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About SEF

  • Birthday 11/26/2017


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  1. I find no beta on Mt. Idaho N Ridge or S Ridge. I would like to ascend one and descend the other. They look like class 3. Any info? Thanks.
  2. I did a solo Tooth to Chair Pk traverse Sunday. More work than I was expecting. Although the weather was fine, everything else was drenching wet till afternoon when I was nearly done. I had wet feet and drenched clothes most of the day - all from vegetation. The various descents on the damp lichen rock were spicy, as were the steep grass and heather. Saw no other parties until Chair, where I saw 3 parties.
  3. The Mailbox TH is at the point where the pavement ends and gravel/hardpack begins. You will find a large pullout on the left, and where a gated spur road with some added parking space is on the right. The hike up the road and location of the trail is adequately described. I've done the trail many times and it does make for a good cardio work out. Other good workouts can be found on Si (old trail), Tennerife, McClellan or Granite. At least those are my favorites. I usually reserve Si only for when the weather is really bad or it is too crowded for my tastes.
  4. Norman, If you have a nose for routefinding, you should do OK, provided that you are cool with big exposure on the moves you will have to do. The route has many variations that work, and, I swear, the highest number of bivi spots per foot of vertical that I have ever seen. You will never be more than a few minutes from one. If you want specific beta, feel free to email me.
  5. Ratings are so individual anyway. Regarding Burgner-Stanley, my vote is the last pitch is 5.9, but the pitch before is 5.10a. I know others who love chimneys and who would say the reverse. My hunch is that if you are a wuss like me and try, in that chimney, to squeeze in close to the back to place pro, then it will feel harder. I also had the pleasure of completing that climb in a snowstorm after a morning approach from Icicle Creek TH, and completed the descent to Gustov's that afternoon/evening after stopping to help a W Ridge party try unsuccesfully to retrieve a wet, stuck rope. Long day. In any event, my hat is off to those earlier era hard men who still make us sweat over the difficulty of their grades. Regarding multiple threads about the approach or descent hike, for me, the choice depends a bit on snow cover. I'd prefer descending from Aasgard early season with snow when the descent to Colchuck Lake is fast, but not now when I'd prefer humping out the trail via Snow Lakes.
  6. I think I may have been a mistake in mentioning my times because that seems to be the thing on which people focus. I suppose it may be fast for a middle-aged guy trying to keep at it, but it is hardly any record. I know from other sources that Miles Smart did the trip in 5:45. That climb is certainly no big deal given it has only a handful of low class 5 moves. But having done it before on almost the exact same day of the year, I did find a big difference in snow coverage. Before, a bit below the summit, I found a sizable patch which had running water below. Now: completely dry. At a couple spots on the route up, I found snow patches before. This year: zero. Yes, it is dry; plan accordingly. The people I met also made the trip a bit surreal. FWIW, the only people I met along the way that I can say I'd feel comfortable joining, was the Mountaineers party. I was most surprised in those other parties by the guy with flip-flops. These were not Tivas, but el cheapo-KMart and well-worn. I do not know what alternative footwear that guy carried, but the idea of heading to the N Ridge Stuart in them sure seemed scary to me, even if he had strap on crampons.
  7. Climb: Stuart-W Ridge Date of Climb: 8/14/2004 Trip Report: TR: W Ridge Stuart, 8/14/04 Left town solo on Friday, 13th, seeking an adventure and an escape to the neighbor's loud music and raucous crowd. I arrived at the Teanaway Road end late, and crawled into a sleeping bag, but the warm temperature did not allow easy sleep. Another party arose in the middle of the night, leaving the TH by headlamp at 2 AM. I assumed they were headed to Stuart. After finally drifting off to a fitful sleep, I awoke at 5:20, and was on the trail by 6. 45 minutes later I reached Ingalls Pass. Continuing to Ingalls Lake, I found 2 packs hanging from a tree, and fresh Ridge Rest® impressions nearby in the dirt where no camping is allowed. Before leaving Ingalls Lake, I drank and refilled 1 liter of water - all that I carried, but, I must say, less than what is desirable. At Stuart Pass I encountered 2 who were unsure whether they were climbing Stuart via the N Ridge or the W Ridge. One of them was hiking in flip flops. I moved on. In the W Ridge Couloir, I passed another party. One of them asked me if I had climbed the route before? "Yes." Did I know where the route went? "I hope so." No further questions were asked, but the questioner did mumble something about routefinding reportedly being the scariest part of the climb. When I summited, I looked back and saw climbers who I assumed were that party at Long John's Tower Notch, at 10:15. I signed a scrap of paper in the big Mazama summit register box. I was parched and low on water, but the summit area of Stuart had no snow. Descending to the Cascadian Couloir, I encountered a couple coming up and the man seemed anxious for "summit beta." He told me that 2 times before, he was turned around at some unclimbable impasse, and wanted to know the way from the false to the true summit. I did the best I could, but really had no idea what he was talking about. After them, I stopped at the snowfield below the false summit, but no running water, so I ate snow, and put some in my Nalgene. Descending to Ingalls Creek, I encountered a Mountaineers party that I knew were going in to do the Cascadian. The party included the original owner of the rusty old Blazer that I recently purchased. I gulped water and chatted horsely about Blazer clutch longevity with my dry voice. Leaving them, I humped over Longs Pass to arrive back at said Blazer at 1:30 PM. The frappuccino I had stored in the stream never tasted so good. Perhaps more memorable than the climb itself was the cast of people I encountered along the way. Water note: The only liquid water on the trip is found at Ingalls Lake and Ingalls Creek (not counting the Teanaway at the TH). A snow patch without running water is available below the false summit of Stuart, and is the only other source.
  8. I fall into the camp who does not really care that much about a commonly done summit that has a register, but I don't think anyone has the right to unilateraly decide that a given register must be removed and that it is their duty to do so. I sometimes enjoy reading them. I recall finding a register on the middle summit of Index when doing the traverse back in the early 70s. It was a 35mm film canister that had a scrap of paper signed by 2 parties - the first by a couple of guys named Schoening and Beckey. I thought that was an historic find. We added out names and left it. Last summer I repeated the traverse, but found no register on the Middle Peak, and was disappointed, and wondered what happened to the original register. The Mountaineers does collect the paper registers when full and then does submit them to the University of Washington Library archives and they do become state history documents. The importance of that may well vary with the summit, but still, vandalism or theft is a selfish act that deprives others of recorded historical information. I vote with those who say ignore them if you do not want them.
  9. Soloed the NE Buttress Sunday, 18th, and saw no other parties on Chair by any route. Then again, I didn’t leave the Alpental parking lot until 12:30 PM. Ton of people (all tourists, except for descent where I saw a ranger and 1 Tooth party) on the Snow Lakes Trail. Chatted with the ranger with huge pack with tree ax attached who had been out for 1 night. For those interested, time was a bit under 4 hours, r/t. I found the route most all class 4, more solid than I expected, with some loose stuff on the descent. Scrambled down 2nd of 2 (more E) gullies from just below summit. I carried a rope for raps, and used it twice on the SE gully descent, though that was optional. Saw one long extended bunch of slings at one point; that was funny. Sling down-climb! Last runner below about 10 girth hitched together was clearly labeled “Ian Mackay.” Hi Ian! When I returned to my truck, I had a ticket for "Noncompliance" because the "year on Forest Pass could not be read". WTF! Fund day.
  10. Sometimes it may be better to have a small tease than a large disappointment. As time permits I will add a few more enlargements, but those chosen first were most often due to having a sufficient quality digital file for the photo to warrant it. I love great photography and getting some of it was harder than you might think. No-one has said a thing about the topos. Three are provided. One is provided as-is from the author. The other two I redid from scratch for a big increase in legibility and a vastly decreased file size (by a factor of 10). Was it worth the trouble for those 2? Tell me.
  11. I want to thank everyone for all of the very positive praise that we’ve received on our first-issue-effort, both on this forum and privately. I’m amazed. We could not have done the journal without the fine material that came to us. As much as we do our best to polish words, optimize pictures and make appealing web pages, if the material lacks real content, you can’t engage critical readers. I think we need to make sure substantial thanks to go those who made the content—the contributing climbers. Those of us who made the journal are recorders and messengers of the message, but are mostly (Lowell, of course, was a significant creator of content) not the message. With no message, what would we have? I join Gary, Lowell and the rest of the editors in encouraging you all to contribute or to continue to contribute the landmark stories that we seek to include. We are nothing without you.
  12. I did this route with Dave Seman in the 70s. We approached from Sibley Creek Pass and bivied on a bench before the Triad Col. On climb day, we climbed through the col and descended to the base of the ridge, which was fairly straightforward with a bit of unroped low class 5 to the col before the snow/glacier descent. We did the climb in mountain boots, and did fine. The crux was traversing around one of the gendarmes-I think Nelson has a picture of it in his book. Sometime after the gendarmes, we coiled the rope and scrambled the rest, summited, descended the E Ridge and returned to the TH. A worthy route. Not the best rock, but neither the worst. Position is superb.
  13. Interesting. Nothing in the NTSB aviation accident database describes a crash in the location I saw. I'm wondering if it may be incomplete. Here are the closest I found: The 1992 crash mentioned was on Granite and involved a Beech plane. A 1995 crash involved a Cessna 2 mi W of the pass in heavy timber, and the wreckage salvaged. A 1999 crash involving a Cessna was also on Granite.
  14. Recently I was hiking back to Cave Ridge across the E flanks of Snoqualmie Mtn, returning from soloing W Ridge of Lundin, and came across a small airplane wreckage. Perhaps a Cessna. It was on a relatively level contour about even with the low point of the Lundin-Snoqualmie ridge, and perhaps several hundred yards W of that low point. Anyone know anything about it? I did a quick search on the forums but failed to find anything.
  15. Northwest Mountaineering Journal
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