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About Paul_Warner

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    Grad Student
  • Location
    Pullman, WA
  1. The Black Diamond manipulative campaign

    I've had some mixed (no pun intended)experiences with BD CS. Don't get me wrong. I love their gear (for the most part), but if yer gonna drop hard-earned ducats on gear yer life might depend on, ya wanna believe it's gonna hold up and be dependable. Good experiences: BD replaced my old-style ice gloves no questions asked after the seams on the thumb started to blow out. They even replaced them with the newer models, even though I knew they had a stock of old ones left, because I had (politely) mentioned to the CS rep that I was frustrated that the inside of the glove wasn't sewn to the outside, so the non-removable liner would invert when you pulled your hand out, and was a total hassle to put right. They fixed that on the next generation, and that's what they sent to me. (Previous comments about being polite to CS, and being wary of first-generation designs are spot on!) I've had other good experiences with them, as well. Bad experience: The spring that keeps the cam extended on my #1 camelot broke at Red Rocks last Fall, and I sent it to BD. They sent it back, explaining that it couldn't be fixed, and looked like "it should be retired, because it looked like it was at the end of it's useful life". While I realize that once the unit is produced, it can't be dismantled, and therefore wasn't fixable, I don't believe it wasn't thrashed beyond it's lifespan, IMHO. The sling is still in very good condition, and I've only owned it for a few years. Anyway, I figured they should replace it, or sell me one at a discount, but they wouldn't. Not that big of a thing, but it does seem that they have become a little more um, mercenary, in the past 2-3 years. I've generally had good experiences with manufacturers of outdoor gear. But the bottom line is they are running a business, and can smell bullshit a mile away. My Absolutely Worst Experience: Mountain Gear, in Spokane. But that's another story.... PW
  2. Good Routes to Repeat

    I'll try to answer the question (Well, what are some routes that you folks have done which you'd like to repeat or which you tend to repeat regularly?) as directly as I can before I start spinning off in wierd tangents: Routes I'd like to repeat assuming I've only done them once)( and depending on the committment factor, ie. my available time, what kind of shape I'm in, who my partner is, all the stuff that shapes this kind of subjective rumination (In no particular order) Mountaineers Route, Elephant Perch, Idaho Sawtooths Crimson Chrysalis, Red Rocks, Nevada Beckey-Chouinard, South Howser Tower, Bugs East Buttress, Middle Cathedral, Yosemite South Face, Prusik Peak Liberty Ridge, Mt. Rainier The Snaz, Death Canyon, Tetons North Ridge, Grand Teton Rebel Yell, East Face Chianti West Ridge, Forbidden Peak Complete North Ridge, Mt Stuart Northwest Arete, Mount Sir Donald But I realize the attraction and fond memories I have of these routes is not born of the routes themselves, but of the experiences I had while feeling their stone and snow, the comraderie of good partners, the smiling benificence of good weather, and the good tangential "experience" that is so difficult to describe. I'm certain that I've done a few routes that I would have considered quite fine and worthy of repeat, except for a lack of good "tangential" experience, or more accurately, a heaping helping of BAD "tangential" experience....... Like the time my partner came down with Colorado Tick Fever after doing the South face of Blodgett, and almost died. Or almost getting zapped with lightning on Mt. Louis, or overestimating my girlfriend's capacity for suffering on an extended climbing/backpacking trip in the Sawtooths. But there's a thread with almost infinite capacity for response, heh? Anyway, I geuss the second part of the original question deals with routes we tend to gravitate towards, repeating again, and again, but for what reason? I have found myself repeating climbs for a number of reasons, usually because I like them, and they're convenient (ie low comittment factor), or because I am trying to do them in better style: Routes I have repeated (for whatever reason): Cooper-Hiser on Chimney Rock (E. Face), Selkirks, North Idaho: First Ascent by the namesakes in 1961. First Free Ascent in 1972 by Roskelley and Kopczynski. At 5.9-, it's pretty moderate, but the 200+ feet of air below yer ass on the barn door laybacks will tend to pucker you up. There's a bunch of 5.6 - 5.12 routes 3-4 pitches long to the top of this sharkfin tower, but no walk-ups! And although I've done a number of them, even multiple times (including hauling overnight sleeping/steak barbecue/scotch and beer gear to the top via the 5.6 rap chimney, just to camp on top and watch the sun set), there's no other route (multi-pitch)I've ever done as many times as Cooper-Hiser. (20+ times) The North Idaho Selkirks are at the top of my list for sacred places. Killer Spring skiing, too! (Sobo was correct in praising Harrison Peak, just a hop/skip/jump from Chimney. Except that most of of the routes weren't put up by Roskelley/Kop, but by Randy Greene. Keystone route and Sunset Dihedral are also climbs I've repeated several times, and probably will again. Added perks: low crowds, the chance to see some of the last Woodland caribou alive in the lower 48, and great fishing, if yer into fresh trout for dinner) Outer Space (about 14-15 x) Why? Because it's Fred's vision and realization of a Utopian Alpine Rock Climb!....... Orbit/Mary Jane Dihedral (couple times) Liberty Crack (I've done this route 4 times, with different partners and increasing speed/style, and now I'd like to rope solo it! And I gotta disagree with previous posts. There are some great pitches up higher.) N. Face Athabaska (3 times, including Hourglass variation) Direct East Buttress, South Early Winter Spire (Couple times, but still haven't totally freed it!) The Mutt and Jeff, Humbug Spires, Montana (This is a truly magical place. The route is named after an unlikely climbing team who pioneered the route in the late 60s, and later perished attempting the N face of Mt. Cleveland, Glacier Nat'l Park, in the winter of '69. Lots of good climbs in a unique alpine environment. Check out Randy Greene's Climbing Guide to Montana.) And so while I really like the introspective and thoughtful quality of this thread, I really believe it begs a deeper question: What makes a "classic" climb classic?? I would offer the viewpoint that it's not so much the climb itself, but the quality of experience you associate with it. In that way, any climb can be a "classic" in your own mind, and worthy of visiting again and again. It's a strange and wonderful game we play. Have fun and be careful out there. pw
  3. Bluewood Ice

    Like Red, I had heard of ice up near Bluewood. I went telemarking up there yesterday, and on the way back, saw a couple of people playing on some ice, so stopped to check it out. The ice actually looked pretty good, well bonded and plastic. I was wishing I had my tools! If it doesn't warm up too much, it should remain, as it is in a cool shady location, and the approach is 1 minute. Might be kinda tough wading the creek to access some of the bigger pillars to the right, and I don't think there are bolts above the left-hand climbs, which top out into steep chossy slopes. paul warner
  4. An *ideal* climber's town??????

    In no particular order (cuz it depends on what ya can live with, and NO place is perfect.....): Bend, OregonSpokane/Coeur d'AleneSandpoint, IdahoCanmore, AlbertaDriggs, IdahoMissoula, Montana (Less yuppified than Bozeman)Whitefish, MontanaMcCall, IdahoMazamaSalt Lake City
  5. My Spectre vs. Your Spectre

    BTW, the thread subject title is classic Bond, James Bond.
  6. My Spectre vs. Your Spectre

    Question for y'all: I've owned a Spectre "ice piton" for about four years, and only used it once, banged into a frozen soil/root ball on a thin mixed piece of choss in Montana, and clipped a "fixed" spectre on Red Man Soars a few years past. Does anyone else own and regularly carry an ice hook?Have you ever used it? The testing data I've seen doesn't inspire much confidence in their holding power for a fall. I've seen it written that they make good "panic" pieces, but if you're that pumped, how easy is it to place? (I use both an ice hammer [left hand] and ice axe [right hand], so it seems like it would be hard to pound it in with the side of the adze. I qeuss that's a topic for another thread- "Two hammers or one of each?/Which hand?") I'd really like to know other people's opinion/experience with these pieces. Thanks PW
  7. What route for first time up Rainier?

    The "physicality factor" is directly tied to the route you wanna do. For instance, the Kautz and the Emmons don't require a carryover of gear, so you can do the routes with light loads. Liberty Ridge, on the other hand, requires a carryover of gear, unless you want to downclimb the route. I've done all three of these routes, and my vote is for the Kautz, for yer first taste. If you want solitude, do the Emmons before the road to White River opens up. It's an extra 7-8 miles hump on asphalt, but you'll only see rangers on the route, and might get a pre-dug snow cave at Camp Shurman as a bonus! (like we did) After you get a taste of how yer body deals with the altitude, go back and do Lib Ridge. It's sweeet, in the right conditions, and fun, even if you have to wander around for five hours in a whiteout on top to find the way down. (like we did) Much of altitude conditioning is genetic. While it's wise to be in good aerobic shape, and stay hydrated, some people just can't hack altitude above 12 K feet. Do an easier route to find out how you fare, then plan for another harder route if you style. have fun, whatever you do!
  8. rayzorclam

    all you people scare me. Mommy???
  9. Roped w/ no Pro In?

    Climbing roped together, instead of setting up traditional belays, is a great way to save time, but the bottom line is this: If a fall of any climber is likely, and would pull the rest of the party off their feet, use a running belay!! It doesn't take that much more time, and is infinitely safer. If you insist on climbing together without being "tied into the mountain", untie and solo climb. That way, only the person falling is gonna get whacked! (unless they hit someone else) A perusal of "Accidents in N. American Mountaineering" will provide MANY accounts of just such a situation. Don't become a statistic.
  10. Climbing Fee Resistance Strategy?

    As far as NPS fees go, I pay it and don't bitch. But the general "fee demo program" has gotten outta control. It seems like I get nickle-and-dimed to death. The BLM, Fish and Wildlife, and Forest Service are all jumping on the money train generated from the surge in yuppie outdoor recreation. I'm a poor grad student, and don't have the $100 disposable income to go hiking in the Blue Mountains, park at Vantage, Sawtooths, every other national/state area. What gives?? Case in point: last weekend, the F & W showed up at Vantage, and started handing out $75 tickets to unregistered vehicles. They made a killing. If I KNOW the money is directly going back into trail maintainence, etc., I'm cool with it, but isn't a large proportion of the funds generated going into enforcement? It just seems crazy........
  11. Clip up on Concord Tower

    Does anyone have ANY idea on how to achieve a "consensus" on this issue?? I agree that the adversarial nature of some of the posts may actually be doing more harm than good, by discouraging the people putting up this route to come forward with their side of the story. (there's three sides to every story. Yours and mine, and the cold hard truth) But there really isn't any TRUTH to this story, only people's opinions or what is right/wrong. On the other hand, I think the overwhelming vibe I get is that people don't want an "alpine" route with bolts every three feet, and hopefully the people putting up this route can relate to this sentiment. Mitch, I totally respect your trad values, and I like climbing because it's HARD and SCARY. I learned how to climb when the mantra was "the leader shall not fall", just like you. I've seen the sport (and way of life) become another Mountain Dew life-style commercial venture, and it makes me sick. BUT, we have to realize that these styles will continue to exist (risk-free climbing is like decaffeinated coffee, what's the point??), and we need to promote DIALOGUE, NOT CONFRONTATION! If the route being put up is not overbolted given the consensus grade (I think we can all basically agree what this means, bolts only where necessary for PHYSICAL, not psychological protection), and it is a good climb, I won't get bent out of shape over it. I still think all bolts should be hand-drilled, because it makes the ascentionist REALLY evaluate what bolts are critical for safety. I WILL get pissed if anyone does anything to jeopardize my access to my playgrounds! The recent bolting debacle in Boulder is a good example of a "community" coming together to find a common ground, and common ethic. It may be difficult to identify a specific cross-section of the climbing community that this Wa Pass situation affects, but forums like this are a good start. All of you, please extend your best wishes to the people putting up this route, and hope that they respect the sentiments of those who will follow in their footsteps. Paul Warner
  12. UW Climbing Wall

    hey max, don't be sorry. that was funnier than shit, and totally on the money! internet directions to an artificial wall..... we've come a long way since Fred was wandering around the Cascades, looking for good climbs, haven't we? I don't think it's progress.
  13. Diadem Peak (Humble Horse) beta??

    Hey, Thanks for the beta and stories. We plan to do it in late August/early September. If it's too warm, we'll just find some rocks to climb. Keeping the options open is key to good road trippin'. pw
  14. Clip up on Concord Tower

    I just have four questions that may help to put this all in perspective: 1) how many bolts have been put in on this route? 2) how many pitches? 3) are the bolts absolutely necessary for the safety of a climber who can lead at the route's consensus grade? 4) will the route attain "classic" status, or is it something that will only be climbed by a handful of people in the next decade? A good example of what's going on here is the route "Sisyphus Summits", on Chinaman's Peak, near Canmore, Alberta. (Canada fer all you rednecks) It is a "fully-equipped" 17 pitch 10d route, clearly visible from downtown Canmore. When it was put up in '94, there was a battle cry to "chop the bolts!", because it didn't fit the tradition of the area. The bolts remained, and it has gone on to be something of a classic (although incredibly risk-free) climb. I'm not advocating indiscriminant "bosching", because I'm kinda old-school, and believe the risk is directly related to the emotional reward, but it seems that a certain amount of different genres and styles are bound to come into existence, and that the climbing community needs to exhibit tolerance for one another. (Except where such styles are clearly not appropriate) I geuss my position on the issue at hand is this: I don't approve of power drills in wilderness or alpine areas, because it makes it too easy (it should be HARD, dammit), and I like to hear nothing but the birds and wind when I venture into such a place. Rap-down ethics? I don't give a shit, as long as the route still demands respect (bolts ONLY where necessary), and placed well and with respect to future climbers. Please respect the mountains, and those who will most certainly follow in your footsteps. PLEASE don't give the government, or any other enforcement agencies a reason to take away our access! Keep it real. PW
  15. hey out there, Has anyone done the N. Face of Diadem peak, up in Canada (North of the icefields)?? I geuss everyone raves about how great it is, but I have yet to talk to anyone who has actually done it. Anyway, I'm mainly interested in the descent. Since it drops into the Wooley creek drainage, does it necessitate a carryover (groan), or could a team bivi at the base and contour around to retrieve ON gear? Any beta would be mucho appreciated. Thanks, Paul Warner ------------------