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ira

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  1. climbed east ingalls yesterday and got some ropes stuck rappelling down the gully between the east ridge of the north peak (beginning of route) and east ingalls. if anyone is up there i would really appreciate getting the ropes back, particularly the orange one. beer, tequila, etc offered as reward. thanks.
  2. [TR] Whitechuck - Standard 2/21/2015

    Went up there march 4 for the standard route. snow conditions weren't great but not bad. felt like we couldn't totally depend on the snow to hold us as there was about 4-8 inches over rock or ice. when over ice it was good (with an ice tool) but not so great when over rock. we didn't summit as we moved too far left and ended up to the left side of the false summit with no way around it. a fun day of climbing but now i'll have to go back to get the summit.
  3. I went over to Shangri La last year on a whim as i saw something shiny from a distance and guessed it was a bolt. we climbed History Book on TR (had to cut a sticker bush down with my swiss army knife on route) and then did Free Radical, fun and challenging. as for worrying about your age, i didn't start climbing until i was 51 and am now 63. still going strong and hopefully that will continue for quite some time. however, haven't made it to 5.12 (yet).
  4. I did the NBC on May 25th and there is already a significant amount of snow melt on the north face. there was very little exposed rock on our route up except for one scary/icy step up on rock until we got to the summit area. Very fun climb.
  5. The Washington Alpine Club is now accepting applications for it's 2012 Basic Climbing Class. Applications will be accepted until Jan 31, 2012. The class teaches basic rock climbing: belaying, rappeling, knots, map and compass Basic Snow and Glacier travel: snow camping, use of ice axe for ascending and decending, self arrest, crampon technique, glacier rope up, crevasse rescue Detailed information can be found at this site: www.wacclass.org
  6. [TR] Sherpa Peak - West Ridge 7/31/2011

    Hey Gerhard, nice climb. i just did argonaut on sunday and am heading to sherpa at the end of this month. For argonaut we took the beverly creek trail which by my friends GPS is 5.1 miles to Ingalls creek. we set up camp there and then climbed the peak getting back just at dark. only 3 hrs into the camp and then 5 hrs to summit.
  7. i have seen much larger groups of Mtneers on rock climbs than you mention (4 people) and have been held up by them. they have also been instructional climbs for students. and i have seen very large Mtneer groups on the Nisqually teaching. this is the nature of having classes and teaching. it's just not possible to teach a large number of people and only take 2 out at a time.
  8. glad all went well with your climb and you made it to the summit and back down safely.
  9. Trip: McClellan Butte - North Couloir Date: 1/23/2011 Trip Report: My plan during the week was to go skiing on Sunday but with no new snow and a very low avalanche danger predicted I thought it was perfect timing to go climb the North Couloir of McClellan Butte. I’ve been looking at this route for a number of years since it’s so visible when travelling west on I-90. It looked steep and narrow, perfect for a fun snow climb. I called Joanna to see if she was doing anything on Sunday and she only had a lunch planned; hardly anything to keep her from doing a good climb. So off we went Sunday morning getting to the McClellan Butte TH (1500 ft) at 8:30. We had read numerous trip reports from Cascade Climbers and they said to take the trail until you get to about 3400 – 3500 ft and then head up through trees and a snowfield until the obvious gully comes into sight. Seemed easy enough. We headed up the snow free trail which at about 2500 ft turned into fairly constant snow. Continuing on we finally got to 3400 ft at 10:30, 2 hrs from the TH. We were following tracks in the snow but didn’t see any heading up at this point so we just continued on looking for some tracks that were headed up since we knew someone had done the route 3 days earlier. We finally got to 3600 ft and never saw any tracks going up. So at this point it was either go back down and look more closely or just head straight up. We elected to head straight up the avalanche slope which was about 35 deg at the beginning. Going was pretty good with occasional deep steps when the crust wasn’t strong enough. Joanna being bigger than I am had a harder time but found it easier to make her own steps rather than following mine. Higher up the slope got steeper and narrower, going to about 40 deg. Also, as we got higher up I realized we were in the wrong place. By going to 3600 ft before starting up we overshot the couloir and ended up too far east, under a big rock cliff. We were now at about 4200 ft and needed to move west. This turned out to be the trickiest part of the day as we had to traverse a 45 deg snow slope over a rock band only feet away. A self-arrest at this point was very unlikely so we were extremely careful. After negotiating that slope we headed up slightly and then needed to downclimb a steep snow slope followed by an easy traverse through trees that finally brought us to the correct gully. Yea! We had been carrying our snowshoes all this way and never used them and clearly were not going to be using them as we went up the couloir. So they came off our packs and were firmly planted in the snow for the return. The couloir was about 40 deg at this location with prior steps going up. The people before us had used crampons but neither of us felt the need to put them on. It was very easy climbing as long as care was taken. As we got higher up the slope steepened to 45+ degrees but the going was still quite easy. Near the top of the couloir we spied two other climbers, the ones that had made the tracks we were following. They were roped up and attempting to scale the rock/ice band to get to the summit. I had read numerous reports about others trying this and all backed off unless it was later in the season and the ice had melted out. We elected not to even bring rock gear to attempt this although I did have 3 ice screws with me if the ascent looked promising, it didn’t. It was definitely a mixed climb, ice and rock, that I wasn’t prepared to do. We headed off to climbers left at the top of the couloir, they were on the right. We stamped out a little platform to stand on, put some warm clothes on and had a quick bite to eat. We had no intention of downclimbing the route as it would have taken a long time to back down hundreds of feet of 45+ deg snow. So we set up our first rappel right near the top on the left side. We had brought along a 60m 8mm rope for rappelling and also knew that if we needed it for climbing the route it would have been fine as we were only on a snow slope and not doing anything that would have resulted in a vertical fall. This was our first of six rappels down through trees on climbers left. The last rappel brought us back to the gully and the 40 deg slope. At this point we just plunge stepped down as the snow was soft enough to be safe. Got back to our snowshoes and then continued down the lower couloir that we hadn’t been up. There were a few breaks in the snow where water was flowing over short drops. We downclimbed these areas pretty easily and continued on our way. Finally out of the gully we followed the other climber’s tracks up to get us back to the trail and on our way down. It did get dark on us and we ran into trouble determining exactly where we needed to be when traveling along one of the roads looking for the trail extension. We lost about ½ an hour during this time and finally got back to the car about 6:00. The other two climbers elected to rappel off the west side of the couloir from the top rather than down the couloir as we had decided to do. Their car was still in the parking lot when we returned so they were clearly still out there. A very fun day. Gear Notes: Gear taken/used: Ice axe – used Ice tool – not used Rope – used Helmet – used Crampons – not used Pickets – not used Ice screws – not used Snowshoes – not used Webbing for rappels – used (6) Rappel rings - used Approach Notes: Start at the McClellan Butte TH, exit 42. The key thing is to head up from the trail at 3400 ft so you can go straight to the couloir rather than how we did it.
  10. The Washington Alpine Club is now accepting applications for our 2011 Basic Mountaineering Class. The class teaches basic rock climbing, glacier climbing, use of ice axes and crampons, snow camping, map and compass, and general skills required when climbing in the Pacific NW Mountains. Prior climbing experience is not required but good physical condition is. If interested, please go to this website for further information: http://wacclass.org/default.html
  11. Trip: Forbidden - West Ridge Date: 7/9/2010 Trip Report: Chris, Dave, Jen and I had been planning on doing the west ridge of Forbidden for about 2 months now. We had two previous dates planned but bailed on both due to the weather. We finally had a good weather window last week so went up on Thursday. Lucky for us, but quite surprisingly, we got the last permit of the day for Boston Basin. It was also full the day before. This was also my third time in three years I went up to Boston Basin to climb forbidden, the other two times i got weathered off before we got up the couloir. Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/ira.rushwald/Forbidden?feat=email# The hike in was brutally hot as thursday was in the 90's down in seattle. We stopped a number of times and just took our time as we knew once we got to the lower camp there would be no shade and we'd just bake out there. We arrived around 5 PM, got the last good site at the lower camp and set down our 4 bivy bags. The creeks are running high on the way in and the first one has to be taken with some care. Also, right now the upper creek in Boston Basin can still be crossed on snow which was a nice find. The lower campsite is pretty much snow free but the rest of the basin is in snow. The next morning we left camp at about 6 AM and arrived at the base of the couloir 2 hrs later. There was one open crevasse low down on the glacier that was an easy step across and there were open crevasses just to the right of the big rock below the couloir that you have to walk around. Very easy but taken with care. The couloir is in very good shape right now. There are moats opening up but they are easy to avoid. We did not bring pickets or crampons with us due to the hot weather and found we made the correct choice as it was easy to kick steps. After about 500 ft (not vertical but slope) the snow ended and we got onto rock. This was really the sketchiest part of the entire climb as we had our climbing boots on, no rope, it's class 4, loose rock with some snow, etc. This goes about one rope length until getting to the notch. At the notch we found the north side of the ridge still under quite a bit of snow so we ended up staying right on top of the ridge the entire route. Amazing exposure or highly intimidating, depending on your persuasion. I found it fun. The climbing is easy, a lot of class 4 and low class 5 with some mid-class 5 sections. The crux pitch has a fixed pin which was nice to clip and i put 2 more cams above that to get to the belay above. So, while climbing up was fun, the downclimbing kind of sucked. Since we were a party of four, it took a long time, even with the two ropes. Part of the route can be rappelled and the rest has to be downclimbed. Not sure the rappelling saves much time as you have to be very careful going down the ridge. Anyway, by the time we got back to the notch it must have been 6 PM. I knew this wasn't good and I turned out to be right. We did a double rope rappel down the rock part of the couloir which worked great. We did another double rope rappel down the upper snow section to an anchor on the climber's left. This turned out to be a mistake because as we did our third double rope rappel the rope kept getting caught in the moat on the left side of the couloir between the rock wall and the snow/ice. This ate up enormous amounts of time and by the time all 4 of us were down it was dark. We pulled the rope and worst of worst, it was stuck. The knot was only 20 ft above us but the rope must have gotten stuck in the moat as we couldn't get it loose no matter how hard we tried. I climbed up the 20 ft to untie the ropes so we at least had one. We left one behind. It was now very, very dark as heavy clouds had come in. Going back to camp was slow but we finally got there at 1 AM. The next morning we were going to climb Sharkfin Tower but instead we went back up to retrieve the rope. But as i expected it was already gone, one of the morning climbing parties had bagged it. So, if anyone hears of someone finding a rope in the couloir on saturday morning it's ours. It's a 70m, 9.2 I think, green. In spite of the lost rope and the long day, it was a great climb. We all really enjoyed the views and the rock climbing. What a fabulous area. Gear Notes: Gear Notes: I had double cams from .4 - 2. Used most of them Set of nuts - used one 4-5 double length slings are nice as there are many places to sling rather than place gear Approach Notes: Get a permit early in the day. First creek could be nasty. It was fine going up but coming down all rocks were under water. We actually belayed across this as it just seemed to risky to take a fall.
  12. Does anybody know if the gate to Daley Prairie is now being left open, or is it still hit-or-miss? when i was there last year we were pondering the same question when this pickup came down the road and stopped. they said it's a good thing we didn't go up there as the sherrif is fining people who do and then there is the potential the gate will get locked (which he proceeded to do).
  13. we did have to melt water. there's lots running down below of course and a ton was coming down Ulrich's Couloir, but high up on the ascent route we didn't find running water. we carried a small stove with us.
  14. Trip: Mt Stuart - West Ridge Date: 6/28/2008 Trip Report: Lee, Stefan and I set off Saturday morning to climb the West Ridge of Stuart. We hadn't seen any trip reports for this route yet this year which seemed surprising. Since none of us had done this route before we were hoping to get some up-to-date info but alas, there was none. We did have posts and pictures from many other people who've climbed the route in previous years and knew all about the route finding problems for first timers on the west ridge. We found the info on ClimbingWashington.com to be quite helpful and also the pictures in SummitPost.org, along with some other detail info we found on the web. One key piece of info we got was to go up the second gulley from the west all the way to the top of the ridge. This was under heavy snow most of the way up and it was quite steep in the upper portions (50 deg?). Following the pictures and guides we crossed into the next gulley to the east heading to Long John's Tower. We tried going left initially and ended up on solid class 5 rock which we knew was one way up but not the way we wanted to go. So we downclimbed a bit and moved further right onto class 4 rock. This was much easier but was quite wet so the small rock particles (sand) mixed with water made it a bit interesting. We followed the guides pretty much as they directed us so we were able to stay on route quite well. We headed towards the west ridge notch, sometimes on rock, sometimes on steep snow. It was starting to get late at this point, 8PM, so we knew we needed to start looking for a bivy site. We crossed some very steep snow (55 deg) and got onto a small rock ledge where we were able to find a reasonable place to build a bivy site for the three of us. Lee and Stefan built the site while I got the stove going so we could have a hot dinner. It was amazingly warm that night and totally clear. Just beautiful up there. We were at about 8700 ft. The next morning we headed off towards the west ridge notch. At first we went straight up to the ridge top to a notch, but it was not the right notch. We had to rappel from there to continue our journey eastward and up. We obtained the west ridge notch pretty easily with class 3 and 4 scrambling. Now the "obvious ledge" leading to the north side baffled us for awhile. We eventually found a nice route up the north side of the rock from the notch but i'm not sure if it is the standard route. It was class 4 to easy 5, exposed, and quite short. This brought us to the ridge crest and onto the south side ledge of the summit block. It took us awhile to figure out what route to take from here. There's a class 5.4 route and a 5.6 route and who knows how many others. This was the first time we pulled out the rope for climbing. We eventually picked one and Lee took the lead up the right corner. He set an anchor at about 30m which turned out to be perfect for 3 people climbing as I tied into the middle, climbed up to Lee and there was just enough rope left for Stefan to tie in and come up. We did this again for the next pitch which brought us just below the summit. From there we scrambled onto the summit block. Views were stunning, weather warm (t-shirts and shorts) and we were all alone on an amazing peak. For the route down we intended to take the Cascadian Couloir but we didn't go far enough east and I believe went down Ulrich's Couloir. There was a very steep snow field at the top and after that we went back and forth between snow and rock. We did two rappels to get past waterfalls lower down the gulley. Eventually we arrived at a raging Ingall's Creek which we crossed by sitting down on a large log and scooting on a butts. At this point it was 8PM so we decided to spend the night right there. The next morning we got up a little past 5 AM and headed up the Long's Pass trail. There's lots of downed trees in this section and streams that have taken over the trail. The upper portion is still under snow so we donned our crampons and ice axes for the final ascent to the pass. From there is was all downhill and a very nice arrival at the waiting car. A stop at Cle Elum at a coffee roasting cafe for some wonderful coffee, smoothies and sandwiches finished off a fine climb. Gear Notes: Al crampons and ice axes, small rack of nuts, tricams, a few small cams, some single and double slings.
  15. Trip: North Twin - West Ridge Date: 6/30/2007 Trip Report: There's been some other trip reports on this route recently but i just wanted to add some route finding info as it can be confusing to someone new to this climb. Drive to Acme and take the Mosquito Lake Rd to road 38 (it's a gravel road with a huge gravel mound next to it). Stay on this road for a few miles until it splits off to the right to head down to the river. There's a gate and a bridge at the bottom. This is the beginning of the bike ride/push. (1200 ft elevation) It's a pretty steep go from here. Two of the people in our party were able to ride all the way but the rest of us did a lot of pushing. In 2.5 miles (2600' el), there's a major right turn. Take this road/trail (much easier biking from here on) for approx. 1 mile until a stream crossing. Continue on, bearing left at the Y, until you get to the "top" of the road (3250' el). There's a sign here, can't remember what it says, and a trail that heads off left. Push your bikes up aways and lock to any tree. The trail continues up and changes into road again switchbacking up. Eventually you'll approach a logged off area. There's a road going left that you take and fifty yards later you should see a big fire pit. The real trail starts here. Head up steeply on trail through clearcut until entering forest. The trail continues through forest and eventually you will get to the west ridge (4900'). Climb as in the becky guide. Very fun scramble. No technical gear required other than an ice axe to come down the North face which is very steep at the beginning.
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