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Everything posted by Norman_Clyde

  1. On skis, via Emmons. I would like to take off from White River Saturday evening and head straight up, with rest breaks but no bivy. PM's work, or email <barry at timestep dot org>.
  2. According to modern theoretical physics, the phenomenon of the passage of time is a purely human construct. We are largely trapped by our own perceptions of three spatial dimensions and one time dimension. Two observers moving through space at radically different velocities will actually experience events in a different order from one another. Physics has proven that not only do past, present and future coexist, they differ according to your point of view. Recognizing this "reality" hasn't changed my day to day existence. From a human vantage point, the future remains unknown, which is a good thing.
  3. I was thinking of you guys. The Brothers stood out clear from Seattle in the AM-- I figured you had a bluebird day. Sounds like the weather just added spice to the trip.
  4. Here's the lowdown regarding treatment: Ice worsens the injury and is to be avoided. Likewise with Cut and Suck. All snake bite victims are advised to proceed immediately to the hospital for evaluation. If the hospital is far away and a severe systemic envenomation is feared, for a bite on an extremity a constriction band to restrict lymphatic flow may slow systemic absorption of the venom. In doing so, it may increase local venom exposure and worsen local tissue injury. If I were deciding what to do, I'd only put the band on if someone developed systemic symptoms rapidly. Antivenin is indicated for progressive symptoms, which means either ongoing worsening of local effects, or anything but very minor systemic effects. Local effects are pain, swelling, bruising, blood blisters (from disruption of blood coagulation) at the site. Systemic effects include nausea, vomiting, tingling around the mouth, weakness/dizziness, vomiting blood, altered mental status, etc. Once the decision to use antivenin is made, the standard dose is 10 vials. (I have no idea how much this costs.) More severe cases require more antivenin. It's made from horse serum and can cause early or late allergic reactions. For any of you that might want to wait a while before going to the hospital, "It cannot be overemphasized that one can easily be deceived by a bite that initially appears innocuous." Source for the above: Emergency Medicine by Tintinalli et al, 4th edition.
  5. I talked to a DOT guy at the gate a few weeks ago. He said the scale of the washout is massive, with a hundred foot drop at pavement's edge. Also, one end of the tunnel is filled with rocks to within a foot of the ceiling.
  6. There's always Muir Snowfield. If you want something with more solitude, check out the West Side Road. It's lower elevation so you will have to hike a bit to get to snow. White River Entrance just opened and holds plenty of promise. There is snow at the trailhead though skinning is not so good for the first few miles.
  7. Once upon a time it might have seemed heroic to summit Everest. These days it seems more like a test of maximum self-centeredness and callous disregard for all the world except Me Me Me. Somehow, all those individuals have gotten their priorities so perverted that not only will they trudge past a desperate, dying human being without helping him, they will even justify this decision as part of some unwritten climber's moral code. Will they come home and say "Look at me, I climbed Everest, I'm a brave heroic hardman"? Instead they should hang their heads and say "I'm a pathetic excuse for a human being, I showed the world how debased I have become in pursuit of ego gratification." If this is what Everest means today, I don't want to be within a hundred miles of base camp.
  8. The creek crossing will be the least of your worries. This time of year it will be well bridged, at least in the upper valley. Cornices dropping off Shuksan Arm and ice avalanches from the White Salmon and Hanging Glaciers should loom larger in your mind. Move fast when beneath these hazards. Have Fun!
  9. Yes, White River is open as of noon today. The road is plowed to the campground. While the campground is not technically "open", the parking lot is available for climbers.
  10. Wolves around Mt Adams? We've got black bears right in Seattle-- in the University District, no less. As if it weren't already old news
  11. I went up to Muir on the 16th, which you may recall was the 80 degree day one week ago. I haven't gone to Muir in high summer but this was by far the warmest day I've ever encountered on the snowfield. It was hard to resist the temptation to go shirtless. I doused myself liberally with spray-on sunscreen three times in the course of the day. When I got home, my skin was all intact EXCEPT that my longies had ridden up an inch above my boot on my left leg. The stripe there is still an angry purple, like a radiation burn. If all my skin had been blasted this hard, I think I'd have ended up in the hospital. OK, not much of a story, but I'm kind of glad I don't have a worse one. I always thought that sunburn inside the mouth was an alpine legend. Really happens, eh?
  12. Look Here DOT says not before the 26th. I would certainly trust their word over MRNP's.
  13. Glad you're safe. Thanks for sharing the story. I can't read reports like this too often: they keep me honest. It can be hard to anticipate every risk, especially on the return when fatigue overcomes concentration. Good thing that wounded pride only makes you come back stronger.
  14. So, do you think Tunnel Creek is a less laborious approach than the Lake Constance trail plus 4 miles of road?
  15. That's so irresponsible. They didn't carry fire insurance because, as the actual fire illustrated so well, the lodge's location made it extremely difficult to fight the fire. There being no hydrant nearby, firefighters had to drag great lengths of hose up the hill, ensuring that the building would be destroyed before they got there. Insurance appraisers don't like issuing fire policies for such buildings.
  16. One climber is not going to make the arch fall, but a hundred climbers every weekend will make it fall a lot sooner than it otherwise would. It's going to fall sooner or later, everyone knows that. Helping it to stand as long as possible, by not climbing it, shows greater respect for the landscape. Dean's climb of the arch says to the NPS and the public at large, "Sure I know it will fall a little sooner as a result of my actions, but my desire to climb the arch now is more important than someone else's desire to see this arch in the future." This much would be true even if he had climbed it in secret. Potter knows he's putting a big bullseye on the arch by publicizing the climb. He's setting the stage for a public rush on the feature by the wannabe population, who climbs what other people tell them to and buys the gear that the ads tell them to. I don't know about the rest of you, but for me one of the best parts of mountaineering is the escape it offers me from the excesses of American culture. It's a vast refuge from the sick world. If you're not out to prove anything to anybody, you can scramble up all kinds of alpine slopes with very little material investment, and gain the kind of personal satisfaction you can't get elsewhere. I hate to see the various aspects of outdoor adventure become so fully a possession of the corporate machine. The big retailers, and the magazines that sell ad space to them, are dependent on continuing to generate anxiety and feelings of inadequacy in their consumer base. Patagonia just might have decided that they want to mine the Delicate Arch for money, much the same way that Weyerhauser mines old growth timber or factory trawlers mine the sea, and that is a shame. Maybe Potter just wanted to climb the arch because of the guy he is. Maybe Patagonia did not encourage him in any way. However, the presence of the cameras suggests otherwise. If there is enough of a general outcry from climbers, not just nonclimber tourists, about Potter's climb of the arch, this will be a good thing. Such an outcry will assert to the public that some climbers, at least, respect nature enough to display a little self-governance: to defer certain gratifications, perhaps indefinitely, in order to preserve something beautiful for everyone. It's not hard to guess how the Delicate Arch will eventually fall. The narrowest spot (where Potter is in the posted photo) will erode to the point where it no longer fully supports the arch's weight, putting the upper half of the opposite side of the arch under tension. The brittle sandstone will crack catastrophically. Standing atop the arch will not speed this process much at all. Even minimal erosion of the pedestal, below the narrow point, will speed it up a lot.
  17. "Conscientious about Nature's rules...Respected the Arch to the fullest..." Right. Once upon a time, mountaineers probably had a great reverence for the natural features of this world, maybe even more so than non-climbing tourists. That time is long gone. That was then, this is now. Now is when all natural features have become subservient to the professional climber's ego. You want to show respect for the Arch? Then leave it alone so it will last a little longer. Or, if in your mind you are respecting it by climbing it, then climb it-- in secret, unrecorded, and don't tell anybody what you did. Just don't climb it with multiple cameras recording the event, then spout to the media how much you respect Nature. If Patagonia does not immediately condemn this action and sack Potter, there should be no doubt what the company stands for. Not unspoiled nature, but scorched earth consumerism: the belief that nothing in this world is sacred except 1)personal glory and 2)money. Mr. Chouinard, we're waiting.
  18. "Kepler was deeply religious and believed that understanding the geometry of the heavens would bring him closer to God. Kepler, like Copernicus, believed that Earth and the other planets traveled around the sun in circular orbits, and he worked diligently to match circular motions to Tycho's data...He attempted to find a unified model with a circular orbit, but in doing so he found that some of his predictions differed from Tycho's observations by as much as 8 arcminutes. "Kepler surely was tempted to ignore these discrepancies and attribute them to errors by Tycho. After all, 8 arcminutes is barely one-fourth the diameter of the full moon. But Kepler trusted Tycho's careful work, and the misses by 8 arcminutes finally led him to abandon the idea of circular orbits-- and to find the correct solution to the ancient riddle of planetary motion. "Some historians believe assert that Kepler's discovery represented the true birth of modern science because, for the first time, a scientist was willing to cast off long-held beliefs in a quest to match theory to observation."
  19. JayB has it right that paranoia is not an exclusive property of the left or right wing. Which political persuasion generated this quote (yesterday on the radio): "That's how our country is gonna be taken over without a shot being fired." --Right wing in this case, in reference to illegal immigration (that one wasn't so hard, given the gun reference) but both extremes say such things. What's scariest to me is the fact that the mass of average, middle of the road people don't need much prodding to follow a paranoid leader who exploits their fears. Half the voting population appears to have been so freaked by 9/11 that they were willing, as of Nov. 2004, to reelect GWB: apparently not in spite of, but because of his quasi-totalitarian policies, which were abundantly clear by that date. Totalitarian leadership is a feature of either political extreme, but not of the moderate path such as the US constitution defends. Even right wing groups, many of them, reject totalitarian leaders. Statements like these (no, not all are quotes, just general examples): "If you're not with us, you're against us... If you don't support the war, you're unpatriotic and weakening this country... We're at war but by definition this war is eternal and the enemy will never go away, so the rights I'm taking away from the citizenry I will never return to them... Our great nation is under such a severe threat from (insert name of enemy here) that maintaining civil rights makes the country weak and helps the enemy... indeed, any citizen who demands such rights is by definition an object of suspicion and a probable enemy of the state..." etc. etc. This formula has not (yet) been taken to completion in this country, but it ought to be well familiar to all students of history, given the abundant examples available from left AND right wing leaders from the 20th century. In my opinion, being a good American means never granting one's leaders too much power. This was really the first founding principle of the USA. Right wingers and left wingers should be equally queasy with a president grasping for the sweeping powers GWB wants (and has often received).
  20. As I understand it, someone going up to 12k will likely feel the lesser symptoms of AMS, but: HACE rarely develops below 12k, and HAPE generally requires at least 24-48 hours before onset. Correct. Sky and Casey were probably not above 10K elevation for more than 5 or 6 hours. For someone to get HAPE that fast is almost unheard of. It usually takes at least one night. Indeed, Maybe safety at altitude was one reason for climbing in a 24 hour push. As they descended they were probably thinking, "Thank God our HAPE risk is diminishing!"
  21. I stayed a couple of nights at Ostrander in the 80's. The ski in was about 10 miles, 1K vertical rise, though more than half was on the flat, groomed Glacier Point road. We barely found the hut before dark, and the one party behind us turned back rather than spend a night in the snowy woods, so our party (myself, Dad and Brother) spent a very casual weekend hanging out with the ranger and his wife. They even lent us ice skates to use on the lake (I remember Mrs. Ranger skated out first, with a rope around her waist, to test the ice for the rest of us). We ice fished for trout also. Didn't do much skiing-- a little deep, fluffy and steep for touring skis. My brother and I took an old NPS toboggan from the rafters and went sledding. We unfortunately smashed it to pieces agains a tree. (At least we jumped off in time to save ourselves the same fate.) The ranger was mad and we were embarrassed, but we let Uncle Sam pick up the tab. Typical spongers off the feds, I know. I have no idea what the Ostrander is like in summer, but its presence in YNP in winter gave me my first backcountry ski experience: one which, while not quite so hardman-ish as a snow cave, was steeped in wilderness, probably lower impact than camping (no poop in the woods) and unforgettable. I would not personally favor having a hut in every Cascades alpine basin, but huts at a few select locations-- maybe a whole day's hike from the road, so as not to encourage overuse-- would in my opinion not be a bad thing. One more thing:
  22. Unfortunate for the community of mountaineers and other users of the backcountry, to lose this formerly public resource. This change promises to be especially troublesome for people stranded high up on Rainier, since the single-rotor helicopters have a much harder time at such altitude. Did the MAST team perform many rescues elsewhere in the Cascades, or is there some other copter/team, e.g. for NCNP?
  23. Swimming across Puget Sound is a pretty big undertaking if you ask me. Hood Canal would be enough of a challenge. How many miles of water? With big container ships, ferries, who knows what else? If human powered travel is your goal, I'd suggest a good old sea kayak. If you want to carry everything, use a folding boat. I bet your goal is a Goran/Erden style, fully self contained out-and-back but those two bodies of water are going to be a real pain. If I were to train for a swim that ambitious, I'd rather cross the English Channel: the swim equivalent of a classic European climb, like Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn. Wait a minute. I just re-read your post. Swimming while dragging all your mountaineering gear in a bag? You'd be in Tacoma or the Strait of Juan de Fuca before you ever got across.
  24. Even if you can't get ready for altitude, you can get ready for lots of altitude gain. You're at least halfway ready for a trip to Muir once you can put in 4 to 5 straight hours on a stairmaster while wearing a pack.
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