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Everything posted by DanO

  1. Choosing your Partners wisely

    Rescue can be quick with a helicopter in good weather or very slow in bad weather, like days, waiting for a weather window or a team moving in by foot. In general you should not climb anything that you can't backtrack in bad weather. Even slightly injured you should be able to backtrack. Rescue teams are human too and helicopters must have at least fair weather. The community should have the mentality of using a Spot device or something like it, only as a back up for the worse case kind of accident and otherwise have the mentality of being totally self reliant determining your abilities AND your partner's. If you pick up a new partner be sure you are on a route that you both can handle up and back down.
  2. Good beginner solo climbs?

    Some of this depends on how you define a "beginner"? Some people have a higher natural ability than others. A person who is a natural in climbing and thin, with woods experience is not a bare bones beginner. That is a totally different than a novice from a city environment. Every hiked with a city girl? They walked on a smooth flat surface all their lives, no experience of being on a uneven surface, much less a rock face. Except for a city park , never been in the woods. Starting out, it can take time for many. Compare that beginner with a person in the woods from a early age and scrambling up and down hills and so on. There is a difference. After a start the beginner will figure out their level. To be cautious on class 3 and 4 is a good idea, the risk is real, not everyone has a desire to take that risk, it is a personal choice and the rope can make it more dangerous. The summit is optional, going home is not. Good Day. Dan
  3. Good beginner solo climbs?

    I would be cautious with class four and even on class three, often there are few class four moves on a class three route. I have decided in the future to always carry a 120ft rope for my wife for such ratings for just in case for my wife. No harnesses or gear, just the rope, you can loop the rope around the legs and waist and use a quick mountaineers belay if needed. I would not want to be on loose class four ground for very long without protection. It is all personal choice, don't pressure someone to solo above what they are comfortable with. Bad Karma. Dan
  4. Good beginner solo climbs?

    I will give a few examples from my experience. Once my partner and I lost the trail. I knew from the map that how to pick the trail up, so I let my partner , my wife for practice try to find the way. We go way off trail on a steep hillside, going wrong way for awhile. I then took over and angled downhill in the right direction to pick up the trail again, in this case I used the map and knowledge of where the trail had to be from our last known position while on the trail. If there was any question I would have not done this and would have back tracked to last known spot where I had the trail and from this known point, do searches until I picked up the trail beyond the snow. We lost the trail because buried in snow. Another example, a jumbled up area, where there are many tracks going all over the place. I marked the snow with a few sticks and also way pointed the spot with my GPS as the known trail was close to that point. I then move forward on the trail knowing if I had to I can back track to that point again. Another example is using wands on snowfields to mark crevasses and to find your way in a white out. Also you can use a GPS unit in back tracking mode or way point good points along the way. Always way point a dropped pack if you drop it to climb a summit. Always way point your tent and camp and I usually way point the truck. You also can way point the summit to use as a indicator above and below you as you are going down. I way point at any uncertain spot, as if I go forward and it does not work I can get back to that point. Also you can use cairns, These are piles of rock at least three high to mark the way back, a good practice, if at a junction you mark the correct way back with sticks with a arrow the right direction. Every member of the party should be paying attention while hiking and look back every now and then as it looks different coming back than going forward, mostly important to do in terrain that is open with possible wrong ways to go. Usually only the leader is paying attention to where they are going and this is a mistake, all brains should be active on navigation at all times. A common situation is going downhill in a whiteout, lost, in a fierce wind, letting gravity and wind push you in the wrong direction. Map and compass and GPS and brain need to be in play. Dan
  5. Good beginner solo climbs?

    I "cheat" with a handheld GPS unit. I way point my truck at the parking lot and other way points ever so often as I go to be sure I can back track. I also always have a map and compass with me and pay attention to where I am going. GPS may fail. A raw beginner mistake is to plow ahead while hiking once they lose the trail. NEVER do this. instead stop and start back tracking and circling around searching for last known good point on trail and trying to pick up the trail ahead. Never start plowing ahead downhill or uphill lost etc, keep looking for the trail or a known landmark etc, until you find it unless you know what your doing. Dan
  6. Good beginner solo climbs?

    A lot of good moderate stuff on mountain loop highway, half hike, half climb sort of stuff. The two I done recently that are good are Mt Dikerman and Pilchuck mountain. These are a lot of fun and good for a beginner to solo, a lot of people on the route with you on the weekend most likely. No Glacier. But half of those day climbs are on snow. Dickerman is a little harder and more fun. As for skills, I use a two hiking poles and one ice axe. On hiking the trail and easy ground. I use two hiking poles. On snow and steeper snow, I use one hiking pole and one ice axe. I use the ice axe in the uphill hand and the ski pole on downhill hand. This is the proper way to travel with mixed ground, semi steep. First know how to self arrest with ice axe and know how to self arrest with ski pole alone. When going downhill use the same ice axe and single ski pole combo, if it gets really steep, use only the ice axe alone uphill or downhill. When glasading put the ice axe in your hands in self arrest position. Always be ready to self arrest while glisadding, if get going too fast just start digging in the ice axe pick like you would when going to self arrest, if needed roll over on belly and go full bore self arrest. If you go on a safe glassade spot this trip, get your speed up fast and then roll over in full bore self arrest FOR PRACTICE of self arrest, the key here is to do this in a safe glassade run. I try to practice my ice axe and ski pole self arrest skills every year, this is important for some people. Not many know how to self arrest with a ski pole, look it up on the internet or it goes like this, Stick the pole in your armpit. With your arms above it, hands on pole and then on your back and side you roll all your weight on the tip of the pole to get it to dig in. It is more easy to do than describe. Your guide should know how to do this. This self arrest with ski pole is not as good as ice axe but close to it. Get the Snohomish hiking guide book and look in the north cascades section of the book and anything with 4 stars of difficulty and has a mountain to climb most likely would be a good trip and good for a beginner. Snow is melting out now but should be really good until mid July. Safe from avalanche danger but watch out the ridge lines as there are cornices that you can fall through. Dan
  7. Diet Article by Will Gadd

    Hello all, the rate of change of food is far greater than we are able to adapt. What is the magic number for grams of sugar a day? I don't know, I think the main concern is processed sugar in processed products. On average humans are not designed to eat so much processed sugar. So most likely fruit sugar from fresh fruit is not harmful, but processed sugar in excess in soda's or pastries can be really harmful over time for many people. From my reading processed sugar is a greater cause for heart disease than saturated fats. This post of mine is a heads up, if you drink lets say a 20 ounce soda a day that is 65 grams of process sugar and then add in a pastry that could put you to about 75 grams of extra processed sugar. Over time this could destroy your health, there is a epidemic of diabetes today. What is moderate for a cave man verses what is moderate for a person living today is totally different and we have the genetics of that cave man. Hence the epidemic of overweight people, heart disease and diabetes. Some people may be able to handle it better than others, genetic differences, but on average many people can't handle the modern processed foods in great concentration. Just a heads up post, good day all. Dan
  8. Diet Article by Will Gadd

    There is about a million different ways to do diet. Recently I just found out that ancient man ate about 8 grams of sugar a day. Today in the world of processed products the average person in the USA eats about 170 grams of sugar a day. A single 12 oz soda has 39 grams of sugar, about 5 times the ancient man's daily intake. No doubt short term, in the 20's you may be able to get away with a poor diet, but many catch hell in later years. There are many paths to be healthy, just be aware. Dan
  9. Inexpensive Synthetic Puffy

    I have a thought to pick one of these up sometime. http://www.idigear.com/nballinone.php, Not much good to climb in but would be good sitting or standing around, and open hiking. Other than that I got a Marmot primaloft jacket in brand new condition from value village that I am using now. If you have good thrift stores close by and have the time to be patient you can find what you need eventually. Of course the high dollar stuff is the best but ordinary jackets made of good material with a hood with the right kind of lighter design would not be that bad, basically, polyester is polyester. Can water proof with spray if wanted. Puffy jacket, synthetic, at a pound and cheaper, not that realistic to find. Something has to give unless you get really lucky. Dan
  10. I took my totally inexperienced brother up Baker one July, It was my wife me and my brother. My wife with some experience in the rear, me in front while going up and my brother in the middle. Basically I had to be able to self arrest for my brother on the way up and the way down. On the way down, my wife was in lead, My brother in the middle and I was in the rear. This orientation once again so I could be self arrest anchor position for the team. Such a climb with so many inexperienced people could be risky. I think the guide services spend a day or two on trips teaching the basics. Self arrest falling in all positions, how to use crampons on ice, the french technique of walking on ice with crampons. Also some basic knowledge of crevasse rescue and gear. On steep slushy snow it may not be even possible to self arrest, it can be like a slushy slerpy. I don't have knowledge of your route, steep snow and unsafe run outs? In such cases you plunge your ice axe's spike in deeply for every step as a primarily belay as if you slip you may find it hard to impossible to self arrest. This is one reason to climb early to get the colder firmer snow. Two danger points, hard ice, not as likely this time of year but possible, slushy snow from mid day on heat, so that self arrest can be impossible. The best is firm cool to cold snow, hence the alpine start, like 12pm to 1am or so. I remember some hard ice on one trip to baker, I think in the in the fall, , that situation would not be fun with many inexperience people on a rope. I did run into several hundred feet of ice on solo down Shasta in the early summer, fairly steep, that was interesting. I hope you guys spend a day at least getting in basic skills before heading up. Good luck Dan
  11. Chi Running

    http://www.chirunning.com/shop/home.php I found this guy's book at a thrift store and picked it up cheap and checked it out. I read through about half of the book and it seems worth trying out. The guy has run 100 mile races so must know something. Dan
  12. Chi Running

    Went on a couple of hikes using the ideas he gives and it seems to help, he claims that you can use up to 70% less energy by using his methods over a bad running form and your recovery time is much less than if using poorer form? With my very little experience with this I think he is right, of course I never studied different methods of moving etc, while walking, hiking and running before, I just went out and did it. I see that his web site is very commercialized, luckily I got a book cheap. Dan
  13. Chi Running

    I have been going through the book and I am actually learning a lot of different ideas about running. Don't know how well these ideas translate to hiking with a pack. According to the book power running is more injury prone than using the methods of "chi" running. Since the guy practices super long distance running, like marathons and more I am sure he knows something worthwhile. A few ideas is to run using the core of the body helping, to lean forward at the ankles while running. Feet kicking to the rear of the body, as opposed to a more upright running position or a power running type of movement. The author says he has success in helping previously injured people run and to greatly reduce injuries by using his methods. Dan
  14. Hello, I belong to Skagit County SAR group, we want to recruit more members. We are the smallest mountain rescue team in the state. Do training at the meetings once a month, 2nd Thursday of the month, also other training throughout the year. Mostly rescue rigging skills, members are expected to have mountaineering experience and climbing experience and personal equipment, at least enough experience to rock climb and get up and down Baker etc in a leadership role. Rescue equipment and training is provided by the group. We do about 5 to 10 call outs a year, from peas to nuts we can be called out for most anything that needs climbing skills or vertical angle rescue skills. We get called to support Bellingham Mt rescue at times as well. So if you want to join a small group of guys and a few gals to help out the climbing community give me a PM or call. 13603333709 Thanks Dan
  15. http://www.wobenzym-usa.com/ Heads up I have been trying this stuff out for a couple of months and it seems to really work. I take about 10 of these a night on a empty stomach, not cheep. It seems to be helping a old joint injury, that with some iodine supplementation that I am doing as well. I was told that wa state soil is deficient in zinc selenium and iodine, also iodine deficiency is common, I have been taking a particular type of iodine supplement that was told to me to be better than most. http://www.wellnessresources.com/products/iosol_iodine.php?source=google&group=Iosol_Iodine&gclid=COXw1uut3aUCFQpvbAodRSoa0w I have good results with the iodine supplementation. One or two drops a day. A effect of the Wobenzym is that my recovery time seems to be greatly reduced after a trip out, maybe about half, not sure what is going on, is the combination of iodine and the Wobenzym? or the Wobenzym alone? I take a few other vitamins, a multi and a D vitamin. If you have a joint injury I suggest checking out Wobenzym, do your own research and good luck. Dan
  16. http://www.alkalizeforhealth.net/Liodine2.htm I found this link that mirrors pretty much a couple of CD's that I was given of a radio broadcast. I am given to understand that iodine in table salt is designed to prevent gout, which is good, but to get the full benefits such as heavy metal chelation you need more than this, IF your table salt has Iodine in it. I have not done extensive research, so if interested do your own research, and good luck. I am using Iosol brand which as two forms of Iodine, I could not find this formula in the brands in the local health stores and I understand there is a real difference. I took a higher dosage at first about 4 drops a day and now down to one drop a day, recommend to take it with selenium. Like I said, do your own research, not my axe to grind, just doing a heads up post. Dan
  17. Back Country/Ski mountaineering

    Check out turns all year website for good deals on used gear to get started.
  18. Frozen toes

    The chemical toe warmers and better yet the whole foot warmers really work, but are used up after about 6 hours so you need multiple sets of them especially if you think any chance of being caught out overnight. I have used these with good success in the really cold. Make sure they are fresh ones made this year, the old toe warmers from last year may last a couple of hours then are cold. May try those electric socks read of their usage, best yet if you have cold toes get another pair boots if you can as noted by others. Also sticking your feet into ice cold boots is a bad start of a day. IE trail head camping etc. May want to keep them in your sleeping bag with you if really cold.. By the way, the possibility of frozen toes is serious business and can cripple you up for a long time, think carefully about the chances you take if you get caught out overnight and at least be ready to take your feet out of your boots and warm your toes up etc, if caught out. Dan
  19. It is easy to overlook the Iodine supplement, I want to stress that this supplement has had a great effect on my energy levels, it stimulates the thyroid gland. It is a common deficiency, in other words most people are deficient in iodine. The link I gave has two forms of Iodine in it, both types are absorbed in different locations in the body. Dan
  20. bushnel backtrack gps?

    It is nice to have a GPS that works well under the trees, I have a few years old garmon GPS which is good, but often loses signal under trees. I understand some of the GPS models do better in this regard in keeping signal. Dan
  21. Not asking for much just a few swings of the axes, I find that at the end of the icicle road up to the right in the woods often has ice, if any is to be had. Hubba-Hubba? Is the little ski lift area in town open yet? Thanks.
  22. Hello, I belong to Skagit County SAR group, we want to recruit more members. We are the smallest mountain rescue team in the state. Do training at the meetings once a month, 2nd Thursday of the month, also other training throughout the year. Mostly rescue rigging skills, members are expected to have mountaineering experience and climbing experience and personal equipment, at least enough experience to rock climb and get up and down Baker etc in a leadership role. Rescue equipment and training is provided by the group. We do about 5 to 10 call outs a year, from peas to nuts we can be called out for most anything that needs climbing skills or vertical angle rescue skills. We get called to support Bellingham Mt rescue at times as well. So if you want to join a small group of guys and a few gals to help out the climbing community give me a PM or call. 13603333709 Thanks Dan
  23. Book help needed

    rmncwrtr May could join a mountain rescue group yourself, true insider's perspective that way.
  24. Down Verses Synthetic

    I always favored goose down for sleeping bags, but would consider trying out the newest Primaloft insulated sleeping bags. I notice a lot of insulated clothing gear in REI and by manufacturers to be insulated by Goose Down, local stores seem to have MORE HEAVY goose down insulated clothing than synthetic. I wonder about this, how many climbers and hikers in this area actually use down on the trails and mountains. Personally I almost never would carry down clothing, especially in the cascades. Is most of the down gear sold to people that are really not going into the back country? Or do they know something I don't know? I imagine in the back country after a soggy couple of days being in trouble with goose down gear. Actually it can be much quicker than this to my mind??? Dan
  25. Down Verses Synthetic

    Hello, I started this thread as a sort of check for me, as what I am thinking about goose down insulated clothing could be a hazard. I tried the polyguard 3d sleeping bags and found them heavy and not warm for the bulk as compare to goose down sleeping bags. I also tried a light weight goose down jacket on the presidential range new Hampshire in winter. I put it over all my other clothes and it got wet from snow from the outside and a little perspiration from the inside out. I had a good over rated goose down sleeping bag and a good tent, that night I still could not get the goose down jacket dried out. I must say the jacket did not have any kind of waterproof treatment or shell, so I was outside it's intended design in usage. (Needed more of the brain in operation..) For me synthetic is the way to go for clothing, and now I am on the hunt for a good belay coat. I notice though most(all) of the synthetic ones are not made as puffy as the down belay coats. I still prefer goose down over synthetic for a sleeping bag, but as we all know it depends even more on a good shelter. As a gear freak, I would like to try out the newer primaloft sleeping bags some day to see if that would work for me. I wonder why they can't make those goose feathers waterproof? You would think with the right chemical treatment that would work.