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Everything posted by iain

  1. That shot includes all the components of the Beacon Rock experience. All that's missing is the drone of the barge horns and the smell of American Spirits. Nice one!
  2. Impressive commitment, Joseph. I wonder if you will be able to climb at other places where you won't have the soothing comfort of a freight train blasting by every 10 minutes.
  3. Wy'East from Meadows or Timberline?

    Most people leave from Timberline because it is a bitch to get back to Meadows coming down the south side. At best it is a long drag back from triangle moraine. Wyeast sucks in general if a ski descent is not involved. You would have no trouble with Meadows patrol if you just walk down the rim of White River off of Cascade. No land "belongs" to Meadows.
  4. Holding crevasse falls on skis

    I'd also add skiing in a whiteout on a known-crevassed glacier or above terrain is perhaps the single dumbest thing you can do in the mountains. That or climbing Mt. Hood in winter, which is obviously a death sentence.
  5. Holding crevasse falls on skis

    In a two-person team, the idea is that the knots keeping at least one person topside outweigh the problems of dealing with the knots. An easily-rigged mech adv. system is pretty useless if you are both in the hole. You can rig a second line to deal with the haul. But the whole point of the knots is to stop the fall early enough that hauling is irrelevant. A fall requiring a full-on mech adv. system is actually pretty rare, but of course you have to be ready for that. You might even be able to ad-lib some mech adv. using the knots themselves with a little ingenuity. But having extra line to set up a new edge would make life easy. You have to go in with some problem-solving skills and be flexible in all these situations. Any snowy area where you are falling into holes unexpectedly on skis means your rope has probably cut in so far to the edge to be unusable as haul line anyways. The bottom line is your whole team can't go down in the hole.
  6. Not to be a school marm but I have a lot of respect for the WCR after it killed 1 through massive trauma and hurt others in an avalanche in 1998. Evaluate carefully, esp on sunny days after a storm. It can be a great ski otherwise.
  7. Along the same lines, Portland Mountain Rescue released a joint statement with the Mountain Rescue Association back when there was a crash at the hogsback airport. Pretty much reiterates the AAC's position. http://www.pmru.org/common/opsstatement.html
  8. Bivi Sack recommendations

    The Bibler Winter bivy sack is really small. Definitely bare-bones. It would flat-out suck to go through a storm in that thing. I think that's pretty much the case with any bivy sack. For the weight of two bivy sacks you might consider a BD firstlight or equiv. to split between two. A lot more comfortable.
  9. All aboard the Mounties Love Train

    My eyes!!! Note the uncallosed fingertips from lack of keyboarding. Pre-post #1?
  10. Mt Hood - SAR reports

    Texan - your need for more info about your friend is very understandable. I think the only facts to be relayed publically right now are: 1. Mt. Hood in winter is an unforgiving place. Small problems can become life-threatening. Good turns to very bad quickly. 2. Based only on what was found, they made a choice (perhaps unknowingly) to keep moving or start dying. 3. Previous experience on this mountain would be helpful. 4. Climbing is dangerous. Sometimes you just get nailed.
  11. Palmer Lift House- Mt Hood

    Not sure if this is a troll but the upper palmer terminal is padlocked and they def don't want you in there. This didn't stop one guy who literally chopped down the door with an axe.
  12. Mt Hood - SAR reports

    This seems as good as any place for this. Hope some find it helpful: Questions continue to be asked about the Mount Hood Locator Unit (MLU) after every search like this last one. Some of the media somehow still confuse them with PLBs and cellphones, and I have been asked to outline the program, so this is just to reiterate what the MLU does. Availability- REI, OMC, and the Mountain Shop all "rent" MLU transmitters to climbers. They are also available 24 hrs a day at the Mount Hood Inn at Government Camp. The rental shops test each transmitter in front of the climber renting it. Records are kept on battery life. A $5 rental fee covers the expense of this. History- The MLU program began back in 1986 in the wake of one of Mt Hood's largest tragedies, where a large group from the Oregon Episcopal School became trapped near White River Canyon, resulting in 9 deaths. It took three days to find the unmarked, buried snow cave, and by then it was too late for 7 of the kids and 2 adults. The Mountain Signal Committee built and tested the technology, then went through the Oregon legislature to get enabling legislation to use the system. Currently the USFS and Clackamas County Sheriff control the system. The MLU Transmitter- MLUs are small VHF transmitters attached to a sash. When the "ripcord" is pulled and the MLU activated, it sends out a tone at 168.54 mHz. These transmitters are not monitored full-time. Once a rescue is initiated, PMR will do an initial sweep of the mountain for an MLU signal. There is a check box to say you are carrying one on the sign-in sheets at Timberline, but frequently PMR will do a scan just in case you forgot to check the box, or if you didn't register. The MLU system is essentially a wildlife tracking system. During testing, MLU transmitters have been picked up 20 miles away. Transmitters deep in crevasses or under many feet of snow have been easily detected. However, line-of-sight rules apply. PMR can't find a signal on the opposite side of the mountain, behind a ridge, or deep in a canyon. The signal will also "bounce" off wet rock walls, making it confusing for the searcher at times. Should you use one? There is no doubt the MLU takes the "search" out of search and rescue. It has been used successfully in several winter operations on Mt. Hood. The technology, now 20 years old, still works well. It is not perfect, but it remains a powerful tool for PMR. Carrying an MLU does not guarantee a rescue. Sometimes accessing your location is impossible due to weather, avalanche, rockfall, etc. However, it does allow all energy to be focused on accessing your location and getting you out of there, rather than trying to find you first, which as you have seen can take days. Many climbers feel it is inappropriate to take technology along that replaces self-sufficiency. Many climbers do not bring cellphones with them for this reason. This is an understandable personal choice climbers make. Climbing is often viewed as an opportunity to escape society. This message is simply to let people know the MLU still does its job well, and if you wish to rent one, it is available as a tool for you to use, and will be used to find you if you get in trouble on Mt. Hood.
  13. Mt Hood - SAR reports

    Yes, for those interested in the south side, it is currently in pretty advanced shape. It is not the beginner's climb that it normally is in the spring. That said, it is fun right now with great sticks through the length of the chute, which is pretty steep. This storm may change its condition. As I said there is a 15ft rime-featured step at the gates. Hoodie's photos show this stuff, including the floating school bus that gutted the chute (and almost us) with its rotor wash. I'm assuming they will reopen the mountain if they have not already. Just remember to keep some good stock photos of yourself available for the news if you go missing. This would be one of the weekends to not get lost/injured on the mountain.
  14. Mt Hood - SAR reports

    The Pearly Gates are on the south side of the mountain. It would probably have been brutal to look down into them on the day they topped out, and would be intimidating since they have not been down them before and there is currently a significant 15ft step to deal with.
  15. Mt Hood - SAR reports

    I've no idea about the elev., it was from a helicopter, but probably about 9000ft. As for the distance from top to bottom, maybe a little over 2000ft?
  16. Mt Hood - SAR reports

    And for those with questions about what is where (can be confusing):
  17. Mt Hood - SAR reports

    Here's the current coverage on the north face of Mt. Hood if anyone was interested (12/17/2006):
  18. Donations to PMR

    Don't forget Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit and Eugene Mountain Rescue, also involved in the latest search. http://cmru.peak.org/ http://www.eugenemountainrescue.org/
  19. Personal Locator From Mt. Hood Thread

    For those of you who do not want regulation, you might want to go to http://www.katu.com/ and do some damage control on that poll on the front page. Right now 95% are in favor of requiring "personal locators", whatever that means.
  20. MT Hood Continued

    For what it's worth, the final plot of Kelly James' phone location was within about 100 meters of its actual location. This was after extensive work with t-mobile over several days. Your mileage may vary.
  21. MT Hood Continued

    Nice photos Mike! Rather not add anything to this than necessary but there seems to be some confusion. For the record, the "Y" cable photo on all those news sites is just some steel cable that tied down the old summit shack (long-since destroyed). Here's the media photo (rotated for some reason): Here's the actual climber's anchor (webbing and pickets), with their steps leading to it: Two different things. Do not use this photo w/o talking to me.
  22. Marking your location with a "Y" ???

    I just saw that photo someone put in the photo gallery. If that's what you're talking about, it's almost certainly the old wire that held up the summit shack that used to be up there before it was destroyed. You encounter these wires when topping out on the n. face in certain areas.
  23. 3 Lost on Mount Hood

    park7- I believe there is a great relationship (in Portland, at least) between the PJs and the MRA team. There is mutual respect between both entities, a long history of working together through tough situations, and a strong friendship. There are PJs who are members of the MRA team. Perhaps this is unique to Portland. Of course an MRA team will have varying levels of skill and experience. Obviously in a dangerous operation like hoisting on the summit, only the most experienced and skilled will be up there. In any event, the PJs have a history here, and are a very valuable asset to mtn rescue in OR, and everyone hopes they stay around. If only they'd stop crashing helicopters! Just kidding. Have a nice day.
  24. Personal Locator From Mt. Hood Thread

    Yes. You are basically wearing a bear tracker. However if these guys had one it's not like a team is going to go charging up cooper spur in a full storm like what was experienced last week. Unfortunately with the sustained nature of that storm, a rescue was essentially impossible. However if the storm passes and you are in an invisible, unmarked snow cave, an MLU would be a good thing to have. It was only climber's intuition that found this latest cave, where someone asked where would I dig in if I was stuck here, and prodded around with an ice axe. I personally do not wear one, nor does anyone I know. There is no denying their functionality, however. On rescues on mt. hood, teams will throw one into a pack as insurance. If you are concerned about it, an MLU will serve its function. If you want to trust your abilities to get yourself out of a whiteout on mt. hood, more power to you. It's a tool that is there if you want it. A cell phone (as has been shown in dramatic fashion here) can also be valuable.
  25. 3 Lost on Mount Hood

    gslater- The first cave was to skier's left of the spur proper, heading towards the left gully. The second cave, were the climber was found, was about the same elevation but more east, on the spur, by a large rock. It was big enough for several people. The tracks leading to this cave meander over to the cliffs of n-c headwall/spider, then a hard traverse back over to cooper spur again. There do not appear to be any further tracks below these locations.