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Everything posted by Chriznitch

  1. Trip Report: Agassiz (12356') to Humphreys (12633') traverse Arizona is having one of the wettest, snowiest seasons in recent years. Having just moved from Oregon, forestry co-workers are thanking me for bringing the rain with me. Luckily, after a week of snowstorms, the weekend cleared up and my girlfriend Amy and I ventured to Flagstaff to visit Humphreys Peak--Arizona's highest point... This is not a technical peak, more of a Mt Adams or St Helens type snow clmb that completely melts out in the summer. However, with 300% of normal snow load, this felt like a cascade giant instead of a southwest volcano. Starting over 9000' makes for a convenient start. Most of the climb up Agassiz followed the Snowbowl ski lift, which ends 1000' below the summit. There were relentless freezing winds above timberline until a couple hours after sunrise... After summitting Agassiz, we followed the ridge extending north and then east towards Humphreys, probably for 2 miles or so. Most of this is above 12000... We had the summit to ourselves and enjoyed the warmer temps that were moving in... The ridge offers great views of the northern part of AZ and of the skiers who ride the lift up and then drop into the east bowl... Following the ridge back towards Agassiz, we dropped off and plunged down to timberline and eventually the truck. We enjoyed the soft plunge down to the truck, often with drifts to my waist... Definitely a scenic time to visit the state's highpoint! From Flagstaff looking back at Agassiz:
  2. Bailey Traverse 2012 (12.5 min slideshow with photos and video clips) [video:youtube]QK85Gw0CDuk
  3. money shot, Lassen Peak
  4. [TR] Susanville, CA - Lone Rock 10/26/2009

    Matt at the crux move, Oct 2012.
  5. Matt at the crux. Lone Rock, northern Sierra Nevada, CA.
  6. Crossing Bear Pass Glacier, Olympic Mountains, WA.
  7. Wild light whips over Caesar Peak in the Trinity Alps, CA.
  8. Loss at Aconcagua

    Dave contacted me through this site back in November 2012, asking about my experience with the Polish Direct route. Sorry to hear the bad news...
  9. Trip: Mt Rearguard - SE Slopes via Hellroaring Plateau Date: 5/12/2012 Trip Report: I had to work in Montana in May, so I headed out a couple days early with a plan to do some exploring in the Beartooth Mountains. As the trip neared, my first day in the area was looking like rain, but it was followed by awesome weather. So I hung out in Red Lodge for a day, and the next morning headed out for Hellroaring Plateau. I took a low-standard Forest Service road up as far as I could travel before hitting impassable snow, and parked. It turned out this was near the Hellroaring Creek crossing, which is the main drainage for the many lakes in the center of the plateau. I scrambled up 1000'+ to the top of the plateau, and worked my way over towards Sliderock Lake and Mt Rearguard. I found a nice bivy site with an amazing view, and studied which route up Rearguard I should aim for the following morning. sunset over Mt Rearguard I settled on the tallus and snow slopes along the east side of Sliderock Lake and up the east side of the mountain. The night in the high teens was a little chilly, as I only had my 40 deg sleeping bag, all that would fit in my checked airplane luggage. But soon I awoke from a solid sleep to glaring sun - morning had come quick. My route was pretty easy up the peak, and in about 2.5 hrs from camp I was on top of the summit plateau. From here there were awesome views of Peak 11977', Spirit Mountain, and Beartooth Mountain - the namesake of the range. The actual Bears Tooth, the impressive pinnacle on the east ridge of Beartooth Mountain, was neat to see. Peak 11977' Beartooth Mtn & da Bears Tooth Pk 11977', Spirit Mtn, Beartooth Mtn I worked my way back to camp and then descended a different route back to the car. I ended up finding a high, snowed-in trailhead around 9800'; this would be a great and convenient late summer access point. Below this spot the road was a bit of an adventure to follow, and in a few sections I had to use my ice axe as the steep mountain road was totally snowed over. snowy road After a few miles I made it back to my car, completing a fun 14-mile solo loop tour of Hellroaring Plateau, a 12k peak, and a small piece of the Beartooth Mountains. wilderness sign found on the way down looking south at Beartooth Plateau Gear Notes: ice axe, crampons, bivy gear, camera Approach Notes: from US 212, drive Forest Road 421 to FR 3004 to Hellroaring Creek; scramble up Hellroaring Plateau & head west towards Mt Rearguard
  10. CC.com 2011 Photo Contest presented by AAI

    Scenic - camp on Mt Olympus Alpine - Mark on Robson's east ridge Bouldering - Randy on Mt Conness, East Ridge Ice - Nate on Kautz Glacier ice chute, Mt Rainier Humor - self portrait from North Sister summit
  11. I can't say with certainty, but I think I recognize the tent squatter:
  12. FS: Cold Cold World Chaos Pack

    I have a CCW Chaos pack for sale. Size large. Gear racking loops, removable bivy pad, crampon pouch. With my long torso it never quite fit right, so it's still in good shape and a good deal: I'm looking for $150 obo It has only been on 3 trips. Here's some more info: http://www.coldcoldworldpacks.com/chaos.htm Here are a couple pics. Pm me if interested! [img:center]http://www.summitpost.org/images/medium/613532.JPG[/img] [img:center]http://www.summitpost.org/images/medium/613533.JPG[/img]
  13. [TR] Susanville, CA - Lone Rock 10/26/2009

    it's not corvallis, but it's home
  14. Trip: Mt Rainier - Sunset Ampitheater Headwall Couloir Date: 5/22/09-5/25/09 Trip Report: It seems every Memorial Day weekend, my friend Nate (sweatinoutliquor) and I talk about heading to Rainier. The last time everything fell in place (weather, travel, work, etc) was in 2005. As the 2009 holiday neared, we began discussing route options. We eventually narrowed the research to the westside of the mountain, as the remoteness was an attraction. Reading Gauthier's book, the Sunset Theater couloir sounded great, and having been first climbed in 2000 made it sound even more interesting. I began monitoring the weather about a week before, and was impressed that the forecast continued to improve with each day. 0% chance of precip in MRNP? Awesome! This year was going to work out. I headed out of norCal on Thursday afternoon, and met up with Nate in Oregon. We took off the next day after an excellent breakfast that included lots of locally raised bacon. We arrived at the park after surprisingly efficient I-5 travel through Portland and south WA, checking in for permits at Longmire. Unfortunately, we were told that the Westside Road was closed, which meant that we would have another 3 miles of approach added to the trip. Starting at 2100', that also meant that we would have a hefty elevation gain of 12000' to make the top We gave ourselves 4 days for the route: 2 days for approach, 1 for summit day, and 1 for the descent back to the truck. This worked out well. The actual couloir was in great shape, with mostly good step kicking snow and alpine ice. Icefall and rockfall was minimal until the sun warmed the ampitheater, although I still took a couple hits to the helmet. Snow conditions on the Tahoma Glacier were good in the morning but POOR in the afternoon (unless skiing). On the descent from the summit plateau practically every step balled up in our crampons. This made the straightforward downclimb a bit tedious, all while baking in the sun. I postholed into a crevasse only a few feet from our tent through nearly 4 feet of snow, not ideal. So, here is a photo-journal of the trip. I must warn you: there are a lot of photos. It was hard to narrow down the selection. You can click on most photos to see a larger version. Half the photos courtesy of sweatinoutliquor. prepped and ready to hit the road (literally) Nate nearing the washed out portion of the Westside Road flood-killed trees along Tahoma Creek hiking trail sign @ Round Pass slowly getting closer to the route, with the Sunset Ampitheater couloir visible in between the trees on the left traversing along Emerald Ridge. The Ridge narrows significantly as you near the Tahoma Glacier. nearing the end of Emerald Ridge, looking up towards the route. The Tahoma Glacier provided us a direct route to high camp, so we opted to avoid Puyallup Cleaver (left skyline). Chris on the approach up the Tahoma Glacier. By this point it was starting to get warm on the glacier. Afternoon avalanche on the Tahoma Glacier, caused by an ice serac breaking off from the obvious ice cliff. In the large version of the photo, you can observe the 2 skiers ascending the Tahoma Glacier route, with the powderblast nearing them. Skiers descending the Tahoma Glacier towards Nate. They chose to ski down immediately after the avalanche. High camp on the Tahoma Glacier. The Tahoma Glacier and Tahoma Sickle routes are visible in the background. Nate dropping down a step in the Tahoma Glacier, after an alpine start @ 0215. Chris approaching the Sunset Ampitheater and the entrance to the couloir. Packing up the snowshoes and gearing up for the couloir climb. Nate entering the couloir. St Andrews Rock in the background. Nate climbing the steepening lower portion of the couloir. Chris nearing the right-hand turn in the gully. Nate finishing up the rockband section. Nate heading towards the top of the route and Sunset Ridge. a bomber Cascades belay anchor looking back at Chris and the Puyallup Glacier below topping out on Liberty Cap Nate getting ready to drop down onto the Tahoma Glacier, descent back to high camp. This ended up being the most brutal portion of the climb, as the afternoon sun made this section a true oven. The previous day, we watched a group climb this route in the heat of late afternoon with full packs. The tent is one of the specks below. Tahoma Glacier ice cliff Descending the Tahoma Glacier from high camp, early Memorial Day 2009. sunrise on Mt Adams, during the descent from high camp Wonderland Trail suspension bridge over Tahoma Creek Nate descending the Tahoma Creek trail Hiking the washed out portion of the Tahoma Creek trail, nearing the junction with Westside Road. Sunset Ampitheater. The couloir is the obvious weakness through the rocks. Thanks buddy for another great Rainier trip! Gear Notes: 5 pickets, couple pieces of rock pro, 60m halfrope, ice axe, ice tool, running belays & munter hitches (frozen rope was not working with our belay devices), glacier rescue gear, snowshoes, tennies for the 3 miles of clear road beyond the gate, wicked homemade trail mix with beer nuts Approach Notes: We used the Emerald Ridge approach, and then took a pretty direct line up the Tahoma Glacier to high camp and the St Andrews saddle. From our viewpoint this was much easier and quicker than trying to ascend Puyallup Cleaver all the way to St Andrews rock. We used the Wonderland Trail and Tahoma Creek trail during the descent – in hindsight this was much more efficient. Tahoma Ck trail is in pretty good shape except for the 1/2 mile washed out at the junction with the Westside Road.
  15. [TR] Mt Rainier - Sunset Ampitheater HW Couloir

    hey Ryan, I thought I noticed a couple new S-turns near our tent when we got back down, but wasn't sure if I was hallucinating due to overheating. Yeah, that ice avalanche was pretty impressive. Make sure to grab that large photo from my gallery with you guys next to the 'lanche!
  16. [TR] Mt Shasta - Casaval Ridge 4/18/2009

    nice pics. I remember seeing you guys. We heard about the missing lady on Sunday from some snowmobilers, funny how common sense seems to evade some folks. Greg, with this heat I wouldn't expect Casaval to be in good shape by Memorial Day. But some are saying that this will be a cooler summer...
  17. Trip: Mt Shasta - Green Butte Ridge to upper Sargents Ridge Date: 4/18/09 to 4/19/2009 Trip Report: Last weekend my buddy Chad and I climbed Shasta via Green Butte Ridge. This is the main ridge on the east side of Avalanche Gulch. The forecast was good all week, and seemed to get even better as the weekend arrived - awesome! Because our base camp destination was only at 9500', the approach day was easy. We slept in and had a good breakfast, which paid off later. The hike up Green Butte took about 2.5 hours, and from there we set up camp and watched people hike up the Gulch and snowmobilers play in the old ski bowl. Green Butte Ridge, Avalanche Gulch, and Casaval Ridge (right to left) One guy even paraglided off the ridge, but had to opt for the east side due to wind. Although we were perched right atop the ridge, where winds typically are harsh on Shasta, only light breezes occassionally blew through. Incredibly calm for this location. We headed off early in the morning, around 0215, and climbed a good portion of GBR in the dark. Most of this was quick snowclimbing, with some occassional rocks mixed in. As we neared the convergence with Sargents Ridge, the first light of the day began to creep over the horizon. We enjoyed the last cool temperatures before the sun finally hit us and started to heat up the mountain. We traversed past a few pinnacles, then easily around Thumb Rock, tying into the AG route at Red Banks. We made good time up to the summit from here, topping out around 0930. A group was just leaving the summit, so we enjoyed some peace on top before the rest of the days summitteers arrived. We had decided on the ascent that we would opt to descend AG, since there were was some frozen rock scrambling on the climb that would likely be less glued in the warmth of the day. This worked out well, despite moving through the oven that is Avalanche Gulch. A couple layers of sunscreen were not enough against this bowl of bright heat. We made a downward traverse beginning at Lake Helen and tied back into Green Butte Ridge at approximatly 10000'. This was a safe and easy way to get back to our camp, avoiding the majority of difficulties on the ridge above. Positives: this is a fun scrambling route that has less traffic than AG or Casaval Ridge. Great views into the Mud Ck canyon and of lower Sargents Ridge. Green Butte offers a quick base camp approach with good perch to check out the action in AG and Casaval Ridge. Negatives: directly below Green Butte is open to snowmobilers, so expect some 2-stroke fumes and noise during the weekends. Gear Notes: crampons, ice axe, sunscreen we also used snowshoes to descend from camp back to the truck, as it was warm and slushy Approach Notes: head from Bunny Flat straight for Green Butte, visible from the parking lot
  18. Shasta next weekend

    hey, I was up on Sargents (actually Green Butte Ridge) and watched a group of 2 climb up from AG to Casaval late Saturday afternoon. I was thinking, huh, that's interesting. Was that you 111? Hell of a weekend on the mountain eh?!
  19. Trip: Mt Conness - East Ridge from Saddlebag Lake Date: 7/26/2008 Trip Report: On Saturday we climbed the complete east ridge of Mt Conness (myself and friends Randy and Ken). We found this route to offer various terrain, with some class 1 through class 4 stuff. It is a scenic climb with not too much vertical gain and can be done in 1/2 day. Since we had to head to Ken's bachelor party later that day, it was a good choice. RJ Secor rates the east ridge a class 3. We found that following the top of the ridge over the pinnacles would involve some class 5 terrain, but most of the difficulties can be avoided on the south side. We ended up taking on some of the challenges. On the top we met Karl from New York, who was out on a peak-bagging extravaganza. looking up at the east ridge from Saddlebag Lake Mt Dana panorama, east side of Conness cruising on class 1 terrain after gaining the ridge the beautiful SE aspect of North Peak the fun part of the ridge Ken chilling on the ridge Randy on a pinnacle final summit from the plateau Randy with the east ridge below SW face hanging out on the summit looking back down the east ridge from the summit summit panorama heading to the car and peeking back up at the east ridge Gear Notes: tennies, gallon of water, sunscreen Approach Notes: park at the end of the road, cross the dam, and head up
  20. [TR] Mt Adams - Mazama Glacier 7/5/2008

    cool--thanks for sharing. That is a great route and worth the effort. I think I used the 'around the mountain trail' when we climbed it, but I do remember some steep traversing like you encountered on the approach.
  21. [TR] Twin Sisters - Obscurities 6/13/2008

    pretty cool pics! Once I spent a night locked behind one of those access gates...but there is something special about that risk.
  22. [TR] Mount Rainier - Liberty Ridge 5/12/2008

    nice work, looks impressive
  23. [TR] Borah Peak - SW Ridge 5/16/2008

    Trip: Borah Peak - SW Ridge Date: 5/16/2008 Trip Report: Borah Peak (aka Mount Borah) during the drive to the trailhead While on a work trip to western Montana, I took a couple days off and drove down into Idaho to climb Borah Peak. Conditions called for no precip, but little did I know that meant a heatwave would be hitting the western US! This summit is the highest point in Idaho (12,662'), and interestingly enough grew 7' during a 1983 earthquake. I solo'd the southwest ridge route on May 16th 2008. The trailhead was deserted, offering a quiet and peaceful place to set up basecamp for a couple nights. I enjoyed the solitude and got a start on things around dusk, after a warm night. Following the climbers' trail to snowline, I made pretty good time moving through the forested portion of the climb. Gaining the horseshoe-shaped ridge (reference photo above) that marks the "southwest ridge" and leads to the summit. I had been sweating pretty good wearing pants and a long sleeve tee, but figured that things would cool when I reached the snow. I donned my fleece gloves briefly, but once the sunshine hit me it was hot for the rest of the day. Along the ridge, the views of the Lost River Range peaks to the south were pretty impressive. I negotiated "Chicken Out Ridge", which was pretty straighforward in the morning with firm snow. Great views continued, with some enjoyable exposure along snow aretes and snow saddles. looking up at "chicken out ridge" looking down onto my tracks along "chicken out ridge" The ridge continued all the way to the summit, and as the temperatures warmed I noticed the snow was quickly softening in the sun. final ridge to the summit looking south at some cool geology I summitted and sat there for a while, soaking up the sun and watching cornices break off around me. With the avalanches rumbling around I figured it was time to get past the ridge to firmer ground. I snapped a panorama and headed down. I found the downclimbing much more tedious, with my crampons constantly balling up with snow and the snow ridge conditions becoming poor. Taking my time, I finally re-traversed the ridge and reached the thawed lower portion of the climbers' trail. I descended through the woods and began to think about getting back to the trailhead for more water, Bayern brew, and dinner! I reached base camp with plenty of light left in the day, so I hid in the shade and enjoyed having the place to myself. The prairie dogs and birds kept me company. Having a professional interest in forest roads, it was quite intriguing that the PD's had many burroughs built right into the compacted roadway around the trailhead. All in all, this was a very interesting trip. I definitely recommend this area for mountaineering (in colder conditions), and based on the amount of people I saw (zero), I would guess that nearly every peak besides Borah offers guaranteed solitude. Someday I might return! I definitely saw some attractive couloirs and ridges on the adjacent peaks... Gear Notes: economy rental car, ice axe, crampons, sunglasses!, sunscreen!, water!, hat! ...and I didn't even think to bring shorts (doh!) Approach Notes: just follow the climbers' trail from the trailhead to chickenout ridge, then follow the ridge to the summit
  24. Your Climbing Heroes

    Norman Clyde