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flatnose

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About flatnose

  • Rank
    n00b
  • Birthday 10/29/1979

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  • Occupation
    Geo-ho
  • Location
    Portland OR USA
  1. If weather/freezing levels hold out, anyone up for doing Reid HW this week? I'm recently unemployed and back in Portland so gotta do something besides sit around in my sweatpants all day. I'm thinking Wed. night. I'm down for camping at I Rock or car to car. let me know. Adam
  2. Just got back day before yesterday from Alpamayo. Originally planned to climb n. Face of quitaraju as well but unfortunately the weather had other plans for us. My partner Tom has written a rather long-winded, but poignant, account of the trip (except the part about ramen noodles and mashed potato flakes which are, in fact delicious). If you don`t need the blow by blow you can skip to the photo link at the end. Cheers. Hi Everyone, On July 30, Adam Jones and I reached the summit of Alpamayo (5,947m or 19,511 ft) by the Basque-French route, possibly the most famous mountain in Peru and one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. We were on the mountain for 10 days, including a 4-day battle through snowstorms at Col Camp (18,000 ft), both of us crammed in a tiny single-wall tent. It was something of a miracle that we were able to reach the summit during a brief clearing in the weather and the whole affair turned out to be quite an adventure. Here´s a day-by-day account of the climb. I´ll have photos of the whole thing when I get home. Day 1...We leave Huaraz by taxi at 6AM and drive 2.5 hours to the village of Cashapampa (9,500 ft). We meet our donkey driver, Elias, and load up two donkeys with equipment and food for 9 days. We hike 15 miles to Base Camp (14,000 ft) which takes us about 6.5 hours. We make camp and organize food and supplies to move up the mountain the next day. Day 2...We wake up to find mostly clear skies and set off for Moraine Camp (16,000 ft). It takes us about 2 hours with heavy packs and we place my Trango 2 on a flat area amongst rock slabs as our advanced base camp tent. We spend the afternoon collecting water from the glacier and resting. That night, it snows several inches. Day 3...We wake up to gray, cloudy skies and dampness from the overnight snow. We decide to wait in Moraine Camp due to the bad weather, rather than moving up to the less comfortable Col Camp (18,000 ft), where we would be camped on the snow, with our only source of water from melted snow. It snows again several inches that night. Day 4...The weather seems to be improving, with mostly clear skies in the morning. We pack up, leaving the Trango 2 at Moraine Camp, and set off for Col Camp with 3 days of food and the EV2 single-wall tent, hoping to climb both Alpamayo and Quitaraju with a rest day in between. We struggle up the glacier with 40 lb packs, winding around crevasses to reach the ice wall which leads to the col. By this time, the weather has deteriorated and it seems about to start snowing. We climb 2 pitches of 50-60 degree ice in clouds and wind (with huge packs on...fun) to reach the col and descend to Col Camp, taking about 4 hours from Moraine Camp. We quickly set up camp and start melting snow to cook just as it starts to hail and snow again. We set our alarms for 3AM, hoping for the best and hunker down as snow pelts the tent for most of the night. At 3AM, it´s totally socked in and a no-go for the summit. Day 5...We wake up and try to dry out as much as possible. The EV2 is covered in snow and crusted with ice on the inside from our frozen breath which has collected during the night. It´s cloudy all day and we never see the mountain. It snows again that evening and continues through the night. Again, no chance for a summit attempt. Day 6...Our third day in the tiny single-wall at 18,000 ft. Morale is extremely low and the track leading to the face has been covered in fresh snow. Our food is seriously depleted, but rationing has allowed us to wait a fourth and final day for the weather to break. If we aren´t able to try for the summit the following night, we will have no choice but to descend to Moraine Camp where we´ve left 2 additional days of food in the Trango 2. We´re also running low on energy from so many days at 18,000 ft with poor sleep. Luckily, that afternoon, the clouds clear for the first time and we can see the summit. We hope that maybe we´ll get a chance that night. But by dinner, the clouds have returned and it snows yet again through the night. Day 7...Our last possible day in Col Camp. We wake up to the usual clouds and crusting of ice all over the inside and outside of the tent. We eat our last bits of remaining food throughout the day, including a nasty mix of Ramen and mashed potato flakes for dinner. The clouds clear in the afternoon and we get our best views yet of the summit and our intended route. The summit attempt has to happen that night or we´re going down in the morning. I wake up at midnight to go to the bathroom and the sky is clear...nothing but stars. Salvation has arrived it seems. I tell Adam and we decide to get up around 3AM, so that we reach the technical climbing on the face by sunrise. Day 8...We´re up at 2:30AM and roped up, heading for the face at 3:30AM. The new snow on the glacier is a major obstacle and we struggle to find the route to the face. We reach the 45 degree snow slopes below the face and struggle to make any progress. We´re gaining only about 50m of elevation per hour. The snow is thigh deep. At 6AM, we´re traversing on steep slopes under the face when a massive avalanche releases from the French Direct route(a route to the right of our intended routes), sweeping the slopes about 50m to our right. It´s the closest I´ve ever been to an avalanche of this size. Two guided parties just behind us decide to turn back, believing the route to be too dangerous for clients. Adam and I discuss for a few minutes and decide to continue to the start of the Basque-French route and assess conditions from there. I believe that once on the face, there will be minimal avalanche risk, since the route is pure water ice and should not have accumulated much snow. We struggle on to the base of the face and the start of the route, taking 3 hours from Col Camp. It should have taken only 1 hour, but the new snow made progress extremely slow. I reach the vertical ice of the bergschrund and set a belay with 2 screws. We organize our two 60m ropes and Adam starts off on the first pitch. As I´d hoped, there is no significant new snow on the route and the only objective danger we face is a collapse of the summit cornice which hangs over the route. I take the second pitch which also goes smoothly on 60-65 degree water ice. As Adam finishes the third pitch, spindrift starts sweeping the route and clouds have rolled in. We´re climbing in a white-out and I´m following the pitch bombarded with spindrift 1-2 ft thick. I can´t see my feet and I´m taking tons of snow in the face, making it difficult to breathe. Luckily we´re able to belay to the side of the ice runnel, out of the worst of the spindrift. The cruxes come on the fifth and sixth pitches, the first a step of 80 degree ice led by Adam, and the second a 20m traverse on 80 degree snow and ice under the summit cornice, followed by 20m of tunnelling on 70 degree snow and ice to break through the cornice and gain the summit ridge (led by me). Adam joins me on the ridge at noon after having spent 5 hours climbing the face and we can´t see a thing. The wind is whipping and the true summit (the highest snow mushroom) lies 100m away along a horribly corniced ridge which now has about a foot of fresh, sugary snow to make things especially interesting. We set off for the summit, setting an intermediate belay from a picket about 40m into the traverse. I start off from the belay, nearly crawling on all fours. The snow on the ridge is really loose and I need to test every foot to avoid slipping off either side of the ridge. There is much cursing and near-soiling of the underpants. I finally reach the summit and can barely see Adam just 60m away. Adam declines to follow the last 60m along the ridge (probably discouraged by my extensive cursing). An ascent to any point on the ridge is considered a successful summit due to the precarious nature of the traverse, but my stubborness (i.e. stupidity) allowed me to stand on the absolute highest point. After about 10 seconds on the summit, I returned to the belay and we prepared to descend the face. We placed a picket and rappelled over the summit cornice and then descended the face in 6 double-rope rappels from V-thread anchors in the ice. It took us 1 hour to complete the rappels and cross the bergschrund. We then downclimbed 300m more in knee deep snow and finally reached the flat glacier below the face where we roped up and returned to Col Camp at 3:30PM having spent 12 hours on the route. Since we had no food and no fuel remaining in Col Camp, we had no choice but to pack up camp and return to Moraine Camp that night. Exhausted, we packed up the EV2 and started off with heavy packs at 5:30PM. We made two 60m rappels to descend from the col and then negotiated our way down the glacier and through the moraine, arriving in Moraine Camp at 8PM after a 17 hour day. We quickly made some dinner and went to bed. I didn´t get much sleep though, since I was suffering from some snow blindness and my eyes hurt and watered profusely. Day 9...We get up late and pack everything, ready to descend to base camp. We have 50 lb packs and are extremely tired. Luckily, it´s not very far to base camp and we arrive around lunch time. Adam buys a beer and I buy a huge bottle of Coke. We make arrangements with Elias to hike out with donkeys the next day. We eat as much as possible and that night the weather is still total crap. It rains for much of the night. Day 10...We load up the donkeys and start hiking back to Cashapampa at 8AM. The 15 miles seem like 30. We stop a few times to eat and drink, but it feels like a forced march and my legs are really sore. Finally, I arrive in Cashapampa at 2PM and we load into a taxi, reaking of 10 days in the mountains. We stop for lunch in Caraz and have steak and french fries. At 5PM, we´re back in our apartment in Huaraz. What an adventure and what an awesome climb. It was really lucky that we were able to get to the summit and it was quite a test of my determination and endurance. I would have been really disappointed if we´d spent 10 days on the mountain and gotten nothing to show for it. And this isn´t even the whole story. Part 2 involves a crazy puppy that followed us all the way to Col Camp, who I pretty much had to rescue from the mountain when we finally went down. And Part 3 involves a set of ice axes that we retrieved from the summit ridge which belonged to an American party who was on the mountain about a week before us. But those can be stories for when I come home next week. I´ll be in NYC on Aug 7. We´re planning one more route and then I´ll be on my way. If you succeeded in reading all this, congratulations. I´m going to incorporate it into a trip report on SummitPost. I´ll see you all soon. -Tom http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=48150764/a=57938751_57938751/t_=57938751
  3. North side Rainier beta

    Well aw shucks! Thanks Mike.
  4. North side Rainier beta

    Planning on heading up Ptarmigan in a couple of weeks. Approaching from white river descending Emmons. Any recent beta/pics would be most helpful.
  5. [TR] Hood- Another Reid Report 5/6/2006

    Nice job fellas. Anyone of you P-towners interested in doing alpine this May send me a pm.
  6. [TR] Mt. Hood- Reid HW 4/23/2006

    I took the standard route up thru the first, traverse left over snow rib, and thru another chute. You can also head straight up the first gully to top out on w. crater rim which I've done before too. The Sandy was great; no debris whatsoever unlike a couple of years ago when some pretty scary sized chunks were flying through the hourglass. That was in mid june though.
  7. Climb: Mt. Hood-Sandy Headwall Date of Climb: 4/30/2006 Trip Report: My friend Chris and I climbed Sandy this morning. I'll try to keep it short and sweet. Left T-line @ 2:30 made it to the saddle by about 5:30. Strong wind all the way up Palmer made for a not so enjoyable slog. Thankfully the wind died as soon as we dropped onto the Reid. The traverse across Yocum is in great shape right now with a very large snow bridge spanning the schrund onto the Sandy; pretty straightforward. Good hard neve all the way up the headwall. Summitted at about 11 am. Descended the hogsback, etc., etc. Long day but loads of fun! Gear Notes: ice ax, 2nd tool, rope pickets (never used em), various miscellani Approach Notes: Reid/Sandy glaciers are still very filled in.
  8. Climb: Mt. Hood-Reid HW Date of Climb: 4/23/2006 Trip Report: Climbed Reid HW sunday morning. Absolute wallow getting up to the bergschrund but very nice kickstepping w/ occasional neve higher up. F#$*ing windy!! Took a couple of tennis balls off the thighs but mostly golf/pingpong ball size chunks coming down continuously in the first and second gullies. Should be great if the weather holds for another week or two. Gear Notes: axe, 2nd tool, poons, HELMET, Choc. covered espresso beans
  9. Bolivia this Summer?

    Nice pics, dalius. I'm headed down there as well this summer. What time of year were these pics taken?
  10. Bolivia this Summer?

    I had been planning a trip to Peru this summer but my partner had to bail out a couple of weeks ago to take a new job. I'm very interested in going to Bolivia if you guys want another partner. I've been climbing for about six years on both rock and in the mountains with ample experience on glaciers. I've summitted Hood close to thirty times, Rainier approx. half a dozen times as well as a number of the volcanoes in the Cascades. I've also climbed a bit in the bugaboos, squamish, leavenworth etc. I don't have any high altitude experience but have never experienced any trouble in regards to AMS or the like up to the 14000 ft. range. You can reach me on this site or at my email flatnose@gmail.com Adam Jones
  11. anyone been over to Reid glacier this week?

    I was planning on playing it by ear on Friday and assessing snow conditions once I got up there. It's not looking good but I'm always trying to be optimistic. What does the w. crater and mazama chute look like right now?
  12. Was thinking of taking a run up reid hw or leuthold on Fri. night and was wondering if anyone has climbed it or taken a look at the shape its in this past week? Also does anyone think it would be easier to descend the old mazama route or down the w. crater rim before it gets warm in the morning or are they in worse condition than the pearly gates?
  13. camping in leavenworth

    A friend and I are driving up to leavenworth from portland Fri. night. Can anyone recommend a good place to park or camp coming in late? Can we park at the snow creek trailhead?
  14. Need partner July 24-31

    I have a two week vacation coming up july 16-31. I'll be in the bugaboos until the 24th when unfortunately my partner has to bail back to portland. I'm looking for someone who can climb all or part of the week of july 24-31. Preferably I'd like to meet up somewhere between Portland and the Bugaboos (Tetons, N. cascades, etc.) I'm up for anything be it rock or alpine. I climb trad at about 5.8 comfortably have alpine experience and all the accoutrements of the modern climber. pm me if you're interested.
  15. smith this weekend

    Who wants to got to Smith this weekend? Weather looks ok, 20% showers Sat. low 60's. I have a car and I'm in portland. want to leave early sat. morning.
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