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Everything posted by pope

  1. New Forum

    Pirate's forum? Cafe Sensitivo? Gym climbing? Why not a MOUNTAIN BIKE FORUM?
  2. Best of Jeff Smoot

    Journalistic Excellence
  3. Best of Jeff Smoot

    You're the authority on shitty beer. No doubt.
  4. (This post will eventually be moved to the new Mountain Bike Forum....stay tuned). Another day of big fun, big adventure, and big gnarl, with my good buddy Dwayner. This week's adventure had just over half the elevation gain of the Sun Top ride, yet it seemed more challenging. Perhaps because climbing narrow single track carved into the side of a cliff requires a constant struggle with balance, perhaps because Thursday night's ten-hill workout with Fairweather had us climbing Heartbreak Hill at the local cyclo-cross course (this hill was advertised to be unclimbable by a local bike shop owner)...and I never recovered. For whatever the reason, pedaling up Ranger Creek trail 1197 was a butt-kicker, and Dwayner's review after running that stretch echos my comments. From FSR 73, the "trail head" is across HWY 410, where a scruffy, weed-choked path traverses up a roadcut. The first three miles gain elevation slowly as the trail gently climbs through shady forest. At about 4 miles, near Little Ranger Peak, the grade increases, the trail narrows and the obstacles become more frequent. From the shelter at about five miles, we joined trail 1198, the Palisades Trail. One year ago, I rode this trail with Fairweather where misty weather interfered with the breath-taking panoramas available at multiple viewpoints along this cliff-top trail. Yesterday in cool, breezy sunshine, views of Rainier and the White River were unobstructed. The Ranger Creek Airstrip, visible in one of the photos below, was the site of a minor airplane crash which was observed and photographed in a TR on mtbr.com. Here's a link to the report: Ranger Strip Plane Crash Trail 1198 loses most of its elevation just above Camp Shepherd, down steep wooden steps and rocky trail parallel to a waterfall where at least a couple of ice climbing accidents have occurred. Back on the Hwy, Dwayner ran an extra half mile to make his effort equivalent to a half marathon....but with over 2900 feet of big fun, big adventure, and big gnarl. Now some pix: Palisades Trail, shrouded in mystery on previous trip. Similar view point under better conditions. Dwayner and the Ranger Air Strip (roughly our startint point). With narration by Frank Sinatra: [video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKzj4ETHwdI
  5. Skookum Top Ride

    Rode Sun Top and down Skookum yesterday. We pedaled up 7315, but this road is in superb shape. I'll bet you could drive your lowered teen-ager import car up there without dragging your coffee-can-esque tail pipe even once.....if that's what you drive. Gee, I suppose Sun Top isn't really ready yet. Probably spent an hour walking through firm, deep snow high on the ridge. We got suckered in because after two or three small patches of snow by the upper parking lot, the way up 1183 was casual, until we were committed to it and then we encountered snow deep enough that we had minor trouble piecing together the trail. Followed by an incalculable number of blow-downs. But as my buddy Fairweather reminded me, "You can't buy this kind of adventure." Once beyond this mess, my first ride down Sun Top did not disappoint. Late to meet our running buddy at the car, we contemplated riding Hwy 410 to save time, and that's when we learned that attractive females were running down Skookum. Perhaps the bikers who informed us of the "special conditions/scenery" were pulling our legs, in order to enhance our workout by exploiting our boyish exuberance for athletic females. They seemed sincere, and so the decision to ride Skookum was thereby made easy. We don't regret the rodeo ride over wet roots and rocks on our hardtails. My frozen feet regained feeling after a few miles. And no, the aforementioned eye candy was not merely fiction created to sucker us into riding Skookum. All I can say is, "Ausgezeichnet!" High water near the bottom of Skookum, which forced a short woodsy detour last week, had receded allowing a boggy passage. Now some pix: Fairweather on wheels, Dwayner on foot. Pope gettin' suckered up 1183. Trail? What trail? Trail! We got trail. "You can't buy adventure like this." Once you get past the mess, you got her licked. Think your knees hurt? Shove this in your lunch hole! Post huck-n-run party at Pope's Place.
  6. New Forum

    Pirate's forum? Cafe Sensitivo? Gym climbing? Why not a MOUNTAIN BIKE FORUM?
  7. BREAKING: Farrah Fawcett dead

    For those in the readership too young to remember, Every boy on my block had this poster on his wall. Let's remember her the way we loved her.
  8. Skookum Top Ride

    Here's a photo (not by bike) which shows more clearly a Cannondale Lefty. The "fork" or strut is designed to integrate specifically with Cannondale frames. They're available in carbon and alloy, supposedly offering the stiffest and lightest fork in their class (110mm). Instead of telescoping tubes, the interior of the fork is square in cross section with the interface packed with needle barings providing "stictionless" action during braking. They're pricey...I got mine under a warranty exchange/upgrade. One disadvantage is that few bike mechanics know how to repair them. You have to go to a dealer, and even then they might just ship your fork back to Pennsylvania for repairs. A 140mm model is called the Lefty Max.
  9. Skookum Top Ride

    I know, not here. But where? PeterP is always so good about helping people find correct locations for their misplaced posts. I thought about Spray, but we didn't make up any of it. It's all true. Here's why I think a mtn bike forum is appropriate. Biking is just another means of traversing mountainous terrain. Whether you're accessing a distant peak, too remote for walking, or just ejoying the activity per se. The analogy to skiing is obvious. I ski very little but enjoy reading ski reports cc.com, reports about ski access to a mountaineering objective, about first ski descents, or just skiing for no other purpose than to enjoy the mountains through an exhilerating and athletic activity.
  10. New Forum

    Mt Hood. Can't you ride a SnowCat up that inferior little prominitory?
  11. New Forum

    Another 2-wheeler fanatic comes out of the closet. Here's a guy....not just a guy, but a brother-truckin' tough guy.....who would support, if I'm interpreting correctly, a mt bike forum. And if Layton's on board, what more do we now need?
  12. New Forum

    Didja dab?
  13. New Forum

    Trip reports in spray? That makes as much sense as placing a milk bucket under a bull.
  14. New Forum

    Hi kids. It's me, Pope. Hello again, I'm back. Didja miss me? And for the record, I was not drunk, just havin' a little fun. In the future, look for mt bike TR's in the Rock Climbing Forum. That's right, the Rock Climbing Forum. Since I don't know where such a TR should be appropriately placed, and since I believe there is no moderator more qualified than PeterP to appropriately locate homes for misplaced TR's, I'm going to defer to his wisdom and experience and park all my mt bike TR's in his forum, all the while hoping he will help me locate a more appropriate location.....or perhaps facilitate the construction of a new forum. We're old buddies. I'll bet he'll do this for me.
  15. The "RuMR Tries To Piss Off Everyone" Thread

    When you're a young adult and you feel comfortable placing yourself in harm's way (or you're just too stupid to know when you're doing it), that's your decision. If you get injured or chopped, only you are to blame for the aftermath (medical bills, somebody feeding you applesauce and changing your diaper, and/or the sorrow experienced by those who were close). When you're a parent and you place your child in harm's way, you aren't doing your job. Having said that, climbing can teach us to appreciate things many people overlook, and it can teach us the importance of concentrating when surrounded by danger. Climbing can teach us the value of developing routines for safety. Climbing taught me these lessons and gave me a confidence I was lacking, and I do wish for my children to experience similar development. I think there are other avenues to gaining the same knowledge, where the price for human error is less severe. I survived some of my near mishaps purely through dumb luck, and I realize things could have gone the other way. That's why I'm not encouraging my kids to climb.
  16. The "RuMR Tries To Piss Off Everyone" Thread

    If my kids get interested in this nonsense, I'll teach them how to proceed safely. What I'd worry more about is whether they'd be able to find climbing partners who meet my standards for safety. And even then, I find rock climbers generally aren't the kind of people I'd want around my kids. Too little regard for ethical and environmental considerations, too much weed, very poorly developed sense of responsibility and commitment.
  17. Hey RumR: Read This......

    Nope. You've got your Pope stories mixed up. It was at Smith. I just looked it up: Ring of Fire. Guide book says 11d. I remember it has a diagonal hand crack where you can milk a rest just before the anchors. Bowline on a coil, sloppy Boreals with knee sox, bimbo belayer. That climb is easier than any 5.10 on Jello Tower, for example. Other examples of 5.10 climbs harder than Ring of Fire...you don't have to look far, but even a soft place like Squamish has 5.10 climbs that are harder, such as that 10d right of Crime of the Century, or the pitch above the Split Pillar. Sorry I can't remember their names. I even think Slow Children is harder than Ring of Fire. Solid Gold (Yosemite), EBGB's (Joshua Tree), Skinny Puppy (Devil's Tower)....all 5.10 climbs harder than the 5.11 sport climbs I've sampled at Smith, City of Rocks and North Bend. And what's with Vomit Launch? Compare that to Yorkshire Gripper, Coarse and Buggy, Hot Rocks? Name one 12a sport climb as hard as Baby Apes (which I couldn't even get on TR). I've also climbed Aborigine, but I don't have much of a story to tell about it, except to say there's not a move of 5.11 on it anywhere.
  18. Hey RumR: Read This......

    My apologies. I didn't intend to complain about anything, only to offer an accurate history of the how and why behind soft sport grades. You're old enough to know I'm right. Do I have a problem with soft sport grades? Not really. When one needs an ego stroke, he knows where to go. The only potential/theoretical problem is when a sport climber decides to borrow a rack. Perhaps he wouldn't expect to have to climb a full grade lower, but he'll figure it out quickly and probably won't get hurt. I've dabbled in sport climbing, just a couple of trips to Smith Rock when it was raining everywhere else. I used to think sport climbing was better than no climbing. Now when the rain falls I'd prefer to ride my mountain bike or hike/scramble. Smith Rock is a long drive....and for what? What I've noticed about sport climbing is that out-of-doors, it's pretty easy. Off the couch and with a beer gut, I climbed 5.11 all day in North Bend. Similar results at Smith. In fact, one year at Smith I got an 11d first try, tied in with a bowline on a coil. With a big-boobied belayer who left six feet of slack in the dirt at all times. The same year I would routinely get shut down on 5.10+ gear climbs. Out doors, sport climbing is easy. All that is required is 2.5 seconds of staying power to make the clips. Natural rock offers purchases for your feet that your typical sport climber fails to see quickly. At the gym, I find the lead climbs incredibly hard. I used to train Sunday mornings with Scotty Hopkins down at the VC and later the VW. I'd be blasted after a couple of 5.10/5.11- leads. The climbs seemed extra physical. You couldn't employ precise foot work to minimize the pump. Out of doors, these grades seemed easy enough to climb all day, sport or gear.
  19. Hey RumR: Read This......

    Huh? I have no prob with BJ's. (Get me drunk enough and I might let you "speak into the microphone"). In fact, I think rock climbers should get BJ's, I just think they should get them the old-fashioned way. They should earn them.
  20. Hey RumR: Read This......

    Big Jim is far more qualified to provide perspective than any a-hole who contributes to cc.com discussions, and that includes el jefe, peewee puget, and pope. "Men were manlier in my day?" Got news for you, jefe, this IS his day. Personally, I do believe generational differences account for sport grades which are, with few counterexamples, much easier than equivalent trad grades. By this I mean, most post-1985 climbs are so F-ing easy for the grade. At 5.12 and beyond, I can't comment because I've never been athletic enough to sample such climbs. But up to 5.11 and 5.12-, I suggest knocking a full letter grade or more off a typical sport climb to compute the trad equivalent, for climbs put up in the 80's. I suspect the reason for this is the same reason that popularized sport climbing in the first place. Climbers of low talent, impatient with the learning curve or working through the grades, when climbing harder also meant learning how to fiddle in #3 RP's, and feeling inferior because somebody in California was climbing harder than they were, decided that bolts placed on rap were legitimate. With this development, one could clip bolts on a climb that was technically as hard as some trad climb that he could only ascend via top-rope. With only top-rope ascents (and hangdog ascents) of difficult pitches for perspective, climbers graded their new sport climbs without the knowledge of the true difficulty involved in leading these routes. The second generation of sport climbers was even more lazy and pathetic, applying softer and softer grades so their names would appear in conjunction with the 5.12 grade in the next edition of the local guidebook. In hopes of getting a blow job.
  21. thin rope perspective

    I second that emotion. Once I needed to cut 10m off a jammed rope. Getting down depended on it, but we had no knife. While my buddy stretched the rope across a boulder, I smashed it with a heavy, sharp rock. Wanna guess how many times I had to strike it? Hint: a positive number smaller than two. We were a little shocked at how easily the 10.5 cut. Since then my buddy hasn't complained that his rope is only 50m, so I've concluded that he isn't missing the convenience or the weight of the extra 10m. I recall another spooky experience, when I was lowering a sturdy Norwegian girl off a Leavenworth climb. I noticed a pink "cloud" developing where the rope ran over an edge. The rope, less than one year old and with no falls, was immediately retired when large sections of its core were visible after the top-roping the girl. After reading this thread, I feel the need to make an observation that might not be obvious to sport climbers who routinely fall on skinny ropes. If while trying to "send" your project, you fall off and your skinny rope fails....well....somebody else will be "sending" your project before you do.
  22. thin rope perspective

    11 x 50 is still the way to go, especially with the way today's climbers spend more time hanging/falling than actually climbing.
  23. Big Deal. I did 30 pitches (to 5.10) before lunch and that included Castle Rock, Snow Creek Wall and Givler's Dome. But seriously, any three of the 5.11's on that list would have pumped me out. To climb like that all day is certainly a statement of your fitness. Here's a little suggestion for the next attempt. Substitute Bulkhead Blues for one of the climbs later in the day. Why? Do the crux with slack in the rope. If you slip off, you'll skid down onto a ledge without injury. Then try again. Without putting weight on the rope, you don't have to count it as a fall, according to my friend. He claims I flashed Bulkhead Blues even though I slipped off the crux slab.
  24. Stim Bullitt - RIP

    He has a Memoir called River Dark & Bright. Haven't read it, but saw it when I was at the Sleeping Lady (founded by, I believe his sister) a couple of months ago. That's worth reading. I picked up a copy after a friend and Vertical Club employee told me about this old character who would take head-first whippers on the lead wall. I introduced myself and informed him I was reading his book. He seemed as tickled as I was impressed. In River Dark and Bright he commented on how disappointingly ephemeral life is. He wasn't the type to squander one minute of it, whether in pursuit of adventure or improving his community through a position of power. He was one who understood the importance and responsibility of leadership.