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Everything posted by Doug_Hutchinson

  1. Infinite Bliss Mt Garfield speed ascent 7/1/7

    This post has been up for 50 minutes and no one (of about six select cc.com climbers) has broke into the passion play melodrama about how bad this route is? Shame, shame - some of you are slipping. Those were my beautiful new twin ropes. First pair that I have owned where there is no confusion about which color is which. Simulrapping on 7.7mms is pretty slick - like way fast. I cant believe you did it that fast with no simul climbing. Nice work.
  2. Beacon open early

    The missing flake makes for an almost pure mantle that will have most wanting another piece above the crux bolt that Markd described not clipping (that bolt was added later but why is it so high and left? You basically need to do half the crux to clip it). You can place nuts or small cams in the crack left and below the mantle before mantling and moving into the bhole ("pod" is another name for this feature). Huge blocks are missing where you used to step from the p1 chains to move the belay below the bhole pitch. I like p2 less and less each year.
  3. Trip Report Mt. Garfield - Infinite Bliss 7/8/2007

    Bolting the non-bolted pitches with a few widely spaced bolts would keep everyone on the same path so that section would clean up a lot more. We rapped off a few small trees and bushes which resulted in very diagonal (skier's rightward) raps. Two thoughts of this much-discussed route that have not received enough mention: 1) Rockfall potential - your rope is going to dislodge rocks - it's like Beacon in that the rock on the route is solid but there is much gravel on the ledges that will never not be there. Try to do on a weekday to avoid others being on the route and wear a freaking helmet! (Party of three below us w/o helmets freaked me out). 2) The quality of this climb is stellar! In all the ethical ramblings and discussion about the non-bolted pitches, I feel that the route's quality has been downplayed/gotten lost. The first five pitches are pure glacial polished granite friction perfection (not every one's thing but unlike any other granite slabs in WA), almost all the rock is clean and solid except the p13-17 stuff, the last four pitches would be a mega classic anywhere, and you top out on an exposed, cool summit. Props out to first ascentionists on the unbelievable amount of work they expended. If the access stuff can be resolved, this is the kind of route climbers will be coming from afar to do.
  4. Has anyone seen these new shoes in any northwest climbing shops, specifically in Portland or Seattle? I know Mgear has them but I dont get out that way too often. Thanks.
  5. [TR] Graybeard - North Face 5/12/2007

    Trip: Graybeard - North Face Date: 5/12/2007 Trip Report: Travis Blanchard and I climbed this rig on Saturday finding ridiculously awesome conditions most of the way. This route is simply the highest quality north face that I have climbed in the range. Under other conditions, it is likely to be an avy/debris death trap - caveat emptor. It is similar to Triple Coolers with steep snow capped by three distinct cruxes except Graybeard's cruxes are way longer and much steeper/more sustained than TC. The high temps should have scared us away but a ski recon the previous day indicated that still enough snow/ice existed and we approached the route planning to bail if the ice was not in (I've got tons of experience doing this). Overview of the line: We bypassed the first little step (out of view just below the snowfield at the bottom of the pic) since it was rotten with lots of water running beneath. After ascending the snowfield, we reached the first ice which was about 300 feet of beautiful, super hard water ice. Looking down at Travis finishing the first ice step: Steep, firm snow leads to the next ice step which is capped by (what parties that do not get off route will find to be) the crux of the route. Approaching the crux: I could see how the top of the pitch could be super spicy, hard-to-protect mixed in leaner years but we just squeaked by with enough water ice to make this section a quality WI4 lead. Me nearing top of crux: Unlike all previous parties, we were hit by almost NO debris during the entire climb - which is probably highly unusual since the entire climb is a runnel plumb-line from the top. Even with the solid conditions, we still decided to hold a busted face contest which Travis won: In my defense, my shades are covering a lot of my blood and my cut was inflicted by the only ice that dinner-plated off (did I mention how good the ice was?) where Travis took the initiative to self-inflict his wound with his hammer. More steep snow and another 200 feet of WI3- brought us to what should have been a 500' cruise to the summit - but things were going way too fast and easy, so I decided to get off route. Up until this point, I think I said "nice f-ing ice!" about every three minutes. This was due to most of the lower 3/4s of the route never seeing the sun. The upper 500' does and the snow quickly turned very soft. Although the steepness decreases higher up, it still probably averages above 45 degrees and was beginning to collapse under body weight. At this point, two runnels meet in a "Y" - I went left because the snow was slightly less awful. After a vertical swim, I turned a ridge to find a low angle rock band. This slabby, hard-to-protect, 5.7-ish delight was where things turned hard. Every move prompted a thoughtful decision between loose rock or extremely soft snow over rock. Me enjoying the first solid stance on this band: More steep, soft snow followed by easier mixed (back on route) to the summit cornice by I basically bypassed by skirting to the left which ended in a 10-foot vertical snow (or maybe cotton candy) wall to the true summit. Travis looking a little less than thrilled topping out while expecting the snow to collapse before the summit belly flop mantle: We descended down the south couloir and turned east via a combination of post-holing and swimming. It is hard to believe that this way out is easier than going west to Easy Pass since there you need to traverse high for a long slog. It you can't get it in the next few days, it probably will be done for the year - but it really does not get better than this route in the Cascades. Props out to Travis for coming off the bed (a couple seasons more removed than "off the couch") to join me on this one. Gear Notes: 6 screws and 5 pickets until the off route part, then pins and small cams. Approach Notes: After crossing the main (second) bridge over Granite Creek, hike up and left until you hear Easy Pass Creek and then follow it up to the basin - super fast for the No. Cascades!
  6. [TR] Graybeard - North Face 5/12/2007

    No. I kept looking for a "15 foor tunnel" but did not see it. I just followed the cornice left until it was smaller and no longer overhanging (i.e., until it was not a cornice) and did two quick butterfly strokes to the summit. This turned out to be at the highest point on the ridge, AKA the summit.
  7. [TR] Graybeard - North Face 5/12/2007

    Actually, Travis now lives in Seattle, so the Portland/Seattle partnerships seem to be the key to success these days.
  8. [TR] Graybeard - North Face 5/12/2007

    Anyone remember back when layton had both a first name and a correctly capitalized last name, how great his TRs were? Man, that two-tentbound-climbers-in-the-Wallowas-get-drunk-and-morph-into-an-Ah-Ha-video was IT for me. It was like when Clapton first saw Hendryx and never wanted to touch his guitar again; I basically must of stopped writing TRs for at least a year after that. So what happened? That other Graybeard TR left us so, so unsatisfied. Like a GoLight pack it was light and lean and all, but we all wanted a little stronger material, a few more attachment points, and a lot more style. Where was the introspection? The personal growth? The Brotherhood-style overinflation of your partner's greatness ("I have postholed with the best, but nobody currently alive could come close to way Wayne postholed up the approach trail")? The homo-erotic undertones ("before I commited to the crux, I looked at Wayne, Wayne looked back at me, I looked up and then back into Wayne's strong gaze")? The gratuitous use of alcohol ("the climb was straightforward, the weather was fair, we got back to camp early so we had no choice other than to get good and drunk")? Gone, gone all gone, for this new trendy, night-naked writing style. The only reason we climbed this silly line was because we thought it deserved a better TR. You think I really wanted to haul all the fake blood and the hand warmers to get it to flow? Travis really sucks at acting so getting him to make those stupid, agonized facial expressions took like forever. His only job was to secure a small amount of explosives for the staged avalanche but the Craig's List crap he got didn't ignite. The film crew sat in the camper the whole day waiting for the dramatic Joe-Simpson-like crawl-out of the avy debris (gear note - bring tele knee pads for this one) but Travis screwed up so bad, we walked out yelling at each other instead. So c'mon, we want the old Mike back.
  9. Photopost gallery upgrade

    Posting photos on cc.com has always been a huge downer. I almost never have the time to work through it. It always amuses me when someone explains how easy it is - "right click, blah, blah, hit the icon, and sit back and enjoy a beer while the rest is done like magic..." I have gone on so many trips where I have delegated the TR to a partner, and watched them attempt to post pics and then scrap the entire TR after a few hours of pic posting frustration.
  10. MLU's mandatory on Hood!

    Here is the text of the letter Rocky Henderson of PMR (and representing all other mountain rescue groups) emailed to all state reps yesterday. I think the letter says it all. Nice work Rocky!---- March 23, 2007 All of the mountain rescue organizations in the State of Oregon oppose HB2509. These organizations include: • Portland Mountain Rescue • Eugene Mountain Rescue • Corvallis Mountain Rescue • Deschutes County SAR • Hood River Crag Rats Additionally, the Mountain Rescue Association, which represents over 90 mountain rescue teams through out North America, opposes HB 2509. The Mt Hood Search and Rescue Council, which represents all the agencies and resource groups on Mt Hood, opposes HB 2509. Oregon Mountain Rescue Council, the organization recognized by the Oregon State Sheriffs Association as the accreditation body for mountain rescue teams in Oregon, opposes HB2509. The Mazamas, a non-profit mountaineering education organization representing over 3000 climbers, opposes HB2509. We believe a law requiring climbers to carry electronic devices will have unintended consequences that will increase the risk to both climbers and rescuers. Additionally, when the state mandates specific equipment it gives the climber a false sense of security. The climber will be more likely to take greater risks because they believe that since the state has required a “beacon” they are entitled to a rescue. For example, in February, the eight climbers lost on Mt. Hood had beacons, GPS and a compass. When rescuers got to them they walked out on their own. The media portrayed this as great example of the value of the MLU. Our analysis leads us to conclude that they were relying on the rescuers to save them when the incident could have been completely avoided had the climbers known how to properly use their compass and GPS. Self reliance in the mountains is essential for survival, HB2509 will not cause climbers to be more self-reliant. In fact we believe that this law will lead to more reliance on the rescuers. House Bill 2509 was conceived by a representative as an emotional response to the families of the lost climbers on Mt. Hood. While these people have good intentions, they do not understand issues involving climbers and rescuers on Mt. Hood. The mountain rescue community is in the best position to understand these issues and help craft effective solutions. We are already actively working on solutions in conjunction with the Governor’s Search and Rescue Task Force and we welcome all opportunities to keep Oregon a wonderful and safe place to enjoy our mountains. A vote in favor of this bill will be against the advice of the entire mountain rescue community in this state and in the nation We ask you to vote NO on House bill 2509
  11. wider boots

    Garmont Adrenalin = wider, stiffer and more comfortable than the somewhat crude Megarides. Adenalins are buit on a whole different last. Only negative is they are not Dynafit compatible.
  12. Trip: Tumwater Canyon - Drury Falls Attempt Date: 2/2/2007 Trip Report: Ben Hargrove and I attempted Drury Falls last Friday but retreated at the base of the upper tier due to warm temps and high objective hazard. Despite the bailing, it was a great day in the hills. The ice in Leavenworth was the best that anyone could remember for years and Friday was one of the coldest days of the season. However, an inversion during the early part of last week meant that the elevations of Drury and higher were seeing above freezing temps while the Icicle and Lake Wenatchee were still way cold. We awoke at 0315 to temps in the teens, with visions of hard, brittle ice covering the extremely-chubby-looking falls. Ben secured an open kayak and an inflatable raft for the river crossing. He shuttled packs across in the kayak while I traveled slow and light in the Costco Club 300 raft. A skin on ice on the far shore would have been the death of my Go-Lite style watercraft if Ben did not spend some time breaking a channel in the ice to the bank. Pics from the afternoon return crossing: . We got from the river to the base of the first pitch in a little over two hours at a pretty mellow pace, even with going up the wrong drainage (the herd path led to the remains of the Pencil) and having to descend about 600 feet into the correct (climber's left) main drainage. The going was probably as good as it gets since there was a good and somewhat frozen boot pack much of the way. Of note, was that the approach crossed over avy debris most of the way up. The first pitch was wet (but climbable) but we decided to skip it by climbing around and left on easy ice and steep snow to spare the ropes (and us) from getting soaked. The second pitch was a waterfall with occasional calving ice riding the rapids for a nice sound effect. Pitch 2 pic: We avoided this pitch by soloing a pitch of WI2 in the main drainage to the left while beginning to get blasted by ice pellets showering from above. We traversed across the upper basin to the base of the upper tier. By now (around 0900), the sun was beaming directly on the route and we were roasting - temps had to be close to 40s. The upper falls was white and not the hard ice we had pictured. The "white lenses" reported by Rat was lower-angled snice surrounding more vertical water ice. The high temps were a concern but I was encouraged as I soloed a steep pitch of snice to get to the water ice since at least the snice was solid enough to get good sticks. This was important since it looked like half the climb would be on the snicey shit and not the steeper ice. With me at the base of the first WI4 pitch and Ben on the snow slope below we had a 15-minute yelling conversation about the weather, the ice (which was melting down on me which created a nice chilling effect after the oven-like approach) and the increasing rain of ice pellets that I could not avoid. It was basically getting too warm and two much crap was raining down over the entire first pitch to expect much better than a 50/50 chance of not getting nailed but something sizeable. The ice was dripping water but was hard enough to climb. Climbers with more balls could have sent the thing in these conditions but we decided to avoid getting killed to climb another day. Sun is not a good thing on this climb since it points directly at the ice from sunrise to late morning. I would pray for overcast conditions if you attempt the route. Icefall seems like an almost constant hazard on this climb which would obviously be mitigated by much colder temps. Since the climb has looked fat for at least three weeks now and there was at least several sets of tracks up the drainage, I have to ask - has anyone sent this thing this year? Descent beta - descending climber's right and rapping to a huge snow ramp that brings you back to the upper basin looked straightforward. From trees located skier's right above pitch two, you do one 160' rap down to a tree located on the side of the cliff and about 30 feet rapper's right of the plumb line. In the dark, it would be hard to see this tree and one would probably assume that they could reach the snow field above pitch one, which is another 100 feet below this tree. Another long rap off a dead tree (located about 5 feet from a nice, live tree - way to preserve the live tree!) skier's right of the top of pitch one brings you down to the drainage out. The approach and deproach were a lot easier than we expected. We celebrated our failure the way we celebrate success - by getting nice and drunk. The next day we climbed the best ice either have been on this season, super hard and fun, located a lot lower than Drury in the Tumwater high on Icicle Ridge across from Clems Holler - go figure...
  13. Extinct- Bump skiiers?

    Agreed. However, I find moguls (and powder for that matter) way harder on bondage boards than free heel. I grew up skiing in NY/VT but really did not love bump skiing until I started to tele.
  14. Extinct- Bump skiiers?

    Best bump lines (still) in the PNW= Internationale at Alpental Downhill/Calamity at Ski Bowl Andromeda Face at Stevens (long and a lower double fall line makes this a tough one to ski well w/o losing the line). Others?
  15. Pencil drainage F.A. attempt.

    Climbing ice can be pretty freakin freaky at times. Not to highjack the thread, but in recent years, has anyone seen Drury looking fatter than on Saturday? At close range, how did it look? From the hwy, Drury's chubbiness made it look very moderate.
  16. Now that my hangover is gone, I finally made the first descent into the basement bar to clean up the afterparty's refuse. I found a very chic Patagucci yellow-green wool-poly shirt. Although it could be the new Fall fashion that I have been looking for, I'll give it back if you call 971-409-5345.
  17. I have never heard anyone spray about this linkup before and do not know why since every pitch is classic, has great belay spots, avoids Hyperspace's Pressure Chamber (after seeing someone epic in the Chamber for hours from Orbit a few years ago, I try to avoid even looking at the thing), and finishes on the best two Outer Space pitches. Reason for posting is to recommend this linkup and correct (I think) info about going from Iconoclast to the Shield/OS headwall pitches. P1 - Climb RPM (10+, R slab) or Remorse (.6 or .7). P2 - Traverse Remorse P2 to base of Psychopath (.8). P3 - Climb Psychopath (11-) or skip it on the left via an easier corner. Psychopath is awesome but PG-13 to R-rated and would be a scary-ass lead (I had the luxury of seconding - thanks Steve). Nelson describes it well: after a "fierce, thin, steep crack...the crack turns into a useless seam, so you get suckered out onto face holds to the left while the seam diagonals out to the right. The face holds end so you're balancing out on the face thinking you've screwed up, blinding trying to find a useful hold on the seam, and eventually have to a barn-doory move off the seam to get back into good finger locks." This crux happens about 12 feet above the last piece and there is still more runout hardish climbing to the belay. P4 - Iconoclast corner system - pitch 1. Goes up a crack and bypasses a small roof on the left; most guides rate this pitch .10 but felt easier. Fun, moderate, quality climbing. P5 - More of the Iconoclast corner. This pitch tackles a slightly overhanging, corner/crack system and then ends with some lower angle but dirtier moves to a two-bolt belay. This is an in-your-face lead that I felt was very pumpy to protect but steep and weird enough that I had to sew up. The holds and gear were good but felt like solid .10+ for about 25 feet in the middle. P6 - (This is where both the Smoot and Kramer guides have it a little off, I think). From this bolt belay, Hyperspace continues up the corner straight up, and there is a bolt up and right that leads to the Shield (and the continuation of Iconoclast). After clipping this bolt, there is a little sporty 10c, one seam that takes a good wire, one more 10c move to turn over to the Shield, then about 40 solid feet of runout .7 traversing on chickenheads to gain almost the bottom of the first OS headwall pitch (not Library Ledge as is stated). This a great pitch finishing with 100 feet of the world famous OS crack to Library Ledge. Buyer beware - the climbing on this pitch is very runout and requires a 70m rope. P7/8 - finish Outerspace. This and Colchuck Balanced Rock are the two best longer routes that I have done in the Leavenworth area and, for that matter, the whole range. OK, now is your chance to spray about how much more classic Hyperspace is (maybe next year)...
  18. pdx ice festival???

    "Thanks to John and Marcus and ...." = gimme a freakin' break. Did John or Marcus have to DJ an after party until the sun came up with a broken CD player and a limited supply of pre-1989 hip hop cassettes and no advance notice or planning? Now that was real work.
  19. pdx ice festival???

    The bad news is that I will likely win all three ropes since I have a proven track record of winning booty as karmatic pay back for the $1,000s I throw at gear companies almost monthly. The good news is that since John has squandered much of the summer getting off route dry tooling up mid-fifth Cascade ridges when he should have been dry tooling under PDX city bridges, that the comp is up for grabs. I am too worried that I may puncture my beer-filled camelback to compete so it'll really be wide open.
  20. Pyschopath-Iconoclast-OS linkup - Snow Cr Classic

    What a shock - we must of got off route - I am very expert at it. Maybe we pioneered a new variation - traverse to just above the pedestal. Maybe we are just dumb. Thanks for the clarification.
  21. ski boots suck

    I have a wide foot and I like Garmont teleboots alot, but have been amazed about how weird and narrow the Garmont AT boot line was - ugh, painfall and crude. However, they (Garmont) built the impressive Adrenalin boot on a whole new, fat American-foot last. I highly recommended the Adrenalins. Very comfortable, extremely powerful and not too heavy for what you get. They probably changed the name for this season.
  22. Favorite ski tune shops?

    Great question. A few years, ago when Sam Bennetts (sp?) was still open, I would say Mike Atch was the best (where is Atch now?). Currently, in PDX I am happily impressed by Neal's work at US Outdoor. Any other PDX shoppes we should know about? PS - it typically comes to the tech, not the shop.
  23. Dolomites via ferrata

    I just spent two weeks in the Dolomites a few weeks ago. I am kinda rushed right now so PM me for more info - the Dolomites appear very confusing from afar but are very user friendly. From Venice, I would head North to Cortina and base out of there - which is a big, somewhat ugly (for Italy) ski town. Not having a car seems noble, especially in Euro cities, but a car will vastly increase your climbing options and overall experience. We paid about $375 USD for a week rental (go, go diesel Fiat) and I would never go to the Dolomites without. My favorite base would be the town of Canazei about three hours west of Cortina and below Sella Pass. Much more quaint but still great access to the mountains. The Dolomites are superb! Enjoy.
  24. Climb: Illumination Rock-SW Ridge Date of Climb: 6/18/2006 Trip Report: Climbed the SW ridge on I-Rock under full-on rock conditions with Michael Nozel (AKA the Great Iron Monger for his pitoncraftwerk). The day was beautiful and the rock very awful. It may have been up to 5.9 but the easier the climbing, the worse the rock got. Luckily, the gear was good since falls due to broken holds seemed very likely. Nozel on the first pitch: We got to the West Gable in four pitches - moving east of ridge crest for the third and fourth (i.e, east of where Wallace has the route on his great topo). Pitches 1, 3, 4 were semi-terrifying due to crap rock but the gear was pretty good. The best part of the climb was moving along the summit ridge from the West Gable to the true (East) summit = exposed and spectacular! The overhanging summit block (perched over Michael in pic below) was very cool too, a nice exposed mid-fifth boulder problem. I-Rock covered in ice is a worthwhile objective (I climbed just east of this route in winter and had a very different opnion of I-rock then) but leave the rock alone! Jeff Thomas said it perfectly: "The volcanic rock of Illumination rock is good when compared to the rest of Mt Hood, but terrible when contrasted to what modern rock climbers prefer. Still, to paraphrase Tom Patey, any fool can climb good rock, it takes a special fool to climb bad rock." I would advise against becoming a special fool. Gear Notes: Nuts, pins, hexes (yes!) and a few cams Approach Notes: Don't disturb the skiers, they paid and we didn't, damn it.
  25. [TR] Illumination Rock- SW Ridge 6/18/2006

    No belay bolt was found. The start of pitch 3 for us was a steep and awkward OW right above the belay (I still can't figure out how to post pics after I start a TR - here is a link to that OW pic): The OW is obscured but to the right of Michael - only about 15 hard feet in all but very obvious from the belay. http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=18648&size=big&sort=1&cat=500 I wouldn't call that a squeeze passage. You can see the start of the obvious dihedral we avoided above the climber - this dihedral appears very inviting when seen from the Zig Zag glacier but not so pretty close up. We went right around it. Higher up, I was planning on squeezing in a chimney under a large chockstone (maybe the "squeeze passage"?) but chose a more direct jam crack and corner system to the right which exited on the W. Gable. The chimney squeeze thing would lead to the same area but a little left of the route I took. After the first bit of p3 shown in the pic (felt like awkward 5.9) everything we did was 5.6-5.8. After the fact, I assumed we should have stayed left for pitches 3 and 4 but the aspect of your topo is more from up mountain so we weren't sure if we should go slightly right or left of the true ridge - we went right. Too far left and I assume we would have ended up on the West Arete.