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Everything posted by racsom

  1. I am selling an Arcteryx RT45 bought new in 2008 ($200). It has been used once for cragging by my wife. Excellent condition. I am also selling an Alpine Bivy (2008) ($175) used only 4 times. Excellent condition. Message me if you are interested. (Shipping costs not included) Oscar
  2. Trip: Zion National Park, Mountain of the Sun - Eye Shadow Date: 10/18/2009 Trip Report: (The trip occurred in 2008, but the website didn't let me choose 2008, so I had to leave it as 2009) The Obscurists Obscurist: A climber who climbs less traveled climbs. Well at least that is my overall definition of what is an obscurest climber. On October 18th thru the 22nd, Robert (fenderfour), Nate (madeinmontana) and I (Oscar) attempted a route on Zion National Park on the Mountain of the Sun. The name of the route is Eye Shadow, Grade VI 5.9R A2+ 16 pitches. This is a short description of how we worked on the route, the problems that we faced and our eventual retreat. For most of the summer I had wanted to do a big wall. However, I had been very busy with work and had been lazy with my planning. Towards the end of the summer, I finally decided that it was time to try my first big wall. My experience with big wall climbing was very limited. I had never hauled a bag up a wall, had done very little aid climbing and really had no concept for how difficult it was going to be. However, I believe that if a problem is too big, I need to throw myself into it and solve it as I go. Thats how most of my climbs go. I emailed fenderfour and immediately got a reply: "Yes!" Then I emailed Nate, and after several weeks Robert, Nate and I were throwing together a plan. First, we had to decide where. Yosemite offered good opportunities, but we were unsure what the weather would hold so late in the year. Instead we decided to go toward the stable weather of Zion National Park. We chose the easiest Grade VI in the Select Climbs of Utah. We figure that if it was in the book, it was a good route. We drove for a day and a half from Seattle to Zion and we arrived on Sunday afternoon to a spectacular view of the park. Our objective was the following mountain: The route goes up the main headwall The first thing that we needed to do was to register with the park, and find as much beta about our route as possible. The park ranger asked us what we were going to climb and we told him "Eye Shadow." He looked at us quizzically and replied that he had never heard of it. We told him it was on Mountain of the Sun and asked if we could see the folder which contained years of accumulated beta for climbs in the park. He asked us if we were obscurists to which we replied, "No." That was amusing. I do not consider myself an obscurist but I do find something very enjoyable about doing something not too many people have done. It feels original. In any case, the ranger gave us his blessing and off we went to start packing for the next day. It was a little disturbing to see how much water, food and climbing gear we had. We had enough gear for 3 people to live on the mountain for 4 days. The bags were very heavy. The route climbs on the right side of the headwall and traverses to the left. Our strategy involved climbing the first 4 technical pitches including a traverse and drop ropes to begin hauling the bags. On Monday Nate and I climbed the first 4 pitches of the route. Nate had the privilege to climb the 4th class scramble to the start of our crack corner system. I took the second 5.9 C1 pitch. Then we swapped leads and Nate took on the 5.8 C1 pitch. The book topo indicated that were only two rappels necessary to reach the ground from the top of pitch 4. At the top of pitch 3, Nate and I heard Robert yelling from the base of the climb. He had gone back to the ranger station in the morning after sherpa-ing the haul bags to the base (great effort Robert!) and found some more beta showing three sets of rappels, not two. Nate rapped down, retrieved a third rope and jugged back up to the top of 3. Finally I did the 5.7 traverse that put us above the bags. Pitch 1/2 : 4th class, We lead up to the bottom of the offwidth/chimney. Pitch 2: 5.9 C1 Pitch 3: 5.8 C1 Pitch 4: 5.7 Traverse Aiding the chimney/ offwidth. Doing the traverse….(see the small dot stepping across? AIRY!) 5.7 my ass, especially with crumbly rock Nate jumaring up the ropes after getting the much needed third rope... Once we did the traverse, we soon realized that we were about 160+ meters above the bags that we had to haul up the wall. We rapped down from the top of 4 to a set of anchors on the face and set up the next rappel. After Nate rapped another full rope length he couldn't find that 3rd mysterious set of anchors so instead he tied the remaining two ropes together and got to the ground. Robert jumared up the two ropes to the first set of anchors and Robert and I had a go at hauling the bags. The bags were too heavy to haul all at once and it was late in the day so we left the ropes hanging and the bags at the base of the headwall. The next day I jugged up the first two (tied together) ropes and started hauling 1/2 of our gear. That had to be the hardest workout I've had had on a long time. It took a looooong time. After hauling the initial set of bags, Nate and Robert jumared up the two rope lengths to the first anchor. Nate hauled the other 1/2 of the gear while Robert jumared up the next rope and started hauling at the top of 4. In any case we managed to get to the top of our last rope by 4pm ish. Yikes. Robert took the next lead. It was a llllooonnnggg 5.9 A1 pitch which Robert did an awesome job at sending. Pitch 5 5.9 A1. View from the hauling station. Yeah, it was darn hard to haul those bags.!!!!!!!! Robert Leading pitch 5 5.9 A1. Unfortunately nightfall came and we found ourselves jumaring/hauling up the rest of the bags during the night. After setting up the bags on a big ledge we found, we unpacked our bivy gear, ate, talked, joked and finally went to sleep. We discussed what we were going to do the next day given the conditions that we had found on the route. During the day, 2 out of 3 of our ropes had somehow received some bad core shots, and we were already late on our original schedule. Nate and I bivied here while Robert slept in a cave. Robert’s cave….. One of our core shots….. The next morning we decided to bail off the route. We didn't feel like we could risk damaging our last good rope. Doing that would really complicate climbing and retreat. It took us the better part of the day to come down. Robert rapped all the way down, guiding the bags, while Nate and I rapped down a different way in order to recover the ropes that we had set up. Our climbing gear………. FU Mountain of the Sun, maybe next time….. We sure hope that this TR is of benefit to other people trying that route. Even though we are newbies to the big wall experience, we know that that route has chossy rock, lots of drag when hauling a bag and it is NOT a trade route. We believe there haven't been too many ascents of that route. Cheers, keep climbing…… Oscar Gear Notes: Standard big wall gear. Since there are a lot of offwidths and chimmeneys, big gear is recommended. I had a number 6 which I lost since it was stuck in a crack. O well, live and learn. Approach Notes: I don't remember. It is a short hike (30 minutes). But every single plant will attack you bruise you and tell you who is the boss.
  3. Thanks guys. Yeah, the route was sandbag for sure. geoff, sorry to hear about your partners. Sucks that you had to go through that.
  4. [TR] Colchuck Balanced Rock - West Face 8/2/2008

    Wow. I have to agree. I have done the Prusik chimney and it was easier to get established on that thing than it was for CBR. Getting into the chimney was really hard. But just my opinion
  5. Mount Buckner Conditions

    Anyone has beta about Mount Buckner right now? How is the North face holding right now? Any help pleaseeee....
  6. Mount Buckner Conditions

    Thanks guys!!! I don't think I will have high tolerance for rock fall anytime soon.
  7. [TR] Colchuck Balanced Rock - West Face 8/2/2008

    Cool TR . Although just a quick fact check, I did french free the wet part of the 5.11a. The other thing is the offwidth/chimmeney pitch was done by french freeing certain sections. And I don't remember driving off the road while watching the video. I will agree that the video is very stupid, I consider it being something like Borat except take the foreign aspect away from it. Although the knock knock did cheer me up on the last pitch of the route.
  8. atlanta and dallas

    If you end up going to Dallas and maybe Austin, there is some sport climbing (limestone) near downtown. It is pretty cool as a side trip and to visit Austin. http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/North_America/United_States/Texas/South_Central_Texas/Barton_Creek_Greenbelt/
  9. Stuart WR - conditions?

    Anyone knows what are the conditions on the Cascadian Couloir? Plenty of snow??
  10. [TR] Mount Rainier - Liberty Ridge 5/12/2008

    impressive. Way to stick to it. Glad you guys were not hurt.
  11. The brothers (Olympics)

    Anyone been up to the brothers yet? Any special conditions? access? Any help would be appreciated.
  12. [TR] Washington Pass - 5/10/2008

    Thanks to fenderfour the ratio of puke vs. snow just went from 75% to 50%. The ratio of bananas in pictures went from 25% to 16%. And the ratio of skiing went from 0% to 16%. Hadn't seen a TR like this in a loooooong time.
  13. Trip: Index Upper Town Wall - Green Dragon Date: 2/2/2008 Trip Report: This is just a little trip report to mostly report on conditions at the Upper Town Wall. On Saturday Nate and I went up to try Green Dragon. The idea was to climb it in 2 days. We met up with fenderfour and argus since they were going to give Town Crier a try in a day (after finishing the first pitch which was really bad, they decided to go for some hamburgers instead, smart choice) Saturday: Nate leads pitch 1 (5.9 pitch was mostly aided and free climbed at the top). This was a scary pitch since there was a whole bunch of snow at the top of the first pitch. That meant that Nate had to dig a whole bunch of snow to find placements for gear. He also had to transition to free climbing at the top of the pitch were there was snow. This made for some sketchy climbing. Mean while I was trying to avoid most of the chunks (some up to 10 inches wide) of snow that were being hurled by Nate. Fenderfour had the same problem leading to the right of us. I lead pitch 2 (all aid climbing) and this was much safer than pitch 1. The only thing was that some small parts of the crack were filled with water and slightly mossy slick stuff. Other than that it was still good. After getting to the top of pitch 2 we rapped down. We left two ropes so that I could try to come on Sunday to finish the route. Sunday Nate was sick so limegreen came with me to give the route a try. We jumared up the fixed ropes I had left on saturday. Some of the rope was covered in water ice. That made for some exciting jumaring. As I was jumaring up pitch 2, snow started to fall from the top of the route. Turns out 2 BASE jumpers were up there and it was cool to see them jump. Limegreen took the lead of pitch 3 and while she was leading, she would break small icicles (1/4inch diameter about 1 inch long) and hurled down over to me. However most of the time it was just dripping water from the roof. We reached the top of pitch 3 and decided to rap down since we didn't think we had enought time to make it up the route. (Note: Nate, Limegreen and I are pretty new to aid climbing. We do have experience free climbing (doing trad)) The whole route seemed ok to climb. I bet a good efficient aid climbing team could do the route with out much problems. However still be careful of the first pitch since all that snow at the top of pitch 1 makes for some dicy climbing. Also remember early morning some parts of the crack are ice covered.) Limegreen leading p3 Me leading p2 (mandatory butt shot) Nate leading p1 Argus belaying fenderfour. Many thanks to fenderfour and counterfeitfake for the beta. Gear Notes: We used standard aid climbing gear. Gaitors would have been useful on saturday. My toes were wet and cold. Approach Notes: Most of the trail was covered with snow. We got lost at first trying to find the wall. However we managed and now there is a boot track to the base of the route.
  14. I don't think the panties are still anymore. Just like a rope, they can only last so long.
  15. Impressive climb guys. Way to go!!! That must have been really tiring. How was snowboarding down the road. I have snowboarded down that road and it sucked, it is not steep enough for the top half.
  16. Trip: Dragontail - Triple Couloirs Date: 2/23/2008 Trip Report: On Feb 23rd madeinmontana and I tried to do a one day ascent of the Triple Couloirs after having a spectacular week of high temps, no storms and a trip report specifying good climbing conditions on the North Face of Dragontail. We came prepared for a bivy in case we were not fast enough and we knew that the weather would deteriorate on Sunday. We started the hike from the car around 3:00am on saturday and it took us about 4.5 hours to get to the lake. We stopped and melted some snow and refilled our water bottles with water. We noticed that the runnels from the 2nd couloir looked like they were covered in ice. We started heading to the base of the TC as soon as we stopped melting snow. As we approached the base of the route we noticed there was someone soloing the route and that gave us some confidence that the route was in shape. madeinmontana on the first couloir As we headed up the 1st couloir the soloist was coming down. He told us that the 1st pitch of the second couloir was in, but the 2nd pitch had some thin snow/ice and with out a belay it would have been too risky. (BTW Many thanks to him for that beta, 2nd pitch was definitely very thin). We soloed the 1st pitch (AI2) of the 2nd couloir with amazing alpine ice conditions, the type that makes you happy and secure every time you throw your ice tool. madeinmontana soloing the first awesome pitch!!! I led the second pitch (not sure what rating to give it but very sketchy) and that was really thin. I was able to place two good cams before the crux giving me confidence that a fall was not too dangerous. madeinmontana following the second pitch, thin ice.... The 3rd pitch had good enough ice to make it enjoyable. I just wish it had thicker ice so that I could have used the ice screws we had brought up. me starting the third pitch... We continued moving up to the start of the 3rd couloir and a navigation mistake at that point wasted us about 1 hour. Our mistake was moving up too high and missing the obvious iced corner. We tried climbing a variation thinking it would be covered with ice but quickly realized that it was safer to just move down and start the pitch from the very bottom. My partner led the pitch connecting the 2nd to 3rd couloir (about AI2+). madeinmontana on the second couloir... We reached the top of the 3rd couloir around 7:00 pm in white out conditions. We could not see 20 feet in front of us and we were unsure of the descent route even though I had done 2 summer routes previously on dragontail. We were worried that we could not find our way to asgard pass and find a good bivy spot. We decided to bivy at the summit ridge (just below the summit) and wait for daylight. It snowed all night and it was windy. Next morning we woke up in a whiteout and with a bunch of snow all over our stuff. As we started getting ready, my partner’s sock was stuck inside the boot due to ice. It had iced inside the boot and for the next 20 minutes we tried to pull it out (in retrospect that was pretty funny). After trying to warm it up we finally manage to pull/rip it off the boot and started to head out around 8:30 AM. We were still in a cloud but at least there was daylight and that allowed us to see further than with headlamps. We started moving to the summit and a short break in the clouds gave us a glimpse of our descent route. We arrived to our car around 4pm very tired and exhausted. As we were heading out, a cop pulled us over and asked for our names. Turns out one of our call backs (we had two) got too scared since he didn’t hear from us on Sunday and called the cops/rangers to perhaps check on us. It seemed like by the time we had arrived to our car they were starting to make some plans to check up on us. Many thanks for the quick support from them and we apologize for any inconvenience. Next time we will make sure that our call backs don’t get too worried if we missed our primary return time but still haven't reached our offical call back deadline. That is just how it goes in the alpine environment. ohh yeah, we both then ate some darn good burgers The snow conditions on the route were really good. As we kicked steps on the coulouirs I could not feel any crusts, or layers. Most of the time we were climbing, the snow was really well consolidated. As we reached the south side of the mountain however, the snow was heavily wind loaded. On Sunday it seemed that the top of the TC was heavily wind loaded from the storm and it seemed like it had a top layer crust so I bet avy danger has probably gone up since then. Gear Notes: We had a set of nuts, 0.75 to #2 BD cams, 5 pitons, 4 ice screws medium size, 2 pickets Frankly, the ice screws were really useless. The ice was not thick enough and most of it was alpine ice. I placed 2 ice screws on the whole route and those were mostly psychological pro. We found pitons, nuts and cams to be the most useful. Approach Notes: Walk up the road to the lake. Nothing special about it.
  17. I was one of those climbers that you saw on the 2nd couloir. We made it out ok. We had to bivy near the summit and wait for daylight. TR to come soon.
  18. Thanks Baltoro. I figure that is the best way to learn (as long as you are safe). The approach is not bad. There is snow up there and it is a little bit of a pain when you get of the trail. I bet by now most of the snow has melted and it is not too bad. The rest of the route looked ok. Pitch 4 looked like it would be wet. Not sure what the other pitches looked like...
  19. How to use ice pitons??

    I did a quick search and couldn't find anything on ice pitons. I was wondering what are the thoughts on ice pitons. Are they useful? How do you use them? I assume they are not meant to take falls. Maybe only minor ones. Am I correct?? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  20. How to use ice pitons??

    Thanks guys for the information. Just to clarify, I did mean the BD Spectres. I was trying to figure out why they would still sell them since ice screws would seem so superior. But as WageSlave pointed out, they seem to work well for iced cracks where an ice screw might not fit.
  21. Catbirdseat, was there a need for a permit to park at vantage?
  22. I don't quite understand this quote. Ropes don't act like perfect springs which obey Hooke's Law. They obey a non-linear function. For small displacements, brought about by small masses, the force constant is higher than at larger displacements. For all practical purposes most materials behave in a linear fashion under "normal" loads. Non-linear effects are only taken into account if it is reaching a load big enough to show non-linear effects (i.e. fracture, etc). Are you saying that the strain-stress curve of climbing ropes is say something that looks like a quadratic function? You have any source to back this up? A quick search in google and I couldn't find a strain-stress curve of ropes. I didn't search the rope companies. In any case, even if the ropes are non-linear or linear, the small child will feel a higher acceleration due to the fact that he is not carring enough momentum to make the rope stretch.
  23. I was wondering if anyone has info on the trail to Slesse. Is it in good condition this year? How is the road going to Slesse? I know that there was a deadly accident near the glacier (I think) recently, but that is about it. Many thanks for any info about it...