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Alasdair

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About Alasdair

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    old hand
  • Birthday 11/30/1999
  1. [TR] Denali - West Buttress With a DSLR 5/23

    I can say a bit about that. This applies to Cannon and Nikon cameras I don't know about the rest. Point and shoot batteries are a disaster on cold mountains and usually fail after about 2 shots on cold days. First off you don't need to keep an SLR warm. It does not get cold enough on Denali for cameras to fail mechanically. If you are using Cannon or Nikon you really don't need to worry too much about keeping batteries warm. I have not had any issues. You loose a little bit of battery power, but its not a great deal. You don't need dry bags or waterproof bags on Denali. Its too cold. If you get snow on your camera leave it in the sun for a bit and it will sublimate. I use a lowe pro bag clipped on the waste belt of my pack and it works fine. If you get a little fogging in your lens take it off and leave it in the sun. It will dry out. To put it simply shooting on mount baker in the summer is much more difficult than shooting on Denali.
  2. Trip: Northern Picket Range Traverse - Whatcom, Challenger, Luna Date: 7/1/2014 Trip Report: I just returned from a trip into the Northern Picket Range in the heart of the North Cascades. It was everything a Pickets Range trip should be, tiring, wet, amazing, scary, beautiful and of course bushwhacky (ok thats not really a word, but you get the idea). I was working this trip for the American Alpine Institute with two advanced guests and it really felt a lot more like climbing with friends than it did guiding. We started out with the intention of traversing the range from north to south, but after a couple of days bad weather and an unfortunate incident of a dropped and unrecoverable ice axe we shortened the trip and exited via Access Creek. We parked at the Ross Lake Dam TH and took the boat shuttle from the dam to Little Beaver. The 17.5 miles to Whatcom Pass was done over two days. Our plan of climbing Whatcom Peak via the North Ridge was changed when we saw that it was still covered in a lot of pretty sloppy and wet looking snow. We traversed around the east side of Whatcom Peak the following day via the Whatcom Glacier and summited the peak from the south side. Good snow coverage and nice conditions made this pretty simple. On the way to Perfect Pass from the summit we noticed the change in the weather. We did manage to cross most of the Challenger Glacier with no issues and negotiated the last of the crevasses just as the visibility dropped to near zero. We spent the night at low point between the base of Challenger's East Ridge and Eiley Wiley Ridge. The following day was not any way improved on the weather front, but boredom and a little spirit of adventure lured us out of the tent and to the summit of Challenger. I am not sure I would have been comfortable doing this without the GPS but it was fun and we got to tag our second summit of the trip. Upon returning from the summit we packed our camp and headed down the Challenger Glacier and into the Luna Cirque. We set up camp on the moraine at the bottom and watched as the clouds lifted and the weather cleared. The next day we moved camp to Luna Col and enjoyed an amazing sunset and the incredible views that this spot has to offer. The next morning we made the climb to the summit of Luna Peak. This route is not talked about very highly by any of the guidebooks, but I did not find it that bad. Although there is some loose rock it certainly not the worst the pickets have to offer. Not completing the ridge to the true summit would be a mistake for almost any party, and I highly recommend it. After returning to camp we packed up our stuff and headed out Access Creek. I had not been down Access Creek before and did not find it that bad. Yea, there is some bushwhacking, and yea it sucked a little bit at the time, but once again, its not the worst the Pickets have to offer. We did not find a good log crossing of Big Beaver Creek so a little crotch deep wading was needed to get across. Attempting to put on my pants, socks, and shoes, with a badly sprained ankle while a billion mosquitos took advantage of my bare skin was probably the low point of the trip for me. Yes somewhere in the Access Creek drainage I managed to roll my ankle to the point that it made lots of crunching and popping sounds. A bunch of athletic tape and some over tightened boots managed to get me the 2 more miles to a campsite on the Big Beaver trail. The following day with a badly swollen Ankle we hiked the 18+ miles to the car. And now some photos of the trip. There a a bunch more photos of the trip on my blog at: http://alasdairturner.com/blog Gear Notes: For the routes we did you could get away with a set of alpine quick draws (5) and a few cams. A pickets is a good idea also. Approach Notes: Long overgrown and buggy. But otherwise really fun.
  3. [TR] Mt Baker - North Ridge 5/25/2014

    Two for each anchor and two for leader. Six seems right to me.
  4. Found: Rope on Boston Basin trail

    There is no moat. The gully that goes to the ridge is in good shape although I did not use it.
  5. Found: Rope on Boston Basin trail

    It was dropped. There was a note right at the trail head left by the person who dropped it. I wish I had wrote down the contact info. They are looking for it hopefully they find this post.
  6. Chasing Ice

    Another great movie making the rounds right now is Last Ocean. It talks about the Ross Sea and the destruction of the Chilean Sea Bass(which is a fancy marketing name for the Antarctic Toothfish) fishery.
  7. Moolack news from today 6/4/13

    Agreed JoeR. Thanks for the effort. What you did was the right thing to do. Unfortunately there are some climbers who feel the need to bitch anytime any crag is closed because they they are so unadventurous they cant fathom going to a different climbing area for a little while.
  8. Moolack news from today 6/4/13

    If its a small bird then they will likely be gone within the month. Most smaller birds will fledge from the nest within 2 weeks. Chances are they will be gone next week. Closed till august is probably a little extreme. Go with July and you will be fine.
  9. Snow Dragon Cave

    Here is another volcanic ice cave, but its not in the PNW.
  10. Snow Dragon Cave

    From the video it looks like that cave is a volcanic vent. Does anyone know if that is correct? Is this a steam cave or just a meltwater cave?
  11. [TR] Mt Baker - Coleman Deming 5/7/2013

    FYI Road is now closed due to washout at Mile 1 or so.
  12. lightweight backpack for Denali

    Do not bring an Andinista on a guided trip. It is not big enough and when you do have heavy loads it will carry very very poorly. Go talk to Jim Nelson at Pro Mountain Sports and buy a Mont Bell pack. They make a huge pack that is light weight and carries very well. I have used a Mont Bell which I love. I have also used an Andinista, a mountain hardware, a Dana Designs and a gregory. The Mont Bell was by far the nicest. Second runner up was the mountain hardware. As far as pack size goes... A 75L is not big enough. You will have a ton of group gear that you will be carrying. Chances are if you show up with a 75L they will make you buy another one before letting you on the trip.
  13. I have a bunch of Rock and Ice magazines. $20 plus shipping. Numbers listed below. If you are trying to complete a collection and just want one or two thats fine. $2 each. 17, 24, 79, 82, 84,92,94,95,99,100,101,102,103,104,105,106,107,129,131, 132,145,110,111,118
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