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Everything posted by OlympicMtnBoy

  1. Omega Pacific Ice Screws

    Off the main topic, but check out http://www.omegapac.com/inmate.html if you're concerned about OP's use of prison labor. I've never found fault with the quality of their gear, and no, I don't work for them. :-) The next screws I get will probably be BDs as I start leading more towards my limit, but I like my OPs and they got me out leading this season instead of sitting at home fondling my two BD screws wishing I had enough to lead a decent pitch. :-)
  2. Climb: Alpental Ski Area-Stellar Falls (aka Chairlift Falls) Date of Climb: 2/23/2004 Trip Report: Yep, ski area was closed so we headed up there Monday. The falls is in pretty good shape considering the weather. I think the cold nights last week helped. Led up two routes and toproped some stuff off the trees. The 30 foot pillar at the top of the main line was nice and fat and fun to lead, the bottom bit is rotten but not terrible. There are big icicles hanging down on the right for anyone who wanted to try that mixed route. We were the only people there until this guy showed up in the afternoon and top rope self belayed for a little bit. It was a really nice day to play around on the ice, and you can't beat the approach. Sorry, no pics due to a dead camera. Gear Notes: ice climbing schtuff Approach Notes: Park car, enjoy the leisurely stroll up the packed and groomed ski run, enjoy the glissade all the way back to the car.
  3. Omega Pacific Ice Screws

    Granted, I just started leading ice this season so I haven't climbed in a lot of different conditions, but I think my OP scews are ok. They're not nearly as nice to place as BD's but no one said they would be. They're not the hardest to place by any means either. At $25 a piece on gearexpress.com they're a bargain if you're looking to build up your rack. If you're climbing at your limit and want THE fastest, easiest to place screw then you get what you pay for, and OP probably isn't it. I think they're all right screws overall. The knob does help a bit in placing them although I've heard that it can get in the way, haven't seen it as being a problem in most situations. I haven't noticed any more fracturing with them than with my BD screw (yes, I only own one right now).
  4. Tunnel Creek Flagging

    Yeah, I don't know about the route behind the shelter, but I ran into the stuff on the north fork. It branches and one side probably goes to Constance. The other branch which we followed for a bit did eventually lead to the very old trail up to Charlia Lakes. You can still see evidence of the trail in a few spots but it was kinda hard to follow.
  5. Vantage on Sunday

    Yep, we started out on Don Quixote (5.8) in the feathers area as a warm up and it wasn't exactly warming yet. My fingers were numb after about 15 feet and I had to look at the holds to see what was going on with em. After that (11:00) it warmed up really nicely though. This weekend doesn't look too bad, thinking of heading over there again on Monday maybe. Just don't try to start too early and you should be ok.
  6. eurotrip

    I might be somewhere in Europe then, or a week after that. I'm looking to do some alpine stuff, I'm not sure when I have a partner and when I don't yet. Ask again a little closer to June.
  7. Yep, we were up there on 2/2/04 and it looked about the same, running water underneath. Poking my head through the gap at the base and looking at the huger wet cave underneath was less than inspiring. My partner wasn't feeling well so I just did the bottom pitch a few times and he shivered at the belay. Climbed the right side to the crack, the central pillar stuff, and the left side to a bit above the crack untill I got scared looking down inside the top of the crack. Also the track you guys had put in was totally buried in new snow, falling all day, so the approach, especially above the tree, sucked. I did manage to find a few of your postholes anyways though. Rumor had it that someone was on Millenium Wall on Saturday too, and that wasn't too bad. But I didn't get over there myself.
  8. Partner needed for Monday or Tuesday ...ALL ICE

    How bout NEXT monday-tuesday? I'll be over in Leavenworth then with another friend, but the more the merrier (especially since I only have one poor set of tools).
  9. Approach Skis

    I've got a pair of Rossignol Free Venture ski boards. They're like 99cm and have a sort of AT binding that fits crampon compatible boots. I've had em out a few times and they actually work pretty well. In deep soft snow they act more like snowshoes, but they ski ok too, and you can turn like crazy on the downhill side. They're not so hard to carry when you take em off either. The climbing skins they come with seem to work pretty well too. I had to order em from skiboards.com though as no one seems to carry em around here. I wouldn't be surpised to see em more often though. Of course I'm not a skier of any talent or much desire, I just want to get to the climb (and have a nice trip down), so others might have different opinions. PM me if you want more info.
  10. Trango's New Cam

    Check out the thread on rockclimbing.com. Supposed covers the range of a #2 and #3 camalot in one cam, at slightly less weight than a #2. A pic of the prototype is at http://www.trango.com/maxcam.jpg . Or check out their redesign of the flexcams with wider axles on the big end and splitter 4-cam designs on the little end. http://www.trango.com/newflexcam.jpg I'm just passing this on cause they're kinda cool, I have no affiliation with Trango and no real need to buy these.
  11. Light on the Path

    I think it used to be a 9, but the bottom bit eroded and some of the holds broke off, and now it's a 10a start. Check the guidbook update for more info, I think there's something about it in there. I climbed it maybe six or seven years ago, and then again in September last year and it seemed harder then. That or I'm weaker. Hehe, or both.
  12. Aluminum Crampons = Cheap

    climbaxe.com has em for the same price, or you can get the stee; version (also $50). I've got a pair of CAMP aluminum 'pons that I like. I used em on the DC on Rainier last year, just made sure to take em off on the cleaver so they didn't get dulled on the rock, didn't take long at all with the stap-on kind. I hope to take em out for some summer traverses when I'm too lazy to take anything else "just in case".
  13. what about Bask brand?

    I've actually been to their factory, hidden deep within an industrial block, surrounded by barbed wire, in the outskirts of Moscow. I made the expedition one day while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer over there. I wanted to check out a Russian sporting goods company, I just didn't know that it was located in this big complex, and the guards didn't understand what I wanted (but they let me in anyways). What did I find? A bunch of folks in a room with sewing machines, and a little store that reminded me of a tiny REI with tents on the walls. I also own one of their down sleeping bags, I forget the name but it's rated at around zero F. It may not be the highest quality gear, or the fanciest, but I've found it all quite functional, and pretty damn cheap if you buy it in Russia. I've used my bag in -15 F temps and been pretty happy with it. It's simple but it works well. I'd say it's a step above much of the made in China cheapo stuff, and a step below the made in the USA stuff. I don't know where you'd buy it here though.
  14. Chair peak approach

    I went up to the Tooth to the 18th, so a bit of the approach was the same. The packed ski track wasn't too bad, but off that the snow was really dry deep powder. It took us 4 hours to get to Pineapple Pass. I was on AT skiboards and my partner was on big snowshoes. It was a pain in the ass either way, but the ski down would be fun, if only I could ski better on short skis with a pack in powder. Check the avy conditions before you go.
  15. WA Ice Partner Needed

    I need to get out on the ice this season! I'm generally free on Sundays-Tuesdays, also every other wednesday. I haven't led a whole lot and my rack is anorexic, but I'd be happy to lead easy stuff or follow WI5 or so, maybe harder. Also I'm out on the Olympic Peninsula if you're up for some exploratory climbing there, or I'll drive east. Email me at stewartmatthiesen@hotmail.com (better) or PM me here. :-)
  16. WA Ice Partner Needed

    Being as I have a four days off almost every other week I'm also up for heading north or east a bit.
  17. Find it and they will come..

    Ok, I'm not that experienced at evaluating ice conditions but I'll spill the beans cause I'm nice and I don't have a partner. I've seen a bit of single, or maybe two-pitch ice up at Lake Angeles in the Olympics, although it's a 3 mile hike into it and the snow is soft and deep right now. I climbed a pitch of it about 3 weeks ago when I found someone to drag up there. It's probably better now, although the snow is deeper and the lake isn't frozen enough to walk across. Also I saw a couple of ice sections off the Source Lake trail at Snoqualmie last Thursday on my way up to climb the Tooth. Nasty soft snow and avalanche danger there though, but it might settle down. I'm probably not up to leading much of that, but if anyone else wants to I'd be up for it.
  18. Olympic Crags & Sport Routes

    I've found some bolts over near Mt. Zion as well, on lichen spire there are a couple of anchors, and there are probably (or ought to be) some routes on that big cliff face above the road there.
  19. Mt Tom beta

    I've been up Tom Creek a couple of times, solo, trying to get to Dragon Lake. It's pretty nasty after the first bit like Ned said, but doable. I'd stick to the left side of the creek (facing upstream) and you might find remnants of the old trail. There were a few old tattered pieces of flagging still up when I was last there a few years ago. Stick uphill away from the creek a little when you hit the canyons. After that it mellows out a bit again till you get closer to the headwaters. It's a lot of work, unless you like bushwhacking I'd approach from Olympus. It is really beautiful and unspoiled in the Tom Creek valley though. I ran into two bull elk and a herd of 19 cows over 2 days in there.