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martin

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About martin

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    n00b

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    mountain guide
  • Location
    North Bend, WA USA
  1. Chair Peak North Face direct - A new route?

    Hmmm... not sure, I did see an old pin a couple of pitches up in a groove. We were to the right of that.
  2. Chair Peak North Face direct - A new route?

    Yes, it is about 200 meters to the west of the classic North Face route and maybe maybe 100 meters or so to the east of a very distinct gully that leads to the West Ridge Route entrance. Good rock there too, btw.
  3. A few days ago, Kurt Buchwald and I (Martin) climbed a route on the North Face of Chair Peak that I have not been able to find any beta on. It is basically a direct line from the summit proper to the base of the North Face. It is a 5 pitch route, goes at 5.9 and has surprisingly good rock quality. It is in parts the same rock (Snoqualmie Batholith) that you see in the standard descent rap couloir (not to be confused with the loose surface garbage that is laying around in the couloir). We felt it was a good line, worth the trouble and could up the appeal of Chair Peak. A more indepth trip report of the route can be viewed at http://www.proguiding.com/tripreport/view/chair-peak-north-face-direct We are looking for input from y'all to see if this route had been done before. At any rate, we can recommend it. Certainly harder than the NE Buttress, but also way higher quality. The fact that it basically goes straight to the top is nice. Cheers. M
  4. A few days ago, Kurt Buchwald and I (Martin) climbed a route on the North Face of Chair Peak that I have not been able to find any beta on. It is basically a direct line from the summit proper to the base of the North Face. It is a 5 pitch route, goes at 5.9 and has surprisingly good rock quality. It is in parts the same rock (Snoqualmie Batholith) that you see in the standard descent rap couloir (not to be confused with the loose surface garbage that is laying around in the couloir). We felt it was a good line, worth the trouble and could up the appeal of Chair Peak. A more indepth trip report of the route can be viewed at http://www.proguiding.com/tripreport/view/chair-peak-north-face-direct We are looking for input from y'all to see if this route had been done before. At any rate, we can recommend it. Certainly harder than the NE Buttress, but also way higher quality. The fact that it basically goes straight to the top is nice. Cheers. M
  5. Climb: McClellan Butte East Face ski descent (First?)- Date of Climb: 3/15/2006 Trip Report: On March 14th, Dave Perkins accompanied me on a ski descent off McClellan Butte's East Face. The descent offers almost 2900 feet of fall line skiing ranging in steepness between 45 degrees at the top and much mellower terrain at the bottom. We thought it was a good time and before we had to make turns, we actually thought it was a bright idea. As it turns out, it was a great descent. Conditions happened to be great and I think this descent is very much dependent on that. I posted something on my websitewww.proguiding.com/PDFs/McClellan.pdf , so check it out. I saw that Dave's post got a negative response about the pdf What is the reason? I am pretty green about that stuff.
  6. Hi all. The snow conditions are certainly less than ideal. It is pretty bad for our retail shop, but it could be good for the consumer. All of our ski gear is 30 % off already. This includes all the top brands including ski touring soft goods from Marmot and Cloudveil. (AT GEAR not included) Take advantage of it. Seattle location: 206 525 4425 North Bend location: 425 888 6397 Hope to see you in the store. Martin and crew.
  7. Interesting Lowell. I assume you are talking about the Schrund at about 7200 or so feet. It was there but easily negotiable on the edges. Different snow year. All toghether I seem to find the snow conditons in the high alpine (above 6000) quite good. In fact better almost than at the end of March. I am sure that is not going to last
  8. Hi C-meister. The pics should be up in the next couple of days. Stay in touch.
  9. It was not ours, we were parked at the ElDo trailhead.
  10. Climb: Mount Torment North West Face-Mount Torment ski descent Date of Climb: 6/4/2004 Trip Report: Hi all. On June 4th Martin Volken and Andy Dappen skied off the summit of Mount Torment down the North West Face. We approached the route via Torment Col. From Torment Col we skied down to 5800 feet near the entrance of the Moraine Lake Couloir (this had been skied by Volken, Wheeler and Ruff a few weeks earlier). We had to climb out of the couloir onto the Lower NW glacier. This was around 5:30 am and the sun was already hitting parts of the face. With concerningly warm temps we hurried to the summit of Torment. The face had been flushed quite clean a couple of days earlier by sizeable avalanches, so conditions seemed quite safe. We reached the summit a little after 7am. Putting on skis on the summit of Mount Torment was certainly a thrilling moment... The top 100 feet are quite commiting (rock speckled 50 degrees), but once we were on the glacier proper, the descent turned out to be quite sane. Getting from the NW face back into the Moraine Lake Couloir required a quick rappel. From there the 40 degree Moraine Lake Couloir would link the 2400 foot descent into a 3600 foot descent right to the lake. We think the line is sporty , but not insane. Overall a great ski mountaineering adventure in insanely beautiful terrain. A short slide show of the trip will be available on proguiding.com in the next couple of days. Attached photo by Volken from March 04 taken from near the Klawatti Peak area.
  11. On 5/15 Pro Guiding Service Guides Martin Volken and Marge Wheeler along with Casey Ruff skied a nice couloir that drains straight down from Torment col to Moraine Lake. The Couloir is about 40 to 45 degrees, 1500 feet of vertical long and very Slot Couloir like. It is a good line, since it offers the most direct way from a roadhead to Moraine Lake. We are wondering if it has been skied before. Any ideas? Greetings, Martin
  12. On August 21st and 22nd Martin Volken, Kurt Buchwald and Peter Avolio completed the ridge traverse of all three summits of Bonanza Peak. The route involves an approach via the Mary Green Glacier, climbing the NE buttress to the main summit, a link-up to the West Summit and from there a link-up to the Southwest summit. Getting off the mountain means descending from there to the Isella Glacier, traversing the glacier to the base of the Holden Ridge, crossing over the ridge and descending down the Mary Green Glacier back down to Holden Lake. Pictures of the trip can be viewed as a slideshow on proguiding.com We thought the traverse was an awesome adventure that started with a great boatride from Chelan to Lucerne, a short bustrip to Holden and a liesurely hike to Holden Lake (5280 feet) . Getting to the lake took pretty much the whole day. The next day we left the beautiful setting by the lake and followed the climbers trail to Holden Pass. From there we "cross countried" the short distance to the base of the Mary Green Glacier. The climbers right side of the glacier provided easy access to the base of the NE buttress. (8350 feet and about 3 hours from the lake) The ridge became steep and narrow right away. The rock was solid, but very lichen covered. Not everything we grabbed was bomber, but the rock quality was good overall and easily judgeable. There were several spots where we climbed on or around the crest in the 5.7 range in wild exposure. We found a couple of old pins. It took us a little less than four hours on the ridge to the summit and I would say that the NE buttress alone is worth the trip back there. From the true summit we descended NW on a steep and scary talus covered ridge for about 100 feet. Here we turned north and down-climbed to a very distinct notch via exposed 4th and easy 5th class. (The notch is where the south-face route comes up). From here we stayed on the ridge or slightly on the north side of the ridge until we reached the base of a smaller summit about 150 feet of horizontal distance from the main summit. This section was wild and created one of the many highlights of the traverse. The Company Glacier was far below and we felt like we had been at it for a while, but we were nowhere near where we wanted to go. The second half of the Main Summit to West Summit traverse eased up quite a bit. Exposure remained the same, but the climbing turned more into a 4th class "walk on the wild side". (1.5 to 2 hours from the Main Summit to the West Summit) On the West Summit we discovered an old tin can that had one perfect piece of paper with one entry on it. It was a1952 entry of two surveyors from the Stanford Alpine Club. From the West Summit we continued towards the SW Summit on mediocre rock but easy terrain. After about 500 feet of ridge travel we found some great bivy spots, but no water. So we continued a little further to an area where the ridge narrowed substantially and the rock quality tested our nerves. In parts we were able to avoid the ridge on the north side. Eventually we got to a greenish tower that had a fresh looking break out zone on its north side. Here we found some snow, loaded up our stuff sacks and crossed over to the south side of the ridge. The terrain mellowed out substantially and my buddies noted low blood caffeine levels. So we called it good for the day. (The Beckey guide shows a great photo of the Isella Glacier with a high lying snowpatch just below the ridge crest. That was our bivy area. About 1.5 to 2 hours from the West Summit). Avolio pointed out to our amazement that one could see the Puget Sound from our spot. Furthermore does the "apocaliptic glow of the megalopolis" seem unavoidable.... (Andy Dappen came up with that awesome term..) The ambiance of the bivy site needs no explaining to whom has ever camped in similar spots in the Cascades. For the rest of you, I highly recommend it. From the bivy site we descended the next morning in blustery conditions towards a notch at around 9000 feet. This notch forms the top of a 1000 foot couloir which is used for the Isella Glacier route. I guess it could be used as a bail out option, but it seemed highly uninviting to us as a bad weather bail out.... From the notch we continued on easy ridges and ledges for a while until the steepening south face forced us onto the ridge. We followed the ridge for a little bit until an obvious talus filled gully on the northside let us make quick progress. The terrain stayed easy from here and guided us around to the south side. Towards the end we traversed under a steep wall until easy terrain let us proceed to the summit. (A surprisingly short 1 hour from the bivy spot). From the SW summit we descended easy, but somewhat dangerous ledges down to the upper snowfields of the Isella Glacier. An irritating cliffband forced us to downclimb and rappel to the proper glacier. From here we traversed high on the Isella Glacier towards the SW ridge (or Holden Ridge). A distinct chimney leads up to the saddle on the SW Ridge. (About 2 hours from the SW summit to here). The chimney involved more real climbing than expected. It was about 5.7 at the bottom. The rock was solid, but had loose surface rock, so we pitched it out and climbed it one at a time. One full pitch got us to easy 4th class terrain that lead up to the col. At this point we were tired of doing scary downclimbing and one long rappel brought us down to the safety of the Mary Green Glacier, or so we thought. We did not anticipate the upper section of the Mary Green Glacier to be so "busy". A little imagination got us down. (about 2 hours from the bottom of the chimney on the Isella side) From here all we had to do is traverse the Mary Green to the North side and pick up our ascent route. (about 2 hours down to Holden Lake) The route is a full cascadian adventure in an amazingly spectacular setting. You get to climb on an exposed ridge at over 9000 feet for many hours. Total movement time for us from Lake Holden to Lake Holden was about 19 hours. We bivied on the ridge a few hundred feet west of the West Summit. We rate the total traverse at Grade V; 5.7/5.8 and have no idea if it has been done before. Just like on the Formidable Traverse there was no info about it in any guide book....?
  13. On July 30th Martin Volken from North Bend and Kurt Buchwald from Snoqualmie completed the ridge crest traverse from Spider-Formidable Col to the summit of Mount Formidable. The ridge is about 2 km long, involves a lot of exposed 4th and easy fifth class climbing and some pitches of 5.6 to 5.7 climbing in the center section. We spent 11 hours moving from the Col to the summit of Formidable and approximately 13 hours from camp to camp. It can be said that the ambiance is of classic North Cascades grandeur and the ridge has a wild and exposed feel in many places. It resembles the Torment-Forbidden traverse in many ways. The rock quality ranges from very good to poor. In most places it is ok. In the many notches along the way one finds deteriorating iron laden rock (hence the notch), and shortly above the notches the rock quality generally improves. When the climbing is "hard", the rock seems reliable. The route features more complicated ups and downs than the T-F traverse, but it is more reasonable to bail off the route in two or three places. All in all the route can be split in three sections. Section one goes from the Spider-Formidable col to a distinct summit that we called the 2-county summit (Chelan and Skagit). Section two goes from the 2-county summit to the first reaches of the Formidable Glacier. Section three goes from the Formidable Glacier to the summit. The second section is certainly the most complex and most time consuming, even though the "hardest climbing" occurs on the first section on the way to the 2 county summit. We could not find any info on previous attempts in the summit register, the Beckey guide, the AAJ or by talking to local cascade climbing veterans. The route seemed virgin in terms of impact. We would like to claim this as a first ascent, but would certainly not want to take undeserved claim. If you have any info, feel free to let us know. We ended up rating the route at Grade 4, 5.7 Here is a basic route description: Reach the Spider-Formidable Col via the Ptarmigan traverse route. From Spider-Formidable col at 7350 feet start moving NW and go around rotten tower on the left into the first notch. Get onto better rock and climb generally near the crest to a big flat and easy ridge. From here climb a blocky ridge on good rock generally staying a bit north of the crest to the top of a first distinct tower. From here rappel into the next notch or down climb on the north side of the ridge. This is a distinct spot. You are at the base of a two pitch headwall that leads up towards the "2 county summit". Climb the 2 pitch headwall at 5.6 - 5.7 slightly north of the ridge. Rock is good. Ambiance is awesome. An easy but exposed block ridge will bring you to the "2 county summit" from there. From here climb over small towers or go around on the south side and gain a horizontal section of walkable terrain but stunning exposure. Continue down on easy terrain to the next notch. (Here is an ideal first bail spot to the south) From here continue up a steep and very narrow tower. Exposure is great and rock is good. Now follows a series of lofty gendarmes that involve steep rappels. Be prepared for slower going and harder bail-outs here. Eventually you will gain the notch that leads to a distinct summit just east of the Formidable Glacier. Here is another bail out opportunity to the south. One can also scoot around this summit on the north and reach a small lobe of the Formidable Glacier quite easily. The crossing of the described summit does not present any new challenges, but the rock is not that good. From the Formidable Glacier col we stayed on the crest. It takes a little longer than the described southern ledges in the Beckey guide, but the scenery is wild and the rock is good... From the summit go back down the ridge a short way and then start descending a distinct couloir heading south. At the bottom of the couloir follow easy 3rd class terrain generally trending left a bit until you reach the upper snow fields. Equipment: Good alpine rock boots (Garmont Tower Gtx, La Sportiva Trango S etc), medium size alpine rack, hard hats, light crampons and ice axe for descent ,bivy gear, maybe a light stove (there is snow on the way). There is a good photo of the ridge in the Beckey guide and there will be a photo summary of the traverse on the Pro Guiding Service website in about a week or so. (proguiding.com)
  14. Spider Mountain North Face ski descent

    There are some photos from the descent on our website now at proguiding.com Stay safe out there.
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