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About bramski

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  • Birthday 01/07/1983


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  • Occupation
    Iguana Wrangler
  • Location
    Squamish, BC
  1. Pictures + additional beta: Snow remaining at the summit: Photo from across valley of the pocket glacier at this time: Lots of annotated topo imagery to help you with your descent.
  2. Hmmmm... 5th class descent, sure. Not all of us are as stoked on that as you Marc! But is there enough good rock there to affix rappels? Or is it simply a thousand foot slab descent when you get onto where the Slesse glacier would be?
  3. The summit block of crossover ridge? There is a huge cairn about 15 meters next to a sandy gully. About 15 feet away from that cairn is a well used rappel station. One rap there over dirty overhangs into gully #1 leads you to another rap station over loose blocks into the "goat gully" which flinder's descent describes.
  4. Trip: Slesse - NE Buttress Bypass Direct Date: 8/28/2014 Trip Report: Had a most amazing and wonderful journey up and down Slesse with my girlfriend. No speed records were broken. No major soloing was done. We bivied. Twice, with very lightweight bivy gear (one sleeping pad + down blanket + pocket rocket) and I took some great photos. We had an amazing time on this incredible route. I'm attaching detailed photos of the pocket glacier and some additional beta for the descent. The good news is that the pocket glacier is mostly gone but pretty stable looking. Getting onto the cirque is a little funky but manageable and should get better in the next few weeks. There is water in snow form on the summit scramble ... probably 40L worth. Maybe it will last a few more weeks. We did the direct "direct" variation for lack of a better name. I found the "think wires" which StephABegg seemed to have missed in 2008. Go straight up and left to the splitter finger crack from pitch 3 (the one with the trees). It is full value and quite pumpy, A+. Bring an extra finger sized piece or two. My notes on the climb. Unroped low angle slab with a death cliff below and death seracs overhead is a fantastic way to terrify your loved one beyond belief. Also, most ladies don't find hours of scree scrambling as sexy and fun as you do. Bivying with your loved one however can definitely be most enjoyable and warm when done right, but still not very sexy. Photos when I get a bit more time... Gear Notes: SR to 3". Doubles in .2 to 1.
  5. Badass bro. Was great to see you in the moment. You looked stoked for sure. Curious, why doesn't anybody else go down the SE Gully!?!? Seems like it could sure save a hell of a lot of time!
  6. [TR] Mt Rainier - Liberty Ridge 6/1/2013

    Talking to a lot of folks this doesn't seem terrifically unusual. Z-man said that a few years before when they did ptarmigan it was ice for nearly 3000 ft. Sometimes you never know on rainier. Been a light year according to the rangers on the upper mountain.
  7. Trip: Mt Rainier - Liberty Ridge Date: 6/1/2013 Trip Report: My seventh summit of Rainier was destined to be “different”. Goran, Jeff, and I had been seeking a good weather window for 2 weeks prior to our attempt, which was as it seemed, the first attempt for liberty ridge “sans-rescue”. It seems that the 2 prior parties had “broken a leg and caused and avalanche” and “been turned around at Thumb Rock due to frostbite and frostnip”. But those folks didn’t have what we had! More than 2 ice tools (the first party had one pair for 3 people), a good weather window (the party with frostbite went over memorial day weekend!??), and skis. Yes, skis, we carried motherfucking skis over liberty ridge. The skis were a great idea the first day, with our casual 1030am exit time from White River Campground we made quick work of sloppy snow across the interglacier and up to St. Elmo’s Pass. We enjoyed conditions capable of roasting a spring chicken on a fairly lightly crevassed lower winthrop glacier and made a nice leisurely pace to camp on Curtis Ridge and got great pictures of the Carbon Glacier and the route we intended to crush over the next few days. Things were looking really good. Day 2 We awoke the next morning to good skinning on nice firm, perhaps slightly breakable feeling snow on our skis. That is, until we got to the first icefall crossing on the carbon glacier and whipped off the skis for a 150ft bootpack, and then, breakable crust. Knee deep, miserable, swearing breakable crust. So we did what any good climber does, we got down on our knees and climbed like beggars 45 agonizing minutes until we could slam the skis back on. Guys, these conditions had better improve, there’s no way we can grovel our way up 6,000ft of breakable crust. [img:right]http://lh4.ggpht.com/-mdFGWYCGiCc/UbIX49ZGDWI/AAAAAAAAeDs/6P5uHsJw6jM/s350-c/01.jpg[/img] Day 2: There’s a brief whiteout, some spicey crevasse crossings, and then we’re dispatching a meandering route up steep snow and rocks up the scenic NE side of the lower liberty ridge. The snow is ankle to shin deep, but we’re taking shifts like a good pace line and making quick work of the bootpack and having a good time of it. Until we decide to meander around for a while, the snow gets deeper, Goran finds an upper side of the ridge that goes nowhere, I end up bouldering on some crumbly overhanging rock that goes nowhere. We downclimb, traverse, and find the route that we really should have followed in the first place. And then we find it, waist to chest deep snow at a cool angle of 45 to 55 degrees. At least it’s not sliding. If you’ve never had the wonderful experience of bootpacking 400 ft in snow this deep, it’s this kind of elaborate dance where you’re burying your face in the snow and just trying to make ANY kind of upward progress with your boots stamping down on the stuff. It’s so exhausting that we arrive at Thumb Rock like 3 big lumps of meat. Not a soul in site, and light wind. Day 3 [img:left]http://www.bramski.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/jeff_ice-300x287.jpg[/img] We agreed. 45 minutes of awfulness and we’d turn around. 215am and it’s going reasonably well, mostly shin deep snow. It’s not the fastest, but things are going with some speed. And then there’s more of it WAIST DEEP SNOW. I love to ski it, but now the wallow fest is the biggest curse storm I can remember. We’re committed now, and we keep moving… and then we find ice. lots.of.ice. At a cool 40-55 degrees it’s not difficult ice, but we slow down. I look back at my buddies, and I see something red/orange sliding down behind Jeff. No worries guys, not like we just lost the poles to the tent or anything. I skirt left on rambly ice and snow and slam a picket into some rotten ice and nieve. I think it was soon after this that I realized I hadn’t eaten for a while. Aside from my totally crumbling hunger and exhaustion, the only thing on my mind at this moment is god, I have to poop so badly. So, I drop the pants and while trying to consume my entire flask of gu I drop a deuce into the bergschrund. If you’ve never taken the #2 at 13000 ft, I tell you it’s the most euphoric and enlightening experience I can recall in recent history. Then Jeff “The Ice Man” Hebert springs to life like a locomotive. Goran and I are feeling half drunk and exhausted but Jeff just goes, “I’ll send these last pitches of ice!” And he floats up an 80 degree pitch of ice and the two of you second up the most wonderful ice, and top out on, a crevasse. And a bergschrund. So you follow up with the world’s worst belay. A one screw anchor, a 120ft traverse to the other side of the schrund. But it’s waist deep snow again! Nobody falls, you wander your way drunkenly up to the liberty cap with 40mph winds. Not too shabby. But here’s where shit goes really wrong. It’s 4pm, you boil some water with a bit of gatorade, slap the skis on, and make a quick ski traverse to the emmons/winthrop shoulder. The sun is eclipsing over the side of the shoulder, and the winds start to pick up to hurricane force, 100mph gusts blowing over the shoulder and down the emmons shoulder. We swap skis for crampons but we’re being hammered to the ground by spindrift and winds so strong if you stood up you’d fly off the mountain like a kite. GO, is all that’s in my head each time the winds let up enough that vision and movement is possible. My sunglasses keep filling up with so much snow I can’t see at all. I’ve been down this glacier 3 times before and I’m just really praying I can get our asses over to the ramp. 2 and a half hours of adrenaline pumped crevasse navigation and I find a wand, it’s a fucking wand! Oh, our asses are saved. We crash an extra night at Shurman. The ranger thought we were wiped out in those mega-spindrift blasts on the upper mountain. He loans us 2 tents to sleep in, and some water. The ski out the interglacier and walk to the car is bliss. We stuff our faces with fried chicken at the safeway. Summit number 7 and liberty ridge achieved. Gear Notes: Team of 3, One 60m rope. 3 screws each. 1 picket each. Approach Notes: Lots of snow. Plenty of skinning. No marmots.
  8. Bram Whillock climbing Downwind of Angels in Moonarie, South Australia. [img:left]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-c2IkBxvi6Gk/T6DExyKWDgI/AAAAAAAAbIw/xIwQI39ghDY/s800/DSC02207.JPG[/img]
  9. Anybody been out to Rainbow Falls or Hubba Hubba recently? I'm uncertain how strong the inversion was out in Leavenworth and wondering if they've come in yet this year.
  10. Quick alpine Friday

    For the record I definitely do not resort ski!
  11. Quick alpine Friday

    Yeah, I'm skeptical that it's in, and I have sunday free with some friends who want to make the chair jaunt then. Things look more likely to be "in" sunday. TAY is reporting some poor ski conditions up at snoqualmie otherwise I'd be up for skiing around the area if chair were a nogo. You ski? We may go out to crystal/rainier/stevens for some turns with better snow. That was a "no", for me on chair for friday if it wasn't clear by that.
  12. Quick alpine Friday

    Ya think Chair is in? Seems like it hasn't come in yet this year. Been warm this week. Might cool off next couple of days and thicken wednesday's rain.
  13. Trip: Liberty Bell - Liberty Crack Date: 7/17/2010 Trip Report: Matt and I had had our eyes on this classic route sometime after our climbing trip back in January, and it definitely delivered on it's "classic" status, and gave us a pretty exhausting one day ascent. As seems to be the standard with LC, I'll detail the pitch-by-pitch, play by play. Pitch 0 We didn't read the approach beta very much and wandered into the dense trees very near the cliff band by the road shoulder. Decided the bushwhacking sucks, and walk to the hairpin. After determining the hike from the hairpin would be a great aproach for SEWS, we pulled and squeezed our way through trees and alder near the turnout until we got to the boulder field and noticed a trail! Yay! Our super lightweight ice axes and approach shoes were just good enough to get us to the base of the climb on really hard packed snow at 5am. Pitch 1 - Thin and full of mosquitoes! We discovered that we weren't the first ones to get to the climb, and Eric Kramak and his buddy had already set a rope on pitch 1. After determining that Eric's crew was going to be a bit slower than us, we decided to see if we could pass them during the first 3 pitches. So Matt flew up the 5.11 pitch, making use of Eric's gear where it was appropriate (Thanks dude!). This pitch is super thin, with quite a few fixed pitons. We mostly frenched this pitch, but it would be super fun to go at it free when in less of a hurry. Here’s a pic of the beauty of the east face of liberty just as the sun hits the wall: Pitch 2 & 3 - How I learned to stop worrying and love aiding While Eric's buddy was jumaring pitch 1, Matt aided pitches 2 and 3. I’m still mostly trying to figure out if he was actually “aiding” or if he was just levitating on his etriers since he aided both pitches in about an hour and left as much protection as I could count on my hands. He would later tell me it was the easiest pitch of aid he’d ever done. Guess that’s a good indicator of how the aid pitches stack up against Yosemite big wall climbing. There are quite a lot of fixed pitons and bolts up through those pitches which eases the going of the aid to a large degree. Classic picture as Matt aids over the Lithuanian Lip: Pitch 4 - Bulgy jamzilla Finally free climbing! I took my first lead at this pitch, and got my ass kicked pulling through the two bulgy cruxes on this pitch. It takes mostly mid-size gear, (yellow alien -> #1.5/2). Plenty of solid jams, but the rock gets kind of crumbly near the top. Leading out on Pitch 4: Pitch 5 - Grunt, slam, pull, step The mosquitoes had mostly stopped chasing us now, and Matt lead out the off-width which is pretty much a giant gruntfest but has tons of solid stemming, grunting, pulling on semi-loose blocks behind the off-width and takes some larger gear (made use of a large tricam & hex on this pitch). Pitch 6 - Rotten blocks glued with sand! This “5.7 stemming” pitch is extremely rotten. There are enough places for good gear on this pitch, and the climbing isn’t particularly hard, but nearly every block feels wiggly or detached in some way. Caution what you reef on. The “rotten block” at the top still lives up to it’s name, I might describe it more like a popcorn ball resting on pebbles than a “block”. Belaying up the pitch from atop the block: Pitch 7 - How the hell do I get out of this belay station? Wow, talk about stupidly awkward scary pitches. The move off of the block onto the slab I did a french free pull, then a finger lock, followed by a headcam which eventually got me into a chimney/stemming move after which fricton on the slab actually became an option. The rest of the pitch is semi-glassy slab with not a lot of pro. Pitch 8 & 9 - Rampy traverse and super mario chimney Mostly easy/ exposed travering got me through the first pitch of this which takes more big gear (always feels so good to leave that #4 in a crack, though, in hindsight it probably could have been left behind for this climb). The chimney is not really so much a continuous chimney as super mario brothers style steps inside a slanting chimney. This leads to a belay where you can sit back, relax, and belay up your second. If I hadn’t run out of water at this point, that would have been really nice to drink here too. Fortunately we had our last peach which gave me some moisture and tasty sugar. Pitch 10 -- Awesome! This is definitely the most fun pitch of the climb. Big 5.9 moves mixed into a corner system that weaves out and up to a final finish with big blocks & huge jams to a tree. There are a handful of fixed pins here as well, but it protects great and is a real joy to climb. Pitch 11 -- This easy terrain ends right? It’s like a move or two of 5.8 and then lots of wandery 5.0 stuff until you cut a corner and start walking on the sandy shores of the side of the summit block. Matt & I pounded our last Snickers bars and went wandering around the 4th class ledges until we found the rap bolts (beautiful and well kept up!) and then left the ropes and gear and scrambled up to the top for awesome views and great pics. Just a beautiful day in the North Cascades: We did the ole’ rap down to the notch and being waterless at that point hoped for some melt-off from the snow in the gully. Given the copious amounts of goat scat in the snow & gully, we thought it better and hiked our way all the way back to the blue lake trailhead where some nics folks (Thanks Hector!) gave us some water. We were able to hike out mostly still with usable light, and got a ride to our car. Having not seen Eric & his buddy for the entire rest of the climb, we wondered whether they had bailed or not. After driving around the hairpin we got a good look at the darkened liberty bell to see headlamps maybe 3/4 the way from the top, yikes! Apparently Eric and his buddy topped out at midnight and undoubtedly had an absolutely epic bivy on the top of Liberty Bell. I’d hate to do those last pitches in the dark, so, kudos to them for finishing it up! I guess about 16 hours car to car. -Bramski Gear Notes: We brought too much. Bring some hexes, leave the #4 at home. Doubles of #1, red, and yellow aliens (or similar size). We had a lot of tiny cams, which were probably not needed. Approach Notes: You may want to look for the actual trail. Snow is currently melting out, but you will want something more than approach shoes for the snow at the base of the climb. It's non-trivially angled, and extremely solidly packed. I used the top of a whippet, and matt sawed a BD Raven down to the top 1ft of the ice axe.
  14. So, in a couple of weeks a friend and I will be in Chengdu and then Lhasa. Has anybody done any climbing or scrambling out there? Obvioiusly it's not that far from the himalayas, but I don't want to head out for any serious himalayan endeavours.
  15. Looks like my climbing partner may be sick... anybody up for an outing? Ellensburg looks sunny for tomorrow. This would be sport, 5.9 and low 5.10s mostly.