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Everything posted by montypiton

  1. Moderate ice climbing, chair peak etc

    I like the climbing around Cody better than Bozeman. And I am up and available for moderate alpine & waterfall ice locally. I live in leavenworth, and post my infamous "ass-clammin" report when there's anything to report -- which there is not this year. Even the Funnel is no more than a wet streak, and my last hike to Colchuck (three weeks ago) was pretty discouraging... but if anything does become climbable, you'll hear abouyt it. caveat: except the next two weeks - I'll be in Hawaii for a family reunion... If anything should happen to actually freeze while I'm gone, have at it!! -Haireball
  2. Northern Cascades and Canadian Rockies

    pm sent. I'll check MP...
  3. 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!
  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. 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...
  7. 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".
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Looking for DMM Rebel Axes

    email sent
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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!
  14. ice climbing 2018/2019 OR/WA Ice Conditions

    Leavenworth ass-clammin' update: after a week with temps in the teens, things are looking more promising 'Tumwater canyon -- nothing to speak of. Drury looks great, but I'm guessing frighteningly soft - notorious for leaders looking down to see their freshly-placed screws falling out... Assicle canyon: at least 3 lines on Hubba-Hubba hill appear to be in; though might be a good weekend to avoid the Funnel. I've seen two parties in the Central Gulley (aka "Chicken Gulley") of Assicle Butt-rest in the past two days - even got stubbies in the first pitch! A party had laid a ladder across the Assicle to access Dog Dome yesterday, & climbed Dog Nasty Dike. Ran a few laps at Rainbow Gulley this a.m. - too thin to protect, but clammable if you limit yourself to hooking placements - swinging tools would destroy both the ass and your picks - crampons better smeared than kicked; lead-climbers your tools are your belay, so might consider wrist leashes... Candlestein Left (aka "Careno Left") is clammable with a rock finish -- C Right has not touched down. numerous dubious looking mixed possibilities... its here for those desperate enough... have not heard reports of coulee ice... -Haireball
  15. meteorology

    linked definition & examples contain double redundancy. otherwise spot-on.
  16. meteorology

    shit! yesterday I cancelled an alpine trip after monitoring two days of consistently deteriorating weather forecasts. woke up this morning to graveyard calm bluebird day. Appears the goat whose entrails the meteorologists were reading was a mutant... so re-introducing the most infallible weather instrument ever discovered/invented: the Weather Rock! used by every culture from pre-neolithic to present, and still the most accurate meteorological instrument in existence! not to mention inexpensive, and dead simple to use, both at home and in the field. no power, batteries, satellite, nor internet service required. instructions: 1) obtain a sexstone (critical - for optimum performance, the Weather Rock must be an authentic high-quality uncontaminated sexstone) 2) locate the sexstone in an easily accessible outdoor place, exposed to air & sky 3) to use, simply observe: if sexstone is warm & dry expect fine weather; if sexstone is wet expect rain; if sexstone is white, expect snow or volcano has blown again; if sexstone is icy, expect roads to be slick; if sexstone is not visible expect fog or dark; if sexstone is rolling/bouncing execute earthquake protocols caution: as with any tool, the value/function of the Weather Rock can be no greater than the proficiency of its user -- for best results, practice often
  17. sweet! and the Bryant photo appears to show at least two more well-defined lines! (rasping file & heavy breathing...)
  18. Dam at Eight Mile

    problems: 1) no solution can increase the net amount of water available. humans WILL live with the existing quantity, wishful thinking notwithstanding 2) the dams do predate the wilderness act by a generation - current legal status appears indeterminate, and most likely indeterminable. I eat apples, pears, cherries, and Wenatchee River salmon and steelhead... for the time being... 3) what constitutes "maintenance"? does "maintenance allow a dam to be restored to its historical dimensions? who decides, and how? again, likely legally indeterminable... 4) what constitutes "impact"? aren't trails and thunderboxes human impact? can these be legally permitted in a "Wilderness Area"? bolts...? rappel anchor tat? The mini excavator currently sitting at the eightmile dam might not be noticed by an inattentive visitor... the eightmile lake trail is built on a pre-existing roadbed, much of which is still identifiable to a knowledgeable attentive hiker - the impact of driving the little machine out would likely be unidentifiable to most hikers within a few years... I am skeptical that our society is capable of resolving these issues. We will continue to quarrel over them until our civilization, like every civilization before it, collapses. So I'm just gonna relish living - knowing that: "shit happens... and sometimes it happens to me"
  19. idea Best clothing for cold, wet weather?

    Rad - mosquitoes were not a problem, but we were north of the Arctic Circle... brother-in-law has garden variety 14' self-bailing raft. we've also rented same in Fairbanks for bigger groups... I've also had good experience with tandem inflatable kayak, (with raft for freight) but haven't flown that to Alaska... even used my tiny trout-fishing pontoon in up to class IV water, but would only recommend that for expert-level whitewater oarsperson... probably should carry on this discussion by pm -- apologies for thread drift...
  20. idea Best clothing for cold, wet weather?

    re: bear fence question -- Alaska Fish & Game has a video online describing several options. the one I've used is the Eagle Enterprises "Electro Bear Guard Fence". total kit with poles, wire, batteries (I lied, it uses 2 AAs) weighs about 2 lbs. on three different 7-10 day long trips, has performed flawlessly. also, I would second DanO's comments about non-permeable rain gear for long trips in truly sloppy weather. decades ago, I taught 21-day long Outward Bound courses in Oregon's Sisters Wilderness in May. typically we'd get 15-20 days of rain on these trips. I actually carried rubber fishermans raingear for these trips - hideously heavy, but worked better than any lightweight option. when moving, I'd wear as little as possible underneath, and layer up with thermal pile underneath for sitting around. I still used goose-down sleeping bag, but I would not recommend that unless/until you've had a LOT of experience caring for down on shorter wet-weather trips. a word about the pile - I havent seen the old-style pile fabric much in recent years, except at fabric sources where you can find "sherpa pile". what folks call "fleece" these days is not the same, retains more water, doesn't dry nearly as well. I've had the misfortune to SWIM in the sherpa pile on shoulder-season river trips, and can attest it helps keep ya warm while in the drink, and when you get out, you can wring the water out of it, and it will truly function as insulation while it dries the rest of the way with body heat. I am totally baffled why this stuff ever went out of fashion. if you can't find it in a finished product, its worth making your own or having it made.
  21. idea Best clothing for cold, wet weather?

    I'd have to check with my brother-in-law to check exactly where he got his -- I think LLBean or Cabelas. All I know is I was skeptical as hell but they damn well work! I''ve only done a few Alaskan rivers, but two stand out for me: The Ivishak (north slope Brooks range) is fly-in drive out - you end the trip at Prudhoe Bay. Not having to fly at both ends makes it less expensive. no native villages to float through, small water - may have to drag boats in places.... bears, caribou, fish, birds... Kobuk - done in September/October, you can hit the sheefish ("tarpon of the north") run, and the largest caribou migration in North America. sheefish only exist in maybe a half-dozen arctic rivers in Alaska & Siberia, and the Kobuk has the worlds largest population of this delectable treat. This is the "lazy" river: enough water that you never have to drag boats, ("kobuk" translates "big river") and the fishing is great even if you haven''t timed your trip for the fall sheefish run. but do try to go for the sheefish- afficionados describe their meat as a hybrid of crab and halibut --- must be tasted to be believed.
  22. idea Best clothing for cold, wet weather?

    impressive body of work. I'd offer a few options for your assessment. 1) Since the 1970s I have carried a pressure cooker on any trip longer than a few days. Sounds heavy, but on a trip of a week or more, I save more than its weight in fuel. I can cook "real" food if I so choose, and its a small bear-proof food container. It's especially nice at altitude when water boils away at too low a temperature to cook rice or regular noodles. 2) electric bear fence - about the weight/bulk of a modern tent-pole, this item runs on a single AAA battery, and is utterly amazing. on fly-in Alaskan river floats, I use one surrounding the cooking area, another surrounding sleeping area. it doesn't look like much - flimsy poles and a couple strands of wire - but I've risen some mornings and found BIG (Alaskan brown) bear tracks circling our undisturbed kitchen... FAR more protection weight:volume than any "bear canister" or bag. 3) I generally don't carry a spoon if I'm going light. When I need one, I carve one - obviously not in places without wood 4) speedy-stitcher sewing awl - I load it with 20lb spectra fishing line. if you ever have to make a significant repair on a shoe, a backpack, or a loop on a tarp, you'll be glad you have it. I take a different approach to sleeping systems: when going ultralight, I don't carry a sleeping bag or quilt - sleep in whatever insulated clothing I'm carrying- usually enough in a light bivvy-bag. A half-length ridge-rest pad functions as the "frame" for my pack as well as for sleeping. When I do carry a sleeping bag, I carry an ultralight (1-lb down) bag for three-season use, a light (2-lb down) bag for colder shoulder-season trips, and the two bags layered (the 2 pounder is a feathered friends bag that I ordered "extra girth") for extreme cold (I've used the combination comfortably to below -30). On the truly cold trips, I also carry a full-length foam pad to double with the half-pad.
  23. for sale Moving to Japan - need to thin the closet

    pm'd you about ropes. -Haireball