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jonthomp

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About jonthomp

  • Rank
    journeyman
  • Birthday 11/10/1968

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  • Occupation
    middle school teacher
  • Location
    Seattle, WA
  1. We figured the odds were low with the rain from Friday and Saturday, but decided to go see what we could see. The answer was not much since the fog was thick and snow was falling off and on throughout the morning. This led to an error on the approach where we headed up and right at Source Lake rather than straight ahead as we should have. This led us to near the base of the ridge that divided the north and east aspects, the same ridge one pops out on top of if going the correct way. We found deep snow--about 10" of new on top of water soaked mush on top of a breakable crust on top of a couple feet of granulated sugar. It seemed stable enough to continue, but certainly was a nagging concern and it was nice to be near the crest of the ridge for most of its ascent. We found the route and weren't too excited by what we found. Warm temps and the fact that the bottom rock slabs were exposed due to avalanche activity left us concerned that the remaining hanging snow field leading to the ice might be suspect as well. Given that this was to be our first ever outing on ice, we played it conservative and headed back for the TH. A picture of what we found is below. Perhaps we should have pushed a little higher, but who knows?
  2. [TR] Magic Mt.- NE Couloir Ski Descent 5/14/2006

    Reasonably so. 40-45 degrees, though one can push toward the edges of the couloir for brief moments that push 50. The chute on the left would go to. A little steeper and certainly narrower.
  3. ticks!!!

    Take a listen to Ween's song "Tick" on their album Satan for Gean's and Deaner's personal insights into dealing with a burrowing tick.
  4. recommended routes

    I second the vote on not needing crampons and generally not needing an axe or boots. For most routes down running shoes are fine. A good option if it concerns you is ship the crampons and put them on your running shoes if needed. I did this on the N. ridge of Stuart (a climb you should put on your hit list) and it worked fine for both the snow to get to the route and snow coming off. Hit some of the multipitch stuff while in Leavenworth as well. Outerspace on Snow Creek Wall, the Regular Route on Careno Crag. Deception Crags are okay though World Wall 1 at Little Si is a more interesting cliff while riding back over the pass. Sounds like a fun trip with bikes and all.
  5. Passing a slower party

    Years ago I was doing one of my first leads on Diedre and was screwing around trying to get a piece of gear placed. I was getting a little gripped being a ways above my last piece and not being able to find the right size for the next placement when I heard some noise behind. I looked back and saw someone coming up from below. I thought it was a little odd/rude that someone would just climb right through me while I was midpitch, but then I noticed that the person was soloing. I looked back, looked over at the blank face to my right, and the guy said, "Mind if I play through?" I chuckled and said go ahead then asked what he wanted me to do to get out of his way. He said to stay where I was then danced out onto the friction slab and motored on up and out of sight. I looked at the piece of gear I was struggling to make fit, reracked it, and took off up the crack thinking, "What the hell! If he can solo it, I don't need this piece." I was impressed and climbed much faster after that and with way more confidence. I don't think I've been passed since. I don't think his question though was really a question so much as a statement. He was going to "play through" and asking just gave him a sense of how far away from me he should scamper as he passed. His friendly attitude made the whole experience better for everyone.
  6. Stupid rescue

    It's an interesting point of discussion. We as a society never seem to question the $ impact of people's stupidity when it comes to providing emergency services for say the person who smokes in bed and lights up their house, the hunter or hiker that needs rescuing because they entered the wilderness underprepared with say a storm forecast to move in, and so on. Yet there seems to be more and more places that will charge for rescuing climbers.
  7. Stupid rescue

    I thought Chelan County was in the habit of charging for rescues? Maybe it's only that they charge climbers for rescues and these guys while climbing, hardly sound like they qualify as climbers. Are they sure that lighter was for a cigarette?
  8. Rushmore Needles is a riot for sport climbing though I can't recall any specific routes I climbed. All were fun with many being pulls on various sized quartz crystals. Even a couple multipitch ones worth hitting. Custer State Park is also full of excellent lines and formations as well. Climb there expecting a solid ground-up ethic with bolts widely spaced but generally there for crux moves. One crack that is definitely worth doing is the 5.9 "Sex Never Did This To My Hands". It's a fun left-angling crack that accepts pro and arms up to your elbows. The story behind its name is that Paul Pianna cried out after completing the first ascent, "That was better than sex!" His partner upon completing it commented, "Yeah it was, but sex never did that to my hands" and the name stuck. The boulder problems are fun (and challenging) and it's cool to feel a part of the climbing history that was created here. If the brewpub in Rapid City still exists they serve up pretty good brew and buffalo burgers and the free camping (if it also still exists) is a nice contrast to the tourist trap of Mt. Rushmore just around the corner. On Devils Tower many good things as well. Durrance route is an obvious low-end climb more fun for it position and scenery than the actual climbing. Even the sport routes along the base are fun for awhile though quite short.
  9. Climbing Hardshells?

    I have been happy so far with my Arc'Teryx Theta LT. Very lightweight (G.tex XCR, laminated seams/zippers) and has performed well (breathes and protects) in a variety of conditions from snowy, windy days to rainy, windy days. I haven't had it long enough to know it's durability. The only disadvantage is the price--spendy--though I found a pretty good deal through Sierra Trading. And if the jacket lasts as long or longer than the N.Face one I just retired (15+ years), I'll feel it was money well-spent.
  10. Beta on Three Fingers

    Did the same as you with the family but up the Mt. Forgotten trail. With the ice on the trail, it would have almost been easier to go cross country. Running shoes didn't help much either, though ski poles would have made the footing fine. We're skiing on Pilchuck today or at least that is the plan.
  11. Beta on Three Fingers

    Ice axe and crampons should be fine. I would expect mostly good snow conditions with maybe some firm patches in the morning and slushy spots later. I took my son up it shortly after he turned 5 and while it was summer (so more bare trail and firmer snow than what you will ikely find), we encountered few real difficulties. Fun mountain! I'll be up on Pilchuck Wed. after work and will repost if conditions look any different from across the valley. Enjoy!
  12. Rainier Avalanche

    We skied up to Muir on Sat. where we chatted with other skiers and the two climbers involved in the accident while they chowed some freezedried calories. Sorry to hear of their misfortune. They seemed well-prepared and knowledgeable with a good game plan for this outing as well as the ones they had planned in the future leading up to Denali in the coming year. As far as snow, from about 8500' down it was snowing lightly in the morning and heavier in the afternoon. By the time we returned to the car, upward of 4" of new had fallen. Above 8500' the sun was shining and the wind was howling. With the latest storm that is supposed to move in, I would expect that all but the biggest rocks will be covered down low with significant amounts of windblown accumulations higher up.
  13. [TR] Eldorado- west arete 6/26/2004

    Didn't think of the descent. The only reason we camped directly below the east ridge is to make for less travel if we decided to do more summits like the Needle and Klawatti. Bivying near Triad col would be a great idea. Agreed on the reading up...any wandering you might do will be above or below the gendarmes. We only rapped once as well where there was at least one fair and many iffy pieces of webbing. Climbing off the first one is fun anyway. It is surprising how long the climb is. It just sort of keeps going and going. A car to car would be cool as well. Ditch the heavy pack and go light.
  14. [TR] Juno Tower- Clean Break 7/11/2004

    It's worth being stoked! Clean Break is a great route. The TR brings back good memories of one of my first alpine-feeling rock climbs.
  15. [TR] Eldorado- west arete 6/26/2004

    In retrospect your plan might be better. It seemed like a long way to wrap around the mountain from Triad col. There are some cliffs and steep snow to negotiate once through Inspiration col, but there should be some way to the route. Be most wary of rockfall as you approach the west arete from this direction. It seemed to be the only place that routinely was letting fly big chunks of rock coaxed down by nothing more than gravity. Have fun and I'll be curious to know if your approach makes better sense.
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