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Everything posted by Doug_Hutchinson

  1. We just climbed the East Face of Main Gunsight a few weeks ago. The rock except the first and last pitches was definitely good; however, the face, which looks sheer from afar, is so broken that each reported splitter is less than 20 feet long before a ledge or good stance is encountered. The shortness of the sustained sections and pitches in general does not take away from the rock quality, but means that the East Face can't be considered as classic as other similar routes in the range on high quality granite. The quality on rock on the the descent (we rapped south and then down the gully to the east) and also on an accidental FA we did on the subpeak between Main and South Gunsight really, really sucked. I really enjoyed the East Face but doubt I will be back for round 2 in the Gunsights.
  2. South Howser Tower Descent PSA

    Just did the BeckeyChouinard last weekend and wanted to add my $0.02 to the descent beta since it definitely has some raps over 30M long (despite what the official beta pic below shows) and we still managed to screw it up in the dark; so here goes... At the parking lot, Kain Hut and Applebee; you'll run across this misleading topo: Misleading because several raps are longer than 30M and it describes things like "horizontal" rappels Below is a combo of Jared's beta, that on the pic, and some of my own: All rap anchors you want to use are newer two bolt, rap-style anchors with chains and steel rings. If you come across a slung block (on first rap), you should skip it and look for chains a little lower. 1) Scramble down and right about 20 feet W. of the summit block to find bolted anchor on a vertical cube. The anchor is on the side of the "cube" that faces Central Howser Tower. Rap 28M over lower angle terrain towards Central Howser. 2) Make a very short rappel (or scramble) over low angled terrain along the ridge crest in the same direction. (15-20M) 3) Rappel NW along a low angled, narrow ridge for 30M (still basically heading for Central Howser). Do not rappel on to the N. Face. This rappel was weird (especially since the ridge was covered with snow and ice) since it was like walking backward down a diving board. It was hard to not rap right or left of the ridge since it is so low-angled, but the trick is to stay on the ridge to a tent-sized ledge below a short vertical drop. If you get to this ledge/anchor, you are almost home free since the remaining anchors are pretty easy to find. 4) Rappel a steep W facing corner (more or less plumb line) to station just slightly climbers left of center of this corner system (25M) 5) Continue down the steep wall to an obvious large ledge (35m). This ledge is large enough that if you rap off the end of your 60M, you'll probably be OK. 6) Rappel down a diagonal ledge system climber's left to a gully. This rap is taking you away from Central Howser towards the East Ridge. (32M) (The remaining raps are basically plumb line down a steep face) 7) Rappel the steep NE facing buttress (slabby face) staying just climbers right of gully (32M) 8) Stay on buttress crest and rap only about 20M to a very small stance (semi-hanging) - note this is a little shorter. Although billed as "hard to find" - the anchor is directly below the one above (20M). 9) Make another shorter rap just like #8 (20M). 10) Rap 30M to anchor just above the 'schrund. Billed as "slightly climber's right, it felt plumb again. 11) Rap over 'schrund and keep going to the end of your rope onto the Vowell Glacier . 35M took us to lower angled snow (18" of powder last weekend!) which was easy to walk off in approach shoes. Bottom line is just use a light 70M single for both up (lots of 60M or longer pitches) and down. Taking two skinny 50M or 60M ropes would be a nightmare of stuck knots or arm fulls of rat's nests on the lower angle rap ridges. Like everyone else has said, the BC is really an awesome climb. Enjoy!
  3. Ski In June 4-5 2011

    Love the ski in! The alpenlady and I are climbing on Saturday and then I will graciously invite myself along to the team with the best ski objective planned for Sunday - hopefully the bidding for my company will be orderly and peaceful, no pushing or shoving please. For those who have not attended yet, this ski in is all about a great, friendly crew hanging out on some incredible land drinking and trading stories... oh yeah, and skiing (or climbing) too. If you are wondering if you should attend - the answer is yes. Thanks in advance for putting this on!
  4. [TR] Lane Peak - The Zipper (ski) 5/22/2011

    We made the most of the soggy day by drinking and sleeping late. Bonus question - does anyone know the name of the three obvious chutes in the pic? We skied the middle one (slanting from left at top to right) which I guess would be called the Zipper. The climber's right (widest) is almost always in and is a good ski too. The left one is probably rarely a good ski. The large apron below the two right chutes is in awesome shape now where it is usually littered with debris and sucky. A little heat and rain sure can massage the avy junk.
  5. [TR] Chair Peak - NE Buttress ski 4/19/2011

    Drew and Dan - so freaking rad! This is the year I expect to see many other climbing testpieces fall to your (and others) edges. Besides the ski, climb; later that same day/evening we assisted Drew closing down the bar in a North SEA taqueria for a triple crown. Bonus points for the division of labor - one posts on cc.com and one on TAY - that is teamwork. Thanks for the stoke.
  6. NW Snow Buddy iPhone app: How To

    Second the Android version begging! Dave- Can the app remove google racoon lines after sick days? Doug
  7. I was up there the same week and got properly stuck (escaped with self rescue) trying to get into the Ghost even with 4wd. Got stopped in a huge drift 1-2 km before big hill. Man, that was a cold week! We stayed at the Hostel Bear first and then moved to Rocky Mtn Ski Lodge when space opened. $10 more for a kitchette, hot tub and non-shared rooms = no brainer. Nice TR.
  8. :(

    Jens K and I were in Marble Canyon the day after the record high temps on Thurs and we found perfect ice. The ice was dry and super solid. Top pitch of Icy BC had a big hole in middle, but rest of the classics were fat. Can't say what happened lower down in Lillooet but Marble held up well through the warming. p1 of Icy BC: p3 of Icy: Jens starting the really fun mixed corner climb left of Icy's p3: Deeping, in WI4 conditions:
  9. Your best pic of the year...

    izzat mrazek in the background? Of course that izz steve in the background. Me thinks that this post confirms what I have said before = PNW climbers are way too serious. Chris (Winter) set the bar with his pic of his beautiful wife at La Posada. My submission shows the true expression of light and fast on our quick ascent of Prussik on the Snow Creek-Enchantments-Colchuck Lake-bike back to Snow Creek TH loop. A must do.
  10. Early season is scary....

    My early season wakeup happened the first ski tour of this year in late Oct. I was breaking trail up to Camp Muir and just got above Pan Point skinning out of a small gully when I fractured a wind slab layer and was amazed at the small localized avy I triggered. Five minutes later, I was concentrating on skinning out of the next gully in a fog out (this gully was bigger, but only 20 feet vertical from top to bottom)when I set off a bigger wind slab fracture. Although, only 18" deep max, the debris buried my skis and me up to my boot tops and twisted me in a awkward enough position that I needed my partner to release my bindings. In a few thousand days of skiing, I have never been trapped before and it seemed like such a mellow place/day... I feel that almost all ice in the PNW is "early season" and we never have the luxury of waiting for it to get fat or solid though. Some of the hardest climbs I have down are WI3 in "early season" in the PNW.
  11. [TR] Hyalite - Various 11/25/2010

    Here are some pics of Thrill, as was stated it is all ice and ice gear now, although I found a spot to place one cam so I could pretend I was mixed climbing. Mummy Cooler II was also fat The Scepter looks good in this photo but was hollow and running at the bottom so I TR'ed. Actually, except for 20 feet of runny, wet chandeliers at the bottom, it would have protected pretty well. It was nice to run into about 3/4s of the Seattle and Bellingham ice crew out there. The ratio was about 1 MT climber to 10 WA climbers. All the locals I know thought we were dumb to play on the ice since the skiing was better than anyone could remember at this time of year. Bridger's epic opening day on Friday was a perfect rest day in between two nice ice days.
  12. Ice Stoke Thread 2010

    No spraying about the goods in the Daks allowed here. Next thing you know, the PNW ice crew will be driving right by Bozeman straight to Keene Valley.
  13. PDX Ice Festival 2010

    and the winner of the 2010 International PDX Ice Festival Invitational Dry Tool Comp = Michaeljosephnozel!!! Still not falling for passing trends like leashless tools, vehicles that get over 12 mpg, and LED headlamps; Michael stepped up and dry tooled his way into the history books. Way to go Michael! Now that you won leashless tools, what is next? Hopefully, you will not swap your 16lb, 5-layer North Face bibs for soft shells or, worse yet, start skiing. Time to hit the real thing real soon!
  14. [TR] Snow Creek Wall - Hyperspace 9/11/2010

    Chris, funny you should mention massages - seems like a new passion of yours. Weren't you the same guy that I was getting snowed on a few weeks on Les Cornes and instead of savaging the trip with some cragging, decided to crash girl's night at the spa? Your skin has had a more youthful glow lately...
  15. Nice work Jimbo and Ben! I wouldn't want to run into you slab thugs like you on an after dark descent though - dudes look like you mean biznatch!
  16. [TR] Snow Creek Wall - Hyperspace 9/11/2010

    Strong work Nate but you suck for hurting Jaime (he aint that young anymore) and, in the process, effing up our climbing plans for this weekend. I thought Pyschopath was really stellar but felt kinda R-rated with the crux on the barn-doory nobs with the last piece in the crack well below you (says the seamstress...). I was way too chickenshit to do the Pressure Chamber so did the p5 variation out right trending towards Outer Space, intersecting the headwall crack below Library Ledge. Clmbing all those great pitches and then finishing on the best pitches of OS makes for an awesome linkup.
  17. Trip: Mount Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge Date: 7/5/2010 Trip Report: Climbed Ptarmigan Ridge with Keith Dallenbach and (like everyone else has reported) the conditions on the Big R are perfecto right now. Go climb Ptarmigan Ridge now! We did the west variation through the rock band and it was really fun. The coverage is so good currently that a few pickets are really all that is needed now (since the crux has fixed pro), but screws will be necessary shortly because some 50-degree ice will soon be revealed when the overlying snow melts off. I placed one of the world’s most bomber angle pins on the wall left and about 25 feet below the rock band which Keith could not budge and there is a fixed pin right below the crux. Given the wonderful, modern invention of mixed grades, I will throw the rarefied M3- grade at the crux until someone tackles it with fruit boots/leashless tools and downgrades. With those two pins, no other rock pro is needed. For pictures of the route, check out Veronica’s (spionin) Lib Ridge TR and pretend it is really Parmesian Ridge. I was really enjoying the walk out until I ran into a friend and his partners enroute to ski Lib Ridge and then became insanely jealous (why did I already put the skis away??). Go ski Liberty Ridge now! One noteworthy tidbit was we started the climb as a team of four: Scott Perkins from Altanta (uber experienced) and Scott Sampietro from Connecticut – who has never been on glacier before doing the Sulphide a few days earlier. They fell back about a half day behind us but still completed the climb in a casual three days. Nice work Scotty on your first Rainier summit! Gear Notes: Pickets and one pins. Bring screws. Approach Notes: White River TH. Encountered only a few skinny cracks crossing the Carbon.
  18. [TR] Mount Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge 7/5/2010

    I'll draw you some pictures on the napkins at the Sushi place in Squamish this weekend. We should ditch the ladies and climb something up there together.
  19. April 30-May 2 :: Washington Pass Ski- In

    Representing all 23 of the Dougs in attendance, I gotta report that this year's ski-in was a shit ton of fun! What a great crew and fantastic ski conditions. I have been grinning all day dreaming of the last two. Thanks to David and all for putting it on. We skied Hardy's Open Fly Couloir on Saturday. What an incredible new treat in our awesome playground. I posted some pics in this thread: Dans Open Fly TR Sunday toured over Cutthroat Pass from near Rainy Pass with Julie, Michael, Jimbo and Adrian. Nice, nice turns on wind buff powder. Didn't pull the camera out for the glory because the skiing was too good to wanna stop. Sadly, as I stared in disbelief at the horrible style of some of partners - dismounting for simple creek crossings - I was forced to snap a picture of some shameful behavior below Cutthroat lake: Shown here is Jimbo in good style with skis on while Michael wusses out as Julie and Adrian are about to do the same. Except for this minor transgression, the weekend was perfect. Lastly thanks to cc.com for the portopotty and beer. Ya'll rock!
  20. [TR] Hardy, open fly couloir + Goldenhorn, south face - 5/24/2009

    (Apologies for highjacking this thread, too lazy to start my own and your overview shot Dan says it all - thanks). At the recommendation of Dave (thanks Dave!), skied the Open Fly with Michael Adams on Saturday. What a killer line! Enters the NW Straight Chuter hall of fame with the Slot/Snot, the Zipper (Lane), Gunsight (Anthony Lakes), etc. Love these lines!! The upper 1,000 feet was windloaded with over two feet of new. Pucker factor was very high jumping in. Looking down the virgin-in-white from the entrance cornice (which required no mandatory air): It pinches/rolls to a 15-ft wide, 45-degree constriction where I was absolutely sure I would get see how well my Avalung worked, but it surprisingly did not release. Looking down the crux: Michael entering throat: Even with lots of new, ice runnels in the gut on the lower third seem to be unavoidable forcing a lot of high lining on the sides: It opens near the exit where debris dodging was required: If you like steep chutes, add this one to the list. Currently, need to climb nearly 2000 feet from the highway to the snowline but it is way worth it.
  21. April 30-May 2 :: Washington Pass Ski- In

    92% sure I will be there with one partner. I was there last year (for about two beers until headed to my cabin with my girl). Can someone email me the directions (again) at hutchinson.dj@gmail.com? I skied above Easy Pass and the Birthday Tour last weekend (with the horrendously stupid side ski of the SW Couloir on SEWS - now that sucked as a ski). Is it just me, or is there tons of avy debris mucking up most good lines in some way this year? The snow conditions were awesome but lower coverage is so-so and debris was dominant, but the coverage near WA Pass is good. Second observation = the alpine ice up there died before the hwy opened this year. Looks like no ice routes will be dispatched. Prime Rib is fun but very rambly and kicked back - the approach shoe suggestion is good beta.
  22. BD Megawatt?

    IMHO, the best BD all around ski currently is the Justice - which is a scaled down version of the Mega with a much better (more normal) chamber, less (but more than enough) rocker, and weights 1-1/2 lbs less. The Mega is a good powder/crud ski but nowhere near as versatile and definitely very slide-y on hard pack (lives up to its "clown ski" rep. The Mega is a cult ski cuz it is the Big Daddy of the BD line (I like the Atomic Big Daddy a little better for that size) but I really think that 115mm underfoot (Justice) is more than enough and 125mm (Mega) is overkill and begins to work against you.
  23. Cody Conditions 3/13-14/10

    South facing climbs are essentially gone with still decent climbing on the north facing. Can still cross the South Fork on ice bridges near the Cabin Creek confluence but I assume, with more warm temps, the last bridge (about 1/4 mile upstream of where trail comes down) will be gone in a week = bring sandals. Did the classic two-day combo of Mean Green and High on Boulder in the more classic 3-1/2 day trip from SEA/PDX. The crux pitch of Mean Green was very wet and offered poor pro but was still in and felt maybe 4+/5-. However, this pillar could be out soon (like w/in two weeks tops). The upper slabs (we did the right) were still surprisingly hard/brittle. Crux pitch on High on Boulder was also very wet but fat. Went from Spring (day time highs above 40F) on Saturday, to Fall to Winter (4" new on Sunday morning) back to Spring in about 48 hrs. This was my first trip there. Not saying this to be a contrarian, but the approaches were simple (less than 90 minutes mostly on trails with little vertical gain), the grades were nowhere near sandbagged and the routes can be dispatched surprisingly quickly. Cody is definitely awesome but its rep somewhat exceeds reality IMHO.
  24. [TR] Highway 2 - Arrowhead 1/3/2010

    Yes, that is the bowl. The coverage is a lot thinner in your pic so no cornices are visible and there are more trees/cliffs exposed in the upper headwall - so it does not look as tastey. I looked into from the top and it looked really cool - even the lower throat looked good. Only problem is you would end up about 1-1/2 miles east of the parking start point.
  25. [TR] Highway 2 - Arrowhead 1/3/2010

    Feck- have you skied the big, steep bowl off Arrowhead facing directly north to the highway? If so, what is the entrance like (i.e., is there a non-cornice jump entry?). Doug