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Everything posted by DanO

  1. Trip: Whitehorse - Date: 7/30/2016 Trip Report: Don't underestimate the hike in, it is a semi bushwhack with many climber trails and different ways to go. I did not run into much devil's club though. It is a work out. Mid July, there was water at the 4000ft pool with it's campsite above, it is mud by July 30. There is a small stream of water running down the trail a ways below the now gone pool of water. It has a couple of small catch basins made out of mud, don't know how long it will last. Above Lone tree pass up high along the ridge line there is a meadow at about 5000 feet, good camping. No water there at July 30. Little water there mid July, may be good water there early July?? It is a 4 foot by 3 foot dug out mud hole made to collect water. There is water at bear lake, that should last the whole summer season, but you have to lose a lot of elevation to camp there. Most would not want to do it. After you drop down the back side of the mountain, high pass is the third major gully that looks like a pass. At July 30 there is a patch of snow about 30 feet wide 50 feet long that has nice water RIGHT before high pass (at around 5000ft). I guess it will last the summer season?? There is also a small hidden stream of water right before this patch of snow in the same area right before high pass. We found some hairy scrambling on a rock line before high pass, probably there is a better way than we went, beware of blindly following climber trails. At the ridge line at high pass there is only enough room for a single one man tent and one bivy sack and be semi comfortable. Not enough room for a two man tent, could try but very uncomfortable--if possible. Could be more spots for a few more bivy sacks, but not comfortable. There is snow to melt at high pass, could tent camp at the glacier at high pass, but not flat glacier, may want to bring a tool to make a flat spot. If you hike from high pass up the glacier about 200 yard there is water running on rocks that you may be able to get too, there is a gap between rock and snow that varies. Likely want a rope. Snow does not firm up much over night, may want some pickets, we use ski poles for pickets. Also there are some places where you can use to belay from, via between the rock and snow. Mountaineer's belay worked well. No ice on glacier where we went, we had no use for ice screws. Did not summit, went to the right of mountain and climbed a rock ridge section above the steep snow. We were climbers right of the mountain on a rock ridge. No tracks on snow to show us where to go from high pass. Camped at high pass, very enjoyable, had good weather. Bivy sack great to see stars at times in between the fog/clouds, the high light of the climb for me. I was toasty warm with a 20 degree bag in a bivy sack with all my clothes. In July through Aug+ or so, there are bugs in the cascades from 3000 ft to 5000ft or so... It can be bad or only semi bad. We had bugs but only semi bad for us. The hike in and climb is likely better early season with lots of snow. It is better to do the climb in dry conditions during summer. The likely hood of falling down and get busted up is much higher with wet rock, grass and mud. Gear Notes: Pack light no more than 35 lbs unless you want to suffer. Ice axe and crampons, if you bring rope bring some snow protection of some sort. Water is harder to find after mid July.
  2. ultralight down quilt or sleeping bag?

    I think part of the equation is how you sleep, if you naturally sleep in a position that is good for a sleeping bag then it works pretty well. If you splay out limbs and thrash some then a quilt may be better. I think on average a quilt is better for moderately warm conditions rather than the really cold. I prefer a quilt or a zipped open sleeping bag when not in really cold conditions. A bivy sack or a single man tent can help hold the drafts down on the sides when using a quilt. I have a Jacks are Better two person quilt that is made well, not sure if it is wide enough for two, no field experience yet. I suspect it will be good for summer alpine with light belay coats for the occasional draft. For cold weather I suspect we (wife and I) need another system or a another quilt in combination(two quilts laying over each other in the middle or attached together) to be warm enough for us. A lot of sleeping needs is individual specific, and how hardman you want to go for a particular trip out. Quilts seem lighter for a given temp rating by the manufacturers, I wonder if there is a lower end in temp that a quilt works well enough as compared to a sleeping bag.
  3. Less than one year old, in good condition, no rips or tears. New $210 with shipping, size of backpack is regular. Good for medium weight loads, very good design backpack for climbing. It is designed to use a sleeping pad as the back support(large sleeve for pad), very convenient for emergency bivy. However, for me the length of the backpack was too short as I have a extra long torso. Will sell for $100 cash, or best offer. A great chance to pick up a climbing backpack. I am located 1.5 hour drive north of Seattle on Interstate 5. Mount Vernon WA. Email, wretyduf@rocketmail.com Or call 360 333 3709 Website for cold cold world. http://www.coldcoldworldpacks.com/chernobyl.htm Dan
  4. Sold, thanks CC forum. Dan
  5. 2015/2016 Washington Ice Conditions

    NWAC put avy danger high thur but moderate fri, but still dumping rain and snow, I thought danger shouldn't change downward that quick if still dumping. Figured also most ice washed away. Bailed on the trip. Learned via partner 20 min later after bail the road up the pass closed due to avy danger. Another time....
  6. 2015/2016 Washington Ice Conditions

    Thinking of heading to franklin falls on Friday and or Alpintal , first time there for me . What chances for ice and is avy danger there exceptional? Thanks
  7. New Climber needs some shoe help

    If buying new the general rule is to try on all you can and then pick the best one that suits your needs. Most would be better off with summer boots for their first boots for summer mountaineering. One could go to several stores in Seattle try all the boots and then select, find out the return policy before buying. Buying online is more likely to leave u with poor fitting boots.
  8. I have not used a vest much for climbing but really like it for daly use including working outside. I like the thinner kind made of polyester with zipper pockets. I figure polyester is polyester name brand or not. I find nice fleece vests in thrift stores. Tried all kinds, prefer thin ones made of 100% polyester. If I need heavy vest for warmth I prefer insted having a jacket of some kind. In some areas of the world climbers using vests is somewhat popular. Note , when waring a back pack this negates the effectNess of the vest somewhat as the back is always covered
  9. Looking for someone to climb mid week. Moderate alpine or trad rock. Lead around 5.7 trad, a little higher with practice. Like to do some scrambles as well. Located at north cascades and Mountain Loop Highway, mount Erie, can travel some distance though. Thanks
  10. Bivy Sack as Overbag?

    I have been reading lately that a thin synthetic sleeping bag over a down sleeping bag will keep the down bag dry. I have not tried this system yet to date but sounds good. I have Salathe bivy sack, I wonder if this would do the same thing or not? I wonder if it would work well to have a down bag then synthetic overbag then a bivy sack over everything? Of course the lightest option is to have a down bag then the bivy sack. That is for total shelter. I saw one writer who said that a synthetic sleeping bag over a down sleeping bag was weather proof, I can't imagine that is true in a rain, it would have to soak through, also wet snow. I have a synthetic bivy coat, I could put that over my down sleeping bag as a sort of synthetic overbag while in the bivy sack. Is that a good option as well? Dan
  11. Bivy Sack as Overbag?

    Thanks Rob, I think even a very experienced climber doesn't really understand the differences of situations that a SAR person may get into on a trip out. So far I have not gone on very technical ground on a SAR trip. Even so you can't just pick your spot and may end up on ground that it is not easy to set up a tent. You may be with others as well and this further narrows the spots that are available. Like you say on Pugh, it is a long stretch on third class with very few good spots to camp. When you get to the injured party, most often that is where you are at, good spot to camp or not. I sort of focus on the possibility of a bivy on my trips out, even though a unplanned bivy has been rare for me so far. I think to be light is just carry the bivy sack, some extra clothes and like you say maybe a light sleeping bag. Most likely a 30 degree down bag as this is the lightest I have in my kit. As you say extended trips out in SAR are fairly rare for me so far. Of course if it is dumping rain when I start out I may opt for my synthetic half bag in my kit. I didn't mean to stir up pot when I posted, I had no idea this would have happened.
  12. Bivy Sack as Overbag?

    Just because I belong to SAR does not mean I don't walk around on earth like everyone else. I have a lot of experience but no experience with synthetic over bags used over goose down sleeping bags. Hence the question. How many here have this experience. I just wanted to hear about others experiences, etc. 99% in SAR are volunteers, unpaid, buy own personal gear, etc. My experience, done a fair amount of climbing, a average climber. Can do up to 5.8 trad these days. Can lead around WI 3 on ice. Never been lost in the mountains. Done some decent climbs, plan to do some more. SAR is always looking for good climbers and ground pounders to help out. Often enough only a few guys are all that show up on missions, especially at first. Of course sometimes many show up. Maybe someday in the future one of u posters will show up at a mission? That would be nice, welcome it, I mean that. Good Day Fin
  13. Bivy Sack as Overbag?

    Thanks for the tips. Thinking about all of them. I think it too heavy for most missions to have a overbag with a down bag. Good day.
  14. Bivy Sack as Overbag?

    In SAR, So don't have the luxury to choose a good spot to camp every time... Or when on a mountain. Trying to be light as possible. Most times don't have to bivy, but good to have that option, without the chattering shakes when it arises without excessive weight. Seems like the best option is a mountaineering bivy sack(one where you can sit on a ledge if need be), a belay coat and a super light 30 degree down sleeping bag with a pad. May throw in a synthetic overbag or a change up to a 20 degree sleeping bag with extra weight if colder and or more likely to bivy. Being a gear junky I wonder how the synthetic overbag over a down sleeping bag would work out. Thanks all Dan
  15. http://www.everytrail.com/guide/herman-saddle-ski-tour There is a little bit of top ropeable or even climbable ice on mount baker. On the way to Herman saddle along the creak bed there is a bit of ice on the right hand side. Last year I managed to get above it and set up a top rope. It is climbable on lead I think if one can get sticks as when get above the ice. It is a short single pitch of about 20ft max of ice, a couple of lines possible. As I remember it is before the very first lake on map , in the creek bed narrow gulley. I may go there again this year. Dan
  16. layers

    I personally will not risk down clothing in any potential serious survival situation. Yes down is warm and packs down small and light, it is far better to carry than synthetic in this regard but it will not insulate when wet. If one was in a dry climate then down clothing is a consideration. As for down sleeping bags that is a good choice as long as you plan to carry a good quality tent that is double wall. Down sleeping bags you are on a clock of one to a two days when damp such as a bivy sack in bad weather or a dripping snow cave or a leaky tent. So far the synthetic sleeping bags have not been warm enough for me as compared to down sleeping bags. But I have not tried the newest synthetics. In fact if one is on a budget a simple heavy polyester insulated coat with a hood is not a bad option for a over top layer if it is waterproof or made waterproof. Imagine stuck out on a mountain, raining all night without a tent you can't stay dry. You will be soaked to the bone most likely. Even with a poncho it is hard to stay dry. Wet from sweat and wet from rain. And that is one night, several days and nights then it is impossible to stay dry. In fact I have been wondering about the old school boiled wool sweaters, want to find one cheap at a thrift store to test out. Dan
  17. I have never tried to go to Strobach. Looks very interesting, wish I had a snowmobile. I am looking in the Washington Ice guidebook. It looks to me a person can get in there with skies in a "reasonable" amount of time if they are a hard man. The big advantage of skis is coming back out, going downhill. It can take as long as a mile an hour going uphill on skis or snowshoes in decent conditions. It looks like three miles uphill to the ice. To get down on skies can be 15--30 minutes to 45 minutes or so, downhill on snowshoes is around 2x faster than uphill. Snowshoes can be faster/better in woods, most often is, but skis better in more open areas. Yesterday the snow was soft,(at Alpental) even with snowshoes I was sinking up to 2 feet when off trail, breaking trail in that condition will exhaust you in a short time and you will get nowhere even with snowshoes, bring tail extensions if you have them. The larger snowshoes are better in soft conditions, mine are the normal sized older styled MSR's made of plastic. The book has no GPS coordanents for the ice climbs in strobach, I find that very helpful at alpental. It is a four hour drive for me to get there, if I lived nearby, like--with in a hour or so I would be all over the place. Good luck let us you know what you find, if serious about climbing get a early start. It is likely better to spend a trip just to figure out the area, to go in light and even to solo hike on such a trip. Check the avalanche forecast and watch the avalanche conditions while hiking. As a general rule it is fairly safe in the trees, getting less safe when going out in the open. (I know your not a newbie, I just like writing) Dan
  18. Hello, I misread the Wa state ice conditions site. On the bright side I found the location of the climbs for next time when it is actually in. There is ice there, but not that much and a lot of snow cover. Not enough to climb, at least for me, pretty thin. Thanks Dan
  19. Hello, Saw on Wa State Ice conditions web site that Alpental is in. Not sure what that means? I am interested in doing some lower level ice climbs around there this Sat. I have not been there as of yet so will have to figure it out. Any know if any of the lower level stuff around there will be available? 2 to 3 ice. Thanks Dan
  20. Trip: Mount Pugh - Standard scramble route Date: 9/15/2012 Trip Report: Great route, Rated at 3rd class and I consider this rating true in late summer conditions, as in dry with no snow. I like to try it with snow, but looks steep and hairy in places with snow. Solid class three scramble with no 5th class surprises. Lots of exposure, so is fun. In this time of year approx Sept 15th, you do not need a ice axe, no snow on route. No water past Metan lake. Metan lake can be hiked to in about hour and is a great place to camp the night before, after work on Friday etc. These two photos are of the upper mountain scrambling part. There is some scrambling on the ridge line before this part on the mountain, about a thousand feet of scrambling, on upper part. Looks more scary than it actually is once your in it. I would be cautious to go in snow, ice or wet rock conditions, it is a solid scramble soloing with dry rock. http://cascadeclimbers.com/plab/uploads/2797/Upper_part_pugh.JPG Gear Notes: If going in late summer, most likely no snow, so do not need a ice axe or mountaineering boots. Plan on no water past Metan lake during fall or late summer. Hiking poles are nice, can ditch them on the upper part when scrambling. Approach Notes: Need northwest forest pass.
  21. Mt Pugh

    I wonder how is it to climb this time of year, anyone been up yet? Should I wait a little longer for snow to settle down? Dan
  22. Mt Pugh

    Partner wants to give it another week, may try it out the weekend after this one. Thanks Dan
  23. weather/climbing question

    I wish all the best for the climbers and searchers, almost any mountain is king in bad weather, sometimes we can forget that to climb ANY mountain is by the grace of good enough weather and/or conditions. (Always carry snowshoes or skis in winter even if you don't need them in current conditions/route. If you get dumped on with snow during the climb, then your stuck, also other sections of mountain may be full of soft snow, with many feet of soft snow it simple impossible to move very far)
  24. Can I dig a snow cave with those plastic boards?

    I have a plastic snow claw and it weighs next to nothing at 6ozs. It works pretty good under the camp stove to keep it out of the snow, works decent to level a spot for a tent. It is a item to consider if your thinking of bringing no snow shovel as it is better than nothing and works really well in softer snow. But if you really need to dig you will wish you had a good sturdy snow shovel. I personally bring the snow claw for any trip that I don't think I need a snow shovel, but will be up in the snow, as a compromise to save weight and bulk. Snow claw will have a really hard time on icy snow, but you can chip away at it, same for shovel but metal shovel is better.
  25. FYI: Snowshoer missing on Rainier

    Many people have the idea of digging a snow hole and climbing in for survival, but often once you dig it your soaking wet and then spend a freezing night. It is warmer than the outside air, but your still very cold, may not survive, especially if more than one night. Climbers and hikers often have no concept of primitive camping skills, it is not in the "cool" climbing and hiking books and it is not practiced. Why? Primitive camping is destructive to the environment so it is not practical to use in a on going basis and modern equipment has left primitive camping skills behind in time. But, for emergency usage modified primitive camping skills can save many lives. Basically you need fire starter, a lighter with man made tinder is the most practical and some kind of tool to work up the wood to make tinder. The tool can be a small knife or a bigger knife,a hatchet or a small machete etc. The most important thing is practice and skill, in building a fire. Knowing how to find dry fire wood or making dry fire wood when everything is wet. Then after this basic skill you can think of fire beds, shelter construction, how much wood to gather for a night and so on. To build these skills takes some time, effort and practice. My basic and very light kit if I pretty much know I can get to the tree line is this. Some sort of pot to melt snow in, I may carry a small canister stove and a single gas bottle in it. I also carry a very thin sheet of plastic, painter's plastic is super thin super lightweight 9' by 12'. You make the frame work of a tent structure or lean to with sticks that you pick up off the ground and then cover with plastic, many different ways to do this, depending if you can get a good fire going or not. Then of course you have two lighters, carry at least two just in case one breaks and this happens often enough. A bic or dejeep lighter is a lot better than matches as you can light thousands of fires with a well cared for high quality lighter(the cheaper junky lighters break more often). Even if you have one of those fancy survival lighters, carry a back up disposable lighter. Good tinder is important. Simple good tinder is cotton with a dab of Vaseline in it, a small bunch of it in a container. The weight of all my gear for a unexpected night out including a belay coat is 5 pounds at the most. Swiss army knife 12oz or small machette, about 1.2lb, lighters and tinder about 8oz at the most. Sheet of thin painter's plastic about a pound. A titanium pot is about 4oz, canister stove can be carried or not, I may throw in a snow claw or snow shovel, all depends how far and now long above tree line, above tree line has only a snow cave option for a night out. If you have a partner then the gear for a emergency primitive camping overnight is easy to divide up in two and weight for each will be very small. For instance, I let my wife carry a nice sized snow shovel for group gear on our day trips, I carry pretty much everything else in group gear, she may have a little fire starter also. To be practical, when in trouble. You move down toward tree line and look at several trees and find the best spot in area. If lucky, you will find plenty of good dry fire wood and able to work it up with the tool you have(rule of thumb, want standing dead wood,or dead limbs dryish sticking out from tree--small enough to work up. Want about arm thickness, if too thick then to hard to work up,if too thin then maybe wet to center of wood, working it up means splitting it up down into the center dry wood. You also cut off the outside skin layer to remove this wet layer. When get a fire going good you can dry this wood out with the fire but at first you need work up the wood to get dead dry fire wood, a real skill and it takes work to get a fire going, with really wet wood, a good tool is necessary, such as a small machete). Gather about 10 full arm fulls of wood, rough estimate is one large armful per hour of night. If on snow build a bark platform for fire to burn on, better though to get fire on the ground if you can find it. Then build a basic lean two wood structure in front of your fire. Make fire about 3 feet away from shelter. Make shelter very small, just big enough to get into. Small shelters are warmer and more easy to build. Cover shelter with plastic, trying to be careful not to rip up. The plastic is a use and throw away item. If you can try to extend plastic all over shelter and over front of shelter. Build fire, then in use, the infrared radiation from the fire will penetrate the plastic and warm the inside of the shelter. Build a smallish fire. Build a reflector on the back of fire using firewood you gathered. Use fire to melt water in your pot. Use boughs to make bedding shelter, figure about 4 to 8 inches of bedding, the more the better. One inch of boughs is about a R factor of 1 per inch, you need a minim of R-4 for ground insulation, you can start off with small logs and put on boughs on top of this well, to get insulation and softness. When building the lean too, the best fastest way is to make wood frame, cover with a little boughs and then cover with foot or so of snow, up to three feet. If have a shovel this will go fairly fast, but make it sturdy, it may collapse with weight. In this kind of construction you do not need to have the plastic if not raining, but it will make more dry if raining, and of course covering the front with plastic will make it much warmer. So with a few pounds of gear and skill, you can turn a night outside out into a primitive camping trip. As you can understand such camping can't be done all the time as it is too destructive to the environment especially in well used areas, even if we wanted to. If I was carrying overnight gear, I would greatly cut down primitive camping gear that I would carry for a emergency night out. A lighter knife or no knife, may leave plastic sheeting behind and so on. To go bare bones, you could just carry two lighters and plenty of tinder, but if everything frozen wet you will have little chance to build a fire in the cascades and this happens often enough. REALLY need a bigger tool to have a chance to work up the fire wood. If nothing else trying to get a shelter and fire going will keep you warm moving around all night. As a practical matter figure about 6 hours of work building a shelter, gathering wood, making fire, melting water and so on. That seems excessive but that is what I have found to be true, to make a good shelter and fire, it takes a long time. I would only do it if no other choice, rather would walk out, can walk a long way in 6 hours if you know where your going. Oh yes, I forgot you should have a good head lamp as this work will most likely be done in the dark. The amount of time it takes to build shelter and fire depends a lot on good location selection, so I would try to look at 3 to 6 likely spots and pick the best one, often your in area with no good places for fire and shelter and you move on for a few hundred yards and find a great spot(most often under the biggest evergreen trees, usually if I check several of these one spot will be the best, have the most wood and/or the best natural shelter under evergreen limbs of big trees). Another reason should try to practice these skills some or at least think on them. Dan