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Posts posted by tele_nut

  1. We had some of the same approach issues you mentioned also. I never really read any route description whatsoever previous to agreeing to go on this trip so I can only fault my partners for their lack of prior planning. Upon seeing the condition of the road I abandoned my skis at the car. Your first picture is near where we came out of the treeline and realized how much further we had to go. With no flotation and bad postholing conditions we abandoned the climb and returned to the car same day.

  2. Pete and Bryan did report a climb there a few years back, and somebody from the Department of Wildlife or maybe Fish and Wildlife or whatever asked them not to promote the climb because there were birds nesting on it. They have respected that request.


    Given everything else in the area, you can imagine what the rock is like. We are probably not missing out Washington's answer to the Squamish Chief.


    I think the Doorish route was completed by the Volken route called the Si Pillar. It was reported to me that the Doorish climb had ended on or near the ledge at the base of the upper route. Andy Dappen (Couloir Magazine) was the partner on the finished route. All descent anchors were removed. There is a topo for the route in the North Bend guide shop, but you're right about the closures of the area to development. I believe the canyon ScottP mentions is called "The Black Canyon" and can be accessed by parking just across the first bridge on the moon valley road, and hiking up the overgrown road to the base of Mt Si. From there it is a short bushwack to the talus field at the base of the canyon. Expect steep talus and dirt. At the top exit right and head high. The rock was reported as compact and required pins and some hooking moves.


    Russian Butte is probably an open option with a sporty river crossing.

  3. Climb: Navaho Peak -The peak


    Date of Climb: 4/11/2004


    Trip Report:

    Between 1-2 miles of hiking mixed ground and snow then skis are on with only a few hundred feet of elevation gain. Skinned up and crossed a few creeks on snow bridges on the way in - walked across on the way out. IT was so warm I had to remove my shell pants and skinned up in my boxers. The ladies were gawkin'..


    Excellent scenery to Stuart, DraginAss, Nightmare Needles etc.


    Went to signt the summit register. Found a reference to Trask and Allison in there. Anyway good turns and good times.


    Gear Notes:



    Approach Notes:

    There is a trail up there. Before that is a road.

  4. Emailed from a buddy of mine this morning. Names removed for security reasons.




    -This kid fought like a angry bastard. When he was shot in the arm he simply took cover, changed belts of ammo, and got back to the fight. We had to force him to get in the helo for medevac.



    Send him an email and thank him for his bravery.


    >Subject: Thanks

    >Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 14:11:05 +0400



    >My name is Cpl *****. We met on a rooftop in Najaf. I would just like to take the time to thank you guys for helping me out and giving me the oppertunity to work with the most high speed civilians I know. You guys were

    >awesome up there! Keep up the good work and stay safe. Every one of you that I met up there will always be remembered and be considered a brother

    to me. I owe you my life.



    >Cpl *****

  5. Will, that was an excellent article and pretty much sums up the various power grabs and self interests going on in that country.


    Sadr city, which was formerly called Saddam City, is a relatively poor sprawling urban jungle east of Baghdad proper. I think that most of the people there are simply wanting to participate in SOMETHING they can sink their teeth into. I am not totally convinced that they even understand exactly what it is they are fighting for.


    Fallujah has been a stronghold of Baathists for a long time. Fallujah was the first major Iraqi city I entered. We came in through Jordan and made the "Desert Dash" through 11 hours of uncontested Iraqi space. There was only myself and one other American, along with our Jordanian driver. We had no weapon other than a pocket knife a piece. We had only basic communications ( A Thuraya satellite phone) and no maps. If something had happened to us it is possible we would never have been heard from again. It was a calculated risk and one well worth it.


    We saw very little military presence until we got near Fallujah, where also the dangerous driving conditions become very apparent on congested 2 lane highways at high speeds. Fallujah was and continues to be one of the places that stands out vividly in my mind for the overt threatening stares and gestures of the nationals. I fully anticipated that someone was going to walk up to the window of our Suburban and unload a magazine of AK into us.


    The other was the highway outside of Basra where young children made slashing gestures at their throats as we passed by and imitated rifles pointing at us. Can you imagine your 7 year old standing on I-5 and doing the same thing to invading foreigners?


    I saw no bomb damage in Fallujah and a very light handed military presense mostly on the outskirts of the city. In essense they were being allowed to continue their life as formerly. For whatever twisted reasons or influences they have chosen to cast stones time and time again despite being treated with dignity, respect and restraint in our operations there.


    I will do my best to try to be more informative from over there this time. Hopefully everything will calm down or finally just boil to a head so we can finish what we started. The many headed hydra...



  6. Spring skiing in Whistler is pretty amazing right now, but there is a certain amount of anxiety as I am redeploying in a few days.


    I had surmised to many people that the situation in Iraq was going to get worse as the date for handover gets closer. Well, it certainly seems that this is occurring. It was inevitable I'm afraid.


    Two things. One is that yes, Blackwater has it's own aviation assets. I flew counter sniper role in an MH-6 for a month and I am still considered an areial counter sniper for the close protection detail. I posted a picture at another website dedicated to former and current special operations types. I once tried to image link it here, but it kept failing probably because of the size of the image? I would post it here, but I simply cannot run the risk of crossloading the other website with some of the curious who would hit that site. They are notoriously belligerent to outsiders. The helicopters are the same birds that you saw in the movie Blackhawk Down. They are sometimes called "Little Birds" and have various configurations for lift transport or gunship config. One of the guys I work with was in SSG Eversmans chalk for the Mogadishu raid. Many of the pilots flew in TF-160. Very good crew to be with, but certainly not bullet or RPG proof. Fly fast. Speed is security in the little birds.


    The other thing is that I just received an email from a friend of mine who was one of the 8 Blackwater contractors engaged near Najaf in intense fighting. He said that they had made the resistance pay for the lives of our 4 friends and that there were over 50 bodies outside the wire. I understand that for some that is a revolting thought, but for those that share in the understanding that sometimes war can rouse the bravery of the weakest person and turn the strongest man into a crying child I thought it would be appropriate to share.



  7. It seems to be a give and take environment from what I've seen.


    In some cases it is difficult for soldiers and Iraqi's to interact, but in most there is quite a bit of reciporocal curiosity. I have had the honest good fortune to work with some Iraqi's on various projects, and I find them to be in most cases hard working, intelligent, and honest in their dealings. The majority of them hated Saddam, but Saddam understood the Arab mentality. They understand and respect strength and power. Anything less and you are viewed as weak and untrustworthy. It was exactly the reasons that we toppled him, and will try him for crimes, that allowed him to stay in power. They feared him, and thus they respected him enough to stay in check. Now we come in and try to be even handed letting our good works speak for us rather than the guns we carry as a protective measure. Because of this they now target us, and everyday there are incidents involving violence against Americans that go largely unanswered. The more they see this the more it becomes the de facto standard for them to voice themselves. It is merely what they understand. We on the other hand sit at the mercy of media opinion, and the world's scrutiny. With a fine tooth comb they condemn us, while every day our soldiers and civilians die bringing food, water, and other resources to salvage their humanity which they scarcely recognize.


    Sure, some misunderstandings occur, and there is sometimes trepidation on both sides. There is anger and resentment on both sides too. Maybe we bombed a building in the first war and killed an innocent and there is still strong feelings towards that act. Perhaps the person that dropped that bomb or ordered that strike is thousands of miles away now, but the American soldier represents to whomever that event. That innocent soldier becomes a target of opportunity for an act of revenge. Once that act occurs there is then anger and resentment on our side too. I have also worked with Americans, besides myself, who have had to deal with the loss of a comrade in arms. Even if you didn't particularly care for that person there is still the bond of nationalism, and shared heritage. A loss for one is a loss for all. I have often found myself perusing the various websites to look at the faces of the men and women who were killed during the weeks prior. It somehow connects me to them, and reminds me that I should be alert, vigilant, and wary of everyone in that environment. The more attacks that happen the less trusting we can be of them. The more we crack down to protect ourselves from the few who are propogating these attacks the more vulnerable we become as we alienate those who we came to free. It is a viscious cycle and a good portion of the reason we are so adament about returning sovereign rulership.


    It is true that there are going to be many in certain positions who will try to usurp that leadership via whatever medium they may have at their disposal. The Muslim clerics are wise to this strategy and there are precedents for this type of power grab. Iran was once a close ally of ours, and now they are one of our most belligerent enemies. Losing control of the situation is going to exacerbate the entire strategy.


    Many of our best generals and many senators and congressmen have publically stated that we need more soldiers on the ground in Iraq and they are absolutely right. Another 100,000 troops to firmly establish our right to protect ourselves and convince them that we are in fact the ones in charge as they stumble and struggle to meet the world on a stage they don't even understand yet. Another 100,000 to go out and police up all the bombs that are still laying unguarded at abandoned Iraqi air bases. Bombs that insurgents and rebels use everyday to kill Americans who answered the call to arms for their own reasons.


    War is a difficult thing. Not only in the physical struggle, but in terms of the psychology and restraint that seems to be so neccessary in the act. Kill an enemy soldier and you have done your job. Kill an innocent civilian and you are a criminal. There are many books and many movies that cover this subject with eloquence. There are no more pure wars where soldiers fight soldiers and civilians scamper for cover. They have been and continue to be a deterrant to absolution and complete unadulterated victory. If we retaliate as some might have wanted us to do, such as dropping the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) on Fallujah we have committed a grave atrocity. If we do nothing, then we sacrifice more innocent soldiers who want to do their jobs and come home safe.


    I believe now, as I believed previously that what the insurgency would like to see happen is that the entire country of Iraq become a modern day Lebanon where internicine warfare exists. We have opened the box and now it rests on our shoulders to shut it. The only way to close it is by force, because when things of this nature spill out they are loath to cease on their own accord. I believe that we must be firm in all of our responses. We must escalate to a level where no lawlessness can be allowed to go unanswered, and that response must swift and firm.


    There is no going back now. Another political war like Vietnam must never be allowed to sift the lives of this generation through the meat grinder. We owe it to them to find the best solution, and finally with resolve close the lid on this war in Iraq. Calling it anything other than a war is timid and meak.


    It is painfully obvious that we may have done a bad thing, but I believe more in the people who are over there, than I do in the scurvy motivations behind the act. We cannot allow soldiers over there to suffer and fade as we turn away or become hollow to the news coming from their everyday. It is every citizens responsibility to stand up for what they believe in, and notify their elected leaders of their opinions. This does not mean that you have to support the war, and you should realize that being proactive means more than marching in a rally or idolizing FoxNews for their vervant support of any actions that seem to be right wing. It does not mean that you should be ashamed if you support the war either. Some wars are fought for good purposes. Do not allow politics to sway what could be in the end a positive.


    Finally, send a letter to a young person over there. Let them know you are thinking of them. Ask them what they think. Let them be your guides as well. We are NOT the ones over there murdering Iraqis and Americans alike. We are the ones who have to hide in our body armor, drive our suburbans at 100MPH thru traffic to keep from getting blown up, who lie awake at night thinking of wives and children left behind. Give them the strength and support to do their jobs. Forget Kerry and Bush. They are nothing more than vapid figureheads, neither of whom represent me or what I believe. Believe in the Americans who are trusting you to bring them home safe and the sooner the better. Allow them to come home with honor and with the pride that they did their jobs with the best intentions at heart.



  8. How far are you willing to go? There is alot of good climbing and bouldering in the south. I spent about 3 months there a few years ago just travelling around and checking out the ice climbing, skiing and rock climbing in some unlikely locations. Tennessee Wall and Rocktown are pretty cool options. Moores wall and some areas up near Boone are good options for shorter trips.

  9. It's not rhetoric you twit. Those men that were killed were my friends and in ten days I'll be back in Iraq.


    If you don't like what these threads have to say than stay over in your corner of the web (pub club) and I'll stay in mine. Your whole post reads like a sad sack response because you are in over your head with the big kid rules over here.