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  1. 9 points
    Trip: Liberty Cap - Ptarmigan Ridge C2C Trip Date: 07/11/2020 Trip Report: Kyle Tarry @ktarry and I climbed Ptarmigan Ridge round trip from Whitewater Campground July 11/12. We originally planned to climb it 12/13 with a bivy at the standard location, but increasing winds and cloud forecast for Saturday night convinced us to just do it in a push starting the evening of the 11th. I think we benefitted in our late season climb from the conditions resulting from this more cloudy and cold summer. We drove up after Kyle got off work and left the car at 8:30pm, did the St. Elmos-Winthrop-Curtis-Carbon approach in the dark and arrived at the start of the route at dawn (water drip on the Curtis and brew stop near the normal bivy spot). The route was in thin conditions compared to other pictures I've seen but the glacier crossings were pretty easy and direct. We climbed a small (20m) ice/mixed step that was pretty gross to cross the schrund, a little L of the typical start, which saved some elevation loss. Firm and sun-cupped/rock-smashed snow made for relatively easy movement above this. There was some low angle ice that took good screws starting the ramp towards the rock step variation, but even this did not require much sustained front-pointing. The rock step seemed longer/steeper due to the low snow there (again compared to other pictures I've seen, and based on the fact that I was past the crux when the fixed pin appeared). We topped Liberty Cap and descended the Emmons (good condition for this time of year, I hear). Visibility dropped significantly as we reached Camp Schurman and it even snowed a bit as we descended the Interglacier. We were back at the car by 7:10pm on Saturday and slept about as well as you would think. Pros of the single push strategy: cool/dark glacier approaches, day packs don't weigh much, we nailed the weather window Cons: we were pretty tired (cons win) Gear Notes: one picket (not used), 3 screws (used a few places), 4 nuts (not used), 1 knife blade (used on rock step), 30 m half rope Approach Notes: standard White River approach to N Side routes
  2. 8 points
    Trip: Little Liberty Bell - (Partial New route) Narcos, 5.9 600ft Trip Date: 07/11/2020 Trip Report: Yesterday I went up to try and do a new route solo on little liberty bell. It’s entirely possible that some or all of this route has been climbed before, I know for sure that the first and last pitch have been climbed, but I really couldn’t tell about the rest of the route. With that being said, I’m calling what I climbed Narcos. I’ll explain the name at the end. The approach. You may be able to approach straight up the basin from the road and cut off some distance but add some gain. P1, 5.7+—Start up the clean cracks up the big left trending ramp to the tree. If there is still snow you can climb up small corners and overlaps to the left that meet up about half way. This is what I climbed to avoid snow. Build a gear belay in a 1” horizontal below the tree, this is a much better stance. There were slings on this tree when I got there and some placements seemed to be cleaned out. On the last rappel. P1 follows the cool looking cracks up the ramp on the left. I ended up climbing the flakes to the left of the ramp to avoid the snow. P2, 5.9—Follow the horizontal straight right and up a bit. Follow good edges and cracks until you reach a nice looking finger crack, climb it up to some good ledges. From there follow ledges back left past a small tree (your last pro) and two large loose looking blocks sitting on the ledge, maybe don’t pull on them. Once you reach a good belay ledge, climb up a little further to a solid horizontal. Build your belay here and extend it down to the ledge if you can. There seems to be a more vertical option going straight up and right to a nice looking LFC. I didn’t climb this as I had intended on climbing new ground. It may have been climbed before. It is marked in blue on the topo. Looking up the improbable traverse on pitch 2. There is much more pro than in the picture. This is after cleaning the pitch. The 5.9ish finger crack, it's steeper than it looks. P1 visible below. The blocks I traversed across and tree I slung at the top of P2. P3, 5.7+ PG13—Go up the bush choked corner for about 15 feet until you can step left into good flakes that parallel the larger right facing corner. Follow these up to a series of ledges and a large chimney/flake. Chimney up the outside edge of this flake to avoid lots of pine needles and bushes until you can reach a cleaned out .75 crack, place something there. Down climb a little bit until you can step right onto a series of ledges/ramps. Follow these up the slab passing one Piton (my first pin placement on a route) and up the sharp arete. From the top of this climb back down left to a ledge below an arching right facing corner. Belay here on finger sized gear. This pitch could avoid the runout chimney and arete climbing in the future if the cracks were cleaned out. I had originally tried going straight up some solid cracks on this pitch, but after the cracks petered out and encountered some very hollow rock I left a nut and bailed on this option. Looking up P3. I only followed the bushy corner for a few moves before stepping left. This is after cleaning the pitch on the way down, the red c3 is a directional, not the only piece. Looking down the good flakes in the middle of P3 on the way back down. The runout chimney on P3 My very first pin placement, I had to document. There is no rope drag in the rope solo system, hence my sketch "quick draw" P4, 5.8+ —Climb up the fun arching corner and then right via hollow sounding but fun flakes (place nuts here not cams). Step right around an arete into a nice right facing corner, you are now on the Wright-Pond. Follow this up to a bolted belay. P5, 5.8, 45m—Same as P4 of the Wright-Pond. Description taken from MP. Climb the blocky corner/chimney up past a tree until you gain a low-angled slab. Head left across the slab to a wide hand and fist crack hidden in a left-facing corner. Exit the corner up and right on blocky but easy ground to low-angled ledges. Belay on a tree with slings. From here you can scramble to the summit. Descend via the Wright-Pond with 4 double rope rappels on bolted anchors. Good views of Silverstar & co! I think this route could clean up nicely and be a good 5.9ish option up the feature. It is hard for me to grade it accurately as the dirt, lichen, and self belay results in things feeling harder and scarier at times. I tried to grade it for someone who knew where they were going and had a hand on the break strand of their grigri. On the hike down I got a little off route (there is no route) and ended up in some pretty damn thick brush. While trying to force my way down the hill I stumbled upon a pile of white crystals under a small tree. My first thought was “wow, that’s a weird Fungus”, then I took another step and saw black canvas in the bush in front of me. My heart stopped as my first thought was I had found a dead body of a missing hiker, or murder victim. I got a better look and realized that it was a large black duffle bag, unzipping it I finally realized what it was. A 35lb duffle of crystal meth, street value of about $350k give or take. I dragged the bag to a slightly more visible location and marked the spot on my phones GPS. I drove down to Mazama the next morning to report what I’d found. I ended up leading some heavily armed cops up and helped them carry out the “package”. It’s possible that I made a very big mistake. I could have bought so many new skis! It was either a recent air drop with intent to pick up, or one of the bags from THIS event that happened last year. I will provide a topo/overlay soon if I get permission to use Chris’ photo. I'd be very curious to hear if anyone knows some history of ascents on this feature. Gear Notes: Double rack micro to #2, single #3 and 4. Single set of med nuts. 2 60m ropes. Crack Pipe. Approach Notes: Start as for Cutthroat wall by walking down the old road bed for 1/4 mile until you see an obvious double cairn on the left side of the trail. Enter the woods here and point it straight up until the terrain lowers a little in pitch. At that point you can start arching left to get to the ridge next to the wall. I highly recommend using the slope angle shading map feature on caltopo and trying to stay on lower angle terrain. it’ll make things a little more pleasant. From the ridge it is pretty self explanatory where to go.
  3. 7 points
    Trip: North Norwegian Buttress - Jötnar VI 5.9 A3 Trip Date: 08/01/2020 Trip Report: Whaddup maggots. The crew of vagrants and miscreants just got down yesterday from north Norwegian round 2. We completed our line to the top of the buttress. We spent 1 day fixing back to the high point then 6 days on the wall climbing in capsule style to complete the route. We are naming the line “Jötnar”, the race of god-like giants in Norse mythology. We unofficially started calling the Norwegian cirque Jötunheim, “the realm of the giants”. While only having one line up there might not give us “authority” to name something, I’m enamored with the zone and like the name, and no one else has to call it that... anywho, here’s a brief report of our experience, hopefully this inspires someone to follow in our footsteps, as it’s an incredible route. In June, we made our first foray onto the wall and found soggy conditions as our route runs through a water streak for a good portion of the lower buttress. Poor weather lead to poor conditions, if you read my previous trip report, you’ll remember we did not get far. In 4 days of climbing we completed about 700’ of the line. We left gear stashed with the intent on returning. Our window of time off about 3 weeks away. Prep for the route started a few days before our departure date. I headed over to kyle’s studio (For his gear business “high mountain gear and repair”) in Ballard to make some various things. One of those being an inflatable big wall hammock that we had been discussing in recent weeks. Kyle would test it out on this wall, likely the secret weapon for big wall alpine routes in the cascades. Kyle came up with the name “Taco” as a mockery of conventional portaledges. After making various things for the wall we set out on our own errands the next day then reconvened to shuttle a load up to lake serene. Fetching water was considerably easier than last time, the moat had opened enough to walk inside, being a whiteout day we decided it was safe enough to brave for 15 min to get water (better than hiking back to the lake!!) After unwrapping our gear stash we discovered a snafflehound gnawed on a rope! The backup lead line nonetheless. Another rope was needed, the volume of rope was becoming absurd. We told Lani to pick one up on her way down from Bellingham. Logistics here got weird. Kyle had commitments in the form of a bike packing trip during the start of the window we had to climb. So when Lani and I started climbing we would have to leave lines fixed to the ground for Kyle to use to join us two days into the climb! On the first day we got a ride to the trailhead early morning and moved with motivation all Day to fix lines the the high point on our route. The line climbed substantially better because of the cleaning we were able to do previously. Fixing high on the wall we descended to the base that evening to sleep on the ground and prep the load to haul. We woke up early again and started the manual labor. Moving faster that expected we were able to haul to the high point and get camp set up around mid afternoon. Plenty of time to start up new terrain. Lani started up the next pitch which would prove the steepest on route. She got about halfway up the pitch before deciding it was time for dinner. On day 3 she headed up the pitch and pulled through the massive steep band that blocked our view of the upper buttress. This would prove to be the only pitch that requires a fixed line for descent. I took over the lead on the next pitch and found cool expanding beak cracks that lead up to a surprise! We pulled into a band of bulletproof skagit gneiss that would run the whole middle part of the route, immaculate stone. I climbed up into a massive right facing corner and up an amazing #2 crack through the second massive roof on the route “the fang” as we had pre named it. Continuing up an easy flare I found a good stance at the base of a large slab. Lani was still feeling mega tired from the steep lead and told me to keep going, I quested upwards on the slab utilizing a mixture of hooks and rivets to reach a dike that proved discouragingly shitty. The dike however led to a good flake that rapidly turned not so good, the whole corner was a Jenga stack. Being on lead I reluctantly bat hooked the face around the choss. These bat hooks could maybe be avoided post cleaning, still chossy and expando in there though. I eventually put a bolt in to reach far and tension to the next small corner, which proved to be cruiser C1 to a good stance for a belay, post dirt removal this would likely be sweet 5.9-10. Here I called off belay while placing the anchor bolts and Lani zipped down to camp to start dinner. Meanwhile Kyle had started up the wall hauling the second half of the load solo, having to haul twice he only got to the bivy at pitch 3 and would camp here. Day 4 started with shenanigans to situate the ropes where they needed to be in order to fix higher. After we were able to snag an independent rope Lani and I again began the commute up the fixed lines to push the line higher while Kyle hailed up to camp. From the high point, Lani led up Inobvious but moderate aid to the crest of “the dude”. The biggest roof on north Norwegian, and an intimidating mega overhang. Incipient and creative low angle A3 led up and left under the roof and around the bushy corner to a small ledge. Reaching this ledge we figured we were far enough up to move camp, and thus Lani went down to assist Kyle in starting to haul while I started soloing the next pitch to the intended next camp. About halfway up my pitch I got a call saying there were technical difficulties at camp, we decided to reestablish camp and fix to the top my pitch. Day 5 would start super early with the big move. Myself and Lani would double counterbalance sky haul the pigs while Kyle cleaned the line below and brought up fixed lines. A few hours of hot manual labor brought us to the high point ledge. A grassy inset which seemed suboptimal for two portaledges, we spotted a good spot left of the buttress crest and concocted a creative plan to swing the bags over. I free climbed up to the top of a flake and put a good bolt in and lowered down (clipping the haul line to the bolt) to the intended spot. I drilled while Kyle and Lani prepped the bags. Once ready I took tight on the haul line with my gri gri and they kicked the bags over top rope style to me where I lowered them in place and docked them at the anchor. Shenanigans. After setting camp up I hugged up to my high point on the pitch and continued my lead. “The head wall” proved to be wicked exposed but I had to fight the features pulling us left into the chossy chasm and drill my way to a stunning corner on the buttress crest. Kyle and Lani came up to join me and Kyle started up the next pitch. Moderate free and aid led up through a tree to a roof. An inobvious ramp cut out left through some chossy bush. Kyle bulldozed his way up eventually running out of patience and drilling around some dangerous choss. Running low on daylight Kyle threw in a belay and called it a day. Day 6 started with a poor decision, only one gallon of water came up the wall... after jugging we were already dehydrated but didn’t think too much of it. We started on the e face and got good afternoon shade but the upper part of the route climbs the crest of the se ridge, and gets blazing sun all day. I got the the high point first and in the spirit of decluttering the tight stance I started free climbing. 50 ft up I hit an awesome ledge too good to pass up, so I added an anchor and moved the team up. Kyle in the mean time cleaned the previous bit to a state of being semi pleasant climbing!! At this belay our peril became evident, we were already spiraling into gnarly dehydration. Kyle was getting loopy, Lani unstoked, and myself crankerous. I would continue up with inobvious route finding. A long circuitous pitch of steep 5.9 led to another good albeit sun exposed ledge. We were closing on the summit, Lani encouraged me to keep leading while Kyle cleaned the route. A blueberry filled corner provided passage to the next tier, a pitch likened to the tree climbing on j berg!! One more mega ledge and we could smell it! A casual pitch of 5.7 led up to a short bit of heather clawing onto the summit of the buttress. We had read that it was easy climbing to the summit of middle index from here and it looked so. It also looked like a bunch of cascadian bush mank that seemed like it would taint our experience in our state of dehydrated madness. We descended to camp to smoke the joint we found in the parking lot and contemplate our descent. One or two puffs in I had this idea to lower Kyle with the bags down the whole face. We all became (mostly) convinced it would work and put wheels in the motion the next day. After wranglin the bags back to fall line we descended two pitches to the intended “drop zone”. We delicately stacked 1000’ of rope joined with edk’s, we would would bump em all through a munter. Kyle and the bags were probably closing on 400 lbs, we needed a gri and munter to control the load. The lower went smooth, and we were amazed! Bags were down!!!! So myself and Lani dropped all but two ropes down the face and Kyle started managing the clusterfuck. Our new friend River had responded to a Facebook call for porter help and met Kyle at the lake to take down 50-60 lbs of our load while me and Lani rapped the face and cleaned our gear. We touched down not too long after and started the soul crushing hike down, we had about 70-80 lbs a piece. I had called my parents again as it seems like all our friends are busy this time of year, they met us at the parking lot with a cooler of cold bubbly, fucking great climb. Shoutout to Lani for stoke, Kyle for his undying willingness to suffer and commitment to the manual labor and route creation, and River! For being willing to come up and help total strangers hump our stinky clusterfuck around. This route was certainly the effort of a village, and a wonderful big wall line that I hope people enjoy. Gear Notes: Double Rack micro to #4, Single 5, Single set of offset nuts (didn’t use rp’s), 4-5 each beaks, 2 small lost arrows, 10 rivet hangers. All bolts and rivets are stainless, one or two bolts didn’t take well in the wet mud, but could potentially be reset with a funk and tightented (all anchors have at least 2 good bolts). Some may need to be tightened up again after initial loading. No ledges big enough even for 1 to sleep, good portaledges camps at the top of pitch 3,6,9, and 12. Do not haul above 12. Bivies at 3,6, and side of 11 take 2 ledges well. Rap the route, some directionals need to be placed on a handful of pitches to get down, pitch 7 needs to remain fixed with an extra 35-40M rope (it could be possible to down aid the roof on rappel to get back to the previous anchor) Approach Notes: Scamper to Lake Serene while the tourons ask about your “paraglide” or “boats”. Easy talus walking to near the waterfall between the buttresses. Enjoy your stay in Jötunheim!
  4. 6 points
    Trip: Chimney Rock - E Face Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: Low 5th solos came to mind as an option given the pandemic and I thought I’d check out chimney rock. Hit the road on Friday later than intended so I didn’t start the hike until 6:30pm which didn’t leave a lot of time to get to the bivy before dark. Even so, scratching up the climbers trail in the fading light, which is at points extremely steep, wasn’t too bad. Made it to the bivy area as the stars were coming out (about 3.5 hours?) found a reasonably flat rock and enjoyed fantastic star gazing as I drifted off. I’ve seen singular bright flashes a couple times while star gazing recently. What is that? Took my time in the morning, left around 8am. Proceeded to nearly lose my phone in a crack between a rock and snow while putting on crampons. Luckily was able to blindly excavate it with my axe. Glacier approach was uncomplicated but once at the rock I checked 3 or 4 different options twice each before picking a way onto the rock that was just barely tolerable solo. A trip report from a week earlier mentioned snow straight onto rock but this seemed to already be deteriorating. By now the block of snow I stepped on is probably gone. Sometimes these things have a way of getting worse but then improving again depending on how snow melts and how the rock is. So I wouldn’t rule out getting onto to the rock now, but assume it will not be trivial. The route was pretty easy to follow. I had screenshots of the copious internet beta to help (good thing I rescued my phone ). I wore climbing shoes for extra security. All the 4th + 5th seemed pretty reasonable to me, managed to almost entirely avoid sketchy rock. There are cuts everywhere in the rock which keeps things low stress. No committing slabs or down sloping sections that I can remember. The most insecure part was the snow on the 2nd pitch, which was quite steep and exposed, had to switch back to approach shoes and crampons and axe for that. Treated to great views from the summit. I hadn’t got around to climbing anything in the area before. Stuart and Thomson are the closest I had yet been. It’s a worthwhile summit, I was pleased to be there. The descent wasn’t very fun, no surprise there. I could have paid more attention to the rap anchor locations on the way up. Had to do some wandering and down climbing less than clean exposed 4th to find a couple of them. I’ve been spoiled by steeper routes where one rap glides smoothly into the next. Packing the rope and scrambling between raps I kept tangling the rope. Finally made it back to the glacier, I think on the 7th rap, which easily got me over the moat. Things went smoothly from there and my spirit was high until near Pete lake. By this time the evening was getting on, around the same time as my approach the previous day. For some reason the bugs the day before were pretty annoying but not horrible, but this day they were absolutely insatiable and soul crushing. I ran as much as I could (good thing the trail is flat), threw my bag in the car, flailed my arms and legs around for a minute, jumped in the car and sped away. Gear Notes: 60m rope for raps Approach Notes: Most of climbers trail easy to follow once you find the log crossing but https://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ascent.aspx?aid=1424334 gps track was appreciated. No issues on glacier, moat was just starting to get complicated.
  5. 5 points
    Trip: Mount Challenger - via Eiley Wiley Ridge Trip Date: 07/25/2020 Trip Report: YouTube Video (so the video does have a couple clips out of sequence in the rock climb section and it ended abruptly due to all the GoPro batteries and chargers having run dry at the last clip). Hot off the NF of Buckner and barely recovered we had a weather window for Mount Challenger but only for a 4-day trip. Our full Pickets traverse we have had planned the last couple seasons keeps either getting weathered out or life gets in the way. So, to do it in 4 days we planned on doing it from the Big Beaver trailhead with a boat shuttle then via the Eiley Wiley Ridge knowing that this was also going to be the harder approach option. Day 1 - Thursday Got to the Marblemount ranger station at 6:30am to get permits which was good timing, the crowds showed up shortly after. Picked up the boat shuttle which dropped us off at the Big Beaver trailhead saving an extra 7-mile walk from the Ross Lake parking lot. From there an uneventful 13 mile and 3000ft gain hike to the Big Beaver campground. In bed around 8pm for an early start. Day 2 – Friday This was going to be the hard day. Up around 3:30am and a leisurely 5am start. We knew from beta to expect some awful bushwhacking to gain the ridge. While we did pickup the odd climbers trail in key places throughout the trip where anyone who goes through the ridge seems to funnel through the same few spots there always peter out shortly and you are left to your own navigation for 95% of the ridge. So, we started out full-on dense brush bushwhacking from camp and I think we picked more or less a fairly good line. But as you get higher there seems to be no way around hand over fist veggie belay climbing and bushwhacking through about 500ft worth of the 2000ft gain. Its all steep and virtually no sign of any climbers’ trails till you hit the very top. That took about 2+ hours and our clothes were full of pine needles inside and out. From there we spent another 6 hours getting across to the end of the ridge which was about 3 more miles after the 2 miles of bushwhacking. Mainly because we kept a middle line across the ridge until getting close to Eiley Lake. From there it looked like you could gain the ridge and do a high traverse over a large wide ridge. The topo map showed a relatively flat and wide ridge as well with only a single contour line and large bump. So, we gained that ridge only to find it ended in about 200ft cliff and wide chasm that was more than a few contour lines deep that did not show on the topo map. But from there looking back could spot what looked like a gulley down to the lake. That gulley was very steep, loose dirt/scree/boulders but it got us down to Eiley Lake. We blew a couple extra hours here. Had to exit that basin then took a line around another slope heading towards Wiley Lake. Once we popped over the boulder field looking down at Wiley Lake and across to the last half-mile of where we wanted to be it was getting late and very windy and the rest of the approach to our planned camp was in a whiteout so we found a small sheltered ledge in the boulder field with a great view of Luna Peak and setup camp. The weather was supposed to be clearing by late evening but had gotten worse. By the time we had camp setup and ready to turn in the clouds started lifting enough we could get some views of Mount Challenger in the distance. Day 3 – Saturday Another 3:30am wakeup call to calm weather and blue skies just as forecast. We figured we had a shot at it if the route was in. Dropped down the boulder field and up the knoll on the other side of Wiley Lake and started to decide our options for getting around Big Beaver Peak. The right-hand side was supposed to be a horrible traverse, so we ruled that out. The topo showed that a notch just to the left of the peak may be doable, but we did not want to get suckered into another cliff. Poking around the top of the knoll we spotted a heather gulley that looked like a wider and longer version of the descent gulley getting to Eldorado so we headed down that which was about 1000ft loss taking us down a large snow field and around the buttress to the base of the Challenger Arm. The route looked like a straightforward walkup, but the summit block and bergschrund are hidden from view, so we roped up and headed up. No issues all the way and the bergschrund had not started to open. Once we got close to the summit rocks there was a steep snow slope with a large moat. We had beta that showed you could scramble the first set of rocks or go around them. So, we split the difference and scrambled up a bit to clear the first part of the moat and then dropped back down into the moat and traversed around and found the base of the rock climb. The 5.7 rock climb was straight forward. We’ve read reports pegging this move at between 5.5 and 5.7. After doing it I think the rating depends on how long your arms are. Only 50ft long and 4 rusty pitons. And brought a .5 cam to backup the crux move. Past that the rap slings are a couple easy moves up and another 30-foot scramble to the summit block which we belayed and set a handline. The 40m rope was long enough for the rappel with just a few feet to spare. Easy scramble and walk back down from there then the 1000ft slog back up the gulley and back to camp. We wanted to get back down to the Big Beaver camp before dark so we took a more straight forward line back which still was a lot of mini-navigation stops and a lot of little meandering through the terrain and a bit of solid bushwhacking through the trees in a couple places. Camp is about halfway up the right side of the boulder field in the pic above of Wiley Lake. Tucked into a little ledge looking out at Luna Peak. We did not hit the ledges at the far end of the ridge till about 9pm and there was no way we wanted to navigate the descent in the dark. So, we pitched camp on a snow patch at the ledges. Day 4 – Sunday Another early start and picked up the bit of climbers trail at the very top of the Eiley Wiley Ridge. There were climbers trails heading both left and right here so we went right and that trail stopped in about 40 feet. We then checked the left trail and figured we had found something that we missed on the way up. It probably descended a couple hundred feet as it got fainter and fainter till it stopped at a cliff. And then began the hand over fist veggie belay bushwhacking and tree climbing again. Having to move back left, up 100ft over a rock band, more bushwhacking and side hilling for maybe a tenth of a mile. Eventually we were able to start moving back down and found lines that keep us more or less moving straight back towards the Big Beaver camp doing our best to navigate around fields of devils club. Still took just as long to descend as it did to go up. Once down took some navigation and finally realizing that the GPS was not matching up with what was on the topo map. Turns out the GPS was putting us accurately on the map but the trail and shelter locations on the topo maps are not correct. Our GPS was showing us on one side of the trail then the other in multiple places we checked where we took long hikes in both directions crisscrossing where the trail was on the map. We finally gave up trying to pinpoint the trail by GPS and topo and found the large stream we knew intersected the trail and passed by the Big Beaver camp and followed the stream back uphill. Turned out the GPS and topo had us going in the opposite direction. So, word of caution, have your navigation skills through dense brush where you cannot see any reference points down and you can only see 50 feet in any direction. The 2nd topo screenshot below shows where we were looking for the trail and stream crossing and where they are actually located. Once we got back to the Big Beaver Camp, we had to calculate how fast we had to move to make the boat pickup. So, for 13 miles out with short water/snack breaks we had to do about a 3mph pace with the heat going up to at least 80 to make the boat. At one-point Rodica thought she was hallucinating seeing things jumping all over the trail. I looked down and at first glance though we were standing in a swarm of spiders. Looking closer the trail for about 100ft was full of tiny frogs jumping all over the place. We made it at 3pm on the dot in 5 hours. Thankfully, the boat was about a half hour late so we could soak in the lake for a while. With all the camera and phone batteries dead by Day 4 didn't have any more pics or video. It was just a mad dash to the finish line. Overall, some of the most rugged, remote, and scenic wilderness we have been though. Awesome trip at times brutal and almost demoralizing gaining and descending the Eiley Wiley Ridge (and we had a high bar already for horrid bushwhacking). Even with a lot of preplanning, gathering beta on the ridge and getting some tracks from others it was a lot of navigation work and on-the-fly decision making doing the ridge approach. ~11,000ft gain and 46 miles over 4 days. Gear Notes: 4 alpine draws, .5 cam, 40m rope, basic glacier gear Approach Notes: The climb itself was easy. The bulk of the work and trip report are on the Eiley Wiley Ridge approach.
  6. 4 points
    Trip: Johannesburg Mountain - NE Buttress Trip Date: 08/01/2020 Trip Report: Over the weekend my friend Matt and I climbed the NE Buttress of Jburg. I won't add too much beta-wise since theres a decent amount out there, and I wouldn't want to take any adventure out of it for those of you wanting to climb it. I'll just emphasize some key points and warnings, but Steph Abegg's write up is as comprehensive as it gets (as usual). I'll try and keep this chronological but expect some tangents and pauses for reflecting. We left Seattle around 5:30 and got to the Cascade Pass trailhead around 8am and started walking to the base of the route. We followed the slabs to the left of the left most waterfall at the constriction of the CJ couloir, per Steph's write up. Solid secure scrambling with a step of sketchy 5th class gets you up to the first snow patch. We then downward traversed over to a brushy bench to start the vertical schwack. We more or less found a route through the trees that felt relatively well traveled. It stayed More or less on the left side of the '51 rib. If you can see the CJ couloir faintly through the trees, you're doing fine. Some interesting moves through chimneys formed by krummholz. At any point you find yourself getting pissed off through the trees, just remember it the density of the brush thats your protection from tumbling off the mountain. We busted through the trees and into the steep heather and then finally onto the rock. Luckily it was all dry, I couldn't imagine doing this route a day after a rain. The initial scrambling was very secure and kind of steepened, became a bit more loose as we did a upward traverse to the '57 rib. We encountered nothing harder than 5.6 but simul soloed all of the rock. This being said, we didn't regret bringing the rock rack. We got up to the 7100' bivy a bit after 1pm and just decided to keep moving. I know, I can feel some of your rolling your eyes. We had perfectly soft snow through the ridge and headwall, which was nice since we were in trail runners/ approach shoes and universal crampons. We summited around 3pm and took some photos, signed the register (I don't always, but felt like I needed to on this one). The descent down the E ridge went smoothly thanks to the occasional cairn. We stayed about 40-50' below the crest the whole time until we got to the first rap station. We did about 5 or 6 raps with some down climbing to get us to the top of CJ couloir. The rap stations were looking a bit weathered and tired so we backed them up with gear on the first rap off of them or added slings. We were making great time so we thought to just try and c2c even though we had bivy gear. This would prove to be a bad idea. The traverse to Doug's Direct went a lot slower than expected. Side hilling through herbs. In the fading light we mis-identified the wrong location for DD. I was going off Steph's map, which I think has DD a bit too far up the ridge. Go off her photo/overlay, its spot on. The steep heather and loose scrambling up to the ridge is very time consuming as well. We got up to where we thought DD was and it was getting dark. I pulled my pack off to get my head lamp and I forgot I had my ice axe quick stowed through my pack shoulder strap. I heard one clink and I knew exactly what had just happened. I turned around to watch my ice axe tomahawk down the north side of Mixup. I was so angry at myself. We didn't feel we were at the right location so we investigated some near by notches. It was only getting darker. At one point a hold I was grabbing dislodged and sent me sliding down heather. I thought I was going to go for a long ride. Somehow while keeping the block off my head as I was sliding I was able to grab a fistful of heather and arrest my fall. I was okay. Things we spiraling out of control and we decided to just descend down to the lower angle heather and just bivy like we had planned. I consider myself a pretty calculated person, fatigue can strip that away from you no problem. We found a decent spot to bivy around 6300' directly under the actual DD late into the night. I mostly tossed and turned under a very bright moon and just thought about how I got a relatively cheap lesson on sticking to a plan and not forcing descent in the dark. Other thoughts were, "This trip was supposed to be about climbing a new mountain in a familiar place and get back to why you started getting out into the alpine in the first place." "Why were you trying to blast through it and force a car to car?" "How are you going to get out of here without an ice axe?" When I awoke I looked at the photo/overlay I had saved to my phone and saw the exact point for Doug's Direct. I felt so dumb. We ate and packed up and started heading up to DD. Miraculously, Matt found an old rusty pick axe head for me to use as an ice axe. Going down Dougs direct is mostly secure but I ABSOLUTELY wouldn't have wanted to do it in the dark. Then you're on the snow below Mixup and then the Ptarmigan Traverse route. Luckily the snow was low enough angle that I didn't have to use my trusty new axe. I was looking for my lost ice axe the entire time. It was so nice to be on low angle snow and then a trail finally. This was an incredible trip on an impressive mountain. Just enough asterisks/ near misses to have it permanently seared into my memory. Very humbling. Scrambling low on the route. Downward traverse to the trees. Shwacking. East ridge descent. Rapping towards CJ. Looks like "Sound of Music" but all I can hear is my feet sliding and ankles twisting. Gear Notes: Ice axe, Crampons, Approach shoes. 60m rope. Small rock rack. Work Gloves. Approach Notes: Spitting distance from the Cascade Pass trailhead.
  7. 4 points
    Trip: Glacier Peak & Mt. Pilchuck from Puget Sound Round Trip in Single Push - Standard from South (N. Sauk) Trip Date: 07/25/2020 Trip Report: As the "location" description states, this was a "single push", all human powered, sea-to-GP-to-Pilchuck-to-sea, 27 hrs and 44 min. I reached the Glacier Peak summit from sea (Puget Sound) level in 11 hrs and 7 minutes, starting at 10PM on Fri, 7/25/2020 from a point on the water a few miles west of I-5 and Marysville, after a 60 mile combination paved and unpaved bicycle rides via Barlow Pass, then heading out on foot from the North Sauk River TH. My time from the TH to the summit was 6 hrs 49 min, and that includes the windy/cold 14 min transition to some different gear (but still minimal/light) and a concentrated downing of food at a lower/base camp on the White Chuck Glacier a bit off from the beaten path because of the great rock to sit on, so it was worth the travel extra time. I did have a physical problem during the bicycle ride that caused a collective delay for me that was timed as over 12 minutes, so without that snafu my sea to summit time would have been sub-11 hours. Round trip from the TH to summit was 13 hrs 24 min, including both that 1st 14 min trans and a second 16 minutes one on the way back, and also enjoyed 9 amazing minutes on the summit. Glacier Gap (high camp) to the summit was 2 hrs 2 min. which included the time to put on Kahtoola light crampons (not their Microspikes, which I did use also but on the lower glaciers, etc.). So travel time was sub 2 hrs. I Did a bit of running on the river trail on the way out, but not on the way back because it would have compromised the sizable amount of work I still needed to do after returning to the TH. This was a supported trip, including my super talented guide, Aaron Mainer, that I've worked with on these projects over a period of 13 years, who I met up with at the White Chuck Glacier transition point, and he expertly paced me from there to the summit. Even when I lead on the exposed lower rib scree stretch, he monitored me closely. Pacing is important, but even more so is the safety aspect. On ult-high endurance endeavors my wife appreciates that I have a skilled guide to climb with who knows how to maximize safety (as well as speed and fun all at the same time). Back at the TH, I bicycled back down to the Mountain Loop Biway, then back up to Barlow Pass (tough), then back down again to 1,000 ft before starting up the Mt. Pilchuck road. Anyone who has been there knows how bad the road up is, but on an off round bicycle you can wind your way through the potholes so it's manageable (and exciting on the way down). TH at 3,000 ft, and then hiked the remaining 2,300 ft to the fire lookout (5,341 ft). Summit-to-summit was 12 hrs 12 min. Sub 12 would have been nice but let me tell you that after almost 24 hrs on the move, one does what they can. It was at about 9:30 PM and there was a party going on in an around the lookout, with people putting up decorations inside. This was troubling to me both because I don't know it that's allowed to be taken over, especially during a pandemic (...but whatever...), and also because I was tired and just wanted to enjoy the bit of emotional peace, quiet I was expecting to have, plus solitude (except for Aaron, who hiked out and then drove to the TH to go up with me and make sure I was safe coming down the bouldery/hazardous upper have of the trail when coming down in the dark fairly fast). People surely wondered why I was wearing a helmet, but I didn't care that they had no idea what I'd done before getting there. After the wild night ride back to the hwy passing cars along the way, and then back to the start, the total time was 27 hrs and 44 min. So I finally finished all 5 WA volcanos, round trip single-push from sea level, with extra peaks included for extra challenge. Before this I did Columbia River (Kalama/Woodlind) to Mt. Adams/St. Helens summits single push and back, in 2018. My Cascade Climbers post for Shuksan/Baker in 2011 is: https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/82364-tr-mt-shuksan-and-mt-baker-in-single-push-fisher-chimneys-shuksan-and-park-glacier-baker-8132011/?tab=comments#comment-1026406 And before that in 2008 was Puget Sound/Rainier Summit/Puget Sound in 19 hrs 57 min. Like all the other things, like video from NWCN, etc. It's all disappeared. So much for documentation on the internet (frustrating ) But here is an important remaining reference to me on this site. Someone gave me credit:https://fastestknowntime.proboards.com/thread/54/mt-rainier-wa That's it. Shuksan/Baker made it onto the front page of the Sunday Bellingham Herald with a big picture, but they long ago purged all their old stories because the parent company wanted them to. I begged them to bring it back, and they did, but then it disappeared again. Same with Tacoma News Tribune (top 10 adventures of the year article). I'd like to get the Seattle Times to pick this up, but we'll see. I'm generally private about my endeavors, for various reasons you can imagine, but now that I've finished the 5 volcanos (and I'm deep into 57 yrs old now) I want to write out them. Not a big social media guy, but have considered YouTube, Outside Mag., etc. Any other ideas? -Randall Nordfors, Woodinville WA. Washington native. I also go by "Randy" sometimes. Gear Notes: Went light. Short pants, Kahtoola microspikes and Kahtoola lightweight crampons. Poles, and light boots with gaitors, minimal pack. No ax or helmet. Knew from experience on GP that it was an okay gear choice on a perfect day (which it was). Approach Notes: West of Marysville by bicycle to North Sauk River TH, then standard route from south.
  8. 4 points
    Trip: Torment forbidden traverse - Tft Trip Date: 07/28/2020 Trip Report: While driving to the cascade pass trailhead Monday night I noticed that I didn’t seem to care about climbing. So I was a little unsure about why I was going but part of me knew I would be having a great time the next day. Arriving in the night, the sound and sights of Johannesburg (snow glowing in the starlight) rekindled my stoke. I slept about 4 hours, then rolled down to the boston basin trailhead and hit the trail just before 4am. Even in the early morning the creeks were raging. I’ve always beenable to find a dry route through these creeks, but not so on Tuesday. I took time to remove my shoes and dry my feet afterwards at 3 crossings. It was going to be a long day and I didn’t want to start out with wet shoes. At Boston basin I started ascending too soon but fortunately realizedthis without getting too far off, descending 200 ft or so to the SW around cliffs to get to the slabs leading to Torment. I stocked up on water at the last flow I saw a few hundred feet below the notch. I noticed another party nearing the top of Torment, which was a little surprising for a weekday. I would later pass them on the steep snow traverse while they were doing the rock bypass. The first thing I was worried about for this route was the moat at the notch. It wasn’t too bad. Snow was pretty hard there. Could get dicey soon. Moving across the moat the gully was steep and muddy. I squirmed up the gully using my axe in the ice to my left for leverage and getting a bit of a mud bath in the process. Didn’t feel super secure here given the steep mud. At the top of that snow+ice I was able to move from the mud to rock and was soon at the top of the gully. The first couple moves off the deck were harder than I expected, maybe 5.6. It was all pretty easy from there. The two keys to the route finding are to take the ledges down and left after that first steep 15 feet, and then to go left when you get to the gully that’s around that corner, instead of entering the gully. It’s all pretty intuitive after that, and there are rap anchors along the route to help you keep your bearings. I thought Torment was quite fun actually. The rock isn’t terrible and the Johannesburg and Eldorado backdrops are excellent. Would be worthwhile on its own, and makes for a nice warmup for the traverse. After descending Torment, at the notch with the rappel to north side snow I saw there was a block of snow bridging the moat that will probably be gone in a few days. But since it looked like there was a bergschrund below I did the first rap anyway, heading skier’s right toward another rap. Unfortunately that one wouldn’t reach a safe spot on the snow, so I kept rapping skier’s right along rock ledges. Finally on the 4th rap from the notch I got to a flat spot on snow. Looking back I saw the bergschrund was actually still closed at skier’s left. I could have avoided all the raps if I had gone that way. But it was very steep there, almost vertical. Pretty intimidating from above. I wasted some time with all the raps and scouting the terrain, but it felt safer than the skier’s left option. After you get to the next rock ridge the terrain is indistinct. I followed the path of least resistance, hoping I wouldn’t get cliffed out, and it worked ok. After crossing over, the route then goes straight up the ridge on its east side. I was pleasantly surprised with a lot of wildflowers in this section just before the steep snow traverse. I brought two ice tools and steel strap-on crampons. This was probably overkill. Snow was pretty soft, so a single regular ax and aluminum crampons would have been ok for these conditions. It was almost too soft. Occasionally the snow would collapse a few extra inches under my feet while shifting my weight to the left. Would have been worried about getting mushed off the face if it were much warmer. Not sure that pickets would have been any help, so going solo here wasn’t necessarily more dangerous than pitching it out, maybe safer (faster). The traverse doesn’t look very wide, but carefully side stepping took me about a half hour. It was a little tedious. Next time I’d like to do the rock bypass instead. I took my first real break of the day afterward, digging into lunch and trying to dry out a little. Then I continued on the south side. There is a snowpatch dripping into some slabs that requires a little care. I was traversing the top of the slabs near the snow and got sketched out for the last 10 feet, backed up, and found a better way a little lower. Next came some nice granite boulder hopping and then another vegetated flowery area. Did some more boulder hopping from there to regain the ridge. Exposure along the ridge was pretty fun, but not quite as good as the E ridge . The rock was quite good, reminded me of the upper part of the NW ridge. My decision to climb the route despite low motivation was being validated with every step. I stayed mostly on the ridge, with a little bypass on the north side at one point. In at least one place I did some steep downclimbing instead of rapping. Near the end of the traverse I headed south on sandy ledges to reach the base of the west ridge notch. At this time there was one party that had just descended, one still descending, and one probably just arriving at the summit. Busy, but not terribly crowded. I hadn’t found much info about doing the climb c2c beforehand, so was a little worried about squeezing it all in. Would have been ok skipping the W ridge if I was short on time. And I had been moving cautiously throughout the day, at times even timidly. Even so, it was still early afternoon at this point so I felt I had the time. I put on rock shoes and put a rope on my back. I had downclimbed the route in the past (after NW ridge) so it was familiar. But I had not yet ascended it. Was nice to see it again. I like the first wide step across a gap at the start, and the last slightly overhanging block that you have to downclimb right before the summit. It was a warm, clear day and summit views were obviously wonderful. I downclimbed the ridge except for one rap at the 5.6 tower, where I had stashed the rope I brought. The other party on the traverse was arriving at the base of the W ridge when I got back to my pack. Changed back into approach shoes and downclimbed most of the gullies leading to boston basin, with one rap at the end onto the snow. From there, some approach shoe skiing, passing through boston basin, then marmot metropolis, and then another nice break after crossing the E fork of Boston creek. For all its thunder there was a way through that was only about knee deep. It wasn’t clear to me how long to expect the different portions of the climb to take. I had guessed it would be 15-18 hours total. It ended up being a little less than 15. I noted the time for various points along the climb, in case it helps anyone planning a c2c trip. Of course snow+moat conditions could make things faster or slower, belaying any of the route would make it slower, and trying to get off Forbidden on a weekend is a guaranteed traffic jam. That said, I took my time, didn’t race. 3:50 leave trailhead 7:10 moat crossing start of Torment 8:30 summit of Torment 8:50 first rap to Forbidden glacier to begin traverse 10:05 done rapping 10:50 begin steep snow traverse 11:20 finish steep snow traverse, lunch 11:45 resume traverse on S side 12:40 start of sidewalk 1:10 base of Forbidden W ridge 1:25 start climbing W ridge 1:50 summit Forbidden 2:05 start W ridge descent (including one rap) 2:40 back at the start of W ridge, start descending gullies 3:40 out of the gullies onto snow 6:35 back at car This is a fantastic route, one of my favorites so far. Especially everything east of the steep snow traverse. Would do again Gear Notes: Rope, tools, crampons Approach Notes: Creeks are high
  9. 4 points
    Trip: Mount Terror - West Ridge Trip Date: 07/25/2020 Trip Report: Mount Terror 8151’ Trip Report I did a solo 3-day climb of the West Ridge of Mount Terror over the weekend. The weather was perfect all weekend and hot (80’s). Very few people do this climb in a given year. I was the first person on the summit registry this year. This is a climb you earn through suffering but the payoff is worth it. This climb tests your navigation skills, fitness, and your overall mountaineering skills. I was thinking about not bring a rope for the climb since I had heard there is a 4th class route up the steep start of the ridge climb. I was glad that I brought the rope. The supposed 4th class route looked like dog shit in my opinion, and I climb some loose, nasty rock on a regular basis. The low 5th class route up the middle looked pretty good, so I climbed that instead. I would not want to climb down that section, one slip and you are FUBAR. I brought a 30 meter glacier rope for rappelling and it worked perfectly for this trip. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Bring full gaiters for the extensive bushwhacking required for the approach. I brought half gaiters and wore shorts to start because it was hot and it saved some weight. My legs now look like hamburger. 2. The 30 meter glacier rope worked great for me but a longer rope would give you more options. There are plenty of anchors already established. I brought anchor material but didn’t need it. 3. DO NOT LOSE THE TRAIL. If you lose the trail go back and find it. The terrain in the Pickets does not suffer fools. You can wander for days out there and still not get anywhere. 4. Crossing Terror Creek sucked! The water is high right now and moving fast. The only place I found to cross was about 15 minutes downstream of the trail on the nice side. It was a log that goes about 2/3 of the way across the creek to some rocks that you can jump on to get across. It takes twice as long on the nasty side to get back to the trail that goes straight up the ridge. Falling in the creek at that spot would be bad. 5. Water on the ridge up to camp is non-existent. Get all the water you will need at Terror Creek before you start up the trail going up the ridge. There is no water from 2200’ to 5600’. 6. The trail heading up to the ridge is one of the steepest climber’s trails I have ever climbed up. I tapped out at 5600’ on day 1. 7. There is a sharp turn in the trail at around 3800’ that puts you on the ridge in a nice spot. It is marked well with a dead tree that has a stick across it and flagging tape. 8. There is still a lot of snow above 5600’. I was on snow until the very top of the Terror Col on summit day. The snow in the gully to Terror Col is steep, and when it is soft it is nerve-racking. Travel Time for reference: Day 1 (approach), 9 hours – Day 2 (summit), 11.5 hours – Day 3 (back to car), 6.5 hours. Gear used: Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons, Helmet, 30 meter Rope & Harness. Rocky tent platform at Terror Creek. If you don't come across this spot, you are off route. Trail start on the other side of the Terror Creek for the death march up the ridge to bliss. Remember this spot, it is very important. Terror Creek crossing location. It is not as nice as it looks. View of the route to Mount Terror gully from the 6400' camp at the Barrier Col Base of Terror gully (full of snow). Yes, it is that steep. Potential 4th Class section up to West Ridge? I call bullshit. Side view of lower part of 5th Class up ridge. Straight on view of wall you will be climbing. It doesn't look quite that steep in person. View looking down the 5th class sections. Heather goat trail that leads to the actual summit block. Airy summit. Summit Registry, Thanks Fay Pullen! Is the effort worth it? The pictures do no justice to the beauty of the area. Gear Notes: Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons, Helmet, 30 meter Rope & Harness, Bring Full Gaiters for the bushwhacking. Approach Notes: Terror Creek crossing sucked, See Tip #4. Limited water on approach, See Tip #5
  10. 4 points
    Trip: Mt. Index - North Norwegian Trip Date: 06/25/2020 Trip Report: Bringin big walling back! I’ve grown up in a vacuum, an existence in climbing severely lacking a critical component. There’s no fucking wall climbing in the NW! Or at least nobody does it, and when they do they retrobolt it for the sport wanking mutants. This is a trip report and a calling. Last year I caught a bug and became obsessed with a specific wall, the North Norwegian. Maybe the largest proper wall around and no one climbs it, 5.9 A3, that’s a damn moderate. I scheduled attempts and got shut with weather and work until sept. I convinced my friend Lani to go and check it out, work of course cut into the plans and shattered our window from 6 days to 3. So we cut the bolt kit down to the minimum “Peter couldn’t have put that bad of bolts in could he?”, oh how naive we were. We ran up there with like 6 bolts and a handful of rivets in case any blew. We climbed the free pitches up to the “bivy” in the topo and climbed the 2 pitches above. The anchor for the first pitch was a rusted carbon 1/4” wedge and a excavated #3. The 3 fell out when I kicked the rock above the anchor and the structure of the rock in the belay changed a bit. Needless to say the first few beak placements were moderately stressful. Reaching the second anchor we found a couple more gnarly rusted 1/4” carbon bolts. One I pulled out with a light tug of the hammer. I slugged one of our stainless bolts in there and we decided to head down. Not enough bolts with us to tackle that whale! The thought of that bail festered all winter and plans percolated into the spring. Weather persisted to be quite shit for quite too long. We escaped down to the valley for a lap on the captain and raced back to wa to impulse take advantage of a weather window. A last minute call to my friend Kyle and we were 3. 3 bumbling idiots lumping way to much shit up to lake serene. After the taste of the doorish route we determined it would be the same amount of effort to climb a new line. We choose a weakness that runs the left side of the buttress, opposite of the two existing routes. On our first stint up the wall, we pushed the route about 700’. Of course the cascades had its way with us and we got plenty of rain half the time we were up there. Turns out our line happens to blast straight up a seasonal water streak, hence the nice cracks... so even when the sun was out the soakage continued! It was mud wrestling, manual labor, much trundling and plenty of hilarious fuckery. We set up the route to return and our window of time off is narrowly approaching and stoke is high! Hence the spray! Pitch 1 is more or less shared with the doorish line (or at least what we could discern from the mank topo). Getting to the base was entertaining and involved with a couple hundred feet of neve unexpectedly gaurding the wall. We had very minimal snow gear so I ended up hauling the pigs off a single ice axe anchor, which mostly worked, until it didnt and all parties went flying. Quite entertaining for a little 20 degree slope. Eventually we got the bags up there and docked on an axe and we could climb. A delicate saunter up the pitch was mostly familiar, but I veered left towards our crack. I think I found 1 piece of gear in some 200’, but at least two points of contact were mostly attached to the wall most of the time, that’s redundancy right ther. I stretched the rope and got to a horrid low angle stance on the “ledge” and drove a shit beak in to tag the anchor kit up. The sloping shit ledges would become a theme of the route so far. Bolts in I started to haul, Kyle helped the bags surmount the chossy 5.7 as dusk rolled. Lani finally gets up to the lake having climbing baker that morning and we decide to convene on the ground for some sleep. We had to bring one bag back down to fill up water at the lake as the moats were particularly man eating and scary to get water from. Morning came and we all set our wheels in motion. I jugged the lead line and stole one of the ropes to start soloing the next pitch while Kyle and Lani got water and hauled the load to the pitch one anchor. Pitch 2 started out with a nice 5.8 slab that led up to some C2 choss blocks to an A3 crack up a face. At one point an expanding beak popped out a little and I’m pretty sure I’d a shit myself if I hadn’t just emptied my bowels. This angry beak proceeded to pop 2 more times until it was only in there about an eighth inch. Held in by broken dreams and the tears of a “fear fucked orangutan”. I got 2 two lobe cams shoved behind a loose block and equalized em and jumped on em. Much fuckery persisted as the junk show assembled at the base of the pitch. I eventually made it up to the “gnar shard”. Figured I’d kill my partners if I tried to climb up through this thing this far away from them so I again tagged up the drill. So much for the plan to stretch the pitches out! Unsure if I’d already dead ended the team I figured I’d go up and check this block out. An easy C1 crack led up to the big stack of death blocks, I looked around and tapped it with my hammer. I felt like I could deconstruct it at a reasonable pace to huck the individual blocks clear of the belay. The first few were toasted sized and easy to manage. Then I had to top step and try the big un’. It unexpectedly popped and nailed me in the collar bone. I wrestled the microwave and won! Using my body to shield the belay I was able to will it away. Some primal noises ensued, the route goes on! We were expecting weather at this point so I was tasked with locating a reasonably sheltered spot to set up a portaledge camp. The easy C1 crack continued up to a large overhanging corner beneath a roof. Bingo! I started setting up the bivy anchor while the clusterfuck migrated. The next would be the last pitch for my block, so I decided to fix while Kyle and Lani set up the ledges and got camp situated. This would prove to be the crux of the route so far (A3+ or so) and the first rivets to come out. The rock quality however increased substantially. There was a heinous water streak coming off a roof partway up the pitch. Climbing in a waterfall is... fine... the pitch topped out with a bunch of cool natural hooks in near overhanging terrain to a small ledge in a mud waterfall corner. I fixed the ropes and zipped the line to a warm camp. A whiteout rolled in that night. The whiteout and drizzles came and went throughout the next day but the water streak provided a constant deluge of water. The weather was never bad but conditions would have been... engaging. Nobody could muster the motivation to go up there and lead the mud waterfall pitch in those conditions. We decided we were lame and were ok with that and drank some tea. The next morning we awoke to sun, much needed to dry our stuff out from the “dry our stuff out” day. We rambled up to the top of the fixed lines and Kyle volunteered to take the next block. He started up a relatively dry but mud filled corner. This dry corner soon became a fun experiment in the dynamics of daily snow melt cycles. It slowly progressed into a muddy waterfall. The muddy corner became full of death blocks and the drill came out to avoid some heinous choss. Out of sight we heard “fuck I just broke my finger!”. Having not heard rockfall we guessed Kyle smashed his finger driving a rivet in. Turns out that was the case. We showed up at the belay and his finger was starting to turn funny colors in a particularly unnatural direction. Kyle touted it was “just the tip” and there was nothing to do about it so we decided to continue on. He was however not psyched on leading, so I was somehow nominated to continue up the soaking wet pitch above. Again aiming for what looked like an obvious ledge, I found fun and solid thin nailing up to another shitty sloping stance. I started to set up the anchor for another bivy as things had progressed to a particularly damp state of affairs. The positioning of the ledges was tricky but we managed and settled in to weigh options. With our time off from work running low we decided to use the time we had to better set up the route for a return visit (trundling n whatnot). The rappel was mostly without incident, other then Kyle sending off a smart car sized boulder that caused a house sized chunk of snow to collapse into the moat. Coming off the wall I reaffirmed a concept and am psyched to turn it into a project. I want to write a PNW big wall guidebook, I know the walls are out there, most are unrepeated Pete Doorish obscurities with death anchors. I’m starting a tick list of faces, features, walls and routes, I think these lines could use some updated anchor bolts and some friggin traffic! Here’s my rough list so far, who’s got suggestions? I’m not super familiar with sw bc walls. Write me the most fucked up tick list you can! NNB (gotta wrap up our line this month and update hardware on that doorish line at some point, also clear all the trash rope left on the doorish line and voodoo proj) South Norwegian N face Baring utw routes Diamond on N face bear SE face tower mt e face liberty bell anything else I’m missing in the wa pass/ rainy pass zone? the chief/Squamish wall lines Big wall belt!! Who’s read those aac posts?!? southern bc has so much granite, what are the biggest baddest faces up there? theres purportedly a wall style route on slesse mt snoqualmie of all places tower rock down south sounds cool Gear Notes: Evolving Approach Notes: Jaunt up lake serene trail
  11. 4 points
    Trip: Forbidden Peak - Northwest Face Trip Date: 07/25/2020 Trip Report: I had a great time on the NW Face of Forbidden this weekend. Conditions were great, but it's a long walk back there. Full report with photos: https://spokalpine.com/2020/07/29/forbidden-peak-nw-face-iv-5-8/ Gear Notes: Singles .2-2, doubles .3-2 Approach Notes: Long, but scenic
  12. 4 points
    I was going to post a trip report for the Inspiration Traverse July 17-20 from North to South, but the important approach beta would seem redundant. I will just add to the visual stoke and affirm that this is one of the better traverses that I have done in the Cascades. \
  13. 4 points
    Trip: Mt Baker - North Ridge Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: From a week ago. TR with nice formatting lives here (still figuring out how to get copy-paste to play nice without reuploading all the photos): https://www.natexploring.com/tripreports/north-ridge-baker-tr Longest approach for a single pitch of ice I’ve done in a while Bare Bones Route: WI3- Ice, Snow, Alpine, 3000 ft, Grade III* Ascent via North Ridge. Ski down the Coleman-Deming Length: Two days with an overnight at Black Buttes to catch that alpenglow and sleep Dates: July 18-19, 2020 Climbing Gear Here’s my regular PSA that just because someone on the internet used a certain rack (or lack thereof) does not mean it’s the right rack for you. Grivel G20 Plus Crampons monopoints (cause I’m too lazy to switch em out) 2x Carbon Tech Machine 5x screws ranging from 13-17cm (with 1 token stubby) 5 draws; 2x double-lengths Beal Joker 9.1mm 60m dry-treated rope 1 picket (not used, classic) The Details We took a leisurely time approaching from Heliotrope trailhead and heading up to Black Buttes Camp. It was my first time on Baker since I did a mountaineering course when I was 15 (shout-out to Lakeside School for putting on the best outdoor trips). So instead of a typical c2c, I wanted some extra time to get acquainted with the mountain, routes, crevasse fields, and savor the sunset alpenglow of course. Small humans, big packs We made high camp with plenty of time to spare to do a few crevasse rescue refreshers, drink tea, eat ramen and relax. We brought two tents and a bivy bag for the 3 of us (guess who had the bivy bag and was envious of the other two…). Views were incredible and weather window was ideal. We had no wind, sun and just slightly below temps overnight to firm the snow up. We went to bed around 9pm with a planned 3am wake-up. I like my sleep and if there’s no reason for a super early alpine start, I’d rather let my body rest and reconstruct itself. Layers upon layers. Classic PNW Bivy bag life I lost my blow-up sleeping pad somewhere, so for this bivy I used a foam z-rest, a Mountain Hardwear Phantom Alpine 30F sleeping bag and my down belay puffy. Stayed warm all night and even slept through a couple of the groups making noise at midnight and 1am for the Coleman-Deming ascent. 3am came. We boiled water. Downed some oatmeal and suited up for glacier travel to the tune of Rise Up (highly recommend for a morning pick-me-up) A note about route-finding: I don’t recommend camping where we did. It’s ideal for the CD route, but not for the North Ridge. We ended up descending about 900', crossing some very large crevasses to gain the route-proper. Would’ve been faster to camp lower down. Blurry alpenglow morning shots as we descended and then navigated onto the route (how I usually feel at 4am). Some pretty large crevasses to get over across the main drag Hitting the morning sun rays after some tricky crevasse meandering. Soon we were on the approach to the crux of the route (the part I was most excited for): the ice headwall. Kinda Games of Thrones-looking. We caught up to 4 other parties at this point that presumably got less sleep and were more ambitious in their alpine-starting. The easiest way up is on the left through a lower-angle section of ice, and is where the other parties were clustered in a bit of a climber traffic-jam. Not wanting to get cold and also because I was excited to get a real pitch of ice in, I took a line up to the right (to stay out of the way of the other climbers and not hit anyone with delaminating dinnerplates). It had an overhanging ice bulge that was fun to climb with skis on the back. Got my hips as far in as possible to keep my skis and pack from pulling me off. Went up and over the overhang without a hitch and the climbing was stellar. Gotta love glacier ice. Worth the thousands of feet of elevation gain and crevasse slogging. Note to self: when climbing an overhang with skis on your back, figure out a way to do a diagonal carry, because the tips kept hitting the ice anytime I so much as thought about looking down to find good feet. Live and learn. From here it was cruiser ice. I soloed another 2 pitches of low-angle ice and set anchors to keep my partners safe. Pro was meh up here, and I cursed at the picket and ended up using my tools and an ice screw for anchors where I could find solid enough ice. It’s not like this is a bad anchor, but it’s not like this snice is very good either. It held and was solid when my partners weighted the rope, I’m just used to my pure blue waterfall ice. Bringing my partners up the last two technical pitches. I was envious of Randy’s diagonal carry which would’ve made the ice climbing easier. Some more crevasse and snow slope navigation was required from the technical crux to reach the summit. Definitely a no-fall zone One of my dreams is to climb in Antarctica. This frozen tidal wave of pure power is what I anticipate that landscape to look like: minimalism at its best. Mountaineering is a lot of walking. We reached the summit uneventfully, snacked, lounged, summit selfied and FINALLY took those skis off our backs. A note about my skiing. I’m a climber who skis, not the other way around. The skiing was by far the crux of the day for me. I get tense, anxious and feel like I can’t control all the variables. But this is why you bring partners with complementary skillsets. Randy and Tyler were patient and coached me down the Roman Headwall and navigated us safely back to camp through the crevasse fields. “Can I take the bunny slope guys?” Some crazy seracs and yearly layers in the glacier pack that you can see top right. Back at camp. Quick break, pack up, ski to where the snow ends, throw the skis back on the packs and run down the trail to some beers and water. Why does the pack always feel and look bigger on the way down? It’s a mystery of the universe. Hiking back out through wildflower meadows. No mosquitoes this time around! Was that one pitch of ice worth it? Hell yeah it was. Was it worth carrying skis up and over? Yes. So much faster to get down that way. Good people, good climbing, good weather. This smile says it all Gear Notes: Grivel G20 Plus Crampons monopoints (cause I’m too lazy to switch em out) 2x Carbon Tech Machine 5x screws ranging from 13-17cm (with 1 token stubby) 5 draws; 2x double-lengths Beal Joker 9.1mm 60m dry-treated rope 1 picket (not used, classic Approach Notes: Don't do what we did and camp at high camp for the CD, cause you'll have to descend ~900' to gain the route proper across a crevassed section
  14. 4 points
    Trip: Mount Buckner - North Face Trip Date: 07/19/2020 Trip Report: The North Face of Buckner has eluded us the last couple seasons getting weathered out every time we planned it. Last year hunkering down in a whiteout at the Boston/Sahale Col overnight hoping for a break in the weather that didn’t happen. YouTube Video This weekend everything came together with a clear weather, not too high of temps and the route conditions appeared promising. Although we didn’t know what the route itself was going to be like we had seen a photo of the Boston Glacier from the summit of Bucker from the weekend before which made the transition to the glacier look easy (from a distance). I drove up to Marblemount on Friday to pickup a Boston Glacier permit not wanting to wait in a long line on Sat morning which worked out. Still arriving at 2:30pm there were 9 parties waiting for the 1 ranger helping with permits and the first 2 parties took at least 20 minutes each apparently doing their vacation planning at the permit window. Around 3:30 with about 6 parties ahead of me a ranger came out to announce they were closing in 30 minutes and they wouldn’t get to everyone and some would have to come back in the morning. No way I’m driving 6 hours on Friday for nothing. Then a ranger came out and gave a guy on the side his permit who was behind me. Then they had a couple extra rangers come out last minute to expedite things and got our Boston Glacier permit just before they closed. Back home and finished packing and a 3:30am wakeup Sat morning for the drive back to the Boston Basin trailhead and was able to get one of the last parking spots and were on the trail by 7:15am. About 5.5 hours up to the Boston/Sahale Col and met up with another party of two doing the same route. Lunch break on the col which is the furthest we had ever been on either of the Buckner routes. Scrambled over to the base of Boston Peak which is a very exposed thin ridge with steep drops on both sides and a lot of loose rock. Found a nice flat rock and took a long nap looking at the route and views for a while. Once we got around the corner saw that the Boston Glacier snow came all the way up and it was as expected, an easy walk onto the glacier and down to where we would setup camp. No sketchy downclimb transition. The other party kept going and dropped further down towards the rocks closer to the base of the climb. All of us had gotten up around 3:30am and took our time getting ready. By 5am we had camp packed. For us was more of a 1 mile walk staying high and closer to the ridge navigating around some big crevasses while the other party had about a 1000ft gain up to the base from below and we all converged about the same time. Rodica lead off doing the lower portion of the route. We stuck close to the rocks on the right-hand side and weaved around some bergschrunds at the start and had to step over one starting to form. Once we approached the middle of the climb the other party took the lead and I took our lead through the middle sections. It was mostly steep snow from that point placing 1 picket between us until it constricted to the point, we had to transition right over some rocks which was loose, wet, muddy, kitty litter but not terribly hard. Not much in the way of rock pro but I did find a spot for one cam before moving into the rocks. Above the rocks it was a snow traverse back left where I brought Rodica up and I was able to make a marginal rock anchor. North Face route has a lot of bergshrunds opening up but were able to zigzag around them at the start and step across one starting to open up. Left side variation may be the way to go within a week. There is no continuous snow from bottom to top. It narrows to a constriction near the top and requires a transition across some rock. Loose, wet, muddy, kitty litter rock with little to no pro. Possible variation to the left but not sure how easy that rock scramble would be that would put you onto the upper slope a bit further down. Once above the constriction move left over the edge and its the last 300ft of steep snow straight to the summit. From here it was maybe another 300ft to the summit and Rodica took lead following the other pair and it was just a long steep snow slope up to the summit. It took about 4.5 hours for the climb itself which put us there around 10:30 and we took a long break on the summit. On the way down we had considered doing Horseshoe but we took too long a break and with the other party doing it ahead of us figured that would put us home past midnight so we opted to head back which was around noon by then. By 2:30 we were partway up the route back to Sahale camp and at the rock scramble portion of the way back up. Since we had never been here before we got a little off track where the obvious footpath stops. We had looked right and just saw a steep cliff with a narrow couple foot path but that didn’t look traveled (it turned out the route is a rock scramble straight up from that point and the patch gets lost in the rocks). We saw a lot of boot prints and well-traveled trail going left so we followed that well around the corner the other way which also petered out at rocks. So, we figured it was a rock scramble up. But where we went up started turning into 4th/5th class rock climbing and we wound up stuck at someone else’s bailout slings. So instead of exploring with full packs and hot and exhausted we decided to rappel down and backtrack to that first cliff and ledge. After some poking around we found the rock scramble up and on the path. That pretty much blew the couple hours we saved by not doing Horseshoe peak. In hindsight now looking at our gps tracks where we blew our time doing the 4th/low 5th climbing and bailing back down at the bailing slings if we had continued up climbing another 40 to 60 feet would have reconnected with the route. After that it was just a long straight forward slog back to the Sahale camp, down Sahale Arm to Cascade Pass back to the parking lot then down the road to the car by 9pm. Of course, everything was closed on the way out, so it was dinner at Taco Bell pushing midnight on the way home in Marysville. Gear Notes: 4 pickets, 2 screws (didn't use), light alpine rack (4 cams, 6 nuts) - only used a small cam a couple times. Approach Notes: Transition onto Boston Glacier is in great shape, easy walk onto the glacier from the ledge leading to the base of the Boston Peak summit block. Kept a high line from camp as near to the ridge line as possible skirting the large crevasses nearing the route.
  15. 4 points
    Trip: Silverstar Mountain - Complete East Ridge Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: Over the weekend Gabe and I ticked off another Wa Pass obscurity with the East Ridge of Silverstar. Apart from a two part NWMJ story (P1 and P2), Allen/Layton's Wa pass traverse, and a few comments from Scott Johnson we had very little specific beta on the route. I'm curious how many people have climbed this route. It proved to be quite the adventure and I feel like it would be a shame to take that from the next party to go up there. So in order to preserve the adventure and mystery of the route I've decided to be vague on specifics and heavy on photos for this TR. Here are a few notes that I wish I had known before heading out. 1.)Don't rely on Mudhole lake as a water source, the first spot we pulled from was rank and clogged up our filter really badly. We should have expected that... 2.)Expect just enough terrible rock with enough frequency to be stressful. 3.)Don't expect to find prefab bivy spots along the way. The only one we saw was the one we made. 4.)The lichen grows thick in these parts. Now here's the photo dump. Day 1 Mudhole Lake AKA Horseshit puddle Long way to go Silver Moon and Varden creek spire, the 3rd "major" summit along the ridge Finally able to see the meat of the ridge Our nice little sloping bivy Day 2 Started the day with a rappel and stuck rope. Looking back at Silverhorn and Silver Moon, as well as many other gendarmes and sub-summits Summit at last! Traversing back to Burgundy col Gear Notes: Singles .2-4, Doubles .3-2 and a bunch of slings. 1 60m rope and 30 ft of tat. You could bring less of everything if you soloed more of the ridge, we roped up earlier than most other parties. Approach Notes: Take the unmarked horse packing trail a few hundred feet up the cedar creek trail. Just keep following the ridge to infinity and beyond.
  16. 3 points
    Trip: Salami Slab, Darrington - Snagglepuss Trip Date: 07/05/2020 Trip Report: My COVID-era partner and son, Ty and I made a quick trip to the Salami Slabs to test-drive a new variation to Snagglepuss. You may not be aware of Snagglepuss because it is not among the ‘Only Darrington Routes Worth Doing’ identified in climbing books and the internet. But it is fairly long (7 pitches) and has some good climbing that might entertain you adventurous non-slab-phobic types. Ty looking relaxed among the knobs, dimples and scoops of pitch 4. Leading the Catwalk – which follows the thin white dike angling left Team selfie at top of the route, spitting distance from the Snagglepuss tree The Snagglepuss – a massive Doug-fir with a silvery dead top that that looms over the route Hanman and I kicked off the Snaglepuss Project about four years ago, followed by the neighboring Purdie Shuffle. Both routes have good to great climbing with excellent views of nearby peaks and the Clear Creek valley. The Catwalk variation creates an excellent 7-pitch hybrid option that is slightly easier than the original. CV on FA, July 2016, with the giant snag visible in upper left Hanman below the gleaming goodness that would become the Purdie Shuffle For an abundance of details on how to get there and what you’ll find, check the stuff posted on another climbing website. The approach is comparable in scale to Three O Clock Rock but a bit more 'interesting' (don't worry, no brush). Much of Snagglepuss is mid-fifth with harder sections up to 5.8+, though the easiest line is not always obvious. There are bolts where you need them, runouts where you don’t, but nothing approaching an R rating. If you are offended by bits of moss and needles on your granite, skip pitches 6 and 7. Returning to grand Salami ledge on the descent. Gear Notes: Standard Dtown toolkit - dozen slings, single cams to 3", double 60s Approach Notes: FS Road 2060, take left branch over bridge, park at first boulder drainage, hike uphill. Approach details can be sleuthed from link mentioned in TR
  17. 3 points
    Mt Triumph, NE Ridge (5.7), North Cascades July 17-19, 2020 Back in February, I emailed Nancy, Kari, and Karen a list of Cascade climbs to consider for the summer. But as the months went by and COVID-19 numbers increased, a summer climbing trip started to feel harder to pull off. We wanted to climb, so decided to choose something moderate that could be done ‘off the couch,’ so chose the NE Ridge of Mt Triumph. Preston and Chris joined in and soon there were six of us excited to get out and climb. But as we all knew, climbing ‘off the couch’ in the North Cascades can still be a lot of work! There was some bushwhacking, criss-crossing steep slopes of heather, walking across floating logs in crampons, and route-finding challenges… and that was just Day 1. DAY 1: Thornton Lakes Trailhead (2,700 ft) Col (5,700 ft) The first part of the trip is a straightforward 5.3 mile (2,200 ft) hike from the trailhead to Thornton Lake. From lower Thornton Lake, it is 1.5 miles to the Col, but as another trip report put it, “it feels like 3 miles.” And it does. You follow a vague climber’s trail—that is really easy to lose in the snow—on the left (west) side of the lake, which then leads to the next lake (Middle Thornton lake). Though it was late July, the middle lake was mostly covered in ice. Our first delicate moves were walking across the loose logs in crampons at the outlet of the lake. Chris at lake Line shows route along east side of Middle Thornton lake and lower Thornton lake below. We walked along the right (east) side of the lake, which took us to the base of a steep slope, where it was a combo of climbing up snow, talus, and heather, which eventually gets you to the Col. (Jen: “thanks Nancy for that extra trekking pole!”). The Col has beautiful views in both directions, but limited bivy sites. We barely managed to find spots for 3 tents. However, we did have a bubbling brook running through the heather, pretty perfect for good nearby water. Hiking up to the Col. Sunset at the bivy. The morning views of Triumph from the Col weren’t too bad DAY 2: Col (5,700 ft) climb Mt. Triumph (7,240 ft.) Col (5,700 ft) After the requisite coffee, we left the Col at 6:30am and began traversing across the glacier to get to the base of the NE ridge (6,080 ft). It took us about an hour and a half to get there. The temps had warmed up considerably overnight and the snow was pretty soft. Crossing the glacier Red arrow is where the serac collapsed. At the rocky toe of the ridge, we stashed crampons and ice axes. A little higher up, we changed into climbing shoes. Nancy opted to do the route in approach shoes, good for comfort but not so good for climbing slabs or traverses. We simul-climbed the route as two groups of 3, which saved us weight and gave us two ropes for rapping. Lots of easy ridge climbing Preston & Kari Views were pretty great! The climb is easy and fun, with ample places for gear. We did pitch out the 5.7 “off-width,” but it’s easy, short, and has a fixed piece of gear you can use. After the 5.7 pitch, you go past the “grassy bivy” into the notch between the ridge and the steeper final section of the route. The Beckey variation goes left of the notch (with better-quality rock) though there’s another option right (from the notch, descend 30 feet and go around right). Chris, Preston, and Karen went left, going up a mellow wildflower-laden scramble to the summit, with Preston singing Tom Petty’s “Wildflower” song. Sounds lovely. Jen, Kari, and Nancy went right, which was easy enough climbing but more plant vegetation than pro. Going right sucked up time, as the first group waited over an hour for us on the summit (sorry!). We all were descending by 3pm. Karen & Preston on the summit Kari & Nancy Descent The descent is a combo of rappelling (single and double rope raps) and downclimbing. If you had one rope, you would have to do a bit more downclimbing and you could downclimb more of the route if you felt comfortable. There’s plenty of rap stations, with lots of webbing, but because it’s a ridge climb with features to get around, the descent takes more time than the ascent! While the quality of the rock was decent, there were a few places with loose rocks, so be careful pulling your ropes (Karen & Kari gingerly pulled the rope near a large loose block that’s just about to go). We did the last rap as it was getting dark, so with headlamps on we scrambled down to our boots, ice axe, and crampons. Karen & Chris guessing how long the descent will take How many raps have we done? Traverse, downclimb, rap. Repeat. Great view of the Pickets....next time While it’s never ideal to be descending in the dark, you do get to see the stars. And lucky for us, we also got to see the Neowise comet, which will not be coming back to Earth for another 6,500 years! (Thanks Chris for taking pictures!) Tired and happy, we began to walk across the glacier (at 11:30pm) back to the Col. The snow had certainly softened up in the warm weather. We were most of the way across the glacier when there was a loud CRACK! BOOM! as a huge serac broke right in front of us, sending down ice blocks that were the size of cars. Kari was leading and the ice chunks were probably about 70-100 feet in front of her. It was terrifying. Some of us were silent, and some of us were saying things like “shit shit shit” or “oh my god, that would have killed us.” After the ice chunks blew down, there was still some ice hanging precariously. And we still had to cross below it, as there was no way we could climb above. We decided to cross—one person at a time—and all of us moved as quickly as we could, thrusting the ice axe into the now sheared snow with hearts pounding. Once we made it back to the Col, we turned off our headlamps to take in the clear night sky—stars, planets, a comet, and the Milky Way—all shining down on us. As Karen put it: it was a full-value day in the North Cascades! DAY 3: Col (5,700 ft)àTrailhead (2,700 ft) We woke up to a sunny day and encountered some other climbers on their way in. Packing up, the descent down the snow slope and heather was fairly quick but we somehow missed the ‘climber’s trail’ along the lower Thornton lake so had to bushwhack and avoid snowy tree wells. Crampons on heather, scree, and snow Look how much snow melted from Day 1! Perfect afternoon nap Eventually, we were back on a wonderful trail, heading back to the trailhead. Celebrating the climb the way we often do—sprawling on the pavement, with mountaineering boots off, eating chips and drinking beer. Decadent. The trip was great—it’s a fun climb, Cascade views are gorgeous, and we had great teamwork. Most importantly, the collapsing serac didn’t kill us! We learned an important lesson about being extra careful with warm weather softening up the snow so quickly. It was great to be back in the mountains again! Gear Notes: Small rack: cams .4-#3; small set of nuts; 10-12 slings; Trekking pole, ice axe, crampons Conditions: Because of the pandemic, there was no recent trip report on Triumph and little info available on recent conditions. There was much more snow than anticipated, which meant that you definitely needed crampons and an ice axe. Another party with microspikes made it to the Col but turned around when they saw the amount of snow. Approach: Hike 5.3 mile (2,200 ft) hike from the trailhead to (lower) Thornton Lake. Follow the climber’s trail on the left (west) side of the lower lake, which then leads to the next lake (Middle Thornton lake). Try to stay on the climber's trail, you'll be happier if you do! Then go around the right (east) side of the middle lake, climb up the snow/heather/scree slope to the Col (bivy). Approach the climb by traversing the glacier to the toe of the ridge, where you'll start climbing.
  18. 3 points
    Trip: Three O'Clock Rock - Silent Running Trip Date: 07/25/2020 Trip Report: I've been working 60 hours a week lately and really really needed a day out to just maintain sanity; so der Rat and I scampered up Silent Running this weekend. I was cheered to see that people apparently still get out to Darrington, though I never seem to hear anyone but Otto talk about it anymore. There were a *dozen* cars at the trailhead and we got scooped on Total Soul, our intended route, as two parties were just starting up it when we arrived. There wasn't anyone else on the North Buttress though so we went ahead and did the route in front of us instead. NIce and clean so obviously it's still getting climbed, unlike some of the obscurities to the right and left. It was an Alzheimer's first ascent -- we did it together seven years ago but neither of us could even remember which pitches we led. Still seven pitches of good fun and it was such a beautiful day that I, the woman who is always cold, was comfortable in a t shirt and cotton pants rolled up. In contrast, all four climbers on Total Soul were wearing matching long sleeve hoodies with the hoods *on* all day long. Maybe they were all from Arizona or something and found 70 degrees to be cold? Here's to more and better climbing and much, much less work for the rest of the summer. Gear Notes: two ropes, one small rack, ten draws Approach Notes: hike up the trail
  19. 3 points
    Trip: Primus and Tricouni Peaks - East and West Ridges Trip Date: 07/23/2020 Trip Report: While poking around Google Earth last winter, I came across the Borealis Glacier and its little lake and my eyes got very large. I had to at least go there to spend a night! Further investigation revealed easy routes up the two peaks that cradled this basin, Primus and Tricouni. And so I somehow convinced Aaron to join me, and we went on a fine Cascadian outing Wednesday to Friday. We went in with little research and the adventure was complete with logjam navigation and dirt clod/root ball problem, steep schwacking, faint climber's trail, amazing camp spot, easy glacier travel, lots of wildflowers, and some class 2/3 travel on average rock and two summits! Wednesday morning we had a backpack weigh-off, and I was the smug winner. 26 pounds with a liter of water, two nights' food, tent, stove/pot, fuel, glacier gear, and tiny alpine rack! I haven't weighed my backpack in many years, and I was happy with the number. We left Seattle and stopped by Marblemount for permits, then got out to Colonial Creek Campground. Even the first bit of easy trail along Thunder Arm was beautiful. We continued along the mostly flat Thunder Creek trail for about six miles, past the washed-out bridge and then began scouting for logs across or possible not-certain-death fording opportunities or cairns for help. A bit over a quarter-mile past the old bridge, Aaron spotted some bootprints down the mossy duff off the trail, and we followed. Unfortunately, our "this looks trail-ish" senses were not fully engaged at this point, and we spent longer than necessary battling brush to get to the river. When we did, we saw that we needed to go upstream to access the logjam extravaganza and shallow water to the key log and root ball to get onto the western shore of Thunder Creek. That all went fine and then we readied ourselves for the steep AF ridge climber's trail (about 4,000' in less than 2.2 miles). Decision time: schwack up steep hillside that didn't look too thick and intersect the climber's trail (direct route) or schwack-traverse around to the climber's trail and take it from there? I have a tendency to always want to go direct.... which I often realize is not the best way, yet I have a hard time learning this lesson! Although we think the time spent would have been about equal between, the steep bushwhack was certainly much more mentally taxing. We intersected the trail and followed it up and up.... in places it was obvious, other places very faint, and in some places absolutely nonexistent. Not bad overall, though! We got up to the heather slopes and the mosquitos got really bad -- oof. About 7 hours from leaving the trailhead, we got up to the camp spot. Super mega primo! The 360 views are incredible.... north to the Hozomeens and Jack, across McAllister Creek to Snowfield, up Fisher Creek to Kimtah and Mesahchie, and then the framed and majestic LOGAN massif! The glacial lake actually isn't visible from the spot, but the giant banded gneiss cliffs and remnants of Borealis Glacier are! Dinner for me was an alpine burrito complete with avocado, a lot of cheese, rehydrated refried beans, and sriracha. MUCH better than ramen and tuna.... The sunset was outstanding, and later that night, the bare sliver of moon made the Milky Way pop. We woke up to sustained winds and a mostly-cloudy sky with solid clouds to the north and west, including some dark ominous ones. Primus was almost completely socked in. D'oh! We had brought a 60m half/twin and tiny alpine rack with the plan of ascending Primus via the N Ridge (low 5th), descending down the east side, then going up the west slope of Tricouni. Alas, our stoke was not there for the technical route and so we left the gear at camp. We made our way around the basin up to the snow and roped up for the simple glacier travel across toward Lucky Pass, and made our way up the slopes of Primus. This turned out to basically be a talus walk up to the broad, flat top. Unfortunately the views weren't very open when we were up there, but the weather was improving... What is this flower called?! I love it... Tricouni was much more fun, some options for solid 3rd and 4th class scrambling with easy walking, and the views opened up for Austera, North Klawatti Glacier, Klawatti Lake, Eldorado, Forbidden and Forbidden Glacier, Buckner and Boston Glacier.... WOW. And Goode! And Logan! Made our way back to camp (about 9.5 hours round trip)... and about twenty minutes later, four climbers come (dare I say staggering) up the climber's trail! I was floored to see anyone else up there, especially on a weekday. We chatted for a bit, but they really just needed to find a spot to camp....I hope the rest of their Inspiration Traverse went well! (I asked, and two said that they were consistent lurkers of CC... so I hope you guys see this and let us know how your trip went!). Views of Logan in the afternoon were fantastic: The exit was straightforward and we got to downclimb the fourth class dirt and trees. We took the climber's trail all the way down the ridge as far as possible, ran into a family of ptarmigans, then Aaron spotted a lizard creature. We followed a faint but easy half-schwack back to the creek crossing (on the approach, stay right after you climb over the root ball, and stay along the creek below the cliffy section!). From there it was an easy time back up to the trail, and then lots of huckleberries and blueberries were eaten and we picked about 3/4 liter to take home! In the parking lot, we met Arthur and Annie, a very sweet older couple with fun stories and their new Winnebago van. Oh, and we saw a fat ground squirrel. A lovely trip! I'm already excited about the Isolation Traverse and exploring this area earlier in the season, and on skis! Gear Notes: Glacier things, light axe. I used aluminum crampons on approach shoes and it worked for me in the fairly soft conditions we found. Approach Notes: See above.
  20. 3 points
    Trip: Mt. Baker - North Ridge Trip Date: 07/19/2020 Trip Report: I just wrote a nice TR but then hit the back button on my phone, d'oh.... Gist was: getting to ice step was pretty straightforward, it's an interesting route, AJ was my ice rope gun (thank you), we found a half pitch of AI3, the rest of route was very mellow, which was a little disappointing. There were 14 people on/at the ice step when we were there and I bet at least 30 people climbed the NR yesterday...nuts. Walking down was not cool and I vow to only ski down volcanoes from this day forward. On the summit I met @Juan Sharp and his partner (I'm not confident I remember his CC handle, sorry!) who had come up the Boulder. Pics without captions, feeling lazy: Gear Notes: We brought 7 screws of varying lengths, did not need the shortest ones. We brought 3 pickets but didn't use any of them. Approach Notes: Long traverse around 6600'...
  21. 3 points
    Trip: Corax Peak - North Face Trip Date: 07/05/2020 Trip Report: Not a single TR for this route to be found anywhere; does everyone just do the scramble to tick off their Bulger lists? Rolf and I climbed the NF of Corax Peak this weekend, 6 pitches of 5.7 starting from the left side of the chimney above the crescent shaped snowfield in the photo, going up to the ridge and thence to the summit. Mostly fun blocky ridge climbing, though the first pitch was more "interesting" as Rolf would say, featuring lichen and some loose/suspect rock and excavation of placements and some thoughtful moves. It doesn't appear that it's gotten much traffic since Rick La Belle did the FA in 1991; though of course we could have been off route. Stellar day out though and only saw three people at camp and maybe five on the trail. Gear Notes: 60 m rope, single rack to #3 Camalot Approach Notes: Libby Lake trail
  22. 3 points
    Trip: Pasayten Wilderness - Tatoosh Buttes - Ptarmigan Peak - Lago Trip Date: 07/08/2020 Trip Report: Last week, Anthony Marra Danny Bradley and I ran an incredible 42 mile, 11k gain loop in the Pasayten Wilderness. Took us 14 hours. We started at Slate Pass, ran down the Middle Fork for a long ways, traversed the ridge from Tatoosh Buttes over Ptarmigan Peak to Mt. Lago, then back out. The ridge between Dot and Lago has some class 3, and is very aesthetic and fun. It was the quintessential Pasayten experience, with broad valleys, wildflower meadows, epic ridges, tundra, and a helluva lot of blowdowns. To me, this was one of the most wild and stunning routes I have ever done. Bless that Pasayten magic. The Middle Fork Pasayten trail has a ton of blowdowns past the Fred's Lake turnoff. Tatoosh Butte trail is fine, once you get above the burn. Descent down Lago sucked. https://climberkyle.com/2020/07/08/hart-of-the-pasayten/ Middle Fork Pasayten from Tatoosh Buttes. Cruising along the buttes. Magical trail. Running down Ptarmigan Peak. Dropping off Dot Mountain. Epic tarn on south side of Ptarmigan. Dot Lakes. Final ridge to Lago. Lago summit. Sunset near Slate Pass. Gear Notes: Trail running gear. Approach Notes: 20 ft up to Slate Pass, and then down down down!
  23. 3 points
    Trip: Mt. Daniel - Daniel and Lynch Glaciers Trip Date: 07/06/2020 Trip Report: I had a great couple of days out in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness with my skis, getting about 3800' skiing, a new summit, blue skies, and lots of peace and quiet. Scatter Creek was still flowing enough that I didn't want to see if my Civic could drown/be swept away. So I started my Sunday by walking the road for three miles, to the Cathedral Pass trailhead. The views started early. Cathedral Rock and some of Daniel behind, from the road! I couldn't really start skinning until about ten minutes from Cathedral Pass. Ah well... the views from the west side of the pass were incredible, down into Deep Lake. Deep Lake Wow, what a beautiful basin! I skinned up the boot track to 7000' and peeked over at views of Rainier and the Chimney Rock group, then got some pretty fun turns down to my camp near Peggy's Pond at 5500'. Pretty good view from where I set up camp... Cathedral Rock and STU! The next morning I went up and over and down and up and down and up the summit of Daniel. More carrying... So dang nice! Hinman. I'll be back for you earlier in the year, next year... and then skiied the Lynch Glacier -- super fun, great snow, not a soul anywhere all day. It was a sea of clouds to the north of Daniel, and I could barely see Baker and Glacier out there. The top of Forbidden was poking out, too. Oh yes, this will be excellent... Pea Soup Lake under the cloud layer Skiing the Daniel "glacier" (is there actually a glacier here?) had less than awesome snow, as expected, but it wasn't sticky, so..good enough! Beautiful, beautiful... About the slay the slush A soul-satisfying time. Gear Notes: I brought whippet, light axe, light pons, and ski pons. Definite overkill... Approach Notes: Up and over and down and up and down and up!
  24. 2 points
    Trip: South Sister - Up-Down-Swimmin' Around Trip Date: 08/05/2020 Trip Report: Tyler and I had a really fun day out on and around South Sister, full of: walking, trotting/cantering, scree pawing, scree skiing, boot skiing, serious-ass-abrasion glissading, lake swimming, shoe-emptying, and only a small amount of shivering. We went up the south side trail in good time, did the apparently-mandatory loop around the crater rim, slid down the NW side, and swim-traversed* nine lakes. Carver Lake, our last one, numbed our throats and we were very very glad it wasn't wider to cross. We got back on trail on the NE side of the mountain and looped back around to the car (distant thunderstorms with lightning provided some entertainment). A bit under 11 hours round-trip. *Depending on size of lake, air and water temperatures, and level of stoke, we fully swam across a couple of the lakes, while we swam across sizeable or not-sizeable corners of others. Photos that don't have Tyler in them: photo credit to Tyler. Also, route name: credit to Tyler. First lake, pre-summit, was fantastic! Gear Notes: Dorky running vest was pleasant to hike/run and swim in, but dry bag was essential for electronics and jackets. I opted for no poles, so gloves were great for the scree descent. "Crossover" pavement-trail running shoes actually worked well, not too much sloshy foot stuff or any hot spots. Goop was key. Ankle/baby gaiters would have been great for the scree.... Approach Notes: South side/Devil's Lake TH
  25. 2 points
    They'd think you're soft, Bronco. =;-) There are two things I wish I'd had on that route in July1999: heavy-duty garden gloves and a cell phone. One of these wishes has been well documented. Big Jim Nelson wishes he'd had more cans of grape soda. Way to move fast on a route that can really sap your energy and mess with your head. I'd like to think that Doug Walker was smiling from above and watching over you.
  26. 2 points
    That mountain doesn't mess around. My partner pulled off a hold and took a long fall, severely injuring his ribs. It took us many hours to come out the second day, limping along, followed by a trip to the ER. Glad you escaped unscathed, at least physically!
  27. 2 points
    I beat the ever living fuck out of that route to get it clean. I have never bled from so many places, nor inhaled so much dirt, or heaved that many blocks in such a short period of time. I don’t think Sam mentioned that all of the bolts, hangers, and rivets are 3/8” STAINLESS STEEL. We did this climb with the intention that others should and will repeat it. There are nicely placed portaledge bolts at camps, and there is in fact genuine Unobtainium around pitch 13, if you are looking for it. You’ll find an SDS bit sticking out of the rock. Most memorable was ripping car engine sized blocks off and watching them hit the moat. The moat would explode and drop pieces the size of a house. Also memorable was riding the pigs 1000 ft down the face. Would not have trusted any other climbers to do that for me. River was also very cool about helping, and has cool dogs! He is interested in dry tooling and ice climbing if you’re looking for a partner! picture 1 Sam leading crux A3+ pitch picture 2 Rainy day on first push at DT’s Golden Shower Room Picture 3 Me drilling a rivet after digging out sticky mud and rocks to find a shattered crack. Dry, the section probably goes at 5.9ish but the gear mostly iron.
  28. 2 points
    Who cares what people wear...or if they work in tech...how genuinely kind they are is what counts! But while we're on the topic, I totally started the trend. 😎
  29. 2 points
    Trip: Tetons - Cathedral Traverse + some other stuff Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: I spent the past week in the Tetons. On Saturday my friend Lucas and I attempted the Grand Traverse in snowy early season conditions. We did fairly well, minus a route finding snaffu on Owen, but were slowed down a lot by snow/ice and route finding difficulties on the North Ridge of the Grand. We had bivy gear but opted to bail from the Lower Saddle. A couple thoughts for would-be suitors... If you want Sierra-esque conditions this is a mid-August to early-September objective. Rolo's beta page on the Pataclimb site is good but not super detailed and would be worth looking up some more pictures if you are trying to onsight like we were (I'd been up the Grand before but never on the North and Lucas had skied Garnet Canyon once). Italian Cracks and N Ridge in general is not obvious splitter climbing, be prepared. You need to be super stoked if you want to walk right past an easy trail down and continue up Middle and the rest of the traverse, or don't be cause you've already done the best parts (so I was told, and tell myself to soothe my battered ego ). The next few days were spent climbing at various crags (all have directions on MP, but identifying routes isn't always easy)... Rock springs buttress is AMAZING and also an amazingly sustained steep long hike for a crag. I took 2 hrs and was worked. I think camping up there would be sweet and the rock is awesome but S/SW facing so its really a morning-only venue. You can also take the tram or gondola from Teton Village but that costs a lot of money. Teton Canyon's Shady Wall is a short approach and shady all day (big surprise). It's also HARD (sandbagged 10+ warmup, 1-2x hard 5.11, several 12s/13s) and on weird rock (featured granite with flowstone (like limestone) over the face in places). There are other cool crags in Teton Canyon, we did a cool multipitch limestone sport route in a wild location one day but its hard to describe the location and kind of a locals' secret, maybe ask around? Blacktail butte in the NP is also nice limestone sport cragging on vertical edges. People talk sh!t about it but given that I don't get to climb limestone often I thought it was nice and had some good routes. I also went to solo the CMC route on Moran with a leisurely overnight at the CMC camp. I bushwhacked instead of canoe'd, which was a nice mini-cascades flavor, and ended up going in one way and out the other to see both options for going around Leigh Lake. The guidebooks all say to go out the Valley trail and on the East side of Leigh Lake and then bushwhack around the N side of the lake to the gully/creek leading to the the CMC camp, but on a map it looks much better to take the Paintbrush trail around the West side of the lake and then bushwhack in from there. Turns out the guide books were correct (who'da thunk?) and going the E side of Leigh is much more efficient although longer mileage (it's still a pretty decent shwack with neck high ferns, steep side hilling, and downed trees). Anyway, all the jungle blundering was for naught as I got rained on all night at CMC camp and was socked in by cloud all morning. I hiked out only to have things turn perfectly bluebird for the entire afternoon... c'est la vie. Will post some pics later this week. Gear Notes: Approach shoes and an extra pair of socks for when they wet out with the snow travel and post-thunderstorm shwackage. Approach Notes: What the guide books say...
  30. 2 points
    Trip: Mt. Goode - NE Buttress Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: Climbed the NE Buttress with Steve July 18-20. The trail from Highway 20 was largely brush free until Grizzly Creek, which we crossed easily on a log. From there, it was a brushy caterpillar orgy. The direct approach, climbing just right of the leftmost waterfall, was easy and fast. Glacier navigation was simple, although we did cross some blue ice and bridges. We were able to gain the buttress just below the red ledges via a collapsed snow moat. Climb was great! Plenty of snow patches on the route to fill our bottles with. From the summit we scrambled NW to the next notch and found a huge patch of snow which we melted for abundant water. Descent was a long day but not too bad. Once down at the 7400 ft heather benches, keep traversing skier's right until reaching the burned ridge that divides the drainages between Storm King and Goode, take that down to the Park Creek Trail. https://climberkyle.com/2020/07/18/mt-goode-ne-buttress-5-5/ On a side note, it appears from the summit logs that quite a few parties have climbed Megalodon Ridge. Most mentioned that they never found the 5.10 pitches, so perhaps it is easier than 5.10 or these difficulties are simple to circumvent. Goode Glacier and NE Buttress. On lower route. Le Conte and Sloan. Forbidden, Eldo, and the Twin Sisters. Sahale and the sound. Silver Star. Douglas Glacier on Logan. Rapping down. Gear Notes: Trail runners, aluminum crampons, and ice ax for the approach. Climbing/approach shoes on route. 60 m 8mm rope. Cams .4-2, 9 slings, tricams, nuts. Oh, and 10 lbs of camera gear (including a full sized tripod) for Steve. Approach Notes: When you reach the open valley beneath Goode, ford the river, ascend up easy boulders/snow. Climb the 4th class slabs just right of the leftmost waterfall. Continue upwards through the magical alder tunnel. Eventually you'll emerge into wildflower meadows and then the camps atop the lateral moraines.
  31. 2 points
    Such a fun route and great info on the climb. Thanks Rad. I've now taken my daughter twice on this climb - once at 9 yrs old and this year at 10 . She loves it!
  32. 2 points
    The tat loaded on the anchor of pitch 3 has been removed, replaced with SS chains and rings. This is the higher of the two anchors, up and right of the dihedral containing most of the pitch. Sorry I didn't take a photo of the new steel. Also, the pitch above the Big Tree has received new bolts, 3/8" SS of course, with Mad Rock hangers. No pictures of them either, sorry. Two weeks ago I looked over at this pitch 5 after reaching the nearby top anchor of Shake, Rattle and Roll. I could not believe seeing a beautiful slab with Leeper hangers still on it. And a couple of SMC hangers, all on quarter-inch rusty bolts. Doesn't anyone go up there? So the next week I returned with Robin who sat patiently while I drilled out four of them. There were more to do, so I returned yesterday via rope solo to get the last one out. While I was there, I tested my new uAscend and Microtraxion to top-rope the pitch (worked great, and safely!) and found it to be delightful, knobby climbing. It seemed to have some 5.9 at the start, and eases to 5.8 the rest of the way for a good 55m pitch. Thanks DavidW and MattP for putting this up.
  33. 2 points
    @JasonG The climbing was hard but at least the pro was crappy.
  34. 2 points
  35. 2 points
    Warning: Kyle took a lot of these and I was being a goof Leaving the car Switching to boots at the snow line above Glacier Basin Coming up from Carbon Bivy sites on P Ridge Route pictures pre/post sun, note moon which helped with night nav Schrund pitch L of regular start involved loose conglomerate that was verglassed and frozen just enough Coming up lower snow section Icey ramp leading to rock step rock step Kyle suffering on the upper slog I think I was eating a bar but the silhouette is funny Sundog Not many pics of the descent, didn't stop on Lib Cap, just kept going
  36. 2 points
    Trip: Mt. Rainier - Tahoma Glacier Trip Date: 07/03/2020 Trip Report: The Tahoma Glacier piqued my interest the last couple seasons as I explored new routes for my next Mt. Rainier climb. The low starting elevation, long approach, and remoteness of the route was especially appealing to me. Covering that distance and elevation on a route that receives very little traffic would be a fun challenge and great test of mountaineering skills. I was also excited to experience the mountain up close from a different perspective since I had only been on the west side of the mountain once before during a Wonderland Trail hike. However, with the park shutdown due to COVID-19 we were uncertain if we would get a shot at the Tahoma Glacier before it was too late in the season. We planned the climb for the weekend of June 19th and were excited when MRNP announced they would reopen that very weekend. Unfortunately, as the date approached the weather was not looking too promising. Reluctantly, we postponed the climb to the 4th of July weekend when we both had time off work. This time the weather forecast was looking stellar: clear, light winds, and cold (~11000' freezing level). And we would have a full moon. Game on! Our plan, which we later learned would be a bit ambitious, was to reach high camp (~9600') on day 1 (Friday), summit Saturday morning, and either exit the same day or stay one more night and hike out Sunday morning. For the approach, we decided on the more direct Emerald Ridge/Tahoma Glacier approach over the St. Andrews Park/Puyallup Cleaver approach. We knew we were getting into the tail end of the season for the route, but with our good snowpack this year we were optimistic that we could navigate the lower Tahoma without too much trouble. Also, there seemed to be an option to bail to the Puyallup Cleaver shortly after gaining the Tahoma Glacier if we found the glacier to be too broken up. The two of us set off from the West Side Road parking lot (2850') at 10:30a with cool temps and a partly cloudy sky. After a short hike on the road we arrived at the beginning of the Tahoma Creek Trail, marked by a drum for disposing of blue bags and a "trail closed" sign not far off the road. The Tahoma Creek Trail follows the Tahoma Creek until it joins with the Wonderland Trail at the impressive suspension bridge across the creek at 4200'. From there, you continue on the Wonderland Trail to the top of Emerald Ridge where you can gain the lower Tahoma Glacier. We followed the Tahoma Creek trail and other tracks the best we could, but with parts of the trail washed out we eventually lost it and ended up hiking along the edge of the floodplain. We kept our eyes peeled and in time we saw some cairns and orange marking tape at around 3500' which led us back to the proper trail. From then on, the trail remained intact and joined up with the Wonderland Trail where we continued on to the top of Emerald Ridge, passing by the occasional Wonderlander. Consistent snow began around 5200' which is where we stashed our trail runners and booted up. Tahoma Creek Floodplain: We parted ways with the Wonderland Trail at 5600' and made the short scramble to the top of Emerald Ridge and the toe of the Tahoma Glacier (6000'). Here we took a break and donned our glacier gear while taking in the views of Glacier Island and the true size and length of the Tahoma Glacier. Getting onto the glacier was straightforward and the cracks were small and manageable all the way up to a flatter area of the glacier at 7200'. Top of Emerald Ridge, looking back at the Wonderland Trail: Toe of Tahoma Glacier, Glacier Island on the right: At 7200' we stopped to assess our progress. It was already 6:00p (7.5 hours from the car) and we still had a good amount of glacier to cover to get to high camp. We were also low on water so we would need to melt some snow to replenish our bottles before continuing. At our pace, it didn't seem feasible to reach high camp that night at a reasonable hour and be ready to summit the following morning. We discussed our options and ultimately decided to establish a low camp at 7200' for the night, move up to high camp the next day, and summit on Sunday morning instead. We were due back home Sunday night, so that would leave us with a long hike out after summiting Sunday morning, but this plan would give us the best chance for success and make the trip much more enjoyable. Luckily the weather for Sunday was supposed to be just as good as Saturday. We set up camp and called it a day. Lower Tahoma Glacier: View from Camp 1, looking toward Tokaloo Spire: Sunset from Camp 1: On Saturday we woke up to clear skies and a great view of the upper mountain that was covered in clouds the day before. We took our time getting going and scoped out a route up the lower glacier. It was definitely more crevassed than what we had already traveled and the best looking route was in the direction of the Puyallup Cleaver and the looker's left side of the glacier. We broke camp and set off around 10:30a. Morning view from Camp 1, looking toward the summit: On the way up to Camp 2: The crevasses we encountered on the way up to high camp were growing in size but were still easy to cross with a short hop or snow bridges. Nothing too sketchy even with the sun beating down and snow quickly softening up. Our route did meander a bit as we searched for the most efficient way up the glacier, so it did take longer than expected. We reached 9400' at 2:00pm where we thought about setting up camp. This is where we would have joined the Tahoma Glacier had we taken the St. Andrews Park/Puyallup Cleaver approach; however, the ramp to get off of the Puyallup Cleaver did not look to be in the best shape. There was likely a path off the ramp onto the glacier, but we were glad we chose the approach that we did. Ramp at 9600': After a long break we pushed on a bit further through ankle and shin deep slush up to 10400' where we found a good spot for a high camp. I had read about other parties camping at this location as well. It was 4:30p at this point, 6 hours after leaving camp 1. From here we finally got a really good view of the upper glacier and the potential routes. Earlier in the day we saw that the looker's right side of the glacier may be a good option, but now we could see right up the center of the glacier and the Sickle variation. The Sickle looked to be in good shape with not a lot of evidence of icefall, but the seracs at the top of the route were intimidating. We decided against the Sickle and to attempt one of the other routes. We would make that decision in the morning under the full moon light once we gained some more elevation. We set up camp, ate, melted snow, and tried to get to sleep as the sun was setting. I fell asleep to the very faint sounds of 4th of July fireworks way off in the distance. Upper Tahoma Glacier: Camp 2: Sunset Amphitheater: Tahoma Glacier: The next morning we set off at 2:00a under a very bright full moon that lit up the mountain. It was right around freezing with no wind and the snow had firmed up nicely. We were excited to start the journey up the main route, but less than 30 minutes out of camp we thought the trip was over. We found ourselves on an island of ice with a pretty sporty jump to continue on. We contemplated it for a while but just didn't want to risk it, especially on the descent when the snow would soften up. Damn! That jump seemed like the only way, but we backtracked some and skirted around where we got stuck and luckily found a crossing! Phew! We wondered if this was going to be the theme of the entire ascent. We continued on and at this point chose to continue right up the center of the glacier rather than traversing over to the far right side option we saw. Full moon: Contemplating the jump.: The snow conditions were great and took crampons very well which made for very efficient stepping. We took the path of least resistance and just crossed our fingers it would go. There had to be at least half a dozen times when we thought our luck ran out, but a lone and thinning snow bridge (which probably wouldn't last another week) was there to let us continue on. Besides the first obstacle we encountered we didn't have to do much backtracking, but we did have to snake our way around the crevasses to find acceptable crossings. We each carried a traditional axe and had a few screws and two pickets between us. We contemplated bringing a tool, but from all the beta we could gather a tool wasn't really necessary on this route. Turns out that was the right call. We did encounter a couple short sections of solid ice compared to the rest of the route which was a nice sun crust. Front pointing and a low dagger axe took care of the ice sections, but we did protect them with a screw and picket while simul climbing. Short ice section: Soon we found ourselves at the top of the glacier where the slope begins to ease up at around 13000'. With the main part of the climb behind us it was just a slog up to the summit! We ascended directly up the west side onto the summit plateau and reached on Columbia Crest at 8:30a, 6.5 hours after leaving camp. Sunrise: Liberty Cap: Summit Crater: Summit Headstand! After getting some pictures on the summit and saying hello to a party of 4 that came up the Kautz, we dropped off the summit for a break and then took off back down the mountain at 9:15a. Being western facing, the Tahoma Glacier doesn't get sun right away in the morning which is good since we wanted to be down off the bulk of the upper glacier before it started to warm up. The descent went well and we followed our tracks down. We did downclimb one of the ice sections with some protection, but other than that we moved fairly quick down the glacier. We returned to camp at 12:15p, 3 hours after leaving the summit. Tahoma Glacier, Puyallup Cleaver, St. Andrews Rock: Tahoma Glacier: Tahoma Glacier: It would have been nice to take it easy and stay another night, but we still had a long road ahead to get back to the car that day. We made some water and packed up camp, then took off down the glacier at 2:00p following our tracks from the day before. The hike out was uneventful and we covered the 9 miles and 7500' back to the car in 5.5 hours, descending a total of 11500' for the day. Success! What a climb! We both felt really proud to do this route. It was a true test of our endurance and mountaineering skills, especially with navigating the very crevassed glacier. Oh, and we had the entire glacier to ourselves...we didn't see a single person between leaving the Wonderland Trail and the Summit. Being on our own without any tracks to follow made the trip even better. Day 1, Car to Camp 1, 6.7 miles, +4400', 7.0 hrs Day 2, Camp 1 to Camp 2, 2.5 miles, +3200', 6.0 hrs Day 3, Camp 2 to Summit, 2.8 miles, +4000', 6.5 hrs Day 3, Summit to Camp 2, 2.8 miles, -4000', 3.0 hrs Day 3, Camp 2 to Car, 9.0 miles, -7500', 5.5 hrs Total Mileage = 23.8 miles Total Elevation Gain/Loss = 11500' GPX track can be found here: https://caltopo.com/m/7M3P Gear Notes: Light glacier rack, a couple screws. Used screw and picket on icy section. No need for a 2nd tool. Approach Notes: Approached via Emerald Ridge/Tahoma Glacier.
  37. 2 points
    It seems to be getting a nice revival of activity @JasonG. Of course, spring & early summer is peak TAY season!
  38. 2 points
    Snowfield pictured in this report https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/march-15-17-chiwaukum-traverse
  39. 1 point
    Trip: Attempt on Stuart Ridge Traverse - SRT Trip Date: 08/04/2020 Trip Report: I'm writing this down so people attempting this might have a bit more info as it seems that info (or lack thereof) is the crux. We didn't complete it for a multitude of reasons but maybe I learned something that will help others succeed. Approached from Stuart Lake Trailhead and hiked to a bivy just shy of the base of the NR. This is a nice plan as you don't have to find your way into the climb in the dark, all the while watching the clock tick. You have the same weight you'd normally have plus one dinner. That said, sleep was impossible as mosquitoes swarmed all night and we had no shelter other than the stewy warmth of our sleeping bags. Water is easy to find below the climb. We climbed the NR then descended quite a lot to get to the col below Sherpa's WR. Climbed that, it's not 5.4. It's by no means difficult, but I'd expect some 5.6ish stuff for sure. Maybe I was just tired. We did Sherpa in two leads. Now the difficulty begins. Getting to the Sherpa Argonaut Col is a pain and takes some time. If you've done this section without rapping down the S gullies and hiking around and through all the rock ribs and shrubs and trees and scree and sand, to the Col, please chime in. I saw a rap that went to Sherpa's N but I couldn't tell if it "went" or not, after the rap, we opted not to roll the dice. I have a suspicion this is the better route. Aug 4-5, 2020, no water available en route. We found a patch of snow lower on the NR and then the snow on the Cascadian descent, but no drips. We heard running water in some of the gullies near Sherpa but they all seemed to low and too far and maybe the water wasn't even accessible. We bivied at the Sherpa Argonaut Col and ran out of fuel melting snow for water and dinner. Plus Argo looks like a peak wrought with difficult travel along that West Ridge. We bailed and found water in 20 minutes. This would be an option for intrepid climbers hell bent on continuing. Could easily drop down and refill on water, then continue. The descent from the col was pretty chill. I'd say the bivy at the col is comfortable enough for sure. You're out in the open, just hoping the wind will keep the bigs at bay. Long and short of it, gotta move move move, and find water. If you bivy, bring some netting to keep bugs off or you won't sleep. Leave the filter as all the water you access up high is safe (my opinion). Parking lot to bivy: 3 hours Bivy to base: 10 minutes Base to Stuart summit 6.5 hours Stuart summit to base of Sherpa 1.5 hours Didn't keep track of time after this but we climbed WR Sherpa quickly and contemplated our fates on the summit. Found a FF down jacket that mice and rodents were pilfering for their homes. Also some delicious Shot Blocks and Honey Stingers. If only we had found a gallon of water! It's out there, it's hard, go get it! Gear Notes: Rack .3-3 with double of .4-2, nuts, 12 slings and 2 double length (this could be trimmed a bit if needed but I used it all twice on long simul sections) 60m 8.5mm rope (this was better than doubling a half as we could simul with the grigri) Stiff approach shoes are confidence inspiring on the snow and the N stuff was firming up by early evening. Poles were nice in a variety of sections and an ax would have been dead weight but we likely would have wanted it descending Argo. Approach Notes: Stuart Lake Trailhead
  40. 1 point
    Amazingly, my partner and I climbed the 1957 route from bottom to top from 8/1-8/2 and never even saw Karsten and Matt, despite starting only one hour earlier! The 1957 start adds a few hundred feet of rock and jungle climbing, and we did belay three pitches before reaching the snow bowl where the 1951 and 1957 almost intersect. During the time it took us to reach that point, Karsten and Matt must have overtaken us. Nice work guys. I’ll be posting up my own report this week. Congrats to you guys and all who have climbed this face... I have new respect for anyone who takes on this challenge!
  41. 1 point
    Way to go. Nice work. I enjoyed your report site. Big respect for your climbing discipline. It's not my approach to climbing mountains (I'm a basic volcano alpinist as part of my high endurance activities) but wish I had time to add rock climbing to my activities. I'd have good teachers I know, and it looks like a blast. Really beautiful scenery.
  42. 1 point
    Trip: Prusik Peak - Der Sportsman Trip Date: 06/23/2020 Trip Report: I was pretty hesitant to write this TR due to the current overcrowding in the area. I realized that it likely isn't going to make much of a difference cuz no-one really uses this site anymore anyhow. And as long as people follow a few key tips, you can have a good responsible Enchantments climb. 1.) Avoid weekends like the plague... as best you can. 2.) Get to the TH before 7 And try not to get yourself parked in. 3.) If you start later hitch to and from the TH if you can. (This worked better and was safer before COVID). 4.)Pick up trash you find. Quadruple points for picking up other peoples surface shits, and try to stick to trails and rock as much as possible. Now on to the actual TR Last year Sean and I climbed the West face of CBR around the same time, starting at 9:30ish and getting back to the car just before dark. We decided to keep the (almost) solstice tradition going this year with Der Sportsman. 17+ hours of daylight is pretty luxurious We left the trail head a little after 6. Our packs felt light with no water and no real insulating layers to speak of. The trail was pretty quiet at that hour on a Tuesday. The hike up Aasgard was pretty uneventful with only the usual snow patch to cross near the top. The descent down to Prusik was a nice change of pace and the soft snow seemed to make it a little lower impact and faster down the steep sections. Arriving at the base in good time, we decided to chill for a little bit and recover to give us a better shot at the cruxy first pitch. Finally the sun coming around the corner gave me enough courage to rack up and get going while the crux was still shaded. Unfortunately I pumped out and broke a foot chip so no OS for me, but Sean followed the pitch in style. P2 isn't too spicy apart from the real risk of whipping on your belayer. This is the only reason I would consider setting up the belay a little higher. P3 is absolute money! Unfortunately it has 2 fixed pieces at the beginning that detract from the cleanliness of the line, but who really cares, it's great! P4 I found the step right to be super desperate and kinda just fell onto the far right foot as a last resort, not sure how that worked out but it did. The moves off the pillar near the end of the pitch are pretty spicy. The rope looks like it would slice right across the arete if you were to fall. Best to avoid that. P5 was probably the only sandbagged pitch on the route. I'd also say it's the worst pitch on the route, which is saying a lot since it is still pretty damn good! I've seen the pitch called 10b, but I'd say 10c/d. P6 Oh boy is this the icing on the cake! Such an incredible position to be climbing such an amazing crack! Definitely not 12a, felt more like 11a/b on TR. From where we topped out, we untied and scrambled up to the summit, chatted with some nice folks and took a small nap. We then downclimbed the W Ridge and scrambled back to our packs in our rock shoes to avoid taking axes or shoes up the route. The hike out always sucks, but is the price you pay for the light packs and burrito dinner. We got down with enough light to re-set up camp and crack a beer before the headlamps came out. I feel like I've focused too much on times in my previous TR's. If you want to know our splits I have a Strava track HERE. Gear Notes: Double rack tiny to 2, single #3 and triples in a few finger sizes. We brought nuts but never used them. 60m 9mm rope Handfull of slings and QD's Water filter Trail runners Approach Notes: Over the river and through the woods, up the pass, down the hill and up another hill.
  43. 1 point
    Alisse, it was nice running into you and Aaron at your camp on Thursday. We were staggering, yes, and possibly not completely coherent. By that point of the approach we were pretty spent and tired of the mosquito swarms. The rest of our trip went great. We climbed Tricouni, Primus, and Austera on Friday, Klawatti on Saturday, Dorado Needle on Sunday, and then staggered out to the Eldorado trailhead. Stephen
  44. 1 point
    So the word is that the normal rock route finish on Olympus (which I have climbed) is blocked by a 15’ wide, 40’ deep bergschrund as of a couple weeks ago already. ONP website says “Most parties are attempting Eastern Ledge Route to summit”, but I can’t find any good info on what this entails. Does anybody out there have any beta on this, or has anybody climbed it? What’s the descent like? Etc. I hope to head up there in a week... Thanks!
  45. 1 point
    Sweet. An amazing mountain and route. Great photos!
  46. 1 point
    @Alisse great job getting after it this year!
  47. 1 point
    Thank you so much! Assuming the weather holds, I''ll make sure to post a TR.
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    Went out and did Iron to Bean on Saturday. Super fun scrambling and a nice adventure day, I would highly recommend. One point of warning though, if you follow the fall line descending east off of Bills main summit your will get funneled into a super dangerous gully. I sent a microwave sized block tumbling by looking at it too hard which caused a bit of a rockslide down the gully. If you find yourself here, trend skiers left to safer terrain. The rest of the route was surprisingly bomber rock.
  50. 1 point
    Hey Kyle, thanks again for sharing this. You did a wonderful job of capturing the pure joy of “cruising and floating“ in the mountains. Peace my friend.