Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by W

  1. Here are some pictures of the Andinista, trying to show the worst damage to it. The holes visible at the bottom are only through the first layer of fabric. A couple of the side compression straps have broken cinch buckles that are just tied off now. The ice tool buckles and crampon buckles are still working, as are the top lid buckles. There's a crude hauling system still attached. It ain't pretty, but it's cheap, it's got plenty of mileage left, and your stuff will not fall out of it. I just don't ever use it anymore and would like it gone. I have a large number of inquiries about it- the first response I get by PM who wants it wins the prize!
  2. Sorry for the omission- Kichatna jacket is a Large, the Cloudveil is an XL but has a similar fit (not huge for an XL).
  3. Please PM- I check morning and evening. Am in Seattle and can meet. Will also ship if preferred, but you pay shipping. Have the following items for sale: Jansport book backpack $20 Black Diamond Black Prophet Ice tool w/adze and Alaska Pick $35 (1) Black Diamond Viper Ice tool w/old style (large) adze (not shown) and Viper fang+strike. Needs a rubber gasket and the bolts to attach the adze. No pick included. $45 Women's Mythos Rock shoes size 38. Used only one day, in near new condition. $65
  4. Please use PM for inquiries. I will check PM's morning and evening. I will ship to US and Canada, but add $15 shipping/handling to the prices listed below. Otherwise I am in Seattle and can meet in the area. Have the following boots for sale: La Sportiva Nuptse, size 45 1/2 $150 La Sportiva Makalu Size 44 $35 Leather, front-bail crampon compatible. Decent condition, just have not worn in many years.
  5. I just received word from New Zealand that renowned mountain guide Gottlieb Braun-Elwert has passed away from a heart attack. He was on a ski trip with the New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, who along with several others attempted to revive him, but to no avail. I met Gottlieb on his trips to the Alaska Range in 2002 and 2006, and continued to correspond with him through the years. I feel privileged to have known him, he was a kind and true gentleman, one of the finest men I've met, and he carried an attitude that for me defined the true spirit of mountaineering. His 2002 climb of Denali's Muldrow Glacier with Colin Montieth and 2 others concluded with these 4 fifty-something climbers helping the NPS with a SAR at 14 camp, before casually completing their traverse of the mountain and descending to basecamp. 2 years ago he returned to Alaska; finding his objective in poor shape, he and his partner moved their basecamp over to a beautiful location on the Kahiltna, just southeast of Mt. Foraker, and spent about 10 days ski mountaineering on nearby small ridges and peaks, and taking photos. When he flew out, we met at the West Rib Pub for beers; the joy of his adventure was evident in his face, it didn't matter that they went nowhere near their intended line; as always, he looked like he'd found exactly what he was looking for. We talked of meeting sometime in New Zealand and he would show me his favorite spots in the NZ alps. I regret that this meeting will now never be realized. For more about this amazing person read on: Article 1 Article 2 So long, old friend. Respect and admiration for a life well lived!
  6. I'm sure you've listed it somewhere else, but what camera are you using? Your pictures are always 5 stars. Thanks for this excellent TR.
  7. In Yosemite the words to fear are "squeeze" and "slot" Ericandlucie thanks for the beta/report. Were the bugs bad? And in the Sierras, for anything that says "4th class", you might do well to expect climbing up to 5.9! And in the Rockies, the new "5.9/A2" is "WI5/M6", or, anything that says "interesting mixed climbing".
  8. The handjam does help, but not as much as you expect it to, as it's still ridiculously awkward trying to get your foot onto the projecting flake. I do remember thinking a tall person would have an advantage. I think it feels harder and more insecure than trying to get established inside the "Narrows" on the Steck Salathe in Yosemite. The Prusik chimney is not bad if you stay left side in, and don't go too high. Right when it seems to be getting too tight, moving to the outside of the chimney and using a stemming maneuver that allows you to turn to right side in enables you to reach big face holds out left- more intimidating than difficult.
  9. Sounds like you either you found a secret way to get established in the CBR chimney (or you're 8 feet tall? ), or you went the wrong way in on the Prusik chimney. I've done both routes twice (Prusik three times actually) and for me it's no contest, that Prusik chimney is a cruise by comparison. I do think once established in the CBR chimney that it really is 5.8. But I've always wondered if something at the entrance to it broke off, because that start move has felt like solid 5.10 both times, and awkward to boot. Anyway, nice work and thanks for the report
  10. Why would this be a "favorite"?
  11. Gone: Puffball Gloves Free Gear
  12. Have the following items. I'm in Seattle and will ship; please PM for offers: Charlet Moser M-10 Crampons. Good condition. Used only for ice, not mixed, so secondary points are still long. Frontpoints were replaced a few years ago. $50 2 pairs of beater BD Sabretooths. Best used as trashers for drytooling practice- points could be sharpened up but are much shorter than they were when new. $20 each BD Frontpoint gaitors. Size XL Have some rips in them but are functional. Take the time to sew on some patches and they'll be good as new. $15 North Face Kichatna Goretex Jacket. A few scuffs but in good shape otherwise. Size XL $35. 2 pairs BD Punishers. Size XL- NEVER USED because size XL for these was more like size L, too small for me. I seam gripped the outers so they will be great for ice climbing. $20 each Patagonia Puffball pullover. Size L. Some small cuts and tears in the arms, some are seam gripped over, others not. Functional and with good loft remaining. $35 Free to a good home: OR windstopper hat (never worn, stuffed in a gear bin for 10+ years); BD chest harness. Never used. Not climbing gear, but...iPod Nano 2GB. Wife upgraded to an iphone so we don't need this one anymore; good condition, has a plastic case for protection. No accessories. $70
  13. W

    Needles Classic Routes

    Thanks for the responses everyone, that should keep us busy and sated! Rudy- I've been here for a month already. Working til end of August.
  14. Gym climbing has unquestionable value in terms of developing face climbing technique, as well as fitness and strength. But there is over 100 years of alpine climbing (i.e. – trad) history that was played out before the existence of indoor gyms. While starting one’s climbing apprenticeship in the gym is certainly one way to go, I’m not sure why anyone would be dogmatic about this approach. Safe rope management and belaying skills can be learned anywhere. If alpine climbing is at the heart of one’s interest, why not start by going straight to the mountains, and immediately shape the gym in your mind into what it really is- a place for physical training. The gym otherwise conditions your mind in a number of ways, some of which may require “unlearning” when you shift to the mountains. Gym climbing and sport climbing focus almost solely on the technical difficulties and mechanics of climbing; these are important aspects of climbing but they are often secondary in alpine climbing. Among other things, gym climbing does little to develop situational awareness. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The old school approach of yesterday was that the older climbers would mentor the younger climbers, and the knowledge of the mountains was passed down from one generation to the next; that style is largely vanishing. The trend in climbing over the past few decades has been towards individualism- teach yourself, then (maybe) teach others. The advent of commercialism in guided expeditions has further helped to stigmatize the idea of hiring a guide to learn the ropes, and the proliferation of detailed guidebooks removes some of the mystery that otherwise would prompt a greater level of preparedness, while leaving all of the hazards; ego and ambition, while certainly not new to climbing, have become all too prominent tools for measuring one’s readiness for the next challenge. The “apprenticeship” in alpine climbing if it exists has to an extent become a function of surviving these forces and, hopefully, a delayed development of humility and respect for the mountains and a more realistic assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses. All of this gives potential for a more dangerous learning curve, as well as creating an armada of self-taught “instructors” who probably don’t even realize they are teaching unsafe methods. I don't mean to overgeneralize as there are plenty of exceptions to the above, nor do I intend to convey cynicism. The above trends just tend to speak louder when they are observed in practice. I think if you don’t take someone’s ignorance personally, then the attitude you convey will be of genuine concern and respect, and they will listen to what you have to say.
  15. My wife and I are going to the Needles (CA) in September; it'll be our first time there. I have all the downloadable info from Clint Cummins' site and one other site,, it's good but it doesn't say much about quality ratings (although I'm guessing there is much that is good by any measure). Can anyone well acquainted with this area recommend a "must-do" list for a 6-8 day stay? We're going there for the crack climbing primarily, and will get plenty of face in elsewhere; looking for everything worthwhile from 5.7 up to 5.11. Thanks in advance-
  16. Mantling out of my aiders onto Anchorage Ledge on Mescalito, feeling the onset of the calming, decompressive flow that comes with the conclusion of a long lead......with effort I rose to my feet...to find myself face to face with Korean porn that had been taped to the wall next to the anchor by the Korean team a half dozen pitches above us. All their bivi sites from there on were similarly adorned. The only downer was it was the kind with the strategically placed black dot.
  17. The ridge itself took about 5 1/2 hours, overall we were 9 1/2 hrs car to car. We never stopped anywhere for very long, it was continuous. The hardest climbing was a short steep step just before the dramatic knife edge ridge; at the step, climb up and off to the right, passing an ancient fixed friend. It felt like maybe 5.7; solid rock and good gear. Most of the route is 3rd and 4th class, but there's lots of low 5th class moves and steps throughout. Enjoy!
  18. Indeed, that Beckey quote is what enticed us to go have a look. We simuled the entire route with a set of cams to 2", set of stoppers, and lots of long slings. There were many sections of the route that did not require a rope but the exposure alternated frequently enough that we just left the rope on the whole time. Was it really that bad? Depends, I suppose...by comparison, I thought the Index Traverse was "enjoyable"; this climb was one that by 1/3 of the way up, we were just wishing it was over. To be fair, the rock itself is actually quite solid throughout the climb (better than Mt. Index rock), with good angular holds and very few loose sections. The knife edge section gains the route a couple of points back but not nearly enough to steer the climb into the "recommended" category. The ridge is actually quite long, and it also starts to feel rather committing up high. All in all, a very blue collar experience!
  19. Was up there today. From the basin atop the switchbacks, under Sperry's east face, it is all snow from there. I would recommend crampons for Headlee Pass. Lake is still frozen over and it's snow from there to the top of Vesper. North Face appeared largely dry but there were still some big detaching pieces of snow slab near the top of the right side of the face. It was hard to evaluate from where we were but it might be worth waiting awhile longer just to be sure. We climbed NE ridge of Sperry and descended the normal way. If anyone's interested, this route is a strong contender for the worst route I have done in the Cascades. Apart from a stimulating and exposed knife edge at 2/3 height, it is otherwise thousands of feet of vertical bushwhacking, pine needle-coated vertical dirt, and tree climbing- think Mt. Index, but on steroids. Ugh!
  20. Outstanding, Sol, thanks for the report, and way to giv'er. Looks worthwhile even for the dirty rock. As discussed in the other thread, nearby Dragonfly has similar issues with grainy/crumbly cracks that surely would be improved with more traffic. 'Eden' certainly takes the steepest and most badass line up the headwall. Sounds like this one is worth a go!
  21. This seems like an unrelated issue and supported entirely on conjecture. I have not so far seen or heard any evidence that these two deaths were in any way a direct product of the victims being guided clients and therefore inexperienced. Until I hear something contrary, I'm guessing based on what's been reported thusfar that both were victims of pre-existing congenital medical conditions of which they likely were not aware, particularly a 20 year old. This has happened before, not only on Denali but in other arenas. A very experienced Swiss guide died in his tent of a coronary in 1992 at 14K. Jim Fixx is another example. It might, except that it appears that the dangers of Denali had, at most, peripheral involvement in causing these deaths. You probably should wait until the bodies have actually been removed from the mountain and a COD established before jumping to conclusions, not to mention choosing a different venue in which to address your grievances.
  22. W

    Well done Uribe!

    A great example related to your question above was, again, in Chile. Allende was democratically elected (barely), but his policies of redistribution were an abject failure economically and socially. He angered the elite class and the military wing. The damage his policies were doing to the country might very well make the 1973 coup, on some levels, a defensible action. But getting back to the original point, there was nothing that Allende's regime did prior to his overthrow that could remotely justify the 17 year reign of terror that followed. Marxists were far from the only ones targeted, the net was cast wide to anyone with leftist views, to anyone who spoke against this extremist government's policies. I might add that elections were also cancelled in this case. The widespread hatred and paranoia of Marxism or anything remotely related to "leftist" ideology helped to fuel another coup and the even more horrifyingly genocidal regime of Jorge Videla in Argentina a few years later. The class gap in most Latin American countries is and has been so profoundly more vast and pronounced than that which we have here in the United States. Much of this I think is rooted in wealth that has been passed down through generations of Spanish rule and then consolidated by the rule of military governments, or governments that were otherwise hopelessly corrupt. Additionally, given that, I think much of the wealth that has been generated independently over the years has come about through various forms of corruption and abuse of power, which seems historically to be the way things get done in those countries, unfortunately. Hence there is a tremendous amount of resentment in the lower classes, as well as the only recently booming middle classes. So I'm not sure that it is entirely accurate to compare many (not all, certainly) of the wealthy elite of Latin America to the average Joe who achieved the American dream by simply working hard. Having said all that, it doesn't make redistribution of wealth a viable solution, economically or ethically. Take away a man's money and it will provoke the same reaction in him whether he got it through inheritance, graft, corruption, or hard work. Conversely, institutions designed solely to not only consolidate wealth but which actively interfere with and prevent others from access to opportunities are no better, and no less prone to invoking a violent insurrection. Until recently, in those two extremes you have much of Latin America's governing history. There is no easy answer to your question. Every culture, our own included, has it's contradictory and simultaneous forms of submission to, and rebellion against, authority. Until humans resolve this issue on both individual and collective levels, conflicts will be inevitable. In the meantime, we're truly fortunate here that our particular mix of this has not resulted in a society where the free exchange of ideas is not possible without an attendant exchange of violence. Happy 4th...
  23. W

    Well done Uribe!

    Having traveled extensively in Central and South America, it is not hard to notice in speaking to people and simply observing daily life that the majority of the populations are, in one form or another, what you would call 'leftist', although a distinctly Latin American version of social conservatism runs deep throughout. The odd paradigm then is the extent to which many of these countries have been dominated by violently oppressive military regimes over the past 5 decades. One can't help but notice that the return to stable democracies in countries like Chile, Argentina and Nicaragua has nonetheless brought leftists back to power. In some cases, such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, the rise to power of leftism was indeed corrupt and has not been positive for the region or the world, but countries like Chile have been a positive example. While you may not agree with leftist politics, from an objective standpoint it seems to be a fact of life that fits with and appeals to the cultures of certain regions and countries. Unfortunately, cultures with such an extreme gap between haves and have-nots results predictably in a rise of extremism on both sides. My point is that simply taking sides in the issue from afar, based on your personal biases and aesthetics as related to politics and social issues, ignores the reality on the ground for the everyday Latin American. If- through democracy and non violent means- the will of the people wants to create a political and social landscape that is "leftist", then that is, in my opinion, their business and their right, not to mention the very foundation of what democracy is supposed to represent. I don't have to agree with leftist politics to make this observation. Violent insurgencies such as FARC and Shining Path are another matter and I don't excuse them or their methods in the slightest. A violent response to them by those in power is also not unexpected, but I don't excuse them either. Excusing state-sponsored massacre of entire villages and rounding up civilians for torture and interrogation, as a 'proportional response' to anything, reduces the issue to a very base level. At that point, one could very easily reverse your above question: given a largely leftist population being ruled by a corrupt, oppressive military junta, -Do you expect the people to just roll over?
  • Create New...