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Showing most liked content since 10/27/21 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    Trip: Mount Torment - North Ridge Trip Date: 08/09/2020 Trip Report: If anyone's noticed, I am not so regular at posting TRs any longer. New job, older kids, a lack of anything new to say.....the list of excuses is long. But, to be honest, this is still my favorite place in cyber-land to post vignettes of my life in the hills. So here I am, slowly plugging away at catching you all up on the riveting adventures of an aging alpine "lifer". In this installment, we pick back up in August of 2020 and on an adventure close to home for both @dberdinka and myself. Jokingly, we said that we would go on a trip wherever arcs drawn in a 60 mile radius from our homes converged. This was not absolutely true for Torment, but pretty darn close. We have an embarrassment of riches right in our own backyards! We typically only ski a few times a year together and had been talking of an alpine climb for far too long. This may have been our first time summer climbing together? But first we had to get a permit! We weren't worried about the Torment Basin zone being full, but we WERE worried about the line at the ranger station. As you all surely must know by now, a August Saturday morning at the ranger station is only slightly less crowded than Mecca during the Hajj. Since it was misting, and we only had to hike to camp, we didn't get there early, probably about 0830. We pulled number 114(??!!) and settled in for the wait. There really must be a better system than what is currently being used. I'll let you tell me exactly what in the comments below. Permit in hand we struck out in the increasingly heavy "mist" for the TH. This is the first hurdle. It isn't marked, and there isn't a lot of traffic up it to make where the trail leaves from the Cascade River Road obvious. Look for it on the left, just after the 2nd bridge over the Cascade River, past the Eldo TH. Space for one car on the right and the trail takes off steeply just across the road. It starts out vague and gets better as you get higher. Decades ago this sounds like it was a major thoroughfare, but it has fallen into obscurity. Yes, you heard me. This is a route in the Cascade River corridor where solitude on an August weekend is possible! I'll let you figure out where the trail is and where it goes, however. Good things come to those who investigate. So I'll skip ahead to arriving a few hours later in the basin. It had stopped raining but was still damp, cool, and cloudy. We wandered for a decent amount of time, looking for established camps. Finding none (obscurity!), we found a flatish slab of rock and cleared the loose stones for an OK night. It didn't help I forgot my pad at the car. D'oh! Nevermind that, I certainly couldn't complain. I was with the one and only @dberdinka on an honest to goodness climb! I was also nervous. You all know how fast, competent, and technically savvy Mr. Berdinka is- I had to buck up and look tough. The alarm went off quite early (did I expect anything else?) and @dberdinka was immediately ready, or so it seemed. I fumbled around the tent for a bit but eventually got it together and we set off in the dim mists for the col that would take us around to the North side of Torment. Be warned that you will need to do one 30m rap to get past an imposing gully of doom along the way. There is a horn for an anchor, but I'll let you find it. Obscurity! And then, you'll need to expeditiously move under and away from a non-daddy friendly ice cliff. Channel your inner Ueli: But don't worry, alpine glory aspirants, at this point you've reached the promised land! Firm rock (4th and easy 5th), outrageous position, and no other parties to ruin your wilderness experience. It really is worth the price of admission. It is an Ed Cooper climb, after all. The only downside to climbs like this, of course, is that they are over too soon. But, we have wives and kids that want us to come home at a reasonable hour, so all good things in moderation. @dberdinka looking fashionable on the summit: As with most North Cascadian summits, there was then the question of which way down? We hemmed and hawed, ultimately eschewing the standard SE face descent (how would the moat be? Would we end up like Craig Luebben?) for the wandering South Ridge (standard approach to TFT). While this isn't a terrible way up, it isn't a great way down. Lots of insecure scrambling between raps where a fall would most likely be fatal. Again, not exactly daddy friendly. But, we survived to reach our camp and the delightful meadows of Torment Basin a couple hours later. And you probably will too. So, next August, don't complain that there are crowds on "all" the classic climbs in NCNP. Go do some exploring! Gear Notes: 60m half rope, light rack, helmet, axe, crampons, etc. We used rock shoes, but you probably don't need them (we didn't know what to expect). The full alpine kit! Approach Notes: The "excellent" Torment Basin route. Green Fred details it nicely. It needs some traffic, however!
  2. 3 points
    Trip: El Dorado - NW Couloir (Attempt) Trip Date: 11/21/2021 Trip Report: With the recent warming then cooling, Chris and I tried making a weekend attempt of the NW Couloir after getting inspired from a mountaineers trip posting. Intended to get to the toe of the east ridge on saturday, climb the couloir and get out sunday. We didn't realize how difficult a dumping of 10 inches of snow on Thursday would make that. Left the TH Saturday morning at 8am and took the standard approach up to El Dorado. The mountaineers left slightly before us and we took their path through the boulders, which had just enough snow to hide all the holes, but not enough to support a step (post hole leg breakers galor). Ran into the mountaineers at the end of the boulders and started breaking trail. It was difficult and slow plunge snow shoeing on 10-12 inches of powder. We were quite exhausted and running out of daylight, so we made camp at around 6,400 feet. We were naive and thought the jetboil would be a good stove choice, but it didn't work that well in the cold up there (maybe there is a trick to that?). Woke up the next day and started plunge snowshoeing up to the Inspiration Glacier, but we were smoked and it was slow progress. We discussed that we'd either have to stay for a 3rd day on limited food or be crossing the boulders late at night so decided to turn around after getting onto the Inspiration Glacier at 7,500 for some great views of forbidden et al. Ran into the mountaineers group on the way down, who also decided to turn around given the slow travel. The way down was perhaps more brutal than the way up. The boulders were slicker and trickier to go down trusting a higher force step would hold and you would break your leg. The trees after was a navigation of slick steep roots that chris fell 6 times and broke his poles. TLDR: my quads are burning today. Great views and sufferfest abound. If your eyeing to get it soon and snow holds off there is a nice track for you. Notes: we underestimated how much 10-12 inches of recent snow would slow us down in travel time and added gear weight (snow shoes and avy gear). Having extra food and a better stove system would have gotten us a third day up there. Maybe I need to hit the stairmaster hard for winter mountaineering. Avoiding the climb and doing a ski ascent would have been rad because there was hero pow up there. On the boulders Dropping into the basin with the mountaineers group Tent view El Dorado Glacier to the Inspiration Glacier Gear Notes: Light Rack, Ice Screws, Avy Gear, Picket Approach Notes: Standard approach.
  3. 3 points
    Right place, right time....looking at the Southern Pickets from Teebone Ridge:
  4. 3 points
    You thought I was joking? EVERY DAY! Here is White Chuck, Sloan, and the Monte Cristo Group from Sauk:
  5. 2 points
    I hope Instagram dies a swift and fiery death..... Until then, you all will be subject to my obsession with publicly posting images. Sorry! Kulshan last Saturday afternoon:
  6. 2 points
    Trip: Esmeralda Peaks - [FA] Moonlight Serendipity (WI2 M5+ 1,200ft) Trip Date: 11/21/2021 Trip Report: Last Sunday @Kyle M, Kurt Ross and I set out to investigate rumors of early season ice in the Esmeralda Basin area. A couple sizable blowdowns stopped our drive early, diminishing any hopes of even making it to our intended climb. With zero expectations, we decided to go for a walk up the road and see if we could get eyes on anything cool. We took our sweet time walking up the road, stopping to look through binoculars at everything that vaguely resembled ice. We nearly dropped all our climbing gear at the trailhead, but decided to keep it for “training weight”. Luckily we did, as we shortly got eyes on the NE face of Esmeralda’s NE peak. A discontinuous series of ice smears, chimneys and ramps seemed to form a potential route up the face, but we figured it was still too early. Possibly against our better judgement, we decided to “go scout the approach” and soon found ourselves scrambling up fun WI2 smears on the lower flanks of the face. Our route followed easy terrain that angled left and then traversed hard back right to where the face steepens abruptly. A very convenient dike feature splits the face for almost its entire height, and proved to be the key to our success. I kept leading, and scratched my way up a fun albeit poorly protected section of chimney. From here I had my fill for a little bit, and let Kurt take over the sharp end. An easy connector pitch took us up to a decision point. The chimney/dike feature continued above us, but seemed to hold ever steepening iced up rock climbing. With the little amount of daylight we had left, we opted to bypass this to the left via a tricky and somewhat loose chimney that seemed like it would take us to easier terrain, and the summit. Kurt casually lead the pitch, seemingly unfazed by the toaster oven sized block he dropped on his head. The sun set on us as we were following this pitch, and brought us to another decision point. We hadn’t prepared for a day of this magnitude and were running out of food and water fast. We could either bail now and call it a good scouting mission, or keep going in hopes of the summit, and a quick walk off. We opted to push onward into the night. From this point the climbing was largely on snow, apart from the odd rock step, or awkward bit of shallowly buried slab. Two more pitches brought us to an imposing headwall we hadn't seen from below. I was starting to worry that our climb was done there. While we could have likely found a route up the steep dry rock, it was far too late in the evening to start such drytooling shenanigans. Our last option was to keep traversing right to search for a way around it. Much to our surprise, a perfect rock ramp cork screwed around the summit block, taking us to the top of the wall. Once atop our little summit, we saw a long complex rock ridge that unfolded in front of us. Continuing to the true summit would have taken us several long pitches, and more hours than we had. We had climbed to the top of the wall we intended, and were more than happy with how things unfolded. The descent involved a couple pitches of down leading and about six or seven double rope rappels off trees and bushes. We hiked out hungry under the almost full moon, and got back to Seattle at two in the morning the next day. Kyle will likely write a more in depth blog post in a couple days. While clearly not representative of the conditions we encountered, the topo below shows more of the wall than is visible from below. Gear Notes: Single rack .1-3, nuts, beaks, KB's and a Spectre came in handy. Screws were not required for the conditions we encountered. 10's and 13's would be best. Approach Notes: Walk, drive or sled to the Esmeralda Basin TH. Hike up the trail for a little under a half mile before crossing the creek and picking your way straight up to the face. If you can drive to the trailhead, this climb is VERY easily accessible.
  7. 2 points
    Keep up the CPR. I like mine more.
  8. 2 points
    I may not have a plane, but I can still copy Austin Post by climbing to the top of Primus and taking a picture of Eldorado:
  9. 2 points
    The last time I climbed Chaval, I packed my tripod up to high camp. I am glad I did!
  10. 2 points
    whew, @diepj that was close! Here's another B&W right back at ya!
  11. 2 points
    Just to mix it up....South Face of Annapurna I:
  12. 2 points
    Thanks for the validation @psathyrella. Just for that, you get another today! Jailhouse Rock in Capitol Reef NP (discerning viewers may notice that I am not afraid of posting exact locations on cc.com):
  13. 2 points
    Trip: Ruth Gorge - Kuriositeten and Mount Bradley plus others Trip Date: 04/26/2021 Trip Report: I am a little late in posting this because I had a 3 week Denali expedition right after this trip. So I am just now getting back into the swing of regular life and unpacking. Anyway I figured I would post up a trip report from the Ruth Gorge. We flew in on April 26 to the Ruth Glacier just below the East Face of Dickey. Man that is a face to dream about!! We were a team of 4 that functioned as 2 teams of 2. We just changed up partners a few times based on people’s route choice. The Ruth Gorge was Plan B and we didn’t know we were going to the Ruth until about 4 days prior to flying in. So we were pretty ill prepared with route research and overall beta (with the exception of the classic lines). Grosvenor, Johnson, and Wake (left to right), from the flight in. Talkeetna Air Taxi on the Ruth Glacier with Peak 7400 and London Towers in the background. April 27 - Our first full day on the glacier. It was warm and sunny and I teamed up with Robbie to head for Cobra Pillar and just see how the climbing was. We got up to the top of pitch 5 when the sun disappeared behind the mountain and it started to get cold. We were also less than impressed by the first 5 pitches. When the guidebook says “C1+ rotten or 5.11” you should probably just avoid that pitch! I led it and was literally kicking new footholds into the large granite crystals and hoping they wouldn’t crumble under my bodyweight. Needless to say we had no desire to go back with so much other good looking rock. Robbie on the 2nd pitch of Cobra Pillar. Robbie just after the traverse on Cobra Pillar April 28 - We scoped several lines and tried to generally figure out what lines had been done. Thankfully we had used our phone to screen shot several AAJ articles so we were able to figure out some of it. Our efforts were mostly focused on Dickey and Peak 7400 since they were the closest to camp. Scoping a potential ice line. April 29-30 - weather days. Snowed about 18 inches. May 1 - We scoped lines going south on the Ruth Glacier. Looked at stuff on Bradley, Wake, Johnson, and London Towers. We were starting to get a good sense of snow conditions based on aspect and finally figuring out where everything is. We did climb the opening 2 pitches of The Escalator on Mt Johnson. It was really fun alpine ice and it gave us a good excuse to use the ice tools and screws. There were a couple of steeper smears to the left that we hoped to climb but the ice was only about 2-3 inches thick and there wasn’t any rock pro available. Scoping "The Escalator" on Mount Johnson. Climbing up the first couple ice pitches on The Escalator on Mount Johnson. Great alpine ice! May 2 - Based on the conditions we found yesterday we deemed it prudent to give the mountains one more day to shed snow and get some freeze/thaw going so it wouldn’t be a postholing nightmare. We had brought a telescope so we looked very closely at a couple of lines that interested us and talked about what line to do tomorrow. A couple people of our group went over to check out the first couple pitches of “The Wine Bottle” on Mt. Dickey. Man that is an inspiring looking line! We watched them through the telescope. May 3 - I teamed up with Duncan to climb Kuriositeten (AI5, M3+, 800m). It is a “smaller route” that was first put up in 2008 on peak just left of 747 Pass. At 2500ft it isn’t really a small route but when you see how it looks sitting between the giants of Dickey and Bradley it appears small. The route follows a couloir splitting the east face of the peak. It is a lot of snow climbing but also contains some mixed steps and 3 distinct ice steps ranging from 15m to 70m tall. Honestly it reminded me of some of the climbing in Cody, WY, where you follow a twisting canyon/couloir always excited about what might be around the next corner. The crux is the final step. It is about 70m+ and the first half is pretty dead vertical. Thankfully the ice quality was great and we throughly enjoyed the position deap inside the slot. We had very little beta about this route so had only brought 7 screws. We were able to find rock gear for the beginning belay and then I just ran it out as far as I dared between screws. We still had to break it into 2 pitches as I found myself with only 2 anchor screws left after 35m. Duncan took the upper half and soon we found ourselves on the snow slopes above. This is a fantastic route in the Ruth and should see more traffic! One of the reasons we wanted to climb this route was to recon the decent from Bradley. One of the reports we had regarding Bradley, was to descend the “standard west ridge” but that party bailed down a face after not being able to descend the west ridge. Another report talked about descending to the Backside Glacier and walking way back around through 747 pass. Another report talked about descending the Bradley/Wake Col. To complicate matters CalTopo and Gaia both showed some weird topography anomalies on their topo maps. In fact both showed a 800-1000ft cliff coming off the back side of Bradley that looked very complicated to navigate around. The problem was the topo lines didn’t seem to match what we had heard in reports. Needless to say we were very interested in looking at the descent from the top of Kuriositeten. In the end we discovered that both Gaia and CalTopo were very wrong in their topography. In places it was off by 1000ft. What appeared to be a huge cliff was just a small snow slope that was easily walkable. We couldn’t see the whole decent but we felt much better about things after this day. Skiing over to Kuriositeten. It climbs the big gash on the peak in the middle back. Even though the line is 2500ft tall it looks small in comparison to Bradley (left) and Dickey (right). Duncan starting up Kuriositeten. Looking up from the belay at the top of the first ice step. Approaching the 3rd ice step crux. It is the narrow looking ribbon of ice way up in the slot. Duncan climbing up through the crux pitch on Kuriositeten. A fantastic route in the Ruth. From the summit of Kuriositeten looking over towards Mount Bradley. Descending the back side of Kuriositeten in the late evening light. May 4 - Rest day. May 5 and 6 - For the big goal of the trip we picked Mount Bradley. A couple of our party had started up the East Ridge of Bradley the day I had climbed on Cobra Pillar. They found deep unconsolidated snow on all northern aspects. Even though it is called the East Ridge the first 1/3 of the route is mostly on the north side of the ridge. So with no desire to go up that unconsolidated snow we searched for a new route. While looking through all of our screenshots from the AAJ we found John Frieh’s report about a linkup on Mt. Bradley. He and Dylan Johnson had also found bad snow on the start of the regular East Buttress. So with high hopes we set our eyes on their Link of “Season of the Sun" and the “East Buttress”. They rated it M5/6 and the route is 4500 feet tall. It was warm so our plan was to leave camp in the late afternoon and start the route in the evening. We were hoping that by this time the snow might start freezing back up from the day and we could avoid some nasty postholing by climbing through the night. We left camp at 4pm and but 5:15pm we were in crampons working our way up the initial snow slopes. The Season of the Sun route climbs on the right side of the SE face of the mountain and was originally put up by the Giri-Giri Boys. We were a little concerned about the reported M6 offwidth crux but figured we would take it one step at a time. After about 1000 ft of snow with short steps of rock and ice we arrived at the “crux”. We were pleasantly to find it full of ice (AI3). So after a quick romp up great ice and another pitch of low angle rock we arrived at the 2nd couloir. From here route goes up right then back left across snow slopes and around the end of a big buttress. This leads you into the big central gully about mid height on the face. The original Seasons of the Sun route cuts up and back left to stay on the face while we followed Frieh/Johnson’s variation back towards the East Buttress proper. It was somewhere in here that it got dark. Not pitch black but dark enough to warrant a headlamp when technical climbing. Several mixed pitches in the dark brought us to the East Buttress proper. From here another 2 long fun mixed pitches deposited us underneath a huge boulder. By this time it was getting light again and we were out of water. So we spent an hour brewing up and resting. The rest of the east buttress went by in a blur of simul-climbing including one section where I ran out of carabiners and slings and literally clipped the carabiner with all my nuts to a piton just so I could clip the rope in. We topped out on the summit about 10am. The decent was pretty straight forward although with more uphill than we liked. We just followed the main ridge to the west and then cut down and south to follow a different ridge line back towards the Bradley/Wake Col. Unfortunately this led us to wallow up several northern aspects of unconsolidated powder snow. Nothing like trenching in the afternoon sun when you have been up all night! We finally reached the col and took a short break to drink the last of our water and finish up our food. Then it was 2000ft of easy walking down to the last obstacle…the icefall between Wake and Bradley. From the top of the col it appeared to be less broken up on skiers left. But when we arrived skiers left there was only sagging “snow bridges” and open crevasses. We were able to end run everything far left and then rappel over the last bergshrund by leaving a bomber fixed nut in the rock. Finally home free we trudged wearily back towards the base of the route. The snow was like a trap door. Most steps you were fine but every few steps the door would open and suddenly you would be postholing to your thigh. We were excited to be back to our skis were the going suddenly got easy! Rolled back into camp at 7:30pm for a 27.5hr RT time. Starting up Seasons of the Sun. The M6 offwidth crux....we got lucky with fat ice conditions and easy climbing. Typically route conditions...soloing steep snow. About 1/4 of the way up the route now. Nearing the top of the East Buttress proper......during one of the long simul-blocks. The route up Bradley's 4500ft face. This is a linkup of Seasons of the Sun and the East Buttress first done by John Frieh and Dylan Johnson. Descending back down from the Bradley/Wake Col after climbing Mt. Bradley. May 7 - Weather day. Snowed off and on all day. May 8 - Snowed a bit then cleared up in the afternoon but wasn’t enough time for much more than a casual ski. It was warm again. We watched several ice lines we had been looking at fall off the walls. Our camp below the east face of Mount Dickey. Mount Bradley is just to the left of center in behind. May 9 - With the warm weather we opted for rock climbing. But the sun didn’t burn the clouds off until noon so we got a late start. We decided on Goldfinger which is on the Stump. We started climbing and were happy to find good quality rock. The rock quality was WAY better than the first few pitches of Cobra Pillar. Unfortunately due to our late start we lost the sun and our warmth about the top of pitch 6. We contemplated going a few more pitches but opted to just call it since it was unlikely we would top out anyway with such a late start. The climbing was very good though and it would be a classic anywhere in the lower 48. Coming up to the belay at the top of Pitch 2 of Goldfinger. Climbing pitch 6 of Goldfinger. It is fantastic climbing on very good quality rock! May 10 - With bad weather in the forecast for the next several days we opted to fly out. Several of the team members had flights out of Anchorage on the 13th so we didn’t want to be stuck on the glacier and miss flights. TAT here to pick us up. The ever changing clouds giving Mt. Bradley a moody look as we departed. Gear Notes: Alpine rack, heavy on screws for ice routes, heavy on cams for rock routes. Approach Notes: Fly in with Talkeetna Air Taxi, then ski/hike to climbs.
  14. 2 points
    Trip: Chiwaukum Range - Chiwaukum High Route Trip Date: 09/09/2021 Trip Report: This definitely isn't alpine climbing, and nothing exceeded class 3, but I think it is kinda interesting... John Berude and I completed a high traverse of the Chiwaukum Range in a single push. We started at the Lake Ethel Trailhead and ended at Hatchery Creek, summitting Big C, Big Lou, and Big Jim along the way. It was definitely the hardest high route thing I have onsited in a day and one of the best days I have had out there with the scenery and fall colors. It measured 32 miles and 14k ft gain, mostly off trail, and took us 16 hours. Full TR: https://climberkyle.com/2021/09/09/chiwaukum-high-route/ The most interesting part was getting between the Glacier Creek and South Fork Chiwaukum drainages. We utilized the pass to the east of Pt 7955. The south side of the pass looks improbably on a topo map, and there is indeed a cliff there. But one can follow ledges westward and through the cliff band miraculously. A beautiful morning in the Chiwaukum. Above Cup Lake. Some exposed scrambling on Big C. The beautiful Glacier Creek drainage. Looking back on the key ledge that gets you through the cliffs near Pt 7955. Vibrant orange near Cape Horn. On the summit of Big Lou. Nearing the summit of Big Jim. Gear Notes: Running shoes, poles, running vests. Approach Notes: Leave Lake Ethel Trail right before going down to the lake and enter the alpine! Hatchery Creek has over a hundred blowdowns.
  15. 1 point
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This is from above Cutthroat Pass many autumns ago:
  16. 1 point
    Trip: Chimney Rock - Free Friends Trip Date: 07/06/2021 Trip Report: God damn! This route is incredibly high quality and STOUT at the supposed pitch ratings of 5.9+, 5.10c, and 5.8+. It was a real pleasure getting up to Chimney again... better than I remembered. Full report with photos: SPOKALPINE Gear Notes: Doubles .2-4, triples .75-2. We used it all. Approach Notes: Sounds like the Western approach is the fastest option, and I've heard tales of being able to cross over to the East Face on the south of chimney rather than hiking around the North side. For this trip, we took the Eastern (Pack River) approach to enjoy the scenic hiking and try something new,
  17. 1 point
    this must a record TR for you. You usually are not a subject in photos but this time you made it in 5 images. Good thing to climb with someone who knows and likes to take photos too. great TR.
  18. 1 point
    You are EXACTLY right @Off_White. We talked of this. What a much cooler way to do it, though a bit longer. And you are also right that it has fallen out of favor to approach Torment that way. Though we did run into some guys this past summer who had gone in right ahead of us. Even the rangers I've talked with have never been up Torment Basin, including Kevork.
  19. 1 point
    A very clever friend of mine rigged up this to conduct heat from the stove down to the fuel canister. It worked great for us up in Alaska and I will be building my own version patterned after this. But in a pinch you can use some hot water from your stove in the plastic cup. It also helps to keep your fuel warm...meaning sleep with it or at least keep it insulated and out of the snow.
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    Time to mix it up again. Scan from a slide. November 2006, Annapurna massif showing off some nice light:
  22. 1 point
    @therunningdog at the ready to deploy the rope for a whimpering dad on the South Face of Inspiration:
  23. 1 point
    We must all go climb Sir Donald next summer!
  24. 1 point
    Don't think I ever saw this one before from 1982. bonus shot of his junk in the killer van.
  25. 1 point
    Trip: Les Drus, Chamonix - American Direct/Classic north face finish Trip Date: 08/14/2021 Trip Report: The nearest big peaks to me are those above Chamonix (I am aware of how lucky this makes me), and from the valley floor, none call quite so strongly as the Drus. When I first went to Chamonix in November 2019 for some skiing, I was actually in a pretty bad mental state, tired and depressed. The initial views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Aiguilles kind of failed to light my internal fire, but once we reached La Praz, the almost overwhelming view of the Drus rocketing above their surroundings snapped me out of my stupor (I'm doing better these days). The seed was planted. This summer in northwestern Europe has been pretty much the opposite of the summer in the northwestern US, unusually cool and wet. I'm certainly not complaining, but it's made climbing a lot harder to do and I have done a lot fewer pitches of climbing this summer than last, which has not been good for my fitness. At the same time, this is the last summer of my work contract in Geneva, and the knowledge that I would have to make the absolute best of any weather windows that I could get only served to swell my ambitions, admittedly a bit of a dangerous combination. I'd engaged in semi-serious talk with an American I met last summer via Mountain Project named Jared about getting after the Drus via the proudest line we could think of, the American Direct. By late last July, the above factors put me in the psychological position where I was willing to put all of my chips down and try to go as big as possible on the Dru if I could get the point, and I let Jared know. The start of August sucked in the mountains, and I had a few climbing trips in a row get canceled by high winds, snow and avalanche danger, or more high winds. Suddenly, things cleared around August 10, with the promise of a long period of high pressure that might melt some of the snow and ice covering basically all of the rock above 10,500' or so. The long awaited weather window had arrived. I arrived at the Montenvers train station and hotel early afternoon on Friday, August 14. It was super hot, so once Jared met me we decided to wait until a bit before 5PM to start the supposedly roughly 3 hour approach hike to the base of the wall. This left plenty of time to stare at the wall and get intimidated. The route, as planned, starts from basically the lowest part of the face and heads up trending right in the orange-gray rock, until encountering the gigantic light gray rock scar left behind by the collapse of the Bonatti Pillar in huge landslides in 2005 and 2011. Here we would diverge from the original Hemmings and Robbins route via an aid pitch to scoot left onto the shady north face, and then follow the classic 1935 Allain-Leininger north face route to the top. From the base of the rock to the summit is about 3300' of wall. The near-catastrophic retreat of the Mer de Glace has exposed hundreds of feet of blank slabs that were buried under ice just 200 years ago. Luckily, guides have installed ladders to overcome this obstacle. After crossing the Mer de Glace, a series of exposed 4th class scrambles protected by fixed ropes (no ladders on the far side, not enough traffic heading to the Petit Dru to justify them, I suppose, which makes sense) lead to a barely-there climbers trail that traverses a lot of nice meadows. It's kind of like the North Cascades, but with much bigger mountains in the background. Approaching the objective, can you spot the trail? Actually it wasn't too hard to follow, there were cairns and occasional ribbons in trees. Eventually the trail kind of petered out into the sort of loose moraine that we all know and hate, and at the point I made two key fuck ups. First, in the last vegetated area, we stopped to refill our water. This required me to empty my pack in thigh-deep vegetation in order to access my Camelbak. More on that later. Second, Jared and I kind of naturally drifted apart as we picked our was through the shitty moraine mixed with pools of water. The complexity of the terrain meant that we lost visual track of each other, but we weren't concerned because we were pretty experienced with this kind of slog. Eventually I picked up a faint trail and followed it up a long, loose moraine crest to a good rest spot, and waited for Jared, who had been behind me, to catch up. When he failed to appear or answer my calls, a bunch of highly unrealistic but very worrisome scenarios started to creep into my brain, and I dropped my pack and hiked hundreds of feet back down the loose crap. Eventually, I managed phone contact with him and learned that he had opted to contour around the moraine and then climb up the other side of it from where I was. When I described my location, it turned out that my little hike down looking for him had managed to give him a solid 30-40 minute lead on me. Oops. View from the top of the moraine. Finally, we reached the bivouac sites atop the Rognon des Drus, shortly after sunset and nearly an hour later than we'd hoped for. Exhausted and hungry, we started to prepare for dinner. It was then that I discovered, to my horror, that the gas canister I'd been carrying was gone. I can only assume it was lost in the vegetation below the moraines from where I'd refilled my water. This was clearly a pretty bad mistake, and made me really upset and embarrassed. After some thought, we still had running water, and cold food is still edible, so no plans were changed. Dinner was cold, crunchy pasta in a freeze-dried bag meant for boiling water but with snowmelt instead. Oops. Also, I realized that in the chaos of our separation and my abandoning and hiking back to my pack while trying to look for Jared, I'd lost my expensive glacier goggles. Oops. We awoke by 4AM under an astoundingly starry sky and got moving under what I hoped was a fresh start from the previous day's amateurishness on my part. We had vague ambitions of reaching the summit bivouacs but mostly wanted to get high up the wall before the Niche des Drus started dropping big rocks on the start of the route, which is probably the most dangerous part of the route for rockfall. The snow moat at the base of the wall was thankfully minimal, but the start of the route itself was a bit harrowing. It consisted of 5.4ish slabs and grooves with a literal waterfall running down it, enough that water would run down my sleeves as I tried to climb through it. It was also pretty much entirely unprotected save for a single shallow 0.2 X4 placement I found behind a flake, and we were moving together, so a slip by either or us would have been a catastrophe. After this exceptionally rude awakening, we reached a dry ledge with a bolted anchor, changed into rock shoes, and got the first dawn light to see where we were going. We simul-climbed the next 6 pitches of 5.7 to 5.9 in 2 blocks, which felt honestly great and we kept moving along at a good pace. I did notice I was sipping on my hydration hose worrisomely fast, probably a result of my lack of acclimatization (the bottom of the route is at 9000'), but this didn't feel like an enormous problem yet, as we were climbing in the early morning on a west face in the shade. By 8AM we reached the golden rock of the headwall and the climbing quality went from really good to spectacular. This is the first money pitch (pitch 11), the 40m dihedral, which is probably about 5.10d. It is as fun as it looks. Our strategy was to climb with our packs on unless the climbing was hard enough to make it really impractical. For us, that meant the packs were pretty much always on, but we hauled the 40m dihedral, which Jared found to be fairly miserable experience between the weight of the packs and how thin the 6mm tag line was that we used for the task. After that, we stopped hauling. I started slowing down between the increased difficulty of the climbing and mounting fatigue. We largely stopped simul-climbing, and I was also beginning to become acutely aware of my dwindling water supplies, as there was no snow or water available anywhere on the wall, it was just too steep to hold moisture. I also wasn't eating enough because of how dry my mouth was, which further cut into my energy levels. Jared following pitch 14, another nice 5.10 corner. We kept moving upwards with very few breaks (Jared had to coax me to adhere to this) until we reached the very nice jammed block bivy site atop pitch 20 at about 1:30PM, at about the same time that the sun did. As things tend to do when the sun comes out, it got a lot warmer really fast and I finished off my water. I was very dehydrated, so I wasn't able to get much food down, so my energy levels were a bit shit. Grateful to be climbing with a stronger partner, I told Jared he'd have to lead the crux pitches to come, which he was fine with. This is the crux of the route and it's crowning jewel, the so-called 90 meter dihedral. It's a long, smooth-sided finger crack dihedral in very smooth and top-quality granite. After an approach pitch up the start of 5.9+ or so, it gets broken into two long and pumpy pitches of 5.11b or so. Jared led the first pitch with no pack on and then hauled his pack up in a fine effort. To save him some suffering, I kept my pack on as the follower and commenced one of the hardest fights I've done on rock in a long time. A full pitch of fingerlocks, smearing, painful toe jams, and palm presses got me to just a few moves below the anchor when I needed to take. The 2nd pitch, if anything, is even cooler, but probably harder. Hauling again was miserable, so Jared tried to lead with his pack on, which proved very difficult-looking when the climbing turned into 5.11 laybacking off of a finger crack with smears for feet. After quite a few hangs and some pulling on gear, he made the anchor. At this point, I was completely gassed and I basically aided the pitch, standing in slings, pulling on whatever gear I could, the works. I regret this, but it's hard for me to feel too bad about being unable to climb 5.11 granite 23 pitches up with a big overnight pack on. After the 90m dihedral, the original route heads right towards the rockfall zone via a pendulum. Instead, we opted for the "German Rescue Traverse," which follows a bolt ladder to the left over the void towards the junction with the classic north face. Jared on the aid pitch. This one is just as much fun for the follower, and I was sloooow on it. The fixed rope is apparently pretty new, as are a couple of the bolts, since some of the horrifying old bolts that used to comprise the traverse appear to have broken. Reaching the comfortable bivy spot at the end of the traverse was a relief, and we decided to stay there for the night. Luckily there was snow and a bit of dripping water, though without gas it was definitely still a deprived situation. I ended up sleeping with a camelback full of snow in my sleeping bag with me to melt it for the next day, though not before realizing I'd forgotten my wag bag and shamefully pooped on the ledge and then flung it off the cliff into the abyss as far away from the standard north face route as I could manage (I swear that's the first time I've ever done that). Oops. The sunset from the bivy site was divine. My "cozy" little spot. I definitely woke up and checked to make sure I wasn't sliding towards the edge a couple of times in the night. We awoke at 5AM in order to get moving again, I was still pretty tired from the previous day but had grim determination to see it through. Ahhh. Alpine starts. It was extremely cool to get to climb on the historic 1935 route up the north face of the Drus. The face was considerably less chossy than its reputation and appearance from afar had led me to believe, and the rock was generally good. We started by simuling a couple of pitches, then I led the Fissure Martinetti bypass to the original crux, figuring getting to the top by the path of least resistance was challenge enough. We immediately canceled out this energy-saving measure, however, by getting a bit off route, with Jared leading a thin finger crack in a slab that felt like 5.10c or so, but it was hard to tell because it was a bit wet and I stood on a piton to get past the snowy start. Once back on route, we quickly pushed to the upper face via a couple of blocks of simul climbing, with ever expanding views. As we got higher, the rock got wetter and the ledges had more loose rock and snow on them. Near the top of the face, there was a bit of easy chimneying kept interesting by ice in the back and water running down one side. Classic north face stuff, I presume. Never hard enough to be a big problem though. North face ambiance. Yes, I was kicking steps up the snow in my TC Pros towards the end. Eventually we found the fabled hole through the mountain towards the south face, and opted to pass through it to finish up, mostly because climbing in the sun on drier rock again sounded nice. A couple rope lengths and a couple of route finding errors later, and I found myself with no higher to go. The summit of the Petit Dru! I had expected catharsis, but felt mostly mild relief that I could stop going up (at least for a moment). It's hard to relax much on a summit like that with such a long descent ahead. Nonetheless, I scrambled down to pay my respects to the summit Madonna. Can't imagine dragging that thing all the way up there. The next task was to traverse over to the Grand Dru with it's rappel descent. This consisted of a short scramble down followed by a few short, wandery bits of crack climbing up to 5.9 that culminated in a wet squeeze chimney. Entering the chimney, I very briefly considered taking my pack off and committing to the free grovel, but quickly decided that the knotted rope in the back looked more appealing, so an aid pitch it was. Finally, we found ourselves on the summit snowfield of the Grand Dru. Jared on the highest point of the Drus. Summit panorama. Not a bad view at all. Amazing spires all around. Not much can be said about the rappel descents on the south face of the Grand Dru other than that they were long, wet, and tiresome. The rope got hopelessly stuck on the pull after the very first 45m rappel, forcing Jared to lead 2 pitches to get it out of the flake that had eaten it, which definitely soured the mood. Mercifully, there were no more incidents for the next 10 rappels down to the Charpoua Glacier. The glacier was in decent shape, but the snow was incredibly soft and repeated post holing got my socks quite wet. Once we neared its bottom though, we were confronted with a small ice cliff of about 40 degrees that we had to front point down. I'd compare it to a short version of the first pitch of the Kautz. The mountains refused to just let us go easily. Steep wet snow. The small ice cliff we had to downclimb. The two summits of the Drus on the left from once we were finally below the glacier. The Aiguille Verte is on the right. Finally we were able to unrope and a short hike brought us to the Charpoua Hut, where we were able to get a nice dinner. It was clear that the weather was taking a turn for the worse and also that our plans to hike out that day had been thwarted by general slowness. The decision was made to get as low as possible before finding a place to bivy. Sunset from the Charpoua Hut. The next few hours were quite unpleasant. The trail followed easily enough until it got completely dark, and it became clear that my Swiss map app that I had on my phone did not have the right trail positions marked for these very French mountains (go figure). We wasted lots of time, energy, and patience with each other repeatedly losing and refinding the trail, including a big detour following a trail that petered out. It later turned out that the trail we tried to go down had been abandoned because it was exposed to serac fall from the Charpoua Glacier and in the dark we didn't really realize the danger. Oops. Finally, however, we got on the correct trail and things were going pretty well, except for the increasingly frequent but still silent flashes of lightning coming from the west. At about 11:30PM, we figured we were getting pretty close to where the trail descended steeply to the Mer de Glace and not wanting do deal with that, we looked for a place to sleep. Jared quickly found a very inviting-seeming cave with a nice flat floor formed by a large boulder. I crawled in to the back (the ceiling was pretty low) and Jared set up his bivy closer to the entrance. All seemed well. A mere hour later we were brought to attention by several very loud and very close thunderclaps, followed by a quick start to what sounded like an impressive downpour. In the back of the cave, I felt a bit of mist in the air, but Jared gave a cry of alarm. Close to the mouth of the cave, the wind was blowing rain on him, and water running across the roof was dripping on him and to a lesser extent on me. I moved to shove myself farther back to give him room to seek more shelter. Jared, however, sounded increasingly frantic, followed by cries of "there's a hole, there's a hole!" Not understanding, I turned on my light, only to see to my horror that my inflatable groundpad was surrounded by a flood of water between 1 and 2 inches deep, making it basically a life raft in our flooding bivy cave. I grabbed a rock and started digging a trench to drain some of the water out and prevent myself from being overtopped. Jared's situation was much worse. When scooting his ground pad towards me, he had popped it on something underneath him (the "hole"), causing it to rapidly deflate and drop both him and his down sleeping bag into a pool of freezing cold water. Luckily, the rain slowed and stopped as quickly as it began, and we managed to spend the rest of the night partially sharing my sleeping mat (though I must confess I took more than an even share) and huddling for warmth. The water drained away once it was not being replenished. Once their was light at about 5:30, we packed up our things, I silently thanked the weather gods that it wasn't raining, and got ready to move out. I'd been in the back of the cave between Jared and the entrance, so I remarked "at least that little breeze was nice," thankful for the ventilation. Clearly irritated, Jared snapped back that the breeze had kept him up all night shivering, and I remorsefully realized he'd had a much rougher night than I had. Despite that, he again put me to shame by setting a strong hiking pace out that I struggled to match, which is worthy of all respect. The cave as seen the morning after. We slept down and to the right in the slot. The south face of the Drus from the morning wet hike out. There were lots of ladders, both in the morning and all over the trail the previous night while we hiked in the dark. Morning on the Mer de Glace. Almost at the end of our hike out, the clouds parted one last time to give us a final view of the Dru, a source of a great adventure I'll remember for a long time. Writing this TR 5 days after that morning hike out, I can safely say that I'm still pretty tired and sore, and some of my toes are still a bit numb from all the jamming, but despite the low points and many small screw ups, it felt like a good experience worth doing. As of June 2013, the Old Chute route on Mount Hood was probably the most intense alpine climb I'd ever done. It's been wild to progress to a climb like this and I'm definitely interested to find out what the future holds, but I'm pretty sure at this point the remainder of my summer will be dominated by low altitudes and beers in the sun more than north faces and cold bivouacs. Once that bad alpinist memory kicks in though, well, I guess we'll see. Gear Notes: All the alpine stuff Approach Notes: straightforward by alpine standards
  26. 1 point
    I was expecting to see some junk in the van, not HIS junk.
  27. 1 point
    It's impressive to get detail in both the deep shadow and the lit subject.
  28. 1 point
    Trip: Stuart - West Ridge Date: 10/24/2015 Trip Report: On Saturday Kevin and I got to confirm my theory that the West Ridge of Stuart would be a fun route to do in funky, shoulder-season sort of conditions. Sure, we had a couple "where are my crampons" moments on the north side traverse, but experience with the route above the W. Ridge notch, warm clothes and a profound eagerness to descend the Cascadian and then hike over Long's Pass in the dark were all helpful to making this a pretty fun day out in the hills. A few pictures: In the morning it was fall: Then higher up it was winter: And we got some sunshine on the top:
  29. 1 point
    This isn't editing tricks....a crazy beam lit up this tree as @cfire and myself were descending Wallaby this fall:
  30. 1 point
    Our camp a few weeks ago in UT at the Cathedral Valley Campground:
  31. 1 point
    Barely used Patagonia Das Parka, Men's Medium. $175. Stopped climbing and hasn't been used for a few years. Email: ben.gossett@gmail.com Located in Shoreline, WA
  32. 1 point
    Me and a partner were attempting the TFT and took the SE Face of Torment. We had let our guard down after pulling over the 'schrund and were still roped-up while scrambling up the SE face feeling like we'd passed the difficult problems. I don't remember if my partner kicked it off or if it was just the rope dislodging it but a bunch of microwave sized blocks started bouncing down above me. There was nowhere to run without pulling my partner off so I found a tiny little depression close by to press into and pull my pack up to protect my neck. Miraculously the rocks missed me and didn't chop the rope anywhere that we could detect it. I think it shook up my partner more than me, I remember him shouting my name like he wasn't expecting me to still be there with him. We did complete the Traverse quickly enough to get BBQ in Marblemount that evening. So I got that going for me.
  33. 1 point
    Old guys rock! (If they have taken their meds!) Awesome pics as usual... you need to open a studio!
  34. 1 point
    Great photos as usual and good work finding a route without crowds. Like many folks, I had my closest call on Torment with rockfall. I remember saying to myself, "make yourself small, make yourself small" while cowering behind a tiny outcropping with my pack pulled up to cover the back of my neck. Definitely not dad approved.
  35. 1 point
    This is still my favorite corner of the internet, I should get my act together and put some TRs together.... but please keep it up!
  36. 1 point
    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing something new to this site. It may not have been ultra gnar but what a scenic chunk of wilderness.
  37. 1 point
  38. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Lago (8745'), Mount Carru (8595') & Osceola Peak (8587') - Shellrock Pass Approach Trip Date: 10/02/2021 Trip Report: Mount Lago (8745'), Mount Carru (8595') & Osceola Peak (8587')– Shellrock Pass Approach – October 2-4, 2021 (Sat, Sun, Mon). I climbed Mount Lago, Mount Carru & Osceola Peak over the weekend. I started the climb from the Slate Pass Trailhead off Hart’s Pass Rd. outside Mazama, WA. I planned for a 3 day trip. The weather was looking like perfect fall conditions. Mostly crisp and clear. I drove to the Slate Pass Trailhead Friday night and slept in the vehicle. Saturday: I was up and moving down the trail at 7:30am. Starting at 7000’, it was cold and crisp. I arrived at Shellrock Pass Trail (5000’) at 11:00am, 9 miles in. The trail in was almost all downhill with a little uphill here and there, overall a very nice trail. I started the trail climb towards Fred’s Lake reaching a pass above the lake (7100’) by 1:30pm. The trail dropped down to Lake Doris. Lake Doris looks to be very popular with lots of camping areas and a spider’s web of trails all around the area. I found it difficult to find the correct trail out of the Lake Doris area heading towards Shellrock Pass. The trail out of the Lake Doris area to Shellrock Pass is much less traveled and a little overgrown in sections. There are several downed trees across the trail to navigate on the way to the Shellrock Meadows. I made it to Shellrock Meadows for camp at 4:30pm, 15 miles total for the day. The Shellrock Meadows is well worth the trip just to camp. The fall colors are in full display with the Larches gold color everywhere. The head of Eureka Creek begins in this meadow. It was like walking into a painting. Sunday: Some cloud cover had moved in overnight. I left camp at 7:45am reaching Shellrock Pass at 8:45am. The clouds started breaking up and the views started opening up. I could now see the long ridge climb ahead for the 3 summits. The ridge climbing is mostly loose rock and lots of it, class 2 with some class 3 mixed in. I made it to Mount Lago summit (8745’) at 11:15am. The views were really kicking in now. I dropped down to the Lago/Carru Col (7600’) by 12:45pm. I needed to drop down to 7500’ to hit a diagonal ledge system to gain the Carru ridge. I made it to the Mount Carru Summit (8595’) at 2:30pm. The climb down Carru to the col below (7700’)was loose and steep, careful movement was necessary. There are a couple of rounded peaks between Carru and Osceola. I climbed up and diagonal across the rounded peaks until I needed to drop down to the col below Osceola. This took more time than I was expecting. I was very happy to find a fantastic camping area at the base of the Osceola ridge with a little lake for water supply and great views. I arrived at the camp at 4:50pm (7200’) and called it a night. Monday: I left camp at 7:00am heading up the ridge to the summit of Osceola. I reached the summit (8587’) at 8:30am. The summit registry was frozen shut, so no sign in. There was a rock engraved on the summit in memoriam of Robert William Metlen, very cool. I headed down towards Lake Doris, lots of loose rock along the way. I was very happy to be back on trail again at the lake. I was back at the base of the Shellrock Pass trail by 11:30am. I climbed the trail back to the Slate Pass trailhead arriving at 4:30pm. This was a great fall season trip in a beautiful area with lots of excellent camping options. I didn’t see the cliffs off the side of Hart’s Pass road on the way in but I did on the way out. It was like something out of the Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you go off the side you will die a fiery death for sure, but it would be one hell of a ride. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Bring comfortable boots, there is a lot of walking on this trip. 2. The trail after Lake Doris is hard to find due to the network of trails around the area. The trail to Shellrock Pass angles down toward the valley. 3. The trail after Lake Doris is lightly travelled with several downed trees and faint trail sections. 4. Shellrock Meadow is awesome for camping. 5. Climbing these peaks from Shellrock Pass is a long ridge climb but the views are great. 6. There is a great camp area at the base of Osceola Peak ridge on the east side at 7200’ with a small lake water source. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Camp – 9 hours, 15 miles, 3000’ vert. Sunday: Camp, over 2 Summits, to Camp#2 – 9 hours, 8 miles, 3800’ vert. Monday: Camp#2 to Summit to Trailhead – 9.5 hours, 14 miles, 3700’ vert. Total Mileage: about 37 miles Total Elevation Gain: about 10,500’ Gear used: Trekking Poles & Helmet. Mount Rolo from Pass above Fred's Lake. Osceola, Carru, Lago from Pass above Fred's Lake. Trail to Shellrock Pass after Lake Doris. Valley to Shellrock Pass. Mount Lago from Shellrock Meadow. Osceola Peak from Shellrock Meadow. Route View from Shellrock Pass. Carru & Osceola from Lago Summit. Osceola Col Camp 7200'. Osceola Peak Memorial. Another glorious fall day on the trail. Heading back up to Slate Pass. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles & Helmet. Approach Notes: Slate Pass Trailhead, Shellrock Pass Approach
  39. 1 point
    When the days get shorter and the snow starts to appear on the hills, I think of Dan. I hope is is doing well, wherever he is, and whatever he is doing. I really appreciate all the inspiration he gave us over the years, and hope to see more TRs from him in the future. This was the last one I could find: https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/june-7-2017-north-face-northwest-couloir-mt-shuksan
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    Trip: Hadley Peak (7515') - Skyline Divide Trail to South Ridge Trip Date: 09/25/2021 Trip Report: Hadley Peak (7515') – Skyline Divide Trail Approach – Sept 25, 2021 (Sat). The weather was perfect, 60 degrees and clear skies. Last time I climbed the Skyline Divide trail was about 24 years ago. I had forgotten how beautiful this area is. Saturday: I headed out from the trailhead (4400’) at 7:00am. The trail is in excellent condition, lots of traffic. The trail starts climbing right from the start. The trial starts to open up around (6000’). I ran into a couple hunters on the way up. There are lots of hunters in the area currently, it probably would be a good idea to wear some bright clothing to help standout a bit more. I made it to the top of the Skyline Divide Trail Bluff (6600’) at 9:00am. I arrived to the Lake (6400’) at 9:45am. The lake is the only source of water along the route that doesn’t require down climbing to get to. The route starts climbing steeply up the ridge from the lake. There is a trail pretty much the whole route up to the summit. The trail is a little hard to follow in a couple spots, but it is there. I spotted a herd of 25 mountain goats on my way along Chowder Ridge. I made it to the summit of Hadley Peak (7515’) at 12:00. I climbed the South Ridge to the summit. The ridge was Class 2 with a little Class 3 here and there. The rock is loose but not that bad by Cascade standards. The views from the summit are fantastic with Mount Baker right in your face. There was another herd of 12 mountain goats that I spotted from the summit. I’ve never seen so many mountain goats in one area before. I started back down at 12:45pm. I made it back to the trailhead at 5:00pm. This area of the Cascades is so beautiful that it almost looks fake. This was a great, laid-back day climb, perfect for Fall. Some Tips and Notes: 1. The only water source on route is the lake at 6400’. 2. Lots of hunters in the area currently, wear something bright. 3. The route starts to get steep right after the lake but levels out after achieving the ridge. 4. There is no snow to cross on route. 5. The South Ridge route has the least amount of loose rock, Class 2-3. 6. There are nice camping options all along the ridge and on connecting ridges. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to summit back to trailhead - 10 hours. Total Mileage: about 15 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 4000’ Welcome to Valhalla. Ridge after ridge. Lake at 6400'. Ridge above Lake. 25 Mountain Goats along Chowder Ridge. Chowder Ridge to Hadley Peak. South Ridge to Summit. Mount Baker close and personal. View on the way out. Gear Notes: I used Trekking Poles and a Helmet. Approach Notes: Skyline Divide Trail Approach to the South Ridge of Hadley.
  42. 1 point
  43. 1 point
    Trip: Cashmere Peak (8501') - South Ridge Trip Date: 09/11/2021 Trip Report: Cashmere Peak (8501') – Eightmile Lake Trail Approach – Sept 11-12, 2021 (Sat, Sun). The weekend weather in the Leavenworth area was looking good. I texted DanO and he was game for a climb. We headed for the Alpine Lakes Area, why not, everyone else was. We climbed Cashmere Peak (8501') over the weekend. We started the climb from the Eightmile Lake Trailhead off Icicle Creek Rd. Saturday: We headed out from the trailhead (3280’) at 7:00am. The trail is in good condition, lots of traffic. We stopped at Little Eightmile Lake for water (4400’) since we had heard the next section up the burn area was dry. Turns out there were 2 water sources we passed going up the burn area. We were ready to cross a lot of downed trees on the way up the burn area as reported in a recent trip report. Turns out many of the trees have been cut out of the trail since the August trip report I had read. We crossed maybe a dozen downed trees the entire trip. 11:15am we reached Caroline Lake. We headed up toward Windy Pass. We came across water around 6500’ on the trail up. We reached Windy Pass and started looking for a suitable camp spot arriving at 2:00pm (7250’). We decided to go for the summit since we had the time and the weather was looking good. We followed the trail along the ridge through some boulders and up to the base of the South Ridge of Cashmere. DanO decided that was good enough for him and would wait for me to summit and come back. I climbed the South Ridge of Cashmere. The rock was pretty nice quality Class 3-4 with some exposure, much better than dealing with the loose rock below in the gullies. I summited at 4:30pm, great views of the surrounding peaks of the area. We made it back to camp on the ridge at 6:30pm and enjoyed the beautiful evening. Sunday: We left camp at 8:00am and made it back to the trailhead at 12:15pm. This is a nice climb with an easy uphill approach on good quality trail with some fun rock on the ridge to the summit. Some Tips and Notes: 1. There are a couple water sources on the way up the burn area. 2. There are some downed trees along the burn area, but not that bad and fairly easy to pass. 3. Last running water access was around 6500’ on the way up to Windy Pass. 4. There is no snow to cross on route. 5. There is not much in the way of route finding until you are at the base of the South Ridge of Cashmere, just follow the trail up the ridge. 6. The South Ridge of the summit has good quality rock, Class 3-4 with some exposure. 7. There are several bivy/camp options along the ridge above Windy Pass, bring enough water the ridge is dry. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Windy Pass Ridge Camp to Summit & back to camp – 11.5 hours. Sunday: Camp to trailhead – 4.25 hours Total Mileage: about 19 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 5400’ Gear used: Trekking Pole, Helmet. Up the Ridge from Windy Pass. Rocky Spires along the Ridge. Crossing the boulder field. At the base of the South Ridge of Cashmere. South Ridge of Cashmere. View into the Enchantments area. Gear Notes: Trekking Pole, Helmet. Approach Notes: Eightmile Lake Trail to Windy Pass to South Ridge of Cashmere
  44. 1 point
    Thanks for spelling out with this traverse is really like. People were so in love with it, that when I did it I didn’t want to pop that bubble, but I had nothing good to say about it other than the north ridge Stuart is always really cool.
  45. 1 point
    Yea we climbed Free Friends last week and approached from the Priest Lake side. Once you get to the saddle just before going up to Roothaan you can take a trail around the north side of the mountain that stays high and crosses to the east side of the crest just north of Roothaan. From there it is a pleasant walk along the east side of the crest to the East Face of Chimney Rock. Approach is only a little over an hour this way! Oh and the route is really good quality.
  46. 1 point
    I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that much climbing in 18 hours. Well done!
  47. 1 point
    Just curious if anyone knows anything about the first ascent of Supercrack on Midnight Rock in Leavenworth? Does anyone know of any legit repeats, or how Timson protected it without large cams? I am betting he sent it on large hex's but would love to hear the story from someone who knows? Any credible info send me a P.M. would love to chat about it....
  48. 1 point
    I talked to Pat yesterday about this climb. He had big hexes and an old school #4 Friend. He said that somewhere near where the crack curves, there was a good nubbin inside the crack and he was able to get a nearly maxed out large hex and a maxed out #4 Friend. He ran it out from there to the top. You gotta remember that in those days, Pat was doing a lot of this kind of climbing in Yosemite. Lots of hands to big fists, and Pat has pretty big hands. It didn't hurt that he was STRONGER THAN S#IT! Pat said that someone had asked him about his ascent of Supercrack recently. Maybe it was one of you guys? Anyway, your ascent was PROUD. Great pictures. I always wondered what that crack was all about as I never went up there myself. SWEET!
  49. 1 point
    Can't we all just sling trees and get along? sheesh
  50. 1 point
    fuckin' lot of armchair qb's out there... Dane, good to see your healing up enough to talk shit... Props, jesse...