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DavidW

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Everything posted by DavidW

  1. Banks lake boat accessed routes

    Just about all the actual climb-out-of-the-boat routes I know of are detailed in Weekend Rock: Washington... it's available everywhere and is a give-away as far as guidebooks go... $19.95. A few on here have complained about managing the canoe... It's not quite as simple as just standing there... bring a couple of fenders (cushions/life-vests, whatever) so you don't scratch-up the side of your boat and consider moving the boat out from under the leader until they have clipped some pro and are certain not to fall off and go through the bottom of the boat! Have fun... bring your swim fins!
  2. New Black Diamond Magnetic Locking Carbiners

    When I brought my first cams back from the valley where I bought them from Jardine in the Camp 4 parking lot ALL my friends rolled their eyes and wondered why I didn't just learn to climb better. People used to think harnesses were "gimmicks" and then I got dissed by the same friends for bringing home a pair of Fires! Only time can show us the difference between gimmicks and innovations.
  3. PISSED OFF at Mountainsmith

    Many companies come up with the listed weights and dimensions based on prototypes made many months before the item goes into production. I'm a buyer for an outdoor retailer and this kind of thing is more common than you might think. Sometimes the item turns out to be lighter! I've never really seen this as any kind of attempt to spin lies or distort the truth. More likely somebody changed the specs on the fabric or maybe changed to a metal buckle because the plastic one was found to break or some such at the last minute. Sometimes somebody just made a typo somewhere along the line. It seems a shame to assume these guys tried to rip you off... why don't you return it where you bought it and complain? You will probably have to wait for some warranty person to process it but you may wind up with more options than if you just dis the guys online. There is increasing and incredible pressure to make everything cheaper than it's true value and then guarantee the results a year in advance. Sometimes stuff just slips through the cracks even for well meaning manufacturers. By far the majority of people in this industry are solid folks just like you and me.
  4. Bad experience at Feathered Friends

    "There aren't very many places around here to climb, and each location has its own set of ethics." True enough about the ethics but really? There aren't many states with MORE scope for climbing than here in Washington! Wanna hammer some steel? Just read all you can and then wander off into the woods somewhere lonely and have a bash at it! Sure, you won't get to pound your chest about sending badass routes at Index but you can learn all you need to know fairly near your car and no one needs to ever know, hear or see where you went. All it takes is some imagination!
  5. Millet Packs in town

    There are usually a few Millet packs for sale among the mix over at Marmot Mountain Works. It's true enough though... Many of their models are not designed for tall people. Midgets or Giants, it's all a matter of perspective...but if they fit, they rock!
  6. REI Sucks

    When you return something to the big outdoor box store you are not "sticking it to them" in any way. At the end of the season the Big Store simply doesn't pay the vendor for the returned items and the vendor doesn't complain because of the volume of sales. The vendor then builds that loss into next years basic price and so the price of a pair of gloves or pant or a GPS or whatever goes up by a small fraction. Ultimately everyone in the industry winds up paying for the returned items whether they were returned honestly or not. This is corporate america with CEO's pulling down six figures, they're not doing you right with an easy return policy to be friendly at all, they just spread the costs around where they aren't easily seen. The soccer moms are not the only ones paying for all the dishonest returns, ALL the rest of us are, a few cents at a time.
  7. REI Sucks

    Marmot Mountain Works in Bellevue has all that aid-climbing gear and more. You can even mail order it if you want. Yea you pay shipping but its cheaper than buying a car! They also have a pretty good book selection: Smith Rock and Squamish both in stock. Truth is you can sell cams and ropes to climbers all day long and still go outta business... those soccer moms buying high-end clothing keep ALL the climbing stores alive. Happy Holidays!
  8. Indian Creek last week of February...

    I lived in albuquerque (5hours from the Creek) and climbed there all months of the year. The problem with winter is that one week it could 60 degrees and sunny in the day and the next week it could 28 (and probably still sunny). It's can be a good excuse to go hike around and look at things if its just too cold to be comfortable.
  9. Slinging hooks

    I have all my hooks slung with 1/2" tubular... I dont like all that webbing underneath the hook either so I find it better to just tie a loop of 1/2" thru the hook so there is only one thickness of webbing behind the metal... I realize there are different approaches here but my hooks have worked very well for many many years. Marmot Mountain Works stocks 1/2" tubular as well as 9/16" which in my estimation is too thick. I've taken a 7'-8' slab slider onto a filed down bat-hook with 1/2" webbing and it held!
  10. Hand drill bolting

    Drilling times can vary alot depending on the rock and whether you have a comfortable place to stand. The best I ever did with a 1/4" drill was using Leeper super bits and I got a hole done in 2 minutes and a couple seconds standing on flat ground. These days I am mostly drilling 3/8" x 2-1/4" holes in Darrington or Yosemite granite and it takes me between 8-10 minutes with some kind of reasonable stance... I've done it in 6 minutes but I need to be pretty fresh and have a relaxed place to stand. The trick is to not stop swinging and it does takes some practice to learn how to keep on pounding for a solid 5 minutes. A5 (now D5) hammers are my tool of choice although they are a bit too heavy for 1/4" bits which I break often if I am overly motivated (freaked). Granite actually drills relatively easily because of its large crystalline nature... smaller-grained rock can be way more difficult. Also the style and weight of the particular drill holder has a big effect on how fast one can drill. Have fun!
  11. Rope found

    Was it red, 50m, 10.2mm...... It's probably mine... you can call me at Marmot Mountain Works 425-453-1515 thanks! David Whitelaw
  12. Infinite Bliss Conditions

    it's illegitimate?? Really?? Mount Garfield isn't married? Infinite Bliss is a Love Child!!
  13. Peshastin Pinnacles Gettin' Mothballed

    Lots of good point brought up here. I have been emailing Parks people for about a month now but so far they all just tell me to email someone else. It seems that there is room for 3 or 4 cars to park in front of the gate to Peshastin which is nicely set back from the actual public road. I have been trying to get someone to say whether we could get ticketed for blocking a locked gate or some other government double speak. Let 'em have their grass and picnic tables, parking is gonna be the issue for visiting a moth-balled park i would bet. Peshastin (along with Castle Rock) is probably the longest running rock-climbing show in the state and many of us still enjoy the experience. Wasn't this the first rock climbing park anywhere? Despite government-induced stagnation the place actually has been continuing to get upgrades on a sporadic basis. Let's not lose this place!
  14. Index nearest emergency center

    Back in the 80's I was stung by half a dozen yellow hornets while racking up for Godzilla.... went into anaphylactic shock, 15 minutes later I couldn't stand up. My buddy went to the Index fire station where they called an aid car in from Monroe. Fun stuff... took almost 10 days before my body chemistry returned to normal.
  15. Lost Trekking Pole

    Hey Folks... I left my Black Diamond trekking pole... eleptical with red and yellow tape on it at the Squire Creek Wall parking lot during the rainy bailout on Saturday night. There were guys behind us bailing off Squire Creek Wall so I assume one of those people found it a few minutes after we left. Could I get this back somehow? Please PM me with contact info... I'll be outta town until the end of the week... Cheers, David Whitelaw
  16. FREE DARRINGTON SLIDESHOW! 6/16/10 Please join us at Marmot Mountain Works in Bellevue on Wednesday, June 16, at 7:00PM for a slideshow presentation by Chris Greyell & David Whitelaw to celebrate release of the second edition of Rattle & Slime: Selected Rock Climbs of Darrington, Washington. Darrington pioneers Greyell and Whitelaw will share pictures and stories from more than 35 years of climbing on these spectacular granite domes. Come see grainy old pictures from back-in-the-day and bright modern ones from all the new stuff in Squire Creek. At intermission we’ll raffle-off a pack from Deuter, a rope from Tendon and a copy of the new guidebook. Come for the free gear, or come for beta on the great new routes and network with the locals, we’d love to see you there! Please RSVP at MARMOT MOUNTAIN WORKS: 425-453-1515
  17. my opinion is that lowering damages the links...and i've travelled all over the world. like orion says.. go look at Thin Fingers and J Gardens.... you should be toproping through your own gear too.. which is stated in plenty of places... OK orion, so you assume the stuff will be lowered from... do you go back and fix it every coupla years? if you do.. then hats off to you.. where can I send you a check??? Tell me and I'll send you money. otherwise... dirt+ropes=wear.... somebody has to fix the stuff... sooner or later. if YOU are willing to do the work then most of your friends are not. Like I said.... if YOU spent your own money then go do what you want, disregard this post. If you have never paid for anything like this then do the right thing and use a light touch... toprope off your own draws and rappel don't lower... anything else is just plain lazy and letting someone else be responsible. The gear belongs to someone else...The gear will be asked to support the life of someone after you... don't just pick the story that makes it easiest for you.
  18. Its never a courtesy to grind your way through the rappel gear or to use the next guy as an excuse for poor style. If you have EVER forked up your own money to fix gear on popular routes then disregard this post. For the rest: Lowering causes alot of wear on the rings and some of us spend hundreds of dollars annually fixing this stuff. This is not new routes but rather "let's fork up another $50 and fix a few mistreated routes this weekend" Fixing and replacing gear goes on all the time. Pay your way... lower away... otherwise how 'bout some common sense and maybe some respect for the people who used their own money to build you a climbing area? It IS easier to be lowered than to rig a rappel... and it's also easier to steal the rap gear off the wall at climbing stores than to pay for them... I assume you would draw the line at that?
  19. I think the extreme side angle of this photo is making it quite hard to see where these things really go. Fred's brown guide shows Paul's 1977 route correctly but it is quite a bit different than the line in MountainMatts photo. Greyell and I climbed a variation to that... According to Boving, my route and his route share the last 75' feet to the west ridge.... we were slightly right of Boving's line until the end. I've never climbed Solid Gold however it appears that it finishes with the same features. Since the Beckey/Davis route was established 6 years prior to the Stanley/Burgner it probably isnt correct to show it as a variation of the S/B. MountainMatts line is pretty far off the actual line especially in the top half and probably finishes closer to the yellow line. It certainly did not rejoin the Stanley/Burgner which didnt exist at the time. Fred's brown guide describes and shows the location of his own route pretty well. A face-on photo might make it easier to put these in their right places. Also the west ridge route does not go on where the red line shows in this recent post. Perhaps its dead-obvious to those of us who know but very confusing if some newbie chooses to use this photo-diagram rather than buy a guidebook. Probably the silver lining here is that there wouldnt be these accuracy issues if the climbing weren't so spectacular everywhere on this formation. still...(take it from a guidebook author) its damn hard to draw lines on photo's if you didnt climb the route the previous day and fairly impossible if you havent been there at all. I suggest finding the guys who put the routes up... and getting them to do the drawing...with the exception of Boving, most of these guys are still around and a few of them even have memory cells still functioning!
  20. Chris Greyell and I climbed the green line in 1978 or 1979... hexes and stoppers, 1-rope, didn't leave anything behind.... Greyell traversed directly across the slab left of the gold dihedral... i remember it as being way hard for us at the time. We were camped near Prusik Pass and climbed 5 or 6 new two-pitch lines on the crags west of the pass too. In the early 80's I climbed it again with Steve Scott. -Cheers
  21. This short thing is listed in the Rattle&Slime guide as Taxman... but I bet you won't do THAT again... I don't know if it's more than a one pitch variation or not. I pulled a couple of totally rusted-off pitons from that seam by hand a number of years ago and the bolts didnt look all that hot either! Penny Lane is entirely modern bolts and probably 75-100 feet left of the route pictured. No buttonheads at all on that one. The bushy left-facing dihedral to the left of the pictured route used to be called Bushy Galore but I've never heard of Three-O'Clock Rock route called Piccadilly Circus. Are you thinking of the old Beanberry Delight? That one started right of Silent Running... All those modern bolts in Darrington and you guys picked THIS one??? -very Daring! (ton)
  22. As promised the 2010 edition of Rattle & Slime, the Darrington rock-climbing guide is now on the shelves at Marmot Mountain Works in Bellevue, Washington. Always the most accurate and up-to-date Darrington guide ever, the new edition features files for Wawetkin Dome, Waterfall Basin & the Roan Wall, Salish Peak, the Illusion Wall and the Slab Daddy. To kick off this event, please join us at Marmot Mountain Works on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 7:00pm for a slideshow presentation by Chris Greyell & David Whitelaw. Festivities will include drawings for a Deuter backpack, a Tendon rope, and a copy of Rattle & Slime. The guide will be available exclusively at Marmot until after the show when I will resume mail-order sales. We'd love to see you there! Please RSVP at MARMOT MOUNTAIN WORKS: 425-453-1515 Cheers, David Whitelaw
  23. Rattle & Slime Plus Slideshow

    It's the same guide... I've just added folders for the new areas. I've been putting together a paper guide for some years but you probably won't see it as long as I can still swing a hammer!
  24. Trip: Squire Creek Wall - Slab Daddy V, 510+, A0 Date: 9/20/2008 Trip Report: On August 22 and 23 Bill Enger and I made the 4th ascent of the Squire Creek Wall route I have been working on since just after the last glacial epoch. The original ascent was made by Bill and me along with Dan Dingle last September but we had a punch list of pitches to straighten out, ¼” bolts to replace and odd moves to free before the route seemed ready for prime time. As usual we spent a couple of days up there, enjoying the cooler temps and more reliable friction. Look online for the upcoming article in the Northwest Mountaineering Journal. Slab Daddy lives near the northern end of the mile-wide rampart of Squire Creek Wall and is reached by a fairly civilized approach along a decommissioned logging road followed by a shallow creek crossing and finally a 600-foot hike up through steep but largely brush-free old growth forest. The climb, which has tempted me since the previous century, turned out to be 22 pitches of pure Darrington joy. About half the pitches are 5.8 or 5.9 and the balance some sort of 5.10. While there is lots of bolt-protected slap and pray climbing that Darrington is famous for, there are also a good number of pitches on the wall that require gear, and one of them to at least four or five inches. The route reaches 5.10+ in a couple of places but still a short section of the 20th pitch has kept us grabbing at the draws. Yarding by two or three bolts in this fashion should see regular mortals (like me) through the difficulties without recourse to standing in slings. We’ve been getting by with a rack up to #4 Camalot and a few doubles in the .75-2.5 range. Having one #4 assumes a willingness to run it out a bit on 5.8 laybacks. The approach involves walking up the remains of the old road for about a mile and a half and then descending to Squire Creek at a point just opposite the route. To start the approach one walks across the landslide and regains the old road and at the far end. There are two points at which the roadbed has been washed out at culverts. The first has only a small bit of pipe exposed and the second, perhaps a half mile further on, reveals the entire metal pipe lying in the eroded creek bed. This is the signal that you are getting close. After 150 walking steps up the road from the corrugated metal pipe one will be able to see that, 1. The road (trail) gently starts to angle away from the creek (left). 2. The sound of the creek reveals that it is about as close as it is gonna get and, 3. There are three stones about 8”-10” across naturally embedded in the right edge of the roadway. (this isn’t a cairn and is pretty subtle the first time past). Descend to the creek in only a couple of hundred feet and hopefully arrive at a expansive gravel bar immediately opposite the slide alder swath coming down from the wall. If it’s the right spot there will be a truck sized boulder in the creek with a small bonzai tree growing out of it. On the other side of the creek, at the confluence of a small feeder stream and about 100 feet upstream from the crossing, is a largish bright boulder almost hidden in the brush. Climb over the boulder and follow a path across the fern forest for a hundred feet until a short 15-foot uphill leads up and to the left and into the old-growth forest. The path is not marked but we have walked the same way many times and a keen eye will be able to discern most of the path. Annual blowdowns and such do tend to obscure the path in places. At about 2/3 height a short rock slab and obviously avalanche-shattered tree will be visible 100-feet off to the right. Generally the route goes just far enough into the forest to stay away from the avalanche track out to the right. Stay in the big woods until just below the toe of the formation. Some years the bottom several pitches are buried in ice and avalanche debris until sometime in July. When the little ice field has finally melted back one can walk up the boulders past the very lowest portion of stone until cleaner ramps lead easily out left to the first bolt. Three thousand feet of climbing later one will pull over the summit ridge and marvel at the madness. The start of pitch 11 Otto on pitch 19 On the summit Rapping past pitch 19 Topo (large file) to follow. Gear Notes: Gear to 6” with multiples .75”-2.5”, 12 draws, 2-50m ropes recommended
  25. ok ok... I've had computer problems all season and havent made any new copies... I'm back in shape now... or will be soon, so email me again and I will get them to you. a bit late in the season but hey... the rocks will still be there in the spring. Thanks for your continued interest and sorry for the delay!
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