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GregD

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GregD last won the day on May 27

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About GregD

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  • Birthday 11/30/1999

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    alpinegreg.blogspot.com
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    Portland, OR
  1. HI Diepj, I couldn't agree more. I always carry pickets and screws if roped on that route and am prepared to use them in a running belay, especially if anyone is climbing below. I'm well aware that the biggest danger and accidents have happened when one team slides down into another on that route. I've climbed just about every variation of the old chute/ pearly gates over the years. Roped, un-roped, one tool, two tools, big party, small party, organized climbs, solo climbs, winter conditions, spring conditions. I've been up when we were the only party in site and also turned around just because there were way too many people on route to safely navigate. Happy that in this case the snow was perfectly firm, but not icy, we had the chute to ourselves, no one was below us and there was no sign of the bergschrund. Stay safe everyone!
  2. Hi ScaredSilly, I respectfully disagree. I want to say it was the early 2000's when the glacier significantly shifted. Prior to that the Pearly Gates were never that steep and almost no one climbed the old chute. For a number of years after it seemed that the old chute route was used exclusively. Now, in my experience, parties may attempt any one of the gates and/or the old chute again. I'm glad you feel comfortable with one tool. I can certainly mange the technique, however I believe our party was safer, faster, and more efficient with two. I noticed many more parties had the same idea and was simply calling out the change from my first climb in the 90's when I would have never seen anyone with a second tool. It surprised me as well. You are of course correct though, the middle climber is a very experienced back country skier who made his first summit attempt with two experienced climbers. While being roped in the middle is arguably the best place, it does provide for tricky rope management, which was a constant correct and adjust. What you can't see is his second tool in his right hand in the photo but yes, the pick in his left hand is pointed the wrong way at that particular moment as he recently shifted from having it correctly in his hand on his uphill side while traversing to a vertical ascent with his second tool in his right. That was caught and adjusted later but thanks for the observation. I know it's not the most exciting or adventurous climb but my hope in posting this TR was that someone might appreciate a current update on a popular route.
  3. Trip: Mt. Hood - South Side Pearly Gates Trip Date: 05/24/2020 Trip Report: Nothing short of perfect climbing conditions on Mt. Hood Sunday morning. Our party of three started right about midnight. The sky was clear and the stars were out but the waxing crescent moon provided no additional light for us. Snow conditions were firm and cold. Two of us were on AT skis with skins and one in our party carried a snowboard and used snowshoes. Skinning conditions continued to be excellent above Palmer, however as the route got steeper and icier we opted to drop our skis and boards about 1,000 feet above the top of Palmer. In retrospect we should have just traversed a bit and taken them all the way up to devil's kitchen. We got in line at the hogsback and took our time as we were behind a couple other parties. Most people were ascending the pearly gates and then coming down the old chute. This made for a nice circle and less of the usual traffic jam. No sign of the bergschrund which still seemed to be covered in snow. As we made our way up to the gates the line of climbers seemed to all be headed to the right gate. Normally I've climbed the left gate and after discussing with my partners and the other teams, it seems that the only reason people were going for the right gate was because that's where others were going. So we took the left gate and had it all to ourselves. I kicked steps for about 100ft in perfectly firm snow pack and then once we got into the hour glass there were footsteps the rest of the way to the summit. I don't think I've ever had that section all to myself before and it was incredibly enjoyable. We took our time and it was about 7:30 by the time we reached the top. It was a first time on top of Hood for one of our party. Conditions were a bit cloudy up top with greater visibility up to the North than the South but little to no wind. I would estimate 50+ people made the summit on Sunday morning with 100+ more hiking or skinning as far as devil's kitchen. We made our way back down through the left gate as still no one else was on that route. The rest of the descent was uneventful and the snow had softened to make things easier for us. Skiing was decent all the way down to the top of magic mile, then it was just warm Cascade concrete with no groomed run to follow down the mile. Gear Notes: Prior to the route changing years ago I would have never considered needing a second tool for the pearly gates, but these days almost everyone had one and it certainly makes things feel way more secure using two tools in a low-dagger position. Also want to give a shout out to my new Atomic Backland Carbon ski touring boots (the 2018-2019 version before the BOA lacing system) and their removable tongues. Flexible and light for the way up and stiff enough for the descent. Approach Notes: As noted in the previous post no need to get a reservation or anything with Timberline. Just drive right up to the overnight lot and register in the climber's cave as usual.
  4. Trip: Columbia River Gorge - Crown Jewel Date: 12/8/2013 Trip Report: Ice climbing conditions on Sunday were pretty much as good as it gets in the Columbia River Gorge. We got to the Rooster Rock pullout at about 8:30 a.m. By the time we made it to the base of the route there were already two parties of two ahead of us. One additional party of three was also in line ahead of us and were discussing setting up a TR on the first pitch. Thankfully they talked themselves out of it and went elsewhere. The first pitch was great, we basically stuck to the left side as the right side was still somewhat flowing. The ice was thick and screws and tools both sunk deep. I made the belay station and shared it with a friendly Aussie fellow. He had cut the gnarled slings off the bolts which was helpful. Jake followed me up and enjoyed his first pitch of water ice. Pitch two went well also, that first part was steeper and thinner than I remember it being three years ago though. I didn't have enough shorter screws so I had to sling a couple of 16cm screws short. The second half of pitch two was a cake walk but it was wandering and wet. Thankfully I had lots of long slings and alpine draws. No falls although to be completely honest it wasn't a perfectly clean ascent as I hung on a screw once or twice. We both had a blast on the climb though. The rappel off was easy. The parties ahead of us left new slings and a biner for rappelling off the top and we replaced the old webbing at the top of pitch one with new cords/webbing and a rap ring. Gear Notes: The second pitch is longer than I remember. I placed 9 screws, mostly 16cm but some shorter. I could have used a stubby or two as well, it wasn't very thick in some places. You can rap with double ropes from the trees at the top to the belay station and then a quick rap to the bottom. Lots of long slings and alpine draws. Approach Notes: Elected to walk around the lake, didn't want to get hypothermia on the approach.
  5. Trip: Columbia River Gorge - Crown Jewel Date: 12/13/2009 Trip Report: Called in "Ice" to work on Thursday to take advantage of perfect conditions in the gorge. We climbed Crown Jewel with spectacular weather. The ice was firm but not too brittle. The wind was also quite manageable. We got a mid-morning start and there were two parties ahead of us. One was a party of two and the other was a party of three from Bend. A full trip report can be viewed on my blog: http://alpinegreg.blogspot.com/2009/12/crown-jewel.html Gear Notes: Double ropes, ice screws, draws and extra slings. There is a bolted anchor to the left of the ledge on pitch one. Numerous trees to belay/rap from at the top of pitch two. Approach Notes: Park at the exit just after you see the climb. Walk across the frozen body of water, follow the tracks to the base of the climb (15 min max).
  6. Iron Mtn Crag

  7. Iron Mtn Crag

    Here are some comments from our local Access Fund Rep, Tony. His e-mail is: nwwilderness@aol.com if you have further questions. Tony said... Hey Greg! Tony here (Access Fund guy). We are working on opening up communication with "the power that be". Access can be restored 9 times out of 10 when communication is present. The best thing we as climbers can do is respect the no trespass request for the time being. It will speak volumes for the climbing community as a respnsible and therefore viable recreation group. Thanks for your help on this issue...I'll be in touch! March 3, 2009 4:48 PM Anonymous said... So is it still okay to climb here? May 19, 2009 7:55 PM Tony said... No, not at this point in time. We are trying to work with the land managers and also find any possible access route that doesn't cross private property. At this point it is in the best interest of climbers to respect the no trespass and climb elsewhere for the time being. There are numerous examples of relationships between climbers and land managers being made or destroyed based on adherence to no trespass requests earlier on while communications are growing.... On a personal note it sucks! May 20, 2009 8:36 AM Anonymous said... letting people know it's closed for now....to bad though. hope you guys can get it restored May 29, 2009 7:20 AM
  8. Trip: Liberty Bell Mountain - Liberty Crack Date: 7/4/2009 Trip Report: You would think we were pretty patriotic to climb Liberty Crack on Liberty bell mountain on the fourth of July. Really, we just needed a three day weekend to manage the drive up and back to the North Cascades from Portland. One of Roper and Steck's 50 Classic Climbs of North America (1979) this route starts out with three pitches of intimidating aid then follows the crack system on the NE face of Liberty Bell Mountain wrapping around to the SE face to meet up with the Becky route for the final scramble to the summit. Surprisingly, we had the route to ourselves for the weekend. Graham and I drove up highway 97 with Casey Thursday after work and arrived at Lone Pine Campground about 2:30am Friday. As our goal on Friday was to simply fix the first three aid pitches I was in no hurry to get an early start. The approach is quite obvious from the highway and although the trail can easily be lost in the woods below it takes about 45 minutes with full packs to reach the base of the climb. Ditching our packs and putting our harnesses on at the last shady spot we lugged a small arsenal of aid gear up the final snowfield and to the base of the climb. We used this Topo as our guide. Start (Greg's Lead): 30 feet up 3rd class terrain to some ledges out of the snow. P1 (Greg): Up about 100 ft of A1. It took me a few placements but the aid skills came back to me. P2 (Graham): Aided up the intimidating "Lithuanian Lip". Thankfully there was plenty of fixed gear over the lip. Graham did find the aid right after to be quite thin and his technique a bit rusty as its been almost seven years since half dome. P3 (Greg): More thin aid to some manky fixed gear. Old pitons, copperheads and small chocks pounded into the seams, thankfully it all held and this pitch went quickly. There was supposedly a hook move at the very top of this pitch but I either reached past it or was lucky to have some fixed gear in the right spot but I didn't need to use the skyhook at all. Our high point reached for the day we fixed one line back down from pitch three to the top of pitch two and then one line to the ground. Although we had heard otherwise, it is quite possible to reach the top of pitch one from pitch three with a single 60m line. Rapping down we headed back to our gear stash and left most of the rack for our climb the next morning. Then we hiked down to the car and drove to the campground for dinner and a few well deserved frosty brews. The actual time spend on the wall climbing the first three aid pitches and fixing lines was less than five hours. Saturday, (July 4th) we were back at the base of the climb by 8am. The approach was easy as most of our gear was already up at the wall and we had jumared back to our high point (dropping the line fixed on the first pitch) starting the day's climbing at 8:30. P4 (Graham): The free climbing crux of the climb. Graham styled this pitch, I slogged up it cursing my 5.10 crack climbing skills with any sort of a pack on. P5 (Greg): Another very physical pitch, this was a wide 5.8 crack. We had brought two BD #4 cams specifically for this pitch. Although there were plenty of spots to place them I kept placing other gear figuring I would need them up top. By the time I got to the anchors I never placed either one. P6 (Graham): Some 5.7 stemming moves. Many thanks to Graham for not kicking any loose rocks down onto me. A few aid moves at the top gained us the "rotten block". P7 (Greg): Another couple of aid moves put me in position to pull the corner and gain the slab. Fun friction climbing with good pro, I really liked this pitch. We were even able to snag an old offset left in a crack. P8 (Graham): His favorite pitch of the climb, Graham lead past an intimidating, yet very enjoyable 5.9 corner to a long 5.7 slab. P9 (Greg): The 5.6 chimney was a tight squeeze for someone as tall as me but it was fairly easy to climb and to protect. P10 (Graham): Another classic pitch, Graham lead through another 5.9 corner to a long section of 5.8 and through the chimney stopping to belay a bit higher than noted in the topo he probably used at least 50 m of our 60m line. P11 (Greg): Low 5th class slab follows a corner for a long pitch to belay at a tree. P12 (Graham): Traverse along mostly flat, 4th class terrain meeting up with the top technical pitch of the Becky route. Summit Scramble: My feet were killing me so I switched back to my wall shoes. Graham was happy to keep his climbing shoes on as the scramble to the summit included a short section of 5.7 slab moves. Although un-roped for the final pitches up to the summit we were smart to have a rope with us for the descent from the top. The views to the south were astonishing. Descent: Rapping back past the slab and scrambling down we followed the other parties that had climbed the Becky route. Teaming up with another pair we were able to link the two 80ft rappels into one, long rap by tying our ropes together. This proved to be a smooth move for us as we passed a party of four and made our way down the gully to the south. Stopping to talk with a few climbers headed up for a sunset view we were reminded that such a gully isn't the best place to stand and chat as a call from above and a half dozen bowling ball sized rocks came hurling down at us. Luckily we were able to dive for cover in time. Not having come up the trail we came down we got a bit disoriented in the section where an avalanche wiped out the trail this winter and ended up following the trail to Blue Lake itself instead of the Blue Lake trail head at the highway. Thankfully the trial isn't that long and we eventually made it back to the highway and our car where Casey was in his tent hiding from the mosquitoes while he waited for us. Graham graciously went back to the base of the route to retrive the rope we dropped and the pack we left. Packing up and driving a few hours seemed to be the consensus of the group so we finished the drive west along highway 20 to I-5 as the sun set. Needing water, showers and a place to camp we found the perfect spot for the right price, heck the whole place was even for sale. View from the highway Lithuanian Lip Pitch Seven Summit Unknown climber on Concord Tower Gear Notes: Most belays are either bolts or trees and as such not gear intensive. We had the following: Two 60m lines fix the first three pitches Hooks: I didn't use them but it was probably good to have at least one anyway Micro Nuts Offset Nuts (very handy) Regular Nuts as well Lots of small aliens or TCU's for the aid Cam's BD #.5-1: Triples for the aid, doubles are fine if jumaring past the first three pitches Double #2 and #3. Although we had two, one #4 is probably enough 6 QD's 6 "Alpine Draws" shoulder length slings Etriers Jumars We were thirsty with only three liters of water between the two of us for the second day of climbing. Iodine for the way down might be handy. Defiantly need good walking or approach shoes for the descent Approach Notes: Relatively direct from the highway. The trail heads a bit to the right and then traverses back to the left side of the wall.
  9. No Trespassing Sign Posted: NO TRESPASSING, PROHIBIDA ENTRADA, PORTLAND AND WESTERN RAILROAD. The Lake Oswego Crag, the Iron Mountain Rock Wall, the Rock by the Railroad Tracks, whatever you call it, the signs are clear and access is closed. You can see the crag is hiding in the background on the right hand side of my photo. I have been climbing here for almost 10 years and have never had a real issue. The railroad guys wave, the police say hello sometimes and plenty of kids, parents and dogs walk down this section of tracks. I don't know when these signs were first put up but I would be interested in finding out when and why. The last time I climbed here was in December, dry tooling practice. The next time I attempted to climb here was Sunday, the 15th of February, 2009. The signs look brand new. I would be interested to find out when and why these signs were placed. This is a small, but incredibly local (for me) climbing area. It has about a dozen bolted routes that range from 5.8 to 5.11. It's not a destination by any means but if you are in the area it's a great place to spend a summer evening sport climbing with friends, teaching new people how to climb or practicing dry tooling in the winter. Unfortunately it is clearly located on Railroad Right of way. City and County maps (as well as no trespassing signs) list the land as belonging to the Portland and Western Railroad. The right of way apparently extends 120 feet wide roughly centered on the tracks and butts up against private property along the back. The funny thing is I'm not sure that climbing was the reason for the no trespassing sings. As mentioned earlier a lot of people in the neighborhood walk along this section of tracks. There are actually a total of four, no trespassing signs at the crossing with Berwick Road. You see two when facing west (towards the crag) but you also see two facing east (away from the crag). I have begun to do some research on this issue. I have made contact with the regional coordinator for the access fund and he is aware of the issue and more than willing to assist. In the meantime if anyone knows anything about this area, climbing access in general, land use, railroad property etc. please feel free to post your comments.
  10. Mt Washington approach conditions?

    Thanks everyone for the info. We had a great climb.
  11. Does anyone know the current conditions for Mt Washington? Specifically how much snow is still on the PCT or the North Ridge? Thanks!
  12. Thanks for leading the way! Sorry our slow butts were a bit behind but Robot and I had a GREAT climb. Get any decent photos? My camera was frozen the ENTIRE time. Even the fresh batteries down my pants didn't stand a chance. Greg
  13. Good work Ian, those are some sweet photos you got there. I'll take aiding the bold ladder behind some slow people over stuck ropes on rap anyday. That static line's still good for one or two more days out there. Next time we climb Monkey Space though.
  14. [TR] Christian Brothers traverse- 5/7/2005

    Not to name names but I do recall a certain person giving me shit for carrying a helmet in that morning for the workday. I'll carry my brain bucket over a stick clip any day, never hurts to have when someone might be climbing above you. Anyway good climb Nick. Hope you like the Zebra Zion photos.
  15. 8.9 Quake in Sumatra

    I too just got back from Thailand and spent a month on Ton Sai beach climbing. I left the beach about 36 hours before the quake though and felt a slight shake in my uncle's highrise in Bangkok. If anyone wants to check it out: www.simonfoley.com is the Thailand equivalent to this website.
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