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tvashtarkatena

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Everything posted by tvashtarkatena

  1. [TR] Dumbell- Testicular Retraction Col 9/12/2006

    Thanks cman. link fixed in TR.
  2. Foreign Service Exam for Climbers

    “For more than a year, Karen Hughes (US Undersecretary of State) has been trying to sell George Bush’s America to the Middle East….it isn’t working.” - Atlantic Monthly, Nov 2006 We’ve got it all wrong. Instead of sending a Texan to sell America to the world, we need to send someone more inspiring, more sexy, more Today. We need to send climbers. Climbers aren’t always as proficient at the delicate art of cocktail banter, the well placed compliment, or the respectful but firm ‘no thank you’ as they might be. And they don’t excel at foreign languages, although Klingon has occasionally been overheard later in the evening at Gustav’s. For this reason, the State Department has created a special Foreign Service Exam for Climbers. Here’s an excerpt. How prepared are You to sell your country? 1: You are a guest on President Hugo Chavez’s weekly variety show. He presents you with a signed copy of Noam Chomsky’s “Hegemony or Survival”. You: a) Present him with a Harry Belafonte box set. b) Pull a lawn gnome with a small ski in its mouth out from behind your back, point to it and say “get it?” c) Reply in Spanish with “Quando leendo, mis huevas nececitan el amor que su boca puede provenir (As I read this, my balls require the love that only your mouth can provide). 2: You’ve been granted a rare meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to discuss ending Iran’s nuclear program. He offers you tea and sweet cakes. You: a) Ask if the hottie standing next to him is available. b) Pocket the sweet cakes for later when no one is looking…along with the condiments. c) Reply in Farsi with “Tu kooneh mullah chapeh beshi (May you be shoved into the ass of a Mullah)”. 3: Your attending the Pan African Congress to discuss the AIDS pandemic. Ex president Nelson Mandela comes up to you and asks if you’d like something to eat. You: a) Say “So what do they pay the help at these shindigs?” b) Say “No thanks, my pockets are full.” c) Reply in Afrikaans with “Jy lyk soos die nageboorte van ‘n vark wat deur die hoenderkak gesleep was (You look like the afterbirth of a pig that’s been dragged through chickenshit)”. 4: Your meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister to discuss the North Korean problem. He politely whispers that Japan wishes to rearm to protect itself. You: a) Present the foreign minister with an exquisitely detailed model of the Enola Gay. b) Suddenly break out in your version of “My Way”. c) Reply in Japanese with “Anata no ketsu wa kusa da oyobi ore wa shibakariki da, issunboshi (Your ass is grass and I’m the lawnmower, one inch boy)”. 5: President Musharraf of Pakistan has agreed to give you a tour of the newly stabilized Afghan border in his armored limo. Upon meeting, you: a) Attempt a heel hook on the brim of his hat. b) Ask if there’s a mini bar on board. c) Reply in Pashto with “Teri maa ki kuss may gadha paadey (A donkey farts in your mother’s ass)” If you took this test at all, you’d best limit your diplomatic efforts to obtaining a full refund for that Arcteryx jacket you accidentally lit on fire with your one hitter.
  3. Busy downtown Seattle Oct 5

    Our duly elected leaders also passed laws that made African Americans worth less than whites and put 110,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps. When a bad law is passed, it is the duty of citizens of good conscience to fight to reform it. In addition, the Supreme Court, which has to date denied the Bush Administrations power to designate enemy combatants and hold military tribunals based on heresay evidence, has yet to weigh in on the constitutionality of this new law. Finally, the law is a contradiction of the Geneva Conventions, to which the US has been a signatory for over 50 years. If we forego that, what a great big FUCK YOU to our troops in the field from now on. And, for you legal scholars out there, any person on US soil has the basic legal rights granted under the constitution. The Supreme Court has already ruled that Guantanamo, in effect, falls within this standard. Yes, the 423 or so folks who are rotting in Guantanamo for over four years and who have yet to be charged with ANY crime have some basic legal rights, as well they should. Who are these people? Clueless villagers picked up by bounty hunters? Terrorists? We don't know. Is anyone here advocating that we shouldn't bother to find out? The bottom line is this: If you think someone's an asshole, then give him a fair trial, and if he's guilty, punish the asshole. It's called due process, folks, and that's how we figure out if we got the bad guy or just some innocent lackey by mistake. That's how we find out if our government is blowing smoke up our asses or acting in good faith. But of course, our government would NEVER do that, would it? The government that talks so much about 'freedom'? Well, what does that mean, exactly? It's our constitutional system, our bill of rights, and it already works very well to put bad guys away without all the alpha-male fascist tactics. It astounds me that the true believers fail to see the potential for abuse of these new powers against lawful dissenters or purely political enemies despite a long history in this country of exactly that. The political climate will change, the enemies will change, but these near absolute powers will still be there. Who'll be the next target? Certainly Mr. Orwell has an appropriate quote for that scenario...he may even have an entire book on the subject.
  4. Busy downtown Seattle Oct 5

    Capital idea, Captain Courageous! Especially with our two wars going so swimmingly! Christ, I've never seen anyone fall on their own grenade so completely in the face of current events. And the tired Orwell quotes...where have I NOT heard those before.
  5. Busy downtown Seattle Oct 5

    No one deserves to be tortured. It's not only morally wrong, and not what Americans are supposed to be about, but it's not effective. The victim will invariably tell you exactly what you want to hear, even to the point of a false admission of guilt. The information you get is sketchy at best. The people we detain are innocent until proven guilty. Any time you torture a detainee, you torture an innocent person...because we haven't proven them guilty. That's the definition of totalitarianism and fascism. Case in point: of the 430 Quantanamo detainees, how many do you think we've charged with any crime? The answer: 7. 7 out of 430. If these guys are so bad, why can't we prove it through due process? You ruin an organization like Al Qaeda the same we the U.S. successfully ruined much of the mafia: informants. A couple of high value informants can take down a very large organization. The Al Qaeda informants we currently have under witness protection have proven this in spades. Informants don't come forward if they're going to be tortured. This is not just my opinion, but the opinion of the FBI agents who handle these informants. So, vote no on torture. It doesn't work, and its just not the example we should be setting for the rest of the world. It's not who we are.
  6. Busy downtown Seattle Oct 5

    [quote This is the best excuse for doing nothing. That and watching "The Amazing Race with the Stars" or whatever. Now watching the Beverly Hillbillies on YouTube...OK, THAT I'll accept as excuse for sitting on your ass.
  7. Busy downtown Seattle Oct 5

    Yep, and there are plenty of others that I'm doing something about. For me, there couldn't be anything less smug than trying to make the shit my dad had to go through in WWII somewhat worth it. I'm just a regular old American who gives half a damn about the place where he lives. Yours is the oldest trick in the book...issue an armchair prick's critique and then sound the 'smug' alert when someone calls you on your product-of-an-overly-pampered-society, I'm-WAY-too-cool-to-actually-do-anything bullshit. It's the classic "Well, yer jus' a damn faggit!" argument. I think you can mail order it from the RNC by the 55 gallon drum-ful. How about something original, Armchairman? If I wanted to talk to a parrot, I'd go to the pirates section. Or, let's make this even more interesting...how about something real? Tell me I'm not shooting fish in a barrel, here.
  8. Tough moment. I like baby with a little back, and this baby was back in black. Damn! It didn't help matters that I had my Steven Tyler shorts on...
  9. Busy downtown Seattle Oct 5

    Yeah, it was pretty easy to ignore the civil rights movement, women's suffrage, and the internment of Japanese during WWII. It's the easiest thing in the world to sit on your ass while someone else takes it in the shorts. Easy, but not something to be especially proud of. Jim's spot on, here: This policy is wrong morally, legally, and practically. It's an outrage and a slap in the face to the Constitution that is suppose to make us something to be admired. It makes us all complicit pricks. And, the kicker, it makes every American, particularly our troops in Iraq, less safe. Whether 100 or 100,000, those folks who get off their asses tomorrow to stand for what they believe in are to be applauded. So, sit back, crack a cold one, and play the armchair critic. As your math has so neatly demonstrated, you're a dime a dozen.
  10. It's a good day to be a Democrat.

    Foley leans towards the right, alright...
  11. It's a good day to be a Democrat.

    Aren't us Dems supposed to be the Party of Buggery? Those fucking Republicans have robbed us of yet another issue!
  12. Black Buck pocket knife on Cloudy Pass.
  13. Climb: Bath Lakes High Route-Bath Lakes High Route Date of Climb: 9/23/2006 Trip Report: Bath Lakes High Route Pics can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60919971@N00/sets/72157594312155528 Route Summary: Day 1: Downey Creek washout > Sulfur Mtn TH (via mtn bike) > Sulfur Mt Day 2: Sulfur Man > Bath Glacier Pass Day 3: Bath Glacier Pass > Canyon Lake > Image Lake > Suiattle River Trail > Milk Creek Trail intersection Day 4: Out. Trip Summary: Bearmart Blueberry Special Day 1 (Sep 26, 2006): When a nice little creek turns bad The Downey Creek bridge, now a half-bridge, is a fully engineered, reinforced concrete monolith formerly capable of handling the traffic of any two lane highway in America. During one torrential day on October 20th, 2003, over 10 inches of rain fell on the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Downey Creek, normally a pleasant little stream, destroyed two of the bridge’s huge concrete stanchions, shearing the entire structure in half. What is left is a surreal monument to the enormous power of that slippery little Mickey Mouse molecule that sculpts the face of our planet. Nineteen other major bridges in the Glacier Peak Wilderness were also destroyed, some so completely their remains were never found. The Downey Creek washout cut off only two miles of road, but this relatively minor inconvenience transformed one of the most popular trailheads in Washington into a seldom visited backwater. As a result of this near total erasure of human presence and the lack of trail, the Bath Lakes High Route offers an incredible concentration of wildlife in a pristine alpine setting, particularly in the fall. After I stashed my mountain bike in a mossy hollow, I began trudging up the Sulfur Mtn trail at 1:30 pm. The previously night’s carbo loading at the Reading Gaol seemed like such a great idea at the time. I emerged above tree line, dropped and the head of the swampy valley just beneath Sulfur Mtn, and climbed the steep slopes just NW of the peak to gain the beautiful high benches that run along part of the ridge’s western side. I contoured along these benches until they ended, then followed the ridge crest, dropping east when convenient, crossed a saddle, and dropped to another west side bench, where the setting sun suggested that it might be time to bivouac. A snow patch provided water. (Note: This is a very dry route; take extra water carrying capacity and a little extra fuel for melting snow). Day 2: Navigation by Oscillation I hoped to reach Canyon Lake by evening. This would put me in a comfortable position to be back in Seattle by around noon on Friday to take care of some unfinished business. At 7:15 I was heading for the next pass, a beautiful spot of sculpted granite slabs, an unobstructed view of Glacier Peak, and a few seeps for water. From here the route contours high along the southern alp slopes of the divide until drops to a small, grassy pass just SW of Bath Lakes. I tried to drop into the valley before this. Don’t. Delay # 1. At this point, an excellent goat trail (do these animals except any pay?) provides efficient passage across the ridge’s cliffy N side to Bath Lakes. Lower Bath Lake is deep, below tree line, and seems to have a healthy fish population. Unfortunately, the trailer dwellers had gotten to it, so, for the Nth time, I erased their fire ring and packed out their trash so their toothless, methed-out mommies wouldn’t have to. Deny global warming, embrace intelligent design, believe whatever you want, Dick Bo, but Copenhagen tins are definitely not flammable. Upper Bath Lake is a lovely affair surrounded by meadows and scarred by only one wife-beater campsite. Once over the pass above Bath Lakes, high country low culture disappeared entirely. I had been granted a temporary pass into bear heaven. Over the next two days I saw 14 of these animals; up to four at a time on a single alp slope. The area was lousy with them. The route continues contouring high along the ridge’s crest or south side until it reaches the Great Impasse, an east facing cliff (obvious on the map) that runs from the crest downward more than 1500 ft. It was here that I wasted much time and energy searching for a chink in this barrier. Part of my objective on these trips is to boldly go where better men have gone before. In the end, however, I resorted to brute force by dropping the 1500 or so feet and slinking beneath this cliff via a steep deer trail. It might be feasible to down climb or rap either the ridge crest (steep, exposed, and chossy), or a ramp about 2/3 of the way up the cliff, but, frankly, it’s probably quicker to employ gluteus rather than sphincter power and just do the end run. From here Beckey describes the route as continuing along the south side, but there’s another cliff further east. A better route is to avoid this hassle by traversing the Tvashtar Glacier via a pass where the glacier gently kisses the crest (obvious on the map). I camped on a beautiful perch just beneath this pass and watched embers of alpenglow cool on Glacier Peak. Day 3: The Exploding Bear Fresh snow covered a bit of the glacier’s western lobe, so to avoid any surprises I skirted around it on moraine and slabs, then dropped via some scree ramps about 500 feet to the lower, eastern glacier. From here I donned six point crampons (love them) and tiptoed across low angle, un-crevassed ice to Totem Pass. From here I contoured around the final high point and descended alp slopes to a game trail which leads directly to Canyon Lake. Above me, three bears plied the blueberries on Bannock’s southern slopes. It’s trail from here on. The walk from Canyon to Image Lake is gorgeous and bear infested. I saw 8 in three hours. While photographing one, I heard a “whomp!” turned, and saw a huge, furry ass explode out of a gulley right in front of me. He tore full speed down the talus for half a mile, paws flying, fur flapping. The trail from the Miner’s Ridge Lookout to the Suiattle River must have been graded by someone’s grandmother. It’s so flat I had to jog it to avoid dying of old age. Due to the lack of use, particularly by horsies, the Suiattle River trail is in superb condition, with the exception of some blow downs. The Fred Flintstonian Canyon Creek Bridge should be its own national monument. The adjacent campsites, enough to accommodate an open air rock concert, match the colossal scale of this eighth unnatural wonder. Further down, the Suiattle’s fat free milky waters have devoured several miles of trail, which has been newly rebuilt on higher ground. The freshly hewn rock still smells of sulfur. I rarely camp below tree line, but night overtook me at the Milk Creek Junction and, after 25 miles, I was more than happy to lie down on the soft, untrammeled trail under a cathedral of ancient conifers. No bugs, save the occasional ground beetle rummaging through the rats nest where my hair used to be. A still night in an old growth forest is such a luxurious way to end a high traverse. Day 4: The Final Hour I was back at the car in an hour to find my aerial adorned with a crawdad head. An hour after that I was sitting in a McDonald’s, taking full advantage of what our civilization has to offer. If you share my contention that Glacier Peak is one of our most majestic mountains, crave solitude, alpine fall colors, and don’t mind sharing a bit of steep terrain with a few bears, then I couldn’t recommend this route more highly
  14. [TR] Bath Lakes High Route- Bath Lakes High Route 9/23/2006

    Whew! Glad the pics worked. I didn't independently test them, and I wasn't sure if flickr.com would present a login barrier to readers. With its quickie upload tool, it seems to be a pretty efficient way to present photos so far.
  15. Pics are in. See link at top of TR.
  16. [TR] Bath Lakes High Route- Bath Lakes High Route 9/23/2006

    For pics click on the link at the beginning of the TR.
  17. [TR] Bath Lakes High Route- Bath Lakes High Route 9/23/2006

    pics are coming. I had a digital with me. I even got a bear shot. Oh wait, that came out wrong.
  18. Photos are coming. I'm still trying to figure this site out. I didn't see the "Golf Course" sign, but I did find a golf club, five gallon gas can, double bitted ax, four tarps, and and about 10 tins of Kipper Snacks. Yum.
  19. On the morning of the 8th, we set out from the Agnes Creek trail, and climbed to the Chickamin Glacier where we set up camp for a few days in the "Patagonia of the North Cascades." Beautiful photos. Very enticing. A friend and I are planning a trip into the area for next summer. You guys made to the Chikamin pretty fast. Any approach hints you'd like to share to avoid unnecessary shrubbery? T.
  20. [TR] 7 days in Agnes Creek- 6/28/2006

    Thanks for the great report. Could you offer some specific advice on your approach from Agnes Ck to Blue Lake? A friend and I are planning a west to east traverse through the region for sometime early next summer, and we'd like to leave the pruning shears at home if possible. Thanks in advance, Pat
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