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Everything posted by DanO

  1. Down Verses Synthetic

    I did a little search, when the crap hits the fan. http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/magazine/goat_hunt_from_hell.htm
  2. Down Verses Synthetic

    I did a little search, when the crap hits the fan. http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=2026
  3. Down Verses Synthetic

    Rarely out more than one night in winter. Generally I wake up & bag is fine. Stuff it, get home, bag is a hopelessly wet mess, condensation from the night having become thoroughly distributed through stuffing process. I am considering trying a Primaloft sleeping bag in the future, when I can afford it. I really like Primaloft in clothing gear.
  4. Down Verses Synthetic

    I wonder how many people buy the down gear and even know how careful you should be with down clothing in rainy weather, or wet falling snow, etc. The goose down clothing is nice and light and stuffs easy in your back pack,, it sucks you in..... I have tried the polyguard 3d insulated sleeping bags and found them too bulky and cold and heavy as compared to down. With a Down bag the key in rainy weather is to have a good quality shelter, a slightly larger than needed shelter is nice, to keep all clothing and gear and sleeping bag etc off of shelter walls, also I think doubled walled tent better than single walled. I myself would not use down insulated clothing unless it is assured to be a dry cold condition. I do use a down insulated sleeping bag and carry good quality shelter. Not hiking or climbing but.. My Dad a construction worker in heavy construction projects said Goose down will get you killed, good enough for me. Nothing like being under a ice cold drip working all day to get that education. Dan
  5. Trip: Bald Mountain, locals call it Haystack. - In Walker Valley Area. Date: 7/26/2010 Trip Report: Off of Lake Cavanaugh road, there is a little round mountain called Bald Mountain, it has a 1000 foot wall on one side. Decided to make a attempt to climb it last Sat. On Lake Cavanaugh road as your going south, the first road left after Bear Creek. You can pull in and find a gate, the gate can be locked or unlocked, locals go in all the time by car, but you may get locked in. Then Bike in or hike in, on the roads, bikes are better. You also can drive in if the gate is unlocked, but close it behind you. Go straight and the first road fork you go left, toward bald mountain you can see it in the distance. Keep going and I think take the next fork left, this is at a clearing where they have something like a clear cut and some old rusty big pipes on the right-at the clear cut. Then at next road to the right, you go right here and It is obvious as you can see the mountain face on the right of your position. When close to the mountain face at a creek you can go right along the face of the mountain moving left to right or you can go left on a road up, off to the left side of the mountain face. This road switch backs up the left side of the mountain. Up high you can see a old road to the right and there you can find a trail that goes up the back side of the mountain and at a high point there is a register. Not a bad day trip. If you go right on the road along the bottom face of the mountain you will come to a opening that has a Talus field that goes to the foot of a rock wall that looks to be about 500 feet. This is a rock face step up a first part of the mountain, this was our objective then to wander up to the top and down the back side then the road eventually to bikes, that was the plan. Here, my Girlfriend and I made our attempt on this last Sat. It was really hot, I suppose around a 90 to 100 degrees on the wall. I had thought it would be 4th class or so, but when I got to the first pitch it was 5th class. Hard to gauge the rating as it was covered up with moss, lichen and small plants will billions of little thorns. I thought to go for it thinking it will let off in a pitch or two. We had two lightweight glacier ropes, 30 meters each that I use as double ropes. This made my pitches short and in retrospect I should have had longer ropes. I had to dig in to find most every protection placement and for anchors, for foot holds. It was a struggle all the way to climb and to place gear and the fauna was chewing me up for every foot up, a rain of dirt and fauna on my partner I as dug my up as much climbed. More than once I had crappy pro and crappy anchors for belay. Ran out of water on pitch three and luckily, there is a bunch of trees on the right in a gully we escaped after pitch four and went down the gully to the bikes. I was beat, need more water and to be in better shape. The climbing would be fairly easy on clean rock and easy to find pro, as it was fairly scary and hard. I would call that climb as "Dirty Surprise" , but did not complete it. I figure we made it up the whole face a little over a 1/3rd of the way and over half of the way on the that first rock face "step". If any attempt it, let me know how it went. I think I may go back and go up the most easy way through the trees in the gully on the right and see what is higher up. Our route was about 1/3rd LEFT of the way over on the rock section (1/3rd left of the junction between rock face and tree gully on the right). And we went about 1/2 way up first rock step and escaped to the right. First photo is rock face, Second photo is us at the end of fourth pitch, third photo is some of our battle wounds. Dan and Machelle.
  6. In the right area this face would be a wonderful crag to develop, it would take effort from several people to do all the cleaning. I will go back time to time as I live about 20 min drive now from the parking spot that I go to. Dan
  7. http://cgi.ebay.com/US-Army-Wild-Thing-Alpine-Half-Sleeping-Bag-Unissued-/220369010375?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item334f043ec7 Just a heads up, I picked up a couple of these to try out, good quality, made in the USA , primaloft insulation and with epic shell fabric. It is rated at 30 degrees and a little heavy for rating and size, but a good deal for price. I would carry it without a bivy sack in projected good weather or above the rain line, etc. Match this with a belay jacket it would not be a bad outfit to carry on summit bids and for summer alpine camping. Women and shorter guys may be able to get inside the half bag totally. A good deal if on a budget and want to try this out. I have not tried it out yet but expect to work well for what it is rated at and intended for. Not as light as down, but also won't collapse when wet. Dan
  8. Nice inexpensive half bag on ebay.

    Ok, Got mine out and tape measure, got inside it with bare feet, laid on my back with feet sticking up in normal laying down on back position. The inside of the half bag is exactly 53 inches. I am 5 foot 10 tall and the bag came in 2-3 inches below my arm pits. This should allow for a decent overlap with a belay jacket. I plan to try this out this summer. Dan
  9. Nice inexpensive half bag on ebay.

    My projected use is sleep in a tent and then carry it up with me if I thought I may need it on the trip to the summit. Or if in good weather can carry this without a bivy sack or tent and be able to bivy on a climb. Epic fabric is not totally water proof from what I understand, but really water resistant and breathable, almost water proof. Depends on the type of tent on how warm you can be. A really warm type of four season tent can increase the temperature range and you can carry jacket and half bag to summit if you desire. Snow caves/trenches are usually no warmer than 30 degrees so this is a decent rating if in a snow cave. Dan
  10. Nice inexpensive half bag on ebay.

    By the way if you are on a budget you can pick up a fairly good hooded coat cheap at a thrift store, ebay, or other stores. The high buck belay jackets are great, but are expensive. I have a good heavy puffy jacket that I picked up years ago for 15 bucks which is super cheap, it has regular polyester insulation in it and weighs about 3lbs 3 ounces, (Super puffy warm coat). I will use it until I can upgrade later on. Watching for deals. The regular hooded coats don't compress down as small, are more heavy on average(most likely about pound more heavy) but can work. I prefer synthetic insulation over down myself. Get a fisherman scale to check the real weight of the jacket. Then you got a combo for summer alpine maybe for less than a hundred bucks. Half bag and Belay Jacket. The weight hit is not as bad as it seems as you don't carry the extra layers of clothing as you normally do. You just have on the light stuff when hiking in etc and use the belay coat to throw on top when cold or stopping or at camp etc. Dan
  11. Rainier without a guide

    Try to find a more experienced climber to show you the ropes if you can, Read every thing you can find on how to climb and climbing stories. Read the trip reports, look at what other climbers are wearing. Go only in good weather forecasts, the mountain, ANY mountain is king in bad weather. You must do the alpine start, this is up and going by 2am at least on most big mountains on summit day. The reason being is firm snow is safe snow and cold snow and ice means less stuff falling on your head, this gives you plenty of extra daylight time and time to get down before the snow gets super soft and things start to fall on your head. Start out small, do lesser mountains, get a partner. First day out or trip out a new person should not climb a mountain look at what the guide services do. They teach the clients how to tie together, to walk on steeper ice using french technique, How to extract out of a crevase, do you have a set of prussiks yet in order to self extract out of a cravase? have your practice this skill yet? Have you got on a steep snow hill with a safe run out and practice self arrest? You can self arrest with a ice axe, with a ski pole(place the pole in a arm pit and roll your weight on it) and with your hands and body alone, cup your hands at your face , dig in elbows and toes. Should practice all three ways of self arrest from all types of fall down positions and should be able to run and jump into a slide and then go into a self arrest. Be careful on any Glassade, no crampons and the way to stop is to roll on your belly and go into self arrest if you can't slow down other wise. (The cute dig the shaft of the ice axe photo does not work if you really get going.) Understand, two big dangers of snow. One is steep ice, the other is snow melted out to consistency of a soft ice slerpy. On ice it is hard to get your ice axe pick and front crampon toes in to the ice fast enough, the key is to act quick to self arrest. In soft slerpy snow, the key is to act quickly and get your toes in hard and fast. Best to keep your shaft end of your ice axe in deep at all times in any steep or questionable snow, this is your first self belay. On the rope team, most experienced person in front going up, in the rear going down. Why? If going up the lead guy falls and slides past the guy past him, most likely, both will fall. If going down the rear guy falls the guy in front most certainly can't hold them. Sometimes solo is better than being roped up, but on a glacier or placing pro you rope up. A lot of people feel better roped up, but it can be a false sense of security. You want the strongest person in the position of where they can't afford to fall and who is good at quick self arrest. (Keep no slack in the rope between climbers.) Start small and build up, there are countless climbs fun to do, books in the climbing shops. Dan
  12. [TR] Mt. Stuart - Stuart Glacier Couloir 5/1/2010

    After a little thought, a few more things about using a hole in the rock to melt water. Your looking for a hole that will make a little pool of water, the hole made of pure rock, most any size hole will work. Clean out your hole using snow or whatever before usage. Then pack with snow or ice, then put in clean heated rocks into that, as clean as you can with a rock out of a fire. Use rocks that are dry to heat up as wet rocks can blow up from internal water turning to steam. You can use two sticks to move rocks,a metal snow shovel would be great or anything else that may work, synthetic gloves or mitts most likely will melt if used. You most likely know all of this stuff, I posted for everyone. Dan
  13. [TR] Mt. Stuart - Stuart Glacier Couloir 5/1/2010

    I have a little metal water bottle that I could use to melt water into if I bring it on trips, or one could bring a metal Ti cup for making water, of course depends on being able to get to tree line and finding or making dry wood for fire. Other than this a common way to make water is to use hole in a rock, pack snow into it and put heated rocks into that, will make a pool of melted snow water, you can also cook bugs and stuff inside that. Another trick but may damage your shell clothing is pack snow into a shell jacket and put a rock in there then put a heated rock on top of that rock to melt snow into water using your jacket or helmet etc as a water holder. I am into the survival stuff as a extra hobby. Dan
  14. [TR] Mt. Stuart - Stuart Glacier Couloir 5/1/2010

    Did you guys make water using the fire? Just curious. Dan
  15. Close Call!!

    I have not tried it on black diamond ski runs, so I don't know how it work in that steep of angle. It is more useful if your moving slow and slip and then go into self arrest position. It is just another skill in your tool box, if I was going to ski on a really steep hill. I would certainly practice it and try to figure out the limits of this self arrest method. I have also read where the whippet style of handles for self arrest have their limitations. I have went out and ran down a steep section jumped and landed and then moved into self arrest position with the ski pole in my arm pit, pretty steep hill, I would think in black diamond range of steepness, but not sure. It worked for me, it won't work for ice or really hard crusty snow. Carefully note this, this method allows you to use your ski edges to dig in as your digging in with your ski pole. I can't imagine that being as easy with a ice axe or whippet tools, right??????? If you get a chance try it out. Many people stow the ice axe and use ski poles a lot and this skill can be helpful, as in save your butt. One climber I know carries a ski pole in one hand and a ice axe in the other in mixed terrain, that seems to work pretty well for hiking. Dan
  16. I am just wondering what other guys do for cascades wet weather situations. Like for if your caught out for several days in the rain? Primaloft sleeping bags? I know about synthetics and merino wools and so on, but what works best to get dried out quickly? Wool is warm wet, but dries slowly. Hard shells may protect from weather for awhile, but after a few hours you most likely get wet and then it is harder to dry out than the more breathable shells? I like the idea of the buffalo system, but seems expensive to me to just try out, of course all high end gear is expensive. The full on climbing shirt may too warm for most of the season in the cascades. http://www.buffalosystems.co.uk/Products_main.htm I am wondering if any have a system to get dry or do you just get wet and suffer on? Any try the nikwax products with success? Maybe on wool? Dan
  17. I hear you guys and understand exactly and agree, but find it interesting that in the UK they often intend to go out and climb in wet conditions. http://www.scotclimb.org.uk/intherain.shtml I find the buffalo system interesting, as it is made to be in the wet environment and deals with it pretty well. http://www.buffalosystems.co.uk/Buffalo_Your_Stories.htm I got a lot of new good information from everyone. Thanks Dan
  18. Close Call!!

    I have been wanting to get into back country skiing, plan to in the future and though I will never ski at this level I learned a lot from this, thanks. Dan
  19. Close Call!!

    700 meters? Wow.
  20. Paul Bailey accident

    I send a little prayer now and then for his eyes to see again. I myself from reading this accident determine again to pick the routes that I can place a lot of good pro, at least when cragging. Also, it is my habit to always wear a helmet and chest harness while on lead, I also try to practice down climbing every day I am on top rope. The advantage of the chest harness that hopefully you will stay upright so your legs take the impact. I am reminded to push myself, but in a way that I can look for climbs that will take plenty of protection on lead. Of course in alpine you may not have that option, but hopefully in locations with less pro, it will have a lower climbing grade. Always some risk in climbing, Pulling for you Paul.
  21. Here is a situation, even if your fairly dry on the inside, your shell gear is(could be) totally soaked, You can take it off and lay it aside when settled into camp. But it stays wet all night may even freeze if it gets cold enough, this kind of thing happens to all of us. Or you can wear it inside of your sleeping bag and try to dry it out overnight. Not a pleasant thought in itself. So you have two unpleasant options. It would be nice to have inexpensive gear that you could dry out by evaporation by moving round or inside a sleeping bag. This is the way Buffalo gear seems to be designed to work, but I have zero experience with it. A little expensive for me to experiment with it, so thinking of alternatives. I have a Marmot hard shell jacket that is nice it is of the older design and has a lot of fabric on the inside that if wet would be a total bear to dry inside a sleeping bag I suspect. Maybe treating everything with waterproof wash would help greatly. Dan
  22. I guess my experience is different I usually get mostly wet after a few hours of hard rain even with a hard shell. From sweating and from the rain, it slowly seeps in everywhere. I pretty much assumed this is a common experience? Wet snow and rain is a tough combination as well. A hard shell or soft shell does not really breath if the outer skin is coated with water. I do find that pit zips help and having plenty of air moving around helps. I guess it depends on conditions, a mild rain is not so hard to deal with and you can stay relatively dry in this situation. Wool is a tough one to figure out, it does dry slowly compared to many synthetics, but it is recommended for wet situations(old school?). Drying slower can help as it won't chill you as much as polyester fabric from rapid drying(rare problem), but it also is much harder to dry out inside your sleeping bag, wool socks and gloves almost impossible to dry out overnight. I am wondering how wool would do once treated with a waterproof wash, if that would make it much better or not? I have not seen any information on this. I have and like Merino wool, a super thin merino wool base layer does not seem harmful, but the wool gloves and socks that I have need to be treated or replaced. I also have a few more heavy Merino wool Sweaters that I carry from time to time, I guess I can treat or replace, I already have polyester fleece zipper shirts. Also a few of those polypropylene military shirts. Dan
  23. Thanks for the replies this helps a lot. It seems that your going to get wet no matter what and the best you can do is manage that condition stay warm and get dried out if you can in camp or when the rain stops. I don't really plan to climb in wet weather, but would like to have the kit for it if needed, also I am part of SAR. Dan
  24. http://www.psychovertical.com/?thebestsoftshell I found this article.
  25. Glacier Glasses or Sunglasses

    A cheaper pair of glacier glasses is number 5 welding lenses on a pair of construction sun glass frames. You can find these in welding shops. Works Ok, but don't know about many days on the mountain on the longer trips. Dan