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Everything posted by Norman_Clyde

  1. That is the truth. Northwesterners are very polite on the surface, but not likely to invite you into their private and secluded existences. It takes real effort to make connections here. Ironically, the above description also applies to me, who chose to come to this corner of the continent to live: much of the social milieu of the Northwest seems to suit me, so I can't really blame anyone else. Instead I make what effort I can to meet new people (for instance, by climbing with strangers from this board once in a while).
  2. The queen of cc.com political correctness feminine' giving a pass to a fellow liberal who has just excersized judgement on a woman based solely on her perceived unattractiveness. Priceless! Yep. The hypocrisy of liberals never ceases to amaze me. Who cares what the woman looks like - she should be judged by her qualifications and job performance. Looks are irrelevant, remember? And, since Joshie is a liberal, other liberals will look the other way at his remark - like the feminists regarding Bubbas abuse of power with an intern. Although I cringed when I read Josh's original remark-- it's unfair to judge her in this way, such a remark makes you look catty and gives ammo to the opposition, etc.-- the fact is that appearance does matter in politics. Having spent three years in DC, on the fringes of politics, I can tell you that people will stoop to most any cruelty in their grasping for power. It seems to bring out the primitive side of people. Link
  3. Climb: Chikamin Peak (or nearly) -Up the slope from the PCT Date of Climb: 10/7/2005 Trip Report: I had time on Friday for a medium length jaunt. Limitations on start and finish time were my lingering fatigue from a punishing 48 hour shift in Ilwaco, and my need to be back in Seattle by 5:30 pm to secure a table at the Triple Door for the Jimmie Dale Gilmore concert. An alpine start was too unpleasant to contemplate. Weather seemed to rule out cragging as an option. Instead I fell back on an old objective: to reach the reputed location of Arthur Denny's carved signature, circa 1865, on a rock at the head of Gold Creek valley, at the saddle between Chikamin Peak and Four Brothers. I had tried and failed twice to reach this spot on day trips, bailing both times due to fatigue in the summer heat. Heat would not be a risk today. However, weather remained problematic with estimated snow level 5K and the target objective around 6K. The slope in question is 13 miles or so up the PCT from Snoqualmie, then 800 feet of 2nd and 3rd class if conditions are good. I pulled into the lonely PCT parking lot at 8 AM. The only way to complete the route in the time I had was to run part of the way. Vistas from the trail were stunning early on (photos to follow) but quickly gave way to fog. I had printed out a map the night before, apparently just so I could leave it behind; I knew the general location of the route, but would have a harder time knowing where to cut left up the slope with a visual range of 50 yards. Still, the clouds moved in and out at times so I stayed optimistic. Huckleberries were plentiful, keeping the birds busy-- but no longer fresh, having frozen and thawed at least once, alas. The birds didn't seem to mind. The weather held until just past Joe Lake when sleet and then snow began to fall. As the trail rounded Chikamin there began to be a few inches of unconsolidated accumulation. The clouds remained extremely dense; I could not see the upper slopes at all. I made my best guess of where to leave the trail to reach the saddle. The snow was slushy enough not to affect footing on trail or rock; vegetation was another matter. I pulled myself by vegetable belays up wet, icy heather and grass for several hundred feet until stopped by vertical buttresses. I still couldn't see the saddle, the snow was falling harder, and my watch said I was going to be late. With some irritation I turned downhill. I was nearly to the trail again when the clouds parted briefly. Above I could see a reasonably safe looking 3rd class gully. I looked again at my watch and saw I had misread it before--- it was still only noon. Opportunity still beckoned. I turned back up hill. The gully was pretty mundane stuff, chossy, unstable because no one ever goes there (most people having the sense not to); Traversing up slush-covered 4th class ledges on the sides in running shoes still felt safer than precipitating rock fall with each step in the gully bottom. My hands quickly went numb, but it was not cold enough for frostbite so I left the gloves in the pack. Eventually I topped out; alas, no signed rock. I was clearly not far enough south. In fact I was just beneath the summit on its north side. The remainder of the climb was way too exposed to warrant continuing in present conditions. Now it really was time to go down. Descent was fortunately uneventful, there being no partners to suffer from party-inflicted rockfall. I took a small break to pump water on the return, seeing the only other person of the day, a ranger: he and I both startled each other a little in the fog. "You blend right in," he said. I got back to the car by 4, to downtown Seattle by 5:15. Fortunately I had brought jeans and flannel shirt, and was not tossed out as a dirtbag Cascadian at the Triple Door. I had hoped that the men's room would allow me to wash inconspicuously, but privacy was insufficient. I washed my face but had to keep my shirt on. For the next several hours I absorbed copious volumes of food, drink, and live music-- balm to ease the agony of my ignominious defeat in the mountains...all right, not a defeat exactly, but this is only one of two alpine objectives for which I'm three tries, zero successes. I am sometimes my own worst enemy when it comes to success on long solo day climbs in this respect: I have a foolish tendency to combine a distant objective with an impossible time deadline. At least this trip I made it within my time estimate. Better weather-- or remembering to bring the map-- would have enabled complete success. Climbs like this tend to feel more worthwile in retrospect than during execution. I would have liked to get a photo of the signature, but lacking this, the day remains worthwhile. I do feel blessed to live in such a place as this, where I can be deep into the alpine at noon and take in a concert the same evening. Gear Notes: Trail running shoes Extra clothes-- kept moving, didn't need them. Axe would have helped on slushy vegetated slopes, but not really required. MAP: when I got home, I saw that the map held a clue to success. I turned uphill after the first switchback, which was too early. Ascending just after the second switchback would have gotten me there. GPS: would have ensured success on this day, but I still think GPS's are aid. Approach Notes: Early autumn snowfall, a few inches of slush starting about 5500 feet. A good day's sun or rain will take it away.
  4. I encountered slippery new snow in the Snoqualmie area on Friday from 5 to 6K. Lots of snow on the Enchantments visible from I-90 yesterday. The autumn weather window is closing.
  5. What about WA pass? Any hope left for the rock there this season?
  6. The above post suggests that you see the Bush administration and the Islamic fundamentalist movement as being absolute political opposites. This must mean that you see nothing ironic in any of the words our president spoke this morning. Ambition...militaristic expansionism...unburdened by conscience... for some Americans, not only the Taliban comes to mind when we hear these words. There is an email making the rounds today titled "Bush calls for his own impeachment." I conclude from your post that if you were to receive this email, not only would you fail to see the humor-- you wouldn't even get the joke.
  7. When Miers worked for Bush in Texas, she was quoted as saying GWB was "The most brilliant man I've ever met."
  8. I'm gonna find myself a girl Who can tell me what laughter means And we'll fill in the missing colors In each other's paint-by-number dreams And we'll put our dark glasses on And we'll make love until our strength is gone And when the morning light Comes streaming in We'll get up And do it again Amen Get it up again Amen!
  9. The analemma has the same shape from any viewpoint on Earth, but at the poles it would be partly hidden. The place where the lines cross is not at the equinox, or even in the center of the axis. I tried to attach a scanned page but I'm still clueless how to do it.
  10. Photoshop not required. I have an astronomy book with the same sort of photo taken in pre-photoshop days. The vertical axis of the analemma is due to change in the sun's declination (height above the horizon) related to the seasons. The horizontal axis is due to changes in the average length of the solar day, which is a function of how close the earth is to the sun in its elliptical orbit. This phenomenon is called the Equation of Time.
  11. When I worked in a virology lab in high school, I mixed up ingredients for acrylamide gel electrophoresis. The bottle said in big red letters "ACRYLAMIDE IS A NEUROTOXIN". I never heard about the tumor-inducing part.
  12. Tacoma Public Library has a very cool exhibit currently on line, in which they have transcribed portions of old Mounties journals from the early 1900's, scanned the old photos, and put it all on line. Here is the link.
  13. As far as I have understood, every real effort at "public transportation" everywhere has invoved some "taking" of private property and this has included, often, "fucking over the little guy." After the recent supreme court decision supporting the taking of private property for the purpose of "economic development," a group in New Hampshire proposed taking David Souter's summer home by eminent domain, for the purpose of building a resort called the "Lost Liberty Hotel."
  14. I think the climbers in France should consider this an act of God, akin to a big rockfall like on Glacier Point Apron in Yosemite, or Mt. St. Helens. Sure, some time honored classic bouldering routes were lost, but for every route destroyed, a new route has been created! Life goes on.
  15. There are other Frost poems inviting similar speculation. Do I sense a PhD dissertation in the making? Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
  16. Why not just send him a PM? Here he is
  17. I suspect that several of the elite ultrarunners in the Northwest could knock off 100 miles of the PCT, or the Wonderland Trail, in 24 hours or less if they just made up their minds to do so. The 100 mile Western States Endurance Run is actually less demanding than 100 miles of the PCT or the WT would be, at least in terms of elevation gained and lost per mile; but Jurek has won the Western States in 16 hours, or maybe even less.
  18. Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn, Grew lean while he assailed the seasons; He wept that he was ever born, And he had reasons. Miniver loved the days of old When swords were bright and steeds were prancing; The vision of a warrior bold Would send him dancing. Miniver sighed for what was not, And dreamed, and rested from his labors; He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot, And Priam's neighbors. Miniver mourned the ripe renown That made so many a name so fragrant; He mourned Romance, now on the town, And Art, a vagrant. Miniver loved the Medici, Albeit he had never seen one; He would have sinned incessantly Could he have been one. Miniver cursed the commonplace And eyed a khaki suit with loathing: He missed the medieval grace Of iron clothing. Miniver scorned the gold he sought, But sore annoyed was he without it; Miniver thought, and thought, and thought, And thought about it. Miniver Cheevy, born too late, Scratched his head and kept on thinking; Miniver coughed, and called it fate, And kept on drinking. -- Edwin Arlington Robinson
  19. That is definitely MY opinion. But if some of you don't agree, then-- oh gosh-- I guess I need to do something to secure your approval! I have an idea! I'll carry a 30 meter rope for the whole thing, then I can say it was a climb! It's worked before...
  20. They're snowboards called Glissades. Boards are better than buttocks as a sliding surface IMO.
  21. I'll try, but someone from Fido Inc. better be there to verify.
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