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John_Roper

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About John_Roper

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  1. Thanks for getting the original Ragged Ridge names right.
  2. Unbelievable audacity.
  3. Great shots of Hunich Pipe and the Pipe Cleaner and all, Jason. Here’s the story behind these names: When I was growing up in Newhalem and Diablo (1944-61), I admired Ken Hunich as the one-and-only climber of all the Seattle City Light employees that ran the Skagit River powerhouses and dams out of those towns. Ken was in the party that made the FA of North Despair in 1963. South Despair was Beckey’s very first, FA in 1939. North Despair was done in style by Eric and Rolf in 2014 via the NE “Bipolar Buttress.” Ken was the second supervisor of Ross Dam and Powerhouse, succeeding my dad Jack Roper in 1954. While we were all living in Diablo in 1953, Ken, my dad, and I (age 9 then) made a try for Pyramid Peak above town before a lightning storm chased us off the mountain. Ken and my first successful peak together was a day-trip of Johannesburg in 1968 (returning in the dark from Gunsight Notch). Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Ken smoked a pipe and always teethed it at a jaunty angle under his moustache. In 1964, the year after Jay Haggerty and I rowed Jay’s one-man duck boat across the Skagit River at Sky Creek and climbed Big Devil left of the waterfall you see from HW 20 (launching in the morning, returning in the dark), Ken and his brother Dick climbed Big Devil via the route Jason’s gang descended. Ken told me then that they went by a “10-foot notch” below the Trapezoid to get to Big Devil. The day after climbing Fallen Angel in 1982, Russ Kroeker, Silas Wild, and I stood at this spot and admired these pinnacles and decided to give them a go. We chuckled at Ken’s 10-foot estimate and came to call these crags “Hunich Pipe and the Pipe Cleaner,” though in retrospect he was probably referring to the width of the gap and not the height of these peaklets. Another photo here: ( click to enlarge ). Six-foot tall Russ stands on the Pipe Cleaner to give scale to the actual height.
  4. Hey Eric and Chris: Thanks for taking the bait, cheating doom and triumphing over the Grim Reaper his Scythe, and acting like you were actually having fun. Very gneiss, as Rolf said. Great route shots. Jeremy: Thanks for mentioning Hunich Pipe and Pipe Cleaner (just N of the Trapezoid) which were first climbed the day after Fallen Angel FA in 1982.
  5. first ascent [TR] Assassin Spire - NW Face (IV, WI4+) FA

    This is an historic event in Washington climbing marking the first time the FA was also the FWA, afaik.
  6. Hey Devils Clubbers Mike and Erik, Props again to you guys, and since any route on the east face/buttress of ESE/Hardest/Lemolo Mox is possibly the premier route in the North Cascades, can you please lay a line showing your route and 95% end point on the above photos next to those of Eric and Rolf for historical comparison? Just curious to see how much of “After Hours” was “After Yours.” Don’t want to dis/tract from the classic Ross Lake/LB/Perry Creek approach-fun, but I bet future explorers might find the trail up Depot Creek over the pass between Spickard and Solitude 8405’ down into Perry Creek a more efficient way to get to the base and climb of any one of several frightening undone routes on that incredible east face of Lemolo Mox. JR
  7. Historic work, Rolf and Eric! The Beast has been tamed. And Lemolo Mox has a nice ring to it. How about drawing your line for us on this ground-level photo, please: http://www.rhinoclimbs.com/Images/MoxSE.07.03.78.9.JPG
  8. Name a peak for Fred?

    A couple of us were discussing this topic about 20 years ago and thought that either South Hozomeen or SE Mox would be well-suited as Beckey's gravestone. Both peaks are significant, both are difficult, both were first climbed by Beckey, and both have duplicative names now. See the US Board on Geographic Names policy on Commemorative Names. Principles, Policies, and Procedures for Domestic Geographic Names. Beckey will have to be a dead Fred for 5 years before they’d consider naming a peak for him.
  9. Washington Cult of Prominence initiation requirements: Finish off all the peaks on the lists of the Top 100 Peaks in Washington by the Bulger, 400-foot, 500-foot, 1000-foot, 1500-foot, and 2000-foot Prominence Rules, and all the 144 P2000 peaks in the state (plus 3 more bonus P2000 peaks by mean/averaged prominence), and climb the Greatest Prominence Peak in every one of the 39 counties of Washington.
  10. The Goode Ridge name and trail shows on the 1937 Chelan National Forest map (but not on the 1931 Mt. Baker NF map). It led to an L-4 cab (14’x14’) lookout. These are the familiar structures still in use atop Park Butte, Copper, Desolation, Sourdough, Hidden Lake Peaks, Three Fingers, etc. Ray Kresek notes in his classic “Fire Lookouts of Oregon and Washington” that the cab placed here in 1937 blew off the cliff in 1938, was replaced in 1939, and destroyed in 1950.
  11. The North Cascades are as sacred a place to some of us as Jerusalem and Mecca are to others. This is a place probably most of us come to for peace of mind and restoration of soul. The NCNP trail crews have built no significant trails since its inception in 1968. (Thunder Knob is the only one I can think of off the top of my head, and that’s in the NRA, outside the Park.) It is not the NOCA rangers that are destroying our once pristine wilderness. Look around. The Park is not to blame. It is the plastic flaggers and those that follow that are building the new trails, simplifying the difficult, and turning once-wild approaches into no-brainers. Since 1968, the joy of discovery is now gone from what once were wilderness mysteries into the Southern Pickets, Pyramid-Colonial, Eldorado, Primus, Goode, Depot Creek, and Blum, to name a few. Trails have replaced the need for route-finding savvy. Next will be Eiley-Wiley, Axes (Access) Creek, maybe even Baker River, or Jasper Pass. Who knows? Why? Flags. The graffiti on the walls of our sacred shrine. Don’t put ‘em up. Tear ‘em down. Thanks for leaving the wilderness wild. Mike and Erik were lucky to have had the opportunity to experience Perry Creek in its original state. Kelly is right, machetes should stay home, but who amongst us hasn’t taken an ice ax to a devils club after a poke in the eye?
  12. The beast has been tamed. http://www.rhinoclimbs.com/Images/MoxSE.07.03.78.9.JPG This really is a stupendous effort and accomplishment. John Roper PS: The following is from Harry Majors. (I have asked John Roper to kindly post these comments for me, as I seem to have misplaced my cc.com password, and my antique 11-year old computer is experiencing difficulty in downloading some webpages.) Incredible! Absolutely astounding!! This first ascent by Mike and Erik of the legendary, difficult, dangerous, and highly intimidating East face of SE Mox represents a mountaineering achievement of the first magnitude in the North Cascades. With the sole exception of the direct overhanging central diamond on the North face of nearby Bear Mountain, no other recognized "Last Great Problem" of the North Cascades has remained unclimbed for so long (64 years now), nor received as much notoriety, as the East face of SE Mox. The great problem that the young Fred Beckey first glimpsed and recognized on June 21, 1941, from the summit of Mt. Spickard, and which thwarted his efforts over a quarter-century later in September 1968, has now been conquered. From the vantage point of North Cascades mountaineering history, Mike and Erik's ascent of the East face of SE Mox is of equal importance as Fred's 1951 first ascent of the East face of North Index (which marked the first use of bolts on a major climb in the Northwest), as well as the Gordon and Cooper's 1960 first ascent of the North face of Mount Baring (which marked the first use of Yvon Chouinard's chromium-molybdenum knifeblade pitons in the Northwest). The 1951 Index and the 1960 Baring north face ascents opened up two distinct historic eras of technical and alpine "great wall" climbing in the North Cascades --- and I would venture to predict that with the 2005 ascent of the East face of SE Mox we now stand at the threshold of yet another new era of climbing in the North Cascades. Another indicator that we now stand at the gateway to a new era of North Cascades climbing are the superb aerial photographs of John Scurlock. These magnificent winter photographs, with their intricate filigree of ice and snow --- clearly delineating crack, ledge, and fissure systems on isolated and remote peaks in the North Cascades (which would not be as readily evident in summer) --- greatly facilitate, in advance, potential solutions to route-finding problems on unclimbed routes in the North Cascades. (During the SE Mox ascent, it must have been very reassuring indeed, knowing that John was flying high above these two intrepid climbers on this forbidding wall, serving as their guardian angel.) Mike and Erik --- You are correct. The traces of a previous visit on the lower right side of the East face of SE Mox are remnants left by the unsuccessful August 1958 Portland climbing party. An account of their pioneering venture appeared as: Paul Williams, "An unclimbed 'No Name' Peak," Summit, vol. 6, no. 5, May 1960, pp. 19-21. (A further clarification appears as: Dee Molenaar, "Letter questions location of 'No Name' Peak," Summit, vol. 6, no. 6, June 1960, pp. 22-23.) If you, or any other cc.com readers, would like a copy of this 1960 article, on which the routes of the August 1958 party (on the lower right half of the face) and the September 1968 party (on the lower left half of the face) have been marked, let me know, and I would be pleased to mail you copies, with my compliments. --- HarryMajors
  13. [TR] Seward Peak - SW Ridge 7/24/2005

    Greetings Dan Lauren, Interesting coincidence, as Jerry Huddle, Sofy (my 13-pound dog, a rat terrier), and I had this view of your route from Marmot Ridge of Thunder Glacier, Lincoln, and on to Seward Peak, the evening before you guys did it. http://www.rhinoclimbs.com/USGSMountBaker.htm Who had been to Seward's top besides Dallas Kloke, Brice Simon, Mike Bialos, and Gene Mickle (was it?)? Can you mark your route on this photo, please? John Roper
  14. Virtual Klenke

    Jonathan de Ferranti, from his computer in Scotland, has created a mind-blowing digital panorama of our Washington peaks as viewed from the top of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. www.sol.co.uk/v/viewfinder/seattle.gif Bill G, are you watching?
  15. Virtual Klenke

    Virtual Klenke from North Gardner: http://www.sol.co.uk/v/viewfinder/ngardner.gif And just in time, since Paul now has a real job. Jonathan de Ferranti from Scotland tells how to do it. http://www.sol.co.uk/v/viewfinder/technical.htm It would be nice to see the 360 degree virtual "view" from all Top 100 peaks, so we can settle the question of "What is the Top 100 peak from which you see the most Top 100 peaks?"
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