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Everything posted by MounTAIN_Woman

  1. Wyoming-would you live there?

    No, the Rockies are a tough place to live. I spent 6 years in Fort Collins and 2 in Bozeman. Hard places to make a living, and the locals are not that friendly. There is a lot of that "go back where you came from" attitude there. If you weren't born in the state, you will be treated like an outsider. Laramie is a college town. It also has some pretty harsh weather - the wind never stops blowing! Especially in the winter. I've done the Rockies - I'd have to say that I like Seattle and the northwest much better.
  2. kicked out of Canada

    An official birth certificate is an original, with a raised seal, issued by the county of your birth. I was able to find out how to get a copy for myself over the internet at the county's website. You'll have to go to them and ask for one. I think it will cost you a couple bucks, but that plus driver's license equals the right form of ID. You will also need that official birth certificate if you apply for a passport, which I also highly recommend. It's the best form of ID out there - I've made many border crossings with no hassles, and also if you ever fly, even on a domestic flight, it makes it easier at check-in time. Nobody ever questions the validity of the US Passport.
  3. My favorite this weekend photo (share) part 2

    Here's a photo of the view toward Whitechuck Mountain from Circle Peak, a former lookout site up the Suiattle River area. Also great views of Chaval and many other peaks. Great hike/scramble.
  4. Party balloon carcasses in the Cascades

    Perception - it's all in the marketing of the SUV. The auto industry is really bad about creating images that promote these stereotypes. Look at the typical SUV commercial - some fun hog tearing up the side of a mountain or up a ski slope without regard for anyone or anything. I ask you to consider the minivan - the icon of family, motherhood, and apple pie. Why is my SUV bad when its gas mileage is the same as the typical minivan, seats five comfortably and hauls gear, yet where is the outcry on the minivan? Attack this icon of familidom? That would be anti-American! Flame suit on! Have at it!
  5. Party balloon carcasses in the Cascades

    I found quite the carcass Saturday near the "tree fence" on Main Cowlitz Chimney. It had ribbon streamers on it, burgundy and white, and the balloon was white. Definitely a party balloon, and quite possibly from a wedding. I pack them out, and I have a small collection going now, some shiny red and blue mylar balloons. I wish I could remember where I got some of them now. I'm sure there is one from the North Cascades. BTW, if you want to blame a vehicle for pollution and smog, blame the diesel fuel burners and the old cars with burning oil coming out their tailpipes.
  6. blood type diets

    Yes, true. But I'm not trying to lose weight. I eat what I want, and try to keep 95% of what I eat from my Type A list. To all of you who poo-poo this based on what "a friend of a friend of a friend read on the internet", shame on you. Read the book, try it for three weeks, make up your own mind. But oh, that would take some effort. It's so much easier to dismiss new ideas than to embrace them. Hopefully you will never have to regret years spent abusing yourselves with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, poor diet, etc. Most of you are young. Time marches on. You think you are immortal. You aren't. Stack the deck in your favor while you have time on your side.
  7. blood type diets

    I have experience with it. I am an A+, and try to follow when it is practical. I will eat a steak now and then, but now I know why I feel so bloated afterwards. And the way that certain beans are friendlier to my system, if you know what I mean. If I'm at someone's house and they make me a non-type meal, I won't make a big deal about it, just graciously eat what is put in front of me. I totally believe in the "diet". It's not really a true "diet" like "eat organic Nepalese blackroot every day for a week and lose 20 pounds" but rather a philosophy of eating. All I have to say is the proof is in the pudding, try it for a few weeks and see how you feel. You may not feel anything, but it's not the immediate benefits from the diet, but the long-term wear and tear from eating the wrong foods that can make the difference. I like it, I feel justified in why I tend to favor eating salads over the typical American meat and potatoes meal. You will notice that the O-type diet favors meat protein and minimizes carbohydrates. What are the majority of people? Type O. What does the Adkins diet emphasize? Protein and fat good, count (minimize) carbs. What's one of the hottest diet crazes in the country? The Adkins diet. My dad did the Adkins diet and hit a plateau with his weight loss. I had been talking to them over the years about this blood type "diet" and all of a sudden it seemed to make sense. He's always so skeptical about anything new, Mr. PhD Scientist, but I bought them the book, and they are now practicing the methods of eating described in the book, and my dad has been able to approach his ideal weight. He eats according to his type, but counts calories and works out three or more days per week.
  8. Climbing Specialization Chart

    Great chart, Wayne! That took some thought. I will forward the link along to my friends and family that just don't get it. I think this will answer a lot of questions. For example, so many civilians think that "free climbing" means climbing without a rope. That can't be farther from the truth! Free climbing encompasses several asspects of the sport, which you have so handily shown in your chart. They also don't understand the difference between clean climbing and aid climbing. Maybe a short phrase in small font under clean climbing (removable protection used to protect leader from ground fall, but not used for upward progress) or under aid climbing (bolts, pitons not removed and used for upward progress) Great chart! I think you should try to get it published somewhere!
  9. Question for the Physics/Medical Geeks

    ehmmic said: I don't know the exact details, but there is a certain amount of pressure required within the lungs to assure that the oxygen exchange is happening in the alveoli through the thin capillaries. It is in these structures that blood and oxygen meet. If there isn't enough "back pressure" (like at altitude) blood and fluid can flow back into the lungs, which is probably how pulmonary edema happens. Our bodies were designed to operate most efficiently at sea level, give or take a few thousand feet elevation gain. A similar but opposite effect happens in divers, who breathe air at great depths. Under the great pressures exerted by water, more gases can enter and dissolve in the bloodstream. Rising too fast (rapid depressurization)will cause the blood gases to rapidly liberate, (like popping the top off a can of beer liberates CO2) causing a potentially fatal case of "the bends".
  10. Olympus Ascent

    Jim, my two brothers and I did an ascent of Mt. Olympus the weekend of July 25 - 28. We drove over Friday, hiked in to 13.3-mile camp just beyond the High Hoh bridge for the first night. We decided to split up the approach into two days. Day two we established a base camp at Glacier Meadows at just over 18 miles. The trail is nearly flat to abut a mile before the High Hoh bridge, after which it begins to climb to Glacier Meadows. There is a section of trail beyond the bridge that crosses a steep scree slope with a narrow boot path. It gave us pause, looking down hundreds of feet of hard-packed dirt and loose rock. Glacier Meadows camp is nice - they even have a boulder that you can practice using your prussiks. We spent a little time on the boulder. Day three - summit day. We couldn't have asked for better weather! Bluebird, all day! Left camp at 5:00, later than we wanted because the darned alarm didn't go off! Worked our way up the Blue, made an end run around some rock buttresses, and topped out on the snow dome. It was all in good condition thus far, a few crevasses opening up, we had to leap over two. Started to see other people on the route - but with the weather forecast, we didn't think we'd have the mountain to ourselves anyway. We chose to go the Crystal Pass approach to the summit block. The steepest snow was about 40 to 45 degrees, and there was an excellent runout. It made for fun glissading on the way down. We chose to ascend a route on the north face of the West Peak. The books and other trip reports mention a class 4 scramble, but what we saw didn't look like class 4. There was another party ahead of us, but in the true spirit of alpinism and cooperation, we joined forces and shared ropes, and all ten of us summited (not all at once, of course!). We agreed that the rock was probably lower 5th class, like 5.4-ish on fairly sound rock. The other party's leader started up on their rope, a second person trailed our rope and then they fixed them at the summit. The rest of us ascended the fixed rope using prussiks to self-belay. It was a scene reminiscent of the Hillary Step! I would recommend if there are more than three in the party, take a second rope so you don't have to belay halfway, unless you are comfortable simul-climbing fifth class rock. There is a rappel rock at the summit with several slings, a few of them look new. It is nearly a full 165-foot rappel from the summit to the snow. A bergschrund is developing, with a hefty step to get to the rock. It may be difficult to access the rock as time goes on and this heat continues. Moreover, there is a snowbridge on the Crystal Pass approach that won't last much longer. It was thin when we crossed it, and melting fast. But there is probably another way around it, just more convoluted. We summited at 1:00 that afternoon. After a short time on top taking photos, we rappelled down to the snow for an enjoyable glissade. We got back to base camp at around 6:00, then packed up and moved camp down the trail to attempt to take some of the sting out of the hike out the next day. We moved camp to a nice site at Martin Creek, at mile 15. Our tired, hungry bodies didn't want to go any further that night. Monday, our feet felt no better, and our packs seemed to have gained weight! The hike out was grueling, and our feet ached! We took occasional breaks, but each time we stopped, our feet would hurt worse! We had 15 miles to hike out to the trailhead and clean cotton. Going slower only made it worse. About mile 12, I decided to just kick it in, ratchet up the pace to about 3 miles per hour (from the steady 2 we had been keeping), and I stopped for nobody! Not even the group of very large men in dark glasses wearing brand spankin' new backpacking gear! I was tired of getting no respect, nobody yielding the trail even though I had the law of gross tonnage behind me (large pack, fast pace, and good forward momentum), but I must have had this crazy, wounded bear kind of look, cause these guys parted like the Red Sea! Only later did I find out that Laura Bush was visiting the park that day, and it was her entourage that we passed, she was on the side of the trail with a park naturalist (my brother noticed her, but he lives in DC) and there I was, all 5'4" of me forcing the secret service off the trail! But I hurt too badly to stop! I mean, everyone knows that you don't mess with a wounded bear! Needless to say, we were focused. My two brothers were well ahead of Jim and me, and it wasn't until we were back to the parking lot that we realized what was going on in the rain forest. Footwear notes: two of the group did the approach in trail running shoes. Aching feet, but not as badly as the two in hiking boots. I wore hiking boots in and used plastic boots on the climb. The shoe change was great! My feet felt great during the climb. They started aching again on the way out. I was wondering if it is just that the hiking boot isn't designed to support that kind of impact (flat trail, heavy heel strike, heavy pack). Yes, I realize that I could have taken lighter gear, packed lighter, but I think I did well to keep my pack to under 40 pounds for a four-day trip with climbing gear. My brothers' feet still hurt, but not until the hike out. The running shoes seemed to be the footwear of choice among our small group. I loved the plastic boots on the climb. I took off the plastic shell for the rock pitch (climbed in the inner boot - I have Lowa Denali's). Truly a magic climb - one to be savored. We only wished we had more time to enjoy the trip out, too, and not beat out the last 15 miles, but we were ready for real food, cotton clothes, and a hot shower.
  11. Olympus Ascent

    Thanks for posting that photo ncascademtns - yes, it sure looks like the snow melted back. Incidentally, the route we did is mentioned in the Smoot book. We rappelled the same way, but our ascent went up the dark cleft you can see in the photo in front of the person standing on the snow, and it went up right between your ascent line and rappel line. The rock wasn't too bad, but it definitely got looser with altitude!
  12. Olympus Ascent

    It is certainly possible that we were "off route", we know we did not do the route that we had a description of from several sources, but rather spent some noodle time at the base with that other party and decided that the route on the northern side looked viable, and after watching their leader make the ascent, knew it would go. The fifth class portion was only about 60 or so feet, then it kicked back and became much more of a scramble over looser rock to the summit. We surmised that the "normal" route may have melted back too much to access it, or even to recognise the start. What we saw did not look viable. See attached picture for climbers at the northern face. Chestbeating? I think not. I think this was a known route, it just wasn't the one we had the information for. But it was a fine way to top out on this fantastic climb.
  13. Olympus Ascent

    Jim wore his lighter boots with strap-on crampons and said that it worked fine for him. I just liked the extra support of the plastic boot, and the boot change. I would never hike the trail in them, though!
  14. Olympus Ascent

    It was fairly hazy, so unfortunately, the Pacific didn't stand out much against the hazy horizon, but it was still visible and very cool. We saw some gnarly looking peaks up in Canada, and could see Rainier through the haze, but for as gorgeous as the weather was, there was too much haze on the horizon for the ocean to really stand out. I'll see if I have a decent photo to post later. By the way, we were speculating that Laura Bush is a closet green, and waited until George was out of town and stole over to the rain forest to get in touch with her inner green! They were very secretive about her visit. So, maybe the best way to protect what we love is to appeal to the First Lady's green side!
  15. Olympus questions....

    What is the descent like from the summit? Do most parties rappel or just downclimb? If they rappel, how long of a rappel is it? Trying to figure out which rope to bring.
  16. Larrabee car break in

    My partner Jim was parked on the Cascade River Road at the base of the Eldorado climber's route. He and Kevin came out to find Jim's Explorer vandalized and their clean cotton clothing stolen! According to the ranger at Marblemount, another explorer was also valdalized in that same time period. They used rocks to break three windows, then grabbed what they could reach through the now broken back window. It was interesting to note what the dirt bags took. They grabbed Jim's boot bag that contained Tevas. They grabbed his duffel bag that contained his clean cotton trailhead clothes. Fortunately, nothing of great value was left in there, but after four days in the backcountry in damp boots, all the guys could think about was how good that cotton would feel, and how they couldn't wait to get out of their boots! Kevin's stuff, on the floor in the back seat, was untouched. Jim has since had his windows repaired, but we don't feel as comfortable leaving our car for an extended period of time, or any length of time. We were talking the other day about what we could do. I've seen threads that mentioned hiding in the back and waiting until the prowlers started making their rounds, then catching them red-handed. Some of the more radical ideas involved shotguns. I don't think a car clout is worth dying for, but there has to be a way to identify these bottom dwellers and send them to a state pound-me-in-the-ass prison!
  17. Stuart Lake Epic

    Jim B, Jeff H, and I hiked up to Stuart Lake to attempt Mountaineer Peak, a peak that John Roper climbed and gave Jeff some beta for. After looking at the proposed climb, I decided that I would rather catch rays on a rock by the still frozen lake. The two took off across the lake for the peak. I could watch almost their entire ascent from my vantage point, but later on I took a walk around the South shore to get a different vantage point of the decidedly steep couloir they were climbing. I saw what appeared to be two figures on the summit, and when I saw them in the couloir on their way down, I decided to head back to my rock and get my pack together. I thought about hiking back over to where they began the climb and walk back with them, but decided against it, as I was a bit tired. I was sitting on the rock, when just 25 feet to my left, I hear a slight splash and some grunting barks. Two otters surfaced up out of the icy slush and onto the surface of the ice, looking at me and barking that strange grunting bark. I took some pictures. They dove back into the water and disappeared. I watched the guys descend, and once down to the base of the couloir, they disappeared behind the trees. After some time, I saw them across the lake preparing to head across. I watched them cross, nervous the whole time. Jeff was out ahead, and as he approached my rock, crack, whoosh! He was in! My worst fear was playing out in front of me. The water was over six feet deep there, which was strange because it was so close to the shore. Jim was still on the lake when he saw Jeff go down. Jeff was able to move a little closer to me, and I extended the end of my ski pole, which had a self-arrest grip onto which he was able to get a good grip. I pulled in gently, but he lost his grip once, and then quickly regained it. I eased him closer to the rock, and he scrambled up and was out of the water. Cold and wet, he stripped off most of the wet layers and replaced them with drier clothing from his pack. I turned my attention to Jim, who was wondering where to go at this point. He was still a good 20 feet from where Jeff went in, and knew that going in that direction was not an option. So he took a few steps toward the shore away from the direction of Jeff's travel, and whoosh! Jim was in! Unfortunately, Jim was out of reach of my poles. Jeff and I stood there helplessly watching Jim try to mantle back up onto the thin ice, only to have it break off underneath him. He had his poles with him, and used them to help get him prone on the ice layer, and after what seemed like forever, he clawed at the ice using his hands, as the poles were gone at this point, and managed to roll up onto better ice. It supported his weight! He continued to roll toward the thicker ice and stood up. We suggested he go back the way he came, and work toward the north shore, where the ice was thicker, and just hike around the lake end from there. We would hike over and meet him after he got safely on shore. Once Jim was safely on shore, Jeff and I high-tailed it around to where we could see Jim across the outlet stream. One more obstacle - crossing the outlet stream. He found a good crossing on a snow-covered log jam. I walked out partway to meet him. Everyone was on solid ground, finally! Each of them probably only spent a maximum of 30 seconds in the water, but in that short time they felt their body heat being sucked out of them. It seemed to me like they were in the water a lot longer. Jeff took a bearing and navigated over to the trail from the outlet stream. He was spot on! Once on the trail, we could finally just concentrate on getting to the cars and dinner. Conversation was minimal on the hike out. It was hard not to keep replaying the events and create all sorts of what-ifs and unpleasant scenarios. But everyone was so happy to be safe in the parking lot by our trusty rigs, that we felt free to think about more mundane things like what to have for dinner.
  18. Kid's Rock Shoes- recycle

    It's tough getting through all that spray. My partner's 9-year-old daughter is ready to graduate from sneakers to rock shoes if we could find some! When we climb on the REI pinnacle, she wears a size "3". If anyone has a pair in that size range that they aren't using anymore, I'd be happy to take them and give them to her to use!
  19. dakobed traverse

    Three of us did a similar traverse several years ago. We used Routes and Rocks for information, in addition to studying maps. Rumor has it that there is a trail brushed out by hunters up Thunder Creek into the Thunder Basin. We had an ugly brush bash. I wrote a feature for Pack and Paddle on the High Thunder traverse that describes the route we took. We went in from Trinity and traveled over High Pass up the Butterfly Glacier, and then over Neyah saddle. We climbed Tenpeak Mountain on that trip. We also did a traverse from Boulder Basin to Luahna Peak a few years later. I'd be happy to email you the full reports from these trips. Send me a PM.
  20. Stuart Lake Epic

    I got a few pictures of the otters. I'll attach the better of them. Too bad my zoom couldn't bring them in closer.
  21. Lost Ski Poles in Stuart Lake

    Lost two ski poles with self arrest grips about 20 feet off the south shore of Stuart Lake. Long story, but everyone ok.
  22. Lost Ski Poles in Stuart Lake

    Since you asked, allow me to refer you to the trip report I will post right now, since I don't want to post a lengthy message here. You may also see it in Pack and Paddle next month, if she includes it.
  23. Deception and Mystery

    I've attached a trip report from last summer. My partner and I did an ascent of Mt Mystery from Royal Basin, and it is described in the report. I would have to agree with Norman Clyde that parts of the mountain are miserable - hard-packed dirt, rotten rock. I wished I had kept my crampons for the hard-packed dirt sections! Anyway, word file attached. It also explains how to find the trailhead if the one road is still closed. 176828-Mt Mystery.doc
  24. Robson north face

    I tried it with one other many years ago the last week of July/early August. Long hike to base camp (12 km) but on easy trail. We chose to take the direct approach and scramble up the Dog Buttress. Fording the Robson River was interesting since we couldn't see our feet (too much glacial flour) and it was quite swift. We hiked around Berg Lake and then ascended the Dog Buttress directly, mainly 3rd/4th class on rotten rock (imagine about 5,000 feet of shower tiles or peanut brittle) with occasional bands of decent rock. We saw mountain goats frolicking around on stuff we were thinking of roping up over! You can pretty much follow ledges to a final shallow gully that takes you to the top of the buttress and the base of the icefall. We only got that far, as weather socked in, we ran out of food, and had to rescue someone who got separated from his partner and had no gear with him. It was an adventure! Plan for a day to base camp, a day to the high camp/base of the climb, a day to climb and descend to high camp, and a day to come out. You may want to add a "float" day in there for bad weather. We heard from others who climbed it later that the gargoyles on the summit ridge were the hardest part of the climb. A couple other guys we met ended up going up and down the Kain instead, since they couldn't get over the 'schrund. At least a high camp below the Helmet or even as low as the top of the buttress will allow a climb of the Kain Face. I said that if I ever attempted to climb it again, I would go via the Robson Glacier, and give myself two days to get to high camp. Good luck, meganerd!
  25. Washington's Major Peaks

    A new website just came on line last week. It presents a new classification scheme for determining the major peaks in Washington. There are 197 major peaks based on this scheme. Interesting write-up and lots of mountain photos. Check it out at: Washington's Major Peaks