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Posts posted by sverdina

  1. Sorry..I meant Rainbow, not Magic (don't ask). Went up Wedge Couloir, not WR (big difference there, eh). Would have preferred NE Arete, but to those I was with, the route was unfortunately not an option. I regret not having just solo'd it myself. Lame. fuck.

  2. Yeh, definitely didn't think it was the big W. I was viewing biv.com's java maps prior to my inquiry, but couldn't come up with a satisfactory answer. Not sure about Ashlu either. Drawing a line from Wedge, directly over Magic (about 15' on vertical coord.) puts Ashlu a bit to the south. Maybe Mount Albert or thereabouts??

  3. Climbed Lib. Ridge this past Mon - Weds. Truly an awesome route and in superb condition! Snowpack is stable and glacier crossings are very manageable. All in all, it was a relatively straight forward climb and thanks to the boot path, we made it up there from high camp (just below Thumb Rock ~ 10k ft) in around 7 hours. Sustained 40 - 50 snow/ice and exposure, but not really "technical". Soloed the entire route (about half of it in the dark since we left camp at 2am), except to belay a funky move getting over the bergschrund right at Liberty Cap. Didn't encounter anybody on the route, and judging by those snoring away at Thumb Rock, when we passed by there yesterday morning, we weren't going to. There's something to be said about climbing stuff like that in total darkness...you can't SEE the exposure. Also, my partner and I somehow got separated in the dark and it was total solo climbing for a couple hours. Imagine...a thin crescent moon, stars, the orange glow of city lights in the distance, the faint light reflecting off of the massive ice-cliffs looming overhead above Willis Wall and Ptarmigan Ridge...and then there's you, alone. Yep, just you, the mountain, and that constant nagging question - "what the hell am I doing here?". It was surreal, almost spiritual. Walked across summit from Liberty Cap to Emmons Glacier. Wasn't feelin' the slog to the "true summit" and so we descended down to Camp Sherman and back to the car.


    Been quite a few successfull ascents recently, including a couple dudes that claimed to have skied it, though I only saw tracks from below Thumb Rock.

  4. In time, BD Flicklock poles will get stuck as well...if you neglect them as I do. If lower half is stuck, wedge basket between your feet and pull. If upper half is stuck, remove lower entirely, wedge handle between feet and pull on the aluminium end with vise-grip pliers. Poles generally last one season of solid climbing these days I find.

  5. This may have been discussed previously, but how many pitches of belayed climbing are involved in order to access the 2nd couloir...the 3rd? How are the belays? Any recomendations concerning descending from the summit?

  6. Not familiar with any names and perhaps Sobo already mentioned this, but I recall a small bolted crag on the Snake just off the hwy on the way to the infamous "dunes" (before the park/boat launch & before you cross over the dam). The WSU alpine club would routinely frequent the area during the summer months. Never climbed there myself...was always too preoccupied with beer bongs & chasing tail around the beach.

  7. Actually, the Voile system works quite well & I disagree with those that seem to think that the splitter cannot be a substitute for AT or Tele. It however does take several outings to familiarize yourself with the set up and get it totally dialed in.


    I think the Voile system is superior to Burton, because of its simplicity. The Burton system is difficult to assemble, particularly when the cold is inhibiting your manual dexterity. They're also prohibitively expensive. Burton splitters, however, ride just about as well as their solid boards do. Consider getting a Prior board instead. Better ride, but uses all the Voile hardware. Also, the Voile skins suck (only hooks on one end of ski). Use Burton skins instead (call BRTN rider service to order a pair). By the way, all splitters come with a full metal edge around each ski these days.


    Anyway, I finally went the cheap route, split an older board of mine (a Burton...ha!) & attached the Voile Split Kit. Although, I do not have an outer metal edge (skis are reversed for touring), I've found that using the ski-crampon attachment on steeper and icy slopes greatly alleviates the side-hilling/traversing issues cited earlier in this thread. With this set up, I have yet to experience a tour where those using AT or tele have an advantage over a splitboard. I'm sure ultimately I might run into this situation. But, in the rare instance that I do, both skiers & splitters would probably be better off with crampons on their boots & an ice axe in hand anyway.


    On the descent, I generally have considerably less difficulty riding in any snow condition when compared those on skis, including those with a lot of experience. If a home-made board performs to my satisfaction, a factory-made board can only perform better. The consensus is that snowboarding is easier and more versatile than skiing, and you'll find yourself taking on slopes, chutes, drops etc. much sooner than you would if you were to punt around on a pair of skis.


    Lastly, though there is no substitute for the feel of strap bindings & soft boots, for longer trips involving some element of mountaineering, consider getting yourself a pair of AT boots & Voile plate bindings. The stiffer boot & binding will give you more long-term support and also make touring and traversing easier.


    Now go get that splitter!

  8. Could be your boots are a bit too small and you're pinching a nerve somewhere. Are your toes pressing up against the tip of the boots when descending? Or...maybe your boots aren't snug enough & your feet are sliding forward. Those used half-size-too-small Eigers I wore on Serpa & Shuksan last summer left the tips of my toes feeling numb for a long time. My then new rock shoes, seemed to agravate the problem too. New boots and rest solved the problem.

  9. Did the NE Butt on Sat. It was the us that pulled the blue & purple slings from the ice (acually my follower as he thought I had set up the abalakov). The initial gully was interesting with one relatively desperate move over a rock step. The snow on the face was a thin layer of mush over slabs offering little in the way of purchase and protection. The abalakov was still present, though the quality of the "ice" was questionable. The rotten ice-step featured running water & required another desperate off-balance move on highly suspect ice screws in order to reach the relative security of the gentler slopes above. A fortuitous horn above the small trees to the left provided a comfortable belay. A final slope of more mushy snow lead to the ridge below the summit.


    Conditions were marginal at best & I do not recommend attempting it at this time.

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