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About MRiley

  • Rank
  • Birthday 10/12/1953


  • Occupation
    Env. Consultant
  • Location
    Olympia, WA
  1. Trip: Switzerland - Bluemlisalp Traverse Date: 7/19/2016 Trip Report: Now that the winter rains have set in, it’s a good time to try doing a photo album of some summer climbs. I did 3 climbs in the Swiss Alps for a total of 5 summits. I’m going to start with the best of the climbs, the 3 peaks of the Bluemlisalp Traverse, which I did with my friend Manu from Nuremburg. I met Manu through a climbing friend, Steve, here in Olympia. They had met at Everest base camp and when I was going to be in Europe we connected on this climb, which Manu had tried once before but turned back due to weather. This year was different as at Manu’s request I was able to bring some of the beautiful summer weather we had been having in the PNW. We met up in Kandersteg with my daughter, Karen, and son, Ben. Bluemlisalp from Kandersteg: Ben and Karen hiked part way to the Bluemlisalp Hut with us. The hut is actually visible from Kandersteg and reminded me of getting to Camp Muir – you can see it as you hike, but it doesn’t look like it is getting closer. The final approach to the hut consisting of about 20 short switchbacks with the hut right there in front of you was a bit much. We got up the next morning for the Climbers’ Breakfast a little before 3a and were heading out about 3:30. We roped up for the glacier crossing to the start of the route on the Morgenhorn (11,890 ft). As always, I lagged on the glacier travel, which is my least favorite part of climbs, but once we reached the steep snow and ice slope of the Morgenhorn I felt my climbing kick into gear. We simul climbed with Manu in lead and placing 2 ice screws over about 600 feet. The slope then eased off with a nice walk to the summit right at sunup. After a little break to enjoy the sunrise and clear day, we did the relatively easy walk to the Wyssi Frau (11,975 ft), with a couple short rock sections to keep it interesting. Wyssi Frau from Morgenhorn The ridge from the Wyssi Frau to Bluemlisalp (12,000 ft) is the crux of the climb. The route follows a steep, narrow, jagged ridge crest. A couple rock steps had to be climbed in crampons with minimal protection, but the rock was good, handholds solid and large foot placements so we were not dependent on front points on rock. Manu ready to start a rock pitch: Mike belaying from the top: We reached Bluemlisalp about 12:30 with a beautiful view of Oeschinen Lake some 7000 ft below us. The descent was down rock slabs and blocks for what seemed like about 700 ft, then a run along a snow crest and descent down a steep snow face to the glacier. Descent route with glacier below: Here again, I slowed down for the trudge across the glacier with much patience from Manu until we came within site of the hut and the long downhill cruise. This was an adventure that fit the definition of a good climb: uncertain outcome, high endeavor, and good company. Gear Notes: We roped up for the glacier crossing and stayed roped throughout although we only did belays at rock steps and one steep slope near Bluemlisalp. We used two ice screws on Morganhorn and one on Bluemlisalp. We had a small rack for rock pro, but a couple useful fixed pins were all we needed so did not use our rock gear. Approach Notes: Well maintained trail to the Bluemlisalp Hut. Large hut with good food. Bunk room accommodation, but I slept great. Approach to the route from the hut is about an hour of glacier travel with some crevasses.
  2. Found: Rope on North Ingalls, South Ridge

    I'm be in downtown Seattle on Monday. Can stay late and meet up if that works for you.
  3. Found one crampon

    I found a single crampon on Alta Vista above Paradise on June 9. Thought it was from a Mountaineers group up there that day, but got it back when it did not belong to them.
  4. Found: Rope on North Ingalls, South Ridge

    That's the rope we got stuck while rappelling during a thunderstorm on June 23. With lightening and hale we did not try to retrieve the rope. It belongs to the Olympia Mountaineers. It is about 5 years old and has been pretty well used, but would like to get it back. I can be reached at 360-870-4856. Heading to North Cascades tomorrow, but could try to get it next week. Thanks much
  5. Left rack on The Tooth

    Todd: Thanks so much for letting me know. I am in Olympia, but will be in Seattle on Friday afternoon for work and then again on Saturday with family. Is there some time that would work for you on either day? Friday is a little better for me as it is more flexible without having to drag the family around. Please let me know what works for you. My cell # is 360-870-4856 and email addresses are: rileymj1e6@gmail.com (personal) mriley@anchorqea.com (work) Feel free to use either address. I get the work email continuously all day, but the personal email less frequently. Thanks again and so much appreciated. Mike Riley
  6. Left rack on The Tooth

    Major bonehead move. Put the rack down to sort out the rope for rappelling and lauched off without. Small rack with mostly old gear, but if someone finds it before I get back there later this week, I would gladly reward the finder.
  7. Trip: Lillooet - Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack Date: 12/15/2007 Trip Report: Climbed at Marble Canyon on Dec 15 and Oregon Jack on Dec 16. Stayed in Cache Creek, which is more convenient than Lillooet for these climbs. Marble Canyon was thin, but in. Icy BC was good for leading, but we top roped for the first time out this season. Deeping Wall was barely in leading condition. Other routes were thin. Oregon Jack was very thin in the middle, but left and right were pretty full. Thin ice stopped us from getting to the usual first belay, so we only did the lower part of the route to the cave belay the top of the first pitch. Sorry no photos since none are on a URL site and direct posting does not appear to be possible.
  8. [TR] Lane Peak- Zipper 3/6/2005

    We followed some old tracks and realized they were going in the wrong direction when they dropped into a steep gully. We moved left toward the NE side of Lane, dropped into a different gully that is typically full of snow, crossed that and kept moving down and left until we hit our approach tracks. There was a lot more bushwacking than usual with the low snow. Mike
  9. [TR] Lane Peak- Zipper 3/6/2005

    Toast: Thanks for the reply. I posted some photos on the following FTP site: Two photos are of your group climbing across to the summit. If you get promted for a user name, use anonymous. There is no password so just hit enter if you get prompted for one. Mike
  10. Climb: Lane Peak-Zipper Date of Climb: 3/6/2005 Trip Report: Sunday was clear and warm, but cold enough over night to make for some firm snow as we trudged up the debri cone leading to the route. We climbed into the Zipper and stopped at a small rock step about 30 meters into the route. We set a belay to the right of the step using a cam and nuts in some clean cracks. The step was easily climbed on the right by hooking an ice tool into gaps between rocks on the step. Another 90 meters of firm snow led to an imposing rock step. The step consists of two boulders stacked on top of each other. The lower boulder was climbed on the right, then crossed to the left side of the step and into a narrow cleft between the rock wall and the upper boulder. The rock wall provided some nice edges for crampon points and a tool hooked into snow and rubble above the boulder and between the boulder and the wall gave a firm hand hold. Beyond the second rock step, we found a thin layer of consolidated snow over ice. The ice was solid and we were on front points for the upper portion of the climb. We topped out the route at noon and took a break in warm sun, then proceeded to the summit. The scramble route to the summit had no snow except for one small patch just below the summit. Gear Notes: We took four pickets, one #2 Camalot, and a set of nuts. We used all of this gear, but did not feel that we should have brought more. We used single ice tools instead of ice axes as they hook rocks better. Approach Notes: There is little snow in the forest below the road to Reflection Lakes. The snow in the meadows at Tatoosh Creek was firm and we did little post holing. My partner used snow shoes, but I did not have a problem without them.