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About bil_efff

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    Seattle, WA
  1. Ruth Mountain in June

    My take is to take a rope when going with a newbie whose skills are not known. I had a bad experience with a newbie where we didn't use enough caution to rope up on what we thought was moderate terrain. The newbie fell, injured a leg, and required rescue. Ruth is steep enough that a newbie could take a slide (generally good runout, however). Depending upon the aspect, the newbie could slide a long way. If you slog a rope, might as well slog skis along too. Much safer, funner, and faster. story: Several years ago, I climbed the S. Brother with a friend and his girlfriend, a newbie. He taught her to ice-axe arrest the day before, on a snow patch on the way up to camp. At the top, there was some steep snow, just corning up in the mid-day sun. I arrogantly displayed the shoe-ski glissade technique after a few demonstration plunge steps. My friend was a little more patient and stuck with her. But we were not roped. Nor did we know how freaked she was. After a few unsteady plunge steps, she plunged herself down the 40deg slopes. She almost ice-axe arrested before hitting a rock in the middle of the slope. The rock flipped her over to face down the hill and she screamed down the hill in an uncontrolled glissade. Fortunately, after zooming over a small cliff just below me, a large rock outcropping broke her fall and an ankle. If she hadn't hit the rocks, she might have skipped down the 1000+ft of snow slopes below us and over bigger climbs and onto bigger rocks. We could have easily avoided this accident had we roped up with her for the descent, having recognized her limited abilities and limited confidence with descending snow (She was quite comfortable going up but not in the least going down). Instead, we cheated death and had a needless epic and rescue. thoughts to consider, Bill f
  2. Twin Sisters approach conditions

    Does anyone know the status of this gate across the Middle fork of the Nooksack? In the past, it has been open during the week and even on Saturdays (at times) but closed after hours. If you can drive past it, you save 6mi RT and 1600' vertical.
  3. North Face - Mt. Shuksan (2/26/01 - 2/27/01)

    "If you plan on skiing out on tele skiis think again or you might die. " Double Hmmm. I saw three sets of ski tracks etched onto the NW couloir this Friday. One of them was made by a tele skier. By Saturday afternoon, the face had warmed enough that serveral big slides came down off the face, washing through the narrow part of the couloir that the skiers ascended and descended through. ------ Clear skies on Friday night did little to cool down the snowpack. It was thigh deep garbage april snow turning to slush halfway up the NF which turned soft the rest of the way with slush layer on top. The ski down to the White Salmon was quite nice. The White Salmon was truly forgettable and unforgettable. Small skier-triggered point releases on the bottomless slush caused the top six inches to slide and gather enough momemtum to end up down in the valley. The resulting avy scour path was probably the safest down, but not fun for skiing. The bottomless mush alternative was just as unfun. Noon was already too late for a safe descent. In another month after some melt-freeze, however, the White Salmon could be a sweet summer ski. There were no crevasses that we saw on our descent line which was generally to the far skier's right of the White Salmon. If we had traversed far left at the start, I think we could have avoided some of the steeper slopes. The ski traverse back to chair 8 won't be there much longer, at least in the thick wooded portion.