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CatsClaw

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About CatsClaw

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  1. Please send out good wishes for Olyclimber

    Oly - Best wishes for a good quick recovery. We can never take our health for granted!
  2. Third Strike

    I can see this is going to be the 2007 incarnation of the muir hut thread...
  3. MOUNT HOOD, Ore. — A month after a climber was found dead in a snow cave right below Mount Hood’s 11,237-foot summit and the search was abandoned for his two climbing partners, a hardy sense of normalcy has returned to the mountain’s climbing scene. Two recent breaks in winter storms, including one last weekend, have drawn back many climbers who prefer a winter-snow-blanketed Hood to its gravelly summer form. Local climbers say they have been humbled by the tragedy, which spurred plenty of discussion about what went wrong on their home mountain. But their desire for the solace, challenge and sense of mortality found on the big, dormant volcano seems to have diminished little. Pete Guagliardo, who said he had been up Mount Hood three dozen times, has reached the summit twice in recent weeks. He said only the heavy snow accumulation on the north face was keeping him off the route where the three men were lost. “If the north face was clean right now, I’d be thinking of going up there,” said Guagliardo, who lives in nearby Portland. “It’s weird how quickly that feeling subsides,” he said about the initial urge to hold back. Climbers are no longer holding back — in taking on the mountain and speculating about what went awry on that fateful climb last month. Guagliardo and other Mount Hood regulars said much of the public discussion after the climbers’ disappearance in a howling blizzard had missed the mark. Too much emphasis was put on the climbers’ failure to carry an electronic locator unit, some said, and not enough on their lack of overnight camping gear. Rescuers have conceded that a locator unit, which sends out a tracking signal, would have done little to help the stranded men because a week’s worth of storms kept rescue teams off the mountain’s highest points. Some of the mountain’s most seasoned climbers questioned the decision by the three men to climb with minimal gear in the hope of moving quickly. (One of the lost climbers, Jerry Cooke of Brooklyn, mentioned the group’s intentions of going “fast and light” — as the increasingly popular strategy is known in the climbing community — on the cascadeclimbers.com Web forum in November; Kelly James of Texas was found without a stove in the snow cave.) “I wouldn’t hold it against someone who traveled without a stove, but that’s how you make water from snow,” said Iain Morris, a member of the Portland Mountain Rescue team, which searched for the three men. “If you don’t have a stove, then you potentially don’t have anything to drink.” Guagliardo also speculated that the three climbers’ decision-making might have been affected by their having traveled a great distance to climb the mountain. He called it the out-of-town-climber effect. “We’ve all been there at some point,” he said. “I’ve gotten myself into huge trouble up in Alaska. It’s different when you’ve put all your eggs in one basket trying to get someplace and are trying to make a climb happen.” At least five climbing groups set out on this recent morning with their ice axes, foot spikes and helmets, heading for Mount Hood’s summit along the southern route. One party of three mountain regulars — Dan Forester, Tom Knipe and Joel Port — set out from Timberline Lodge at 6,000 feet on a groomed cat track, just as the bone-cold morning filled in with light and the rocky outcroppings below the summit showed themselves heaped with snow. Earlier parties who had started in the predawn darkness were already high on the snowfields and looked like gnats on the mountain’s massive back. They did not get any closer as the climb wore on. “It’s best not to look up,” Forester said with a smile. Indeed, Mount Hood’s southern route is more about stamina than technical prowess — one reason the mountain is the second-most climbed in the world behind Mount Fuji in Japan. This was Knipe’s and Forester’s first summit climb since March 2005, when they climbed with a friend who later died while glissading — a sliding form of descent — on Mount Whitney in California. They said they had changed their mountaineering practices then (Forester has stopped glissading), and Knipe allowed that after the recent accident here, he planned to always carry a locator unit. (Knipe did not, in fact, carry one on this trip.) A few minutes behind Forester and Knipe on the trail were Jarod Cogswell and Michael Leming, who were marking the day four years ago that Leming and some Portland Mountain Rescue teammates had pulled Cogswell and a group off the summit in a blizzard. Leming was also on the search for Cooke, James and Brian Hall. Despite the frostbitten patch on his left cheek from the last rescue effort, Leming said: “All of the rescuers just love being on the mountain. We get jacked up for rescues, and hopefully I’m getting some positive karma from it.” After the latest accident, Leming said, he has reconsidered what he puts into his climbing pack. “I know I’ll take a bivouac and a stove now,” he said. Farther up the hill, Knipe, Forester and Port paused at Silcox Hut, a stone Works Progress Administration shelter built at 7,000 feet, as a high cloud layer settled. To the south, a stark, clear, cold vista stretched out to several other Cascade peaks. Knipe declared it a perfect day as he worked to steady his breath. After a quick snack, he and his group left a visitor behind and headed for the top. They later reached the summit, though without Forester, who was nursing a sore knee. Leming and Cogswell soon reached the hut, and during a short rest considered the three lost climbers’ last moments. Leming speculated that if they were as passionate about the mountain as he was, they were resting in peace. “That’s how we all want to go,” he said. Cogswell, who disagreed, said, “Four years ago, I was thinking, ‘I’d kind of like to get down off here.’ ” Leming nodded in understanding. They shivered — it was time to get moving. Cogswell put in some earphones, turned up the music, and he and Leming leaned into the mountain.
  4. Conversations with God

    um - okay Pat... time to go back on the meds
  5. Close the Rivers!

    Better outlaw snomobiles too- Ghouls go to the snomobile forums and speculate. Wow he even had a beacon. _______________________________________ North Dakota snowmobiler killed COOKE CITY, Mont. (AP) - A North Dakota man has died in an avalanche triggered by a companion during a weekend snowmobile trip, authorities say. Jeffrey Michel, 34, of Jamestown, N.D., was buried under about 7 feet of snow for about 18 minutes Saturday on Scotch Bonnet Mountain, several miles north of Cooke City, Park County Undersheriff Gary Tanascu said. Michel was with a group of North Dakota snowmobilers who were "high-marking," a term that refers to driving their machines high on a slope. Michel's snowmobile got stuck and as he tried to free it, another snowmobiler high-marked above him and set off an avalanche, Tanascu said. Companions freed Michel from the snow but were unable to revive him, the undersheriff said. "The victim did have a beacon on, which was great although, unfortunately, it didn't help," Tanascu said. "They got him out within 18 minutes, which was very good." Tanascu said Michel was buried so deep that it would have been difficult to survive. "So even though they did everything they could - his partners and others on the scene -it wasn't good enough," the undersheriff said. "They were all high-marking, trying to get to the top of the peak," Tanascu said. "High-marking is dangerous, and there's always a chance that you're going to set off an avalanche when you're doing that." Michel received the North Dakota Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award last month.
  6. Winter you should check out the Strawberry Music Festival held in the spring and Fall at Camp Mather. Its got a real good vibe http://www.strawberrymusic.com/home.asp Thanks for the pics
  7. Climbing Reports?

    great pics!! Thanks for the reports
  8. Favorite Books on Climbing

    Galen Rowell's "In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods"-- a gossipy ("written with unflinching honesty") and fascinating account of 1975 K2 attempt and starring the Whittaker's, Bertulis, Dunham, Wickwire.. Thanks Keith - not a title easy to remember....
  9. ski hellmutts

    I agree - Giro 9 - and very comfortable
  10. Favorite Books on Climbing

    There was an older classic I read about 15 years ago something like In the throne of the hall of the mountian king or something similar to that. Does that or similar name ring a bell for anyone. I do remember it was a moving book.
  11. Ice Caves = Bad News?

    Interesting site on glacier caves http://www.glaciercaves.com/index.html
  12. Where is the requisite GIANT SQUID THREAD?!?!??!

    from two years ago..... crank up the jaws music http://www.komotv.com/news/archive/4136046.html
  13. our deepest condolences

    When you are sorrowful look again into your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight
  14. Rescue Statistics: Let's outlaw hiking $ boating

    Then you have rosie o donnell and some other women on a talk show saying stupid things (that this search has cost 2.5 million) and other yammering wheres the duct tape.... http://www.katu.com/home/video/4965301.html
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