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Everything posted by markwebster

  1. Hey Y'all. I don't come by here very often, though I still climb all the time. Just back from 6 days at Squamish. They let me in and out with an expired passport! It was only 10 days expired. No one mentioned it at the border. I took a chance because I went with two of my favorite climbing friends. Here they are, leading Penny Lane. She had never climbed it before, and was basically climbing off the couch. This was recorded on an Iphone XS. I do most of my writing on my wordpress site. Here is a story about my aluminum case I made to carry my Iphone climbing: http://websterart.com/wordpress/2019/07/ultimate-climbing-phone-case/ See you out there!
  2. Geez you guys, same old arguments. I'm going to have to check this new route out. I was just over doing Canary and I didn't see it. I used to think Castle was the be all and end all of granite climbing in Washington. But lately I've been spending much more time at Index. https://www.mountainproject.com/v/mid-wall/106386407 It's less hot, and new crack climbing crags are being found and developed all the time. Much of it aproaches or exceeds the quality of Indian Creek. It's an exciting time to be climbing! P.S. I also love table tennis. The wife and I have a ping pong table and we play all the time...plus you can play at the rec center in Squamish after a day of climbing.
  3. I've never had life insurance, I think it's a rip off. Sink that money into savings. I always figured my wife could remarry. Plus my parents and my sister were around to help. My kids are grown and gone now, they don't have it either. We quit mountain climbing before kids, which seemed to be the most risky sport. Cragging has been good to us. A diamond ring was the old form of life insurance, but we bought a backpacking tent instead. Most jobs give you a little bit anyway.
  4. did anyone find a pair of rock shoes at Vantage at the base of either steel grill, or Throbbing Gristle? May 14, Mothers Day? They are Scarpa Techno X: http://www.zappos.com/p/scarpa-techno-x/product/8261605 They are very odd looking. I had to resew the back of the shoe to change the size 14 into a size 7. Anyway, I think that might be where I lost them. Just realized it tonight while packing for another weekend. If you found them, give me a shout at 253 three one four 9656
  5. I write more about Laurel here: http://www.websterart.com/wordpress/?p=1185t That hit me hard. I saw Laurel the day before she died. I was getting my valley giant back from her after she used it on Pipeline. We talked out in the street for a while about climbing, and her exciting trip planned for Waddington. She was in top notch shape, looked like she could climb anything anywhere. I didn't know her that well, though I climbed next to her many times. I never tied into her rope, she was always doing climbs much too hard for me. I did however camp with her, Daphney and Ritchie a number of times. We shared some great campfires at Vantage, Darrington and Trout. She was always very quiet around me, I regret now that I didn't try harder to get to know her. Daphney and I got on like a house on fire, and we went on a number of trips, including a long one to Smith where Daphney led Peking (Chouinards crack) her first trad 9. Laurel touched a lot of people through her various volunteering with the WAC and other groups. That crowd at her memorial was huge, I've never seen that many climbers together at one time. I feel like a lot of us at that memorial were walking around in a daze, realizing that this sport can have consequences. Accidents are so rare that we treat it like a casual game of tennis. But then something like this happens and we have to take a step back. I know I will come back to climbing, but lately I've been painting the mountains, instead of climbing them. Daphney, if you are reading this, you know how to reach me. I'm here if you need anything.
  6. Yes, I believe the name above by Seraphim may be correct, though nothing is confirmed. I have met her a number of times at Smith and Vantage. She climbs with a friend of mine. Her Facebook page is still up. I've seen her kids climbing with her... This hits very close to home. I'm assuming the authorities are waiting until family is notified to realease the information to the public. So very sad.
  7. I met a guy at Smith recently who spent a month camping at the campground at the base of the Cheif. There are picnic tables there by the water fountains and overnight dirt parking lots. This is where all the dirtbags hang out. He said he hooked up with about 20 new partners during his month living there. He said it was super easy to meet people. I usually stay at the rec center, or commando camp, which makes it harder to meet partners.
  8. Trip: twenty one days in Smith and Squamish - many Date: 9/19/2014 Trip Report: I spent my September break in Smith and Squamish with 3 different partners. I would have spent it all in Squamish had I known that the Chief campground was the THE place to meet partners...but I didn't learn that until I got to Smith where I ran into an Aussie who had been living at the Chief. Without further ado, here is the eye candy: Marty following St. Vitus Dance 5.9 at Squamish Marty following Karen's Math 10a, which adds a pitch to St. Vitus Marty, Karen's Math. I know most of you appreciate beauty in all its forms. My friend Alex is a very lucky guy, they have 2 kids. His wife Kristi is a lot of fun. This is them posing on the bench on top of Penny Lane: Alex is a bold young man, he tried to onsite Split Beaver 10b offwidth. He got all the way up to the second #4 placement before lowering off. I felt like Jim Whittaker. The sherpas had stocked all the high camps, all I had to do was hike up, throw in a #5 and summit. That was super fun climbing that thing clean at long last. Now I just need to place my own gear :-) I drove to Smith and met my nephew. It was interesting climbing with family. If he dropped me, he would be in trouble with his mom. If I dropped him, I'd be in trouble from my sister. We decided to climb carefully. We did Wherever I may Roam 5.9 bolts: I also led him up Karate. Sent the darn thing clean again, so I guess last March wasn't a fluke. Richard showed up for a few days and we did the 5.8 river side trad approach to the Pioneer Route on the monkey. It was fun to stand on top again 35 years after my first trip up there. Richard, approaching the bolt ladder on Monkey face, Smith Rocks. Richard in the Monkeys mouth: We also did Zebra Zion. It was 90 in the shade, and at least 100 in the sun...we baked...bad. Looking up at Richard leading the 5.9 money pitch Zebra Zion: In between partners at Smith, I painted these two paintings: Forgive me for putting in a plug, but I got laid off at work (to half wages) and have been developing my art career. I'm having a show in Olympia. Artist reception this Friday at 5pm, of outdoor paintings, including one of the river below Castle Rock, Leavenworth: Gear Notes: We carried a dream rack, and busted it up for specific routes. For example, 4 #2 yellows on Karate, 2 #4s and a 5 on Split Beaver, etc. Approach Notes: nothing more than 45 minutes
  9. We were the last ones out in the dark last night (Sunday). We found a pair of very nice new-ish rock shoes at the base of Princely Ambitions. Please describe them to me so I can get them back to you.
  10. the diameter of the locking binier matters a lot. I didn't really give it much of a chance. It short roped my leaders a few times, but not others, and rapping on it can be jerky in autolock mode. It's not a miracle device. I didn't have the patience to fiddle with it and went back to a standard belay plate and my cinch.
  11. Yupp. Met my wife in the Mountaineers in 76. Dropped out 3 years later, when our small group of Mounties friends decided we wanted to climb more than we wanted to teach. I ran low on partners in 2009 and rejoined for a year, dropped out immediately after meeting a few new partners. I have a bunch of friends who learned to climb in the WAC. I think this is them: http://www.wacweb.org/default.view They seem to be doing as good a job as the Mountaineers. It's true that a volunteer club is only as good as it's members, and those members rotate in and out. There does seem to be a tendency for people who are on a power trip to stay in longer, based on the thrill and power inherent in "being the teacher". But that is a worst case scenario. I'd recommend either organization if you are new in town, or to the sport. Best option of all is to find a mentor who will teach you the ropes. Go to the climbing gym and make friends with an older climber who is still leading. Chances are good they need a partner and will be happy to teach you what they know.
  12. Power company has to do what they have to do. The pinnacles will continue to fall down as they have done forever. I was shocked when trigger finger fell over in the 80's...but after seeing 2 more big collapses I'm not surprised anymore. They may knock some stuff down...but so be it. There are more tourists there than climbers now. They love to hike around, it's very pretty. On a typical spring weekend there may be 10 climbers a day, more or less. I still love it there. Vertigo is not a route to miss. Sunset slab is great slab training. It's heady, but not especially dangerous. Bottom line there is not to start up something without some beta from a local...if you can find one. Never assume there are enough bolts just because it is in the guidebook.
  13. I've had some neck injuries...and I'm old...looking straight up at my leader gives me a bad neck ache. I looked at all the variations. There are many people copying the original, some quite close. There is a metal version very close to the original at $80, my friend has them. I wanted the best, and got them from the source. They are worth every penny if you gym climb, or climb a lot of vertical walls. The craftsmanship on these is amazing. I work with metal, and recognize quality. I especially like the way these have no hinge. Hinges always break on glasses. Doubt if I'd take them up multipitch...but my longer routes usually lean over. What is your neck worth to you? http://www.powernplayusa.com/
  14. I was there climbing and camping last year during that. Two words: Windsurfing spit.
  15. Good to know they are back on the market, they were very hard to find for a while. hand jammies brand are ok(I've had two pair), but they rip fast. These Ocun have a much better reputation. I've seen some very good climbers wearing them.
  16. To add to what everyone else said, Royal columns at Tieton has some lead able 5.4's and 5.6's that are very nice. Congrats to your friend for wanting to lead trad! I wish there were more sport climbers out there with that kind of gumption. It's far more common for them to find a rope gun and top rope when it comes to trad.
  17. Awesome trip report! Thanks for linking. I'm curious, those photos were exceptionally good, what are you shooting with, camera and lenses?
  18. I have a few days of experience with it now. I've not used it yet to do an autoblock belay from the top, but everything else works as advertised. Having said that, it is jerky on lowering...I've not done a smooth lower yet, but I don't have that much practice with it. Because it does so much, many functions are compromised as compared to the dedicated devices such as a simple ATC, the Cinch, or GriGri. Those functions work fine, but not as well as a dedicated device. For example, I went back to my Cinch for belaying my second from the ground, because my Cinch has a smoother lower function. Though I've not yet tried orienting the Mega Jul with wire pointing in...that might give a smooth ATC style lower...don't know. But for multipitch, the mega-jul should be awesome. It feeds out rope very smoothly, auto locks in a fall, and releases very nicely. You can reverse it's orientation (wire on the inside) and it raps very smoothly, with no autolock function...just like a regular ATC. I like it a lot so far...but I'm not convinced it is the perfect device yet.
  19. I just got the mega jul belay device. Does anyone have it? I'm almost afraid to use it. My cinch and ATC have been awesome...but this looked to good to pass up. [video:youtube]duEKmk9oJZI
  20. We hooked up on facebook thanks to several people who knew her. It's funny how small the climbing community is. I wonder what the actual number of climbers is in Washington?
  21. Had a nice Saturday 3-15-14 at Vantage with my wife and James N. I carry my big DSLR (6D) sometimes on easier routes in case I see something pretty. I got some great shots of this young lady, but I don't know how to get them to her. Do you know her? She is leading Easy Off, 10c, next to "Party in your pants".
  22. If everyone is quitting climbing you couldn't tell from Vantage today. Every campspot was taken...and that means a lot of cars if you know Vantage. 5 people waiting or toproping almost every good route in the Kingpins, and many other cliffs. Some of those younguns need to drop by here. My hobbies: climbing photography playing live music telemarking landscape painting inventing stuff video web design writing People quit climbing for a lot of reasons. I've never stopped, and I wonder sometimes if it is because I've always been a cautious climber. I know people who were very bold. They were like a shooting star: burned brightly and did amazing things, but burned out quickly. I plod along, doing mostly the same old routes, never get on things until I'm ready for them, rarely take lead falls. In short, I try not to stress myself out. If it's not fun, I get on something easier. I also climb with a lot of young people...who still have enthusiasm. I find that catching.
  23. My wife and I both have the Madshus no-wax tele skis mounted with releasable tele bindings linked below. Everything said above is true but I will add this: If you do Mazama Ridge at Paradise, and then have to ski up the road to get back to Paradise...these no wax tele skis are awesome! They don't track as well as a true skinny ski due to the narrow waist...but it's much easier than skinning. There is a real "kick" just like with old skinny skis. Also, as with old skinny no wax skis, you do need to skin up on steep hills. These skis are not that much slower that it matters. I actually like the subtle braking effect on the downhill...but I'm old and feeble and speed is not my main goal, I'm after grace. I use these same skis and bindings at Crystal, and I can ski all day no problem, they go plenty fast. It's true that an alpine skier can pass me on the moderate flats...he doesn't have fish scales like I do. But on the other hand, I can climb up to the lift on my fish scales...he has to take his skis off and walk. We like these skis a lot. The only thing I sometimes think about is going back to my skinny skis for backcountry telemarking. They worked fine for 30 years. I kind of got talked into upgrading to new tele gear...it works fine too, but it's much much heavier under foot. There are a few folks out there retrograding backwards simply for lightness. In good snow, skinny skis telemark fine. http://www.backcountry.com/garmont-7tm-power-tour-releasable-telemark-binding
  24. Probably the best thing that ever happened to me regarding climbing safety was breaking my ankle in my third year of climbing. I was starting to think I was invincible (28 then). It made me realize I needed to never do that again...which made me a much safer climber. I also had about 8 friends die alpine climbing, though never while I was with them. I also saw this very bad accident at smith: http://www.websterart.com/html/smithfall.html If you climb for a long time, you will see bad things. I've also seen bad things driving...but I keep doing that. I have climbing buddies who have died of cancer. I'm just trying to have some fun along the way before something gets me. If it's climbing, so be it. I tried to give it up, and life was too boring. Something is going to get you in the end. Minimize what risks you can, but get out there and live!
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