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michaeljosephnozel

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Everything posted by michaeljosephnozel

  1. It had to be asked: Will the gorge be in this week

    Easy there, cowboy. We can all acknowledge that the question begs speculation, but syklone is not the only one in Portland speculating. Syklone (and fifty others) will heed your neighborly advice and drive out there every day with binoculars, as long as the east wind continues to blow--and if there is even a veneer of ice to scratch up, don't fool yourself, it WILL be on the internet . . . complete with photo documentation. For those of us who appreciate the gift of local ice, let's hope the winds continue.
  2. [TR] chillawack - direct NE buttress, slesse 8/31/2007

    Just out of curiosity, was there any snow remaining on the route? Was thinking about bringing a light stove, and the timeliness of your ascent would assist me in that decision. Thanks in advance.
  3. Lillooet?

    Anyone venture up to Lillooet over the past weekend? Seems like these recent arctic temps would be having a positive effect.
  4. Lillooet?

    Thanks for the report, Dru-spotter! My partner and I are thinking about going up on Wednesday, but we will certainly be checking road conditions in advance. Incidentally, I called the Mile-O, and was informed that I was the "first ice climber to inquire this season."
  5. Slesse & Rexfd- Nesakwatch Bridge Closed Aug 21-25

    For those of you interested in such matters, the bridge is open. Jaime and I made a quick detour on our return trip last night, to see the progress, and were rather surprised to find it open and passable. Only speculation, but my guess is that the work was completed Friday. Perhaps Dru-spotter can enlighten us on the actual date of completion . . . .
  6. Slesse & Rexfd- Nesakwatch Bridge Closed Aug 21-25

    G, anyway to ascertain whether that bridge will be open by tomorrow, or any suggestions on whom to contact? (Need the information rather urgently; any help is appreciated).
  7. Slesse & Rexfd- Nesakwatch Bridge Closed Aug 21-25

    Thanks for the update! Just out of curiosity, you don't happen to share a desk with Dru, do you?
  8. Slesse NE Buttress beta

    Hey, G-spotter, do you know if the bridge work was completed?
  9. [TR] Illumination Rock- SW Ridge 6/18/2006

    Just think, Doug . . . in three months, when the important details fade, you'll find yourself recommending the route. "Good Christ, are you kidding me? It's the finest rock route on Hood!" Regrettably, you'll not be entirely wrong.
  10. [TR] Gorge Ice- 05/06 Round Deuce 2/20/2006

    Whoops . . . sorry if I got that one wrong, Doug. Depending upon our next objective, I guess I'll have to bring 18-year Black Maple Hill. Hey Gavin, that impending hernia surgery has been haunting you for a couple years. No fun now, but at least it's over. Get well soon.
  11. Anyone know current Needles snow levels?

    Planning a trip for mid-June, so hopefully it will be a moot point, but I know they had a huge snow pack this past winter. Western Divide Hwy just opened 05/25, but I am curious if anyone has current information about snow in Needles proper?
  12. Wisconsin Ice?

    As for naturally forming shore ice, I do not know about the Sturgeon Bay area. I have, however, climbed a couple days up in Munising, MI on the South Shore of Lake Superior. It would be a drive (maybe five hours?), but there is a good bit ice. As you would imagine, most of the routes are single pitch, but there are some good ones. Under the right conditions, I was told that there is a continuous "ice bouldering traverse" of something like 1200 or 1800' not far from the parking area. I do not even know whether I could locate the little guidebook to the area, but I'm certain you could get all of the information needed from the rock gym in Appleton. (The guy who owns the gym, Paul, did a lot of the first ascents up in Munising). Another thing to consider, especially if you will be around for three weeks, is the "Ice Pit" in DePere, WI--not very damned far from where you will be. The "topography" has been provided by a quarry operator, but it has similarities to all ice parks, in that water is sprayed over the cliffs. Last time I was there (years ago), it was operating as a business, but it has since become a club, or co-op. Might be worth a bit of investigation, as you might find ice within a reasonable proximity, plus climbing partners. PM me if you would like a contact number. Also . . . check your spelling of Wisconsin.
  13. McHale expedition pack

    Don't need the pack, Dima, but will offer a testimonial. I own two McHale packs--a big boy like the one pictured, and a smaller ice/rock/alpine pack, which I believe is called the "Sarc." They are custom fitted, and sewn to the individual's dimensions, so that it is a true fitted pack, not just "close enough." Without a doubt, they are heavier than average (for comparable sized mass-produced packs), but they are absolutely the burliest built packs I have seen anywhere. I do not get as much regular use out of my big pack, but I have beaten the shit out of my smaller one for years, and am a genuinely satisfied customer. For overall utility, carrying comfort, and quality of construction, they are damned difficult to beat. Disclaimer: for what it's worth, I do not know Dima, and although I have met Dan McHale on a couple of occasions (for pack fittings), I have no association with his company (other than having been a customer). Good luck selling the pack, and hope it finds a good home!
  14. Colchuck backcountry permit, or no?

    Have tentative plans to try Colchuck Balanced Rock on Sunday. If we hike in early, do the climb, hike out that night (without a camp), do we need an Alpine Lakes Wilderness permit? My understanding is that we do not, as long as we do not camp. Also, does anyone have current information on snow conditions (or lack thereof) on approach, route, descent? Your input would be most appreciated, as we are hoping to hoof-it in in tennis shoes, and carry light axes, leaving the boots and crampons at home. Thanks!
  15. Colchuck backcountry permit, or no?

    Hey, Matt Anderson, did you need crampons/boots, or were sneakers and a light axe sufficient? We are obviously trying to lighten our loads, and minimize the deadweight we hump up the rock pitches. We do not want to leave behind the crampons, however, if they will be necessary. After your descent (I assume down the south side), did you continue down the Colchuck Glacier, or traverse around to Aasgard?
  16. Conditions on liberty bell?

    Not that this answers your question regarding the rack for Beckey Route on Liberty Bell, but it brought back an interesting memory from the route years ago. My partner and I were passed at P2 by a fellow who seemed to be guiding another fellow brand new to climbing. (But that is not really the interesting memory). The "guide" had a rack consisting of three medium nuts, which I presume were deployed as follows: (1) nut in the pitch; (2) in the belay. I also presume that he began each successive pitch with those three nuts, repeating a similar deployment pattern, so that his second was always belayed while climbing. The "guide" was literally sprinting up the route, and they were soon out of sight, even though his second was cautious and fairly slow. (This also reveals something of the speed at which my partner and I were climbing, but we were duly impressed on our maiden voyage into the North Cascades. "Holy shit, these guys move fast up here! Jesus Christ, we've got a big rack!"). We were looking over our shoulders during the rest of the climb, preparing to be the "slower party: yield right."
  17. Devil's Tower?

    I made my first trip to Devils Tower last September, and really enjoyed the climbing and the location. The temps were definitely warm during the days (high 80s, if I recall), but you can seek shade. Camping in the park was fine, but nothing special, and you may be near RVs with their obligatory gen sets. We found most everyone to be respectful, and so were able to get descent sleep in preparation for lengthy days of climbing--which is why we were there, anyway. There are a couple of guidebooks available at the bookstore (right in the main parking area). Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Handbook, by Guilmette/Carrier/Gardiner is the unabridged edition, but there is also a Falcon Guide, by Harlin, which has better photos, but only a limited number of the routes. It is worth going to the summit once, but probably only the one time. Keep in mind that not all--or even most--of the routes top out, as poor quality rock near the top prevents. A few other recollections: double ropes are highly advisable; modern first ascent routes have grades that seemed pretty accurate, whereas the pre-1970 ascents seemed sandbagged. (I will define "accurate" as on-par with the Lower Gorge at Smith, and The Bend at Tieton). We found Durrance and Walt Bailey Memorial hard for the grade, as examples. Some of the routes we did included Rangers Are People Too, El Cracko Diablo, New Wave, Broken Tree, Durrance, Walt Bailey. Every climb we did was good, with my two favorites being Assemblyline and El Matador. If you enjoy crack climbing, a visit to Devils Tower is a must. (I plan to return at least once again to complete the lengthy remaining "un-ticked" list). One last thing, if you decide to do Durrance, which is certainly worth one ascent, keep in mind that it features lots of wide cracks, and has been well-polished over the last 422,076 ascents. Do not write it off as just another 5.6 to run up, as it will certainly hold your complete attention in sections. Also, we found it advisable to hike up from beneath the route (that is, cutting up and left from the main paved trail at the "sighting tubes"), and leave our packs beneath the South Face routes (rather than making the recommended traverse from the West) as we rappelled right back to the packs. Hope you enjoy your trip!
  18. bd ice screw at honeyman falls

    Sorry to say, we did not see it either.
  19. [TR] Lillooet- Reynolds Hotel Pub Club 2/1/2004

    Walkoff was pretty straight forward, following the old fire access road. We were not absolutely certain whether we were going to follow the access road all the way, or just bash downhill. When it felt like we had gone far enough, we bashed downhill, and came right out onto Hunt Road, then walked to my Suburban parked just outside Hunt Road.
  20. [TR] Lillooet- Reynolds Hotel Pub Club 2/1/2004

    Damn, Dru, that was me and a buddy from Portland above you on Honeyman yesterday. Would have hung out for a bit at the top, but we have an 18-hour round-trip drive for a weekend in Lillooet, so it pretty much boils down to driving, climbing, sleeping, and driving. Climbed at Marble Canyon on Saturday--remarkably wet. Ropes were frozen cables by the top of Icy BC p2, and we were pretty soaked. (It was my buddy's first ice trip, and it was an "eye opener" Saturday, particularily experiencing the freeze/thaw cycle in his hands). Unbelievable that Honeyman was drier than MC, which made for a great second day for him, though, as he is a quick learner. Perhaps we'll cross paths again this winter . . . .
  21. Spent a day at The Bend and a day at Royal Columns this past weekend. Wow, Tieton is fantastic! I think I enjoy it more each time I visit. Anyway, there is a very large pre-fabricated steel structure (currently in two sections) in the parking lot of the Oak Creek Ranger Station. It appears that it will be the new foot bridge--other climbers made the same conclusion, but no one could confirm. Does anyone know if this is, in fact, a new foot bridge? If so, who is responsible? Access Fund? The Tyrolean certainly adds a bit of adventure to a day at the crag, in addition to being something on the order of a 5.10b-equivalent warmup (with a pack)--especially with the shaky condition of the tree ladder on the crag side. A new foot bridge would be nice, though.
  22. TR: Stuart West Ridge (7 Jun 2003)

    Perhaps the question would be better worded as how much snow still remains on the N Ridge?
  23. TR: Stuart West Ridge (7 Jun 2003)

    Nice job, mtnear. By chance, did you notice whether the North Ridge was free of snow?
  24. Sandy Headwall TR

    Hey Dalius, before too much chestbeating, keep in mind that it is all relative. Goran Kropp would probably have asked you, "What the f, Dalius, you DRIVE to the trailhead? What's next, flying to Maui? Sheesh!! (or some Scandinavian equivalent)." Of course, Goran Kropp is no longer around to ask ANY questions, but you get the idea . . . . There is always someone who will interpret the data differently.
  25. BD Express Screw Warranty Report

    About a month ago, I inquired whether anyone had advice on possibly repairing a BD Express (I had one that, earlier in the winter, lost the retaining washer which holds the knurled collar onto the "express" spindle). Must be a rare problem, since no one else reported a similar experience. Anyway, I contacted Black Diamond Warranty Dept to see if they might be able to furnish me with a replacement retaining washer. The fellow said to just ship the whole thing back, with a brief written description of what happened, and he would replace it. Just recently received a package from BD--brand new 16 cm Express screw inside. Not sure if they are good about all warranty issues, but they certainly took care of this one. This has been my only experience with the BD Warranty people, but I must say, they stood behind their product. Hell, I would have been happy if they had just sent out a replacement retaining washer, much less a brand new screw.
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