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Posts posted by rollo

  1. Trip: ONP - Valhallas-Athena-Olympus


    Date: 7/6/2008


    Trip Report:

    So, I had 5 days to burn, and my friend Luke and I decided to climb Olympus via the Valhallas traverse (via the route in the oly climbers guide). We left the south fork trailhead at 2pm (due to getting a bit misdirected on the drive). We hiked the trail and started the shwack. I do believe the worst part of the entire shwack was the first 100-200 yards or so. After that, we followed game trails and the riverbed and I only lost a pint of blood or so. Camped about 4-5 miles in (about 1/2 way to Valkyrie cr.).


    Day2: Finished the shwack to Valkyrie cr, and decided to differ from the guide. We hiked the boulders to the right of the creek, and then crossed the creek below a cliff and climbed next to a landslide and steep forest to the left of the creek, traversing, climbing and shwacking through some rough terrain. At about 3500 ft, we traversed out of the forest onto the snowfield that covered the creek, and camped just below the baldur-frigga col.


    Day3: Climbed into the Valkyries and traversed at about 5200' the entire way along the ridge. Saw several bears and some goats. Views of Olympus and Mt. Tom were amazing. Differed from the guidebook again, and instead of descending to the Hubert glacier terminus, we climbed up, and gained some snowfields further up the side of Athena. Traversed over to a notch and did a short 3rd class pitch and camped just below the ridge of the Hoh glacier at about 7k. One of the best campsites I've ever had.


    Black bear checking us out.


    The upper Hubert Glacier.


    Day4: Summited Athena (quick scramble), and walked over and crossed the ridge below middle peak (had to rap into the moat and climb out). Then walked over and joined the regular crystal pass Olympus route and summited around 2pm. Conditions were great. Descended to Elk Lake campsite.

    Day5: Out the Hoh trail and much thanks to Dan for the ride over to our car.

    The wildlife, remoteness, perfect weather, routefinding, new scenery every day, a great partner, some luck, great snow levels, etc made this trip better each day. I've had trips where everything went totally wrong, but this was the dream trip. My feet and body are toasted now, but what a great time, and an awesome way to summit Olympus.


    Olympus from the South Side, yo.


    Gear Notes:

    30m rope, ice axe, crampons, snow pro


    Approach Notes:

    The 9 mile shwack in wasn't that bad. The shwack up valkyrie creek to the snowfield was.

  2. I couldn't find anyone for constance, so I decided to hike up Mt. Stone instead. Perfect weather, and not much snow, but where there was snow it was consolidated and very hard (even the south facing stuff). Bring your 'poons. Have fun.

  3. Surprising amount of scrutiny. I wrote the TR because I like reading TR's occasionally on this site and have hooked up with some good climbing partners here, and thought I'd contribute something back. As for the TR, I wrote it more to be an entertaining yarn of how we made some mistakes and paid for them. The 20/15 hindsight kicked in pretty quickly afterward. My partners and I learned alot from this trip and likely won't make the same mistakes twice, unless we go insane. Then we probably would.

    And rest assured, I'm not breeding. Kids scare me. Small hands and what not.

  4. Climb: Dragontail-Serpentine Arete


    Date of Climb: 9/8/2004


    Trip Report:

    4 other friends and I headed up to Colchuk/enchantments for a relaxing 5 days of fishing, climbing, and not working. I'd never been into Colchuk lake before, and was in awe at the size of Dragontail, and excited/scared to tackle our main objective: the serpentine arete. After a rainbow trout dinner tuesday night, a gang of 4 of us (2 rope teams) headed up the moraine to the base of the climb, and were on route by 9am. Plenty of time. Shya. We did hear another team over on the backbone, which turned out to be some fellow CC.comers, though we didn't know it, and didn't really see them for the rest of the day. Anyway, upward we went, until we came to the 5.8ish hand crack which gave us all a bit of trouble, but no falls. And the dihedral that followed was nothing but fun. The route then got a bit monotonous with a lot of scrambling (which we should have simuled, but didn't) and ended up on the last pitch in changing weather at about 7:30pm. Mist covered rock and a funky offwidth resulted in much groveling to get to the base of the last dihedral, which put us on top at about 8pm. Ruh roh raggy. Oh, and we had no damn idea how to get down, other than "its a walk off". We forged around with headlamps for awhile, but the dreaded realization of an open bivvy was upon us. Fortunately, we had no bivy gear or warm clothing to help us through the night, which was becoming increasingly moist and windy. We were able to spot several previously built up sites though, which offered poor protection from the wind and mist/hail. We split up into 2 sets of 2 guys and suffered through a looooong night with minimal sleep, spastic shivering and completely numb toes (they are still numb as I write this, actually. This can't be good.) In the morning we awoke (awoke? OK, sat upright) in the middle of a cloud, and forged around looking for a way off of the rock. The cloud started to clear a bit, and we could see a snow/icefield that led across to a boulderfield back down to asgard pass. Rock on! An escape! Uhhhh, were we supposed to bring crampons? Now confronted with about 800' of icefield with a nasty runout and all of us wearing sneakers or sandals, this didn't seem so easy. We considered belaying somebody down from the moat at the top of the icefield and letting them claw and scamper over to the boulder field. I thought to myself: " wonder who the poor bastard that has to go first is?" Why not the biggest guy? uhhh...guess that's me. I had spotted some rappel slings earlier, up on the cliff face just below the boulders that we bivvy'd in. I quickly became the main proponent for the rap-method of escape, after I assessed the amount of clawing in the middle of an icefield in sandals I would be doing. Long story short, we rapped down to the boulders, hiked down asgard pass and collapsed in our tents for some much needed sleep. The rest of the vacation was spent exploring balanced rock and fishing, and reflecting on what we would do differently next time. And undoubtedly, there will be a next time. My final Jerry Springer thought: it was a great vacation with all of the wild experiences that come with alpine climbing that make you really appreciate life and the simple pleasures you usually take for granted.


    Gear Notes:

    A Rack. Be sure not to bring bivy gear or warm clothes in case you get benighted. There's nothing quite like not feeling your toes 5 days after a climb. Oh, and you won't need a descent description either. "It's a walk off".


    Approach Notes:

    EZ. Icefield complicates descent if you don't have poons. You can rap off of the summit cliff to the boulder field below.

  5. I just made the switch from running to cycling due to an ankle that won't run much anymore after a climbing fall. The jury's still out: road biking is more fun than I thought it would be, but you do need to ride longer to get an equivalent workout to running. Cardio and overall fitness is improving fairly quickly, tho.

  6. I've got the BD lighthouse, seam sealed, and it seems to be pretty waterproof. I used it for 12 hours during a solid olympics drizzle/rainfest and the only moisture in the tent was from condensation. No worse than I've experienced in other single wall tents. The weight savings (not to mention its cheaper than bibler stuff) made it well worth it for me.

  7. one more vote for Scranton. He reconstructed my ankle after a climbing fall, and definetly gave me alot more options than any other orthopede I went too. The jury is still out on how well its gonna work, though. I'm still looking for a good PT for ankles in the Tacoma area. Anyone?? Maybe i'll start a new thread.....