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Everything posted by Norman_Clyde

  1. Curtis ridge has not only seen several ascents, but it was also the scene for a particularly awful rockfall-induced accident for a 1969 ascent party. Molenaar's book recounts the incident in detail. Jim Whitaker also describes his part in the rescue operation in his autobiography. In the words of the sage: "Of all the major routes on Rainier, Curtis Ridge probably has the highest potential for rockfall...an example of the need for speed on Curtis Ridge is illustrated by the 1969 tragedy in which valuable time was lost in surmounting the 75-ft vertical step, thereby placing the party beneath the highest rock band in the warm late afternoon."
  2. If you have to be in P.T. early in the day, as I do, you can take the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry, then drive up Whidbey to the Keystone/P.T. ferry. Though this sounds like a pain, it is not that much more time consuming than taking the regular Edmonds ferry. I usually take the 6:30 boat to get to P.T. by 8:00 but on Saturday I will have to catch the 6:00 in Mukilteo instead.
  3. Woody Allen speed-read War and Peace in one night. His summary: "It concerns Russia."
  4. That was the late Alex Lowe, and he did it in 8 hours. I think the next closest time was about 24 hours.
  5. Good point. I interpreted the above as 38K each way. However, I would assume that the majority of these summits were connected by ridges and did not involve descending back to sea level. If each summit had a net 500 feet of gain and loss, this would yield 36K up and down for 72 summits. The Lake District topography is one of long ridges possessing several high points (at least that's what the map suggests), indicating that one could reach several summits with little gain or loss in between. If I look at the map and make a guess, I'd say that 19K up and 19K down is the more likely figure. But as you said, Gary, an amazing achievement regardless. The same article quotes Chris Bonington, who settled in the Lake District in the 70's. In his words, the relatively diminutive mountain topography "May not be as dramatic as the Alps or Himalaya, but that is in fact what appeals to me. You feel you can be part of it." Interesting viewpoint on what draws people to dramatic landscapes.
  6. I was idly perusing an old National Geographic (August 1994) tonight, reading about England's Lake District, when I came across an unexpected gem of mountain trivia. The article describes Lake District farmer Joss Naylor, the acknowledged champion of the sport of Fell running, or racing up and down the small mountains of the area. "...Joss Naylor stands apart. He not only sprints up the most formidable slopes but keeps on going. In 1976, in a feat still spoken of with awe, he ran 108 miles through the Lake District in just under 24 hours, covering 38,000 feet of ascent and descent and scaling 72 summits, all over 2,000 feet in elevation. He was 40 years old at the time." Mr. Naylor is pictured in the article-- not running, but shearing a sheep. to you, Joss Naylor.
  7. IMO a lot of the people who can't swallow evolutionary theory are much like the clergy in the 1500's, who said it was blasphemy to claim the Earth orbits the Sun. The objection being, apparently, that Man can no longer imagine himself to be the center of the universe. These days, the vast majority of religious people have come to accept that Earth revolves around the Sun; they don't see this idea as incompatible with Christian beliefs, but somehow evolution is another matter. But both scientific theories place humankind in a much broader context than the biblical one. After all, if previous species have evolved and become extinct, what makes us so special? The other thing about Darwinian theory that probably irritates people like Tom DeLay is that they would rather not think about how much they and their colleagues, in their endless grasping for social dominance, are behaving just like chimpanzees.
  8. Yeah, that was me. If you noticed my gear, you must have been the one who said "Nice setup!" I appreciated the positive word, since most other parties were doubting that I would hit the snow before dark. I got about 2/3 up the snowdome before it got too shady. The NF gullies were actually pretty quiet at that hour.
  9. What stories could this climber tell?
  10. Norman_Clyde

    60 years ago

    [quote I can't help but notice that the "animal nature of all" (in reference to violence) usually emerges in men. And the innocents you mention are most often the women and children. It is men who kill, rape, burn, and bomb. The above is a pretty well established fact. Women, however, even when forbidden to fight, often played a part. In Britain during World War I, young women routinely carried white feathers when in public. If they saw a young man out of uniform, they would press a feather into his hand (or sometimes shove it up his nose), the message being that he was a coward not to be a soldier. This behavior was so ubiquitous that it happened to soldiers home on leave, if they were out of uniform. Aggressively patriarchal, masculine cultures probably do more than their share of the war-making in history. But knowing this does not gain us much. I don't expect male chimpanzees to suddenly start behaving like the females of their species; likewise, it would take a pretty dramatic biological shift for human males to suddenly become less aggressive. It's easy to see how as a species we evolved the behaviors we had. What is harder, now that our intelligence has handed us such lethal technologies, is to see how we can keep from annihilating ourselves. It's not a particularly happy or hopeful viewpoint, but I often feel that given the human combination of intelligence and aggression, only one outcome is possible. And after we're gone, the land will enjoy its sabbath.
  11. It has been republished, I have a new edition. It's a great read, like Fairweather said. Rainier is a treasure trove of mountaineering history.
  12. There is no Cascade version, just as there is no Sierra version of, say, Johannesburg Peak. It's comparing apples and oranges. But if you're looking for big enchainments in the Cascades, search this board for "Pickets Traverse" or "Stuart Range Traverse".
  13. This sort of nonsensical statement makes a mockery of your other assertions. At first you sound as if you seek to promote a Buddhist or Existential world view that human beings, lacking the power to satisfy their own desires, need to free themselves from the vicious cycle of material want. Then you come out with "you can create anything you desire." Right. That sort of rhetoric is right out of multinational corporation marketing pablum. Wordly satisfaction is not about being able to get anything you want; it's about wanting the things you can actually have, that are worth having.
  14. I was up there on that day, my first visit to that side of the peak, late in the afternoon: no doubt hours after you had passed. Which line is variation 5B anyway? Not either one of the two steepest couloirs, I hope. They had the look of bowling alleys, with obvious channels for the gutter balls. BUT, in response to all naysayers, I'll say that several lines to the summit looked intact and straightforward on that day. I had the excuse of too little time and the wrong gear (skis), else I would have been sorely tempted myself--though I would probably have taken the easiest line climber's right.
  15. I was on the Snowdome Saturday with skis. I got a late start and had less time to gawk than I would have liked. The Eliot is not melted down to hard ice. What vertical blue ice I did see was composed of unstable looking seracs, best to be avoided. No place looked ideal for ice tool practice. There might be a crevasse or two that you could rap into and crawl out of, if you were highly motivated. A few good photos from last week are on this thread on TAY
  16. 40 plus miles in 6 hours is seriously fast. Oleg has heard this already, but for those of you interested in 30 plus mile trail runs, there are a couple of loops in MRNP which encompass parts of the Wonderland and offer vigorous adventure. I just did both of these as part of scoping out the difficulty of the WT in a single push. (Answer: difficult.) The first leaves from the Ipsut Creek trailhead, joins the WT at the Carbon River suspension bridge, then heads clockwise to Berkeley Park where one takes a left turn, passing alongside Grand Park (huge, stunning alpine meadow), drops back to the W. Fork White River then over Windy Gap before returning. There is very little flat trail on this loop. The W. Fork White River is seriously washed out: one steep schwack over the new riverbed has essentially lethal exposure, albeit with decent vegetable aid. There are several spicy footlog crossings, plus the springy cable suspension bridge experience. I don't think the Northern Loop trail gets much activity but it's a gem. The second leaves Fryingpan Creek, follows the WT clockwise through Summerland and Panhandle Gap, past Indian Bar, then left on Olallie Creek trail, back northwards on the East Side trail, over one more ridge on Owyhigh Lakes trail and down. This one is less difficult, and the wildflowers at Indian Bar are currently mind-blowing, but the East Side trail is very boring on the return. Next I may try a point to point from Longmire to Mowich if I can figure out the logistics.
  17. Jesus H. Did you mates pat each other on the ass and sit around the head lamps and sing "Kumba Ya"? If you feel compelled to ridicule the kind of behavior exemplified by Pete_A et al above, you are pathetic. Not only that, but you are standing up for the worst tendencies among mountaineers, while he stands for the best. So there.
  18. It's not on any climber's trail, but if any of you are in the mood for a wildflower hike, check out Grand Park on the Northern Loop Trail. This is the biggest and most stunning alpine meadow I have ever had the privilege to see. When I came out of the woods and stood all by my lonesome at the edge of that place, it took my breath away. On that date, the wildflowers were small and subtle, well seen close up but not at a distance. By now they may be in greater profusion. Sorry, didn't bring a camera, no pictures.
  19. I have wondered about that rock dome myself, since I work here in PT but live in Seattle. My friend Mike, who lives in PT, told me that some of the rock formations on the ridge are accessible to the public. But I'm pretty sure it's all private land. Mike doesn't post on cc.com and I don't have his email here at work. I'll drop him a line once I get home.
  20. Very cool to read all the good stuff posted. Sobo, thanks for putting in the time and effort on behalf of all of us. I have a little info re: Yos rescues. My son was briefly unaccounted for on the Mist trail this past September, due to receiving poor directions from my father (fortunately he found his own way down without difficulty). My dad later told me that contributing to his relief at my son's belated appearance was the knowledge that, if a search did have to be mobilized, there is an automatic $5K charge to the party involved. I never tried to verify this, but he lives in CA and goes to Yos all the time, so it's probably correct.
  21. Transcribing this last line, I find myself thinking not of mountain rescue, but of what I see in a typical shift in the ER. From my perspective it looks like 90 per cent of tax revenue goes to pick up the tab for the dangerous and irresponsible choices of others. Drunk driving comes to mind.
  22. I'm just way too slow for the cyber-world. Thanks CC.
  23. Right on time, a P-I reader has written a letter complaining about the cost of mountain rescue, complaining "Why should taxpayers subsidize dangerous behavior?" Previous discussions on this board, led by informed individuals, have stated that the majority of rescue costs are generated by lost hikers, hunters, etc., not climbers, but that these rescues generate less media interest, hence th public's misinformed opinion. Since there are several members of this board who take part in SAR and are highly capable of refuting the Blame the Climber argument, I'm posting this to request one of you (Sobo? Iain?) to respond to the P-I letter. I might also write one myself, but I think someone working in SAR will have more credibility. Thanks
  24. B'hamers might be interested to take a visit to the Whatcom History Museum. I just paid my first visit there this week. It's in the old city hall building downtown. There are some fine 19th century paintings of Mt Baker, Hood and other area peaks. However, items of possibly greater fascination to cc.comers are upstairs in an exhibit about Bellingham's pet dogs of old. In addition to a number of entertaining vintage photos, there is a case containing a number of small brass tags with numbers and the designation "BELLINGHAM BITCH LICENSE". I would post a photo, but alas I didn't bring a camera along. I searched Ebay but couldn't find any bitch licenses for sale. If any of you want one for that special person in your life, you'll have to negotiate with the museum directly.
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