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JohnGo

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About JohnGo

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    member
  • Birthday 11/30/1999

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  • Homepage
    www/karl-helser.com
  • Location
    Portland
  1. beginner aid climbing

    Well, to answer the original question, what's the best way to learn to aid climb, I will offer a slightly different tack. I say go spend a day or two with a guide. This could be a professional guy through a guiding company, or some local hotshot aider who you hook up with and work out a money or barter system that everyone's happy with. The traditional way of learning how to big wall climb was to go to Yosemite and apprentice yourself for a summer. Many people do not have the time or inclination to do that anymore. By paying for a guide, you can get a download of decades of experience dumped on you in just a few hours. Yes, it may cost you a few hundred dollars, but how much time would it take you to learn the same skills if you were to try to learn it through general trial and error? What is your time truly worth? I did my first big wall climbing with a guide, and it was a great experience and set me up for several more successes on my own after that. Also, the link to the Chris McNamara Supertopo how to aid climb series on YouTube is outstanding. Watch all those videos, absorb them, Buy a pair of Yates aid ladders and a pair of Yates adjustable daisies, and a FiFi hook, set up the top rope and solo on your own, and then get a guide for a day or two. You will be well on your way.
  2. Nick, Sandy headwall gets climbed pretty rarely from the west. I think the reason for this is it's generally a winter or early season route. That means that the west side access from the Topspur trailhead Is pretty well snowed in, and it adds a few extra thousand feet of vertical to the approach. The standard approach from the southside may look like a long way, but a party moving reasonably quickly can be on the route in about 5-6 hours and top out maybe one or two after that, making for a pretty reasonable day. So, although it may be longer in mileage from the southside, the vertical overall is less, and it's mostly traversing to get around to the route, so the approach goes pretty quickly. John
  3. Hello climbing friends, You now have four less excuses for ever getting lost on a climb. On the Mazamas website you can now find, for over 50 of the most popular climbing routes: 1) pdf maps with the route redlined, 2) GPX track files for your GPS or smartphone 3) KML Google Earth files, and 4) exact latitude longitude coordinates for trailheads. There’s a full explanation of all of these resources at the link below. These navigation resources are free open for everyone to use, Mazama member or not. As they are my creation, please send all cheers and jeers my way. Link: http://mazamas.org/resources/maps-for-climbing-and-hiking/
  4. [TR] North Sister - Southwest 9/9/2012

    Hello all, John G here. I would like to add a clarification to the above trip report. The report reads: "All the while, as we were approaching the summit, we had been noticing a wildfire . . ." This phrase may be open to some misinterpretation. We never saw the fire, even in its infancy, until about 8:30 AM, about three hours into our ascent. Our first view of the smoke only came after we traversed to the East side of the summit block area looking down the Thayer Glacier. Anyone familiar with this route knows that this is the first opportunity one gets to look to the East, but I wanted to spell it out for people who are reading this and not been up there. At this point, it would've been completely futile to bail on the climb, try to run back down the camp, pack up, and beat the fire out. It was suggested to me that this would've been the prudent course of action, but clearly this would not have gained us any advantage, given how high we were on the route when the fire was first spotted. We opted to proceed with the climb, summit, descend at a normal pace, and simply deal with one thing at a time. If we for some reason have been able to see or had been notified of the fire at six or 7 AM, we very likely would've bailed on the climb immediately and tried to hike out. So, if anyone is scratching their heads on this one, hopefully this clarifies things a bit.
  5. Joe, Way to send it, congrats! Your split times are admirable, and beta on getting up south sister from the north is especially useful. Any chance you could post a photo of south sister with a line drawn on it showing the route you took? and I can vouch for their being zero snow to deal with on North Sister at this time. I climbed it on Sunday Sept 9, and there is one patch of snice you can literally step across, that's it. No crampies, ice axe, nor snow pro needed. Thanks, John
  6. Wowzer, even for 20 feet that looks pretty sporty. That snow should be gone in a week or so. Thanks again for the TR; it should help the 3 sisters marathon folks a lot.
  7. Guys, Nice photos and congrats on a classic 3-some! (The south sister summit shot of the tired and happy climbers is esp nice.) A question: About how long was the snow pitch on the N sister so-called "terrible" traverse? I am heading up there with a team of 7 folks Sept 8-9 and am hoping it's about gone by then. Last year about this time the snow could be skirted via a moat on the top side of the snow patch, but it looks like you guys just went for the direct whippet assisted crossing. Thanks, John
  8. [TR] North Sister - SE Ridge 9/11/2011

    Hi Joe, I'm glad you like the trip report. North Sister has a pretty stout reputation. I feel this is well-deserved as an early season snow climb, and not so much as a later season scree walk-up. I try to post fairly comprehensive trip reports to encourage people to try this peak later in the year when conditions are generally more conducive to success. I have always appreciated it when people add photos with direct beta and helpful information, and I try to include these myself whenever I can. I agree with you that diplomacy, rope sharing, allowing other parties to go faster and climb through, and other expressions of climbing courtesy are always a good thing to show. Three Fingered Jack is definitely a peak where things can get bogged down with slower climbers. Fortunately most other summit objectives in Oregon allow multiple groups of different sizes and abilities to all enjoy it on the same day. I would really prefer to keep this thread focused on a trip report and discussion of late-season North Sister, and not get into bashing other people's styles of climbing. There are plenty of other previous threads where that has gone on, and nothing very productive seems to come of it. If anyone reading this wants to know when Mazamas are climbing any peak, (and either mooch off of their ropes and experience or avoid them entirely) the complete summer climb schedule is usually posted on April 1 on the Mazama website. A glance at this page can quickly tell you if your climbing location for the coming weekend is also a Mazama destination. (Of course, this will not tell you whether the Santiam Alpine Club or Chemeketans will be enjoying your favorite cascade volcano . . .) In any event, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and your positive and not so positive experiences. Such constructive dialogue will certainly win you more points with more people than the alternative. I would never say that the Mazamas are perfect in all regards and offer a style of climbing suitable for everyone. However, in the bigger picture, they do more good than harm and are therefore worthy of my time, money and expertise to support. -JohnGo
  9. [TR] North Sister - SE Ridge 9/11/2011

    Sobo, I think you need to pay up for the app, but I think it's well worth it. I've since read of some PCT thru hikers using this as their main way to find the trail under heavy 2011 snow cover, so that's a pretty good endorsement. Even at 8 clams, it's vastly cheaper than a stand alone GPS, and has totally superior graphics and interface. Check it out and let me know what you think. -John
  10. [TR] North Sister - SE Ridge 9/11/2011

    Hi Mito, I liked your recent Reid Headwall trip report. You took a beating up there, wowzer! That top out is a bit confusing, but you got it right. Congrats on a sending a classic Hood route! If I hear of a Android app I will post it her and/or PM you. (I have an Apple Iphone,and it's a Verizon contract, so I guessed you meant Android.) -John
  11. [TR] North Sister - SE Ridge 9/11/2011

    Kirk, Thanks for the hug! Love ya, man! A few more facts . . . - Yes this was a Mazamas climb, I like to lead it every September. I've topped out 4 times on this peak and thus know the route pretty well. - We saw NO ONE on the entire mountain on climb day. - If we had seen anyone else en route, I would have done my very best to share fixed ropes, route beta, and in general allow smaller, competent teams to pass freely. While not official Mazamas policy, that's how I and every other leader I know operates. - It took our team a total of about 1.5 hours from the start of the moat traverse to top out. That's hardly an inconvenience to anyone "stuck" behind us. Which there was not, and if they were, they would have been invited to pass. - I'll prolly be up there again the second weekend in September 2012, so Kirk, you may wish to climb elsewhere. For the rest of you with perhaps more open minds, stop on by, share our ropes, and you may meet a new friend. B'lay on, John Godino Mazamas climb leader
  12. Trip: North Sister - SE Ridge Date: 9/11/2011 Trip Report: Dates Sept 10-11, 2011 Team of 8 2 day climb Pole Creek / Soap Creek headwaters, SE Ridge Times 2 hours from trailhead to high camp at 6,800 at the upper reaches of Soap Creek 4:30am departure 6 or so hours to summit 5 hours to descend (yes, we were kinda slow) 1:45 hour hike out to cars Campsite There’s a very nice campsite with water and comfy sandy ground here at the head of Soap Creek at treeline. Beautiful, mossy lined rivulets drain the large tarn at the base of the Thayer Glacier. Casual hike in, left trailhead about 11, and had all afternoon to lounge at camp. This is a very nice area that sees very few visitors. Campsite GPS coordinates: NAD83 10T E600220 N 4891320 elevation 6940 feet. To get to this area, hike in from the Pole Creek trailhead to the Soap Creek crossing, then look for a faint climbers trail on the north side of the creek that departs from a campsite. Once at treeline, in about 1.3 miles, head left (south) for a few hundred meters and look for a yummy camp area. Route After 3 previous summits via the standard SW Ridge / Hayden Glacier route, I wanted to try something new for this climb. I opted for the SE Ridge. We found that bypassing the various gendarmes and knobby bits of the ridge was best done on the left (south) side. When in doubt, stay left. It was occasionally steep and somewhat exposed, but never got past class 3. The SE Ridge is seldom climbed, and now I know why, as it takes scree groveling to a whole new level. Even with a slightly longer approach, I feel the SW ridge / Hayden climb is faster and less tiring, as much of the hike is on fairly solid ground. The SE ridge is loose and “scree-dious” (scree + tedious, get it?) the entire way. In summary, I would NOT recommend this route in late season. Next time I will try the West side approach via the Obsidian trailhead and Arrowhead Lake camp. From the summit, even in late season, it looked like there was plenty of gradual snow on the way up from Arrowhead Lake, giving easy access to the SW ridge. Conditions The late spring 2011 snow dump left a 45 degree 1 pitch snow traverse for us on the so called “Terrible Traverse”, or “Dinner Plate” traverse, which is normally completely snow free by late August and a stroll over loose but manageable 2nd class scree. Happily we were able to bypass the snow completely by climbing up one side of it on scree, entering a delightful moat, traversing above the snow, then rapping (or careful downclimbing would work too) down the far side. For our team of 8, this was a way faster and safer way to get past the snow than actually crossing it. If you choose to use pro for the Bowling Alley: One ¾” cam (red Alien or Metolius is perfect) in the boulder in lower center of the Alley, then 1 double runner used to thread a chockstone near the top, about 10 feet left of the lower rap station. If you are comfy climbing 5.6 or above in boots, then you can likely solo and downclimb the Bowling Alley without a rope. One more Bowling Alley tip: Scramble up ledges 30 feet to a large flat spot at base of the alley; this is a safe place for whole team to wait away from rockfall and leave packs. If you do try this climb in late season (September) and are comfy climbing up and down the 4th class Bowling Alley, you need ZERO gear – leave the rope, harness, crampies, snow pro, rock pro, all of it - at home. If not, bring a harness, a light 50 M rope, one 3/4" cam, and a few runners. Overall, in no-snow conditions like this, I feel this route is about as hard/easy as Three Fingered Jack or Mt Washington. That is to say, pretty darn easy. Be smart with minimizing rockfall and be aware of who may be below you, and you should be fine. Note to self - Remind all team members that every rock on the mountain is trying to come loose and crush you at any moment. We had one scare where someone pulled on some vertically stacked "dinner plates", and caused a substantial rockfall. It was dam lucky no one was below. Overall, a rewarding climb with some good folks. I hope some readers find the following route photos useful. Thanks for Caleb Sattgast for many of the photos below. -John Ready to Rumble at the trailhead the schweeet view from camp Camp lounging the impressive east face of North Sister, view up from camp Dawn Patrol The irrepressible Linda. South Sister, Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor in the background Getting close to the top of the SE Ridge. Middle Sister in the background The first bowl, before the main snow traverse. In early season, this part is a pretty spicy steep snow traverse. Suzi in the moat above the "terrible traverse" More moat action Moat shenanigans Moat rap anchor - bollard and a picket Some VERY bizzaro colored turquoise lichen on rocks in the moat Looking down into the Bowling Alley from the rap anchor Me on top, yay! Collier glacier in the background Me rapping the Bowling Alley. This is pretty solid 4th class, so certainly downclimbable, but I had a rope, so I used it. My new favorite Iphone app: www.topomapsapp.com Very cool GPS combined with nice hi res topo maps; no cell coverage required to use. Gear Notes: see above Approach Notes: see above
  13. Nice TR and photos. Good decision to bail. Question - Why did you have a picket if you were soloing?
  14. This ledge is now SOLD. (I cannot figure our how to delete this post!)
  15. Sad news from the Gorge...

    This is so sad . . . My thoughts are out to this man's family and friends.
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