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Posts posted by Stephen_Ramsey

  1. For Sale: a Mammut Infinity 9.5mm x 60m super-dry rope. Used only one time, as a top-rope. Never had any falls on it. Basically in new condition. I'm only selling it because it turns out that I dislike single rope systems, and prefer using half ropes.


    Original price was $200. Asking $150, cash or money order (no personal checks).


    If interested, please PM me, and we can set up a meeting so you can inspect the rope. I'm in Seattle.



    Steve Ramsey

  2. I would also strongly suggest changing the descent description to the ascent standard trail as the all descent gullys from top of Maude are loose and dangerous and don't save that much time.

    Dear Jim,


    Great guidebooks! Thanks for all your hard work.


    Concurring with the above comment...It might be a good idea to put a cautionary note in the book, pertaining to the west gully descent route for Maude (where it says in the text, "turn left (west) and descend a gully system"). It seems like it is easy for folks to get into sketchy terrain on that descent route. We ended up doing some sketchy down-climbing, and a few raps on gear. Second time around, we walked down the South Ridge and saved some gear and lots of time. In fairness, we were almost certainly off-route when we tried to descend the gully system...


    One other thing that confused me about Maude: If I recall correctly, the book says to "turn left onto Chiwawa River Road." But I think the sign at the turn-off actually says "Meadow Creek Road". Maybe the sign is wrong? I don't know what the road is actually called. But it might be helpful to make a note of it, in the new version.


    Also, the Entiat Icefall route on Mount Maude would be a great addition to the book. In late season, it is a really fun and moderate alpine climb. It has some nice rock scrambling along the East Ridge as well as fun glacier climbing through the icefall.



    Steve Ramsey

  3. I'm a beginner so please take with a grain of salt....


    For moderate alpine routes, I use an 8.5mm x 50m "half rope" system. If you have two 50m rope strands, you have a lot of flexibility:


    On some routes, I've carried just a single strand of 8.5mm x 50m rope (e.g., Buckner NF, Eldorado NEF, Glacier FR, Maude Entitat Icefall). This is good for moderate routes with an obvious walk-off.


    On other routes where there is the potential for a rappel descent (or retreat), I've carried a single strand of the rope, plus 50m of 6mm cord which allows full 50m rappels (e.g., Maude NF, Shuksan, Colchuck NEC, Kyes Peak, ...).


    For "steeper" rock or ice climbing, I use two strands of the 8.5mm rope as a "double rope" system. Mostly I've used this technique on waterfall ice and trad rock climbs, but I've used it on a few alpine climbs (Tooth NEF, Liberty Bell, Chair NEB).


    On occasion I've encountered terrain that made me wish for an extra 10m of rope. But if the terrain is moderate, you can often simul-climb until you reach a more suitable belay location.


    Well, just my $0.02.


    For all of the routes I mentioned above, I imagine that a single rope system would work just fine. It all depends on your taste, climbing style, comfort level, etc.

  4. I checked Pro Mountian Sports website (I think they actually weigh the merchandise on their scale) and it shows the short Khamsin 38 as being 2 lbs 9 oz so it looks like Arcteryx is off by half a pound. I wonder what the actual weight of the Ice Pack is?

    Hey Bronco,


    Even at 2 lbs 9 oz, that is still a darn good weight savings as compared to the 44L Ice Pack. thumbs_up.gif


    Do you have the short or the regular size Khamin 38 pack? I'm a short guy (5'6") and wondering which would be better.


    FWIW, the Ice Pack's weight is pretty close to what BD quotes on their web site. One cool thing about the Ice Pack is the integrated pad. It is comfy enough that I usually just sleep on my empty pack and on the rope, which saves on the weight of a ridge-rest pad. I doubt that saves a full pound, however...




    (Sorry to drift the thread).




  5. I was able to fit 3 days of crap into my 38 litre pack the last trip up "Raindawg" and trim an additional 1.5 pounds by not carrying my 45 litre pack. I also use a compression sack for my sleeping bag which helps immensly.




    Good points. 38 liters, that's impressive packing!


    Incidentally, that's a surprising weight savings by switching to a pack that was only seven liters smaller. For example, the weight difference between the 50-liter and the 44-liter Black Diamond Ice Pack is only 3 ounces. In the REI line of packs, going from a 65-liter pack to a 75-liter pack only adds 3 ounces of weight to the pack, and so on.


    But if your 45-liter pack has an internal frame, I could imagine there would be a substantial weight difference...


    That said, I agree that down is great for the reasons you've pointed out.




  6. If you are not carrying over, I would recommend something like this: Mountain Hardwear Second Dimension, polarguard 3D, rated to 15F. Inexpensive, and warm enough for July.


    If you are carrying over, you could probably save a pound by going with a 15-degree down sleeping bag (get one with an exterior made from "epic" water-repellant material.)

  7. i've only climbed in ouray so far - in the ice park and up camp bird mine road. i heard ames (near telluride) is done for the season, but people are definitely hitting up longer routes in silverton right now.



    Are you sure that ice climbing in the Ames area is done for the season? I've climbed Ames Falls in late March, so I don't see how people can pronounce it "done for the season" in January. If anything, I hear Silverton ice climbing typically ends early, due to extreme avalanche hazard. But then again, I'm not a local, so what do I know.

  8. Dustin,


    One option I use often (although not on Lib Ridge, which I've never climbed) is to just carry an aluminum shovel blade, without the shovel handle. I use my ice tool (straight-shafted) as the handle. The shovel blade works great as a stove base, too. I've also used the shovel blade as a primitive snow anchor (sort of like a fluke). The BD Lynx shovel blade is very small and lightweight.




  9. Hello Dustin,


    I have the Scarpa Alphas, but with the 2002 liner, which is not a thermal fit liner. They are pretty warm, and seem to be warm enough for most climbing in the Washington Cascades. However, I used them when I was ice climbing in -25C temperatures in Lillooet, and my toes were quite numb. Still, by loosening up the boots, I managed to warm up a bit. If I were to go to Banff for ice climbing, or on a winter climb on Rainier, I would bring a different boot. But for general winter climbing in Washington, they are great. They seem very light weight next to my clunky old Asolo boots.


    If you desire something warmer... have you looked at the Lowa Civetta Extreme? My wife uses these boots, and they are very very warm. Pro Mountain Sports carries them, I think.


    Just my $0.02.




  10. Hi MattP,


    Your rack sounds adequate -- especially if you can comfortably solo WI 3 as well as if you have significant experience on big mountain routes


    I've never climbed Liberty Ridge, but this struck me as curious. Can you please explain, how is the ability to "comfortably solo WI3" a necessary skill for this route? As I understand it, WI3 means water ice that is sustained 70-80 degrees for the entire pitch (anything less and it is WI2). I imagine many people climb Liberty Ridge who would not ever consider free-soloing a WI3 waterfall. Perhaps soloing WI1 (ice at an angle below 60 degrees) or WI2 would be a useful skill, but soloing WI3? I'm confused.




    But then again, I've never climbed the route, so maybe it is more technical than I've heard. I had always planned to climb Lib Ridge long before I plan to solo 80-degree ice (which is probably never)... is that crazy?

  11. Hey JayB!


    Yes, that was me and my wife, Elain. Thanks again for towing us out of thw snow. I owe you a beer. thumbs_up.gif


    Nice artwork on the back of your truck. That gave us a big laugh. :-)


    Hope you had a great weekend.




  12. For those who want to make their opinion heard, enclosed is some contact information for people pertaining to this issue. Polite snail-mail letters are generally the most likely to have a positive effect.




    Andy Fitz [Regional Coordinator for Washington State, Access Fund]


    3807 S. 9th St.

    Tacoma, WA 98405


    e-mail: fitlan "at" attbi.com




    Trevor Kostanich [Planning Manager, Alpental Ski Area, Booth Creek Corporation]


    Ski Lifts Inc

    P.O. Box 1068

    Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068


    tkostanich.sl "at" boothcreek.com




    Larry Donovan [Team Leader, Snoqualmie-Mount Baker National Forest]

    21905 64th Ave W

    Mountlake Terrace, WA 98403-2278


    ldonovan "at" fs.fed.us




    Rob Iwamoto [Acting Supervisor, Snoqualmie-Mount Baker National Forest]


    21905 64th Ave W

    Mountlake Terrace, WA 98403-2278


    riwamoto "at" fs.fed.us




    Chris Ryman [President & CEO, Booth Creek Corporation (parent corporation of Alpental)]


    12257 Business Park Drive, Suite 8

    Truckee, CA 96161




    Dan Brewster [General Manager, Summit at Snoqualmie]


    Ski Lifts Inc

    P.O. Box 1068

    Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068


    dbrewster.sl "at" boothcreek.com




    Shawn Tierney [Acess and Acquisitions Director, the Access Fund]


    The Access Fund

    P.O. Box 17010

    Boulder, CO 80308


    shawn "at" accessfund.org

  13. DPS,


    Good point, it will be hard to enforce. But it sets the stage for access conflicts between the ski area and non-lift-served forms of recreation. Alpental is trying to restrict what you can do on your public land. It is one thing for them to restrict who can use the "return trail", which is important for the safe operation of their lift-served backcountry ski area. As I understand it, their lease probably gives them specific control over, and right-of-way for, this trail. But to prohibit altogether any upvalley travel on the south side of the valley is overreaching. Walking an extra mile, or taking the north side trail won't actually prevent me from enjoying the Source Lake area in winter. But despite that, I don't think Alpental has the right to do this, and that is reason enough to fight it. That said, I intend to be very polite to Alpental. If the ski area were not there, the road would probably not get plowed as far as it does, we would probably not have any winter parking there, and who knows if Source Lake would be accessible as a one-day outing. My rage is mostly directed at the Forest Service, for just rolling over on the issue.


    Just my $0.02.

  14. I received a reply from Trevor Kostanich, director of planning for Summit-at-Snoqualmie. Here is his reply:


    Hello Steve,


    Thanks for checking with me as this is in contradiction to what we (USFS &

    Alpental) agreed upon. It was agreed that there will be no uphill travel on

    the south side. Uphill travel is allowed on the north side of the river

    (opposite of the ski area).


    Thanks again Steve for your intent to clearly understand this change.


    Trevor Kostanich

    So, it appears that Alpental does not intend to allow people to walk up the south side of the valley, regardless of whether they avoid the official "backcountry return trail".

  15. Ken,


    I've got a partner, thanks. We are both beginners, so we move slow, and hit the trail early. For the Tooth, I wouldn't leave quite that early. But for other winter routes I would. To each his own. wave.gif




  16. Ken,


    OK, but I wonder if it would actually be pretty easy for them to enforce. How many lift-served skiers will be parking in their parking lot at 4:00 in the morning (a typical departure time for a winter alpine route). Probably they wouldn't tow unless it was a repeat offender, but who wants to take the chance, given how massively expensive a tow would be?


    Now, if you show up after the lifts open, I agree it will be hard for them to nail you. But that makes winter alpine climbs kind of infeasible unless you're superhero fast. Overnight parking presumably will also make you stand out as a potential parking violator.


    I'd be happy to walk further, but where else would you park, without also risking a ticket or (even worse) getting towed?

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