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chucK

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Everything posted by chucK

  1. Last Ascents in the Cascades

    Last pitch of Curious Cube (my avatar!) at Static Point. Big ol' flake peeled off like 15 years ago. Perhaps i have the last ascent! Maybe all of Static Point is lost to the ages. Anybody ever go out there any more?
  2. I have to think nuclear power would be our best bet if it were not a third rail of politics. A politician arguing for nuclear power is going to get hate from the left on general misguided principle along with all the fossil fuel corps are people too. It is true that nuclear power is a little scary. There could be an accident that poisons a limited geographic area until the practical end of time, but what is global warming going to do to the entire world? The particulate pollution from fossil fuel burning is basically poisoning all the air in the vicinity. Other methods of energy extraction also destroy limited geographic areas: mining for coal (open pit mines) or hydroelectric projects (RIP lovely river valleys). Seems like it's time to take the risk on nuclear. How many nuclear power disasters have we had? Chernobyl, Three Mile Island (close call?), and Fukushima? Any more? Fukushima got hit by a once-in-100 year disaster and how many people died? Like 14? How many die every year in a single coal mine in China?
  3. Little Big Chief

    That peak is "Little BIG Chief". Here's a report of an ascent in 2001
  4. Mysterious Backpacks on Stuart's WR

    I ran into a couple backpacks up there on August 3rd. They were about where you mention them, on the rib West of Long John Tower, but they were not stashed in a crevice they were up on a rib. Probably the same ones and somebody moved them in the 3 weeks since I'd been there? I found an article on the web (maybe the one you found) https://www.ncwlife.com/injured-climber-airlifted-mt-stuart/ that is dated 8/8/2018 and notes the rescue was "yesterday". So, maybe the dates don't match up?
  5. You did it with a single rope. How did you like that hanging rapell station, first rap over the South Face?
  6. I did the West Ridge (descended CC) and was able to almost completely avoid snow. You should be good for the descent. Can't speak to the North Ridge approach though.
  7. [TR] Mt. Slesse - NEB 07/19/2018

    No 's on summit. Weird, right?
  8. Three O'Clock Rock

    SRENE! Is that the route across the beer-cooler glacier from Total Soul?
  9. Sahale, Hidden Lakes or Vesper

    I camped at the lake many years ago and there was one pretty exposed cliff we had to get down, so that might not be a good option. I was surprised at how untrammeled the lakeshore was, so I would expect there is not an easy way down there. Hidden Lakes peak was quite nice though, really nice scrambling on amazing white granite (iirc). Summit block of Sahale is very exposed climbing. Most will enjoy having a rope at least to get down. I had the same experience on Whitechuck as curtveld.
  10. We climbed this (to top of pitch 8) a few weeks ago. Our leader backed off on pitch 6 because he thought we would not make it to top with a 60m rope. We ended up breaking into two pitches by belaying at a single bolt. Did you guys have to simul pitch 6 at all, or does it make it with 60's? The bush dive on pitch 7 is totally ridiculous. Seems like putting those two traverse bolts above the bush dive out on the face instead would have made that pitch a classic instead of leaving one with a bad taste in the mouth (and pine needles in the underwear). But what do I know? We climbed p1-8 with just draws and a #4 Camalot (placed multiple times)! That is all the rack you need
  11. Slesse Conditions 2018

    Any Pocket Glacier news after this weekend?
  12. Slesse Conditions 2018

    How bold I am decides whether I go for it or not. Just wondered what is the nature of the exposure. Racing across slabs dodging sliding blocks, or slow roped climbing waiting to be flossed off by sliding blocks, or climbing on top of something that might become a sliding block? Which of these daring feats might be required?
  13. Slesse Conditions 2018

    So...if one were to climb the NE Butt when the Pocket Glacier is still there, what do you have to do wrt the PG? Do you have to climb on top of the PG snow, just skedaddle below it, climb slowly and arduously below it, a combination of the above?
  14. Advice for First Timer to N Cascades

    Here's something that might give you pause closeup: warning explicit language!
  15. OSO Rodeo

    Standard D-town rack. Single cams, and draws, I think. You could bring stoppers if you want. Don't remember how big you want to go with the cams (maybe a #3 on the first move, and then *maybe* on the last pitch? I will ping someone who knows for sure. You'll need to be able to rap 50m pitches to get down.
  16. Advice for First Timer to N Cascades

    Like everyone said, everything is going to involve snow. You should have ice axes and figure out how to self arrest. Once you do that lots will be opened up for you. You mentioned Dragontail from Colchuck Col. That is pretty fun. To get to the Colchuck Col you go up the Colchuck Glacier, but it's a sad dying glacier so no crevasse worry. It should be a big wideopen snowfield that time of year, so it would be a great place to practice self-arrest. The route from the col goes up a snow finger, but you can probably scramble on rock most of the way. The nice thing about this option is if you aren't able to score a permit you can camp just South of Colchuck Col which will put you (I think) out of the restricted permit area. You can also bag Colchuck (walkup) from the col. Consider the West Buttress of Exfoliation Dome (http://www.mattsea.com/darr/dome.htm ). You could have some fun there. Other good scenic multipitch stuff in Darrington that should be melted out. West Ridge of Stuart is awfully fun, but high chance you'd epic on it. Almost everyone does.
  17. So, isn't it pretty well known that a cave can be a bad place to hide out in a lightning storm? I seem to remember stories of people getting killed that way on top of Half Dome. I guess the lightning hits the rock and can arc between the walls of the cave? (...and great pictures by the way, nice report. Thanks!)
  18. [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016

    Chair Peak NE Butt, Lundin W Ridge are both fun and easy. North Face of Vesper is pretty fun too (the big slab to the right of Ragged Edge), in case Ragged Edge is full of people. Just keep heading North on the ledge past all the people queued up for Ragged Edge.
  19. Sorry it took so long. Here's some photos of the glacier, and where we slipped through. Far view of upcoming challenges Zoom of previous photo. Arrow shows the snow arete that we used to get past a huge crevasse. Snow arete probably ~25 feet high. Yale on the lower part
  20. Climb: Mount Index-Index Traverse Date of Climb: 7/23/2005 Trip Report: Prologue: (Skip over this part if you just want the climbing action stuff. Or hell, if you're so damn strapped for time just glance over the damn pictures, sheesh!) Early in July Otto had so much fun watching me tumble and scrape at Index Town Wall that we decided we should make a date to climb for the whole weekend (!) sometime in late July. The date came nearer and Otto confessed a "mania" (no, I am not making this up) for the Index Peak Traverse. He had previously summited the North Peak, and I had previously attempted the East (descent) route, so together, we had the climb bracketed. How difficult could all that stuff in the middle possibly be? A drive up Hwy 2 (my sister, with LA roots, calls it "the Two"), the week before indicated an absence of handy snowpatches for water en route. A short but violent thundershower or two the day before our scheduled departure, combined with the Beckey words of, "slabs, may be problematic if wet", were enough to start thinking "backup plan". But enough of this pre-climb jitters nonsense...(I mean, none of you really care about this part do you?) Mt. Index from the 2 The actual climbing part: We arrived at the base of the N Ridge around 8ish Saturday morning with our carefully thought out mini-minimal bivy gear supplemented with around 6 lbs. (3 liters) of water. The day, so far, was quite foggy and overcast, and we crossed paths in the bush with a pair retreating due to their disdain for the wetness . The air was wet, but the rock fairly dry, as we scrambled up a few hundred feet on solid red rock to a nest of rap slings on old pitons where we roped up. Three pitches of rock, the last of which got sorta sketchy past a bunch of old pitons, got us to a point where we declared ourselves off route (probably Beckey's "longer" alternate up the face of the rock bowl). Luckily we found a wonderful brush-covered catwalk which transported us right back on route to the wonderful brush-covered N Face bowl. Two more brush-lovely sideways rope drags got us to the North Rib. North Rib = cool, one pitch especially so. Sorta airy, pretty solid rock, just a bit o bush. I think the especially fun pitch is pictured below, behind the smiling Otto. North Rib of North Peak North Peak was attained and we made those silly "one finger" things while sticking our tongues out to indicate bagging the first peak of the traverse. Then we ate lunch. Getting down from the North Peak into the notch was probably the sketchiest part of the traverse. Downclimb mossy steep chossy gulley, rappel off detached block, scramble across exposed dirty ledge, rap again, repeat. Exposed ledges getting over to North-Middle peak notch View of North Peak from the South Once down in the notch of committment, we had a bit of doubt as to the correct route to continue. Our first guess worked. We climbed steeply up chimneys and such with a bunch of loose looking things (but not very many actually were loose), which brought us to a majorly cool exposed ridge. Many pitches on this thing brought us to the Middle Peak summit about 8ish. Silly two finger, stick tongue out thing. Otto leading on ridge Otto following on ridge Ridge without Otto (taken from Middle Peak) We bivied down on the SE shoulder of the Middle Peak. We found no snow or water, but because of the nice cool temps in the morning, we each still had about 2 liters of water. Also, a snowpatch was spied down in the Middle/main peak notch, so we knew we'd have water in the morning. Thus, we could party down. Otto got blotto (well, not really, but I had to write that somewhere). Otto shivered miserably that night with his bivy bag-space blanket combo, while I was supremely comfortable with my newly-purchased fancy-pancy ultralightweight sleeping bag ( click me ). Day two found us melting some snow with my newly-purchased fancy-pancy ultralightweight stove then trying to figure out what the hell a damn "wedge gendarme" is. Well, we found it, and it added a bit more exposed ridge climbing. Then scary steep heather mixed with scary steep loose gulley traverse, a bit more of the hateful hateful brush then topside! One PM. Three fingers, wag tongue. Walk down was cool. We came across these idyllic little tarns a bit like Tank Lakes or the Enchantments even, where we did some easy bouldering. Tarns on the backside of Index Great frictiony rock for easy bouldering We located Beckey's obvious gulley (go left from idyllic little tarns). It is completely melted out. Fun scrambling on surprisingly clean steep rock got us down. At one giant overhang we utilized a fixed rope to make a 50' free rapell (possibly could have downclimbed on skiers right). After this the descent pretty much sucked. Steep talus, the kind that's usually covered with snow, so is now precariously perched, sucked. Then the bushy steep ridge was minorly sucky. Then finding ourselves lost in impenetrable brush, worse than any on the climb so far, added a final stab and scrape of suckiness (lot's of berries though!). Finally, we stumbled past Lake Serene, then trudged down superhighway trail to car. Fun! Epilogue: I have heard a few people recommend this as a good climb to do...once. Gear Notes: Medium rack (single cams + stoppers) One 60m rope Approach shoes Extra water Approach Notes: Snow for water currently in Middle-Main peak notch
  21. Obama and Bear!

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/31/president-obama-to-run-wild-with-bear-grylls President Obama to brave the Alaskan outback under the tutelage of Bear Grylls. How cool is that? What a Tom Clancy/Cliffhanger dumb movie storyline you could make out of this. The Secret Service people must be shitting their pants.
  22. Completed the traverse (Cascade Pass to Downey Creek) with Yale Lewis this last week. The LeConte Glacier was indeed the crux. There was some steeper glacier at the bottom that wasn't too terrible (pictured in above report) but above was a huge crevasse. We found a single thin arete of hard snow/ice that reached over the gaper that required a cheval move to get started on. Yale led it and the steep lower part with two tools and ice screws and I was able to grovel behind with a single tool. There was another party ahead of us that did the same bit but with only single (non-curved pick) ice axes and ice screws. Our crossing of it was last Tuesday. Not sure how long that arete passage will last. Also present this late in a low snow year was much grovelling on loose steep talus. Weather was optimal. Sunny every day and finally rained on the Bachelor Creek walk out day, which was quite welcome as we saw a big smoke plume in that general direction the day before (and smelled it during the night). No bugs. We bagged Formidable and Spire. Yay.
  23. TR: Kaleetan North Ridge

    OK all this non-climbing talk is 'causing me strain, so I've written up an off-the-cuff semi-retro TR for y'all. North Ridge of Kaleetan (9/20/2) -------------------------------- All images stolen from Phil Fortier's Mt. Roosevelt trip report I tried the Roosevelt-Kaleetan traverse as described in Beckey last summer. Roosevelt went fine, then after a bit of monkeying around (you actually have to go back down to the surrounding terrain to get to the "traverse") I made it to the extended North Ridge of Kaleetan. It started easy enough then got quite knife-edgy, then very loose. This was still doable for a little ways until a downclimb was necessary. Not wanting to put any force other than straight down made the prospect of testing holds on a downclimb too daunting, and I gave it up. Went and tried to climb the N Ridge of Bryant and couldn't get the nerve up for that, so finally walked over and knocked off the Tooth for the Nth time. I came back this year with a partner (from CC.com!!) thinking that with a rope, the loose traverse would be doable. Reaquainting myself with the spot I found myself to be in error. Since all the rock was loose, what good would pro do? A 100 foot pendulum didn't seem that much more palatable than a 300 foot freefall, so we bagged it, vowing never to return to this catwalk of choss. We hiked up through Melakwa pass and I summited by an easier route. Once on top, I scrambled partway down the N Ridge and found it to be pretty cool. Damn! Now I was hooked for another attempt! About a week later a friend asked if I'd mind helping shepherd some newbies up the Tooth. Hey sounds good! This gave me an excuse to head back up to "low-quality" pass. I hatched a plan to get up really early, go bag Kaleetan then meet the gang at the Tooth. Checking out the picture from Phil Fortier's site (enhanced to see the darker parts), I plotted scrambling up to the ridge via the West side of the knife edge. There were some trees in the picture, so it couldn't be that bad. Up at 5 am, walking the Snow Lake trail again, this time in darkness. Made it to the notch in the ridge around 9. As I scrambled down the west side of the notch I noticed how nice the rock was. A sorta sandstoney texture with marbled dikey stuff that gave it a hard rough, cheese-grater feel. Perfect for climbing! So I just started heading straight up the wall toward the lowpoint in the ridge, ditching my original plan of skirting south along the base of the wall then tarzanning up the trees. All was well early on. The rock was awesome and the going was good. Then, of course, as these stories so often go, the rock got worse and worse the higher I went and the more time I'd invested. I was finally about 30 feet from the ridgetop when it started getting downright scary. You know how it always looks like salvation is just 5 feet/one move away. Then you get there and it's just as loose. Well that was the case. Anyway, as you probably guessed. I lived and I topped out on the ridge, just south of the scary impasse that had stopped me/us twice before. The rock here was still loose, and the ridge sharp. I was humbled enough to perform the ol' chaval manuever, but it was cool, as I was in the sun and looked like I'd passed the worst. It turns out I was right about that. After the initial low ridge, the rock gets quite good. Lots of big spikey, solid, granite(?) pilars to weave up, around, over and through. I found an old ring piton at one point. Here I must differ with the Beckey guide btw as it says to skirt one obstacle on the left, whereas I only skirted from the ridgetop once, on the right. Traverse under an early obstacle through the trees. The Mountie description says something to the effect of "if you're more than 20 feet away from the ridgeline, you're offroute" and I think that was right on. When I finally reached the low point of my previous explorations, all butterflies subsided. The unknown was over, just fun scrambling up way-exposed solid rock. I topped out. Hung out for about 1/2 hour, then booked over to the Tooth. Found my friends still working on pitch 1. Did a lap there and hung out. Home for dinner.
  24. Nice job, and great pics! The approach is a lot longer since when I was up there since they closed the Middle Fork Road.
  25. TR: Kaleetan North Ridge

    Thread necro! I went up and repeated this route last weekend. If you suffer to read the previous report you'll note that I scared the shit out of myself initially gaining the ridge. Well, this time I forced myself to stick to a route that appeared to be comically easy from below. Looking up from below I almost always underestimate the difficulty of the climbing and soundness of the rock. So thus calibrated to follow only something I felt I could do without hands, I was able to gain the ridge without coming close to soiling my underwear. The rock below the ridgetop is really cool. I think maybe it is limestone? It is very frictiony and featured, but there are unfortunately areas where some of it is peeling off in layers like frosting from a cake you've left on the counter for a week. Basic directions: go up and through the steep notch to the right (North) of the first major hump North of the ridge lowpoint. Drop down to other side and follow the easiest looking path (ledges and gullies) right up center of amphitheater on the West side of the ridge. Once you gain the crest of the ridge the rock is different and usually more sound. The going is continually exposed and usually doable right on the crest at about 5.4 max . I dropped down on the right twice, once to avoid a steep crack that looked sweet but looked too difficult for soloing (probably about 5.7-8?, but note my previous statement about my misunderestimation of difficulties). It was about 5 hrs car to summit. Listened to the Hawks for a while on the summit with the various flying insects, then headed back to car via Hemlock Gap. Crappy cellphone photos to follow! Ridge from Gem Lake From somewhere low on the ridge (it's more exposed than this picture makes it look) Looking down from about 1/3 way along ridge Looking down from summit
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