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Everything posted by Fairweather

  1. The trip's high point was 4100' and the total elevation gain/loss was about 7600'. The coolest part was crossing the two large icefields--knowing we were on an island. Lots of fog and mist added to the mysteriousness of it all. On day two, we climbed the "Bear-case"--big bucket steps up a cliff-side forest made by brown bears over thousands of years. The biggest surprise was traversing the north side of Mount Bassie. USGS maps show no permanent ice--but we crossed two large, very active alpine glaciers. The last day involved a 2600' bushwack/cliff descent from the alpine down to Baranof Lake. hanging from cedar branches and huckleberry boot-tapping for a flat spot. Warm Springs, at the end of the route, is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.
  2. I've thought about this one for years, but I can't remember how I got the idea. It's done occasionally by Sitka locals. I'd be happy to share my track via PM. Next up: a packraft traverse of Admiralty Island, or maybe a climb of Peak 5390--Baranof Island's highest point in photo #3.
  3. A friend and I did a four day traverse of Baranof Island last August--starting just south of Sitka at the Medvejie Fish Hatchery dock, and finishing the route on the east side of the island at Warm Springs four days later where we were picked up by float plane. Plenty of Brown Bears, bushwhacking, meadows, glaciers & icefields, alpine lakes, and spectacular ridge-walking. Pure joy.
  4. My dream climb! I wondered if it was even doable nowadays after The Smiley Project showed it deteriorating severely some ten or fifteen years ago. Thanks for sharing your trip with a now-62 year old guy who will likely miss this one in person. 🙂
  5. Yikes! Seattle bubble? You haven't changed a bit in the ten years I've been gone. Poster boy for my favorite WFB Jr: Liberals claim to be open-minded and wanting to give a fair hearing to all points of view. But are soon shocked and horrified to discover there are other points of view. Enjoy the dank!
  6. The post-mortem on this website will list olyclimber as the cause of death. He just couldn't help himself.
  7. Well said, Dylan. I hadn't heard about this bear issue, but it sounds rather common. I think the NOCA notice sums up what I've been trying to say here. They really do think it's "their" park. Also, love the all-caps in their public notice; I can almost see the NPS uniformed feminista standing on the bridge, shouting into the bullhorn at cars as they travel up the river toward her sacred domain.
  8. Can't believe I just noticed this. Incredible climb!
  9. Someone is having too much fun again; get Harvey and those NC3 people on the phone immediately! Expanding NOCA into RLNRA and Washington Pass will put a stop to outrages like this once and for all! 😎
  10. Drones are motorized--but the para gliders aren't. It boggles why anyone would have a problem with an unpowered wing that makes absolutely NO noise, emits NO exhaust. Two words come to mind: orthodoxy; doctrinaire. Two outstanding climbers finishing their trip in grand style. Just WOW!
  11. It's like a restaurant mob fighting over the desert bar while the buffet table remains almost untouched!
  12. It's not 1872 I have a problem with. It's 1916. And the way those idiots have been interpreting 1964. Since 1973. And no, dogs are not allowed on NP trails--even if they're on a leash.
  13. I was responding to your statement about NPs and being able to escape. And I was just saying that they are best avoided anyhow. But I agree, not being able to bring your dog is a real drawback to spending time at Rainier, Olympic--or North Cascades NP. Particularly ironic, since Stephen Mather had all the wolves (and mountain lions) eradicated at Mount Rainier NP in the teens, 20s and early 30s. IMO, dogs are just modern proxies for the beautiful animals he and his national park administrators had butchered almost 100 years ago. I digress. Sure, the parks were a great idea. In fact, most of the big, popular national parks--like MRNP--are older than the National Park Service itself. But times change. There are better ways to "manage" wilderness I think. Another example, Civil Service. It was a great idea too--better than Spoils. But fast forward 130 years and we have a bloated, dangerous bureaucracy full of overpaid career idiots who think they're somehow above the voters they serve. Full circle, NPS.
  14. This is part of the problem: you automatically think of national parks as your only escape, when, in fact, NPs represent a relatively small part of what's available. National parks have become "concentrators" for urban and suburban folks who want adventure--but not too much. They even collect patches and bumper stickers and themed blankets. Enter the rule-makers and fee collectors! We have ourselves a real industry here. Yes, this might be the future of NCNP if it remains a park. Or expands. Read up on the Wilderness Society's 1930s opposition to Ice Peaks National Park and you might better understand what I'm saying.
  15. Re that great video, well, it kind of makes my case. And more. Maybe the best way to diffuse outdoor recreation--and save mobbed landscapes and towns--is to abolish the entire national park system. Wilderness and the NPS were intended, in part, to provide a sort of "escape valve" for/from capitalism. One that was affordable to ordinary people. In just over 100 years, NPS landscapes and management is morphing into something else entirely.
  16. Thanks for the link! I did that trip in early March of 1983, from Paradise as you did. No skis, we were on our fancy Sherpa snowshoes. I just remember it was very very cold, and the crevasses on the Cowlitz were huge and partially hidden as we were being forced too far down into the icefall. One of the few times I remember being extremely worried about the whole rope team going into the same hole. I went on to climb it three more times from Summerland and even threw in a climb of Ks Spire. Again, thanks for the memories!
  17. It's what happens when "public servants" forget who they work for, transcend multiple elected administrations, and begin to think they are our masters. Marblemount tends to be pretty anarchist/weird, and some of it might bleed into (or be driven by?) NPS staff. Just before Covid, I stopped to get gas there and someone had bashed in the windows of the station and painted a bunch of anti-oil company nonsense all over the rest. I've never visited their HQ in Sedro Wolley, don't know much about current Stehekin. I suspect the entire local unit suffers from group-think ala places like Port Townsend, Vashon Island, Fairhaven, Orcas. Fire and/or transfer everyone, maybe it can be saved.😎
  18. USFS is more respectable than most--and light years better than NPS/Interior. They would manage the North Cascades wilds far better than they are managed under the current regime.
  19. https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/5180781ff7e142c1bf0d512e9fbae67d
  20. As for USFS, well, I have issues with them too. Particularly regarding their partnership with the "Mt. St. Helen's Institute," and various permit and quota schemes. It's never funny when public agencies offer up a 'free-market solution' to an arbitrary quota they imposed. They provide the problem--and then sell us the solution. (Now available on recreation.gov!) That said, NPS often behaves in an utterly draconian manner couching institutional laziness in a green wrapper. The debacle along the road to Paradise this last winter was just the latest example. Back to NOCA, recall rangers frog-marching climbers and hikers out of the backcountry because they lacked a permit said ranger could have just issued on-site.
  21. To whose "wilderness values" are you referring? I'm a conservative. And a conservationist. Sixty years of hiking, climbing, paddling, and yes, occasional mountain biking. One mistake urban liberals make is viewing wilderness as their inviolate playground, not realizing people of all political persuasions own it--and use it.
  22. That might be the noble goal for park staff and urban elites--but the 1968 enabling legislation doesn't make it so. 93% of the park is now Stephen Mather Wilderness. The USFS can manage that just fine.
  23. This is demonstrably untrue. Permits to climb? Lottery for the Wonderland Trail? Back country quota areas expanding every year at Olympic, and MORA--and NOCA? If there's no "loving nature to death" crisis in our NPs, then why all the restrictions?
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