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About Lisa_D

  • Birthday 12/28/1985


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  1. ...and Jon (my husband), freshly back from climbing Mt. Triumph this evening, went straight to the bookshelf and started dreaming of the southern pickets again.
  2. Well said. Sue taught me to climb over 10 years ago in the Bellingham basic course and out on some climbs. She was very safety-conscious and conservative. The course emphasized using an auto block for rappels, and a fireman's belay as an optional extra backup, but knots were done case by case depending on the rappel. I believe that Sue would have used an auto-block most of the time, and certainly told her students that. However, I've rappelled this route too, and if this was in the spot I'm thinking, I can understand the choice to not knot the rope due to it potentially getting stuck. While I'm surprised she didn't have an autoblock, perhaps the sideways/traverse nature of this rappel made that less ideal. Plus, the weather was cloudy/rainy that day. I was nearby in the Kool Aid lake area and everything was socked in. She may have been wearing boots that didn't grip the slab well, I'm betting she was going first to get the rappel clean for her team, maybe hurrying, tired, had been waiting for other parties. It's something that could happen to anyone. Sue was a great athlete, humble and caring person, one of the best climbing teachers around, and a pillar of the Bellingham climbing community. Very tragic.
  3. Trip: Dolomites - Val Gardena area - Alta Via 2, Sella Tower One, & Marmolada Date: 8/2/2016 Trip Report: Hi from Europe again, I'm still unable to upload pictures, even though I have faster wifi now. Hopefully this text will work. Enjoy! Trekking on and around the beautiful Alta Via 2: http://perchancedream.blogspot.co.at/2016/08/dolomites-part-two-trekking-one-and.html We finally got some good weather and climbed three things in two days! http://perchancedream.blogspot.co.at/2016/08/dolomites-part-3-we-climb-at-last.html Lisa
  4. That could be it! I'm also working with really slow wifi at hotels in resort areas, and European internet seems to have some different restrictions and quirks.
  5. From July 9-18 Jon, our friend Chris, and I trekked from Chamonix to Zermatt with a little help from Switzerland’s excellent public transportation system. Along the way we enjoyed awesome scenery, good times, and a fair number of unexpected challenges. http://perchancedream.blogspot.com/2016/07/chamonix-to-zermatt-glacier-haute-route.html
  6. Trip: Mont Blanc Traverse - Gonella Glacier - Three Summits Route Date: 7/4/2016 Trip Report: On July 3-5, 2016, we climbed Mont Blanc in a really fun way: we drove under it using the 11 km Mont Blanc tunnel, stayed at the Italian Refugio Gonella, climbed up a remote route on the Italian side, traversed the summit, descended the classic Three Summits route, stayed at the French Refuge de Cosmiques, then used the Hellebronner gondola to get across and back down to the Italian side. It was beautiful, challenging, and memorable. Once again, I don't have the wifi speed to upload pictures to cc.com (apologies!), and I'm re-posting this because I didn't categorize it as a TR before. doh! I was able to upload pictures to my blog a few days ago when I had a better connection. Here it is: http://perchancedream.blogspot.com/2016/07/mont-blanc-under-up-across-down-and-over.html
  7. I'm having more issues. The post has been coming up blank. I tried deleting the post, editing the post several times, and even posting a response to the post with the link. Maybe European internet doesn't mesh well with cc.com From July 9-18 Jon, our friend Chris, and I trekked from Chamonix to Zermatt with a little help from Switzerland’s excellent public transportation system. Along the way we enjoyed awesome scenery, good times, and a fair number of unexpected challenges. http://perchancedream.blogspot.com/2016/07/chamonix-to-zermatt-glacier-haute-route.html
  8. On July 3-5, 2016, we climbed Mont Blanc in a really fun way: we drove under it using the 11 km Mont Blanc tunnel, stayed at the Italian Refugio Gonella, climbed up a remote route on the Italian side, traversed the summit, descended the classic Three Summits route, stayed at the French Refuge de Cosmiques, then used the Hellebronner gondola to get across and back down to the Italian side. It was beautiful, challenging, and memorable. Once again, I don't have the wifi speed to upload pictures to cc.com (apologies!), but I was able to upload them to my blog a few days ago when I had a better connection. Here it is: http://perchancedream.blogspot.fr/2016/07/mont-blanc-under-up-across-down-and-over.html
  9. Trip: Vanoise Alps, Savoie, France - Glacier Tour, southern loop Date: 6/26/2016 Trip Report: My husband Jon and I are in Europe for two months, during which we will climb in the Alps and sight-see or relax in mountain villages during rest periods. Our first trip was a beautiful loop in the Vanoise Alps of France, that was mostly trail hiking with some mountaineering side trips. It was a great intro to the European hut system and spending 5 days at 7000-10,000 feet was perfect acclimatization for our upcoming climb of Mont Blanc. I wanted to post a full TR here, but I am at a campground whose wifi is slow and I couldn't upload the pictures to CC.com. Sorry about that! When I have better Internet I'll try to post them here. For now, here is a link to my blog. http://perchancedream.blogspot.com/2016/07/five-days-in-vanoise-alps.html?spref=fb Gear Notes: No camping equipment or food required. The huts do it all for 50-60 Euro per person per day. Approach Notes: Twisty French roads led us to our starting point in Pralagnon-la-Vanoise.
  10. I had always done my Cascade mountaineering in La Sportiva Trangos, but I blew a hole in the toe less than a week before our Ptarmigan trip. So, I wore my trusty 7-year old Asolo TPS leather boots for the trip - I believe these are classified as more of a backpacking boot. Their soles had slightly rounded edges, which wasn't the best for kicking sidehill steps in softer snow, but they ended up working just fine. I waterproofed them before the trip and was careful to keep a dry pair of socks available. The two guys both had Trangos, and they were the ones with permanently wet feet. On the 9-mile road walk, they were in such agony that they walked several miles in just their socks, while I remained comfortable to the end. Our bad weather probably contributed to this. After the trip, I got them re-soled at Dave Page's Cobbler shop, and they are better than new - the edges of the new Vibram soles are much sharper and grip the snow better. I don't own aluminum crampons so I just used my strap on steel ones.
  11. I'll weigh in on this one.. I finally got to do the Ptarmigan last summer after dreaming of it for a long time. It was a big undertaking and called upon every mountaineering skill I know, but it wasn't a scary trip. I've climbed mainly in the North Cascades so I'm used to the terrain of this region. I agree with the above comments that the crevasses are not the main challenge. We did it in late July and there was plenty of snow cover. Snow cover made for easier travel in most cases, since a lot of the other walking was side-hilling on loose rock. I had my ice axe in my hand for almost the entire trip. A pole in one hand and an axe in the other is a great combination. We went North to South, which I'd recommend, since you don't have to bushwhack up Bachelor creek, and you can see the glaciers ahead of you before you cross them. There are crevasses, but navigating them is very simple in comparison to navigating the traverse as a whole. As others said, every day there were one or two tricky sections that really caught our attention, where if you fell you'd get severely injured. Being comfortable navigating short sections of hard, steep snow is essential for enjoying this trip. None of these "cruxes" were on the glaciers. We usually didn't rope up for these sections - either because it wasn't really feasible or because we felt confident that we could safely get through it with some careful footwork. I love this trip and want to do it again. I think it will see a lot more traffic this year because there is no longer a 9-mile road walk at the end. Oh yeah, and don't go if the weather forecast is bad. It's hard to navigate this trip in a whiteout. We got stuck in the tent for 3 days at White Rocks lake and it made it feel like much more of an expedition! Here is my flickr gallery. I think it captures the terrain pretty well, though we didn't take pictures of all the tricky sections.
  12. My husband has a conference in Prague this August and we'll have 9 days of free time afterwards to vacation in Europe. We are looking for a high alpine mountaineering/hiking route - hut to hut with some glacier crossings and the opportunity to do some moderate alpine climbing along the way. We've been to Chamonix on a previous trip and we loved it, but it is just a bit too far away for the limited time we have. We like Austria and it's closer to Prague, so we're looking there. Any recommendations for 6-7 day high routes in the Austrian Alps? We got Trekking in the Zillertal Alps by Allan Hartley from the library and it looks great. There are a lot of mountains out there, though, so if you've got any good ideas or trip reports to share, please post! I know huts can fill up for August so we might want to make reservations sometime this winter.
  13. Scary! I climbed that last weekend and it seemed pretty safe, but the descent gully was definitely loose. Hope that all involved get back safely.
  14. Trip: Ptarmigan Traverse N-S - Formidable, Spire, Dome, big storm Date: 7/20/2014 Trip Report: I had originally hoped to post this closer to when we went on the trip so that the conditions would be up-to-date, but I've been a weekend warrior this spring and summer and computer time has been minimal. Anyway, enjoy! Summary: Jon and I, along with our friend Dylan, did the Ptarmigan Traverse over 8 days July 20-27 despite a dubious weather forecast. We had a full North Cascades experience that included Formidable, Spire, Dome, world-class scenery, a long road walk, and 60 tent-bound hours at White Rock Lake. It was one of those trips that changes you for the better and stays with you long afterwards. Long Version: Preparation and Menu Planning The Ptarmigan Traverse has been on my radar for many years. My parents, aunt, and uncle did it in 1979. Then, 11 years ago, my cousins went on it with their parents (TR here.) Their stories and beautiful pictures inspired me to start climbing in 2006. However, it took a long time to get around to doing the Ptarmigan Traverse. Last winter, we decided it was high time to block out a week late July and finally go (foolproof for weather, right?!). I hadn't been on a trip this long since I spent 23 days guiding a group of high schoolers through the Olympic Mountains 2009. Planning this trip was much more involved than a typical weekend mission. Jon was determined that we wouldn't starve and set the goal of packing 5000 calories per person per day. This turned out to be just right. In an effort to increase our nutrition, we bought a food dehydrator and added peppers, bananas, cherries, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and mushrooms to our menu. We had great nutrition from these! Other items of note include ghee (think condensed butter), a large wad of coconut oil (great in oatmeal and curry dinners), Triscuit crackers, Walker's Shortbread, gummy bears, instant miso soup mix from PCC, and full-fat powdered milk. Most stores carry fat-free versions of powdered milk, gross. Look in the hispanic section at Fred Meyer and you can find 'Nestle Nido Fortificada', fully fatted dried milk. The menu: most of the meals were boil water and serve. - granola - granola, powdered milk, dried fruit, walnuts, coconut flakes: just add cold water - muesli - muesli from PCC, powdered milk, extra fruit and nuts - possible to just add hot water and let sit. Could also boil a few minutes. - rice noodle curry: curry powder, rice noodles, concentrated coconut oil, dried veggies, tuna - curried lentils mix from PCC bulk section: a few minutes of boiling the lentils and veggies, then add instant rice, coconut fat, curry, and let sit for 5 minutes. - Mexican Beans & Rice: dried black beans, instant rice, cheese, dried veggies, ghee. This one had some notable after-effects, much to Dylan's dismay. (Jon quote of the summer: "every fart is a social experiment") -mashed potatoes: potatoes, salt, ghee, parm, cheese, bacon bits, dried veggies -pasta/pesto: angel hair pasta, pesto, parm, bacon bits, smoked salmon, dried veggies (we did this one twice) -cous cous with vegetables and tuna Dylan's and Jon's packs weighed a hefty 65 lbs. each, while mine was 45 lbs. Proportionately, Dylan and I were carrying 36% of our body weight, whereas Jon got stuck with 46%. I didn't feel too sorry for him, though, since he'd been tearing it up in the mountains all summer and I was still not feeling 100% fit after having pneumonia in May. Food for the trip Pack weighing Day 1 The week leading up to the trip, the weather forecast began deteriorating in an alarming way. Multiple systems of rain coming our way, in late July! Early Sunday morning we congregated at my house, and dithered away several hours agonizing over weather models, racking our brains for alternative plans, etc. I lay in bed, angry about the weather ruining my dream trip, while the guys kept the stoke high. Around 8:00 AM, the guys concluded that we'd probaby have one full weather day in the tent. We decided to go for it and bumbled out the door, but promptly found that we had a flat tire on our Subaru. Thwarted again! Fortunately, Firestone is open on Sundays (the only place that is) and we headed over to Ballard for a quick fix (insert several hours here). Then, off to Cascade Pass! I was filled with doubt and angst that morning. Not the most auspicious start. [Apparently we also left our garage door open when we left, but our neighbors kindly closed it for us.] We dropped a car at the Suiattle trail head and then starting hiking from the Cascade Pass trail head at 2:00 PM, taking a slow and steady pace due to our heavy packs. "We will eat our way to happiness!" Dylan quipped. It was completely socked in, which made the whole thing seem pretty surreal. At Cascade Pass we got our only views of the day for about 2 seconds before mist enveloped us. We then traversed over the Mixup Arm to Cache Col, a bit mossy and chossy but nothing scary. I hadn't been mountaineering much in the past few years, so I was a little nervous about the few crux sections along the traverse. Mixup Arm was the first "crux" but it didn't have anything difficult, perhaps due to the nice snow conditions. As we descended to Kool-Aid Lake, visibility became nil and we wandered around trying to hit the lake, but our collective map powers brought us safely to camp near dusk. The weather models called for good weather tomorrow, right guys? "70 degrees and sunny!" became Jon's mantra that week..sometimes accurate, sometimes completely ridiculous. Cache Col in the mist Day 2 We awoke to more fog, but during breakfast we started to glimpse mysterious peaks around us. New scenery! New mountains! Two other parties were camped with us, but after this day we didn't see anybody, from near or far. Apparently, they all turned back due to the weather forecast and their shorter timeframe (5-6 days). Maybe they were smart...Yeah, they were definitely smart if they didn't have 8 days like us. Red Ledge was the second crux of the trip. Some careful work with crampons and an ice axe and it was done quickly enough. I should have worn my gloves, though. You definitely don't want to fall, but it wasn't too scary. Afternoon sun would soften the snow a lot. Improving views Formidable! Spider Formidable Col and the rest of the Traverse After climbing the Middle Cascade Glacier, we descended moderately steep snow down the Spider-Formidable Col and set up camp just below Formidable, on some pleasant rock ledges. We filtered water from a snowmelt pond. At this point, Jon and Dylan were like 'tightly coiled springs', and decided to unleash some pent up 'manergy' on Formidable. They sped up Formidable via the south face, there and back again to camp in 4 hours. Apparently, they trundled lots of rocks and had a great time. I stayed at camp, enjoyed the good weather, and took in the scenery. The boys wanted to bag Spider too, but when they returned from Formidable it was time for dinner and they figured they'd tag it next morning. I wasn't so interested in the chossy peaks up north and also wanted to save my energy so I could just get through the traverse. I had no idea what my fitness would do over the week. I had mostly recovered from pneumonia by late May but kept feeling surprised by my lack of stamina in the early summer. Camp Day 3 Despite Day 2's beautiful skies, the Day 3 dawned with threatening clouds. No time for Spider--we needed to move! We quickly made our way over to Yang Yang lakes, where it began to sprinkle on us. From there, we ascended a steep couloir to the Le Conte arm. I thought this was the scariest part of the trip: a long, 40+ degree pitch of firm snow. Jon climbed below me, encouraging me to keep moving and stay confident, while I periodically called up to Dylan and asked him to make the steps a bit smaller. I think I busted through a lot of my steep snow fear on this trip. I did get mad at Jon when I looked down and saw that he wasn't wearing his helmet.. We quickly crossed the Le Conte Glacier between rain showers. Fortunately, the Le Conte Glacier was sunny for a bit. There were some really cool, huge crevasses. It began to pour on us as we descended down to the enormous South Cascade Glacier. Spirits remained high and I was content because I still got to see all the views...just slightly menacing versions of them. We knew we needed to get to a good camp, because we were anticipating one weather day in the tent. We made our way through intermittent white-out and showers to the southern end of South Cascade Glacier. We don't have GPS and were hoping to find the correct notch in the whiteout. Thankfully, the clouds parted at just the right moment to keep us on track. We descended to White Rock lakes, down climbing a short snow cliff from the notch. This was another crux section, one that no trip reports mentioned, but it was definitely face-in, down climb territory. What a great day of dynamic weather! Le Conte Lake below Le Conte Glacier Excited to have finally reached camp, in the rain.."70 degrees and sunny!" Days 4 and 5 Rain, and lots of it. This kept up largely confined to our MegaLite for 60 straight hours. The wind whipped our mid and splashed us with condensation. Gradually, our down sleeping bags became more and more water-logged, and all articles of clothing became soggy. The first day we entertained ourselves with riddles, word games, books, and naps. Jon and Dylan pondered such things as how 4 men buried in sand can tell what color hats they have, the mysteries of light switches, and how many pretty pink elephants Dylan had (oh, that was a tricky one). The weather cleared a few times, giving us tantalizing views of Gunsight and the chance to do emergency sleeping bag drying operations - hold it up in the wind and it dries pretty well. The second day, however, was more grim. We'd only been expecting one weather day, but this one was far worse than the first day. We descended into silence as wind battered the mid, spending most of the day laying quietly, interrupted only by emergency events that required fast action: (1) Digging a trench to divert water from running into the tent. We added onto the trench several times. (2) Hastily resurrecting our tent after it collapsed in strong wind gusts. The ground around the stakes turned to soft mud and they pulled out, so we shoved ice axes through the stake loops and buried them in rocks. (3) Realizing that the constant buffeting by wind was causing the tent to rip in multiple places. To solve this, Dylan and Jon jumped out into the storm and constructed a truly monstrous rock barrier to protect our fragile tent. (4) running out when the rain stopped to 'dry' sleeping bags in the wind. This experience made me decide not to go on long mountaineering trips with dubious forecasts with only a Mega Lite. Unfortunately expedition tents are expensive and we don't have one. What would we have done if the tent actually had failed? We were two or three days from civilization and needed clear weather to navigate. Hypothermia would have been a real possibility. We agreed that we didn't have many good backup options. Commitment! My entertaining husband Our tent during a small break. The site in the foreground was the boys' first choice of campsite, but luckily I inherited my mom's habit of 'shopping' for campsites and we found a gravelly one on top of a little rise! Tent damage, nothing a little repair tape can't fix. Day 6 At last, we woke to clear skies! Relief, sweet freedom from our prison! All the doubt and anxiety of the storm vanished. We quickly set up a massive drying operation and soaked in the views, feeling like we had come back to life. Originally we had planned to climb Dome and go over to Gunsight, but with 2 weather days we were out of time. Around 11 AM, we packed up and headed up the Dana Glacier to Spire Col. That was an interminable slog. We had puffy afternoon clouds which made for great alpine ambience. We then headed over and up to the main peak of Spire, climbing by the east face route. Several pitches of unroped scrambling, with a final pitch of low 5th, brought us to the tiny summit. Then, down we went to camp high on Itswoot Ridge. OK views from White Rocks lakes Dylan levitating from happiness Headed towards Spire Typical summit pose on top of Spire Dylan and Dome Day 7 All week long we had been looking forward to climbing Dome, hoping that the weather would improve during this, the most spectacular leg of the trip. And the day dawned perfectly clear! (In fact, it would be irritatingly clear for the next 3 weeks.) We set out around 9:00 AM. We were all pretty tired by this point and I, as usual was the caboose. The boys chose to access the route by staying high from camp, but it was a loose and unpleasant hike. Grumble. Turns out we were 500 feet above a nice climber's trail. We made our way to the very flat Dome Glacier, and followed this up to the col just beneath the main summit. It was hot that day. Easy rock scrambling brought us to the top. The very, very top looks like it involves some exposed au cheval moves, so we roped up, but it turned out to be quite easy. The snow softened up nicely by the time we descended. Many episodes of boot skiing brought us to camp. Feeling a bit sad to leave the high country, we packed up and started on the long deproach. We made it down past Cub Lake, up over the steep little ridge, and then a few miles down Bachelor Creek, to just above where the main bushwhacking starts. We found one of the only flat spots along Bachelor Creek for camping. There were a few more below us. Heading up to Dome Summit! Dylan, the boot skiing pro Day 8 As the crow flies, Bachelor Creek is about 3 miles long. But, given all the twist and turns of the climbers trail, us mortals on the ground must travel either 5 or 6 miles, whacking bushes all the while. At points, the trail becomes very hard to find. Don't give up! Believe that it exists! There is sporadic orange flagging and the trail always re-appears. Take the time to make sure you are on the trail, or else you will find horrendous bushwhacking. We made it though with no problems, stopping to find the trail periodically. Dylan and Jon did a great job navigating. We took a short rest at the intersection of Bachelor and Downey creeks. After that, it was a long grind of 6.7 miles to the Suittatle River Road. I was exhausted during this part and the downed trees were particularly annoying. Then we had 9 miles of road walking to the car; strangely I got a second wind for this part and was pretty upbeat. The guys, whose boots had gotten wet during the trip, were pretty miserable during the roadwalk. I think that waterproofing and short gaitors saved me from a similar fate. Jon sad to be leaving the mountains, camped on Bachelor Creek Too much of this Glad to be done with that road walk! We shuttled over to Marblemount and found that the good folks at the BBQ shack were willing to cook for us even though they'd closed for the day. Score! What a trip. I think we'll be back again. It would be even more fun without the rain and road walk. Gear Notes: There are snaffles everywhere on this trip. We hung the food in the tent and avoided the typical lakeside campsites. Oddly, not a single store in Seattle had Ursacks or chainmail stuff sacks. Our food survived just fine, save for one small mouse chew at White Rock Lakes. Approach Notes: the Suiattle River road is supposed to be done in October. They had heavy trucks al the way up at the trail head, but since the new bridge isn't done, the gate is still closed 9 miles down. Why they couldn't gate it further in is a mystery to me... I expect the Bachelor Creek route to get a lot more traffic next year.
  15. Trip: Mt. Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys Date: 7/12/2014 - 7/13/2014 Trip Report: Mt. Shuksan has always loomed large in my imagination because I grew up skiing and hiking all around it. This was my fourth attempt on Mt. Shuksan and my second summit of it. I'd always wanted to climb it from via the Fisher Chimneys, because the route tours many of the mountain's complex and beautiful aspects that you can see from the ski area. I got rained off the Chimneys seven years ago (has it really been that long?!) and finally got around to heading back this weekend. Short conditions summary: The approach trail was tedious, but conditions on the mountain itself were perfect. Go and get it! Longer conditions report - will change quickly because of the heat: The hike in and out from Lake Ann was hot and tedious, with some post holing, high creek crossings, and snow on much of the trail. It's melting out quickly, though. Tip for finding the entrance to the chimneys: the climbers trail leads past Lake Ann and comes to an engraved, wooden signpost that marks the entrance to the North Cascades National Park. From this signpost, continue slightly left and gently up to access the "grassy knoll" that Beckey describes. It looks a little improbable, because it climbs a small 3rd class cliffband with a stream flowing out of it. We made the mistake of going down/right to skirt the Lower Curtis Glacier. That added hours and pain to our approach. Take a little time after the signpost to find the entrance to the knoll. You can see rap slings at the top of the 3rd class stuff when you get close enough - that is a sign you're on the right track! We ended up climbing some sketch to get up to the chimneys and I was not so happy. The chimneys are in excellent shape. And yes, the yellow spray-painted arrow is visible! The snow tongue leading to the entrance of the chimneys was a little spicy. I had to downclimb/slide down a vertical snow cliff that was about 7 feet tall, but the landing was safe. Once you're in the chimneys, you can stay away from snow the whole way and it is easy scrambling. We were very happy to arrive at our beautiful campsite just below Winnie's slide after a long, hot day of approaching. Electrolyte drink mixes, salty crackers, dehydrated bananas, shot bloks, and instant miso soup were all really helpful on this trip. There are several dry tent and bivy sites right below and above Winnie's slide. We camped just below Winnie's slide (literally 50 meters from its base) There was running water in the evening and a flat space for our megamid plus a few other tents. We had the place to ourselves. Our summit climb was fun and beautiful. We awoke at 4:00 AM, were climbing by 5:00 AM, and summited at 8:00 AM. After a leisurely time on the summit, we were back at camp by 11:00 AM and down to the car by 4:30 PM. We brought crampons but never put them on. Winnie's slide has great steps and ice axe holes in it. The Upper Curtis Glacier is in excellent shape and was easily navigated. Some ice is starting to show through right above Winnies Slide, but there's plenty of easy snow around it. There is a scary, thin-looking snow bridge before Hells Highway but it's easily avoided by going up a slightly steeper snowfield to its left. Great steps the whole way. The Sulphide Glacier is very smooth. We arrived at the base of the summit pyramid hoping to climb the SE arete, but there were three parties already on it. They were all really nice and reasonable people, but we decided not to wait in line because it was going to be a very hot hike out. Gully it was! We were up and down the gully before most of them summited. The summit gully is half melted out: you can climb decent snow for the bottom half and 3rd-4th class rock for the upper half. There are great steps on the snow and two sections that were a little melted out: an icy hole by rock and a small bergscrund. I called them "sketchy" but my husband was totally calm about them and told me to quit my whining. We went up the gully at 7:30 AM and down at 8:30 AM. It was already quite sloppy when we were down climbing. Our descent was uneventful and fun until we reached the bottom of the Chimneys. From there, it was a hot slog to the car, made worse by the fact that we didn't have quite enough food. Thankfully, we got to go to my parents' house in Ferndale for an amazing dinner and some much-needed rest after our climb. Pictures: sweltering approach hike: Snow tongue at chimney entrance; sketchier than it looked and changing quickly: Climbers heading up Winnie's Slide to their bivy Sunset from camp: Sunrise from route: Supermoonset and Mt. Baker Upper Curtis Glacier and Hells Highway Upper Curtis Glacier First view of the Summit Pyramid: Summit Gully from below: Mountain Madness party on the ridge: summit shot: my #1 climbing partner on the summit: North Cascades from Sulphide Glacier: obligatory "I climbed that!" picture from the ski area on the way home: Gear Notes: Instant miso soup, white hats, sunscreen. Approach Notes: Lots of post-holing and deep stream crossings on the Lake Ann trail. It is melting out fast, though.
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