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Everything posted by DavidW

  1. What a pleasure to read all the good cheer and glad tidings from everyone! It truly was more fun than work and I had priceless help from talented friends. Congrats to Jimbo and Dirtyleaf for their ascent. I'm glad you got to spend a night at the balcony. There's been more than a few nights when we COULD have rapped off and gone home. But the starry nights ARE awesome... One night Dan Dingle and I were there during one of the autumn meteor showers... My thanks to all and to to all good climbing!
  2. Here is an interesting photo taken by David Gunstone, years ago, with a medium format camera. The Slab Daddy route overlaid in red. photo: David Gunstone
  3. 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
  4. The pin is actually visible from the Lost Charms tree if you know just where to look.. sometimes its still hard to find once you have started the pitch though. For what its worth the second pitch doesnt go up the bushy corners but instead moves out left from the belay and climbs clean rock with small cracks heading up and kinda leftward. Nice to have that old bolt fixed up though! Thanks guys!
  5. I'm not sure what B's are... except what I got in Chemistry. Fact is that at the time Don and I thought people who named things after body parts or body functions probably hadnt progressed much beyond those stages in their personal lives. I still think as much. But hey, at the time, people actually referred to those routes by those monikers. WE thought they were stupid, the Mounties were apoplectic and the result is C. Crack and S. Slab.
  6. unless you wanna own tons of different ropes twins are stupid.. Doubles can be used as twins but twins cant be used as doubles... why bother? Why get them confused? Europeans think climibng anything other than sport climbs with single ropes is foolhardy, and I had one friend killed when his single rope cut over an edge. If i'm doing multiple pitches of any kind of climbing where I care about a belay, I use doubles, If I'm sport climbing, i use a single, and a fat one too!
  7. depends on whether you are self-published or not... there's a jillion programs that will draw a decent topo, provided you can clearly envison one...if you have a real publisher they will certainly have something to say about what programs you use and will have a whole list of some real and some bullshit reasons why their program choices are the "professional way". That said, most professional graphic "artists" have some familiarity with Adobe Illustrator. If you submit ruffs to a publisher and they hire an illustrator that person will probably be pressured to use Illustrator. I've been an illustrator and climber for a long time and my personal approach is to draw them rather large in ink...with a technical pen, then scan them into photoshop and clean them up... then use the photoshop text tool for the type, the x's for the bolts, etc. They are clean and sharp and dont look computer generated... there are also 3,452 other ways to do it! PM me if you wanna explore further...
  8. Drawing topos for publication is a pretty heads-up undertaking no matter what methods you use. Recently an Alpinist magazine had an article called: "The Art of the Topo'" It was a great article about a seldom considered subject and I think there were even a couple of Iberian climber/artists featured. There will be plusses and minuses to everyones approach, including mine, because as they say, "One man's ceiling is another man's floor." Whatever sorts of choices you make its always good to show them to as many of the area locals as you can and really listen to what they say.... sometimes its difficult for people to express succinct comments about "artwork" without having had some background. How you use combinations of topos and photos requires some insight and even with lots of it you still can't please everyone. European audiences are lots diffent than american ones so unless you are personally a european artist I would take my first style ideas from other spanish or european circles... photocopy them.. show them around to others... yada yada I've been an illustrator and teacher and have drawn a good number of topo's for a good number of years... If ya want any more technical advice or specific opinions (I have lots!)... PM me, I'd be glad to help. Good luck in any case!
  9. I cant believe anyone who had been to D-Town would haul out a Smoot description for anything! I had a couple of discussions with Sprague Ackley who now lives in France at the time I was putting Rattle & Slime together, 1. The route shown in yellow on the previous photo is NOT Orange Blossom Special. OBS is probably 400-500 feet left of Burdick's new line in an obvious orange colored corner/slab feature... See Rattle & Slime. 2. Witch Doctor's Elixir is the name of the route Ackley put up on the left margin of the Witch Dr. Wall. I sent Sprague a photo precisely like the one posted on this thread and asked if his Elixir route went where the yellow route is shown....... He said it did not and that it was probably in the main corner/gulley that marks the end of the wall. I pointed out that his description seemed to match the features there very well and he said he was certain that he did NOT climb there. Soooo go figure... have the years dulled Sprague's memory? Did he climb in and around the right wall of the corner as he described? I havent actually walked up to the bottom of big corner, mostly cause if it goes up that.... I don't need to know more! Sprague felt that after so many years he wouldnt be able to do better than he had at the time and declined to actually draw a line on a photo. WDE does not go anywhere close to Fred's line..Solaris is the next line left of Fred's. 3. In Washington Rock (1982) Brooks mentioned that there was a short way off Exfo Dome by making three raps to the ground off the "back-side" of the West Slabs. That descent goes more or less where Burdick's line goes and may explain the slings he found. I've spoken to two parties who have made this descent so its possible it could have been used more often than is known.
  10. One could say that everything left of Botany 101 is a Dreamer variation really! When I was trying to put the GGB section together I was aware that there has been lotsa confusion over the years as to whats what up there. After I had described Dreamer, Safe Sex, and routes to the right I still had a bunch of loose pitches to account for. Ron Miller, who has since died of Lou Gehrigs disease was the one who put up "Dreamer Direct" although he never called it that and didnt really care for that moniker. So I then asked him sometime in 2000 if he thought it was appropriate to say it was the first pitch of Urban Bypass and he didnt have a problem with that. Constantino... who doesnt climb anymore once commented with some frustration that all these intersecting routes seemed to detract from the Dreamer in his estimation. I realize that the pitch is where it is.. and we are just talking about words. I chose to try and squeeze a little bit more out of Urban Bypass by not diluting the Dreamer description, sorta with Duane in mind. Kinda contrived perhaps... In one sense, the pitch in question had more in common with Urban Bypass because of era and style of FA.. again maybe a tenuous rational. One thing is sure... it IS a fun pitch.
  11. Well, with all due respect I'm the author of Rattle & Slime and I can assure you that the pitch is both described under Urban Bypass as well as shown in red on the route overlay locator.
  12. Great Photo! The seventh pitch shown on this picture isnt the Dreamer though.... It's a variant added fairly recently and is described in Rattle & Slime as being a continuation of the Urban Bypass route. The Dreamer takes a line to the right up a steep but highly featured wall to the right of a dihedral..... at that point its 5.6 or 5.7 with only one or two pieces of pro on the entire pitch. The first ascent guys thought it was a cool pitch however.
  13. I'm kicking around the idea of doing one of the Polish Glacier routes on Aconcagua in December '06 or January '07. Anyone out there with some interest and experience in doing this sort of thing?
  14. This all sounds confusing to me too and I am pretty familiar with the old Brooks/Whitelaw guide and Darrington in general. I doubt that the route being described is Luke because both pitches of that route end at modern belay stations. Magic Bus has belay anchors that use three 1/4" bolts and the first pitch is just barely 5.8 near the top. In any case sounds like you had some adventure out there.... I might point out that there is a new guide available for Darrington. It has fairly comprehensive topo's and is available on CDrom from Pro Mountain Sports, Feathered Friends and Marmot Mtn.Works in Bellevue. You can also order one directly from the author... me.
  15. American Pie and The Corner were done on a sunny, snowless January day when there was ice in all the drainages but the rock was warm and dry.
  16. For people going to this meeting it's important to realize that the Forest Service didnt start this. They are being called upon by ALPS to enforce what ALPS believes is proper administration of the law. ALPS has actually sued the gvernment in the past for this sort of issue. As a washington climber you should realize that people like MattP, Andy Fitz, Brian Burdo, the access fund, etc are all thats keeping the government from shutting down climbing in a number of locations. Its great sport to shout "fuck this or Fuck that"..... but those guys have the character to walk the walk. Even if you dont support everything said you should understand who your friends are.
  17. Imight be up for something if the sun's out... what did you have in mind? Send me a PM if you want.....
  18. Some time ago some friends and I went in to Prusik in January..... things were cold but there wasnt alot of snow and we went in via Temple Canyon..... around past Mesa & Earl Lakes and up to Prusik Pass from the dark side. It worked very well and was alot of fun cramponing up Nada Creek on the way thru Temple Canyon.
  19. If people are actively climbing then walk on and find someplace less crowded. What gets under my skin however is when people just leave their topropes hanging there, wander off to admire the babe climbing three routes to the left and then still expect others to stay off the route!
  20. Hey thanks to everyone who's been checking out the new Darrington Guide, featuring a great pic by Matt Perkins on the cover!...... for all you Eastsiders its now available from Marmot Mtn Works in Bellevue. Tell 'em you heard it here!
  21. Right On, Peter! Your check's in the mail! Glad people are enjoying them..... For all you Eastsiders the Darrington Guide is now available at Marmot Mtn Works in Bellevue! Tell 'em ya heard it here!
  22. Thanks Joe!....... link in original message should work now.
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