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  1. Thanks for your concern about our business everyone. The Fly shop (from whom we rented office space) recently went our of business. We are still operating out of the upstairs, though we are moving to a new location at the end of the month. We will now be located in the little red building at the skiing trailhead right at the T intersection in Mazama. This new space will be bigger and will provide somewhat of a climbers hangout in the summer with couches, guidebooks and a source for beta. We are also in the process of joining forces with the Northwest Mountain School which will expand our permit areas as well as bring several more fully certified guides to our staff. Big news for us! So, while its true that we dont have someone sittng around in the office all of time, we always welcome folks to call or stop by with questions about routes or conditions or just to shoot the breeze. We try and keep topos of some newish local routes on the bulletin board out front as well as a 5 day weather forecast. Hope to see you in the mountains. Alpine Cheer, Larry Goldie
  2. Last week Paul Butler and I bolted a single rope Rappel route on the Methow Inspiration route on Goat Wall in Mazama. We added 3 rap stations and the route still utilizes all of the original stations except the first one which you can now bypass. You can now get off with a single 60m rope in 6 rappels. We also moved 2 bolts on the 4th pitch to better protect climbers. This was all done of course with permission from the first ascensionist. I will post an updated topo soon both here and on the NCMG website. Cheers, Larry Goldie
  3. These shoes have literally only been used for 1 day. They are in perfect shape, but are a bit too big for me. I will sell them for $60 firm. They are a good all around shoe; comfy (if they fit you well).
  4. The Slesse creek trailhead has been moved. As you turn onto the road just after crossing the creek you will see the big warning signs for unexploded shells and ammunition. Follow the main road for a few miles until you see a big sign saying "new Slesse Creek trailhead". Several more miles keeping right at all junctions will bring you to a washed out bridge. This is the new parking lot and doable in a 2 wheel drive vehicle. You can leave a car here (or a bike), but its another mile or so of hiking to the start of the new trail. As of 2 weeks ago, it was extensivelyt flagged with green surveyors tape and clearly marked and brushed out to where it meets the old trail. Keep in mind, this is the descent for Slesse, as the trail goes up to the Southwest face. Best of luck. Larry Goldie
  5. A friend and I just climbed Slesse yesterday. In response to your questions, you can get by without an ice axe and crampons, esp if you try and avoid any snow on the pocket glacier (doable on slabs, but a bit sketch). We just had a ski pole each and minimized our time on the snow. There is plenty of water on the slabs below the route and a big snowpatch at mid height (bivy site). No water on the South (Slesse creek) side of the peak. I would say 4-7 hours to the base of the route depending on your packs and fitness. The bridge is washed out at the start of the trail, though there is a log nearby that you can cross. The road is impassable about 1 mile from the trailhead. The trail is extremely overgrown, but not too difficult to follow. Best of luck. Larry Goldie
  6. Since the First ascent, I have fixed the route so it can be rappelled with a single rope to avoid the loose unpleasant gully. There are many variations possible on the climb, but the original line stays as close to the ridge crest as possible. Scott and I both feel like it offers some of the highest quality moderate climbing in the Wa Pass area. The ridge is broken in the middle with a long stretch of class 2-3 (that could use a bit of pruning), but the upper pitches are really fun clean mid fifth climbing. I have attached a photo, Topo to follow - Enjoy! Larry Goldie
  7. Just a reminder that the fifth annual Methow Valley Freeheel Festival is taking place in Mazama on March 5 to 7. Demos, clinincs with Leslie Ross, Don Portman and NCMG staff and races at the Loup Loup Ski Bowl on Friday, gypsy-swing by Seattle's Hot Club Sandwich at the Twisp River Pub that night; guided tours on Saturday followed by dinner, slideshows, kegs of Freeheel Ale and the big raffle; and Sunday follows with a gear swap, beacon clininc and contest plus more tours. Come over and celebrate. Information can be found at www.offpistemag.com/other/mvff or calling 509-996-3194. Thanks, Paul B./North Cascades Mountain Guides
  8. There has been some good info posted here on skin width and trimming techniques. We have found that as skis have gotten wider and have more side cut it has become increasingly necessary to have wider skins trimmed to fit the profile. We agree strongly with leaving some edge exposed so trimming the skin 1/4 inch (total) narrower than the ski leaves enough edge for traverses on hard surfaces. For addditon info on skins you canlink to the following review in Off Piste magazine from last season. It is a large PDF file so it will be slow to load if you do not have a high speed connection. http://www.offpistemag.com/themag/gear/vol5/op_17skins.pdf Good luck and keep doing the snow dance. NCMG
  9. Mellsbells; Not sure where to send you in Portland to find skins but you may want to check out this skin review in Off Piste magazine from last winter. The link is below. It is a large pdf file and may be slow to load unless you have a high speed connection. http://www.offpistemag.com/themag/gear/vol5/op_17skins.pdf Good luck in your search.
  10. Dawg; Three things to look for; fit, fit, and fit. You must try them on. Each company uses different lasts (even from model to model). French boots, as are Salomon, tend to have narrow toes and wide heels and have had this tendency since my first pair of Galibier Super GUides in 1976. A good all around mountain boot will be stiff enough to allow you to climb rock moderately well and have a soft enough upper to allow easy ankle movement for French tech. People will have there own favorites for sure but those will no doubt share many of the same qualities. Buy from a good high quality manufacturer and you'll get many seasons of use. The Saloman Super Mtn 9 is a well made boot for sure and will give you good service if it fits well. For my money it is too high and the upper too stiff to allow easy ankle motion for both ice and rock climbing. It's also quite heavy. La Sportiva (Italian) makes some very high quality technical mountian boots. I have several seasons hard usa on a pair of Trango Extremes and they have proven themselves over and over on all sorts of terrain and conditions. I also use the Trango S in the summer. It is super light and a great rock/ice/general boot. Durablity has been an issue with the S however. But La Sportiva boots fit me well hence my preference. Go to a good shop with several to try on and spend some time. When you amortize the cost over the many trips you'll do in them, the time and money spent to get the right pair will be worth it. It doesn't sound like you are, but don't be fooled into thinking you can buy a pair of trail hiking boots (even heavy duty ones) and make them do double duty on technical terrain. The compromise in performance is not worth it. They are two different critters and I'd rather hike in my mtn boots than try to climb in hikers. Good luck, Scott (NCMG)
  11. For those of you hoping to climb at Wa Pass this fall, Hwy 20 is also closed on the east side at Silver Star Ck gate. While it is still reasonable to ride a bike up from there, plan accordingly if you come over to the Methow.
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