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obsydian

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About obsydian

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    Auburn, WA
  1. Thoughts on The Mountaineers?

    I've had a wonderful experience with The Mountaineers, I joined the Tacoma branch in 1998 to take the Basic class. Met a great bunch of life long friends, took the Intermediate course, became a long time leader and instructor. I decided to be involved and help change the culture from one slightly "militaristic" to one that safely gets people into the outdoors and has a lot of fun. I volunteer a couple of weekends a year instructing at the Intermediate level to develop the next round of leaders, then lead a few trips for the students to get experience, and then do many private climbs with Mountaineer friends. It's a great organization for those that want to learn, and then give back over the years. And I've seen the techniques and culture change as new volunteers step up and influence the organization in a positive manner. I would highly recommend if you want to be part of a community.
  2. Trip: Mox Peak SE Spire (Hard Mox) - Becky Date: 7/22/2013 Trip Report: Finally got the right folks, a rope gun to lead the hard stuff, great weather window and opportunity to climb Mox Peak SE Spire (Hard Mox) on July 22, 2013. Was part of a trip that climbed all top 100 peaks in the area (Mox Peak NW Spire, Redoubt, Rahm, Custer, Spickard) over a 6 day period. Tyler and Nelson completed all 6 on their first try, might be a first. Curt and I had done Redoubt and Spickard 10 years ago. Headed out at 6am from high camp on the Redoubt Glacier, beautiful area. From Col of the Wild, head up climbers right on a scramble path to minor ridge, follow cairns. From minor ridge continue traversing higher. Here's a picture of modest step Becky describes, good hand holds. After topping out on Ridge of the Gendarmes,scramble down and left heading towards snow filled gully. Pretty good set of cairns, but have to keep a watch out as little traffic in this area. Cross pretty hairy ledge, some handholds, got to trust your feet. Come to snow filled gully, downclimb or rappel, about 130' Cross over to next gully on nice broad flat section, this is now the gully system with rotten loose rock you will need to climb. You will see a left and right fork in the gully above, stay right (looks terrible), work your way to the right side above the right gully. 5th class moves part way up, we did a lead. Lead or scramble up the right side, do your best to not rain rocks down on your partners (may have to take turns climbing key sections) until you attain the col, this is the start of the main rock climb. Here is the start of the first pitch with our rope gun Tyler leading out Picture of entire first pitch up to the detached white column, Nelson belaying. Low 5th class climbing, but loose rock, difficulty setting pro, so long runouts. Second pitch heads up the ridge, if in doubt stay left. Third pitch is straightforward, can pitch to summit or stop halfway and scramble. On the summit! First page of register has copy of Fred's first ascent notes. We did 3 single rappels down to col, then 2 double rappels down the gully. First rappel station at top of gully looked pretty weak, so built another with cordellette and big steel rappel ring. Worked out well, good rappel station halfway down gully, can get out of the gully while others descend and stay out of rockfall. After last rappel, can walk off back to flat spot between gullys, then climb up snow filled gully and scramble back over Ridge of Gendarmes and back to Col of the Wild before you feel safe again! Took us 14.5 hours from high camp and back. And did this on my 55th Birthday, what a great birthday present! We were 41st party to ever sign in, but 3rd this year, and two more parties were in the valley getting ready to give it a shot, so getting more popular. Gear Notes: Standard rack, two ropes, ice axe and crampons for snow filled gully, extra slings to leave behind for rappelling. Approach Notes: Depot Creek to Ouzel Lake, then up to high camp on Redoubt Glacier, high camp is a beautiful area, we spent 2 nights there, good breeze, few bugs.
  3. OK, that might have been the problem, the setting is now "Public on the web", see if that works, learned something!
  4. Looks like you have to be logged into gmail for the link to work now. Used to be able to get into Picassa albums anonymous, but no more. Log in, then click the link. There are about 30 pics (too many to load into CC).
  5. Trip: Queets (with Christie & Seattle) - NE Face Date: 9/6/2011 Trip Report: Haven't seen a trip report on Queets so posting one from this weekend. Have been thinking and trying for this summit for 10 years. Got first good look in 2001 while climbing Olympus, a Bailey Range trip in 2004 got weathered out at Dodger Point, another trip got weathered in at the base of Barnes in 2007. Finally got the weather window. This was a 5 day trip from North Fork of the Quinalt, stayed 4 nights at Low Divide (day 2 climbed Christie, day 4 climbed Seattle). Our third day went for Queets, left Low Divide at 5am, climbed up the NE face but since it was so steep we decided to climb down the Queets glacier and slog back through Dodwell-Rixon Pass and then back up to Low Divide. 17 miles and 7,400' gain, 15 hour day. The route up the glacier looks very easy as our downclimb was simple. Full pictures are at my Picassa Album Queets pics Here are a couple pics of the route: View of the NE Face Looking down at the steep hard surface on NE Face On summit of Queets! Descending the Queets glacier Gear Notes: Ice axe and crampons Approach Notes: Got into some steep brush and hard hard scree on the NE face
  6. The way to go is straightforward, but the descent from Ferry is somewhat hairy, very steep with no trail, some rocks jutting out to climb down through, very doable if OK with exposure.
  7. Trip: Norton, Wilder, Dana, Barnes, Childs, Ludden,Scott - Elwah to Bailey to Dodger Point to Elwah Date: 8/4/2007 Trip Report: Three of us took a 6 day trip to bag several remote peaks in the Olympics. Norton, Dana, Ludden & Scott are climbed about once every 3 or 4 years according to the registers. The views were fantastic from these seldom climbed peaks. Day 1: Started at Whiskey Bend, 17 miles to Hayes ranger station. Day 2: On up trail, dropped main packs and climbed Norton, then on up to Chicago Camp. Day 3: Up trail past Happy Hollow, then left trail for cross country travel up ridge between Barnes and Wilder. Climbed Dana and Wilder, camped on ridge, long day. Day 4: Climbed ridge to Barnes and then camped below Bear Pass. Day 5: Hiked South on Bailey, climbed Childs, exited Bailey at Ferry on Ludden Ridge, climbed Ludden, then camped at Scott/Ludden saddle. Day 6: Climbed Scott, then traverse to Dodger Point, hiked back to trailhead. Found route descriptions and times in Olympic Climbing Guide lacking, here are some additional notes: Norton: Leave trail just South of Leitha Creek, head up ridge to 5900', traverse North and then Northeast to gain ridge South of Norton, follow ridge to summit, about 6 hours RT. Dana & Wilder: Leave trail West of first major creek after passing Happy Hollow camp, steep climbing through brush and trees to ridge between Barnes & Wilder at 4900', took 3 hours for 2500' with full packs. Dropped packs and ran ridge to Dana, then back to Wilder, took 9 hours RT, a lot longer then we thought. Ridge to Barnes: class 3 moves near summit of Barnes, took 5 hours with full packs, needed to bypass part of ridge between peak 6024 and Barnes to South. Scott: Avoid rock face of false summit by staying right, then gain false summit, left of final ridge until last few hundred feet, then stay on ridge to summit. Posted several pictures and more details here: Olympics Summit Fest 2007 Really nice to climb these remote peaks, the views were awesome.
  8. [TR] I-90 Corridor - Quad Burner 4/1/2007

    Have gotten a lot of good feedback about this event, since it is kind of an extreme event, several folks believe we could make it a charity event, maybe raise some bucks for Mountain Rescue? Look for a charity event same time next year, Pro Mountain Sports will help sponsor.
  9. [TR] I-90 Corridor - Quad Burner 4/1/2007

    We've been training just to pull this 4 bagger off, no other real objective other then to be in shape for the climbing season. Last year we did a trifecta (3 peaks) and wanted to see if we could do 4. I think I've reached my limit! Just wanted to do something to tell my grandkids about.
  10. Trip: I-90 Corridor - Quad Burner Date: 4/1/2007 Trip Report: We made it! Bill, Joel, and Dan completed the "Quad Burner" of 4 conditioner peaks in a day: Granite, Washington, Mailbox, & Mt. Si. 14,870' elevation gain and 31 miles RT, 15.5 hours from start to finish. Started 5:30am and finished 9:00pm. The weather was great, cold enough that we had snow flurries all day long so didn't get too wet. Total ascent times (hours:minutes): Bill - 7:08, Dan - 7:22, Joel - 7:26, for about 2,000' gain an hour while climbing. We started out 5:30am at Granite MT. trailhead, Jeff and Peter joined us for moral support on this peak. The snow was very hard and crusty, so crampons and ice axe came in handy, Bill was first to the top in 1:49, Dan 1:50, Joel 1:52. The snow was too hard and dangerous to glissade, so we tromped on back to the cars. 4,050' gain and 7 mile RT. Back at the cars Dan opened a can of Spaghetti Oh's, wow that cold can sure tasted good at 8:30 in the morning! Washington was a new route for Bill & Dan, we were originally going to shoot for Bandera but we didn't know where the winter route started so did Washington instead. Since Joel was the only one who knew the route we stuck together and all make the top in 2:00. 3,320' gain and 9 miles RT. Halfway done! Back at the cars Dan opened a can of vegetarian beans, and that cold can sure tasted good also, but would bode an ill wind for the rest of the day. Mailbox is mountain we know all too well, being our main training route. Bill took off while Joel and Dan huffed and puffed. Bill to the top at 1:52, Dan & Joel at 2:00. 4,200' gain and 7 miles RT. One more to go! We put on approach shoes and packed light in our camel packs and away we go. Some sun breaks and cheerful weather. We kept up with Bill for the first 3 miles but then had to let him go, stomach ache and just plain getting tired. Bill in at 1:27, Dan at 1:32, Joel 1:34. 3,300' gain (to the benches) and 8 miles RT. Took us longer to descend in the dark with headlamps then to climb! Back at the cars at 9:00, what a day!
  11. Has anyone used the North Side to descend after climbing The Tooth South Face (as opposed to rappeling down the climbing route)? Detailed description and any pictures? How many rappels? I've read about this descent route but haven't heard of anyone actually using. Thanks.
  12. Plane wreckage in Thunder Glacier

    This response from the Mt. Baker Ranger District: Here is the information about the plane crash. An internet search of Bellingham and Everett newspapers may reveal more information. Thank you for the heads up that more material is appearing. On August 29, 1943 a NAS Whidbey PV-1 Ventura plane crashed on the west side of Mt. Baker at the Thunder Glacier, killing all 6 crew members. It had taken off at 1:30pm under light rain and fog to practice navigation between Everett and Bellingham. At 3:30 the plane radioed in that they were running on only one of its two 2,000 horsepower Pratt & Whitney engines. That was the plane’s last communication. The Navy spent hours of searching, but found no trace of the wreckage, and it was assumed that it had crashed and sunk in the waters of Puget Sound. On October 6th, 1994, Chuck Eaton, a hiker from Bellingham with his dog Candy hiked up to the area and at noon discovered the plane wreckage, that for 51 years had been buried under the ice of Thunder Glacier. The Navy S& R helicopter flew up to the site in late October and removed the bones of the 6 crew members, lots of live ammunition and other plane parts.
  13. [TR] Seward Peak - SW Ridge 7/24/2005

    Here is the route drawn in with red line, dashed lines mean climbing on other side. Basically we went about as far South as we could, backtracked a bit, then started up the SW face, 4th class to the ridge, then dropped on the East side of the ridge and followed that all the way to the summit. Only found a little film canister with wet paper and hard to read names from 1988 and 1991 so don't know who's been up there lately. Did see fresh tracks and a new sling, so somebody beat us up this year already.
  14. Plane wreckage in Thunder Glacier

    Thanks graupel, interesting story, a piece of history.
  15. Plane wreckage in Thunder Glacier

    Sorry, it is Mt Baker.
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