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About robertjoy

  • Birthday 05/30/1950


  • Location
    Portland, OR

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Gumby (1/14)



  1. See this section regarding Restrictions on the Boundary Trail. No Dogs Allowed! https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/giffordpinchot/recreation/recarea/?recid=70784&actid=51
  2. People climb it year round... but, You correctly identified the "prime season" for climbing Mt Hood. Climbing in winter is very dependent on weather, and if you do not live in the area, it is pretty impractical to choose your climb date a month in advance to get days off work and reserve a plane flight from Colorado. Many non-locals have died in winter because they have "over-invested" and misjudge the danger factors on the day of their summit attempt. Summer is much less dangerous, but some of more interesting routes are not doable after the "season" is finished. And the "volcanic rubble" is off-putting to some.
  3. I thought snow levels were 6% of normal... I can't see much scree there at all!
  4. For a first pair of crampons I would strongly suggest steel rather than aluminum. There are many situations where aluminum crampons are not so good, but if they are all you have, you will wear down the points, be too lazy to re-sharpen, and regret trading functional flexibility for such a tiny weight reduction. The only down side to steel is about 7oz (200g) of extra weight. I like my BD Contact Strap at 808g. and the Grivels at 900g are pretty comparable. Grivel aluminum crampons are about 600g.
  5. Washington is packed with wonderful 'easy' peaks, but you have never climbed ANY mountain? Fitness level is not a qualifier, and 'lifelong dream' is not qualifier. If Mt Rainier were a serious goal, you would have at least read FREEDOM OF THE HILLS, and climbed at least five 'easy' peaks. How about climbing Mt Ellinor in April, on snow, as a substitute for glacier experience? If you want a shortcut to the summit, a guide service is the way to go.
  6. I used a similar pair when I started. The old style traps are a real pain to put on or off, especially on steep terrain or blizzard conditions. After trying many styles over the years, I have finally settled on the Black Diamond Contact Strap, which is very light, easily adjustable without tools, quick to put on, and durable enough as it is made of stainless steel. I just check on ebay, 'new' only $70. These are the best for all-round use.
  7. For heel blisters I use Band-Aid blister cushions, using benzoin to prep the area. For other areas I use Leukotape (sticks well and does not foul up those $20 Merino socks). Fitting boots is very personal. I fit my mid-weight leather mountaineering boots rather snug, and wear only one pair of relatively thin wool socks. For winter conditions I wear plastic boots which have room for very thick socks. http://www.amazon.com/Band-Aid-Adhesive-Bandages-Multi-Day-Protection/dp/B005CPGN1S/ref=pd_sim_hpc_4
  8. I am 5'9", and my solo tent is the Sierra Designs LightYear 1, at 3lbs. Less condensation than a single wall, much cheaper.
  9. To address the question of rechargeable Lithium batteries. For several years I have been using Sanyo ENELOOP rechargeable NiMH batteries in my headlamps, and GPS. They are incredible, and, like Lithium, are resistant to losing power in low temps. They come in AA or AAA size, and also in two power/lifetime versions. http://www.eneloop.info/eneloop-products/eneloop-batteries/eneloop.html
  10. In general, I would never carry gear on my harness loops if I were carrying a pack larger than a super-small (class 5) summit pack. My regular alpine summit pack (37liters) has a padded waist belt, so I choose to "rack" my gear from a runner looped diagonal around my neck and over one shoulder. I find that in a situation such as a crevasse fall/rescue, it can be very awkward to unclip gear from a harness.
  11. Climbing and leading for 15 years. I use the SMC "half-tube" snow stakes. I take enough to handle the entire stake-out, and do not rely on finding convenient rock, or logs at the bivy site. I do not bury my trekking poles or use snow pickets. (How can you go to the summit and leave your pickets behind?) Tech Tip: each snow stake has its own attached cord to use for girth hitching to the tent attachment points. I use ~2mm accessory cord. 30" length, threaded thru the two middle holes of the stake and tied into a loop with a double fisherman knot. This makes the stake easy to attach, easy to bury deep. Wind can come up when you are enroute to the summit, so it is prudent to stake your tent very securely.
  12. Your hard shell will be worn when you are climbing in the COLD, and also when you are cooking a meal and the wind chill is at ZERO DEGREES. As others have mentioned, your shell should fit easily over ALL of your insulation layers. For me, my layers in winter may include my DAS sythetic parka, a well as my polarguar vest. This means my shell fits loose when I am actually climbing. As I sweat a lot, I often climb in wearing my soft shell jacket, but I have never had a problem with the "loose" fit of my shell.
  13. Winterize your GU! A few ounces of GU is a lifesaver when the temp is so cold you can't bear to choke down a bagel, or even take off your gloves. I make homemade "GU" with a blend of brown rice syrup and agave nectar. For winter use I add about 15% vodka so that even at 20degrees, the GU will flow thru the snap-top of the 4oz plastic squeeze flask.
  14. In an emergency you may need to dig a small snow cave or trench shelter. In the Northwest our snow pack is OFTEN very hard, with icy layers. In my experience teaching snow cave classes for many years, anything less than a metal shovel is quite likely to be insufficient to move the snow. This means that the "lightweight" plastic snow shovel is also not able to handle icy layers. When you are compelled to bivy above the treeline, it is dark, 20degrees, wind 30mph, you will rely on safety equipment which is effective. These ultra-lightweight options may be effective in Rocky Mountain powder, but around here they are most often useless.
  15. I own both stoves. I purchased the REACTOR for two reasons: 1. greater wind resistance which can be VERY important when cooking high above treeline, and 2. the larger capacity is necessary for efficient snow-melting. I actually use the Reactor on only two or three climbs per year (for melting snow). Melting snow for a party of TWO could be very time consuming using the SOL, especially if windy. If, like me, you need to melt snow only a few time per year, I would suggest you get the SOL plus a good windscreen, and have your climbing partner bring his own stove setup if snow melting will be required.
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