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About oldclimber

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  1. my poor shoes

    Carolyn: Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover from the auto parts store. Been using it for years. Spray on the soles, let sit for a minute and wipe off. Leaves the soles clean and nice and sticky. By the way, I grew up in So. Minneapolis. Was back a few years ago and found the climbing along the No. shore of Lake Superior to be really fun.
  2. USFS to make Fee Demo admin. changes in April

    I stopped into the Tacoma REI store today to inquire at costomer service about the fee demo changes coming in April and of course they knew nothing. I asked them to call the Seattle store to see if the forest service person was at the desk in the map and book dept. I spoke with a forest service worker on the phone. This is what I was told; Starting today, the Golden Eagle Passport ($65.00) will continue to allow unlimited visits to national parks for a year and will also serve as a trailhead pass for national forests in Washington and Oregon. It will NOT be a valid trailhead pass in other states nor will it cover other user fees in Wa. and Or. such as the "Volcano Pass" required to climb Adams and St. Helens. When I asked why not, she exclaimed "oh those are completely different deals". When I asked why a national pass only allowed me to park at trailheads in two states, she did not have an answer. I asked her if at her next staff meeting she would share our conversation and indicate this citizen sees very little change here and that I will continue to contact my senators and representatives to end fee demo altogether. My bet is she won't. For $65.00 ,a pass that got me into the National parks and covered the fees at all national forests might start softening my resistence to this foolishness. I should have known better.
  3. Pickets or Deadmen?

    I occasionally carry pickets , but rarely use them. I think the last time was in the upper section of Gibraltar Chute some years ago when the snow got hard and we felt the need for an anchored belay for a couple of short sections. My question is how to pound the damn things in when you are carrying only a standard axe with an adze ? I've never found a method that didn't seem clumsy or that didn't tear up the nylon leash tied thru the hole in the head of my axe. Suggestions other than carrying a hammer ?
  4. Mt. Washington

    Lemon-- cool picture. It's a little hard to tell , but that looks like the summit ridge, just before the summit block. the picture would be looking back (south) toward Ellinor. If thats the case, we turned back at the far left of the picture at the point where you come up to meet the headwall and turn right to reach the spot your climber is standing.
  5. Mt. Washington

    Left Tacoma at 6:00 am Sat. and reached the start point for route 1A in the olympics guide at 8:00 am. Broke out of the fog into brilliant sunshine just above Hoodsport. Discussed the lack of snow and summer like conditions, but decided to leave the winter clothes in the pack just to be conservative. That turned out to be over cautious. No snow whatsoever on the road or the mountain until 5000ft. We moved up to the final meadow and then turned left (south) up a rock gully to the headwall described in the guidebook The traverse from that point to the summit ridge was primarily an 8 to 12 ft band of 30 degree snow with 400 ft of exposed rock below. There were some old steps in the snow and the climbing was not difficult, it was only about 100 yds, but if you slipped on the snow and could not immediately arrest , you were dead. I led out about half the traverse when my partner (future son-in-law) called out to say he was not comfortable continuing without a rope. It's always hard to turn back 500ft below the summit but I supported his decision and I was impressed with his judgement. I said we'd come back in the spring, protect the traverse, and knock this one off. A July like day in December in the Olympics with a young man who I am very pleased is marrying my daughter. Life is good. Now if we just didn't have to climb 3000ft of rock, dirt and roots in plastic boots.
  6. Mt. Washington

    Just got off the phone with the Hoodsport ranger station. They are saying the road is open to the upper Ellinor trailhead . Sounds like smooth sailing to the starting point for routes on the east side of Washington. Said it was "icy" up high. Sounds like plastic boot, axe and crampon time.
  7. Mt. Washington

    mattp & skisports: Thanks for the replys. I've got an S-10 4x4 with big tires so we'll see how far we go. I also carry shovel and chains but there comes a point in winter approaches where you choose to park and start walking uphill. I figure that's what I came for anyway, not to see how far I can push my truck. I'll post a TR upon return . Thanks again.
  8. Mt. Washington

    Am thinking of doing Washington on saturday. Anyone been up the Big Creek road recently? I' ll call the ranger station, but I often find their snow level information to be lacking. Thanks for any info.
  9. Stuart- Ulrichs couloir -- TR

    Sorry for the goofy, redundant post. Hit the wrong key.
  10. Stuart Ulrichs Coulior TR

    Ciimbed Ulrichs on 6/21,22,23/02. Teanaway trailhead snow free and 50% snow to long's pass. 70% snow down to Ingalls creek. Moved down stream to find best log crossing. creek quite high. Camped at 5100 ft. Set alarm for 5:00 am and under way at 5:45. First 800 ft snow free. Then crampons. Took left exit at 7000 ft. over wooded crest into final couloir From here it is 30 to 35 degree snow until the last 500 ft which steepens to 45 degrees to the summit. Watched a party of three pick their way across the ridge from the false summit on the Cascadian couloir route. Talked with them later and they didn't enjoy the traverse. Too much loose snow. We had an uneventful descent and decided to make a loop on sunday and came out over Ingalls pass. A very enjoyable non technical climb of a major peak. The snow is receding faster than I anticipated. If you're planning a south side route on Stuart, I'd try to get up there in the next couple of weeks.
  11. Stuart- Ulrichs couloir -- TR

    Climbed Ulrichs
  12. Mt. Stuart beta?

    I'm taking two newbies up the so. side of Stuart this weekend. I was planning ulrichs couloir but it seems cascadian couloir has become the popular non technical so. side route. I've always felt ulrichs was more straight forward under good snow conditions. Anyone have any thoughts/recomendations for me for this weekend ? Thanks
  13. South Brother, 5/19/2002

    Climbed the So. Brother sun/mon of memorial day weekend. No snow on the trail until the camp area at Lena forks. Well used boot trail through the snow from there. Met up with an Olympic college mountaineering class in the lower basin. They roped up and went directly up the hourglass. We opted to go over the shoulder to the right of the hourglass and traverse back into the upper basin above it. Short,icy rock step at the notch just below the summit, but not difficult. Outstanding glissade for almost the entire route back down. No need to bring snowshoes. Good luck and I bet you have better views than we did. The weather on sunday looks great.
  14. Adams-North Ridge

    CraigA Climbed the north ridge last august. Miserable with no snow, but no sign of crevasses on the trip to the true summit. We were comfortable traveling unroped. I think it will be even safer this year with the above average snow pack. The north ridge is not a bad climb as long as it is snow covered. I think it would make a good solo. I"d give it a shot. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  15. Nisqually-Gibraltar Chute

    Climbed it a few years ago. 40 degree cramponing up to two icy pitches just below where the chute meets the ledges and you move left to camp comfort. Belayed off pickets. Not hard, but you wouldn't want to fall. The biggest issue was rock fall. We dodged numerous football sized screamers while in the chute. Wear helmets, start early and maintain a brisk pace up the chute to minimize your exposure. All in all, it's a stout, satisfying climb that I think is worth doing. Enjoy.