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Stephen_Ramsey

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Posts posted by Stephen_Ramsey


  1. I have a pair of Bionics and a pair of Sabretooth crampons. I think the Bionics are designed to excel on waterfall ice, and are not specifically designed for alpine snow/ice. That said, the Bionics are really great on waterfall ice.

     

    For alpine ice, or general-purpose mountaineering, I always use the Sabretooth crampons. I guess I would be hesitant to bring the Bionics along on an alpine ice route in Washington because conditions are typically so variable, ranging from soft snow, to neve, to ice. In particular, there is the issue of snow balling up. My Sabretooths have anti-balling plates, and my Bionics do not. I've had bad experiences with snow balling up on my Bionics. So that's another reason why I prefer using the Sabretooths for moderate alpine routes in Washington. Probably for more technical ice routes, or in Canada, it's a different story....

     

    Oh, I forgot to add, my Bionics are dual front-points, and they work great on vertical waterfall ice (at least the very short vertical steps I have climbed). I suppose for climbing really delicate ice features, the mono point could be useful, but I haven't tried that...

     

    Just my $0.02...


  2. Forgot to add that there was some action on the Sherpa Glacier Couloir as well. Saw one cornice drop off the wall on the climber's left, and sweep down the couloir while we were on route, but we had already passed above the point of impact. Provided some motivation to hurry up and finish climbing.


  3. From the basin at 5400', I saw a colossal avalanche sweep down the Ice Cliff Glacier on Saturday at 7:45 PM or so. The avy started above the upper rock band and went on for at least 15 seconds. It filled the cirque below the glacier with debris.

     

    I'm told there was another huge avalanche on that route, on Sunday around 4 PM, but did not see that one because I was hiking out.


  4. Thanks everyone!

     

    Hi MattP, just to be clear, your comment about cornicing and the gully being non-technical refers to the (ascent) couloir above the Ice Cliff Glacier route, and not the descent gully, right? Again, many thanks for your time.

     

    Cheers,

    Steve


  5. I'm looking for information on the Stuart Ice Cliff glacier route. Do folks think it would be reasonably doable this time of year? Consensus seems to be that it is about 50 degrees in steepness. Is that about right?

     

    Any advice would be appreciated.

     

    -Steve


  6. fleblebleb said:

    And Steve, I've never "mentored" anyone. I've taught some people how to belay, that's all. I don't really like alpine climbing with people that have even less experience than I do. It's too scary. Cragging is an altogether different kind of animal. Pretty much all my alpine partners have skills comparable to mine. The climbs I've done with more experienced partners have been very cool, but also quite rare.

     

    I stand corrected.

     


  7. fleblebleb said:

    As for the Colchuck area snow and ice climbs, the best, safest, most respectable way to go is clearly to camp at the lake and climb fully rested at the ideal time of the day.

     

    Well, I'm just a beginner, so take my opinion with the requisite grain of salt. But respectfully, this statement strikes me as a bit absolutist. I think people will have different ideas of what is "best" and most "respectable". Even "safest" is open to some interpretation. I agree with you that a big advantage of overnighting is that it gives you some flexibility to choose the ideal time of day for the ascent. I don't feel that I was much better rested after humping my overnight gear to 6300' the previous weekend and camping at the base of the north buttress couloir, as opposed to Sunday when we did the northeast couloir car-to-car.

     

    I wholeheartedly agree with Tod that it would be great if more people would, instead of just criticizing beginners, take a beginner under their wing. [Fleb, I know you often mentor less experienced climbers so this is in no way a criticism of you].

     

    Climb on....

     

    -Steve


  8. I agree, it would be helpful if it were more commonplace for

    experienced climbers to take less experienced climbers or

    beginners under their wing. I have learned far more in an informal

    one-on-one outing than in organized group instruction settings. Unfortunately, it seems to be generally difficult to find more experienced climbers who are willing to do this. Just my $0.02.

     

    -Steve


  9. John,

     

    Thanks for your post. You make some good points. I guess there can be

    a fine line between a route that is challenging enough to push one's limits,

    and a route that is too challenging to be led safely. This is especially true for beginners like me. With the benefit of

    hindsight I think this route was in the former category for us, but that said,

    it did turn out to be slightly more challenging than we expected. Perhaps

    others, thinking back to when they were beginners, can relate to this?

     

    Anyhow, thanks for the sobering post. Definitely something to think about.

     

    -Steve


  10. I'm looking for information on the Colchuck Northeast Couloir. Has anyone out there done this route? Beckey grades it as II-III, but I have heard that the supposedly 60-degree headwall is more like 70 degrees, which sounds pretty sporty... Anyone know which of the finish variations is likely to be the least technical? Is the headwall at the top of the couloir the only really steep part of the route? My partner and I are a bit unsure if we are up to the route, so any information would be helpful.

     

    Thanks in advance,

     

    Steve


  11. Actually it sounds like conditions on the N. Face of Maude are not so good. So maybe some route on Mt. Shuksan (e.g., Fisher's Chimneys) or Mt. Baker (N. Ridge or Roman Moustache) would be a possible alternative.

     

    Really, I'm just hoping to get out there in the hills. Got car, rope and tools.

     

    Anyone interested?


  12. Hi all,

     

    Is anyone interested in doing some kind of 2-day alpine climb over the

    weekend of Aug. 17-18? I'm looking for a partner. Some possibile

    destinations include the N. Face of Mount Maude or maybe something

    on Mount Shuksan. I'm open to other ideas as well. The goal is to climb

    something moderately challenging, but without any real 5th class rock climbing (and no, this is not a contradiction in terms).

     

    I can contribute: two 50m x 9mm "half" ropes, ample pickets, a little

    2-man bivy tent, an XGK stove, and a Jeep to the cause.

     

    You should have: experience doing sustained climbing of 50-degree

    snow/ice, and a conservative attitude about safety in the hills.

     

    If interested, please e-mail me at:

     

    sramsey __at__ speakeasy.org

     

    Cheers,

    Steve Ramsey


  13. Is there anyone out there who has any information about the "Nisqually-Gibraltar Chute" route on Mount Rainier? Note that this is not the same as the Gibraltar Ledges route; it is a variation that meets up with the Ledges route, bypassing most of the ledge (at least I think). I'm wondering if this route might be climbable this time of year, and if so, how serious the rockfall/icefall hazards might be. I'd especially appreciate hearing from anyone who has climbed this route, as to its difficulty level and the ease/difficulty of routefinding. I tried to observe the route from the Muir Snowfield over the weekend, but without binoculars it was hard to really see much of anything.

     

    Since I almost never hear of anyone climbing this route, I'm wondering if that should tell me something...

     

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve

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