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Raoul Duke

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About Raoul Duke

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  1. Advice for First Timer to N Cascades

    +1 for Black Peak, especially NE ridge. The snow is just steep enough to feel like you're 'climbing' snow, and the rambling on the rock ridge is fun, easy and long enough to feel like you're rock climbing. And Wing Lake area is pretty. For reference, attached is a pic of the steepest bit of snow (06/12/16). The mountains call the shots, but in my personal experience you're a little less likely to get shut down by weather in the WA Pass area than the Cascade Pass area. And up in the WA pass area, SW Buttress of South Early Winter Spire is a great 5.8 that I've always thought was a bit of a gimme, in the sense the cruxes are short, and varied. Nice route, and something to think about if you've done the Beckey on Liberty Bell and want a little more.
  2. Water Filtration: is it necessary?

    Pretty close to John Douglass on this one. I've been uneventfully drinking straight out of lakes above treeline, any stream above treeline, and high-flow streams below treeline in the Cascades for 10+ years. When hiking on the Olympic beaches I bring tablets, reasoning that there is a lot of human/animal activity between me on the coast and the source of that water.
  3. Scandinavia peak info

    Hi Jon, I can't answer your question, but I've climbed Kebnekaise by the standard route and done a couple of other summits in the area. Feel free to send a PM if you have questions!
  4. I started using neutrinos in 2001, and have kept buying them for consistency. And now I have a rack of indistinguishable biners anywhere from 2-16 years old, so some have seen a lot of miles and a few small falls here and there, normal wear and tear. I know there are rules of thumb about ropes and slings, but curious to know what other folks do about carabiners. I was thinking of just buying a big pile of new ones. Unnecessary? Wise? Thanks!
  5. Hikes in the French/Swiss Alps?

    Speaking of which, you can make a very casual two night crossing of the border, spending night one in the Cabane du Trient (Switz) crossing the Col du Tour the next day to the Refuge Albert (France) and possibly climbing the Aiguille du Tour along the way if you enjoy loose 4th class. We did it in that direction and descended to Tour, 20 mins up valley from Chamonix on day 3. Lots of gentle and non technical glacier walking. You would need crampons and an ax, a 30m rope if you want to look like a sporty professional. Looking towards the col from the Trient Hut, easy country:
  6. [TR] Mount Sir Donald - NW Ridge 8/20/2016

    Thanks for the report! How did you negotiate the 4-person party minimum/bear issue?
  7. [TR] Cathedral Peak - SE Buttress 7/6/2016

    A steady breeze and cool temps kept them at bay for us, but they are definitely up there.
  8. Trip: Cathedral Peak - SE Buttress Date: 7/6/2016 Trip Report: Memorized every turn on the Colchuck Lake trail? Tired of waiting for the rap stations to clear at Washington Pass? Consider strapping on those running shoes and getting your golden granite fix on the SE Buttress of Cathedral Peak. We approached via Tungsten, and while yes that means 20 miles of hiking, I know of many North Cascades approaches that are more taxing with less mileage. From a camp at Upper Cathedral Lake, we were roped up in less than 30 minutes. We also went from the summit back to Upper Cathedral Lake in less than 30 minutes. Moral of the story, once you pay the price of admission, the Pasayten is very accessible country. We thought every pitch felt kinda 5.8. We probably deviated rightwards from the standard line on pitches 2 and 6. Who cares! There are so many corners up there, and the gear is always good. Also: if the 5.9+/5.10 pitch on the headwall gives you pause, know that the "5.6 chimney" to the right (on the topo in an earlier edition of Beckey) is a natural line that climbs well and drops you at a big ledge at the base of the final pitch. We were not in a .9+ mood after 8 pitches, but if you are, the headwall is clean and proud. At mile 17, there she is: Walking under the South Face on the way to Upper Cathedral Lake: Upper Cathedral views: Pitch 1, the 5.8 way: Our pitch 2, right of the chockstone chimney: Pitch 4: An easier step at the start of pitch 5: Starting the 5.6 headwall bypass: Final moves to 4th class ground on pitch 9: Summit views to the Southeast: The easy descent:
  9. Goode or other N Cascades conditions?

    Sounds like you made your decision based on valley conditions, but here's a pic from the summit of Black Peak, June 12, anyways: BTW, I highly recommend the Goode summit bivy if conditions are favorable and it fits your itinerary!
  10. Trip: Stuart - West Ridge Date: 10/24/2015 Trip Report: On Saturday Kevin and I got to confirm my theory that the West Ridge of Stuart would be a fun route to do in funky, shoulder-season sort of conditions. Sure, we had a couple "where are my crampons" moments on the north side traverse, but experience with the route above the W. Ridge notch, warm clothes and a profound eagerness to descend the Cascadian and then hike over Long's Pass in the dark were all helpful to making this a pretty fun day out in the hills. A few pictures: In the morning it was fall: Then higher up it was winter: And we got some sunshine on the top:
  11. [TR] American Border Peak - Standard 9/27/2015

    Looks like a great trip! Love the "someone's logging, someone's not" picture.
  12. Agree or disagree with the style, first I say hats off to Rad for sharing his rationales and wanting to start a discussion. Here's the personal take of one climber who has never done an FA, happily clips bolts if they're there, and also likes the occasional lonely and committing line in the mountains: "alpine" 5.9/5.10 clip ups have a way of all feeling the same to me. I see pictures of this new route and I think, "oh, looks like Prime Rib, looks like Infinite Bliss, looks like Condomorphine Addiction." These are far from my most memorable climbs. But I've done them, and I'm happy to have them be an exception to the rule of adventurous trad as the best way of reaching the summits of the Cascades.
  13. This, and other TRs this summer from the less visited areas of the Enchantments, are awesome, inspiring, and much appreciated!
  14. Access fund calls NOCA's bolting policy "the ugly"

    I'll echo the thanks for posting this Greg. The comparison to other parks makes NCNP look pretty darn weird. Folks, I don't know much about the NPS works. Is there ever venue for public comment about a given park's practices? The way there would be if a municipality decided to undertake some new policy or construction? Or is the NPS just sort of a black box that does what it thinks best absent organized advocacy, litigation, or whatever?
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