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Everything posted by Norman_Clyde

  1. There is at least one turnout after Narada Falls but short of the Paradise lot where you can park overnight for backountry trips. These have big orange signs designating them as such, or at least they did last weekend. They also tend to have a big wide packed trail heading away from them, so they're hard to miss. Should save you a mile or so of backtracking. Have fun!
  2. Oops. I thought about posting a disclaimer that I was only passing on a rumor. Glad it didn't get out of hand. That snowfield above and next to the Cowlitz is nice, though! Worth the hike up from Muir.
  3. I forgot about Dan's stove problem. He told me he had drunk no water for about 18 hours before getting it fixed. To his credit, he spent most of Sunday resting and rehydrating at Muir. I couldn't see Hannah's ski tracks from my vantage point. How high did she get?
  4. I think the imaginary fears and dangers are part of the strategy to entrap people into their empty and meaningless lives as consumer units. Chief among these is the fear that you don't measure up to your imaginary peer group. Just pick up any magazine and read the advertising. It's just as true for Outside as it is for Cosmo .
  5. Sounds like you made a good call in both cases. I can imagine how sorry you would have been if you had pressed on toward Ptarmigan in winter with wet gear. Likewise pressing toward Rainier's summit in the afternoon with no extra food. Nice photos of the ledges. Sounds like no team attempting that route is fully prepared without a piton or two.
  6. CBS, I'm sure that staying on the cleaver would have been a better strategy. I was led astray by Alex and Oleg's boot tracks, which appeared to suggest a path of least resistance. The deeper we sank, the more unattainable the cleaver seemed to be. Probably. One of the frustrating things about Rainier being so big is that it's harder to retrace your steps and start over. If I'd had another day I might have tried the ID, unless I had given in to temptation and gone up Gib Chute. I mentioned this idea to Dan, who answered that on Saturday he talked to a woman who had just climbed up the chute, at least part of the way, and skied down. Hmm, I thought, who could this have been? "Did she have short dark hair, and a pierced lip?" I asked. "Yeah! How did you know?" If any of you know anyone fitting this description, be sure you ask her to post a TR. Seriously, Gib Chute was looking very appealing as a ski. Aside from the impressively narrow neck, it appears to be free of obstacles. Avalanche risk was the big question mark, also the fact that time on the slope exposes you to icefall hazard, which might distract you as you dig out your Rutschblock, not to mention that you can't evaluate all the upper slopes that feed into it, etc. etc. Calculating risk in cases like these is difficult. Sky if you had been along we could have left the Paradise lot at 8 PM, gone straight to the summit via the chute, and might have a different tale to tell.
  7. Climb: Mt Rainier-Gib Ledges attempt Date of Climb: 3/13/2006 Trip Report: I made it to 12K on Rainier today before calling it quits due to deep snow. I had decided on Sunday to take a solo climb of Gib Ledges. The forecast looked clear but cold: when Alex_Mineev told me of the predicted summit temp of minus 20 F, I wondered if my Cascades clothing would be adequate for a Denali environment. But the predicted temp kept rising on the forecast, then Sunday morning was so fine that about noontime I made a snap decision to go. This put me in the Paradise parking lot at 4:30 and skinning uphill at 5. The air was cold, to be sure, but so still that I hardly felt it. The mountain was so quiet that I could see steam rising from the summit vents. A few clouds blocked the view until about Pan Point, at which time I rose out of the clouds, the sun set, and the full moon rose to greet me. No headlamp was required for this tour. I kept time by watching the constellations. The hut was not quite unoccupied: Dan, a visitor from Tennessee by way of Maryland, also had a solo permit. He had climbed in the Alps but had very little familiarity with Rainier. Though he had no glacier travel gear to speak of, which would certainly complicate adding him to one end of my rope, we agreed to climb together in the morning, i.e. in three more hours. We headed up Cowlitz Cleaver at about 5 AM, soon finding a decent boot track across the upper Cowlitz snowfields. It appears from Alex's posts that these were from his party the day before. As dawn broke and the boot path vanished, leaving us struggling through thigh-deep powder, our uphill pace slowed to the point where it was canceled out by the downhill pace of Rainier's glaciers. But it was not for nothing: I had hauled my skis up, and had a fine descending traverse on pristine powder back to Muir. In spite of the large volume of new snow, there was no spontaneous avalanche activity to be seen, except that secondary to icefall. Gib Chute looks very heavily loaded from below, but has not avalanched. I did encounter one area of slab formation just beneath Gibraltar Rock, but in general the snow stability seemed better than predicted. Temps on the upper mountain have been very cold and there was no crust to speak of until the lower aspects of the Muir snowfield (in fact, the powder on Muir was the best I've ever encountered there). Gear Notes: Skis: definitely handy. No help on the ascent after Muir, but the descent from Gibraltar was the high point of the trip.
  8. Alex, I used your boot track this morning and had a very similar experience. I guess I'll post a TR though it may be redundant by now.
  9. Without rock pro, did you feel uncomfortably exposed, or was the soft snow forgiving enough to stop a slide?
  10. I just got a ski helmet for myself, because it was the only way to get my son to wear a ski helmet, which my wife wants him to do because she's a worrier (and because he's a 14 year old who is absolutely certain he's invincible). I cringed at slapping the cash down for yet another helmet, but it turns out to be very comfortable, light and warm, so much so that I might make it my climbing helmet. I have one of those Petzl eggshell types, but it's never been comfortable and it's so light that it has suffered damage while hanging off my pack !! I tried Second Ascent for ski helmets first, but struck out and had to go to REI instead. Got mine on sale.
  11. As far as I know the Wonderland Trail bridge over the Nisqually is a footlog, the kind made for easy seasonal replacement, i.e. it may have been washed away and won't be replaced till spring. But it's probably still there, unless the fall precipitation caused sufficient flooding to wash it out (seems unlikely).
  12. Sky and Lunger look decent in every photo. What's so crazy about it? Strong work. I would inquire about your next objective, except it's totally clear to me already.
  13. Popular culture, especially the American version, is sick and perverse. It teaches people that they deserve to sit still and be entertained. Most of the glorious capitalist economic engine devotes itself to pandering to a person's most slovenly, selfish, brutish impulses. My feeling is there is only one reasonable strategy to raising a decent human being in the midst of today's popular culture: parents need to make it completely clear to their kids that popular culture is the enemy and must be resisted at every turn. You must do this with no apologies or regrets. I don't mean that the family can never watch TV or movies or listen to popular music or shop at the mall; but families need to make it clear to their kids that 21st century popular culture degrades the human spirit. The exceptions to this statement are very few. In my house, we watch no TV and own no video games. We do rent videos but we limit what our kids can watch. My 13 year old is currently in a rage because we are not letting him watch most of the violent R rated movies his friends all saw back when they were 7 or 8. He's run out of PG-13 movies and now he feels deprived. Mass media, plus all his peers, encourage him to believe that viewing video entertainment of his choice, no limits, is a fundamental right like free speech or food or the air he breathes. He accuses us of living in a fantasy world where we wish it were still the 1930's. We tell him we'd travel back in time if we could but sadly this does not appear to be an option. Of course I have no idea if our strategy will work. But so far it's the only way we feel comfortable proceeding as parents.
  14. Consider this passage in Muir's biography-- a conversation between himself and a local farmer in Wisconsin, during Muir's youth: "I hear ye like to read buiks, my lad." I do that, sir," John replied. "I read every guid buik I can get my hands on." Recall that Muir was a scot by birth. I haven't been to Scotland but my impression is that the Scot accent deepens the oo vowel sound and adds a small lilt at the end. Muir probably pronounced his name to rhyme with "good" and "book" but they all probably sounded more like Muir, Guid, Buik, the vowel having not quite a y at the start and not quite an i at the end.
  15. Do you mean the rain? Or do you mean the "discussion" about 93 days vs. 33 days vs. days of rain vs. days with rain vs. .. It's not the heat...it's the humidity!
  16. Under "Who We Are" on the Bisphenol A web page: "This web site is sponsored by the Bisphenol A Global Industry Group of the American Plastics Council; the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe; and the Japan Chemical Industry Association." The site would probably be equally useful (and truthful) if it re-routed all links on the page back to that sentence.
  17. He's more like Ahmedinejad, the president of Iran, who also suggested that Sharon took ill because God smote him. But I guess Robertson's case is more logical, because he says God smote Sharon because of Sharon's Gaza Strip giveaway, where Ahmedinejad says it's because of Sharon's tactics during the Lebanon invasion back in 1982. Robertson would probably say that Jehovah works faster than Allah.
  18. What route is that? I've been down the Christine Falls trail in the autumn, and got the distinct impression that the step from below to above the falls would be a difficult barrier in snow. I asked a ranger once, and got the response that yes, it's hazardous to approach Van Trump Park from the Christine Falls area in the winter. Perhaps this was yet another "Don't do that, it's too dangerous" standard Ranger warning. I'll get the map out and look, but if you have a standard winter approach I'd like to hear of it.
  19. I never felt this way when I was younger, but from my current perspective life's failures can deepen the meaning of one's existence more than successes. More than easy successes, anyway... really, any endeavor where you have to draw on your deepest reserves, to go where you haven't had to go, adds to your life regardless of whether you succeed or fail in the end.
  20. OK, Sobo, are you joking or what? Extra credit if you tell us who the US Gov't mole is on cc.com.
  21. On first reading, it disgusts me profoundly that this second generation rock climber who introduced his son to climbing at age 9,would sue the NPS to blame them for a rockfall. However, maybe we should take his words at face value: he's not looking for money, or to put a stop to climbing in the Valley. He just wants to know, to borrow a term from political investigations, "What did the NPS know and when did they know it?" But the only way for him to get this information was to file a claim; hence the claim. I wish for everyone's sake that the NPS had been willing to just let him read the memos without filing a lawsuit first. He probably would have been satisfied with some intervention far short of a lawsuit in that case.
  22. It's unfortunate, but advice from strangers is so variable as to be useless. Some of the people urging caution may have a lot of experience and know much more than average, but there is just as much chance that they are just past newbiedom, think they're hot stuff, and get a rise out of playing the seasoned veteran. I agree that a trip to Muir in current conditions poses many potential risks and that one pit may not tell them all. I personally have not taken an avy course, only read Tremper's book and followed the CSAC updates (which are a good way to keep sharp on the varied factors contributing to avy risk), plus done some BC travel (not a whole lot). So I may be one of those who has just enough knowledge to fool himself. But I'd say that most of the way up to Muir is low risk and it's not impossible to determine a relatively safe path up Pan Point, then avoid wind loaded slopes and terrain traps above that. I just re-read the original post. It sounds like you all were looking to ski the eastern aspect of Alta Vista. If this is the slope you mean, it is probably one of the riskier slopes in that area, with an aspect that encourages slab formation and inhibits sun-warmed settling. Also, it will tend to be corniced due to prevailing winds. When I last looked at it, in April, it had continuous cornice across the rim. At that time it was dangerous even to approach the edge.
  23. With all due respect, I call BS on this statement. If the words of congratulation or condemnation are from someone connected to you, then you should not casually dismiss them. No person is an island. If one of us dies climbing, we are all the less for it. If a stranger calls you a fool, or selfish, no matter. You don't owe that person anything, and your death won't really affect him. But if someone close to you tells you they are afraid, you ought to at least hear them out. They are telling you that they appreciate your presence on Earth. Then climb, by all means, keep climbing. It's a special way to honor the transient fire of life. But I hope no one on this forum thinks that if they died climbing, no one would mourn their loss; I hope no one would dismiss that loss as not worthy of their attention.
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