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montypiton last won the day on December 7 2018

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. Northern Cascades and Canadian Rockies

    pm sent. I'll check MP...
  2. Boot Recommendations for Shuksan

    I'll go out on a limb here and offer a couple of "creative" solutions I've used to resolve the dilemma of determining an optimum summer alpine boot. In the 1980s, my favorite summer alpine boot was (wait for it...) the iconic Royal Robbins big wall rock-climbing shoe that had dominated the u.s. rock-shoe market in the early '70s. Mine were light, stiff, well-stretched out from years of use, and I used them until the uppers wore through -- yes, I did wear strap-on crampons on them. My only real complaint is that they were split-grain leather rather than full-grain, so no amount of sno-seal could make them water-resistant. I liked their climbing/walking performance well enough that I was willing to accept the occasional soggy-feet hassle. I like light - so my current favorites run more to the heavy end of the approach shoe category than the light mountain-boot option. its amazing how much ice-climbing you can do with crampons on running shoes if you take the time to learn the old French flat-foot crampon technique. And many of the current approach shoe offerings are soled with rubber sticky enough that they climb as well or better than what old-farts like me used to consider state-of-the-art rock shoes. modern rock-shoes are likely overkill unless your objective is 5.9 or harder... same with real alpine boots -- likely overkill unless you'll be on ice approaching vertical... a bit of research may yield some surprises, too. brands like Lowa and Hanwag are not so widely known/available in the US as Sportiva or Scarpa, but a couple of summers ago, one long-time partner of mine was climbing in a high-top approach shoe by Hanwag that, light as it was, had toe & heel welts to accept clip-on crampons! (gotta admit to lusting over those babes!!) so--- sorry if I've muddied the waters here, but, hey! you asked!
  3. Trip: Millenium Wall - n/a Trip Date: 03/17/2019 Trip Report: avalanche paranoia convinced Kyle Flick and me to scale back our ambitions and just run a couple laps on Millenium Wall today. Ice was fat, plastic, basicallly superb, and Millenium is an avalanche-safe venue --- which is good, because we saw debris depositions in places that in forty winters here, I'd never identified as avalanche paths. four significant debris depositions just in the switchbacks above the Snow Creek Trailhead! While climbing, we watched slabs peel every few minutes from the the summit area of Snow Creek Wall -- White Fright might as well have been named Old Faithful. Besides what we could see happening on the Wall, we heard, repeatedly over a course of three hours, numerous major roars from the Toketie Lake vicinity. We were early enough to climb in shadow, but as soon as Millenium came into sun (noonish) we headed for the parking lot. some very unusual avalanche activity this year --- maybe a good year to be more conservative than usual. Gear Notes: ice tools, crampons, sscrews, rope Approach Notes: significant avalanche debris deposits over the trail switchbacks immediately above the Snow Creek Trailhead... trail is firm in morning, but we were post-holing coming down at 1300.
  4. [TR] hubba-hubba hill - the funnel 03/15/2019

    we saw you guys on Thursday - we were doing an "old farts' training walk on the approach. glad you had a good climb. seeing how stable it looked on Thursday with you guys on it was what prompted us to go for it Friday...
  5. Boots

    as the other guys said - buy the boot that fits. I tell newcomers to "buy the boot that feels like you were born in it". Leather vs synthetic? these days, durability is not much different. Leather will be heavier, and will require more break-in, but may, after proper break-in, result in closer fit. Synthetic will not conform to your foot the way leather does, and will not stretch, but will retain the initial "store fit" longer. Unless you have some fitting and break-in experience with heavy leather boots, you're likely to get a more accurate fit in a synthetic boot because it will mostly continue to fit like it did in the store. I have low-volume ("flat") feet, and have had great experience with La Sportiva, Garmont, and Lowa. In my experience, Scarpa works for folks with higher-volume (wide, or high arch) feet. For a three-season boot, I would favor something lighter than the Makalu. I like Sportiva's Trango series, and Garmont's Tower series... -Haireball
  6. Trip: hubba-hubba hill - the funnel Trip Date: 03/15/2019 Trip Report: not so much a trip report as a caution. Mark Shipman and I tromped up Hubba-Hubba Hill this morning to jump on the fattest ice I'd seen in the Funnel in decades. Warm temps and falling bits & pieces convinced us to climb a more sheltered line left of the main Funnel flow. After climbing our very short line, we hemmed & hawed about jumping on the main flow, but the bits & pieces were getting larger, and the snow under our feet was by that time propagating micro-slabs from our footsteps - so we bailed & glissaded back to the parking lot. While loading our gear into Mark's car, we heard a roar, and I jumped around the car to where I could see the Funnel. All three feeder gullies above the funnel were running full volume, pouring what must have been tons of snow into the staging area where we'd been standing not an hour earlier. We watched slack-jawed while snow poured through the funnel, completely obscuring all four climbing lines for well over a full minute. In past years I have climbed over avalanche debris piles 10+ feet tall when approaching these climbs, and I had always told myself these piles were the result of numerous repeated events. as of this morning, I'm thinking maybe not... caught unprepared, neither of us had the presence of mind to dig out a phone (in the pockets of sweaters in our packs) and record this epic slide for y'all. sincerest apologies. take care on shaded/north-facing slopes near treeline this weekend! nwac appears to have received reports of similar events from other observers... -Haireball Gear Notes: irrelevant Approach Notes: park at Eightmile road, cross the river and walk uphill. or - stay at your car with binoculars/camera and wait
  7. idea Cable bindings for Mountaineering Boots

    if anyone ever produced a "beartrap" style toe with a wire bail instead of a strap, I've never seen it. However, if you have access to the beartrap housing itself, seems like modifying it would be fairly simple -- drill a couple holes and install heavy wire for toe-bail and -- bobsyeruncle. the trick will be to find a pair of beartraps that aren't mounted over someone's fireplace as art... I'd say stick with yer silvrettas...
  8. idea Cable bindings for Mountaineering Boots

    I skied cable bindings with mountaineering boots back in the seventies and eighties, before AT bindings became available -- used the old "beartrap" style toe. If you want to ski free-heel with mountaineering boots, why not just use the silvretta without the heel locked down? I've skied 'em this way, and it works, but it changes the pivot point from under the ball of your foot to out in front of your toe, and you have to accommodate that change in your telemark technique. Other solutions that accept mountaineering boots include a plate AT binding that Fritschi produced for the Swiss military back in the eighties, the Colorado-based Ramer (plate very similar to previous Fritschi; long out of business but you can find them at ski-swaps and estate sales...), and some of the AT "adapters" that permit free-heel touring in modern standard downhill bindings. And I have to take exception - skiing in mountaineering boots is not much different than skiing in the leather downhill boots in which I learned to ski back in the sixties. Skiing in plastic mountaineering boots like Koflach or Lowa is similar to skiing in older generation plastic alpine downhill boots -- far from "horrifying".
  9. Looking for ice climbers

    for a crusty old fart like me, I'm sure your comradeship would be sufficient compensation. I climb mostly around Leavenworth (where I've lived since 1981), and the coulees (Banks Lake, etc.), but do get out to Washington Pass/Winthrop, and Snoqualmie Pass, on occasion. Would you rather climb waterfall ice, or alpine? I prefer alpine, but am competent on waterfalls, and they are often more accessible... shoot me a private message... -Haireball
  10. review Sleeping bag for the cascades

    anthony- I have a "vintage" north face "lightrider" (their bag for bicycle touring) that is lightly used and may work for your purpose. total weight is just over a pound - I used it for a summer bag, 3-season with extra clothes, and as a liner for an over-sized three-season bag for "extreme cold". It has a very wide "comfort range" because it has no side-block baffle opposite the zipper, so you can shake all the down to the top side for colder conditions, or shake more to underside for hot nights. It was always a bit short for me, so I replaced it a few years back with a longer 1-lb bag from Mountain Equipment... if you're interested, you know how to reach me... come take a look at it -- it would be inexpensive... -Haireball
  11. Looking for DMM Rebel Axes

    email sent
  12. ice climbing 2018/2019 OR/WA Ice Conditions

    Best ice at Banks Lake in years. Absent Minded Professor had two parties yesterday - haven't seen this climb form in about 15 years. Zenith is fat, Emerald is fat, Cable is fat, H2O2 looks good. Not much hanging above the punchbowl?!? Now just think cold thoughts...
  13. Denali food planning

    been up Denali twice, and would caution about carrying fewer calories. if it gets cold (say -40' -- not that unusual) you will burn more. if you get a protracted storm at 14k or above, you'll be glad to have more than you "need". because most parties take 2-3 weeks for a summit trip, its nice to have "real" food. for a party of two, we took a 5lb canned ham both trips, and saw quite a bit of bacon with other parties. remember how the boiling temperature of water drops at altitude. rice and macaroni may not cook well at 14000'. we carried a pressure-cooker on both trips to address cooking at altitude, and enjoyed beans & split peas at 17000'. we were very popular with multi-party potlucks -- do be sure to enjoy the potluck scene with European and Asian parties at 14k and 17k. yeah, the pressure-cooker sounds heavy, but in my experience, over the course of a week or two, it saves more than its weight in fuel. go heavy on the no-cook snack foods: fudge was like gold - could trade for pretty much anything more drinks and soups than you think you can possibly use! (and fuel, accordingly) MDs I climb with say most of what passes for altitude sickness is actually dehydration...
  14. ice climbing 2018/2019 OR/WA Ice Conditions

    Leavenworth area ass-clammin' update: as per earlier, most classics in the Icicle canyon are now "in". different this year are a number of smears on slabs that in most winters do not form, but this winter have thickened enough to offer possibilities in the Tumwater, Drury looks iffy - enough ice to connect all the way, but lotsa suspicious looking holes/blanks. The Pencil, on the other hand, looks as fat as I've ever seen it (forty years) - go figure. the Drip has nearly touched down, might be "in" for those of you who like free-hanging 'cicles. Comic Book Hero shows enough ice to connect ledges, but is bonier than I've ever attempted... but everyone knows I'm just a crippled up old fart... anyway - plenty of ice in places relatively protected from the current avalanche hazard... come & get it!