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montypiton last won the day on December 7

montypiton had the most liked content!

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About montypiton

  • Rank
    old hand
  • Birthday 11/03/1952


  • Occupation
    schoolbus driver
  • Location
    central Washington
  1. ice climbing 2018/2019 OR/WA Ice Conditions

    okay - second issue for this season of Haireball's Ass-Clammin inventory - Icicle & Tumwater canyons, and Stuart Range. As of December 2, there is no lowland ass no place. the Funnel on hubba hubba hill is a wet streak. a hike in to Millenium wall reveals damp rock with a dusting of melting snow. in Tumwater canyon, there are random blobs in the general vicinity of Drury falls, but no other sign of ass. a hike in to Colchuck reveals thin smears of snow plastered on edges/ledges on the alpine faces - nothing that would constitute a "line", although the triple couloir is beginning to fill. there is a fat two-or-three pitch flow a couple hundred feet up the approach gully to Colchuck Balanced Rock - looks like fun climbing if you feel like making the nine-mile approach from the Icicle road. One trip report on this site reveals decent mixed conditions in the ne couloir on Argonaut - suggesting that Sherpa & Stuart might be worth a look... forecast is for temperature to drop into the 'teens in Leavenworth mid-week, then warm again into next weekend. I'm hoping to make another trip in to Colchuck next weekend, and will take my tools this time. think frigid thoughts... no word yet from my colleagues in the coulees... -Haireball
  2. question Looking for durable ski poles

    Keenan, for a guy your size with your energy, theres no such thing as a "durable" ski pole. Hell, even a little guy like me has broken at least one of every pair of trekking poles I've ever owned... so I focus on buying poles whose components are compatible with my leftovers. I probably have a lifetime supply of components now... -Haireball
  3. Mentor for an aspiring alpine climber

    sent you a pm
  4. Need ice tool suggestions for harder routes

    as others have suggested above, ice up to I-5 or so can be climbed with a short (60cm) "standard" ice axe and an alpine/north wall hammer. most any axe you can buy today will have a pick that will perform equal to or better than the original Chouinard piolet, which pioneers used to push standards to WI6 in the 1970s. I am partial to DMM's tools, which are highly regarded worldwide, but hard to find in the US. The DMM Fly has been a popular all-rounder over thirty years - modest bend, removable trigger-rests, at home on waterfalls or caning/ice-axe-belay. My all time favorite has been the DMM Rebel - a full-on leashless waterfall tool with geometry and grip that still permits caning and ice-axe-belay. Unfortunately, DMM discontinued the Rebel a few years ago, but I'm fairly sure you can still find them... a further advantage dealing with DMM is their company policy of continuing to supply replacement picks for every ice tool they have ever manufactured. If I were in your position, I would also look closely at what CAMP/Cassin has to offer. I have had excellent performance from tools of theirs that I have owned, and although I have not climbed on their current offerings, acquaintances who have are raving about them. I do not care for tools with exaggerated bend/arc in the shaft; such geometry makes the hammer/adze practically unusable, and makes self-arrest virtually impossible. -Haireball
  5. Safety in 4th Class Terrain

    Rad - I also like the hip belay, for the same reasons you do - however I recognize that a novice must practice it more than most novices these days are prepared to before it can be counted on to be effective. I have witnessed a paid (lets distinguish between paid and professional) instructor drop a top-roped climber on a hip belay. I suggest leaving the belay brake threaded because doing so offers the same advantages of seamless switching from simulclimbing to formal belay as the hip belay, without requiring a novice climber to master a different belay technique. I agree with you that taking in and feeding rope is slower than a hip belay, but I suspect that for climbers with less than forty years experience, its likely to be far more trustworthy/effective. -Haireball
  6. question Light alpine shoes?

    I've used the boulder-x and like it. In past years I used "big-wall" shoes (I used a pair of original galibier robbins boots for decades until the uppers finally dissolved). I believe boreal still makes such a shoe - sticky rubber, supportive, with a lugged sole. fit them large enough to walk in - I didn't start using those robbins boots for alpinism until after about four years of stretch. I've also glued stealth half-soles on running shoes, but these usually last less than a seaon as the shoes dissolve.
  7. Safety in 4th Class Terrain

    in my experience, climbing short roped and making use of terrain belays is often faster than climbing unroped because the protected climbers are less hesitant and do not waste time overthinking sequences. I've also found it efficient to leave belay brakes threaded - huge time-saver when switching between simulclimbing and the formal belay.
  8. Woman partner Thus?

    not a woman, but I'm told I climb like a little old lady -- does that count?
  9. I'd agree with the above, adding that in 1982 I used an ultralight backpacking tent on Denali -- more critical is how/where you pitch your tent. Whether you go with an ultralight or expedition weight tent, I'd carry shovel and snow-saw (I carry a big folding pruning saw - cheaper and more readily available than an "official snow saw"), and be prepared to construct substantial windbreaks, or even pack up the tent and get under the snow. A consideration that hasn't been mentioned is the typically larger amount of room in a "four-season" or "expedition" tent, but if room is not a factor, and you're comfortable in your hubba-hubba, and are ok with building snow-walls, you should be fine.
  10. Looking for a Mentor

    pm sent
  11. Conditions for complete NR of Stuart

    snow went off quickly this year. should be good to go now. -Haireball
  12. Hood accident lawsuit

    great topic! speaking from the perspective of 40 years (yes, you read correctly - I'm OLD) of mountain rescue work, both professional (USNPS) and volunteer, I'd offer that in my experience, having a helicopter on site within five hours is actually somewhat quicker than the norm. Often the chopper doesn't show till the following day, and that is weather permitting - some days you can't fly a helicopter in the mountains. those unfamiliar with mountaineering may expect response times like you see for highway accidents, but such expectations are utterly unrealistic. When I was avalanched off Colchuck Peak eight years ago, it took nearly twelve hours just to locate a helicopter that could perform the evacuation. I was lucky to have well-qualified responders (four Afganistan vets) on site to keep me alive until the bird arrived. this report also illustrates how even md's and paramedics can miss "sleeper" injuries that can be pretty much invisible, but suddenly go bad in minutes - like the example of cardiac tamponade mentioned above. bleeds in the brain can do the same thing -- no indication until suddenly its too late. A professional ski patrol I worked with back in the eighties once got a call from an e.r. MD asking why we'd sent him a perforated kidney with no warning. We hadn't identified the injury or warned the doc because the woman had shown no symptoms of such abdominal injury (she'd hit a tree). we'd thought we were sending him a spinal injury. She did not die, but it was close. one trouble with this kind of lawsuit is that if the suit is won, it means that money that might be used to buy/maintain helicopters, and train/retain personnel, gets awarded to the successful plaintiff. and even if the suit is unsuccessful, that same money gets used to defend the agencies being sued. seems like a lose/lose proposition to me... I'd also like to hear more comment on whether a ground evacuation might have been attempted. with a number of medics and first responders on site offering to help, why weren't they moving him down towards Timberline? for me, that's a bigger question than the delay of the helicopter... but I wasn't there...
  13. Spring time icy alpine faces

    sent you private message -Haireball
  14. Lots of hikers

    forget the feds. pick an abandoned trail. hike it with a pair of loppers, a pruning saw, and an entrenching tool. convince acquaintances to do the same. poof! free trail.