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Alex_Mineev

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Everything posted by Alex_Mineev

  1. Ice screws for $12.50?

    Hi, I've never seen such cheap ice screws before. What's wrong with them? Has anybody tried? http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=47591401&parent_category_rn=4500716
  2. Ice screws for $12.50?

    I already have two 13cm of old BD that they sell for $17. I was looking for a couple screws a bit longer then 13cm. What do you guys think about this one: http://www.gearexpress.biz/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=G&Product_Code=6831B
  3. Top 3

    Sure, my first ascents, not the peaks' Babnik, thanks for identifying my original language
  4. Top 3

    First ascent of Rainier First ascent of Shasta First ascent of Baker with my wife and a pal also spring ascents of Gilbert Peak, Adams and Hood
  5. Mazama Glacier TR

    Overall impression: nice simple climb with good views and easy snow; disgusting half mile of 30-35 degree scree on approach below Sunrise camp. I was surprised to see only one party in the camp that had already summited and was heading down. So we climbed alone this Sunday. Left camp at 5.30am. Summited at 11am. Route finding on the glacier is obvious if you keep right side. Firm snow above 8500ft, bare not steep ice just above the camp. There was some insignificant rockfall at 9000ft and 500ft below the false summit. Regarding permits: we were told at Trout Lake ranger station that if we enter and climb on the indian side of the mountain we do not need to buy climbing pass, and we only have to get parking permit at bird creek meadows. So we went to the trailhead and did not see anybody selling permits. After asking around we've figured out that there should be a lady with permits couple miles below the trailhead at bird lake. Apperently that lady was not there when I was driving up. That costed me about 40 minutes to drive down to the lake to find that lady in her RV, get the papers and get back...
  6. Mazama Glacier TR

    Hey Craig, yeah, I remember! Sure it was you
  7. Mazama Glacier TR

    No need for screws if you do not fall into crevasse Just keep right side and you'll be fine. We stepped over one or two crevasses. Anyway, I would probably recommend having screws for rescue since its a glacier and snow looks thin in some places and firm until 10500. We did not have them and I felt a bit anxious on the lower part.
  8. Water repellent for rope?

    Hi What kind of water repellent can be used to restore dry rope? I used my rope heavily during spring and summer and recently it started soaking. The rope does not have any damages so I do not want to replace it yet.
  9. Intermediate climbing from The Mountaineers

    Do they teach anything beyond the Freedom of Hills?
  10. Alpine start on unfamiliar routes

    Moon is useful, but not a thing one would account on.
  11. Alpine start on unfamiliar routes

    Yes, snow conditions, extra time and sunrise are good arguments, but I doubt that one can memorise useful amount of crevasses and I doubt one can see snowbridges and the route from the base camp. Given that you can not see the route most likely you'll do some mistakes and spend more time on routefinding until sun rises. That means you are not far away from the camp and already tired. What if the route has hidden crevasses and you have to check surface throughly before making each step? I agree though that a.s. is useful on an obvious route were you just push the mountain and want to save time.
  12. Upper Whitney Glacier TR

    Climbed Cascade gulch on the 7th of July. 3 hrs from Bunny Flats to Hidden Valley, 9 1/2 hours from Hidden Valley to the summit. We started to the summit too late I think - at 4.30 (ideally would be 1.30 - 2am) ... Reached the summit about 2pm. Winds were 10-15mph, light clouds below Misery hill. During both days we've spent on the mountain we've seen the same pattern - clouds cover summit at about 3-4 pm and disappear at 7-8pm. Did not see and rockfall. Snow caps are developing below Misery hill. Bergschrund looks great and still has strong snow bridges. Hidden valley bivy site is 5-stars scenic view during sunset. Snow is melting fast - front vesibule of our tent lost both stakes when we returned at 6pm because of few inches of snow melted around the plastic stakes. Regret a little bit that we did not have enoungh time to scramble Shastina - we saw a couple of sky-blue lakes on its shoulder.
  13. Hotlum Bolam Ridge route conditions?

    Has anybody been there recently? How is the snow? Also, what kind of car is needed to get to the Northgate trailhead? I have Mitsu-Galant and some sources suggest using 4x4...
  14. Upper Whitney Glacier TR

    Where did you start from? Parking lot or Lake Helen?
  15. Hi, I am preparing to climb South route in a couple weeks. I could not figure out from books about avalanche danger estimate of the route. Are there any specific dangerous spots en route? this time of year? Any info would be much appreciated! Thanks
  16. Adams - South route, avy conditions

    the summit looked like a hill 35 gradually becoming 50-60 at the top on south-east-east side. The boot track goes around the hill with average 15-20 degree inclination
  17. Adams - South route, avy conditions

    The guy was from my party. Yesterday when things settled down a bit and everybody got calm we run a postmortem on the incident. Here is the sequence of events: We camped under SB on Sunday evening two hours before dark that we used to run a standard self-arrest practice in the nearby bowl. Woke up at 2.30am and started ascent at 3.45. At 6 we reached the steep slope above launch counter. On the slope we split in two teams – Sergei (the lost guy) + Edward and Kate + me. Visibility was good. Trail was wide and perfectly visible. Everything was just fine. The reason for split was the wind. Kate and I were going faster than Ed and Sergei and we had to wait every half an hour for them freezing ourselves (we had more warm clothes in backpack but did not wear itbecause if you keep going it gets too hot and you start sweating that makes things even more uncomfortable). We checked that Sergei and Ed had enough water, clothes and GPS in their backpack and agreed that we (Kate and I) will meet them on our way down. So far so good. Wind was getting stronger, we were getting higher. I was constantly checking both guys that followed behind with 40-50 minutes gap. Kate and I reached the summit at 9.45, spent 15-20 minutes and started our way down. We met Ed in 15 minutes – he was hiking the true summit. At this point cloud covered the summit and visibility degraded to may be a hundred meters (yards). I checked him how he feels and whether he is going to summit since the weather turned to a chilling wind with slight icy precipitation. He asked me how far the summit is – I said he’ll need 30 minutes. We also agreed that the cloud with precipitation will go away soon (it fact went of the summit in 10 minutes or so restoring good visibility). I told him that the trail up there is prominent and there are no cornices or other problems, we decided that he will make a couple pictures up there, meet Sergei and they both will immediately start going down _following_the_trail_. I would expect that you ask me “Where was Sergei at this moment?” Sergei was 25 yards above us climbing 50-60 degree slope right below the summit. This was the moment when I did my first mistake. I should probably go for him and bring him down. Instead I was quite angry that he did such thing ignoring everything we talked about that mountain in the evening. I was quite tired, angry and getting cold again (we spent 10 minutes discussing things with Ed). I would also like to say that I have some experience, but not an expert level and may be not even moderate. Adams is my highest mountain on the moment. I just did not feel safe following Sergei. Later Sergei would explain to Ed that he wanted to test crampons and ice ax in ‘real conditions’… That was the last time when I’ve seen everybody. So at about 10.50-11.00 Kate and I continued going down, Ed and Sergei continued the final push. They successfully reached the summit, snapped few pictures and started heading down. Sergei says that on the way down he ‘practiced’ self-arrest couple times above the false summit. Both Ed and Sergei agreed that Sergei was frequently leaving the trail to make pictures saying “go ahead, I’ll catch up”. Visibility was still Ok (I’ve seen pictures from Sergei’s camera). So… Ed was steadily going down checking from time to time that Sergei is still visible running across the false summit from side to side… Here it is not very clear what happened, but as I understand Ed did not see Sergei for 30 minutes or so while he was going below the false summit thinking that Sergei is Ok, just behind the false summit. Ed also met few people going up. So he continued going down gradually getting anxious. At some point he understood that Sergei is missing too long and he also understood that he was too exhausted to go back up the summit and check. Keeping in mind that Sergei was always ‘practicing’ something he decided that Sergei could traverse the summit by its side or something… We met Ed at 3pm below launch counter. I tried to hike the top of SB to see if I can see Sergei and figured out that I was too exhausted. I did not make it. I did not have equipment for crevasse rescue since I knew there would be no crevasses on our way. If I tried to summit again starting at 3pm I would reach the summit at 9pm in the best case and become another victim. We gave 2 hours for Sergei to appear. At 5pm we contacted 911. At 5.30 Kate and I headed down to the car (cell phone batteries were off after 30 minutes of talking to 911 on analog roam), Ed left in the camp. At 8pm I reached phone at Trout Lake gas station and called 911, then Yakima serif. We also called our friends and asked them to bring another fresh guy and pick up Kate. Friends arrived at 3am. First rangers arrived about 6am and stayed on the trailhead waiting for the rest. At 7am I and Mike (the fresh guy) started hiking back to SB to prepare me and Ed for another summit climb with rangers. We reached base camp at 9.30, started melting water. Rangers where following us with approx 40 minutes gap. At 9.45 rangers notified us that Sergei was found. End of story. When I asked Sergei why he did not follow his traces back to find the trail at the moment when he understood he was lost – the reply was “I was too tired, I decided to traverse the summit by its side (almost the same thing as Ed guessed) but later I encountered too steep slope and had to go down. I also saw ski traces going down (Mazama glacier) and decided to follow them”… I would like to say thank you to all the rescue team. And say sorry for the disturbance that I caused by my mistakes. Sergey feels good. His burned lips are already almost Ok. The lesson is learned.
  18. Adams - South route, avy conditions

    Looks like it's winter all around Adams. I could no get closer than 20 miles to Trout Lake by FR-23... After driving 30 miles from Randle I hit thick snow and turned back. The snow may melt away really quick though. I also saw traces of bigger SUVs going farther than my turnpoint. Are there any other roads to South approach than FR-23?
  19. Adams - South route, avy conditions

    Hi, I am planning South spur route this Sat / Sun. I will go only if weather stands good. Will be glad if you join me. I will finally make go-no-go decision tomorrow afternoon. Currently weather does not look very primising...
  20. Weather: snowstorm, whiteout. Roundtrip time: 6 and 1/2 hours. 3 and a half hours driving from Seattle. Got climbing permit, the lady at registration told me about wet snow on the mountain the day before and said that she would probably take snowshoes in my place and there is no need for crampons. Another 30 minutes to sno-park where I found about 15 cars. Sh.t! I forgot about sno-park permit. When I left sno-park for the permit the last party of two skiers were locking their car and heading up the trail to Worm Flows. 40 minutes of crazy driving back and forth for the permit and I also hit the trail. I was the last one to leave the parking lot following snowshoes, boots and skies traces. In an hour I completed the in-forest part of the route, put on snowshoes and met two guys going down. In another 20 minutes I caught up with the two skiers left the parking 40 minutes before me. Rain turned to snow. We've entered clouds. Visibility degraded to 300ft rapidly closing to whiteout. Approximately at 5600ft I passed the last team ahead of me - 4 guys who were breaking trail I guess from the very start. Couple times I discussed direction with them. Navigation seemed Ok while some stones were visible on snow. Real problems began when I passed the stones and there was nothing around but the snow and a gray disc of sun that occasionally appeared above and a little behind me. Once in each 5-6 minutes whiteout was getting thinner and I could see the line of the nearby ridge. At approx 6500ft whiteout became so solid that I had to start using compass. In 20 minutes the slope became steeper and I checked a hard icy crust under a foot of snow. Temperature was below 30 and the snow seemed stable enough. I stopped to pack poles and prepare ice axe. The last 20-30 minutes of my way up were classical ascend with ice axe on 35 degree slope. Finally I've reached the point where only 5 inches of snow powder covered hard crust and slope became 40 degrees or so. After I slipped and arrested first time I turned east and tried to walk around the slope. It was a wild guess because of whiteout at approx 7000ft. In a couple minutes I slipped/arrested again. I dug two holes to fix my feet, set down, checked the crust again and thought that even if I had taken crampons and altimeter I should give up ascending. Two reasons came to my mind: 1. it is absolutely possible to miss the cornices on the top in whiteout; 2. if sun breaks thru - avalanche danger on this slope may substantially increase during minutes. So I drank some water with ice and started descent. I returned back to the point where I started walk around the slope and after twenty steps down I lost my traces and searched them by making left/right 60 degree turns. I found only a few deep holes left from ice axe. This was the last time I saw any traces. Compass. Not very useful either because each time you stop watching the needle you immediately loose direction. Luckily in 40 minutes of descent I heard voices of the group that followed me, they were also descending at the moment when I reached them. Guys used wands that provided fast and easy descend to safer terrain.
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