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Otto

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Otto last won the day on October 26

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About Otto

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    addicted to cc.com
  • Birthday 10/02/1955

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  • Occupation
    systems analyst
  • Location
    Seattle, WA
  1. Conditions Report: Static Point

    Thanks for the rebolting job out there, Mark and Chris. I used to really like going there. Once I caught my leader Chuck S. coming off the On Line crux. He loved that route.
  2. Just discovered my profile here showed my birthday as 11/30/1999. Yeah, good to be 21 again! For goodness sake, I've just signed up for Medicare... Changed it.

  3. Congratulations on a nice find. Looks like fun alpine granite, yum.
  4. Thanks for the write-up and fine photos! Looks like you had a grand time.
  5. Thanks for the good trip report and photos. I'd like to get up that some day, looks cool.
  6. Thanks for the excellent trip report. It looks really great up there. Didn't know to watch out for wasp nests when bushwhacking!
  7. Trip: Three O'Clock Rock - Big Tree 2000, pitch 6, 5.8 Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: A New Pitch on an Old Favorite Crag The decision to explore the area above the Big Tree was rooted in my desire to finish my Magic Bus Variation route. Yale Lewis and I are in the middle of its final pitch, with two bolts in, bolted on lead, and a long, cool ramp ahead. I wanted to find out if there is a good way to get on top of it to discover the perfect place for the anchor. As this will help to get the pro bolts just right, I'm settling for bolting the rest on top-rope. Since Robin Taft was a willing and dedicated partner for some new adventure, I teamed up with her to do the initial investigation. She leads sport, bolts only, so I had to find ways to keep her interested in the climbing approach. We got there in June to do Shake, Rattle and Roll which ends at an anchor one pitch above the Big Tree. It is a fine slab route, one pitch of which has 12 bolts and no gear placements—perfect for Robin! On the descent, I looked around and noted I have to go one pitch higher to get atop Magic Bus. Also, there is an old pitch up there, ending at roughly the same place, which has rusty quarter inchers and Leeper hangers! So, next time up I came loaded for bear and bolt replacement. Later in June, I chose an unusual method to get back up to the same spot: two pitches of Cornucopia, step right for two pitches of Big Tree 1, then the new connector pitch to Shake, Rattle and Roll, and then the last pitch of that climb. We did all that, and I got out the drill and hammer. Robin was patiently enjoying the sunny day while I rapped and removed four split-shank inch long goobers and hand-drilled them out for modern stainless steel. That is pitch 5 of Big Tree 2000, as described in David Whitelaw's book, Weekend Rock. It looked very cool, but I hadn't led it yet. In early July I returned with my rope solo gear to replace the last two old bolts on P5. To continue, the steeper hump on the left from the belay looked not bad, and the slab above it looked like a continuation of the great slab below. I replaced the last old bolt and top-roped the pitch. Having secured the permission of one of the FA party, David Whitelaw, I added three bolts to the pitch to make sense of it. Two at the bottom to connect to the first bolt, and one before the final bolt. Finally, the stage was set for another pitch. On July 18, Brian Young and I climbed Big Tree 1 to get up there, and the exciting work began. From my journal: "Goal focus is narrow. Launch upward from the Big Tree 2000 top anchor with full drilling gear. Try to get above the Magic Bus line. Brian took the odd pitches, but then declined the 5.9 P5. I led that, the new bolts are good. The pitch bolting seems perfect to me. Brian could not believe that the third bolt was the original first." Brian and I set up at the P5 top anchor. Hammer, drill, six bolts, a single rack and the blow tube. I left the anchor and bolted left around a large loose plate, eight feet in diameter. Trying not to touch it, once on top of the new level I found perfect waves of clean slab just as on Pitch 5. I put in three bolts in a row using the transverse ripples, connected with easy friction moves. Then I had to reach left to a thin ledge with no pro, so I put in the fifth bolt. Cracks led up and left, keeping on the verge of the drop to the Tidbits side of the buttress. I dug out a perfect fingerlock hold in a vertical 1" crack, to a ledge. The final 3" crack is clean and secure to a mossy ledge above a tree. I drilled a two-bolt chain anchor for a restful belay stance. From this new anchor, one can look above and see the bolts called out on Matt Perkins' topo labeled, "Project". As it stands, this 40 meter pitch ends at just the right level for a Magic Bus exploration rappel. My field notes for Pitch 5. For the original topo, see "Weekend Rock", by David Whitelaw Four of the five bolts replaced on Big Tree 2000, pitch 5 My first topo, before I realized this was Big Tree 2000, not Big Tree 1 A later version of the topo In the process of bringing the lines into Photoshop, the feature lines were traced in ink on mylar The final topo Cruising the slab on the FA Brian Richter coming up past the Big Tree to help The start of the new pitch. There is now a bolt to help avoid the hollow-sounding plate above the little overlap One of the 5.8 crux moves is to step left and get pro in the pocket shown Robin at the new anchor Thanks to Brian Young for the long belay session while I worked out the pitch. And to Robin Taft for multiple trips to rebolt and clean it. And also to Brian Richter for belaying another trip up the new pitch to clean and refine it. And special thanks to the slab masters who went first, Matt Perkins and David Whitelaw, whose vision found it and got them a long way up there. Gear Notes: Light single standard rack to 3". Approach Notes: Eight Mile Trail to the South Buttress of Three O'Clock Rock. Climb any route to the Big Tree. Climb Big Tree 2000, pitch 5, 5.9. For a way that is only 5.8, climb Shake, Rattle and Roll and then take a very short rappel to the Big Tree 2000 pitch 5 top anchor. See Matt Perkins' overall topo for the Big Tree Area.
  8. Getting tired of pulling on trees through Big Tree 2, second pitch. Would like a more interesting start, even if a little harder. Is Northwest Passage the best moderate start? Matt's topo just shows an arrow pointing up from below...
  9. Thanks for the excellent report and photos! Solo on loose rock, impressive.
  10. Big Tree 1 gets some love

    After looking more closely at the available topos and guidebook, I realized that pitch 5 is part of Big Tree 2000. In Weekend Rock, David Whitelaw clearly shows it so on his topo, and includes it in the text description of Big Tree 2000.
  11. The tat loaded on the anchor of pitch 3 has been removed, replaced with SS chains and rings. This is the higher of the two anchors, up and right of the dihedral containing most of the pitch. Sorry I didn't take a photo of the new steel. Also, the pitch above the Big Tree has received new bolts, 3/8" SS of course, with Mad Rock hangers. No pictures of them either, sorry. Two weeks ago I looked over at this pitch 5 after reaching the nearby top anchor of Shake, Rattle and Roll. I could not believe seeing a beautiful slab with Leeper hangers still on it. And a couple of SMC hangers, all on quarter-inch rusty bolts. Doesn't anyone go up there? So the next week I returned with Robin who sat patiently while I drilled out four of them. There were more to do, so I returned yesterday via rope solo to get the last one out. While I was there, I tested my new uAscend and Microtraxion to top-rope the pitch (worked great, and safely!) and found it to be delightful, knobby climbing. It seemed to have some 5.9 at the start, and eases to 5.8 the rest of the way for a good 55m pitch. Thanks DavidW and MattP for putting this up.
  12. I went out for a bike ride and found some good person with a big saw has taken out the big fir from the Squire Creek road! Many thanks to the unknown logger.
  13. Thanks for the report, tanstaafl, this must be done soon. And the thread includes a topo, cool!
  14. Nice slab-climbing photo! Two seconds on belay at once, love it.
  15. chucK has passed away

    Kaleetan Peak, July 7, 2019 Chuck's Line, one pitch, 5.7, 1x The last outing I did with Chuck Spiekerman was a visit to Kaleetan Peak on 7/22/2019. He had been working on me to get away from Darrington, and sold me on this unclimbed 600-foot West Face. The only problem was the four-hour approach hike. But since I'd been doing that nearly every summer weekend for the last several years, I agreed to help. Chuck had done the research, scoping the face on an earlier solo trip up the North Ridge. He'd returned to work out the approach from Melakwa Lake and the best place to leave the climbers' track to contour around to the west side. He'd found the "magic gully" that leads down from the south shoulder to the west face smoothly. Now he'd invited me to join him on a rock climb of discovery on the west face itself. I was skeptical that there could be a good, unclimbed cliff in a busy, popular hiking area. At the same time, I was skeptical of all the work to hump in the required gear. Surely these two factors opposed themselves and would cancel out! So I agreed, and we'd have the place to ourselves for a day. We brought two 60m ropes, a single rack with wires and cams to 3", my bolt kit with 3 bolts and hangers, drill and hammer, and no bivy gear. It is in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, so no power drills are allowed. We would have to allow four hours of hiking time to get back to Denny Creek trailhead, and set our turn-around time. I didn't want to hike out in the dark. Being on a strict timeline, I didn't stop for photos much. Wanting to document the wall itself, I took shots of the cliff but not of Chuck leading out. He drilled his first ever bolt on lead, protecting a steep short wall on a limestone patch. It only took him about 8 minutes to drill. The climbing on the limestone patches was phenomenal: sharp, sticky, and fun. Then he got in another bolt at the belay anchor, which is in quartzite, or perhaps andesite, much harder, and it took 20 minutes. It's a "pre-Tertiary melange" up there! He brought me up, and I drilled the second anchor bolt. Agreeing to go up and left toward a big tree for Pitch 2 next time, we rapped off. It was late afternoon and time to get out of there. On the talus on the way out I took these three photos of Chuck. Rest in peace, my friend. There is gravel strewn over every ledge and hold, but the rock is sound. We didn't experience any loose rock or rockfall. The talus slope at the base is very loose and littered with bright, white quartz rhomboids. It is a wide wall; there are doubtless better places to start. Indeed, there is a good crack in a left-facing corner directly below our line that could be used as a more direct start at a higher grade. For our continuation, we were going to angle left to the big tree aimed at by the arrow in the annotated photo. We spoke of staying in the light-grey limestone as much as possible, as the climbing there is excellent. If someone hankers for an adventure route, feel free to use Chuck's Line as a first pitch and go from there.
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