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Everything posted by Stephen_Ramsey

  1. Mount Rainier ice

    My short "gumby report" on ice-hunting in MRNP: Elain and I drove up to the Narada Falls TH on Sunday, hoping to find some ice somewhere. The WI2 flow opposite Narada Falls was not really "in" (ice coverage was too sparse for my taste), although I'm sure it is climbable. The other flows in that same gully did not appear to be "in", either. So we hiked back to Lane Peak, to look for ice on Lane Peak's NE buttress. We did not find any significant ice there, just a few icicles starting to form. Some of the steep gullies are filling with snow, which is a good start, I guess. There is a hill east of Lane Peak's NE buttress, whose north face had some ice smears forming. We hiked up to it but found the ice was way too thin. The 30-degree slope leading up to it was a cause for some concern; unconsolidated snow on top of a sheet of ice. Given what we found at Narada and Lane Peak, we decided not to bother hiking in to check on "Mikey's Gully". But from the road it looked as though two steep pillars are starting to form, on the cliffs above the Nisqually. I have no idea if those pillars are named, accessible routes or whatever. I imagine that the many people going up there for skiing had a much more productive day than we did.
  2. 4 season tent

    For what it's worth, I like the Bibler I-tent. I have one with just one opening (to save weight). It makes a nice tent, and also makes a nice two-person bivy sack if you choose to leave the tent poles at home (to save weight). I've also used a two-door Eldorado tent. As one might expect, the two-door models are easier to ventilate. But for a carry-over, I would prefer the I-tent over the Eldorado, because it is lighter weight. When I checked last year, the weight of the I-tent (without poles) was actually less than the weight of two Bibler bivy sacks. For winter climbing without a carry-over, I prefer the two-door Eldorado. More room for gear and ventilates better. Oh, I just re-read your post. You're looking for a tent with some room for gear. The Eldorado would probably be a good bet, then. I have tried the Eldorado/I-tent vestibule, and it is OK. But I almost never carry it because I find that it is not worth the extra weight. If you are camping above treeline, I would caution against considering the Stephenson Warmlite, despite the glowing testimonials you may hear. The first time I used one (at Camp Muir), it was subjected to a sustained 50-knot crosswind. It tore open. Hope this helps. Cheers, Steve
  3. New Zealand

    Josh, If you are in the Queenstown area, check out Ben Lomond (1746m). It is a good summit scramble. We climbed it in December and it was still snow-covered (!) Cheers, Steve Ramsey
  4. glucosamine?

    Thanks Rollo. Hope your ankle recovers well from the surgery.
  5. glucosamine?

    Thanks everyone! -Steve
  6. Chair Peak

    Sketchfest, Check your PMs. Cheers, Steve Ramsey
  7. Alpental conditions 11-22-03

    Thanks Alex. Nice pictures!
  8. Alpental conditions 11-22-03

    Jason, OK, thanks. Appreciate the info. Looks like a great resource is being developed, for mixed climbing enthusiasts. No worries, Jason. It's not like I could climb an M7, in this or any alternate Universe. :-) But I hear what you are saying about the red tape. Good to know. Cheers, Steve
  9. Alpental conditions 11-22-03

    Alex, Do you know, is it a standard practice for ropes to be left on that wall? If so, why? (I'm not trolling for a fight or anything... just curious). Cheers, Steve
  10. Hey Scott!

    Just to clarify, "Northwest Mountain Guides" is a completely different guiding company (see www.gotrek.com). I think the NWOG site now has the title "Northwest Outdoor Guides".
  11. RMI, is it any good?

    Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but for the sake of the USFS people who have apparently been reading (and misunderstood) this post, I would like to clarify: the guide possessed a valid permit (or concession, whatever you call it) from the USFS to guide on the north side of Baker. I can provide more information (names, dates, etc.) if contacted by private message. Thanks, Steve
  12. TRs: Valuable or chestbeating fodder

    Mattp, I totally agree with your post. Several times I've posted on CC.com asking for beta on a moderate/easy route, and received a snide or belligerent response. I've observed a clear tendancy on this web site for some people to back-handedly put down (or worse still, directly belittle) TRs of easy routes. I'm not whining or complaining. CC.com is what it is. I'm just agreeing with your post, and making the point that that beginners *do* notice the subtle (and not-so-subtle) put-downs that inevitably follow a trip report posting for a moderate route. Count me as one person who chooses to post his gumby/beginner trip reports elsewhere (in what is frankly, a less judgemental/negative forum). I'm sure there are others. Inevitably someone is going to reply to this saying "who cares" or "fewer gumby TRs -- no big loss", or whatever. In a small way, it will just validate my point. I do enjoy and appreciate CC.com for what it does well, especially getting the latest information on ice conditions. But let's not kind ourselves-- it isn't particularly newbie-friendly.
  13. Chiwawa Lyman Glacier TR

    Hi John, We camped in the snowy basin just below Spider Gap. Yeah, the step was short, but we were really tired. Seems like the route was in fine shape, but I don't really have a basis for comparison. Certainly was a fun day of climbing. Cheers, Steve
  14. Chiwawa Lyman Glacier TR

    Hi John, We summited at 11:00 AM on Sunday morning 10/26. Our ascent route skirted the first large bergschrund (the one at the very base of the route) on the climber's left, then traversed climber's right. Went into a moderate-angle mixed gully, then straight up a 2-pitch, 45-degree ice tongue leading up to the snout of the icefall. Then directly up through the icefall. We passed the final schrund (the one just a few hundred feet below the wide snowy saddle) on the climber's right, very near the moat, then traversed climber's left once above it. On the descent, we followed some tracks along the climber's right-hand side of the Lyman Glacier. We rapped on a V-thread into a wide (but largely snow-filled) crevasse, but downclimbing or scrambling through the moat would certainly have been an option. This may have been the same ice step you mentioned in your TR. Then followed the tracks down more easy snow slopes, then down about 800' of 3rd-class terrain that alternated between snow and rock slabs. Then down a steepish snow gully, to reach the first crevasse at the bottom of the route. Followed tracks (climber's right) into the moat to bypass the crevasse. I second this. My partner punched through on the lower Lyman. Her first time punching through into a crevasse, something of a right of passage I guess. Didn't see a black ditty bag, but it was dark when we got to the trailhead. Sorry. Cheers, Steve
  15. Chiwawa Lyman Glacier TR

    Juan, Thanks for the tracks! My partner saw your name in the summit register. We used your tracks for the descent, and it saved us some time. Cheers, Steve
  16. Alpine Route Recomendations?

    Maude, perhaps? Phelps Creek trailhead is open. Entiat Icefall might still be in shape.
  17. North Cascades Mountain Guides

    I second the endorsement of North Cascades Mountain Guides. I did a three-day ice climbing trip with one of their guides, and the trip was awesome. The guide was super knowledgeable and professional.
  18. My wife found a black fleece glove on the Nisqually moraine on Saturday Oct. 4th. It looks to be in brand-new condition. If this belongs to you, please PM me a description and it's yours. -Steve
  19. Knee pain

    Hello Catbird, As a long-time runner, I would recommend it (seeing a doctor). Especially if you can find a doctor who knows something about sports-related injuries, and who will not hesitate to refer you to a specialist if necessary. Hope your knee is feeling better soon. Cheers, Steve
  20. Keyes Peak, Upper Pride Glacier

    Thanks Catbird! -Steve
  21. Question about ice tools?

    Oops, I meant "one pair is straight-shaft, the other pair is bent-shaft".
  22. Keyes Peak, Upper Pride Glacier

    Catbird, Is there enough space to bivy at the Yellow Shoulder? We are hoping to bivy somewhere near there. Thanks in advance, Steve
  23. Question about ice tools?

    FWIW, this is what works for me (I only climb moderate ice routes, so I'm not sure how applicable this will be to your situation): For ice climbs, my partner and I carry two pairs of Shrikes. One pair is bent-shaft, and one pair is curved-shaft. The straight-shafted tools are better for all-around use (chopping bollards, clearing rotten ice for a screw placement, pounding in pickets, etc.), so most of the time the leader uses the straight-shafted tools. However, when we have to deal with a steep section of ice, we will switch so the leader can use the curved-shaft tools. For early-season snow/ice climbs that have some alpine ice, my preference is to carry one straight-shafted tool and one ultralight ice axe (e.g., BD Raven Pro, 60 cm). Being able to shaft both the tool and the axe in the snow is nice for those types of climbs. For waterfalls, I use the curved-shaft Shrikes, or (preferably) borrow a more waterfall-oriented tool like a Cobra.
  24. High top rock shoes

    I use the "Boreal Ballet Gold shoes". They are very nice. I've only used them on moderate alpine rock climbs (e.g., Ingalls East Ridge and Liberty Bell Southwest Face), so I can't comment on how they perform on steep technical rock. The sole is pretty stiff, which I find helpful when I'm climbing rock while wearing a pack (which is almost always).