reconsider the route choice due to avi concerns. chair and baker often have bootpacks approaches also. Being able to walk on the approach without flotation is a good sign that the actual climbing route is in good condition. Things usually get more difficult the higher you go. If you are wallowing down low, expect more wallowing up high. steep wallowing is a good way to die.
  38. 1 point
    I have had good luck with my mountaineering boots on a splitboard. If you get a small enough binding a La Sportiva Nepal works very well (definitely put in a dozen or more trips with that setup). I even used La Sportiva Spantiks with my splitboard up on Denali. I wouldn't want to ride those in the resort but as you stated you aren't looking for beautiful backcountry riding just efficient snow travel.
  39. 1 point
    There is no secret miracle gear for the shoulder seasons. Most (including me) use skis until it isn't fun, and then at some point in the year transition to doing trips with just boots (I typically leave the skis at home after early/mid June or so). Modern AT boots climb just fine, at least if you aren't talking a lot of fifth class. It seems, at least to me, that the rock routes are typically in poor condition that time of year anyways. You can find a lot of good options in used AT gear, esp if you aren't super picky.
  40. 1 point
    That has happened to just about everybody who's tried that route in good weather, myself included!
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    Hey! I'm always looking for more alpine partners and would love to get out climbing this summer! Andrea
  43. 1 point
    Everybody likes to knock RMI here cause they are the biggest and were the only guide company allowed for years on Rainier. There are several other guiding outfits on Rainier so check them all out and pick one and you will have a great experience on the mountain. If you go with a 5-6 day trip you will get climbing education and a summit chance. The guides give you a list of personal gear you must bring. That's it. They provide the group gear. Any person with decent fitness can climb Rainier by the standard routes.
  44. 1 point
    Well, there's a problem right there. That's about 30 lbs.
  45. 1 point
    Not really. The Emmons is pretty safe from rock and icefall, much more so than any other route on the mountain. You don't want to be on the mountain after July.
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Rainier - Sunset Ridge Trip Date: 05/25/2018 Trip Report: Geezers on the Go or Fading into Sunset Ridge. Having done routes from Carbon River, White River, and Paradise I have always wanted to do a west side route. Two of my partners from many years joined in on the fun. The average age was 62 with a combined over 120 years in the hills. We did the usual hike from the West Side Road via the no longer maintained Tahoma Creek trail. From the along Emerald Ridge which we never saw cause we ascend into the clouds we gained the terminus of the Tahoma and crossed it somewhere. Eventually we broke out of the clouds and camped below Puyallup Cleaver at around 6800 feet. In the morning we gained the cleaver and followed it to around 8500 at which point we bailed left and crossed until the South Mowich. We roped up but the crossing was very straight forward and we headed up initial lower slope to 9500 feet. At this point there is a bergshrund across the whole of the lower apron/ridge. We crossed more to the left. Again straight forward but sloppy snow. We bivied at the bergshrund. The next morning hoping to have an overnight freeze which did not occurred we launched upwards. The climbing was at around 45 degrees. The higher up the firmer the snow got. We pretty much side stepped the vast majority of the route. We stayed mostly to the climbers left and found several places to rest. Including one great spot with 60-70 foot high conglomerate walls just waiting to pitch bowling ball sized rocks down. From here a few hundred feet more of climbing and we gained the ridge proper and had great views of Sunset Amphitheater. Until this point we had climbed roped or unroped sans any gear. Once on the ridge proper we followed it until we need to down climb around a short 30 foot section of bare rock (by passed via snow). This lead to the finial pinnacle which forces one out on to the Mowich Face. Here again the climbing was straight forward we stayed more climbers right (two pitches), traversed left (~one pitch), then gained the ridge (~one pitch). Overall 45-55 degree climbing with pickets. My one partner did most all of the leading, my excuse for not contributing was being tired having climbed S. Sister a few days before. Our other partner is just a geezer. After that we traversed the ridge to Liberty Cap which was good fun cause we could see where in the past we had topped on either the Central or North Mowich headwalls, Ptarmigan (including an infamous bivy), Liberty and Curtis Ridge. So it was a bit of nostalgia for all. Especially for me since Sunset Ridge was my 10th different route on the hill and exactly 35 years to the weekend since my first attempt on Rainier. Overall conditions were a bit soft at the mid elevations. The approach was manageable even in the clouds. Route finding was straigtforward. On the other hand, we slept warm - including the last night less than 100 feet below Columbia Cap. I'll add some photos soon. Oh, being from out of the area we stayed at Gateway Inn and Cabins which is right before the Park entrance before and after our climb. The folks are very accommodating so I'll give them a plug. Gear Notes: 3 Pickets and 3 screws (the later not used). Two tools 60cm axe and 50 cm hammer. Approach Notes: West Side Road via Tahoma Creek
  47. 1 point
    Trip: Glacier Peak - Frostbite Ridge Date: 8/2/2015 Trip Report: I was looking at the north side of Glacier Peak for 3 days while climbing Dome Peak two weeks ago and wondering whether the recently (Nov 2014) reopened Suiattle River road would allow access to this side of the mountain. From what we heard the Milk Creek trail used in the past is in bad shape. The other option is to use the Suiattle trail and PCT which used to be significantly longer. Fortunately the location of the new bridge (opened 2011) over Suiattle river and the newly built section of PCT leading to it cuts the approach to reasonable 16 miles to camp. Starting at the end of the road at 1800ft it is roughly 7 miles to the bridge on Suiattle trail which is currently in great shape and then about 9 miles on PCT heading south. There were some blowdowns and mildly bushy section but overall easy hiking. We stayed at a camp on PCT at 5600ft in the East Fork Milk Creek basin. The plan for next day was to climb up the basin to a wide saddle at about 6500ft on climber’s left side of the basin, traverse onto the Vista glacier on the other side, climb the glacier to Vista-Kennedy saddle and follow the Frostbite Ridge route from there. We left camp at 4am on Sunday. There is a rock band preventing taking direct line to the saddle. We went in the middle where the rock is eroded (class 3). It would go on either side. The saddle is wide and flat and could be used as a higher camp with great views but currently there is no water. The other side is mostly heather before it opens up but thanks to local fauna (marmots and goats) there are fairly decent steps. We followed the ridge for a bit from the saddle before starting the traverse and stayed around 6500ft close to the cliffs above until the end of the heather slope (1000-1500ft). There the terrain opens and flattens and become talus. Possible bivy sites with water access here. We did a slightly descending traverse across the talus and got on the icy head of the Vista glacier around 6200ft. The Vista glacier is quite broken up in the middle around 7000ft but it was not a problem to zig-zag our way through it. On the way up we went up the climber’s left side – more cracks but no rock fall hazard (red line). On the way down we went climber’s right (yellow line) which has rock fall but seemed a bit quicker to get through. The glacier flattens above this section and becomes less broken up. We made it to the Vista-Kennedy saddle in about 3.5 hours from camp. From the saddle the Frostbite Ridge route follows Kennedy glacier to where it meets Ermine Glacier at the start of the Frostbite ridge. The recommended left side was melted out or icy so we selected to follow the ridge crest on very soft sand. Just before the ridge steepens there was one very narrow section about 10ft long which was disintegrating below our feel. This was the sketchiest part of the whole climb. I believe we could have bypassed this by traversing below it on steep soft sandy slope on the Dusty glacier side. As much as the soft sand sucked going up it was very quick and fun going down minus the sketchy section. Upper Frostbite ridge The route keeps following the ridge through a feature called rabbit’s ear. The first feature we ran into we named the rabbit’s dick. It was ice on the left so we chose the right side with easy snow patch. This took us a bit off route but we found easy ledge behind to get back on the route above the icy section and just below the ears. There is a nice rest spot where we found water. From there it is class 3 between the ears which we did on the way back or class 3 to the right of the right ear and easy ledge behind to the short down climb which is also easy class 3. From the small saddle the upper section of the route comes into view. It start with short steep snow climb to the north section of the crater. The snow here was great for self-belay so we didn’t feel need to rope up and place protection. We followed the top of the rim to where it was easy to climb down to the crater. There was a lot of running clean water and established bivy spot at the W edge of the crater. The S side of the crater rim was hard ice in two steps. We solo climbed a bit up the first step before started to belay. Our 60m rope would have been long enough to belay from the bottom. The second step is longer (2 pitches) but is less steep and we decided to simul-climb to the top which is a short walk to the summit where we arrived at noon. To descend we did 3 30m rappels off of v-thread anchors with some down-climbing back to the crater and down-climbed the rest of the route arriving to the camp about 6 hours after leaving the summit. We hiked out the next day in speedy fashion covering the 16 miles in 4 hours of moving with one long break (some jogging was used). Looking back at Dome Gear Notes: 60m rope, 4 screws, 2 pickets, steel crampons. We didn't use the pickets but we did not regret bringing them Approach Notes: 16 miles on good trail
  48. 1 point
    Trip: Olympus and Valhallas, Olympic National Park - via South Fork Hoh River Date: 7/27/2013 Trip Report: It took me almost a year to get to this trip report, but I'm hoping that by posting it now, some of the route information might be of value to folks heading out this summer. From July 27th to August 3rd 2013, my friend Erik and I climbed Mount Hugin in the Valhallas and the west peak of Mount Olympus, approaching from the South Fork of the Hoh. It was a brutally hot week, but we both agreed it was one of the best, most unique, and least traveled routes we've ever hiked in the northwest; and much easier terrain than I expected. There is pretty straightforward walking on the north side of the river all the way to Valkyrie Creek (gravel bars and game trails, with a couple sections requiring easy work arounds of constricted sections of the river). A logjam at the mouth of the Valkyrie Creek afforded us an easy crossing to the south side. From there, wide elk trails conveyed us easily to the Geri-Freki Creek (misnamed in other trip reports on this site) and all the way into the Geri-Freki basin below the toe of the (surprise) Geri-Freki Glacier; one of the most stunning places I've ever been. Easy access to the glaciers led to an easy scramble of Hugin (the easiest summit in the Valhallas), before we headed onwards to Mt. Olympus. Goat trails led to the ridge connecting the Valhallas to Olympus, and mostly straightforward walking in brutally hot sun (with a few very short sections requiring care), took us to another stunning camp at the toe of the Hubert Glacier. We followed to a T the line representing the path of least steepness on the topo maps, linking a pretty direct route to the Hubert. The next day, we did the same thing, taking easy snow ramps up to Snow Dome where we connected with the usual climber's route on Snow Dome, climbing the west peak by the south ledges route. Pictures and a long(-winded) story about the trip are on my blog: Approach notes: Unlike previous parties, we did not ascend to the Valhallas via the infamous Valkyrie Creek. We used easy elk trails to access the Geri-Freki Creek drainage, where more easy elk trails took us to the snout of the Geri-Freki Glacier. Addendum: On Snow Dome we spent an amusing night with Dave Skinner who is donating his time over a multi-year period to restore the Snow Dome hut (removal of the hut is more expensive than restoration) and pack out years and years of garbage that accumulated as the result of the glacier research program. Dave welcomes help either in person or via donation. He has set up a program called "Friends of SnowDome", c/o David Skinner, 7097 Deer Park Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362 where you can mail a check, or leave a message at (360) 452-0565. This time of year you are more likely to meet him on SnowDome, where he'll put you to work if you have time and energy (in return for Kool-Aid, pancakes, and endless tales of mountain adventure).
  49. 1 point
    Probably heard what happened to the last old guy who went climbing with you?
  50. 0 points
    I don't think any of that had to anything to do with Marmot closing. Lock was dead within a year of closing of cancer.