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Everything posted by Jamin

  1. Trip: Mount Rainier Attempt - Emmons Glacier Date: 5/17/2007 Trip Report: This trip had been on my thoughts for a couple months. Since the road was closed at Crystal Mountain, the plan was to bike the 11 miles to White River Campground, ascend the Interglacier to Camp Schurman, and summit Mount Rainier the next day. On the morning of 5/17, I awoke at 3.45 am and drove to North Bend to meet my partner, Ryan. We started biking up toward White River Campground about 3 hours later. After a short rest, we headed up the trail to Glacier Basin. The first mile and a half of the trail was washed out in most places, but there was fairly easy travel through the washed out areas. We followed a good set of tracks from some climbers up to the basin, but at the basin it became apparent that the tracks were headed toward St. Elmo Pass and Liberty Ridge. It took less than three hours to hike to Glacier Basin. After a short rest on a bench above Glacier Basin, I started breaking trail up toward the Inter Glacier. It was difficult because we were already starting to feel the effects of the previous part of our trip. Snowshoes might have been a bit helpful because the snow had softened and was rather unconsolidated. We roped up at 7400 feet, but it was almost unnecessary at that low of an elevation. On the descent we saw only one large crevasse at about 7800 feet. However, there were probably others buried under the snow. After we roped up, the weather rapidly began to deteriorate. Clouds started to move in and obscure everything around us. I set a course for a rock formation that I could see ahead of me. I thought at the time that it was Steamboat Prow, but I was wrong. Soon the clouds came in fiercely and visibility decreased until at one point my partner Ryan was barely visible at the end of the rope. I do not know whether any of you have been in a completely snowy landscape in thick clouds, but it is a strange experience. The landscape merges with the clouds and forms an impenetrable mass of white. It is difficult to see the surface of the snow more than 10 feet in front of you, and you would not know if a crevasse was there until you were nearly right on top of it. At 8400 feet we encountered a wall of loose, crumbling rock to our right. At first I thought that we might be on the Emmons, but I wasn’t really sure where we were. Then Ryan suggested that we had climbed too far to the right, and I began to have a gut feeling that he was right. Ryan eventually got us on his GPS, confirmed our suspicions, and we began an ascending traverse toward the ridge below Steamboat Prow. We were both starting to feel completely exhausted at this point, and Ryan recommended camping about midway into the traverse. I recommended that we should make it up to Camp Shurman and then stay in the shelter up there. We ascended to the ridge at about 8900 feet, and then we began to notice some clearing. We stumbled upon some tracks that seemed to come from the direction of Camp Schurman, and we followed their general direction until we could see better. Eventually the strong wind started blowing the clouds down to lower elevations, and we could easily see the summit of Rainier. There was a cloud sea below us, and I am sort of reminded of the words of Shurman… “Into a cloud sea far below, I lonely watch the red sun go.” We reached Camp Schurman at about 8:30. We had reached our goal for the day, and were set to attempt the summit on the following morning. Unfortunately, we were both completely exhausted, and we really didn’t care very much about the mountain at that point. I was surprised that there was a padlock on the door of the shelter and a sign saying that it should only be used in emergencies. I had planned on spending the night in the shelter, but no matter, we had a tent. After we shoveled out a platform in the snow, it became apparent that our tent might not be sufficient for Rainier in May. The wind began to pick up speed when we were setting up our camp. Once we got the tent set up well enough so that it would not disappear when a big gust hit it, I set to work building a snow wall to shelter the tent from the wind. I eventually got a rickety wall of about 3 feet of frozen snow constructed, and then I crawled into the tent. Ryan was leaning up against his pack as if he was a corpse, too exhausted to move. At the time it seemed like gusts up to 40 miles an hour were slamming into our tent, but I now think that they were probably only in the high thirties. It was difficult to get any sleep because we were both sure that the stitches would come out of the tent at any moment. At one point in the middle of the night, the wind tore part of the tent fly loose. Ryan recommended that we try to bust into the shelter, but I was too tired to move my gear and thought that the tent would probably hold. I tied the fly to a snow picket with a bunch of carabiners and tried to get some sleep. Eventually the wind seemed to die down at about 5 am. I nudged Ryan and asked whether he was willing to head for the summit. He merely groaned. I was pretty tired at that point so I went to sleep and forgot about the summit. About an hour later, it was windless and clear. Ryan and I got up and decided to get as far up the mountain as possible before we became too tired. After melting snow and getting packed, it was about 7am when we started. We negotiated a good amount of crevasses. I was walking up the first part of the glacier when I saw a bottomless hole about the size of a couple quarters in the snow. After I enlarged it I realized that I was standing on a very thin snow bridge. Unlike most the crevasses we encountered, there was absolutely no sign of the crevasse on the surface. Ryan was so exhausted that he gave up really quickly at 10,200. On the way back down to Schurman he punched his leg through a snow bridge, but he did not go all the way through. When we reached Camp Schurman, the summit began to become shrouded in clouds, and we were glad that we turned back when we did. We descended back down to the truck that day and arrived just as it started to rain. All in all, it was a nearly typical May summit attempt. Gear Notes: Snowshoes would be useful Approach Notes: 22 miles of biking, 10 miles of hiking, all for about a mile or two of climbing. 7000 vertical feet the first day and about 700 for the second
  2. I am looking for a partner to do Twin Peaks in the Wallowas this Saturday. Twin Peaks is the highest technical peak in the Wallowas. You can read more about the climb here. http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.php?object_id=249464&context_id=151286 http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/151286/twin-peaks.html Shoot me a pm if you are interested.
  3. I am beginning to agree with you on that.
  4. how to respect lazy climbers....

    Seriously, the only reason why you are having problems with people is because you do not want to walk for more than a half hour. There is plenty of rock in the Cascades. Go out and give it a try. If you are not willing to hike to get to rock, you are a bit lazy yourself.
  5. Tying a knot in the rappel rope

    So what is the big deal with rapping down a rope the normal way without a knot in the end.
  6. great climbing quotes

    "It looks Doable"
  7. crampons: strap-on or step-in??

    If you cross any rock at all and I guarantee that you will, the aluminum crampons will dull faster than steel. Get steel strap on crampons.
  8. Tying a knot in the rappel rope

    You guys are mentioning single rope rappels. How do get the rope back once you have rappelled down it?
  9. May Rainier Conditions?

    I will be heading up there on the 17-20th of May to try the Emmons. It is about a 11 mile bike ride to White River CG before the 25th. There will probably be bad weather in early May so be prepared when you head up there. Good luck.
  10. Trip: Mt. Hood south side - Date: 3/16/2007 Trip Report: I and my friend Ryan went up the southside route of Hood. We got a late start and headed up to the summit at about 7am. Because we were both really affected by the altitude and were carrying about 40 pounds of gear apeice, it took us seven and a half hours to summit. We ditched most of our useless gear a few hundred feet before we reached the hogsback because we were both gasping for air. The climb was sheer misery. Every 50-200 feet we would have to stop and rest, and I felt like going to sleep for most of the climb. The hogsback is in pretty decent shape. The bergshrund is only about 2 feet wide, and we just jumped across it. At the top of the hogsback, we traversed right, and then we went up a shute with an easy step of AI2. We did some boot axe belays on the way down, but it was not technically difficult. I fell once on the slopes below the step, but I was able to easily self-arrest after 30 feet. Mount Hood was probably the toughest climb that I have done in the past year. Going from sea level to 11200 feet in about eight hours is not something that I would recommend. Give yourselves plenty of time to summit. Approach Notes: Not enough air up there
  11. Crazy F*ckers and Mr. Glock

    I do not have statistics in front of me, but there are quite a few people (1000?) every year who have saved their lives by using a gun to defend themselves against an attacker. Guns in the hands of honest citizens are not the problem, and passing legislation that takes guns out of the hands of honest citizens will not deter criminals from using guns. I firmly believe that removing the second amendment from the constitution will only be the beginning of the loss of our basic human rights. I know that some of the people who exercise their rights (such as free speech, freedom of religion, etc) offend all of us sometimes, but I do not agree that some of our rights should be taken away just because they are inconvenient.
  12. is mount olympus in october a good idea?

    You are never going to climb anything if you don't try. Give it your best shot, and good luck.
  13. Clipping into the belay?

    So why doesn't everybody just tie into the anchor with a figure eight loop rather than a clove?
  14. Climbing Mt Olympus this summer

    Shoot me a pm before you go. I might have time to go up there.
  15. May Rainier Conditions?

    I am looking to do the Emmons on the 6-9th of May. Will the road up to White River Campground be plowed by then?
  16. Fly Fishing anyone?

    There are plenty of fish up in the Alpine Lakes. I know a spot or two where you can catch some 14 inchers. One of the best lakes I have ever been to was a small pond (1 acre) at 4300 feet. I caught 4 12 inch rainbows in 5 casts with a nice spinner. Probably the best part of fishing up high is that you are alone out there, generally. I wouldn't say that most of the guys in the hilakers or trailblazers are climbers, but there are a good portion that do some peakbagging. I also try to mix climbing with fishing sometimes.
  17. Toproping: The Disease of Climbing?

    Maybe you should try someplace that is less crowded and not right off the road. Thick cascade brush and long hikes always seem to weed out most of the competition.
  18. Hood south side route

    You will just need a few boot axe belays to get your partner above up and down the step. It is really not all that bad, but bring a screw or two if you want to be really safe. The shrund is open.
  19. [TR] Mt. Hood south side - 3/16/2007

    Hey, I would be interested in learning from you guys. I will probably have some time in May to go climbing so feel free to let me know if you are going somewhere then. It doesn't look like I will be doing any climbing next weekend, Kurt. I just got a new job today, and I will be working there next saturday. I will try to get down to Granite Point some other time.
  20. [TR] Mt. Hood south side - 3/16/2007

    Sure, I will probably head down there next Saturday. Thank you for the invite.
  21. Boots and crampons for summer climbing

    Get 12 point crampons. 10 point crampons are not generally used very much anymore. If you are doing Rainier in summer, you can do it in good insulated leather boots. I have done many winter climbs in leather boots, and I think that they are much more comfortable than plastic. Plastics really come into play when you are traveling in temperatures at 15-20 degrees or below, and I doubt that you would experience any temps like that during summer.
  22. [TR] Mt. Hood south side - 3/16/2007

    Ryland, I didn't feel self-arresting was very necessary on that slope, especially since the guy I was with had his axe in a very solid self-belay stance. I am very confident with my self-arrest skills, and I have had plenty of practice in the past 3 years that I have been snow climbing. I admit that I have never climbed better than WI3 or about 5.6 on rock, but I have self-arrested on slopes that were steeper than those on Hood without a problem. Raoul, I was glad to meet you guys up there. You were good company. I thought it was pretty nice that those people at the Silcox Hut invited us over to their party. It was nice talking with you on the descent, and thank you for the glissade tracks.
  23. [TR] Mt. Hood south side - 3/16/2007

    Well, that might be a good idea, but I would love to try Liberty Ridge even if I don't make it. However, I probably won't find a partner. If anybody wants to try doing those routes sometime, I would be all for it. I was interested in doing Bonanza this year if I have time.
  24. [TR] Mt. Hood south side - 3/16/2007

    All right, all right, but hey we did it, and we didn't have a bootpath either. Just as an aside. I wasn't really affected by the altitude on Rainier, but Hood was hard for me. I am not exactly sure why I was affected more this time than I was on Rainier. Oh well, stuff happens. Shoot me a pm if you need more route info.