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About Dihedral

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  • Birthday 04/01/1965


  • Occupation
    software engineer
  • Location
    Bellevue, WA
  1. On July 7th I found a fancy fleece garment emblazoned with corporate logos while hiking from Spider Meadows back to the Phelps Creek trailhead. I am fairly certain that it was not left by anyone hiking in because this morning Spider Meadows appeared to be deserted after the 4th of July and weekend crowds had left and I did not pass any inbound hikers before finding the fleece. If it is yours and you can enumerate the logos please contact me to arrange to reclaim.
  2. On Saturday, my copy of Frenchman Coulee, 2nd Edition was borrowed and not returned. This is the spiral bound Vantage guide book by Ford and Yoder that is now out of print. My friends and I were at the King Pins at the Sunshine Wall in the vicinity of Pony Keg. There was a large group and some smaller groups also climbing in the area. A guy stopped by and asked one of my friends, who was belaying, if he could have a look at the guide book which was in a plastic zip lock bag next to my pack. The guy then apparently walked off with the book and was not seen again. I am hoping that this was not intentional and that the book ended up in the hands of someone who mistakenly thought that it was their own. My copy of the book has a distinctive "ex libris" sticker on the inside front cover. If you accidentally ended up with it, please contact me using the email address listed in my profile and I will make arrangements to retrieve it. Thanks.
  3. Headlamps?

    It is somewhat heavy on the technical side but I found the following web site helpful for comparison when choosing a headlamp: http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews_index/reviews_index_headlamps.htm
  4. [TR] Mt. Constance- Finger Traverse 6/27/2006

    It is hard to describe but near the top of the snow slope the snow ended at a short rocky outcropping and the easiest way to get onto the rocks was to get into the moat on the side of the slope and follow the moat until it turned perpendicular to the fall line at the top of the slope. We could have avoided this problem entirely. Going up the South Chute there were two parallel snow slopes separated by low rocky mounds. When we were hiking up Avalanche Canyon we turned right and headed up the more southern of the two snow slopes. If we had headed a little further north we could have taken the better of the two which was the one we used on the descent.
  5. Climb: Bonanza Peak-Mary Green Glacier Date of Climb: 7/1/2006 Trip Report: Carry, Evgeny, Rod and I piled into Rod's mini-van for the drive out to Field's Point where we caught the Lady of the Lake to Lucerne and met the bus for trip up to Holden. The trail up to Lake Holden was snow free. We made our way to a flat snow-covered area on the north side of the lake where we set up camp and battled the mosquitoes. The following day we woke at 3:30am and were moving by 4:30am. We opted to take the direct route by ascending a drainage due west of Lake Holden instead of going via Holden Pass. We followed a snow finger, talus fields and rock mounds to gain the Mary Green Glacier. The Glacier was in great shape. There were some visible crevasses but they were easily skirted. At the base of the scramble part of the climb we came across Peter and Ken, a party of two from Bellingham who had approached from Holden Pass. We left our pickets, ice axes and crampons in a pile and started scrambling. The scramble went smoothly. It was exposed but there were enough ledges and gullies to feel fairly secure. We reached the summit around 10:30am. The views of Glacier Peak and Mt. Baker were stunning. In the summit register we found the names of various people we knew. We agreed to collaborate with Peter and Ken on rappelling. Having six people on each of the five rappels was time-consuming but was faster overall than having two parties each rig their own rappels. Once back on the glacier we followed our same path back to camp. The following morning we awoke at a leisurely hour and headed back down to Holden Village and caught the boat back home. More pictures can be found here: http://bruce.frankweb.net/grid.aspx?xml=trips_2006/bonanza
  6. Climb: Mt. Constance-Finger Traverse Date of Climb: 6/27/2006 Trip Report: Anne, David and I loaded our bikes and gear into David's mini-van and caught the 6:30am ferry to Kingston. We parked at the Dosewallips Road wash-out and started riding and pushing our mountain bikes up the road. The three of us had decided to go light by taking minimal bivy gear and leaving behind the stoves. We reached the trailhead in a little over an hour and stashed out bikes in the woods and started up the steep trail. There was no significant snow until above Lake Constance. We decided to camp in a flat area well up Avalanche Canyon. That night I was a bit colder than I would have liked and I did not sleep as well as I might have but it was worth the weight savings. The next morning we were moving a little after 4:43am. There was a snow slope leading most of the way up the South Chute ending in snow patches and rocky outcroppings. We scrambled over the rocks and then followed a snow slope and descended into a moat in order to get to a favorable spot to scramble over the next wall of rocks. I had a scare when the snow at the edge of the moat collapsed under me and I fell back into the moat. Fortunately, I only fell a short distance onto snow and no harm was done. We eventually came to a simple scree slope leading to the notch and we were at the notch by 6am. We traversed the snow slopes beneath the cliffs to approach the minor east-west buttress. Even with multiple route descriptions (or perhaps because of having multiple route descriptions) it was not entirely clear which scree gully to ascend. We finally picked one and we only knew that we had the right one when we saw an easy descent route on the other side. We then kicked steps across the steep snow and climbed fourth-class rock to reach the start of finger traverse. Photo by David Johnson I was expecting the finger traverse to be the difficult and scary crux of the climb. It was not. When I hear the name "finger traverse" I think of a 5.hard finger crack where you have to crank on your tendons to keep your fingers from pulling out. The finger traverse should be called the hand traverse. The feature at the top of the slab is more like a flake than a crack. It is a positive feature that you can grab comfortably with your entire hand. Even though footholds are sparse, it doesn't matter. The slab is not that steep and you can lean out and smear your feet on the slab. Because I did not know what to expect, I protected the short traverse with three nuts. Our 50M rope was long enough to belay the second climber tied to the middle and the third tied to the end (the middle person was belayed from both sides). On the return we discussed whether or not we would belay each other across. The finger traverse is exposed and we decided to play it safe but this time I only placed one piece of protection mid-way across. Photo by David Johnson After the finger traverse there was more scrambling and crossing snow slopes. The final uncertainty for route-finding came with trying to figure out which gully to take to get to the top of the summit ridge. The Climbers Guide to the Olympic Mountains says to take any one of several gullies. The gully that we picked appeared to dead-end in a difficult face. We down-climbed and picked another gully which worked. The scrambling was exposed but the rock tends to have plenty of good features for hands and feet. Once we were on summit ridge, the terrain became much easier. We scrambled along the summit ridge and followed the ledge that corkscrews around the north side of the summit block to the top. We reached the summit by 10:20am, a little less than seven hours after we left camp. We took our summit photos, ate our summit treats and then retraced our route. As we approached the notch at the top of the south chute a big white goat wandered over to us and said that his name was Ghost and asked us if we had seen his buddy Eric. We told the goat that we had not but that we had found Eric's helpful Constance route description on the Internet. On the far side of the notch we found an easier route than the route we used to ascend. David and Anne glissaded sections of the snow slopes. We reached camp by about 1:30pm. After a brief rest and much hydration we packed up and started hiking back to the trailhead. The bicycle cruise back to the cars was glorious. More pictures can be found here: http://bruce.frankweb.net/grid.aspx?xml=/trips_2006/Constance Gear Notes: Pickets and crampons were not needed in the soft snow. Approach Notes: The trail was mostly snow-free to Lake Constance.
  7. Congratulations, Pochi! Here is a summit shot:
  8. [TR] Baker, North Ridge - 6/18/2005

    The 16-hour travel time was partly due to conditions and partly due to erring on the side of being overly safe at the expense of speed with respect to protecting the route and choosing when to simul-climb. The party that did the climb on May 28th noted in their report that it had taken them 13 hours to reach the summit. It may be that travel times greater than 10 hours are typical for this season's conditions. The initial trail-breaking through soft snow from camp to the base of the climb added some time and contributed to our being worn out which made for slower travel towards the end of the climb. Having a rope team of three made was less efficient when belaying on the ice pitch. There may have been steps we could have taken to reduce the travel time but in light of the good weather and with plenty of time to get back to the Heliotrope trail before dark, there was no feeling of urgency.
  9. Climb: Baker, North Ridge Date of Climb: 6/18/2005 Trip Report: We left the Heliotrope trailhead around noon in a cold breezy mist. The trail was snow-free to the base of the glacial moraine. We hiked up the Coleman Glacier to a flat area on the snow at 6,800 feet where we set up camp. The weather was not looking promising but around 7pm the low-lying mist dissipated and the clouds parted enough that we could see the route on the north-west side of the mountain. The midnight chime of digital alarms roused us to clear skies and relatively warm temperatures. The original plan was for a party of six but one of our party members had cancelled so Tina, Rob and Geoff roped up as a team of three and I tied in with Dave. A report submitted for a North Ridge trip a couple weeks earlier had described trail-breaking through soft snow and the need to cross the Coleman Glacier at 6,600 ft to avoid crevasses. The report was true on both counts. The freezing level of 9,000 feet meant that we were breaking trail, sometimes sinking up to our knees, for most of the approach. Several areas with seracs and large crevasses required some short detours but by descending and then traversing at constant elevation we were able to follow a fairly direct line. Four hours after we left camp it was starting to get light as we neared the base of the climb. The one advantage to the soft snow was deep footsteps so we opted for the "high route" described by Nelson (steeper but more direct) to the right of the rocky ridge on the northwest side of the mountain. We used pickets to set running belays up the face and as we got higher the conditions changed to a couple inches of crusty snow overlying loose snow. At the less steep area below the slope leading to the ice bulge we took a quick break in the sunshine. Then we sent three of our party up the steep hard snow to the base of the ice bulge where they chopped out belay stances and set up ice screw anchors. The arete at the extreme left edge of the ice cliff presented a less steep line but was of uncertain stability and had bad exposure. Instead we opted for a line near the left side of the ice cliff with about half a rope length of 80-degree ice. We had our rope gun, Geoff, lead that pitch. The ice was brittle and tended to shatter. I found that I had to swing my ice tool sometimes several times before I could get a good placement. The ice tool was noticeably better than the ice axe in these conditions. When we were setting up the anchors and when people were climbing there was no way to avoid sending a barrage of ice chunks down on those below. Above the ice cap we hit steep mixed snow and ice for the next half a rope length. One party member led it and the others followed. After the ice bulge it was steep snow for a few hundred vertical feet below the summit with ongoing downpouring of spindrift from the summit. We set running belays for most of the climb except for the ice pitch. The final bit to the summit crater was a sulfurous glacier stroll. We had been blessed with clear skies for most of the day but the summit was covered in a cloud. It was now 5pm, sixteen hours after our 1am departure. We wolfed down our chocolate summit treats and then we followed the boot track down the Roman Wall and back onto the Coleman Glacier. The warm temperatures had turned the snow mushy. We were back at the tents by 8:30pm. We then packed up and returned to the cars between 11pm and midnight.
  10. Chola Shan - Mountaineers in China Thursday, February 3, 7-9 p.m., The Mountaineers Building (300 Third Ave West Seattle, Wa 98119) A team of Mountaineers club members will present a slide show of their 2004 expedition to Chola Shan, a 20,360-foot Peak in the Shaluli Mountain Range of Western China. Following a two-day van ride from the city of ChengDu to a remote Tibetan town, the team hired local horse packers to carry gear to base camp at 14,000 feet. Over the following week, they traversed snowfields and negotiated heavily crevassed terrain to establish three successive high camps. On summit day the team joined forces with a team of Chinese and Tibetan climbers for the final push to the 20,360-foot summit. The presentation will cover the climb and cultural experiences of Western China, as well as the logistics of organizing the expedition. This is a free event. No registration is required. The notice posted on the Mountaineers club website is here: Chola Shan - Mountaineers in China Some additional information and photos can be found here: CholaShan.org